I had a terrible week seven after topping 100 points in each of the first six weeks. My trades for Maurice Jones Drew and Emmanuel Sanders didn't help matters, reminding me that sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make. We get one great fantasy team (New Orleans) back this weekend and one not so great (Oakland). Week eight brings the largest numbers of teams on bye so far this season with six taking the week off. Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee with a bye this week, obviously effecting fantasy lineups in a big way. The Thursday night game this week features the Tampa Bay Bucaneers hosting the Carolina Panthers.
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.
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.
A seemingly never ending week of football started at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day and wrapped up Monday night at the Linc in Philadelphia. As we wind down and enter the fourth quarter of the season, the cream is certainly rising to the top. Many leagues are approaching the playoffs and the alwayys tricky managing of lineups as some teams look at young talent with their season's basically over, while others rest stars to keep them healthy for the post season.
Can you believe we have reached the midway point? A.J. Green and Andre Johnson were the big dogs off in week eight, along with less consistent talent like Torrey Smith and Steve Johnson. Wes Welker is the main target that will be getting a rest this weekend, along with the emerging Jeremy Kerley and marginal fantasy stock like Michael Crabtree and Brandon Gibson. The early game this week comes is a AFC West clash between San Diego and Kansas City.
Did you properly space your bye weeks during your draft or auction? It amazes me that so many owners, especially veterans, fail to track this all important consideration. Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans return from bye in week seven, with fantasy studs like Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and any number of Saints wide receivers return to lineups. Have a dozen teams have week seven off, including Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego. Notable players you'll have to do without include dangerous duos on the Falcons, Eagles and Broncos, Dwayne Bowe and Malcolm Floyd. Of course the knife cuts both ways, perhaps you won't have to face these guys in your matchup this week.
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.
A big week for receivers in the NFL as most of the tried and true wide outs delivered. Just a handful of disappointments in week nine with many on the rise with break out games. More and more, the NFL is becoming a passing league with reliable pass catchers much easier to find than running backs that get reliable production. Eleven receivers were targeted ten or more times this week which may be the most thus far this season. Let’s take a look at those that were busy and a handful that disappointed.
As we reach the mid-way point of the NFL season, we really begin to see trends developing. The occasional really good or bad week don’t skew the season averages like they do early on There is definitely more movement among wide receivers (as opposed to running backs/tight ends) simply due to the larger raw numbers of players. Many teams have had their bye weeks, with all teams done following week 11. The raw totals are a tad higher for those who have yet to have their bye week: Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville and Minnesota are off this week; Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Pittsburgh are on bye during week 11. We have three sets of numbers for you. We share those that are exceeding the norm, those that didn’t receive the normal “looks” they have become accustomed to and the season aggregate totals.