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On Second Thought – Week 6

WHO DOES THIS BACKSIDE BELONG TO? AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE. Week 6 is a make or break week for many fantasy football owners.  The playoffs are still reachable for every person at this point in the season.  Most likely, moves need to be made in your league and whether it’s through the waiver wire or trades, this week could set you up for the championship.  Let’s make sure the moves you make are strong.

It is time to put some extra effort into the options you have in making roster moves for the long run.  Racking your brain over what may or may not happen the rest of the season is no small task but the good news is there are still quite a few tasty waiver wire pick-ups to be had.  By now, you also should have a better idea of what sort of players you have on your roster so that you’ll be able to make an informed decisions.  With both waiver wires and trades are hitting their apex I love this time of year.

Now with all these options, there are bad moves to be made as well.  That is what we are here for, to keep you from making any moves that will spiral your season out of control.  Let’s take a look at the waiver wire buzz and see what is legit and what deserves a second thought.

After two nice weeks in a row with 17 points and 20 points in ESPN Standard Leagues, Brian Hoyer is getting some buzz and getting picked up in many leagues.  He has Arian Foster back and DeAndre Hopkins to throw to and is available in 99% of leagues, so this is a no-brainer right?  Wrong.

Hoyer has been the recipient of a very favorable schedule.  This nice schedule goes on for the next 3 weeks but then the Texans go into their bye week and when they come out, 4 of their last 7 games through championship week are against the Bengals, Jets, Bills and Patriots.  This is not an elite QB we are talking about, it is Brian Hoyer.  He is going to struggle against these tough defenses down the stretch just when you need him most, playoff time.

If you were thinking about Hoyer, you should instead consider Blake Bortles.  I am all-in on Bortles who is available in 72% of leagues.  I mentioned him earlier this year when I pointed out that he has many weapons, and a QB can’t have many weapons who are all expected to do well without doing well himself.  On this point it seems that I was spot on.  Bortles has a capable backfield to help keep the defenses balanced and the blitzes off of himself.  He has a receiving corps that boasts 2 top-20 WRs in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns and now he has Julius Thomas back from injury. What is not to like about Bortles?

In the past four weeks, Bortles has averaged 21 points a game in standard leagues and he has a very nice schedule to finish out the year.  With playing Houston at home this week it is just like I said, I’m all-in on Bortles right now.

Once in a while I have to do a second thought on my own advice and just last week I said to hold off on Josh McCown.  Yeah, um, sorry about that.  I missed on that one and am man enough to admit it.  I am now endorsing McCown, who is available in 96% of leagues, and imagine that the rapport he is building with Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge is real and will carry him throughout the year.

Last week, I mentioned his tough upcoming schedule and warned you against that.  I still stand by that statement but I now stand behind McCown as well.  So go ahead and grab him, temper your expectations for those tough games on the immediate schedule and then rest easy and enjoy the fantasy points during the other games.

What an amazing week for Thomas Rawls.  Even though everyone knew Marshawn Lynch was not going to be healthy, Rawls still remained available in 55% of leagues and now people are going to pick him up this week on waivers.

Sorry, but you missed the boat on Rawls, the S.S. Mini Beast has set sail.  It has nothing to do with his potential, but after gashing the Bengals for 169 yards and 1 touchdown the real Beast Mode is back.  Lynch almost played last week, he will certainly be in going forward and no matter how great Rawls did filling in, that is exactly what it was, a fill in.

If you are targeting Rawls take a look the way of Shane Vereen.  Vereen is starting to build a very nice rapport with Eli Manning and the Giants are starting to look like the team to beat in the NFC East.

Vereen caught 8 passes for 86 yards and a TD while also rushing for 24 yards on 5 attempts, so bonus if you are in a PPR league.  PPR or not, you should own Vereen. Eli likes to pass and Eli does not like to get hit, so Eli in turn checks down often.  Vereen is the recipient of these check-downs and your team gets the points.  Snatch him up quickly as he is available in just under 50% of leagues.

Theo Riddick is a running back with much more availability than Vereen.  He’s yours for the taking in 85% of leagues and with the QB woes in Detroit, the running backs are going to be getting lots of attempts.  With that in mind, the only back that seems to be separating himself from the others is Riddick.  Given the most opportunity he’s seen all year, 10 attempts, Riddick was able to reel off 53 yards and a TD.  That might not seem like much but it has become apparent that  the coaching staff in Detroit is looking for a back to take over and it seems that Riddick is the only one willing to do this.

Bonus Kansas City Section:  You didn’t think that I would forget the elephant in the room did you?  Jamaal Charles is out for the season with a torn ACL.  This is terrible and we wish Charles the best and a quick recovery.  The show does however go on, that being said, we have to now ask who will take his place.

Right now the betting money is on Charcandrick West.  After Charles went down, he led the team with 7 carries for 31 yards and I have heard from several different sources that he jumped over Knile Davis on the depth chart, though I can’t find any supporting evidence of this.  Yes, West seems to be the heir apparent and the one getting most to the attention, but I urge you to give this a second thought.

We have seen Knile Dave fill-in for Charles.  When talking about your elite running backs, there is no backup that fills the gap left by the starter better than Knile Davis and you expect me to believe that West is going to be the man going forward.  Nope, I don’t buy it.

What I see going on is a little bit more of a split than what was going on with Charles.  In other words, Charles was the man and West was spelling him as a change of pace back.  Now I believe Davis will be the man with West getting the change of pace snaps as well as some other passing down work.

The reason West was getting more snaps than Davis at this point was because the Chiefs have been close or behind in most games this season.  West is a good change of pace and there has been less straight-up run plays than normal, therefore West has seen more snaps.  Go with Davis.

Marquess Wilson was mentioned by many as a pickup on waiver wires last week.  He had a great week catching 6 passes for 85 yards and a TD.  That makes two 80-yard weeks in a row.  He seems to have all the right stuff.  He is 6’4″, 200 pounds and fast.  He is in his 3rd year and he is on a team that will be behind and throwing a lot.  I have every reason to tell you to grab him quick since he is available in 95% of leagues, but there are two big reasons I cannot.  Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal.  Both these guys are going to be back as early as next week.  When this happens it immediately makes Wilson the number 5 option behind the two aforementioned receivers, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte.

Try to find me a receiver who is their teams 5th option and still viable in fantasy.  Don’t bother, you can’t, and that is why you should slow your roll on Wilson and instead grab Willie Snead.

This seems like a real ” no duh” moment, I am sure, but Snead is still available in 71% of leagues, I have to mention him.  Snead has slowly built some nice rapport with Drew Brees who has been shaky at best this season.

This rapport culminated in a 6-catch, 141-yard outing on Sunday versus the Eagles.  Brees is starting to get better from whatever was ailing him earlier in the season and Snead is getting better and better each week.  He is a player you can grab and start confidently as a bye week fill-in immediately and possibly even more going forward.

Along those same lines of “no duh,” I present to you Jamison Crowder.  Crowder is ready for you to pick him up in 95% of leagues and though he has yet to record a touchdown this season, he has slowly improved in each of his last three games catching 6, 7 and 8 passes in each game for 45, 65 and 87 yards, respectively.

I like clear patterns in players and I like clear patterns of improvement even more.  Crowder is showing exactly that and can provide for you a very good bye week fill-in.  I grabbed him in a PPR league as a last second Steve Johnson fill-in and was very pleased with the 16.7 points he gave me.

Brent Celek had a nice week last week with 44 yards receiving and a TD.   He is in an offense that was supposed to be amazing and is now starting to look better.  He is starting to look better as well and people are starting to talk.  Well stop talking.  He is not the answer for you.

This team is still struggling to find its identity and even in the past seasons when they were an offensive juggernaut, Celek never materialized as a week-in week-out trustworthy TE in fantasy.  This is not going to change. so if you need help at this position then grab the big guy from Cleveland instead.

Gary Barnidge is still available in 62% of leagues.  Why is this?  Are you telling me that the majority of you would not be happy with 16, 13 and 19 points in standard scoring leagues from your TE?  That is exactly what Barnidge has put up in the last three games.

Sunday versus the Ravens, Barnidge caught 8 passes for 139 yards and a TD.  In my PPR league that is 27.9 points.  Not bad.  The marks against him are hard to look past, bad QB play, bad offense, etc.  you can forget them, he is for real, go grab him while you can.

Richard Rodgers and Larry Donnell are two other good choices.  I mention them together because they are both available in just about 50% of leagues.  They both have great QBs throwing to them and are on division leading teams.  If you are in need of an injury or bye week fill-in you could do much worse.  Plug these guys into your lineup with confidence.

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.