Another glorious week of NFL football is behind us, and another week for us fantasy minions to scrounge the waiver wires for this weeks gem. We've got a lot of starters hurt for this coming week, which means almost everyone is in need of at least one good starter to put into their roster. Well have no fear, this little guide should help you decide exactly who to pickup and who to leave back on waivers. This week I had a lot of help from another member of our site, klompus (lots of thanks to you sir). While almost all of my fantasy knowledge is based on a 10-team league, klompus is an expert when it comes to a deep keeper league. At the end of my writeup you can find his thoughts on who you should grab for the coming week.
First a shout out to momma rollett for this weeks "Best Fantasy Name". Add yours to your comments and we will see who has the best one next week.
I must say this past Monday was a very exciting day. Arguments have been made in extreme detail already about the Steelers successes on certain plays and drives, or lack thereof; but I don't think anyone could dispute the point that it was one hair-raising hectic game. Without question, my favorite games are those in which I am jumping up and down on my couch screaming at the TV (thus spilling my beer everywhere) while attempting in my mind to encourage the Steelers towards victory. As with many of you I'm sure, I did not sit down at all throughout the entire 2nd half of the fourth quarter.
To follow up this extraordinarily exciting game, I got to watch the new Conan O'Brien show which I have been waiting 9 months to see (got to love DVR). Needless to say he hasn't lost it. After that show ended it was about 12:30 and I figured with everything going on the next day I would go hit the rack for the night. However one final scouring of the channels showed me that Flash Gordon was starting in a few minutes. Now I am not sure of the average age of posters on this site, but I was about 10 when I first saw it, so whenever I get a chance to see that movie again, I revert back to being 10 years old and love every second of it. If for some reason you haven't seen this piece of cinematic genius I recommend you go out right now and find yourself a copy.
Now the question becomes, why am I talking about a campy 80's movies during the (unofficially) official Fantasy Update? Simple. As I am watching this movie it began to occur to me and my astonishingly nerdy brain that this week's fantasy scenario has many different characters in it, and many of them truly resemble their Flash Gordon counterparts.
So follow me if you will through the Fantasy Update Week 10 - trrbletoweldispenser - (Flash Gordon Edition)
Players to consider picking up:
*Pickups of the week*
Vincent Jackson (WR, Chargers) - Jackson is definitely the Dr. Hans Zarkov of the group. Start out as the bad guy, only to morph into a good guy. However by the time this happens it becomes obvious that the heroes (Flash and Dale; The Chargers) are doing just fine without you, but will take you back nonetheless. As of now Phillip Rivers is on pace to pass for 5,200 yards and 34 touchdowns. I don't think anyone would argue that Jackson is currently the best Chargers WR on the roster and Rivers will find a way to get Jackson the ball. He is not cleared to play this coming week (which works well since the Chargers are on their bye) but everyone and their mother knows that someone will pick him up starting next week. Well I say beat them to the punch. Grab while you can.
Blair White (WR, Colts) - White seems destined to play the Luro role. Luro if you will recall is the Hawkman who just couldn't seem to plant the bomb on Ajax by himself. Luckily Luro had Flash to help him, just like White has Peyton Manning to hold his hand. The Colts are currently without Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez, and most likely Austin Collie for the coming week. Whoever will Peyton pass to? Blair White is in for a big game. Also, Garcon is questionable for the coming week; if he doesn't play would thrust White into an even larger starting role. Get this guy.
Dez Bryant (WR, Cowboys) - Bryant is easily our coveted Flash Gordon for the coming week. The Giants game plan will be to stop Miles Austin (although Kitna seems incapable of throwing to him) and Jason Witten, which they should do rather successfully. The Cowboys next best option is the immensely talented Dez Bryant. Bryant is going to be thrust into the spotlight role unwillingly and like Gordon he will come out smelling like roses. For the past 3 weeks Bryant has put up very solid fantasy numbers in a supporting role, but this week I think Kitna will be looking to him to become their #1 receiver. Bryant can handle all these expectations and more.
Josh Freeman (QB, Buccaneers) - Freeman is my favorite character, Prince Vultan. We were all aware of Freeman from the beginning of the season, but who in their right mind would have picked Tampa Bay to be as good as they are? Freeman is almost entirely the sole reason of their amazing turnaround. To say that he is a poor man's Ben Roethlisberger doesn't do him nearly the justice deserved. This kid just makes plays to win (like a hawkman perhaps?). Normally this is the type of player to avoid in a fantasy setting, but he has a great matchup potential versus the Panthers this week, a team he has already had a good amount of success against. Carolina currently has the 3rd ranked passing defense (ruh-roh) but Freeman should be able to put up at least 200 yards aginst them and a touchdown or two. If you are hurting at QB, Freeman could be a decent starter for you for the next 2 weeks. I can just imagine Freeman standing in the huddle screaming at his offense, "Buccaneers, you want to live forever? DRIIIIIIIVE!!" Wow I'm a nerd.
Mike Goodson (RB, Panthers) - I am having trouble picking out an Emperor Ming. I was tempted to give it to Dez Bryant because I hate the Cowboys so much, but that just doesn't fit right to me. So instead Mike Goodson, 3rd string starting RB of the Carolina Panthers, gets the nod simply because in the end I think he will get the last laugh. He goes up against a very weak Tampa Bay rushing defense (remember what Mendenhall did against them?). Carolina cannot and will not pass the ball against Tampa's 10th ranked passing defense, so their only hope to win will be to run the tires off of Goodson. Great pickup for the coming week, any more than that however and I doubt it.
Seattle Seahawks Defense/ST - Each week I will attempt to pick out a defense that is statistically ranked at the bottom of the league for you to consider if you need a quick pickup. This week I pick the Seahawks. My reasoning is rather scientific and elaborate but I will try to spell it out for you. Play any defense that is going against the Cardinals.
Players you just need to drop:
Mathew Stafford (QB, Lions) - My highest rated QB pickup one week to my highest rated QB drop the next. Why the change of mentality? Injuries. It seems Stafford will be out for the remainder of the season and you don't want an IR player clogging your bench. Go grab Freeman instead. Stafford can be our Dale Arden of the week; certainly flashy at the beginning, but both really fizzled out towards the end.
Clinton Portis (RB, Redskins) - Portis will be our Prince Barin. Meaning? He is laaame. Just like Timothy Dalton, Portis just won't fill the shoes of the role we expect him to. He possibly could be coming back from injury this week, but even if he does, don't predict anything great from him. He hasn't been a reliable fantasy player for several years now and I don't expect this to change now. Mike Goodson is a much better player to pickup this week.
See if you can trade for:
Ray Rice (RB, Ravens) - Rice was probably the 3rd or 4th player drafted overall in your league. He has not rewarded anyone with this high selection yet though. However the Baltimore offense is starting to remember just how good he is again. His numbers for the rest of the season should be monstrous (along the lines of AP and CJ). Rice has a very favorable remaining schedule for the remainder of the year (minus his future matchup vs. Pittsburgh) and the Ravens are going to be up a lot of points in most of their games, so Rice will be getting his carries without a doubt. So after his great, albeit touchdownless, game last week vs. the dolphins, if you can find an owner who is slightly down on him, do what you can to get him. I would *almost* consider a Peyton for Rice trade straight up. That's how confident I am in Rice for the rest of the year.
Now, courtesy of klompus, we now have some very stat specific info on a keeper league:
Nate Burleson - He is coming off of a monster game against a good Jets secondary, but his starting QB is down. He is facing a weak defense in Buffalo, and Shaun Hill can put up enough numbers for Burleson, but if Shaun Hill isn't cleared to go and Stanton takes the field, I wouldn't start him this week. He is a must grab in all formats if Hill starts this week.
Deion Branch - He was and is still being hyped up on the waiver wire on some websites, people citing that Tom Brady's offense is even better without Moss. Besides his first game back for the Pats, he has been spectacularly average. I would avoid him in any format.
Mike Thomas - As I'll discuss later, Garrard is one of the leagues more underrated fantasy performers this season. Simply because of Garrards 11 TDs in 3 games, you should be putting their wide receivers in your starting spots. Not to mention this week Garrard faces a Houston Texans defense that regularly lets QBs put up season highs. Thomas is a must grab in both deeper and shallow formats for this week.
Seyi Arijotutu - He came in off the bench against Houston and had 2 TD grabs. Phillip Rivers continues to prove he can make the marginal talent around him look excellent and this guy is no exception. As long as he is going to be a number 1 or 2 receiver for them (aka until Floyd and company return to the starting lineup) he should be starting for you too.
Jacoby Ford - The rookie from the Raiders got almost his entire season total of yardage in one game with some amazing effort on his catches. I wouldn't add him yet unless you have some dead weight on your bench, but I would definitely keep an eye on him, especially in deeper formats.
Christopher Ivory - This is a bad week for RBs indeed. Most that is left on the waivers are purely handcuffs. You have Jason Snelling, Derrick Ward, and Kenneth Darby, all of who's only value lie in an injured starter. This is one gem for deeper formats though, especially given the consistent uncertainty regarding NO's backfield.
David Garrard - As I said earlier, Garrard is the most underrated fantasy QB right now, and the Texans pass defense is positively atrocious. Minus the game he left early against Tennessee, Garrard has tossed up 11 TDs in 3 games during October. He just recently hung up 5 TDs against the Cowboys, but very few people picked him up because of the bye the next week. Grab him now or forever hold your peace.
Shaun Hill (if healthy) - Shaun Hill has weapons on that revamped Detroit Lions offense. With Pettigrew, Scheffler, and Best/Smith catching out of the backfield, Hill should have plenty of check down options if Calvin does disappear for a second straight week (he won't).
Vince Young - Vince Young is quietly putting up very good stats and is posting a 103 QB rating right now. He may have lost an emerging weapon in Britt, but he just got Moss who I'm sure will be going deep a plenty for Vince Young, who has the highest % of deep pass in the league, at 33.6% according to www.advancednflstats.com
Troy Smith - the former college star who fell by the way side when he got the flu prior to the 2008 season. Malor's first true love before unibrow, this guy came in and played excellently for formerly bad then decent with showing promise then bad again QB Alex Smith. If Troy Smith can show any kind of consistency and put up even half the numbers he did in London (3 total TDs), he will be an excellent bye week addition if you need him. Give him a look in all formats if you need a weekly matchup at QB.
Brandon Pettigrew - You know how Pettigrew is good? He challenges megatron for targets. He currently has 16.9% of the Lions offensive targets, and megatron has 22%. Pettigrew seems to get better every week and Matthew Stafford loves to throw it to him. If Shaun Hill shows that same affinity, consider him a top 10 TE in all formats for the remainder of the season, as long as Hill is healthy.
Chris Cooley - Very up and down player, but if you need a bye week warrior (as you often will at the TE position), this guy can do the trick based on matchup. This week he goes against the Eagles. Not bad considering the Colts backup TE had 100 yards and a TD against them last week. Give him a look in 12 team formats.
Greg Olsen - Greg Olsen is pure awesomeness. He brings in over 17% of his team's offensive targets and has been targeted 41 times thus far. He only has 21 catches though, so it indicates inconsistency. Currently, he's a top 15 TE, meaning he is useless in 10 and 12 team formats unless you have a bye on your team and no others are available. However, if he converts more of his chances into catches, he will easily be a top 10 TE by the season's end. Watch him, but don't add him yet unless you've got the roster space to waste.
That's it for this week.Thanks for reading, and share your fantasy insights for Week 10 if you've got 'em.