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It's that time of year. There just isn't much left on waivers to turn to, an even less of a chance that the guys you grab off waivers should be in your lineup in the first week of the fantasy football playoffs. Still, I write this piece every week, try to give you the best advice I can every week to improve your team, and that's just what I'm going to keep on doing until the final week of the 2013 NFL season.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
Take on Ray Flowers. Show me that you've got more football knowledge than the arrogant one. Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest. Pick your one week squad based on salary cap levels for players. Finish in the top-15 in Week 14 and you will at least double your $10 investment (all top-15 finishers will receive at least $20). Win the battle and you're looking at a $250 windfall. Simple as that. You interested?
(Assuming a $100 Budget)
Jason Campbell, Browns
Campbell lost his starting spot after suffering a concussion in Week 12. In Week 13 his replacement, Brandon Weeden, suffered a concussion of his own. It's totally uncertain if one or both will be able to play in Week 14 or if the club will have to turn to Alex Tanney. It's as bad as it sounds. The Browns routinely throw the ball 35-40 times a week so those in two quarterback leagues might care what happens here, but those in one QB leagues should just move on (all Josh Gordon owners hope it's Campbell or Weeden out there in Week 14).
FAAB BID: $3-5
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Titans
Over his last six games Fitzpatrick has seven passing scores and three rushing. Doesn't sound that impressive, but over 16 games that equates to 27 scores. That's not at all shabby. Fitzpatrick also hadn't been beating himself, at least until Week 13 when he tossed three picks against the Colts. Fitzpatrick is in a rather boring offense that likes to control the clock and move the chains on the ground and with short passes. He's not exciting in the least an is only relevant at this point of the season in two QB leagues.
FAAB BID: $5-10
E.J. Manuel, Bills
His first rushing score of the season saved his fantasy performance in Week 13 as he scored twice (one pass, one run) while throwing for 210 yards. Given that he was facing a Falcons club that is falling apart defensively, it wasn't exactly a stand out effort. Through eight games he's on pace for a full season effort of 20 touchdowns, eight interceptions an about 3,200 yards. Not much to see here given that he's completed better than 57 percent of his passes just once in his last six outings. Boring, unpredictable and youthful. Not a great combination for the fantasy playoffs.
FAAB BID: $4-8
Montee Ball, Broncos
He should have been picked up last week, but if he wasn't he will certainly be this time around. Ball has had fumble issues this season, but when given a chance to carry the pigskin he's performed admirably averaging 4.3 YPC on 88 totes. He scored twice in Week 11. In Week 12 he averaged 5.7 YPC on seven carries. In Week 13 he carried the ball 13 times for 117 yards. Yeah, that's good. Unfortunately Knowshon Moreno will solider on and his leg issue didn't seem to limit him much at all in Week 13 as he caught four balls for 72 yards an a score. Unfortunately Moreno was awful on the ground with 15 carries leading to 18 yards. The Broncos need a healthy Moreno for the playoffs so it's possible they scale back his looks a bit, but even with an injury an coming off a 38 touch effort in Week 12 the Broncos still gave Moreno 19 touches in Week 13. Ball is nothing more than a flex play with Moreno so heavily involved.
FAAB BID: $10-15
Willis McGahee, Brown
After 10 carries in Weeks 11-12 McGahee had a surprising 14 carries in Week 13. He ran for 57 yards, good for a 4.1 YPC mark that was the first first time this season he's averaged four yards a carry in a game (should tell you a lot about his outlook, no?). McGahee also scored, but there's just nothing to see here. McGahee has one game of 40 yards rushing since October 3rd and he's only scored once in seven games. Move on.
FAAB BID: $3-5
Antoine Smith, Falcons
He's exciting and he makes this happen. No doubt about that. Smith went for 88 yards an a score in Week 11, and he also got into the end zone in Week 13. Unfortunately he's carried the ball all of five times this season. Pretty sure he's not going to manage to keep his YPC up at 29.0. We can agree on that, right? There should also be notation that Steven Jackson carried the ball 16 times in Week 12 and 23 times in Week 13. Smith might be a dynasty option but he has no value in re-draft leagues – he just doesn't see the ball enough.
FAAB BID: $2-5
Jordan Todman, Jaguars
Like I said at the start, we're at the point of the season where the die has been cast for most. Todman has touched the ball 18 times the past two weeks with moderate success (79 yards). Much like Smith above, Todman has no value unless Maurice Jones-Drew were to go down with injury. All I need to do to point that fact out is to list the touch count for MJD from October 27th on: 25, 25, 18, 20 and 25.
FAAB BID: $2-5
Ted Ginn Jr, Panthers
He's scored in two of three weeks. Yippee. Ginn is really nothing more than a return man. He's also the third wideout on a team that doesn't exactly break the sound barrier most weeks through the air (don't forget about Greg Olsen at tight end for the Panthers who is much higher in the pecking order than Ginn). Ginn does have those two scores in three weeks but here is his average effort the past five weeks is embarrassing: 1.8 receptions a game and 22.4 yards per game.
FAAB BID: $3-5
Andre Holmes, Raiders
Finally, a player that might be worth rostering. With Denarius Moore continuing to miss time with a shoulder issue, Holmes has stepped forward. Most thought it would be Rod Streater stepping up, an honestly he kind of has. In two of the past three weeks and three of the last five he's gone over 80 yards receiving. Streater has also accrued 21 targets the past three weeks. But this is about Holmes, right? Standing 6'4”, weighing about 210 lbs and running about a 4.4 40-yard dash, Holmes is exactly the physical type of player the Raiders have long coveted. It took a while for him to get on the field, but once he has he's started to make his mark, and then some. In Week 13 Holmes caught seven balls for 136 yards. As importantly, Holmes was targeted 11 times. That's something. It's uncertain if Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor will remain under center for the Raiders, but obviously it would be best for all the Raiders' wideouts if McGloin was the one under center.
FAAB BID: $10-15
Greg Jennings, Vikings
Twice in the last four games Jennings has been targeted nine times while catching six and seven passes. In the other two games he caught five of seven targets. That's the problem with Jennings – he's in a dysfunctional passing attack with the Vikings, and that makes it very hard to trust him on a weekly basis. Jennings has one score in seven games, and just once in those seven games does he have an effort of 60 yards. It all happened in Week 13 as he caught seven balls for 78 yards an a score, but that effort has the look of a season best effort to me. Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls... sorry TLC.
FAAB BID: $10-13
Ace Sanders, Jaguars
After eight receptions for 67 yards in Week 13 it's time to take Sanders seriously in a PPR setup. Over the last three games Sanders has hauled in 20 passes over 26 targets. Unfortunately his yardage effort has been between 61-67 yards each time, and he hasn't scored all year. He's 5'7” and weighs 175 lbs an is in an offense that has tossed all of eight scores all season, so there's nothing here other than desperation WR3 value in PPR leagues.
FAAB BID: $10-14
Zach Ertz, Eagles
I wrote about Ertz in State Of The TE. Ertz scored twice and caught five balls for 68 yards in what has a the look of a bust out performance in Week 13. Entering the game in Week 13 Ertz had one score all season. Only once in the first 12 weeks of the season had Ertz caught more than three passes in game. In fact, he only caught three passes three times in his first 11 games. So what happened in Week 13? Ertz faced the worst defense in football at stopping tight ends – the Cardinals. So the Eagles did what any good team does – they attacked their opponents weakness. You missed Ertz's best effort of the season. You'll just have to live with it. If that logic doesn't sway you, consider this. In Week 10 he was on the field for 54 percent of the Eagles snaps. In Week 11 he was on the field for 45 percent of snaps. After the Eagles Week 12 Bye he was on the field for 48 percent of snaps in Week 13. Like I said, his outburst was totally matchup driven.
FAAB BID: $3-5
Ladarius Green, Chargers
Remember that article I just referenced above, State of the TE? Read that for my review/thoughts on Green.
FAAB BID: $5-10
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.