Can you hear that? That’s the clock on the season winding down. Can you feel that? That’s the pressure to get your team into position to make the playoffs. There is only 3 weeks to go in the regular fantasy football season for most of us and we need every bit of information we can get to pick the right players off the waiver wires to get us to the Promised Land.
I’ve searched the players that seem to be warming up and playing good ball right now and have dissected which ones I think might be fool’s gold. You probably know the drill so let’s just dive into it, and as always let’s start with quarterbacks.
Sam Bradford has been playing some good football as of late, even though his Vikings have been struggling. Bradford threw for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns in his team’s 20-26 loss to Washington on Sunday.
Bradford is still available in 87% of leagues and has a nice schedule from here on out so it would make sense that if you are in need of QB help you would want to snatch him up off of wavier, right? No. On second thought, Bradford is still one week away from waiver wire gold.
Now, what that means is if you are in a league where the waiver wires are picked through like college town all you can eat buffet at closing then you may want to grab Bradford, but otherwise I would hold off for a week. Bradford has only played 3 defenses in the top 10 versus the passer this season, the Giants, Texans and Eagles in weeks 4, 5, and 7. In those 3 weeks, he never eclipsed 275 yards passing and only got 2 TDs in one game, the other two were 1-TD outings. It just seems that he is less than stellar against tough defenses and this week he plays the toughest defense he will have seen all season in the Arizona Cardinals, who are ranked number 2 against opposing QBs.
As mentioned earlier, Bradford finishes very strong against Detroit, Dallas, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Green Bay and Chicago. Seriously, that is JV level scheduling there, but he will be of no use to you next week against the Cardinals. So, unless you are planning a grab and stash, steer clear this week of Bradford. Instead, you should consider Joe Flacco. Flacco looked great in the Thursday night game this last week when he led his team to victory over the hapless Browns 28-7.
Flacco is available in 69% of leagues and has his team in sole possession of 1st place in the AFC North. He has been throwing some interceptions lately, which could cause some concern, except he is also putting up stats like Thursday’s 296 yards and 3 TDs which tend to negate the couple of turnovers he might have.
This team will definitely be keeping their foot on the gas since they are trying to fight off the Steelers and Bengals in a division where only a couple of games separate those 3 teams. He faces Dallas next week, which has been hot but very generous as an opposing fantasy defense. So you can grab Flacco off of waivers and start him with confidence. He will give you somewhere near 300 yards and 2, possibly 3, touchdowns.
Ryan Tannehill is the other QB that is available in 82% of leagues and he had a very nice outing on Sunday. Tannehill threw for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns in Sunday’s surprise defeat of San Diego 31-24. Tannehill’s production has been on the low side this season but he has picked it up as of late and his next two games are against two beautiful slump busters as he gets to face the L.A. Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. If ever there were two teams that a fantasy owners would want to see on their schedule it is these two teams. You should surely be able to squeeze at least two nice weeks out of Tannehill if you grab him now.
At this point in the season, as far as running backs go, the pickings get fairly slim. This however, is not one of those weeks. No, we do not have any RB1s just hiding on the waiver wire for you, but we definitely have a few guys worth some further consideration.
Wendell Smallwood might be one of those that you are considering looking into. At 98% availability in standard fantasy football leagues, and after carrying the ball 13 times for 70 yards against the first in their division Atlanta Falcons, Smallwood seems like a shoe-in for waiver wire glory, right?
Nope. He did look good on Sunday, but you have to remember that this is only the second time this whole season that he has cleared 70 yards rushing and if you are hoping to get some help with receiving yards you can forget that too, as he has caught only one single pass this whole season and that was back in Week 6 against the Eagles.
Have I convinced you to stay away from Smallwood yet? If not, how about this, they travel to Seattle and play the Seahawks next week. The same Seahawks that just took out the hottest team in football on Sunday night. I highly doubt the Seahawks are going to let him run all over CenturyLink Field next Sunday. So you should instead consider instead the player they do plan on letting run all over Century Link next Sunday, C.J. Prosise.
C.J. Prosise, the ultimate duel threat, had 17 carries for 66 yards rushing but also caught 7 passes for 87 yards receiving in the victory over the Patriots on Sunday. He looked explosive and earned more snaps in the upcoming game versus the Eagles.
The Eagles also have a very good defense so there is a chance that the normal running game will take a back seat, lending to the pass-first game which the Seahawks are slowly becoming. Which as we all know, can rack up lots of points for running backs that like to come out of the backfield with their receiver gloves on.
Robert Kelley is available in 55% of leagues and has put together two very nice outings in a row. His most recent was last Sunday’s 22-carry, 99-yard rushing gem he dropped on the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have a great defense, the Green Bay Packers do not and that is exactly who Kelley gets to face next week. There is reason to believe that he could have his best outing of the season next week as the Packers can put up big numbers, but they also give up great numbers, so I expect this week to be a nice little shootout. If you have anyone on a roster in a game that becomes a shootout, then you want those players in your lineup as they tend to score big.
Grab Kelley off of the wire and hope for the inevitable high-scoring affair that happens when you go against Aaron Rodgers and his team.