Welcome to the Week 12 edition of the Skeptic Tank. Join me as I take a look back at the previous week’s games and review the fantasy implications of some of the more interesting performances. It’s also never too early to start thinking about your waiver wire pickups for Week 13.
Those in desperate need of running back help have to take a look at Packers’ running back James Starks. It’s just a matter of time before he gets his turn. I know the Falcons’ defense is one of the stingiest versus the run, but 11 carries for 26 yards by the Packers’ running backs is just not going to get it done. When your franchise quarterback leads the team in carries with 12, rushing yards with 51 and rushing touchdowns with one, it’s time for Plan B.
If you’re in a dynasty league and you own Fred Jackson and your team is out of the playoff hunt, it’s time to deal. With Jackson’s performance against the Steelers on Sunday he’s proven that he can be a relaible RB2 and a team with title hopes just may be willing to overpay. Jackson will be 30-years old by the start of next season and with C.J. Spiller waiting in the wings the time to cash-out is NOW.
Another monster game by Browns’ running back Peyton Hillis. He was unstoppable as he rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in six passes for 63 yards. But, is he a one year wonder? Or, is he an elite back heading into 2011 and beyond? Hillis is on pace for 356 total touches, which obviously would be a career high. His previous high was 82 back in his rookie season of 2008. The 356 total touches would also top Hillis’ four year career total of 321 touches while at Arkansas.
One could argue that he doesn’t have a lot mileage on him, so no worry. But, we only need to compare Chris Johnson‘s 2009/2010 seasons and Michael Turner‘s 2008/2009 seasons to see the after effects of an inordinately heavy workload.
Let’s not forget Montario Hardesty. The Browns traded up in the 2009 NFL Draft in order to grab Hardesty in the second round and then paid him a $1 million signing bonus. With Hillis only under contract through 2011 and at a bargain basement salary of $555,000, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in Cleveland.
Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers had two catches for 33 yards, but will still receive a game check of over $359,000. What a great country.
For those of you who still have your fantasy training wheels on, make sure to put in a claim for Vikings’ running back Toby Gerhart. Adrian Peterson suffered an ankle injury and may miss some time. We’ll know more Monday after an MRI is performed.
Even though Redskins’ running back James Davis averaged a pathetic 1.8 yards per carry on his six attempts, I’d still keep him on my radar. The entire Redskins’ running game was crap and Shanahan will need more than six carries to evaluate Davis. At least I hope he will.
Thank you Andre Johnson for the best football fight I’ve seen in a long time. Also, thank you for putting a beatdown on Titans’ punk, Cortland Finnegan. It’s not in the same league as when Nolan Ryan took Robin Ventura out to the woodshed, but it was entertaining.
It’s not all Rusty Smith‘s fault. A lot of people are putting the blame for Chris Johnson‘s five yards on seven carries at the feet of Titans’ QB Rusty Smith. If that’s the case, how was Javon Ringer able to run for 27 yards on four carries?
Dynasty leaguers take note. Jacoby Ford is the speed receiver that the Raiders have been looking for. Not only did he lead the Raiders in receiving yards, but he also lead them in rushing with 13 yards. And just for good measure he returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown to open the game.
It’s probably a little late to grab Seahawks’ wide receiver Ben Obomanu after Sunday’s 159 yards and one touchdown. But, Golden Tate is back and if Mike Williams continues to miss time with a mysterious foot injury Tate could make some noise.
Danario Alexander is back and he’s healthy. Alexander had four catches for 95 yards Sunday versus the Broncos and should be available in just about every league. He tied for second on the team with six targets and should get plenty of action as the Rams try to determine exactly what they have in the undrafted free agent.
The Rams’ Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes to two different tight ends on Sunday. But the Rams’ tight end that dynasty leaguers should have stashed away is injured rookie Fendi Onobun. Onobun is a 6’6″ former basketball player who like every other former basketball player hopes to be Antonio Gates.
I’m helping a buddy out in one of his high-stakes leagues and we knew we were in for a long day when we saw that our opponents’ lineup included Arian Foster, Chris Johnson and Peyton Hillis. We were in first place and the team we were playing was one game behind, but is the league leader in total points. By half-time of the early games it was over. Our fate was sealed as Hillis had scored three touchdowns and Maurice Jones-Drew missed out on two touchdowns as Rashad Jennings and David Garrard both had 5-yard touchdown runs. Rather than a slow death it was quick and merciless. Nothing to agonize over, no second guessing. And unlike most other weekends, I was able to beat the early sun-down and get some yard work done.
Thanks for reading and have a great week.
Jim Bukowski is a staff writer for FantasySharks.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.