Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 12 Heroes & Zeros

This was a great week to start…

Matt Stafford, Lions – Made his owners thankful while passing for 337 yards and 5 TDs without a turnover.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks – Had his first 5-TD game with 345 yards passing and 14 rushing.
Philip Rivers, Chargers – Bounced back nicely with 300 yards and 4 TDs, without a blemish.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills – Passed for 291 yards and 3 TDs and ran for 46 yards, but coughed up a fumble.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets – Accumulated 277 passing yards and 4 TDs, plus 21 rushing yards and no turnovers.
Derek Carr, Raiders – Also had a nice rebound with 330 yards and 3 TDs, though he lost a fumble.
Tom Brady, Patriots – Lost his undefeated bid while passing for 280 yards and 3 TDs without a turnover against the vaunted Broncos defense.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings – Rumbled for 158 yards and 2 TDs, and added 29 yards on 2 receptions.
C.J. Anderson, Broncos – The Monday night hero raced for 113 yards and 2 TDs, and caught 4 balls for 40 more.
Eddie Lacy, Packers – Ran for 105 yards and caught 4 passes for 34 yards and a TD, though he lost a fumble.
DeAngelo Williams, Steelers – Ran for 29 yards and a TD and caught 7 passes for 88 yards.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks – Had a career day with 145 yards and 3 TDs on 6 receptions.
Calvin Johnson, Lions – Caught 8 passes for 93 yards and a TD trifecta.
Sammy Watkins, Bills – Finally produced with 6 catches for 158 yards and 2 TDs.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts – Scored twice on 6 receptions for 95 yards.
Markus Wheaton, Steelers – Had a career game with 9 receptions for 201 yards and a TD.
Brandon Marshall, Jets – Caught 9 passes for 131 yards and 2 TDs.
Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs – Collected 9 passes for 160 yards and a TD.
A.J. Green, Bengals – Reeled in 6 passes for 61 yards and 2 TDs.
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins – Amassed 13 receptions for 165 yards and a TD.
Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants – Had 9 receptions for 142 yards and a TD.
Seth Roberts, Raiders – Nobody owns him, but he had a career game with 6 receptions for 113 yards and 2 TDs.

Antonio Gates, Chargers – Took 4 passes 53 yards and scored twice.
Julius Thomas, Jaguars – Caught 9 passes for 116 yards and a TD.

Panthers – Had 2 sacks, 3 INTs and scored TDs on 2 of those picks while holding the Cowboys to 14 points.
Bengals – Accumulated 1 sack, 3 INTs, a defensive TD on an INT return and held the Rams to 7 points.
Ravens -- Sacked Cleveland's QBs twice and scored on a punt return and a blocked kick as time expired.

This was a great week to play against…

Tony Romo, Cowboys – Was awful – passing for 106 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs – before getting knocked out for the season.
Drew Brees, Saints – Held without a TD while passing for 228 yards and an INT.

Lamar Miller, Dolphins – Had 2 rushing and 11 receiving yards.
Chris Johnson, Cardinals – Ran for just 17 yards and blanked in the receiving game.
LeGarrette Blount, Patriots – Stuffed by the Broncos for 27 rushing yards.
DeMarco Murray, Eagles – Limited to 30 rushing yards.
Darren Sproles, Eagles – Combined for 25 yards.
Todd Gurley, Rams – Totaled 30 yards rushing and receiving.
Frank Gore, Colts – Just 24 rushing and 13 receiving yards.
Rashad Jennings, Giants – Ran for 14 and caught 2 passes for 14 more.
Matt Forte, Bears – Returned to rush for 44 yards plus a 9-yard reception.

James Jones, Packers – Laid an egg on Thanksgiving.
Mike Wallace, Vikings – Blanked for second consecutive game.
Rashard Matthews, Dolphins – Nada in New York.
Malcom Floyd, Chargers – Returned to the field to catch a 12-yarder.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals – Stuck with a 14-yarder.
Davante Adams, Packers – Caught only 2 of the passes thrown his way, for 14 yards.
Kendall Wright, Titans – Just 19 yards on 2 balls.
Andre Johnson, Colts – Caught a 22-yarder.
Dez Bryant, Cowboys – Only 26 yards on 2 catches.
Stefon Diggs, Vikings – Just 31 yards on 4 catches.
Brandin Cooks, Saints – Just 35 yards on 5 passes.
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans – Shockingly limited to 36 yards on 5 balls.
Brandon LaFell, Patriots – He got 36 yards on 4 balls.
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos – He did the same with one catch.
Allen Hurns, Jaguars – Only 42 yards on 4 receptions before leaving with an injury.
Antonio Brown, Steelers – Consider yourself lucky when he gets just 51 yards on 6 passes.

Fantasy stalwarts soar with playoff berths on the line

Most fantasy leagues will contest their final regular season games in Week 13, with the postseason playing out over the following three weeks.

As I say this time every year, I hope you haven’t scheduled your championship game for Week 17, unless you just enjoy playing without your Patriots, Panthers, Broncos and others with little to nothing at stake and who will inevitably be resting their stars in the finale.

But for those vying for a playoff berth, it’s crunch time. And by crunch time, I’m not referring to the sound Tony Romo’s shoulder made when he was slammed to the turf and millions of Cowboys fans threw turkey legs at their TVs.

This is the time of year when true fantasy heroes emerge.

Though it took him a while to get in gear, Adrian Peterson is justifying the first overall draft pick that many of us made him – or would have, had we had the opportunity.

Eddie Lacy and C.J. Anderson have apparently decided to remove their names from the list of “Bust of the Year” nominees. LeSean McCoy is stepping up his game, too; but Matt Forte has finally met a backup in Jeremy Langford that can match his running and receiving prowess. 

On the heels of three consecutive “meh” weeks, A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson served notice that they are still elite receivers, even in tough matchups. T.Y. Hilton, Sammy Watkins and Jeremy Maclin likewise reminded us of their game-changing abilities.

As for Dez Bryant, well, there are worse occupations than multi-million-dollar decoy.

Tom Brady may have left Denver a loser on Sunday night, but he proved that only boneheads will bench him against even the fiercest of defenses.

Meanwhile, Matt Stafford, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson have earned our trust back – at least when facing generous opponents – while Drew Brees picked a rotten time to break his 45-game TD-tossing streak. (He may merit a spot on your bench this weekend against Carolina, but Brees’ schedule softens up nicely during the fantasy playoffs.)

Yet it’s the tight ends that stole the spotlight this weekend, for all the wrong reasons. Rob Gronkowski has apparently avoided a season-ending knee injury, but Jimmy Graham didn’t. Tyler Eifert also left the Chiefs game with a neck stinger, but he is not expected to miss any time.

It’s just another reminder that things change quickly around here. To the vigilant – and the lucky – go the spoils.


To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. He could be the last man standing in Arizona’s backfield after Chris Johnson bruised his knee and Andre Ellington injured his toe on Sunday. The rookie has flashed his potential, scoring seven TDs this season as a rusher and receiver, and he could finally get his opportunity to shine if the others are sidelined.

Doug Baldwin
, WR, Seahawks. Inconsistency is his middle name, but Baldwin and his quarterback are heating up at the right time. With Jimmy Graham lost for the season, Baldwin should continue to see a healthy number of targets. Don’t expect another career game from the veteran wideout, but he is clearly established as Russell Wilson’s go-to receiver, and that’s not all bad.

Scott Chandler, TE, Patriots. He’s no Gronk. Heck, nobody else is Gronk. But if Rob Gronkowski misses time due to his painful, but not-as-bad-as-it-looked knee injury, Chandler will inherit a prominent role in New England’s injury-riddled receiver corps. Though he’s unlikely to see a high volume of targets, Chandler is a serious red zone threat that merits roster consideration.

Don’t be fooled

Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers. I was high on Wheaton when the season began, but he failed to take advantage of his opportunity while Martavis Bryant served his four-game suspension. Before you get excited about Sunday’s 201-yard, one-TD performance, remember this: Wheaton amassed a grand total of seven receptions for 45 yards over his last five games – including a minus-2 yard effort in Week 9.

Seth Roberts, WR, Raiders. At this point in the season, you’re really not planning to start the No. 3 wideout in Oakland, right? As sharp as Derek Carr has looked for much of the year, his third option is anything but reliable. Remember Andre Holmes’ big day in Week 8? Right. You’ll forget Roberts’ big Week 12 in a couple weeks, too.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday morning updates -- Week 12

Good morning, Fools. Here we are, just a week or two out from the fantasy postseason (depending on your league's rules). Hard to believe we're already on the homestretch.

I hope the tryptophan has worked its way through your system and you're alert and ready for a big Sunday. I also hope you were either starting Matt Stafford and Megatron, or at least not playing against them, on Thanksgiving. That would be a big hole to dig out of.

And those of you who started Romo...well, you can't say I didn't warn you. (He's now officially out for the season.)

Let's scan the league for the news we can use to dominate our competition today...

Nick Foles is expected to be under center again at QB for the Rams with Case Keenum still recovering from a concussion. Only Todd Gurley is worth starting from that team. That includes Greg Zuerlein, who may be sidelined with a groin issue. Zach Hocher would kick in his stead.

Spencer Ware will start at RB for the Chiefs against the depleted Bills. Charcandrick West's hammy has improved, but he's considered a long shot to play. Ware had a fine game last week after West departed, and he will likely be leaned on heavily again today.

We'll see what Tevin Coleman can do as the Falcons' starter today with Devonta Freeman out due to a concussion. Remember that Coleman was expected to be the starter this season before he was injured and Freeman began running wild. Can Coleman earn back at least a share of the backfield duties now?

The Falcons will also be without Leonard Hankerson and K Matt Bryant (quad), who is being replaced with Shayne Graham this weekend.

Carlos Hyde (foot) is out again for the 49ers. More of the (very boring) Shaun Draughn show coming your way.

Thomas Rawls has been taking it easy on his knee in practice this week, but he will be the workhorse against the stout Steelers run defense today.

And Javorius (Buck) Allen is your new starting RB in Baltimore. I like his chances against the Browns on Monday night, especially in PPR leagues.

Despite being questionable, both Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews are expected to suit up at the Jets. With Darrelle Revis out, their lives will be a lot easier.

Danny Amendola did not travel with the Patriots to Denver, so look for a very busy day for Brandon LaFell. Yes, it's a tough matchup, but Brady is on fire and I don't see him having too much trouble moving the ball against anyone. It doesn't hurt that DeMarcus Ware is still out for the Broncos.

Michael Floyd is on track to rejoin the WR corps in Arizona today after sitting out with a bum hammy last week. It's hard to be confident about his chances just because it should be an easy win for the Cards and they may opt to put Floyd on a snap count to minimize the chances of aggravation. I am sitting him in both leagues in lieu of safer options.

Emmanuel Sanders is on track to play tonight. It's unclear what his rapport will be like with his new QB.

It also appears that Malcom Floyd will test out the torn labrum in his shoulder today against the Jags. He could see a lot of targets, but just keep in mind that he could be out the minute he falls on that shoulder.

Kendall Wright (knee) is returning against the Raiders and could be a sneaky start for those with issues at the WR position.

Giants TE Larry Donnell and the Bucs' Austin Seferian-Jenkins are out today, but Travis Kelce (groin) will play for the Chiefs.

Need tight end help? It may be time to consider Vernon Davis, who caught all 6 of his targets from Brock Osweiler last week. The duo has some chemistry, and that could continue to bear fruit down the stretch.

That's it for now, Fools. I'll be tweeting the inactives and other late-breaking news in a bit. Good luck today!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 12 Starters & Benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start Aaron Rodgers and Antonio Brown, or to bench Matt Schaub and Greg Jennings? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 12 of the 2015 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins vs. Giants. Cousins and his teammates predictably struggled against the mighty Panthers defense, but they’ll enjoy some home cooking this weekend with the generous Giants secondary visiting. With a healthy DeSean Jackson back in the fold, Cousins should take advantage of this delicious matchup.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars vs. Chargers. The rookie has been a decent, though far from spectacular, fantasy contributor thus far; but he suffers from a lack of touchdowns. Fortunately, only Detroit has coughed up more scores to opposing rushers than this week’s visitors, so look for Yeldon to rack up the yards as well as his third TD of the season.

Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers at Jaguars. Woodhead was a non-factor in the Chargers’ humiliating loss last week, which should teach his coaches a lesson. Look for the multi-talented back to be heavily involved as both a runner and receiver, and to find his way back to the end zone in this very favorable matchup.

Golden Tate, WR, Lions vs. Eagles. Though he failed to score his second TD of the season, Tate hauled in eight of his 11 targets last week. Expect a similar workload against the Eagles’ overly generous secondary, with even better results.

Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals at 49ers. Floyd is back at practice, suggesting he is on track to return from his hamstring injury in time to blitz the generous 49ers secondary. With both Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown helping to deflect attention, Floyd will get his fair share of looks and opportunities to soar.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Cam Newton, Josh McCown, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger; RBs Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Mark Ingram, DeMarco Murray, Eddie Lacy, LeSean McCoy, Chris Ivory, DeAngelo Williams, Doug Martin, Javorius Allen; WRs DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Jarvis Landry, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Michael Crabtree, T.Y. Hilton, Willie Snead, Jeremy Maclin, Davante Adams, Vincent Jackson, Allen Robinson, Travis Benjamin, Brandon LaFell.

Roll ‘em back

Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys vs. Panthers. If Carolina’s defense isn’t enough to scare you away, consider that Romo was beat up pretty badly by the Dolphins on Sunday and his worst game of 2014 came on Thanksgiving after just three days of rest. Sure, he’s a Jedi, but you may be thankful if you keep him on your bench in this one.

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks vs. Steelers. I know you want to start Rawls after his dominant performance last week. But consider the fact that his huge day came at the expense of the league’s softest rushing matchup and he’ll be facing the league’s stingiest on Sunday. Hopefully you have safer options.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos vs. Patriots. As much as the Broncos would love to slow down this game with Hillman running the ball, they will find tough sledding against the Patriots’ stout rush defense.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles at Lions. Matthews is on a two-game swoon, and his prospects for turning that around Thursday are decidedly slim. The Lions are playing some salty pass defense, and should have little trouble gobbling up Philly’s struggling aerial attack.

Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars vs. Chargers. Hurns had his seven-game scoring streak snapped last week, no doubt in part due to his nagging foot and thigh injuries. He’ll be facing one of the league’s toughest secondaries on Sunday and could have another rough outing as a result.

More thumbs down: QBs Andy Dalton, Derek Carr, Philip Rivers, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Matt Hasselbeck, Brock Osweiler, Jay Cutler; RBs Andre Ellington, Joique Bell, Jeremy Langford, Alfred Morris, Alfred Blue, Shaun Draughn, C.J. Anderson, Rashad Jennings, C.J. Spiller, Antonio Andrews, Isaiah Crowell, James Starks, Matt Jones; WRs Mike Wallace, Terrance Williams, Marvin Jones, Leonard Hankerson, Andre Johnson, Tavon Austin, Kamar Aiken.


Brian Hoyer, QB, Texans vs. Saints. When you’re a QB, there’s nobody you’d rather see lining up against you than the New Orleans defense. Hoyer has passed the concussion protocol and will have a chance to excel with the help of DeAndre Hopkins and his other weapons. Hoyer has passed for multiple scores in every game he’s completed since Week 4, and two TDs seems like his floor in this primo matchup.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…benches Tom Brady or his leading receivers just because they’re playing the vaunted Broncos defense. Brady and coach Bill Belichick relish the opportunity to embarrass proud defenses, and they’re still playing for history with a massive chip on their shoulders.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 11 Heroes & Zeros

This was a great week to start…

Cam Newton, Panthers – Passed for 246 yards and a career-best 5 TDs, plus 15 rushing yards, without a blemish.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers – Had a career day with 246 yards and 5 TDs against the Eagles.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Passed for 317 yards and 4 TDs, offset by 2 INTs.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks – Passed for 260 yards and 3 TDs, and ran for 30 more yards, without a turnover.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Colts – Ran for 32 yards and caught 4 passes for 20 yards and 2 TDs.
Doug Martin, Buccaneers – Rumbled through the Eagles for 235 yards, but somehow failed to reach the end zone.
Thomas Rawls, Seahawks – Had a monster game with 209 rushing yards and 46 receiving yards, plus a TD both ways.
Spencer Ware, Chiefs – Ran for 96 yards and 2 TDs in relief of the injured West, though that helped nobody.
Jeremy Hill, Bengals – Had one of his “on” days, with 45 yards and 2 TDs on the ground.
Giovani Bernard, Bengals – In PPR leagues, his 8-catch, 128 yard receiving performance, plus 18 rushing yards, was gold.

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans – Torched the Jets on 5 catches for 118 yards and 2 TDs.
Julio Jones, Falcons – PPR leaguers loved his 9-catch, 160-yard performance.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks – Proved his value as more than a special teams ace, catching 4 passes for 48 yards and 2 TDs.

Tyler Eifert, Bengals – Hauled in 3 passes for 22 yards and a pair of TDs.

Mason Crosby, Packers – Connected on field goals of 40, 42, 42, 47 and 52 yards, plus an XP.

Buccaneers – Accumulated 3 sacks, 3 INTs, a fumble recovery and a TD on an INT return.
Chiefs – Collected 3 sacks, a fumble recovery, and a TD on an INT while holding San Diego to 3 points.

This was a great week to play against…

Philip Rivers, Chargers – Had his worst day of the year, passing for 178 yards, no TDs and an INT.
Jay Cutler, Bears – As expected, held down by the Broncos for just 265 yards passing, no TDs, an INT and a fumble.
Derek Carr, Raiders – Ended his stellar streak with a thud, passing for 169 yards and no scores.
Alex Smith, Chiefs – Passed for 253 yards and ran for 33, but had no scores.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills – Limited to 233 yards passing, without a TD or a turnover.

Devonta Freeman, Falcons – Only 43 rushing yards before being concussed.
Danny Woodhead, Chargers – Held to 7 rushing and 9 receiving yards.
Justin Forsett, Ravens – Just 26 yards before breaking his arm and being lost for the season.
Charcandrick West, Chiefs – Managed just 16 rushing yards and 48 receiving on 2 catches before leaving with a concussion.
Matt Jones, Redskins – Last week’s hero caught 2 passes for 12 yards, but got nowhere on 5 rushing carries.
Ameer Abdullah, Lions – Gained 46 combined yards.
Chris Ivory, Jets – Rushed for 36 yards and caught a 9-yard pass.
James Starks, Packers – Took a backseat to Eddie Lacy, rushing for 14 yards and catching a 30-yard pass.
Melvin Gordon, Chargers – Totaled 49 yards as a rusher and receiver.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins – Combined for 55 yards on the day.
LeGarrette Blount, Patriots – Only 61 combined yards on Monday night.

Mike Wallace, Vikings – Blanked by the Packers.
Amari Cooper, Raiders – Just a 4-yarder to his credit.
Allen Hurns, Jaguars – Battled through injuries but posted just 3 catches for 19 yards.
Nate Washington, Texans – Just 13 yards on 2 receptions.
Jordan Matthews, Eagles – Only 13 yards on 4 catches.
Torrey Smith, 49ers – Continues to steal the 49ers’ money, catching a 16-yard pass.
Rishard Matthews, Dolphins – Caught a 15-yard pass against the Cowboys.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts – Just 21 yards on 2 catches.
Tavon Austin, Rams – Ran for 16 yards and caught a 5-yarder.
Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs – Held to 29 yards on 3 receptions.
Davante Adams, Packers – Just 36 yards on 3 catches.
Sammy Watkins, Bills – Mostly a non-factor on Monday night with his 3-reception, 39-yard outing.

Antonio Gates, Chargers – Barely registered with just a 6-yard reception.
Charles Clay, Bills – Stunk it up with a 14-yard reception.
Richard Rodgers, Packers – Only 7 yards on 3 receptions.
Martellus Bennett, Bears – Just 26 yards on 2 catches.
Jason Witten, Cowboys – His BFF was back, but he still only had 27 yards on 2 balls.
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks – Only 39 yards on 3 catches.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – Held in check by the Bills for just 2 receptions for 37 yards.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bye bye, byes

You made it. You soldiered through the gantlet of bye-week absences, undoubtedly with the additional burden of replacing injured stars along the way.

Hopefully your postseason aspirations are still intact, and you can now get back to the business of managing your roster without the random nuisance of starting backups in lieu of perfectly healthy players that just happen to have the week off.

And none too soon, with yet another week of mass casualties striking across the NFL. Starting running backs are dropping like flies, again, making it even more essential to build a stockpile at the position.

Now that the bye-week schedule is over, there’s no reason to carry more than one kicker or defense (if you ever did allow yourself the luxury). Jettison the redundancy to make room for the handcuffs to your lead backs. This may also be the time to dump a receiver or two that you’ll never start, in favor of a runner like Robert Turbin, who is now the heir apparent to Darren McFadden, one of the most injury-prone rushers in the league.

McFadden has seized the Cowboys’ starting role and is in the midst of a stellar run. But most who have followed his career believe he’s on borrowed time, making Turbin just a pulled hammy away from rushing behind one of the league’s most decorated offensive lines.

Another veteran who recently resurrected his career, Ahmad Bradshaw, scored twice on Sunday while playing second fiddle to Frank Gore. Bradshaw has proven his worth as the No. 2 RB in Indianapolis before, so there’s no reason to think he can’t do so again.

It’s crunch time, folks, which means there’s no point in carrying dead weight on your roster. Given the rash of injuries that is sweeping the league, it’s foolish to believe that your starting roster this week will be intact through your (hopefully extended) postseason run.

Look no further than the recommended waiver-wire candidates below to see just how quickly the fantasy landscape can shift. Waiting until you’re forced to make a change can be very costly.


To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks. There’s speculation that Marshawn Lynch’s abdomen injury will cost him more than this weekend’s matchup. And with Rawls posting a near-franchise record 209 yards and 2 TDs against the lowly 49ers, there’s little doubt that the rookie has game. Even if you don’t own Lynch, rush to the waiver wire to grab his backup.

Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens. There’s no two ways about it. The Ravens are a hot mess, with Matt Schaub taking over for the injured Joe Flacco and lead rusher Justin Forsett (forearm) joining Steve Smith on injured reserve. Allen is the next man up in the backfield, and he has potential, especially in PPR leagues. But is there anybody left around him?

Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. Skepticism swirled around Charcandrick West when he was called upon to take over for Jamaal Charles earlier this year. Ware did a great job of quelling any concerns we may have about his prospects with his 96-yard, two-touchdown pummeling of the Chargers. He may have been the fourth Chiefs back when the season began, but the former Seahawk could be the man now if West’s hamstring injury lingers.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons. Remember him? The Wally Pipp of the Falcons backfield may have a chance to win back his job if Devonta Freeman’s concussion keeps him sidelined for an extended period. Coleman won the starting job in training camp, so he obviously has potential.

Don’t be fooled

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks. The attraction to Lockett is understandable, because he clearly has playmaking skills, underscored by his two-TD outing against the 49ers. But the rookie plays with a quarterback who has had multiple TD passes just twice all season. Lockett’s breakout game is more likely to be followed by a return to anonymity than another trip to pay dirt.

J.J. Nelson, WR, Cardinals. Players who breakout during primetime often get swept up in the fantasy hype, and Nelson’s 142-yard, one-TD performance is the latest example. But Nelson was aided by Michael Floyd’s absence, and the Cardinals’ WR corps is already loaded with lethal weapons. Nelson’s 15 minutes is likely already up for 2015.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday morning updates -- Week 11

Greetings Fools, from overcast South Florida. I'm on a guys trip (they're Cowboys fans, I'm a Dolfan) and we're heading off to the game shortly, so I won't be tweeting as usual today.

Here's what we need to know from around the league...

Mark Sanchez gets the start for the Eagles, and strangely, I like his chances. I'm even starting him in one league since Drew Brees is on bye and I don't trust Ryan Tannehill in the rain against the Cowboys D.

We'll also see Brock Osweiler, T.J. Yates and Case Keenum in their first start of the 2015 season today. I wouldn't be shocked to see Osweiler have a nice outing against the Bears. And, of course, Tony Romo returns today, which is great news for Dez Bryant's owners.

It's another day off for Matt Forte, so Jeremy Langford will get another start and a full complement of carries and targets against the Broncos. Tough matchup, but he's tough to sit after his last two outings.

Darren McFadden is a go today, despite the midweek groin problem. Start him with confidence against my Dolphins.

Carlos Hyde is out, so Shaun Draughn will get the start for the Niners.

Eddie Lacy will play today, but James Starks will get the start. The hot hand will get the bulk of the carries, which makes them both risky.

John Brown is expected to play, but I sure wouldn't risk another goose egg. That said, if Michael Floyd doesn't go (and he's not expected to), there's a little more reason for optimism. Jarod Brown may be the real play.

Vincent Jackson is expected to return from his knee injury to play for the Bucs, but again, he comes with plenty of risk.

Emmanuel Sanders is OUT, which is opposite what the news was earlier.

I was already worried about Alshon Jeffery against the Broncos, especially with his injuries. Now it appears that he will be sitting out. Looks like the Jeremy Langford show today.

That's it for now. Have a great day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Week 11 Starters & Benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start Adrian Peterson and Julio Jones, or to bench Case Keenum and Quinton Patton? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 11 of the 2015 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons vs. Colts. Coming off their bye, Ryan and his receivers are rested and ready to exploit the generous Indy secondary. At home in the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome, Ryan should have little trouble rebounding from a disappointing Week 9 performance against the 49ers.

Darren McFadden, RB, Cowboys at Dolphins. Tony Romo will be back, which will force the opponents to respect the pass again. Meanwhile, the Dolphins sport a Swiss cheese run defense, so McFadden should have plenty of lanes to run through. Add in the possibility of rainy, windy conditions putting a damper on the aerial game, and Run DMC is a great start, assuming his sudden groin issue proves to be inconsequential.

Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins vs. Cowboys. Yes, this looks like a game for the runners. While Dallas usually doesn’t surrender huge yardage, they have been generous at the goal-line (with 10 rushing TDs yielded to date). Miller has scored at least once in each of his last five games, so look for that positive trend to continue.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders at Lions. Crabtree has resurrected his career in Oakland, thanks to a QB who is exceeding expectations and the relief of playing second fiddle to a budding superstar, Amari Cooper. The veteran made little impact last week against the Vikings, but he should return to prominence against the suspect Detroit secondary.

Golden Tate, WR, Lions vs. Raiders. Detroit returns home with renewed confidence after upsetting the Packers last weekend. Now, Matt Stafford & Co. face one of the league’s true passing doormats. Tate should prosper while the Raiders desperately attempt to keep Megatron contained. Look for Tate to double his disappointing season TD total of one on Sunday, while seeing double-digit targets.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Cam Newton, Matt Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Derek Carr; RBs Jonathan Stewart, Charcandick West, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Chris Ivory, Latavius Murray, LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin; WRs Larry Fitzgerald, Jeremy Maclin, Dez Bryant, Amari Cooper, T.Y. Hilton, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Sammy Watkins, Demaryius Thomas, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jarvis Landry, Eric Decker, Mike Evans, Stevie Johnson, Jordan Matthews, Kamar Aiken.

Roll ‘em back

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers vs. Chiefs. It’s hard to bench a Top 5 fantasy QB, especially at home. But Rivers’ cupboard is getting bare, with both Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd sidelined. Factor in a solid Chiefs secondary that loves to bring the pressure, and it could be a long day for Rivers & Co.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals at Cardinals. His committee arrangement with Jeremy Hill is limiting both backs’ values, especially when facing a stingy defense like Arizona’s that has allowed only five rushing scores this season. Though the Seahawks fared well against them last week, the matchup remains poor for Cincinnati’s duo.

Matt Jones, RB, Redskins at Panthers. The rookie soared against the sorry Saints defense last weekend, but he’ll be smacked with a dose of reality in Carolina on Sunday. It doesn’t help that Alfred Morris is healthy again, meaning both backs will likely fall flat in this tough matchup.

Rishard Matthews, WR, Dolphins vs. Cowboys. Dallas is playing solid pass defense, and they could get a big assist from the weather on Sunday. Matthews has some value in PPR leagues this week due to the sheer volume of targets he typically sees, but don’t expect him to rack up meaningful yardage or break free on any long scores.

Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals at Cardinals. Andy Dalton is coming off his worst game of the season on Monday night, and he’ll face an even stiffer challenge in the desert. You can’t sit A.J. Green, but his sidekick comes with too much risk.

More thumbs down: QBs Kirk Cousins, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater; RBs Ryan Mathews, Alfred Morris, Eddie Lacy, Alfred Blue, Ameer Abdullah, Melvin Gordon, Jeremy Hill, C.J. Anderson; WRs Vincent Jackson, James Jones, Mike Wallace, Tavon Austin, Torrey Smith, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Dontrelle Inman, Kenny Stills.


Mark Sanchez, QB, Eagles vs. Buccaneers. I’ve never been a fan, but there’s no denying that Sanchez has performed well, more often than not, when given the reins to Chip Kelly’s offense. Sure, he’ll throw a pick or two, but he’ll also move his team and register a couple of scoring passes along the way. If you have injury or bye-week issues like me this weekend, Sanchez could come through in a pinch.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…continues to insert a gimpy John Brown in your starting lineup. Despite being active and even playing, Brown has been no better than a decoy in his last two games, registering big fat goose eggs thanks to a pair of bum hamstrings and the wealth of lethal options at Carson Palmer’s disposal. Brown should remain on your bench until he proves he’s fully healthy and able to contribute.