Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Breakdown: With the season half way over, the movin’ up breakdown obviously must evolve accordingly. This first section is, as usual, guys who are on rosters and are worth moving up to your starting lineup for the games this coming weekend, and in some cases beyond. We evaluate trends as well as matchups to help you as you set your lineup for the upcoming weekend.
Greg Olsen (CHI) – Olsen had a huge outing last week with three touchdown catches. Obviously he’s not going to do that every week. However, if you look at his first four games, where he had ten catches for about a hundred yards and two touchdowns, he has just bout doubled that output over his last four games. It is very obvious that he and Jay Cutler are finding a comfort zone, and with Cutler’s penchant for using a tight end, there seems to be a ton of upside here. Enter San Francisco, who, while not a pushover, doesn’t have the greatest pass defense in the league. They do, however, have a very good rush defense, meaning that the passing game will have to carry the team when the two teams meet on Thursday night in San Francisco. All in all, the scene is set for a solid, if not better, outing from Olsen, who is on his way to fulfilling the expectations many in fantasy football circles have expected for a while.
Robert Meachem (NOS) – Meachem is one of a cast of very good receivers in New Orleans, so it is hard to single out one who warrants a start over another, but here’s the argument for Meachem, at least for this week. Until this past week, Meachem had been a ‘onesy-twosy’ guy when it came to catches. He blew it up this past week with five catches for 98 yards and a TD, but that isn’t the reason he makes this list. He makes this list because he has a matchup against St. Louis this weekend. This is the single reason that Meachem is pretty much a must start in all but the shallowest of leagues this week.
Laveraneous Coles (CIN) – With Chris Henry possibly out for the season, the three remaining fantasy worthy receivers for the Bengals take an obvious move to the better, but none more than Coles. He has struggled to find a spot that gives him any consistent fantasy worth, but that could possibly change beginning this week. With Henry out, Coles will likely get more looks simply by default. Not to mention that, going back to the two weeks prior to the teams bye, Coles has twelve catches for about 140 yards and two touchdowns. Those aren’t stud numbers of course, but they are decent enough third receiver numbers in most leagues, and even better in PPR leagues. The team has a very important and very tough match up this week at Pittsburgh, but this is the exact kind of game that a guy like Coles usually steps up in. Expect a fourth straight solid outing for Coles this week.
Waiver Wire Radar
Breakdown: These are guys who more than likely are not residing on many, if any, rosters. They are in situations that are favorable for possible fantasy this week and possibly beyond.
James Jones (GBP) – Much to the ire of Greg Jennings owners, the big play guy in Green Bay last weekend was James Jones. While it was his biggest yardage week of the year, it put the exclamation point on the last four weeks for Jones. Since the bye week he’s caught eight passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns…with no multiple touchdown games. He has taken advantage of Jordy Nelson’s injury to step solidly into the third receiver role in Green Bay, and it has become clear that the Packers will have to keep throwing the ball to stay in games, meaning good things for the receivers all the way around. Grabbing Jones this week gives you a nice start for at least three weeks straight, with Dallas, San Francisco and Detroit up next. Jones is worth a grab as a third fantasy starter in regular scoring systems, but his PPR value takes a hit, as he’s a long yardage catch guy more than a guy with a bunch of catches per game.
Greg Camarillo (MIA) – With two five catch games in his last three and Tampa Bay on the schedule this week, it is well within reason that Camarillo could see his first touchdown catch of the season this week. The Dolphins are much more of a rushing team, of course, but they do toss the ball occasionally, and currently Camarillo seems to be, as he did a couple seasons ago, coming on as the season moves on. Tampa Bay, it should be noted, has given up eighteen passing touchdowns so far this season, very near the top of that category. Look for the Dolphins to put up at least a couple of passing touchdowns, and Camarillo should grab another five catches or so to go with the possible score, nice third receiver stats all around.
Chris Chambers (KCC) – What a difference a week makes. Chambers, dropped by San Diego just a week ago, made a big splash in his debut with Kansas City. He didn’t have a catch in the first half; in fact he wasn’t thrown to at all in the first half, but had four targets in the second half, catching three of them for two touchdowns. He’s not going to be the main guy in KC, that role is Dwayne Bowe’s, but he’s a welcome veteran addition to the team who may help to settle things down there. With the running game in a world of hurt, the passing game has to carry the Chiefs, all to the benefit of Chambers. The team doesn’t have a walk in the park as far as schedule goes, but Oakland is struggling and Pittsburgh, a week later, has been getting in plenty of shootouts lately. If you pick up Chambers and make it through those two weeks, the week after, a match up against the Chargers, should prove quite interesting.
Lance Long (KCC) – Lance Long appears set to fill the role the Chiefs had envisioned for Bobby Engram, recently cut by the team. Long was targeted eleven times and caught eight of them, a possible sign of things to come. With two good receivers on the outside, now that Chris Chambers has solidified the second spot, Long should fill a role similar to that of Tony Gonzalez before his departure, a safety valve of sorts. His yardage won’t be massive and touchdowns piece-meal, but he could be a really nice third receiver addition for those in PPR leagues.
Early Doucet (ARI) – Doucet is in essence a fourth receiver, but he holds value for a couple of reason. First, the team still has big plans for him going forward, no question, but with three very good receivers in front of him they have time to work him in slowly. However, with injuries regularly occurring with Boldin and to some extent Breaston, he should have a decent enough time getting on the field. Finally, the remaining schedule for the Cardinals is enough to make NFL players and fantasy owners drool. Starting with Seattle this week, the team then faces St. Louis, Tennessee, Minnesota, San Francisco, Detroit, St. Louis again, and finally Green Bay in week seventeen. Need I say more? Doucet, now healthy and active, is a great grab to ride out the season and an even better grab in keeper leagues.
Jason Hill (SFO) – Hill came somewhat out of nowhere to have a pretty nice first points outing of the year, taking the spot vacated by the demoted Isaac Bruce. Hill has a very nice schedule for the majority of the rest of the year, with games against Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, St. Louis, and Philadelphia included. With a new quarterback (on the season at least) and newly vibrant receiving corps with the signing of Michael Crabtree, the offense is opening up a bit more and the team, in spite of Sundays loss, is still a team on the rise. The coaching staff speaks volumes about Hill’s attitude, always a good sign, and it appears as though he’s a good ‘workhorse’ kind of receiver, a la Bobby Engram or Mike Furrey, very capable of getting the job done without making a big splash, just being solid. If you’re in need of help, the remaining schedule here is worth taking a flier on him at the very least for this week, against a Chicago team that just got lit up against Arizona.
…And On The Slide – Quick Hits
Breakdown: These are guys who are relatively well known, but due to one circumstance or the other – whether a matchup, injury, or lack of performance – are not good starts this week, and in some cases beyond.
Roddy White (ATL) – Before you get set to cuss me up one side and down the other, hear me out here. White is NOT taking a slide for the rest of the season. However, he is likely to have a significant slide this week. He faces a Carolina team that did a pretty good job last week of keeping the best offense in the league this year off their game. After the trouble the Redskins gave Atlanta last week, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that they struggle against Carolina as well. White is likely to have trouble, as he has all season. If it wasn’t for his touchdown numbers, he’d be having a very less than stellar season. In fact, with two exceptions he’s been held to fifty-six yards or less in every game this season. Don’t expect big things this week and consider putting in a receiver with a better matchup.
Chris Henry (CIN) – Chris Henry will miss the remainder of the season due to a broken arm. At this point in his career, anyone holding on to him in Keeper leagues should strongly consider other options. He’s good when healthy, but with his track record there, don’t hold your breath.