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.
Week 14 is the beginning of the playoffs for many teams, crunch time baby! It's also the time of the year when we begin to see teams starting to rest starters for the post season. We also have to be concerned that the have nots will be taking a look at youngsters for next season. Most importantly, as we navigate December, every player has various bumps and bruises, just some are in worst shape that others.
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.
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.
An outstanding week for receivers in the NFL with no fewer than thirteen wide outs targeted ten or more times. While many familiar names populate the leaders, many new faces making the most of their opportunity or at least a major part of their team’s game plan. This comes on a week with historically solid passing teams like New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston and Indianapolis were on a bye week.
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?