Mike Sarmento
Autumn Leaves - Audibles Week 12

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Every day this week as I have left my casa en route to the workplace, I have noticed a larger collection of the autumn leaves flying from the bed of my pickup as I enter the freeway and open up the V8.

I see a constant stream of leaves coming from the bed and scattering about the roadway. The drivers behind me get irritated and I'm sure it's not fun for them. I could care less because the leaves are an indicator of my favorite time of the year. Fantasy playoffs are amongst us as the NFL playoff races take shape.

Being behind the leader in your league is like being behind me on the freeway, you can change lanes, but the reality is that you aren't passing me. So stay back and enjoy the wonderful colors of leaves as they flutter off your hood. This isn't the time to take risks. It's time to ride your horses.

Your horses are the players that you drafted and who ultimately helped you get here. If your team has a couple of question marks, that is to be expected. I have a few insights to share with you that could clear up the cloudy forecast.

Let's get started:

Not As Advertised

When Indianapolis traded for
Trent Richardson , fantasy owners got excited. I'll admit that I did too. I see a market correction on the value from here forward. I saw some things that Richardson does well, like catch screen passes in the flat on the perimeter. He just doesn't fit what Indy does offensively, which is spread the ball around with quick hit passes and the occasional run.

I think Richardson is much like
Alfred Morris in that he needs a lot of carries to really get going. That isn't going to happen unless they are sitting on a big lead. The Colts have played from behind all season which doesn't lend itself to a grinder like Richardson.

The second thing is the run blocking scheme and personnel is equipped for the quick hit run plays with a speedy back.
Donald Brown has seriously outplayed Richardson every week because he is a better fit for this scheme. The average weight of the Colts' offensive line is around 312 pounds. They aren't going to overpower you, but rather rely on technique to manipulate you. Unless there is an overhaul or a solid grader added to the mix, I don't see Richardson as much more than a three yard per carry back. That's not much to get excited about.

Donald Brown has looked the part and has the most value because he is speedy enough to take it the distance on almost any given play. The holes only have to exist for a fraction of a second and he's through them. I do expect the Colts to be in denial about Richardson and give him all the short work he can handle. They will definitely try to get Richardson some screen passes on the perimeter because he has done well with those opportunities.


Revis island has been repossessed and was sold at auction.

A young man by the name of Joe Haden, in his third year, has purchased the island. Haden had pretty good success last week intercepting two of Andy Dalton's  passes and taking one the distance for six.

Haden has been remarkably consistent. This week he will have the likes of
Antonio Brown to defend. I know you heard me tell you to ride those horses, and I still think you should. I just think that this week will be tougher sledding than usual.

Do you remember the trust
Ben Roethlisberger had in Heath Miller in previous seasons? He is the second or third option now when it counts. The guys you should be talking about this week are Jerricho Cotchery followed by Emmanuel Sanders . These two will benefit from Antonio Brown's extended stay on Haden Island. I think Brown is way too dynamic of a player to get shut down, but I don't think he puts up jaw dropping numbers. I put the probability of Cotchery and Sanders finding the end zone at 0.5, Brown at 0.3, Miller at 0.6, and Bell at 0.4. Miller is elevated because the Browns have had trouble with tight ends.

I like Cotchery to get the ball when the game is on the line. He has been spectacular in the slot converting 82.6 % (19-of-23) of targets in the last five weeks for 255 yards and five trips over the stripe. I like him to the tune of 5/74/1 this week. I'd consider him a good flex play this week.



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