FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Pick-up Joint: Week 13
John Tuvey
November 27, 2012
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Big Name Fantasy Roster Dead Weight Video - Featuring John Tuvey
Top Adds For Week 12
From MyFantasyLeague.com
Jalen Parmele, RB, Jaguars 61%
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos 46%
Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles 42%
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers 39%
Danario Alexander, WR, Chargers 34%
Total Week 12 Touchdowns: 4  
Top Drops For Week 12
From MyFantasyLeague.com
Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos 34%
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jaguars 31%
Titus Young, WR, Lions 19%
Alex Green, RB, Packers 18%
Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers 16%
Total Week 12 Touchdowns: 1  

Despite the most carefully laid draft plans, your roster will fluctuate throughout the season. But as we approach crunch time, you may not be able to afford the luxury of carrying guys you hope will eventually pan out. Time to tighten things up; you can start by kicking some of this dead weight to the curb..

QUARTERBACKS

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
There’s buzz that Big Ben will return from his life-threatening rib injury to face the Ravens in Baltimore this weekend. There are so many ways that can go wrong from a fantasy perspective you can’t bank on plugging him into your lineup. The road doesn’t get any better, with neutral dates against the Chargers in Week 14 and Browns in Week 17 the highlights of Pittsburgh’s remaining schedule. Sure, Roethlisberger is gritty and gutty and tough and will likely take the field to keep the Steelers’ playoff hopes alive, but he’s in no shape to do anything but torpedo yours.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Maybe you’ve been riding Wilson’s four-game streak of multiple touchdown performances to a late-season surge. The streak has come against favorable matchups, however, and Seattle’s schedule now takes a sharp turn south with consecutive dates against the Bears and Cardinals. If you’re able to stash Wilson for a one-time use in Week 15 against the Bills, knock yourself out; however, in championship week Wilson gets the 49ers in another stopper. It’s been a great year for rookie quarterbacks, but asking Wilson to carry your fantasy club through that gauntlet seems overly optimistic.

Filler to consider instead: Matt Schaub, Texans; Chad Henne, Jaguars.

RUNNING BACKS

Beanie Wells, Cardinals
Maybe you had Wells stashed, eagerly awaiting his return; maybe you snapped him up out of desperation heading into his Week 12 outing. Either way, you were blessed with the rarest of birds, a multiple-touchdown game from Wells—his first since Week 4 of 2009. Of course, the scores came wrapped in a typical Wells performance, 48 yards at 2.8 yards per carry. Maybe you get another such showing against the abysmal Jets this week, but if you’re looking to Wells to carry you to a fantasy title… well, better home your title game comes early, as neither a date with Da Bears in Week 16 or a divisional showdown in San Francisco in Week 17 offer the sort of favorable matchup Wells usually requires for fantasy success. Add to the rough schedule yet another injury to the Cardinals’ already decrepit offensive line and banking on Wells for help late in your fantasy playoff run feels like setting yourself up for failure.

Yes, I know: the Free Agent Forecast rightfully identifies Beanie as a hot pickup. But ultimately it boils down to chasing last week’s box score. If you have a spot to store last week’s numbers and keep Wells away from an opponent, on the off chance he flukes into another pair of scores, knock yourself out. But if you’re actually banking on him for fantasy help, like every Wells owner previously you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.

Cedric Peerman, Bengals
It was a solid speculative move, grabbing Peerman in hopes of him seeing an uptick in touches. And maybe the 136 yards on 16 carries against two of the softer run defenses in the league was reward enough. But even if the Bengals abandon their big-ticket free-agent signee BenJarvus Green-Ellis and give Peerman his first-ever double-digit carries, the vast majority of his remaining schedule is too difficult for him to be trusted with a fantasy start. If you’re holding BJGE Peerman is decent insurance, but unless you’re in an incredibly large league it’s difficult to see a half-dozen carries against the Steelers or Ravens leading your team to a fantasy title.

Filler to consider instead: DeAngelo Williams, Panthers; Bilal Powell, Jets; Jalen Parmele, Jaguars; Ryan Mathews, Chargers.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders
You’d think with Denarius Moore having just one catch in each of the past two games that DHB would be enjoying a resurgence. But he mustered just 4-69 against the soft Saints secondary, then was shut out last week in Cincinnati. The next fortnight doesn’t get any better for the Raiders, who will see Joe Haden’s Browns and Champ Bailey’s Broncos before things look up—albeit briefly—with a home game against the Chiefs. It’s not a particularly favorable path for Moore, either; reaching any further into Carson Palmer’s receiving corps is just asking for an early playoff exit.

Andre Roberts, Cardinals
No team has a tougher remaining schedule against wideouts than the Cardinals. They’ve got a third-string quarterback (at least for now) behind a fourth-rate offensive line that’s starting two rookie tackles and just lost its best player for the rest of the season due to injury. You can barely start Arizona’s top wideout, Larry Fitzgerald—if that. So despite Roberts’ five touchdowns and enough fantasy points to rank 21st at his position—10 spots ahead of Fitz, by the way—he simply can’t be trusted in Seattle in Week 14, against the Bears in Week 16, or in San Francisco in Week 17.

Filler to consider instead: Brian Hartline, Dolphins; Nate Washington, Titans; Cecil Shorts, Jaguars.

TIGHT ENDS

Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
The good news is that Pettigrew is the third-most targeted tight end. The bad news, as those who have been reliant upon Pettigrew as their every-week tight end, is that he’s been just the 16th-most productive player at his position—worse, 20th if you rank them by fantasy points per game. And you can’t expect it to get better in any of the next three weeks, as Pettigrew faces three of the six toughest defenses against tight ends over that span. By the time he gets a sniff of a decent matchup your fantasy season will be over. Dance with the horse who brung ya, even though said horse is moving at a trot rather than a gallop? Or saddle up a new mount for what you hope will be an extended postseason ride?

Filler to consider instead: Martellus Bennett, Giants; Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars; Dallas Clark, Buccaneers; Brent Celek, Eagles; Dennis Pitta, Ravens.


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