Sunday - Feb 17, 2019

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The Fire Sale – Week 13

I had one of those fantasy weeks where everything I thought was wrong. All of my players got hurt, didn’t produce or just disappeared off the face of the earth. It was one of those weeks were I had
Dez Bryant

and got points taken away from me, although I actually remembered the rules on that fumble and knew that was coming.
All the bad vibes started in this column last week when I declared

Philip Rivers

’ days of throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns were a thing of the past. I would just like to point out that technically, I was right. While 392 yards is a big day, it’s not 400.

As always, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for following The Fire Sale. There are so many fantasy columns out there today telling you to pick up this guy and start that guy. For 14 years I’ve tried to bring a different perspective by looking at coaching and remembering what fantasy football is all about: fun. I hope you all have a great Turkey Day and enjoy the games.
Now on with
The Fire Sale

Going Up

Toby Gerhart

, RB Minnesota
Adrian Peterson

obviously isn’t being hindered by his hamstring considering he set season highs for carries (32) and yards (146) against the Packers on Sunday. However, Peterson owners would be wise to grab Gerhart as insurance right now if they haven’t already done so.

You don’t need me to tell you how tough Peterson is and if the guy can play he will. The problem is if Peterson’s hamstring gets worse, a team that’s out of the playoff hunt isn’t going to risk their franchise running back playing in a meaningless game late in the season. We saw this with Peterson a couple of years ago when he didn’t play against the Eagles in Week 16, costing many fantasy owners dearly.

There are many different phases to a fantasy football season. Right now if you’re the top seed in your league, you probably don’t need to go out and take a flier on
Justin Hunter

. Your biggest concern is preparing for a playoff run and that means protecting yourself or hurting another potential competitor. Gerhart certainly isn’t Peterson but if he has to play he can put up solid fantasy numbers.
Advanced Sports Logic’s The Machine

software is also high on Gerhart as a late-season addition.
Gerhart is currently owned in only 17 percent of fantasy leagues, which means most Peterson owners have no interest in protecting their most valuable commodity heading into the playoffs, despite the fact that he already has a minor hamstring concern. Maybe it won’t matter, but poor planning can end up costing owners fantasy titles.

Mike Gillislee

, RB Miami – I’m mentioning Gillislee only because he was one of my sleepers in this year’s draft and
Daniel Thomas

looks like he’s out for the season. However, being the backup on a team that runs the ball nine times a game is nothing to get excited about. Just keep an eye on him in case Mike Sherman gets lost and Miami actually runs the ball more than twice a quarter.

Michael Floyd

, WR Arizona – If you follow this column I had Floyd rated as the top receiver coming out of college two years ago. I also talked to someone I know at Notre Dame who told me something interesting that I shared a couple of times.
The guy said Floyd had the physical skills to dominate right away in the NFL but mentally he was always a little young. He thought it would take him a year to get used to all the off the field stuff in the NFL like learning the playbook, having a lot of money, etc. It was his opinion that Floyd would start off slowly, make a leap in his second season and then explode in his third year to become a Pro Bowl receiver. Boy, maybe that guy should be a fantasy writer, huh?

Floyd has been on fire in his last two games catching 13 passes for 297 yards and a score on 17 targets. The talent has always been there for Floyd but now you can see the game is slowing down and he’s making things look easy like he did when he was at Notre Dame. Floyd is going to be a hot commodity next year but it’s going to be one of those times where the player will live up to the hype.

It took Bruce Arians a little time to whip Arizona’s offensive line into shape but now he’s got this offense humming and he can coach. The Cardinals offense has a lot of weapons and Floyd is going to be one of the most explosive ones for a long time to come.

Darius Johnson

, WR Atlanta – I’m going to keep talking about Johnson because I was the first fantasy writer to mention his name and he keeps getting better.

I began talking about Johnson last year when he was at SMU and told people to watch out for him during the draft process. Then when he went undrafted and I advised keeping an eye on him in training camp and preseason with the Falcons. I always thought Johnson could be a productive slot receiver in the NFL.

Now, sometimes players need a couple of things to go their way. I wasn’t thrilled where Johnson landed after the draft. I was happy with his quarterback but knowing the Falcons were loaded at receiver, it was going to be tough for him to make the final roster. So when Johnson was signed to the practice squad, I actually took that as good news. Then when Atlanta had some injuries at receiver, Johnson got his opportunity and has played pretty well for an undrafted free agent.
Johnson had a costly fumble against the Saints but still had his best game as a pro, catching six passes for 67 yards. He’s now gone from a draft-day afterthought to a guy who has seen 15 targets in his last two NFL games. Johnson has come a long way over the last seven months and I believe he’ll go even further. As I’ve stated numerous times, Johnson is a receiver to keep an eye on, especially if you play in a dynasty league.

I’ve been saying since last year that I think Johnson will eventually become one of the better slot receivers in the NFL and I still believe by 2015 that will be the case.

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