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.
If you are reading this, chances are you are still alive in your playoff hunt. I helped create my league, back in the mid 1980's, before the Internet, before thoughts even crossed the mind of editors of including fantasy in books and magazines. Our regular season last 16 weeks, with all tie breakers taking place in week 17. If teams tie, they settle things in the final week, no head to head or points scored to determine who gets in, head to head on the field. Six of 12 teams in our league make the post season and I'll share that with you when we look at running backs and tight ends.
A seemingly never ending week of football started at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day and wrapped up Monday night at the Linc in Philadelphia. As we wind down and enter the fourth quarter of the season, the cream is certainly rising to the top. Many leagues are approaching the playoffs and the alwayys tricky managing of lineups as some teams look at young talent with their season's basically over, while others rest stars to keep them healthy for the post season.
Amazing that we are already approaching the midway point of the 2012 season. Did you survive the biggest bye week of the season? Julio Jones, Roddy White, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Dwayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Malcom Floyd among those on the sideline during week seven. This week, Torrey Smith, A.J. Green and Andre and Steve Johnson get a break. If you're like me, you are still getting used to a Thursday night game every week with Tampa Bay and Minnesota kicking off week eight.
Did you properly space your bye weeks during your draft or auction? It amazes me that so many owners, especially veterans, fail to track this all important consideration. Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans return from bye in week seven, with fantasy studs like Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and any number of Saints wide receivers return to lineups. Have a dozen teams have week seven off, including Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego. Notable players you'll have to do without include dangerous duos on the Falcons, Eagles and Broncos, Dwayne Bowe and Malcolm Floyd. Of course the knife cuts both ways, perhaps you won't have to face these guys in your matchup this week.
As we roll into the second third of the season, fantasy teams welcome back stars from their bye week. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Vincent Jackson and Calvin Johnson are a few of those back to inject life into receiving corps across NFL fantasy nation. While Dallas, Oakland, Tampa Bay and Detroit return, Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans have the week off. Owners of Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and Marques Colston will have to do without, testing their reserve rosters. Reggie Wayne gets this week's honors as the top target, while Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline share the weekly "down to earth" award.
A week ago, 13 wide receivers were targeted in double digits and we took note. Week 12 saw an amazing 18 reach the milestone. What does this mean? We’re not sure, but it certainly strengthens the belief that the passing game should be strongly considered for the flex position. The usual suspects populate the big time targets but some newcomers as well!
As we have each and every week this season, we bring you a peek at everything you need to know when it comes to targets in the passing game. Who is coming off a hot week? Who disappeared a week ago? Who has failed to convert opportunity?