It was a day of shockers on Sunday as the winless St. Louis Rams dominated the New Orleans Saints and the previously struggling Philadelphia Eagles dismantled the Dallas Cowboys.
We’re now halfway through the NFL season, which means shockers and upsets will become the norm and fantasy owners will be left wondering how Drew Brees can have his worst day of the year against a team that was signing cornerbacks off the street. As a Brees owner myself, it was maddening.
Now let’s take a look at some waiver wire targets this week and whether or not you should waste your time going after them.
Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco – Smith isn’t on the list for anything he did this past Sunday against Cleveland. He’s on the list because of who he plays in Week 11.
Week 11 is one of the worst bye weeks for quarterbacks as Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub will all need to be replaced by fantasy owners. If you’re looking to grab an attractive option off the waiver wire for that week, take a look at Smith.
The 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 and there are a couple of reasons to target Smith as a bye-week replacement if you need a quarterback. First, Smith plays better at home than he does on the road. Second, Arizona has arguably the worst secondary in the NFL and the Cardinals are a miserable road team. Just think they got blown out by the Minnesota Vikings on the road.
Smith has been able to score roughly 20 points when facing bad pass defenses and he’ll get to feast on a secondary that made Tarvaris Jackson look like Jim Zorn earlier this year. Again, Smith isn’t a great fantasy option most weeks, but against Arizona anyone can look good. If you can get 20 points while sitting Brees or Roethlisberger, that’s not a bad deal.
The Final Call: If you only carry one quarterback and need a replacement for Week 11, give Smith a look. Based on matchups you won’t find too many better options out there.
Ringer once again outplayed Johnson on Sunday, gaining 60 yards on 14 carries and hauling in a team-high five receptions. Meanwhile, the once unstoppable Johnson managed just 34 yards on the same number of carries and he’s now averaging a Curtis Enis-like 2.8 yards per carry on the season.
After repeatedly supporting Johnson after poor performances, head coach Mike Munchak finally came out and said Ringer will have a bigger role in the offense moving forward. There’s nothing else Munchak can do. Despite Johnson getting the big contract before the start of the season, Ringer has been the better player. There’s no way around it.
Johnson has killed fantasy owners this year and it may finally be time to do the unthinkable: bench the guy who’s been one of the top fantasy players on the planet the past couple of seasons. Expect Ringer to start getting an equal amount of carries at the very least moving forward.
The Final Call: Ringer should now be owned in all leagues. He is a better fantasy start than Johnson at this point.
Kevin Faulk, RB, New England – I’ll be the first to admit that I forgot all about Faulk. It’s even worse on my part considering I worked in New England and I know how much the Patriots’ coaching staff and Tom Brady love Faulk.
Bill Belichick has said in the past that Faulk is one of the most favorite players that he’s ever coached. What does that mean? It means now that he’s healthy, you will see a lot more of Faulk and a lot less of Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead. I love Ridley, but it looks like he won’t have much of an impact until next season.
Faulk won’t be a viable option every week. He’ll be a play when the Patriots face strong run defenses like Pittsburgh and use the shotgun formation most of the time. The bottom line is now that Faulk is healthy he’s the second-best fantasy running back in New England behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The Final Call: Faulk is a must-add in points per reception leagues. He can be used as a spot flex play some weeks and get enough points on receptions to not kill your fantasy team.