FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Pick-up Joint: Week 12
John Tuvey
November 20, 2012
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Sneaky Lineup Helpers Video - Featuring John Tuvey
Top Adds For Week 11
From MyFantasyLeague.com
Chris Ivory, RB, Saints 41%
Danario Alexander, WR, Chargers 36%
Cincinnati Bengals DST 33%
Marcel Reece, RB, Raiders 24%
Dallas Cowboys DST 21%
Total Week 11 Touchdowns:21  
Top Drops For Week 11
From MyFantasyLeague.com
Miami Dolphins DST 20%
Minnesota Vikings DST 17%
Taiwan Jones, RB, Raiders 16%
Michael Vick, QB, Eagles 15%
Detroit Lions DST 15%
Total Week 11 Touchdowns: 1  

Two games, three tops, to get into the big dance; lose now and it doesn’t matter what your team looks like in December.

So by whatever means you have at your disposal—trades, the waiver wire, anything else you can think of—you need two weeks of fantasy-friendly matchups. Here are some candidates for a roster that needs to win now at any costs.

QUARTERBACKS

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
Despite his guest appearance on “The League” a couple weeks back, Fitz is still an unsexy fantasy option. His 168-yard, zero-TD effort in prime time last Thursday likely has him bobbing in your free agent pool or languishing on a bench. But his next two games throw him against an Indy secondary that has allowed multiple touchdown passes six times this season (including last week’s 331 and 3 to Tom Brady; combined with Ryan Tannehill’s 290 yards and Mark Sanchez’s two TDs they’re giving up an average of 20 fantasy points per game to AFC East quarterbacks) and a Jacksonville defense that’s allowing 300 yards and 2 TDs per road game, highlighted by Matt Schaub’s 527 and 5 last week.

Chad Henne, Jaguars
Henne won’t win you any style points, but in roughly a game and a half over the past two weeks he’s thrown for 475 yards and five TDs—including 354 and 4 in the Jags’ near-upset of Houston. Jacksonville will almost certainly have a new quarterback under center in 2013, but that doesn’t mean they can’t squeeze a little something out of Henne here. And with extremely favorable dates against the Titans (top 10 in fantasy points surrendered to QBs, allowing 237 and 2 per road game) and Bills (at number 9 in fantasy points to QBs even more permissive than the Titans), Henne’s numbers will look a whole lot better on your bottom line than his name does in your lineup.

Also consider: Matt Ryan, Atlanta; Matt Schaub, Texans; Colin Kaepernick, 49ers

RUNNING BACKS

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals
After a month-long drought, Law Firm has now scored in two of his last three games. He even stepped away from his Cedric Benson impersonation to rush for 101 yards in last week’s win over the Chiefs. It’s worth noting that both of those recent TDs have come against AFC West foes, because that’s what is on the docket for BJGE and the Bengals over the next fortnight. First, Green-Ellis gets an Oakland defense that’s allowed an average of 150 rushing yards (at 5.8 yards per carry) and two TDs per game over the past month. Then it’s the Chargers, who have been somewhat stiffer against opposing backs but just allowed 133 yards to a trio of Broncos backs at a healthy 5.3 yards per carry. Cincy has talked about giving Cedric Peerman more work, but his big play last week came on a fake punt; he’s stealing at most a half-dozen carries from Law Firm, and last week BJGE still carried 25 times. Against these defenses that’s more than enough to be a fantasy helper.

Ryan Mathews, Chargers
Set aside your expectations for Mathews as an elite RB back; that ship has sailed—at least for this season, maybe for good. He’s working on a five-game scoreless streak which has driven him out of favor with the entire fantasy community. However, he’s mustered an average of 85 yards per game over that span, touching the ball 21 times per game. And now his schedule takes a slight turn in his favor, with a pair of dates against a surprisingly soft Baltimore run defense and a top-10 (in a good way) Bengals D. Cincy and Baltimore have both given up more RB TDs than any of the Chargers’ previous five foes, so there’s a reasonable shot for Mathews to find his way back into the end zone as well. There’s no question the current Mathews owner is sick of him; maybe he’ll turn it around just for you.

Jalen Parmele, Jaguars
After eight uneventful carries leading into Week 11, Parmele was handed the keys to the Jacksonville ground game—just in time for a date with the über-stout Texans; after all, Rashad Jennings certainly wasn’t doing anything that warranted giving him further touches. Parmele turned in a solid 80-yard effort on 24 carries, earning the gig until Maurice Jones-Drew returns (hope you’re not holding your breath on that one). And it just so happens that Jacksonville’s next two opponents are the two most fantasy-friendly defenses for running backs: Tennessee and Buffalo. The only risk here is that MoJo returns. Stop laughing.

Also consider: Frank Gore/Kendall Hunter, 49ers; Fred Jackson, Bills; Marcel Reece, Raiders; Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers

WIDE RECEIVERS

Hakeem Nicks, Giants
Nicks hasn’t scored or topped 75 yards since Week 2, and with the Giants on a bye last week it’s entirely possible his owner has forgotten Nicks was targeted 14 times in Week 10. This week the Giants will shoot it out with Green Bay; next week Nicks gets a Redskins defense that gave up 131 yards to Victor Cruz in Week 7 and will take steps to not let that happen again—in turn opening things up further for Hakeem. He has too much talent to be a one-TD wideout, and you certainly won’t have to pay a premium price.

Miles Austin, Cowboys
Dez Bryant is getting all the attention, but over the past month Austin actually has more targets and catches and is averaging just 14 fewer yards per game. Sure, he hasn’t scored in that span but the touchdowns will come. Divisional games with Washington—whom he took for 10-146-1 back in the 2010 opener—and Philly, who he scored on the last time they met, provide Austin with a solid opportunity to deliver healthy fantasy numbers in Bryant’s shadow—allowing you to pay a discount price for premium production.

Ryan Broyles, Lions
Titus Young played his way to the bench, leaving Broyles to fill the half-dozen targets a game Young had been seeing. Opposite Calvin Johnson he’ll clearly receive the lesser of the opposing cornerbacks, in dates with a Texans defense that was just roasted by Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts and an Indy D that has given up 75-plus yards or a TD (or both) to Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Shorts, Laurent Robinson, and Brian Hartline—and that’s just in the past three weeks. It’ll be a crash course for Broyles, but a golden opportunity.

Also consider: Michael Crabtree, 49ers; Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones, Bills; Roddy White, Falcons

TIGHT ENDS

Dallas Clark, Buccaneers
So you lost Rob Gronkowski to injury; smile, your season isn’t over just yet! Clark has scored in back-to-back games and saw a season-high 11 targets last week en route to another pair of season highs, seven catches for 58 yards. And guess who’s on the docket for him? Two teams that rank among the top five in fantasy points allowed to the tight end position: Atlanta, which has given up TE TDs to all the other NFC North teams; and Denver, which has allowed the most TE TDs and most fantasy points to tight ends, period. He’s no Gronk, but Clark is poised to perform a reasonable imitation.

Dwayne Allen, Colts
Allen has 175 yards on 14 catches in three games sans Coby Fleener, and word now is that the earliest the Colts expect Fleener back is Week 13.. That means at minimum Allen is left alone to face the Bills, who have allowed three TE TDs in the past three games. And Allen could extend the run to a date with the Lions, who have served up three TE TDs in the last four games and rank sixth on the season in points allowed to tight ends.

Also consider: Garrett Graham, Texans; Tony Moeaki, Chiefs


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