FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Pick-up Joint: Week 7
John Tuvey
October 16, 2012
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Buy Low Sell High Video - Featuring John Tuvey
Top Adds For Week 6
From MyFantasyLeague.com
Alex Green, RB, Packers 67%
William Powell, RB, Cardinals 50%
Jahvid Best, RB, Lions 26%
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Cardinals 26%
James Starks, RB, Packers 25%
Total Week 6 Touchdowns: 0  
Top Drops For Week 6
From MyFantasyLeague.com
Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals 51%
Cedric Benson, RB, Packers 36%
Danny Amendola, WR, Rams 24%
Garrett Hartley, K, Saints 22%
Andre Brown, RB, Giants 22%
Total Week 6 Touchdowns: 0  

DON'T CHASE THIS TAIL

Jonathan Grimes, RB, Jets
The reaction, and rightly so, is to spring into action any time a potential feature back becomes available. Such a plan worked well with Alfred Morris early in the season, and the jury is still out on Alex Green (73 yards from scrimmage, no TDs) and William Powell (78 yards from scrimmage, no TDs) one week into their feature-back forays.

Grimes could very well be next-man-up in New York, as both Bilal Powell (dislocated shoulder) and Joe McKnight (high ankle sprain) went down with injuries last week. Those injuries contributed to Shonn Greene’s career-high workload in the Jets’ blowout win over Indy, and given Greene’s propensity to come back to the pack—he’s never had multiple 100-yard efforts in a five-game span or more than one multiple-touchdown outing in the same season; he’s the poster child for selling high—the backup in Gotham should be a hot commodity. Only here’s the rub: a schedule with zero favorable matchups the rest of the fantasy regular season.

Feel free to sell high on Green; just don’t look at Grimes as a quality speculative add in his stead.

CHASE THIS TAIL INSTEAD

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars
Jacksonville wideouts have scored the fewest fantasy points of any club and it’s not even close; the top 10 teams have all doubled the Jags’ putrid total of a shade over 12 WR fantasy points per game.

And at first blush there’s not much reason for optimism with Shorts, who has generated the bulk of his production on two late-game flukish touchdowns. But coming off their Week 6 bye the Jags are moving Shorts into the starting lineup, where he’ll have the pleasure of facing one of the most fantasy-friendly wide receiver schedules on the slate. There’s not a stopper among Jacksonville’s next seven games, and every team is serving up at least 20 fantasy points a game to the position.

Shorts can almost certainly be found bobbing in your free agent pool. His newfound role and favorable sked—if not ready availability—make him a perfect bye-week plug in over the next couple of months. And who knows, maybe he turns in a few more of those late-game heroics and steals a fantasy win for you as well.

OPEN FOR SWAPPING

Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
Through the first third of the schedule Tampa’s highly-regarded rookie has mostly been a fantasy disappointment; he himself hasn’t scored since Week 2, and with LeGarrette Blount tallying the Bucs’ last two RB TDs there is plenty of concern amongst the fantasy community that Martin is busting. However, Martin’s 131 combo yards in the Buccaneers’ Week 6 rout of Kansas City—not to mention a solid two-to-one advantage in touches over Blount, even given the latter’s garbage-time work—suggest Tampa Bay used the bye week to figure out more effective ways to use their young weapon.

Moreover, Martin’s remaining schedule is extremely favorable; the Bucs’ opponents the rest of the fantasy regular season serve up an average of more than 20 fantasy points per game to running backs, highlighted by a pair of interdivision tilts with the fantasy-friendly Saints and Panthers defenses. As an added bonus, those same Saints are on the docket during the fantasy playoff run as well.

Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks
Rice remains Seattle’s highest-profile receiver, at least for fantasy purposes: despite ranking 42nd in fantasy points and 52nd in fantasy points per game at his position, Rice is on almost three-fourths of fantasy rosters.

If you’re in that unlucky majority, consider yourself fortunate that Rice is coming off a 3-81-1 outing in which he scored his first touchdown since the opening week of the season and posted his highest yardage total since Week 8 of last year. No need to point those milestones out to your trading partner, nor should you mention that three of his next four games are against teams that rank in the top five in fewest fantasy points allowed to wideouts and that his next favorable matchup won’t come until Week 15. Yeah, better keep those tidbits to yourself.

PUT A RING ON THAT THING!

Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders
Moore barely cracks the top 40 fantasy receivers thanks to an early bye and a late start to the season due to injury. But resort the numbers by his average points per game and despite the Raiders’ struggles thus far Moore is a solid fantasy WR2. He’s seeing a steady diet of looks, with at least eight targets in every game, and while Darrius Heyward-Bey looks to be working his way back into the mix following a concussion Moore remains the first option in Oakland’s passing game.

Things get even better for Moore, as each of Oakland’s next five opponents give up at least 21 fantasy points per game to wide receivers and only two stoppers giving up fewer than that number appear on their slate the rest of the fantasy season. The key for Moore, of course, is staying healthy—but given the obvious upside it’s a risk well worth taking.

BEAT THE CLOSING-TIME RUSH

With six teams on the bye in Week 7 there will be a serious run on spare kickers, tight ends, and defenses. Since it’s always better to zig while others zag, this is a prime opportunity for you to plan for Week 8—when Houston, Cincy, Buffalo and Baltimore are on the bye—by going ugly early and beating the bye week rush to fill the more critical spot-starting positions of running back and wide receiver.

Vick Ballard, RB, Colts
Ballard’s debut as the feature back in Indianapolis in the wake of Donald Brown’s injury was hardly impressive. However, his 10 touches and 42 yards from scrimmage accounted for 58 percent of the Colts’ backfield workload and 70 percent of their productivity. Given that share of the duties in Week 8—when the Colts face a Tennessee defense that’s allowing a robust 24 points per game—Ballard makes for a sneaky bye week fantasy helper you can almost certainly snag right now.

Brandon Gibson, WR, Rams
Chris Givens, WR, Rams

Somebody needs to step up in St. Louis in the wake of Danny Amendola’s injury, and early indications are Gibson (nine targets) will handle the go-to duties while Givens (seven targets) will augment his deep shots with a few underneath looks as well. If you grab them now, while Gibson is available in more than 40 percent of MFL leagues and Givens is unowned in almost 85 percent of leagues, you’ll have them all lined up for a very favorable Week 8 matchup with a New England secondary that’s allowed the third-most touchdowns to wideouts and sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.


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