Before we get into this week’s wrap up, due to some technical difficulties, last week’s wrap up wasn’t posted. So yes, I’m going to make you wade thru that before getting to this week’s tip of the week. Also, spoke to Ed about the internet connection not working, we’ll see if we can get that going so that those of you outside the New England area can see the show.
Last week (9/22) we talked about some studs and other players, and how we expect they will end up before the year is over. We broke them down into three categories…keep in mind, this was done before the games of week three were played.
The Cream Shall Once Again Rise
These are guys we think will rebound from their slow start to once again resuming their status in the top tier at their position.
RB Domanick Davis, Houston – Houston’s offense has been pathetic for the first two weeks. The offensive coordinator has taken the fall, and the Texans have the bye week to work things out. Look for them to re-dedicate themselves to the running game, Davis being the beneficiary of that work.
RB Willis McGahee, Buffalo – The Bills are another offense that has struggled early, don’t forget that Buffalo struggled early last year as well. The young QB will come around, and Buffalo will find ways to get McGahee the ball more so he should rebound in a good way very soon.
QB Duante Culpepper, Minnesota – Incredible to read all over the place that Culpepper is done and teams should dump him. Crazy talk. Keep this guy in your starting lineup if you have him. Everything is pointing against him again this week, Burleson out for the game, etc, but when that happens in the NFL, things seem to work out the opposite of how ‘they should’. Culpepper is still a stud.
WR Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis – The Colts have been winning with their defense, as a result they haven’t had to score a lot of points. Actually, since New England made the blue print how to stop the Colts passing game, Indy hasn’t been able to get much done in the air. We expect Harrison and the Colts passing game to come around, be patient.
Down, Not Out, But May Not Get Back To Expecations
These guys we’re not sure if they will return to the fantasy status they enjoyed before the season began. Some of these guys had big expectations, some didn’t. Either way, we’d tread cautiously with these players.
RB Kevin Jones, Detroit – Jones was billed as the second coming, it just hasn’t materialized for the Lions yet. Detroit’s offense hasn’t hit its groove yet, and though it’s early, we wonder if it ever will.
RB Corey Dillon, New England – The Patriots running game has been non-existant. Dillon still seems to find a way to get into the endzone, but his yardage numbers are way down.
RB Marshall Faulk, St.Louis – Faulk wasn’t a high pick in most fantasy drafts, but he surely was taken in the middle rounds. Steven Jackson has really stepped up as not only the #1 guy for the Rams, but the only guy. Faulk’s fantasy days are quickly going to rear view mirror status.
RB De’Shaun Foster, Carolina – Foster has always for some reason been a popular fantasy pick, those that weren’t following us early in the season may have been mistaken thinking he was going to be the starter. While the potential for Stephen Davis to get hurt is always there, until that happens Foster’s fantasy value will be virtually nil.
Value Has Never Been Higher
These are some players that may be enjoying their highest fantasy value of the season. Move them if you can.
RB Thomas Jones, Chicago – Jones has done everything in his power to keep Cedric Benson on the bench, and so far it is working. He’s enjoyed tremendous success early in the season, despite Chicago’s struggles. There will come a time this season when the Bears will turn to Benson to see what they have in the rookie. Jones’ value may never be higher.
QB Brian Griese, Tampa Bay – Quietly, Griese is leading the Bucs to an undefeated start to the season. Tampa Bay is employing the “good defense, hard running, don’t let the QB screw up” mentality that brought a Super Bowl to Baltimore. Griese won’t have an opportunity to put up high fantasy numbers, get what you can for him now.
WR Santana Moss, Washington – Take away the last 4 minutes of the Monday night game and Moss’ numbers were less than ordinary. Most people don’t make it to the end of the Monday night contest, and might only see his final numbers in the box score. Prey on these people and deal them Moss.
QB Chad Pennington, NY Jets – Pennington has looked terrible, doesn’t seem like he can throw the ball more than 20 yards with any velocity. That’s not a good situation for fantasy production.
This week (9/29) we introduced a “Tip of the Week”. In most leagues this year, the free agent waiver wire hasn’t been a place for finding fantasy talent. It used to be in years past that you could pluck 2-3 guys off the waiver wire and put them in your starting lineup. That has not been the case this year. There have only been a handful of top fantasy players hurt this season, as a result, there hasn’t been anyone stepping up from down in the depth chart into your fantasy starting lineup.
As a result, this requires the astute fantasy owner to adjust strategy accordingly. You never want to waste waiver picks, there’s always that 5th or 6th WR on your team that can be cut loose to make room. One thing to do is to grab an extra defense and play the matchup game for your starter each week. Some of the lower ranked defenses at the beginning of the season are doing very well (ie. Cincinnati, Tennessee, etc.). Same thing for kickers, many kickers are outperforming some of the usual ‘better’ kickers.
Another idea is to grab backup RBs before the starter gets hurt, even if you don’t own the starter. There’s nothing wrong with backing up players on other teams. We specifically hilighted some players we recommend stashing at the bottom of your roster if they are available on your waiver wire:
Najeh Davenport, Green Bay – He’s already stealing carries from Green while he’s healthy, he’s ready to step in when called upon.
Chester Taylor, Baltimore – Lewis’ physical health was much in question coming into this season so him being hurt at some point is not a stretch.
Dominic Rhodes, Indianapolis – Steps right in for James if necessary, has proven he can do the job.
Maurice Morris, Seattle – Seahawk starting RB has high fantasy value, Morris has been talked about as the successor to Alexander for a couple years now.
Michael Turner, San Diego – Wouldn’t you love Tomlinson’s numbers here? San Diego’s RB will always be a fantasy factor.
Vernand Morency, Houston – Though we believe DomDavis will return to stud form, it can’t hurt to buy some insurance here. He’s been hurt in the past as well, Morency is talked about highly in the Texan camp.