Well, I finally broke down and made some trades this week. Although my team has won two straight, I am 3-3 on the season, with the division leader a perfect 6-0. My standard offers are 2-for-1, moving depth for a solid player and a throwaway. This strategy has always worked for me and suggest you give it a try. A pair of team's on bye this week (New Orleans and Oakland) with two more (Atlanta and Miami) returning after getting a week off. Prime Time action this week has Seattle and Arizona on Thursday night, Denver and Indianapolis on Sunday night and Minnesota taking on the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
With two weeks now in the books, we may begin to trust what we are seeing. Surprises that did it again are for real, those that didn't contributed toward your loss and will become a casualty of this week's moves. We had a numer of injuries in week two, most coming at running back which can be quite painful. If you were hoping for a veteran to bounce back after a slow start, and he didn't, in some cases he won't be. In my 25+ years of playing fantasy football, I find this stage of the season also brings the most trading of the year. Can trading hurt your league? Three of my four "big unit" leagues do not allow trading this season. While I prefer to trade, judging from baseball, this is probably protecting me... from myself.
Seasons can be won and lost on the waiver wire, perhaps more so in baseball but no matter the sport, the claims following week 1 are by far the best. Up until we see some real stats opening weekend, we must comb through the hundreds of expert opinions and browse the preseason box scores. While injury opportunties will provide leading free agent candidates all season long, week one settles some depth chart question marks.... well, sort of.
It's crunch time in fantasy nation and each and every starter can make or break your entire season. Is Danny Amendola back? Is Brandon Lloyd finally delivering like we expected he would all season? Can Danario Alexander be trusted? Is Torrey Smith still a legitimate starter and how about that concussion? Are Brandon Marshall and Victor Cruz in a funk? And have Michael Crabtree and Antonio Brown recovered with better quarterback play? Questions many of you are pondering as we approach week 16.
Week 14 is the beginning of the playoffs for many teams, crunch time baby! It's also the time of the year when we begin to see teams starting to rest starters for the post season. We also have to be concerned that the have nots will be taking a look at youngsters for next season. Most importantly, as we navigate December, every player has various bumps and bruises, just some are in worst shape that others.
As we roll into the second third of the season, fantasy teams welcome back stars from their bye week. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Vincent Jackson and Calvin Johnson are a few of those back to inject life into receiving corps across NFL fantasy nation. While Dallas, Oakland, Tampa Bay and Detroit return, Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans have the week off. Owners of Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and Marques Colston will have to do without, testing their reserve rosters. Reggie Wayne gets this week's honors as the top target, while Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline share the weekly "down to earth" award.
With the season now a month old, numbers begin to have more meaning. Injuries continue to play a role and make up a majority of the movers and shakers on the waiver wire. As always, stick with the studs like Larry Fitzgerald. If someone new moves to the forefront, maybe wait a week and see if they can turn a repeat performance. We waded into the byes in week four with only a pair of teams off with Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay taking a break in week five.
The number of targets a receiver gets is relative. Relative to what they had been getting and/or expected to get. While nine targets is a breakout performance for one receiver, it is a disappointment for elite fantasy receivers. Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline had nine targets in week three, which is most likely reflective of them dropping down towards a number we can more likely expect on a regular basis. Receivers like DeSean Jackson and Victor Cruz probably saw double teams in week three, with their regular partner at the position out with injury.
How did Kevin Ogletree work out for you? How about Stephen Hill? As one of the many fine writers here at the Alarm franchise pointed out recently, ride the studs! It's well known that rookie wide receivers often struggle. Players like Julio Jones and A.J. Green are freaks of nature, they are not the norm. Atlanta and Cincinnati, as well as the many fantasy owners that had Jones and Green as rookies, were well rewarded in 2011. Will Alshon Jeffery be a solid NFL receiver? probably so, but maybe not the extent of his SEC brethren, certainly not as quickly and more importantly, not as consistently.
As we have each and every week this season, we bring you a peek at everything you need to know when it comes to targets in the passing game. Who is coming off a hot week? Who disappeared a week ago? Who has failed to convert opportunity?