Wednesday - Apr 24, 2019

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What do I know? Heading into Week 10

Looking
Way Ahead

For
better or worse, fantasy leagues exist where the championship game is played in
Week 17. The challenge in these leagues is to draft enough quality depth to
cover teams who rest starters the last week of the regular season. It is nearly
impossible to know which teams those are in August and draft an appropriate
third-string player that will receive significant playing time. Fortunately,
many viable backups are still available as free agents even this late in the
season. For those of us who play in a league with this format, I offer a couple
of players who will be valuable come Championship week.
Lynell Hamilton
of the New Orleans Saints is currently the fourth option
behind
Pierre Thomas
,
Mike Bell
and
Reggie Bush
. The Saints continue rolling along undefeated and hold a
three-game advantage over the second place Atlanta Falcons in their division. I
expect

New Orleans
to wrap up the division and potentially home field advantage before Week 17.
Once that is accomplished, Thomas and

Bell
will definitely see less action. The only one of the three with the potential
to stay on the field for a healthy number of snaps that last game is Bush
because of his receiving prowess. The second guy won’t be a free agent but if
there’s any way to grab
Chester Taylor
, do it.

Minnesota
could very well be 10-1 with winnable games against

Detroit,

Seattle
and

Chicago
the next three weeks. I suspect Peterson will start to get some more rest with
the playoffs approaching and home field locked up by the last game at the
latest.

Taylor
will step into the 12th-ranked (118.8 yards per game) rushing game and will be
yet another option in the passing game.

Say
Cheese

I have
commented enough on

Brett
Favre this season but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other player in
that fiasco, the Green Bay Packer front office. I swear I almost typed orifice.
Freudian slip, perhaps? I know it’s got to be hard for some Packer fans to
admit but it’s looking very much like they got the short end of the stick in
that move. I am well aware of each party’s culpability in Favre’s exit out of
town but it certainly looks like the bad karma train has pulled into Lambeau
Field. Let’s see, the Vikings are 7-1 and could have easily be 8-0 behind that
guy who happens to be off to his best season ever. He is sporting a 106 QB
rating (second in the NFL) and the lowest interception rate in the league (only
three in 256 attempts). The Packers couldn’t even beat him at home in a game
that mattered more to them than it did to the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers, while a
marginally better fantasy option, is on pace to get sacked 74 times if stays
healthy long enough to make it. The Packers (4-4) have yet to beat a winning
team this season. Their four victories have come against teams with a combined record of 7-26.
Worst yet, they lost to the rudderless and winless Buccaneers, allowing the
Bucs to

score 21 fourth quarter points. It
doesn’t get much uglier than that. Their upcoming schedule doesn’t get any
easier with games against the red-hot Cowboys and Steelers, the angry Ravens
and a game at the Bears. They can’t even be penciled in for a win against the
Lions on Turkey Day. I can’t help but wonder if diehard Packer fans have fully
imagined what it will be like if Favre does end up winning the Super Bowl this
year. If this about wins and losses and not egos, it’s easy to see who is
having the last laugh.

 

All
Hands on Deck

I’d
like to expound further on fellow Fantasy Sharks staff writer Brad Gillespie’s
fine work. His Season
Targets
column is valuable to fantasy owners because it lets us know who is
getting the most opportunities to catch passes. To take his work a step
further, I want to point out who is making the most of their opportunities. In
other words, who has the highest reception conversion percentage
(receptions/targets). As trade deadlines loom, perhaps this additional bit of
information will help owners target the guys who are taking advantage of their
quarterback’s attention. Starting at wide receiver, the Top 10 guys in terms of
reception percentage are
Greg Camarillo
(83%),
Hines Ward
(77%),
Kevin Walter
(77%),
Wes Welker
(76%),
Steve Breaston
(76%), Kelley Washington (74%),
David Anderson
(72%),
Sidney Rice
(71%),
Andre Caldwell
(71%), Giant Steve Smith (70%) and
Earl Bennett
(70%). That’s actually 11 but what is surprising is that these
guys aren’t necessarily the top fantasy receivers this year. They are the best
at catching the ball when it’s thrown their way. A few names that pop out are

Camarillo,

Walter,

Washington,

Anderson
and

Caldwell.
The only thing these guys lack is a sufficient number of targets to make them
fantasy worthy options. Should anything change in their current passing
offenses (like Owen Daniels’ or Chris Henry’s season ending injuries, for
example) there’s a good chance they will see increased value. At tight end, the
Top 5 pass catchers in terms of reception percentage are
Heath Miller
(86%), Dallas Clark (82%),
Jason Witten
(79%),
Ben Watson
(76%) and
Jeremy Shockey
(75%). The only surprises on that list are Miller and Watson
but Watson has only seen 25 targets. The fact that Ward shows up on the
receiver list and Miller leads the tight ends is further proof of how well Big
Ben is playing this season.

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