Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 10/28

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players...

Updated October 28, 2009  JunkyardJake.Com

Chris Wells ,RB

- Nothing against Tim Hightower, but watching him over the past two years it really seems that he excels in two distinct areas- 1) running face first into a pile of defenders for two yards and 2) catching 5 yard dump-off passes. This past week, rookie Chris Wells was finally given a chance to show what he is capable of, and he finished the day with 14 carries for 67 yards and a TD. Considering that Wells accomplished this against the Giants defense, it should be considered a fairly encouraging career development for the rookie. While Tim Hightower still has the better hands to contribute on passing downs, Wells should gradually become the primary rushing option for the Cardinals.

Nate Washington/Kenny Britt ,WR

- As long as the Titan defense is going to give away points like Oprah gives away 40 inch TVs, Tennessee will need throw the ball more often than they want (Or should be allowed to). Nate Washington remains the closest thing the team has to a skillful and experienced receiver, while Kenny Britt should continue to whittle away at Justin Gage’s playing time. As far as the unstable QB situation, it shouldn’t matter much if Kerry Collins gets benched, because Vince Young really couldn’t do much worse.

Shonn Greene ,RB

- After Leon Washington’s unfortunate injury, which is very likely season-ending, rookie Shonn Greene now finds himself the number two RB option for the NY Jets. Not blessed with impressive speed, and with only one notable statistical season in college, Greene appears to be somewhat of a classic overachiever. On the positive side, Greene has great size and shows a real knack for breaking tackles and running over people. While his huge outing this past week was clearly facilitated by the blundering Oakland Raider run defense, if Greene continues to overachieve in the magnitude of anything close to 144 yards and 2 TDs, we’ll take that all day long.

LeSean McCoy ,RB

- It was a relief to see that Brian Westbrook was not seriously injured this past Monday night. Evidently, the bell on his trolley was clanged pretty hard, and now it appears that he may need to sit this week after a fairly nasty concussion. As terrific a player as Brian Westbrook has been over the past eight seasons, he has never been able to play a complete season, and with his ongoing knee/ankle issues, this year has been especially tenuous. LeSean McCoy has not looked great the past three weeks, averaging about 2.5 YPC, but he filled in competently when Westbrook missed time in week three and has enough upside to make him worth stashing on your roster for the 2nd half.

Fred Davis ,TE

- Davis was a highly-regarded TE prospect in the 2008 draft, but he played the part of a dumbfounded rookie a bit too well last season and gave himself little chance to see the field. Of course, having Chris Cooley ahead of him on the depth chart didn’t help either, but with Washington’s starting TE out for at least one month, Davis now gets his chance. He’s got great hands, deceptive speed and he’s not bad after the catch so Davis should be able to step in for Cooley as a decent fantasy contributor. Not to mention, if there is anything that the Redskin offense seems to do well, it’s the prosaic and usually innocuous 9 yard pass to the tight end.

Larry Johnson ,RB

- The Chiefs will use this week's bye to conduct a thorough and ultimately pointless investigation into Larry Johnson's Twitter ramblings, because if there is anything the NFL can't tolerate it's slandering the press with words that could be possibly construed as politically incorrect. Let's just hope Johnson didn't call anyone a 'big doodie-head', because the league will be forced to levy a hefty and proportional punishment that fits that brand of transgression. Notwithstanding the outcome of Johnson's Twitter controversy, the more relevant reason to stray away from Johnson from a fantasy perspective is his 51 yards per game, 0 TDs and 2.7 yards per carry.

Trent Edwards ,QB

- Trent Edwards is arguably a better QB than Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the sad reality is that the margin of difference is not worth calculating, and for now, Fitzpatrick has somehow used his negligible skills to pull off two victories for the Bills. While Edwards is still shaking off the effects of his recent concussion, Fitzpatrick will get yet another start this week against Houston, then the Bills have a bye, then who knows what Buffalo will decide to do. In sum, there is probably little reason to hold onto Edwards if you can use the roster spot more constructively.

Derek Anderson ,QB

- Forget about water boarding, the CIA should use game film of Derek Anderson throwing a football as part of their cruel and unusual interrogation methods when trying to get information from international terrorism suspects. Rumor has it that rookie receiver Brian Robiskie was ready to confess to the assassination of King Henry III just to get out of viewing game film this past week. While Brady Quinn wasn't doing anything special as the Browns starter, at least he cracked 150 yards in his two full starts. Anderson is averaging 121 yards per game with a passer rating of 40.6, and should be purged from fantasy rosters before he does any more damage.

Lendale White ,RB

- Unlike last year, the Tennessee haven't had a great deal of luck getting near the goalline very frequently, and this has rendered Lendale White essentially useless for fantasy purposes so far. Without the chance of easy TD plunges and with rookie Javon Ringer looking pretty good, it could be that Lendale White's only hope of using his girth in some beneficial way will be as a Salvation Army Santa this upcoming holiday season.

Ted Ginn Jr. ,WR

- Between his untimely pass dropping, and his chronic inconsistency, Ted Ginn Jr. appears to be close to playing himself out of a starting job in Miami. Moreover, since Dolphins GM Bill Parcels is not known as the patient, naturing type, it wasn't surprising to hear the rumor that Ginn was discussed as a possible trade candidate before the recent deadline. Going forward, Ginn might be good for an occasional long TD with Chad Henne at QB, but with only 5 TDs over 35 career games you might be better off waiting for the Loch Ness Monster to stop by and help remove those tree stumps in your yard you've been hoping to get around to.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween !

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 10/21

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players...

Updated October 21, 2009  JunkyardJake.Com

Kyle Orton ,QB

- Well, let's face it, it's probably going to be impossible to figure out just who will strike Kyle Orton's fancy as he is orchestrating those tedius but effective Denver Bronco offensive drives. This week Tony Scheffler emerged from Josh McDaniels secret offensive playbook lair to cause most of the passing offense mayhem with 6 catches, 101 yards a TD. Forget about predicting when that will happen again, but for now QB Kyle Orton seems like a safe guy to throw in your lineup with the expectation he is going to connect with someone for constructive results.

James Jones/Jermichael Finley ,WR/TE

- There aren't many teams where you might consider the secondary TE and the #3 receiver, but the Packers don't represent the typical mundane passing offense when things are clicking. QB Aaron Rodgers has gradually found his groove over the past three weeks, and over the past two games against Minnesota and Detroit he has launched 37 passes. For all intents and purposes TE Jermichael Finley has surpassed Donald Lee as Green Bay's top option at TE, and James Jones gets the chance to fill in for injured Jordy Nelson over the next couple weeks. Both these guys are certainly worth a shot in deep leagues as the Packers face Cleveland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay over the next three games.

Michael Crabtree ,WR

- Yes Crabtree is the whining prima donna who was insulted by his team’s original multi -million dollar contract. Afterall, he hasn’t proven anything yet so it certainly made sense for him to holdout until he got his additional pile of money plus assorted superfluous incentive perks. Now just out of principle, if Crabtree wasn’t going to immediately start for the receiver-deprived San Francisco 49ers, he should be left on the waiver wire. However, since the rookie has apparently made an immediate good impression, and the 49ers are desperate enough to believe it will translate into game performance, he is a decent fantasy prospect to take a chance on.

Jonathan Stewart ,RB

- With the Tampa Bay defense was giving WR Steve Smith secret service coverage like he was the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Panther running game seemed to benefit from the lack of attention. While Deangelo Williams was his typical rambunctious self, it was a pleasant surprise to see Jonathan Stewart get on track. Maybe Stewart is finally shaking his nagging achilles injury as suggested by his best fantasy performance since last December. He finshed with 17 carries for 110 yards and a TD on the day.

Mike Bell ,RB

- Pierre Thomas was the more effective runner, but Mike Bell returned from a 2 week absence to share equal carries and convert a redzone opportunity. Reggie Bush is still meandering around in a role that seemingly becomes more insignificant each week, but Bell seems like a safer bet to misappropriate some of Thomas's carries and vulture some of the ample TD opportunities that the Saints offense usually creates.

Cedric Benson ,RB

- Every player is entitled to a bad game, but 44 yards on 16 carries against the Houston Texans cupcake run defense raises a little bit of a warning flag, especially for a runningback with a notorious history of disappointments like Cedric Benson. It's probably nothing to worry about for now, as Benson has clearly excelled in his workhorse role so far this season. However with his market price at a bubble valuation and upcoming games against Chicago, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, it could make sense to test the trade market if you can pull off an upgrade.

Willis McGahee ,RB

- With Ray Rice running like Astro Boy, the Japanese anime dual jet-pack protagonist robot, and the Ravens passing game working overtime to compensate for the team's suddenly mediocre defense, there are obviously a few factors conspiring against Willis McGahee. He is certainly worth hanging onto for fantasy purposes, because he is still likely to see goalline chances, but his early season success now appears to have been disingenuous.

Randy Moss ,WR

- Yes, the Patriots offense was filthy explosive this past week, but unfortunately they will not have the luxury of facing a befuddled and snow-blinded Titans secondary every week. Not to say that Randy Moss doesn't have anymore multiple TD surprises in store for this season, but after the Patriots week 8 bye, their schedule turns a bit tougher with Miami, Indianapolis and the NY Jets on deck. Certainly if receiver is a strong position on your fantasy team, it wouldn't be crazy to leverage Moss's huge game in a trade to fill a weak spot on your roster.

Chris Chambers ,WR

- Ok, check please, if there was any doubt that Chris Chambers is past the point of fantasy consideration, yet another 30 yard performance this past week should be the clincher. It certainly is not like Phillip Rivers has boycotted the bumbling receiver from the passing game either. Chambers has gotten an average of 6 targets per game so far, but only 27% of these throws have resulted in some kind of nominally positive result.

Jake Delhomme/Muhsin Muhammad ,QB/WR

- You have to wonder if Jake Delhomme would even know what to do if he had a second viable receiver at his disposal. The whole 'try to throw it to Steve Smith no matter how many defenders are draped all over him' routine is surely growing stale, and Muhsin Muhammad is about as threatening as a Toyota Prius with 'Hello Kitty' mudflaps.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 10/14

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players...

Updated October 14, 2009  JunkyardJake.Com

Jeremy Maclin ,WR

- While Kevin Curtis once again led the Eagles in chronic knee problems, rookie Jeremy Maclin stepped in to lead the team in all the other categories that count, like pass targets, catches, receiving yards, long distance TDs, photo ops, kissed babies and shoe deals. Barring some miraculous event that allows 31 year old Curtis to regain his ability to fly around the field like he did during his 1,110 yard season in 2007, it's hard to imagine how the Eagles are going to keep Maclin out of the starting lineup.

Knowshon Moreno/Eddie Royal ,RB/WR

- Well, after a convincing 5-0 start, it may be time to begrudgingly give fantasy killjoy headcoach Josh McDaniels his due credit. As the Broncos secured their improbable 5th straight win this week, some encouraging signs of clarity on the fantasy front also emerged. For one thing, rookie RB Knowshon Moreno stepped up to competently handle the lead role against a tough New England defense, ending the day with 88 yards on 21 carries. Also encouraging was the fact that Eddie Royal was given a week off from his job as a downfield decoy and caught 10 of his team-leading 15 pass targets.

Chad Henne/Greg Camarillo ,QB/WR

- There was a strong chance that after Marc Anthony's inspired national anthem appearance, it was going to be all downhill for the Dolphins against the Jets this past Monday night. The Dolphins offense would have none of that pessimism however, and responded with about seven different versions of the wildcat to flaunt their run dominance - one version which I swear resulted in coach Tony Sparano gaining about 12 yards on an end around. Also noteworthy was the fairly amazing performance by rifle-armed Chad Henne, in only his 2nd pro start. Needless to say, it's so far so good for Henne and the Dolphins receivers, and there is no doubt that Miami hasn't seen a fastball like Henne's since AJ Burnett was pitching for the Marlins.

Hakeem Nicks ,WR

- The Giants passing game is working so well right now that even a proven chump like David Carr was able to step in and complete 64% of his passes. If Carr's historical statistics were worth looking up, I'd check the numbers, but I'm guessing that 64% might be double his career completion rate. In any event, now that Eli Mannings plantar fascia drama is temporarily postponed, and Mario Manningham is discovering a newfound talent for dropping passes, it might make sense to look at rookie Hakeem Nicks as a possible fantasy bench addition. Nicks has scored two weeks in a row, and led the Giants in targets this past week with six, including 2 redzone targets.

Anthony Gonzalez/Austin Collie ,WR

- It's yet to be seen if Anthony Gonzalez will actually return after the Colts week 6 bye to play the Rams in week 7, but the way that Peyton Manning is making a mockery of modern pass defense so far this season, he is worth picking up and stashing away if he is available in your league. Under the scenario that he can return, Pierre Garcon is likely the odd guy out, as Gonzalez moves outside, and emerging rookie Austin Collie takes over in the slot.

Justin Fargas ,RB

- If there is anything consistent about the Raiders this year, it is that someone is willing to step up each game to become one of the colossal fantasy disappointments of the week. Although the entire team was uniformly incompetent against the Giants this past week, the dubious distinction of colossal fantasy disappointment probably goes to Justin Fargas, who managed just 18 yards on 11 carries and doesn't deserve to be on anyone's fantasy roster.

David Garrard/Torry Holt ,QB/WR

- After the 41-0 trouncing by Seattle this weekend, it is easy to see why the city of Jacksonville is rooting for the discovery of water on the moon, as they would gladly allow their hometeam to relocate there in the near future. In fact, maybe that's why Michael Sims-Walker missed the game this week, he was trying out his new lunar running shoes. Torry Holt, did have a decent game with 7 catches for 95 yards, but the fact that Jacksonville passing offense couldn't even generate a garbage-time TD in a 41-0 blowout is an omnious sign.

Laurence Maroney ,RB

- Well, for one thing, Laurence Maroney's performance is becoming easier to forecast. With Fred Taylor, Laurence Maroney does essentially nothing, without Fred Taylor Laurence Maroney does pretty much the same. How does Maroney respond to matchups ? Difficult matchup equals zilch, easy matchup equals zilch plus zippo. How about while wearing throwback uniform, on the road, versus an NFC East opponent ? That's right, under that scenario, Maroney is about good for diddly-squat with a side of scrambled goose eggs.

Jerome Harrison/Jamal Lewis ,RB

- Evidently, the Browns/Bills game was rained out around the 4th inning this weekend, with Cleveland coming away with a soggy 6-3 victory. Of course, in what seems to be an emerging pattern for the Browns offense, the main contributor was probably the guy you would least expect. In fact, Jamal Lewis wasn't really even expected to play, but he plodded his way to 117 yards on 31 carries nonetheless. Going forward, it seems that Browns coach Eric Mangini is perfectly comfortable going with a marginally effective Jamal Lewis mixed in with a smattering of Jerome Harrison, but this seems to be a backfield situation to avoid for fantasy purposes.

Patrick Crayton ,WR

- Not to take anything away from Miles Austin, but unless he is the long lost progeny of bionic man Steve Austin, his insane 250 yard 2 TD performance this past week seems to have accidental abberation written all over it. That said, Austin is at least a slight upgrade over Crayton, and it appears that the Cowboys are going to give their new breakout receiver a chance to prove his legitimacy. Until further noice, Crayton's fantasy value takes a significant hit as Austin likely sees more playing time across from Roy Williams.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 10/8

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players...

Updated October 8, 2009  JunkyardJake.Com

Kenny Britt ,WR

- While the Tennessee Titans seem to have lost their direction, their ability to stop anyone on defense, probably some season ticker holders, and certainly whatever community goodwill they had accrued from their 13-3 season in 2008, all is not completely lost for the team this year. One reason for cautious optimism has been the play of rookie receiver Kenny Britt. Although he is supposed to be backing up Justin Gage, Britt was actually targeted 11 times compared to Gage’s 5 targets this past week, and his 271 yards thus far puts him on pace for a 1,100 yard season. There are many other worse choices you could make as your #3 receiver, so Britt is certainly worth picking up.

Leon Washington/Dustin Keller ,RB/TE

- Washington and Keller sputtered along to barely mentionable performances along with the rest of the Jets this past week against New Orleans, helping to create a possibly interesting ‘bad news/good news’ situation. The ‘bad news’, is that by failing to do anything offensively this past week, the Jets have helped to encourage the Saints delusional belief that they know how to play defense. The ‘good news’ is that the Jets schedule over the next month turns ridiculously easy (Oakland, Buffalo, two games vs. Miami) so Washington and Keller should make amends for their respective slow starts in the near term.

Marques Colston/Devery Henderson ,WR

- In what constitutes a full-blown fantasy football crisis, New Orleans QB Drew Brees has thrown for exactly zero TDs over the past two games. To help understand how unlikely this is, Brees usually throws for 300 yards and 2 TDs during his bye week. Ok, not really, but you get the point. Coincidently, while the Saints are on bye this week, it could make sense to work out a trade for Colston or Henderson, as the Saints have some great matchups over weeks 7 thru 11, with games against the Dolphins, Falcons, Panthers, Rams and Buccaneers. Colston is of course the more consistent option, but Henderson is worth consideration given his big-play potential.

Marshawn Lynch ,RB

- It wasn’t exactly a triumphant return for Marshawn Lynch this past week, as he rushed for a grand total of four yards on eight carries. While he clearly seems to be suffering from suspension hangover, note that he was at least active on passing downs with 5 catches for 43 yards. Fred Jackson will surely maintain a significant role in the Bills running game going forward, but the Jackson/Lynch coalition will probably transpire into around a 50-50 carry timeshare. Moreover, Lynch’s career average of 4 YPC suggests that he probably won’t have too many more games where he gains half-a-yard per carry.

Mohamed Massaquoi ,WR

Ok, so Massaquoi was targeted 13 times this past week, ending the day with 8 catches and 148 yards. Those kind of numbers deserve attention, but it's truly surprising that Brian Robiskie isn't the guy being talked about at this point. In fact, Brain Robiskie please report to the front desk so we can slap some sense into you. So is Massaquoi for real ? Well, he's got good size and stength, decent speed, and a strong work ethic. More importantly for immediate fantasy purposes, he's got Derek Anderson's attention and with the departure of Braylon Edwards, the tentative #1 receiver spot on the Browns.

JaMarcus Russell ,QB

- You probably could just throw a dart at the Raiders offensive depth chart and fill in the blank here, but JaMarcus Russell has really been so bad that he has possibly distinguished as the most inept player on a completely dysfunctional offensive unit. It was especially amusing that right after Russell completed 36% of his passes for 128 yards, Raiders coach Tom ‘Hitman’ Cable went on to say 'I thought (Russell) played his best football all year in terms of where he is going with it and his presence and all of those things…'…Really Hitman?..Cable also mentioned that he thought Gilbert Gottfried has a lovely singing voice, and how impressed he was that Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped less than 5 passes this week.

Kerry Collins/LenDale White ,QB/RB

- If you are an NFL quarterback, you know things are going bad for you when there is talk that you may soon be replaced by Vince Young. For the Titans to go back to Vince Young at this point is probably like Regis ditching Kelly Ripa for Kathy Lee Griffin again. However, with the Titans at 0-4, and possibly reaching for the panic button, the transition from Collins to Young can’t be ruled out. As far as Lendale White goes, he was definitely a lot more fun when he was a jolly 30 pounds heavier. This new svelte Lendale White with his 5 carries for 20 yards a game is kindof a bummer. Fantasy football fans everywhere might consider a campaign to start baking him some of those rum & chocolate chip bundt cakes he allegedly gave up this offseason.

Kyle Boller/Marc Bulger/Donnie Avery ,QB/WR

Kyle Boller threw his hat into the ring to stake his claim to the enviable position of Rams starting QB this week. Unfortunately, like many of Boller’s passes, the hat missed the ring, and hit an unsuspecting fan in the face. Basically, the lessons here are – 1) don’t sit in the first five rows when Kyle Boller is planning to throw footballs or hats. 2) There really does not seem to be anyone worth starting from the Rams offense who isn’t named ‘Steven Jackson’.

Braylon Edwards ,WR

- So is Mohamed Massaquoi really that good or is Braylon Edwards just too occupied with planning his next career as a capricious street fighter vigilante? It’s hard to say, but between his new personal indiscretions, his lack of focus and having footballs bounce off his helmet 3 or 4 times a game, Edwards' 1,289 yard 16 TD season in 2006 seems like a very distant memory. The trade this week to the Jets lends hope, but it is probably safer to use other options in case Edwards finds new ways to get himself into trouble in his new zipcode.

Deion Branch/Nate Burleson ,WR

- Welcome back Deion Branch! Will this be an extended return, or will you go on to miss half the season like you usually do? One positive for Branch this week, is that he did catch 100% of the 6 targets thrown in his direction. However, as long as Branch can manage to stay on the field, there probably isn’t enough mediocre passing offense to go around in Seattle to make him and Burleson dependable enough to use for fantasy purposes.