Well, if you have Doug Martin and lost this week, either your team isn’t very good or the team you were playing is loaded. I mean when one guy gets more than 50 fantasy points all by himself that should be enough to get you a win. If it didn’t, you probably have some work to do or the person you played is so stacked he’ll likely win the league anyway so it doesn’t matter.
For those of you who lost with Martin in your lineup and need some help, here are the players I’m advising to buy low and sell high on after Week 9.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay – There’s no doubt that Starks is an average running back at best, and that’s probably being kind. The reason I have him on the list is because after watching Alex Green I think he’s a below-average NFL running back.
I was actually really high on Green. I saw him quite a bit at Hawaii and thought his skill set would be a nice fit for the Packers offense. However, watching Green in the NFL, he doesn’t hit holes, he looks small, I don’t see much burst. I see a back with no vision at all … do I really need to go on?
It’s funny because I was watching football two weeks ago at my cousin’s house and we were watching the Packers game. After Green got a couple of carries I said, “This guy can’t play.” He responded by saying Green was getting him 10-12 fantasy points a week. That response is what’s wrong with the world.
As I told my cousin, I wasn’t talking about fantasy football. I was referring to NFL football. I can get 10 fantasy points playing running back in the Packers offense. Green can’t run the football in the NFL and the Green Bay coaching staff knows it. Why do you think they dusted off Starks last week? They’ve seen what I’ve seen from Green, which isn’t a whole heck of a lot.
Again, Starks certainly isn’t a superstar. But he’s a tougher inside runner than Green, and I think going forward he’s the back that will start seeing more touches. The Packers backfield isn’t a great fantasy situation right now, but if you can still get Starks on the cheap I think he’s worth a shot.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit – Broyles was one of my favorite players in this year’s draft, and if you follow my column you know I predicted over the summer that he could be catching eight balls a game come November should his knee hold up. Well, we’re getting there. Against Jacksonville, Broyles caught six passes and he’s now seen 11 targets in his last two games.
The other thing you know if you follow me is I’m not a big fan of Big 12 receivers overall. I think that conference plays the worst pass defense on the planet and it hurts receivers coming into the NFL because they are rarely pressed at the line of scrimmage in college. Broyles is the exception, though, because he is such a great route runner.
Broyles has that uncanny knack to read defenders while he’s running routes and he knows where to go to get open. As New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says about receivers, he likes guys who know how to get open and catch the ball. Well, that’s Broyles. It may sound simple, but getting open is a talent and Broyles excels at that talent.
Right now I’m looking for guys that can help me in the playoffs, and I think Broyles is one of those players. Broyles is just scratching the surface of how good he’s going to be a month from now. And I can tell you that wherever people have Broyles ranked for next season it’s way too low. He’ll catch 80 balls for fun.
As for the rest of this season, Broyles will be the receiver who benefits the most from defenses paying extra attention to Calvin Johnson, and he should be one of the top players you target for the stretch run.
Logan Paulsen, TE, Washington – I liked Paulsen when he was at UCLA and he has really played well since taking over for the injured Fred Davis.
Since Davis went down for the season against the New York Giants three games ago, Paulsen has caught 13 passes for 178 yards. The other thing to really like about Paulsen is he apparently has the trust of Robert Griffin III considering he’s seen 20 targets in those three games.
Tight end can be a tricky position. Some owners have studs while others like me always seem to be looking for a guy to plug in every week. I think Paulsen could be a productive start most weeks. Let’s be honest, Pierre Garcon isn’t playing football again until 2013, so the Redskins don’t have a ton of options at receiver right now. I think Paulsen has a shot to be Griffin III’s favorite target over the final eight games.
One last thing about Paulsen to consider, is that the Redskins are running a lot of that pistol offense right now. That can free up the tight end in the middle of the field because linebackers are so busy looking into the backfield reading the quarterback. I think that will open up some big play opportunities for Paulsen in the future.
Listen, is Paulsen going to be Jimmy Graham? Of course he isn’t. But take a look at what Antonio Gates has been scoring on a week-to-week basis this season. I think Paulsen can certainly give you more production than that in points-per-reception formats.