Tuesday - Sep 29, 2020

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Deeper & Down

Deon Butler (WR, Seattle) 1 percent

Last season in Dishonorable Mentions you may remember me banging the drums as to why – with their season already effectively over and so early on, to boot – the Seahawks were squandering the opportunity to blood some of their young wide receivers, Butler most of all.

The speedy former Penn State product has quietly impressed the coaches for the past couple of seasons. This year we have started to see that convert into playing time.

Head coach Pete Carroll, even prior to the start of the season and with Golden Tate making highlight reel catches in camp, proclaimed he was the most improved player. Carroll is known to be generous in his praise of players in public, so it’s no surprise people took that with a pinch of salt.

The fact is he’s now at the point where Carroll has said he needs to work him into the rotation more. With Mike Williams struggling with his injury and speed, the diminuitive Nittany Lion wideman should be able to take full advantage, especially with Tate still on return duties and only the occasional spot start at receiver.

He’s always been an effective playmaker and now he has a window to show us he can make good on that potential.

Tony Moeaki (TE, Kansas City) 2 percent

Pop Quiz: How many teams have a rookie tight end as their leading receiver through two games? No prizes this week as there is a bigger clue immediately preceding the question!

Moeaki currently has a 3 receptions, 20 yards and a touchdown lead on his closest rival (Dwayne Bowe) for the distinction of being Matt Cassel’s new friend.

I’ve already covered Moeaki in fairly lengthy detail in June/July of this year and you can find more information here on that.


He’s already proven to the doubters that he belongs in the same conversation as the more fashionable picks at tight end in this year’s rookie class.

If you’re a worried Brent Celek owner, or you have a Week 4 bye looming large on the horizon – then whilst everyone is flocking to grab Aaron Hernandez you might be able to make the add now.

Bruce Gradkowski (QB, Oakland) 2 percent

As you’ll have seen in the tank – I wasn’t hugely convinced that the Raiders were going to be any better under Jason Campbell, a quarterback with whom any starting potential has been squandered by a litany of offensive coordinators and quarterback coaches that he has had to endure in his career thus far.

Gradkowski has the respect of his teammates, but more importantly for the team he is steeped in the playbook and the franchise.

Downside? But of course, my fantasy friends!

Aside from the obvious problems that come from playing in a franchise (still) run by Al Davis, his knees are certainly not the most robust in the league and something of a definite flag-worthy injury risk tag … left or right knee, it makes little difference to Gradkowski. He’s kind of an equal injury opportunity type of guy.

It was certainly tempting to go with the easier 8 percent owned Louis Murphy here, but as demonstrated with Gradkowski as the starter, the Raiders didn’t just have the potential to win games, but they had the potential to win difficult games and more impressively make come-back victories.

Quarterbacks are inherently harder to source in deep leagues and given the carousel we had last week at the position, Gradkowski got the nod ahead of Murphy.

The Oakland defense is actually looking surprisingly robust enough for me to be cautiously optimistic about them being able to mount an offense, Michael Bush has had the stitches removed on his thumb injury, Darren McFadden has actually strung together two half-decent performances as a starter and Murphy and Zach Miller have both shown up as willing and able (and at least healthy unlike a couple of other options in the bay) in the receiving game.

The game card looks a little tricky for the next few weeks, but then with games against Seattle, Denver and Kansas City your investment should bear fruit.

This week against Arizona, I’m expecting more Cardinals’ errors and penalties and the enigmatic Derek Anderson providing Oakland some charitable aid. It might look like a dud on paper, but I’m expecting a few pleasant fantasy point surprises.

Danny Amendola (WR, St. Louis) 13 percent

Probably the last time I’ll be able to mention him here at 13 percent owned (up from last week). All the reasoning from last week still rings true.


This week against the Washington Redskins will likely be all about the running game. Don’t be discouraged! Games against Detroit and Seattle should entice you to try and lock him up early in anticipation.

Here’s this week’s short list of basement bargains owned in around 10 percent or less of leagues.

Golden Tate (WR, Seattle) 16 percent

Danny Amendola (WR, St. Louis) 13 percent

Josh Freeman (QB, Tampa Bay) 11 percent

Mike Thomas (WR, Jacksonville) 11 percent

Louis Murphy (WR, Oakland) 8 percent

Aaron Hernandez (TE, New England) 5 percent

Shaun Hill (QB, Detroit) 5 percent

Lance Moore (WR, New Orleans) 4 percent

James Jones (WR, Green Bay) 4 percent

Bruce Gradkowski (QB, Oakland) 2 percent

Tony Moeaki (TE, Kansas City) 2 percent

Deon Butler (WR, Seattle) 1 percent

Christopher Ivory (RB, New Orleans) 1 percent

James Starks (RB, Green Bay) 0 percent

Dishonorable Mentions

A.J. Smith
– Way to guy, tough guy. Whilst you may have shown Vincent Jackson who the boss is, in 2011 I think – actually scratch that – I know you are going to regret getting decent compensation in the form of a second-round pick and a conditional pick in 2011 in return for a player who is only going to be a sideshow distraction for the rest of the season.

I just hope you have some good glue to put your nose back from where you just amputated it.

Braylon Edwards
– For a guy in a contract year and with the very imminent competition of another wide receiver in another contract year in one Santonio Holmes, I really don’t think getting a DUI is the way to go about getting the contract you and your agent will be asking for.

For people who live in the real world we call it “leverage.” I mention it only because you seem to be giving it away with considerable alacrity.

Andy Reid
– So you send Donovan McNabb away with a heavy heart, but you believe in Kevin Kolb. Really? Enough that you feel the need to handicap him by pulling him mid-series and destroying any chance he has of getting a passing rhythm going? For anyone not “au fait” with West Coast Offenses, they rely on that rhythm and cadence. Defensive coordinators spend a lot of time, man hours and lavish large contracts on players that can disrupt that flow … no need. Reid will do it for you.

Start Kolb, start Michael Vick – it really doesn’t matter you hurt them both by changing them in and out on a whim.

Now for something completely different…

I know Vince Young had a rough week last week, but for any of you that haven’t heard what Young has been up to lately off-the-field? He’s been spending time with Steve McNair’s boys – helping to coach them and taking them to father-son breakfasts in absentia of Steve.

It’s a reassuring thing to know that some players mean what they say in this era of football. So, when Young told Trenton and Tyler McNair, “I will always be there for you,” he meant it.

Sometimes a thank you can be worth more than a room full of trophies and trinkets. So thank you, Vince.

Thank you for reminding us that sometimes a promise made isn’t just an unpaid debt … that sometimes a promise made can indeed be a promise kept.

 Best of luck this week, one and all!

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