Week six brings a host of wide receivers back to fantasy nation from the bye week. Don't forget to move Antonio Brown, Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon back into your lineups. Only two teams on bye this week, Atlanta and Miami. The Falcons need to sort out their receiver situation with Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White suffering a setback in week four. The Dolphins have been one of the surprise teams this season and Mike Wallace was the top target this week in the entire NFL, a long way from his complaints in week one. This week's Thursday night game features the Bears hosting the New York GIants in Chicago.
Welcome to week three and the first of nine straight bye weeks. We wade into things with only Green Bay and Carolina off, but the impact will certainly be felt. Brandon LaFell owners are going to have to wait a week to see if he can do it again, while the trio of Packers, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones will certainly be missed. Do we have a changing of the guard at wide receiver in the NFL? Certainly some new names like Josh Gordon and Cecil Shorts appear poised to assume prominent fantasy roles. This week's Thursday night action features an NFC West matchup of St.Louis and San Francisco on the NFL Network.
With two weeks now in the books, we may begin to trust what we are seeing. Surprises that did it again are for real, those that didn't contributed toward your loss and will become a casualty of this week's moves. We had a numer of injuries in week two, most coming at running back which can be quite painful. If you were hoping for a veteran to bounce back after a slow start, and he didn't, in some cases he won't be. In my 25+ years of playing fantasy football, I find this stage of the season also brings the most trading of the year. Can trading hurt your league? Three of my four "big unit" leagues do not allow trading this season. While I prefer to trade, judging from baseball, this is probably protecting me... from myself.
Seasons can be won and lost on the waiver wire, perhaps more so in baseball but no matter the sport, the claims following week 1 are by far the best. Up until we see some real stats opening weekend, we must comb through the hundreds of expert opinions and browse the preseason box scores. While injury opportunties will provide leading free agent candidates all season long, week one settles some depth chart question marks.... well, sort of.
It's crunch time in fantasy nation and each and every starter can make or break your entire season. Is Danny Amendola back? Is Brandon Lloyd finally delivering like we expected he would all season? Can Danario Alexander be trusted? Is Torrey Smith still a legitimate starter and how about that concussion? Are Brandon Marshall and Victor Cruz in a funk? And have Michael Crabtree and Antonio Brown recovered with better quarterback play? Questions many of you are pondering as we approach week 16.
Finally, full rosters for all with the bye weeks now behind us. Its time to make a playoff run, both real and fantasy and owners will be plugging in stars that enjoyed week 11 on bye. Some of the stars expected back in fantasy lineups include, Percy Harvin (healthy?), Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Sidney Rice, Kenny Britt and more. While the bye weeks are behind us, keep an eye on multiple Thursday games, Saturday games coming soon and the usual Sunday and Monday prime time action.
Can you believe we have reached the midway point? A.J. Green and Andre Johnson were the big dogs off in week eight, along with less consistent talent like Torrey Smith and Steve Johnson. Wes Welker is the main target that will be getting a rest this weekend, along with the emerging Jeremy Kerley and marginal fantasy stock like Michael Crabtree and Brandon Gibson. The early game this week comes is a AFC West clash between San Diego and Kansas City.
In what is now the norm, another explosive week of performances by wide receivers across the league. If you are like most, you are using a WR in your flex position as the pass catchers have been more reliable than the dreaded running back by committee. If your league uses post season, load up on New Orleans and Atlanta which promises to be a high scoring shootout.
As the season winds to a close, elite receivers league wide are getting even more “looks”, week by week. As we have mentioned in past weeks, the reliability of the top wide outs far exceeds running back by committee options at the “flex” position. While it is nice to have one of the top quarterbacks throwing to “your” receiver, the numbers show, even pedestrian signal callers can create some huge numbers for their targets.
Without a doubt, receivers are having a bigger impact than ever in fantasy football. With rules favoring the passing game, some of the biggest numbers are coming from wide outs. With so many running backs being handled by committee, it’s almost a necessity to fill your flex position with a receiver. Good luck to those in the playoffs and those making a final push.