As the season winds down, the pickings on the waiver wire become slimmer and slimmer. There were certainly some fantasy duds this past week, but for the most part the injury bug was nowhere to be found at least as far as some of the top fantasy players are concerned.
As a result, a very light dose of players get a mention in this week’s story. We mention a couple signal callers this week, as fantasy owners gearing up for the playoffs would be wise to stock up on a position that is high risk for injury, to go along with a couple other position players. This may be one of those weeks where the player in your last roster spot is worth more than anything available on the waiver wire.
Before we get into the wonders this week, a brief note about the officiating in the NFL. Many are still buzzing about the events that went down two Sundays ago, specifically in Denver and San Francisco. News flash: officiating is hard! Ask anyone that has done it at the professional level, collegiate level, or even the youth level; it is a hard job and there are going to be times when the call on the field is not going to be quite right. This is a small price to pay for having the human element on the field. There is, of course, some room for improvement. Yes, the NFL officials are well compensated for the job they have been asked to perform, and they are doing the best that they can keeping an eye on some of the biggest and fastest athletes on the planet.
There have been many solutions suggested, but the simplest and most direct path to improving how the game is called on the field is to have an “eye in the sky” type of situation. Dedicate an official to each stadium to keep an eye on things from above. Give this person access to instant replay and provide a direct line of communication to the referee. If there is something amiss, “eye in the sky” buzzes into the referee where they can have a brief conversation to iron things out. The technology is already there as the officials are already wearing devices where they can talk to each other. A quick conversation gets it done, then the referee communicates this to the rest of the crew and the game continues in a timely manner. If the viewing public at home already knows what should be done, why not provide the on-field officials this same benefit to get it right!
On to the wonders!
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
The numbers that Fitzpatrick is putting up on a weekly basis can no longer be ignored. The weeks prior to the Giants game saw him throw for 272, 193, 216, and 277 yards. Against the Giants he upped his game even further, tossing for 390 yards and two touchdowns. We do not expect 350+ yards on a weekly basis, but numbers in and around 250 yards passing have been the norm for him. His job is more than secure, so he is worth a look as a backup or emergency quarterback for those fantasy teams getting ready for the playoffs.
RB Dan Herron, Indianapolis
The Colts continue to have difficulties this season as they eagerly anticipate the return of Andrew Luck. We have our doubts that Frank Gore is the answer in Indianapolis, so we are looking to his backup in Dan Herron. Luck’s return will be a boost to the entire offense, and we see Herron seeing a significant amount of work out of the backfield on third down. Grab Herron early before he starts to put up the numbers that will have the other owners in your league wanting him.