Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 7 fantasy football rankings

Below are Week 7 fantasy football rankings based on potential performance in this week's games for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker and team defense.

1 Andrew Luck, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
2 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
3 Peyton Manning, Denver vs. San Francisco ...Manning needs just 3 TDs to set the NFL record for most passing TDs in a career (Brett Favre in lead at 508, Manning at 506)
4 Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Kansas City 
5 Cam Newton, Carolina at Green Bay 
6 Jay Cutler, Chicago vs. Miami 
7 Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco at Denver 
8 Drew Brees, New Orleans at Detroit 
9 Matthew Stafford, Detroit vs. New Orleans ...Detroit offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi goes against his former Saints
10 Tony Romo, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants 
11 Matt Ryan, Atlanta at Baltimore ...Matt Ryan and the Falcons are now 0-3 on the road, travel to Baltimore this week
12 Joe Flacco, Baltimore vs. Atlanta 
13 Tom Brady, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
14 Carson Palmer, Arizona at Oakland ..."Revenge game" - Palmer returns to Oakland
15 Russell Wilson, Seattle at St. Louis 
16 Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
17 Andy Dalton, Cincinnati at Indianapolis 
18 Ryan Tannehill, Miami at Chicago 
19 Kirk Cousins, Washington vs. Tennessee 
20 Derek Carr, Oakland vs. Arizona  

Running Back
1 DeMarco Murray, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants ...Murray has now tied Jim Brown's NFL record opening the season with six straight 100-yard games
2 Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Miami 
3 Arian Foster, Houston at Pittsburgh 
4 Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati at Indianapolis 
5 Andre Ellington, Arizona at Oakland ...Carson Palmer targeted Ellington 9 times last week
6 Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
7 Jamaal Charles, Kansas City at San Diego 
8 Branden Oliver, San Diego vs. Kansas City 
9 Reggie Bush, Detroit vs. New Orleans ...Big "revenge match-up" - Bush faces his former Saints team
10 Justin Forsett, Baltimore vs. Atlanta ...Forsett is averaging an amazing 6.4 yards per carry this season
11 Lamar Miller, Miami at Chicago ...It's all Lamar Miller with Knowshon Moreno out for the season
12 Alfred Morris, Washington vs. Tennessee 
13 Marshawn Lynch, Seattle at St. Louis 
14 Ben Tate, Cleveland at Jacksonville 
15 Eddie Lacy, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
16 Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
17 Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota at Buffalo ...McKinnon looks to have taken over as starter, although Minnesota has said they want to give Matt Asiata more work than they did last week
18 Andre Williams, N.Y. Giants at Dallas 
19 Ronnie Hillman, Denver vs. San Francisco 
20 Joique Bell, Detroit vs. New Orleans 
21 Fred Jackson, Buffalo vs. Minnesota 
22 Shane Vereen, New England vs. N.Y. Jets ...With Stevan Ridley out for the season, will Vereen get more work?
23 Pierre Thomas, New Orleans at Detroit 
24 Frank Gore, San Francisco at Denver 
25 Bishop Sankey, Tennessee at Washington 
26 Trent Richardson, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
27 Antone Smith, Atlanta at Baltimore 
28 Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland at Jacksonville 
29 Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati at Indianapolis 
30 Chris Ivory, N.Y. Jets at New England 

Wide Receivers
1 Brandon Marshall, Chicago vs. Miami ...Grudge match - Marshall gets to go against Miami this week
2 Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
3 Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
4 Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina at Green Bay ...Call it a hunch but Benjamin is due for a 2-TD game against banged up Green Bay secondary (assuming Benjamin passes his concussion protocal but it looks likely)
5 Julio Jones, Atlanta at Baltimore 
6 Demaryius Thomas, Denver vs. San Francisco 
7 Dez Bryant, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants 
8 Alshon Jeffery, Chicago vs. Miami 
9 Steve Smith, Baltimore vs. Atlanta 
10 Golden Tate, Detroit vs. New Orleans ...The Tate ranking is assuming Calvin Johnson is out again this week 
11 T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
12 Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati at Indianapolis 
13 Randall Cobb, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
14 DeSean Jackson, Washington vs. Tennessee 
15 Rueben Randle, N.Y. Giants at Dallas 
16 Brandin Cooks, New Orleans at Detroit 
17 Michael Floyd, Arizona at Oakland 
18 Emmanuel Sanders, Denver vs. San Francisco 
19 Mike Wallace, Miami at Chicago 
20 Andre Johnson, Houston at Pittsburgh 
21 Sammy Watkins, Buffalo vs. Minnesota 
22 Odell Beckham Jr. , N.Y. Giants at Dallas ...Beckham will take over for Victor Cruz (out for the year)
23 Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
24 Keenan Allen, San Diego vs. Kansas City 
25 Roddy White, Atlanta at Baltimore 
26 Terrance Williams, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants 
27 Marques Colston, New Orleans at Detroit 
28 Pierre Garcon, Washington vs. Tennessee 
29 Torrey Smith, Baltimore vs. Atlanta 
30 DeAndre Hopkins, Houston at Pittsburgh 
31 James Jones, Oakland vs. Arizona 
32 Julian Edelman, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
33 Andre Holmes, Oakland vs. Arizona 
34 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Oakland 
35 Michael Crabtree, San Francisco at Denver 
36 Anquan Boldin, San Francisco at Denver 
37 Justin Hunter, Tennessee at Washington 
38 Eric Decker, N.Y. Jets at New England 
39 Doug Baldwin, Seattle at St. Louis ...Baldwin should have a more prominent role with Percy Harvin traded
40 Davante Adams, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
41 Kendall Wright, Tennessee at Washington 
42 Allen Robinson, Jacksonville vs. Cleveland 
43 Wes Welker, Denver vs. San Francisco 
44 Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville vs. Cleveland 
45 Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland at Jacksonville 
46 Brandon LaFell, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
47 Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City at San Diego 
48 Brian Quick, St. Louis vs. Seattle 
49 Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
50 Robert Woods, Buffalo vs. Minnesota

Tight End
1 Julius Thomas, Denver vs. San Francisco ...Thomas is on pace to break Randy Moss' single-season record of 23 receiving TDs
2 Rob Gronkowski, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
3 Jordan Cameron, Cleveland at Jacksonville 
4 Greg Olsen, Carolina at Green Bay 
5 Martellus Bennett, Chicago vs. Miami ...After scoring 4 TDs in the first three games, Bennett has gone three straight games without a TD
6 Jordan Reed, Washington vs. Tennessee 
7 Travis Kelce, Kansas City at San Diego 
8 Delanie Walker, Tennessee at Washington 
9 Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Kansas City 
10 Jason Witten, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants ...Witten is on pace for a meager 637 yards receiving
11 Vernon Davis, San Francisco at Denver 
12 Jace Amaro, N.Y. Jets at New England ...Amaro comes into Week 7 comes off a 10-catch game
13 Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
14 Larry Donnell, N.Y. Giants at Dallas 
15 Heath Miller, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
16 Clay Harbor, Jacksonville vs. Cleveland 
17 Owen Daniels, Baltimore vs. Atlanta 
18 Tim Wright, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
19 Eric Ebron, Detroit vs. New Orleans 
20 Jared Cook, St. Louis vs. Seattle 

1 Justin Tucker, Baltimore vs. Atlanta 
2 Stephen Gostkowski, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
3 Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona at Oakland 
4 Dan Bailey, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants 
5 Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 
6 Nick Novak, San Diego vs. Kansas City 
7 Steven Hauschka, Seattle at St. Louis 
8 Robbie Gould, Chicago vs. Miami 
9 Dan Carpenter, Buffalo vs. Minnesota 
10 Mason Crosby, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
11 Matt Prater, Detroit vs. New Orleans 
12 Billy Cundiff, Cleveland at Jacksonville 
13 Brandon McManus, Denver vs. San Francisco 
14 Graham Gano, Carolina at Green Bay 
15 Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
16 Matt Bryant, Atlanta at Baltimore 
17 Phil Dawson, San Francisco at Denver 
18 Caleb Sturgis, Miami at Chicago 
19 Blair Walsh, Minnesota at Buffalo 
20 Shayne Graham, New Orleans at Detroit  

1 Seattle DT, Seattle at St. Louis 
2 New England DT, New England vs. N.Y. Jets 
3 Cleveland DT, Cleveland at Jacksonville 
4 Buffalo DT, Buffalo vs. Minnesota 
5 Arizona DT, Arizona at Oakland 
6 Denver DT, Denver vs. San Francisco 
7 San Diego DT, San Diego vs. Kansas City 
8 Chicago DT, Chicago vs. Miami 
9 Houston DT, Houston at Pittsburgh 
10 Washington DT, Washington vs. Tennessee 
11 Baltimore DT, Baltimore vs. Atlanta 
12 Detroit DT, Detroit vs. New Orleans 
13 Minnesota DT, Minnesota at Buffalo 
14 Tennessee DT, Tennessee at Washington 
15 Dallas DT, Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants 
16 Green Bay DT, Green Bay vs. Carolina 
17 New Orleans DT, New Orleans at Detroit 
18 Jacksonville DT, Jacksonville vs. Cleveland 
19 Pittsburgh DT, Pittsburgh vs. Houston 
20 Miami DT, Miami at Chicago 

For full Week 7 rankings, click here to access at Fantasy Football Warehouse...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 7 fantasy football moves to make now

Last week I highlighted new running backs bursting onto the scene of major fantasy football relevance last week and that they did. This week, we have our first real big season-ending injuries as Victor Cruz and Stevan Ridley both go down for the season. Below are some of the top pickup options if available in your leagues. 

Branden Oliver (San Diego) draws his final spotlight here if he is still somehow available (he was only 78 percent owned in Yahoo leagues coming into the week). Oliver ignited for another 124 yards this past week. Going forward, I don't see much rationale why the Chargers would bench Oliver when Ryan Mathews comes back. Oliver is a big-time hold. 

Ronnie Hillman (Denver) got the start and left no question as to who is the main back for the Broncos this week. Hillman had 24 attempts to just 8 for Juwan Anderson (and C.J. Anderson didn’t get a touch). Hillman gets a tough draw this week against the 49ers but he will be hard to bench. 

Another week, another long, sudden Antone Smith touchdown for the Falcons - it's unreal. Smith is a Top 7 or so running back on the season depending on your rules, and he's touched the ball just 23 times. I recommend Smith a few weeks back and I will keep playing him as a flex in leagues until he stops scoring 50-yard touchdowns every week. 

I recommended getting Storm Johnson (Jacksonville) on the radar last Tuesday and he drew the start. Pretty uneventful as it turned out, just 21 yards on ten attempts (although he scored). Still, Johnson will probably start again this week.  

Is it time to "Feed the Crow" in Cleveland? Rookie Isaiah Crowell continues to look like he could be an elite running back and would be a good trade target. Crowell averages 5.4 yards per carry with 4 touchdowns on the season. This week, at Jacksonville, maybe they see what he can do with 15-20 carries (Crowell collected 77 yards on 11 carries this past week). It sure would be fun to see what he can do with a full workload.  

With Steven Ridley out for the year in New England, opportunity comes a-knocking for some running back. Perhaps Shane Vereen gets more involved, but I doubt it as he’s really disappointed on the season. I would put fliers out on Brandon Bolden and James White. Bolden will be the more popular pickup but give me White to have a chance to surprise here. 

New York Giant rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. became a must add last week after breaking out in his first game of action, and Beckham becomes an even whiter hot prospect this week with Victor Cruz (knee) now out for the year. Beckham instantly slides into the Victor Cruz slot for the Giants. 

Last week, Davante Adams (Green Bay) was spotlighted as a rookie who has not really busted out yet, but could on any given week - that has happened. Adams posted a career-best six receptions and 77 yards this past week. Adams is a legit fantasy option on any given week as a weapon for the Packers in the passing game, who play mainly in three wide receiver sets. 

Andre Holmes (Oakland) should be a high-priority target this week. Since the Raiders fired Dennis Allen as head coach, Holmes has been spotlighted in the offense and collected 3 TDs on 9 receptions over the last two games. 

It's hard to ignore the stats that ex-Panther Brandon LaFell (New England) put up this week, and delivering a few really nice plays. That's two out of three weeks that LaFell has hit for big fantasy production. He is probably going to be really unpredictable, but LaFell has some WR3 appeal.

If Carson Palmer (Arizona) was dropped in your leagues, he becomes an instant waiver-wire target. Palmer has on-going risk with the nerve damage that sidelined him, but Palmer has low-end QB1 potential on any given week if he’s starting.

Jimmy Graham (New Orleans) will be sidelined for a few weeks with a shoulder injury. Both Ben Watson and Josh Hill have some short-term value while Graham is sidelined. The Saints will also get Mark Ingram back this week and perhaps they get Kenny Stills more involved to help pick up the slack with Graham is out. 

Other fantasy notes 
Is DeMarco Murray (Dallas) one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL? The statistics certainly would suggest it. Murray leaves Week 6 with 100-plus yards rushing in six straight games to the start season – only he and Jim Brown can say that. Murray goes for the NFL record Sunday. 

Julius Thomas (Denver) is on pace for a ridiculous 28.8 TDs this season, while Matt Forte (Chicago) is on pace for 123 receptions. 

Malcolm Floyd (San Diego) easily leads all receivers at 21.3 yards per completion (minimum 10 receptions). 

Steve Smith (Baltimore) continues his torrid pace (another touchdown, another 100-yard game) - Smith is on pace for a 93/1528/11 season. 

How about that Cam Newton (Carolina), who roared back onto the scene in a big way this week, finally dusting off his legs and putting together the highest single fantasy output of the week.  Cam remains a must start this week in an attractive and interesting match-up at Green Bay. Check back Thursday for Week 7 rankings! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 6 fantasy football moves to make now

What a Week 6 with Peyton Manning setting personal bests, Tom Brady and the Patriots re-grouping and standing tall against Cincinnati on prime time, the Panthers pushing to 3-2 and alone atop the chaotic NFC South and new running backs bursting onto the scene of major fantasy football relevance. Let's start with the prime new running backs you will want to aggressively try to add in your waivers. 

First, welcome Branden Oliver (San Diego) who was the top fantasy running back this week. Especially if you are in need of a running back shot to the arm, I would say go all in with waiver dollars more or less to acquire Oliver. This kid is for real. I spotlighted him two weeks ago to pick up. The undrafted free agent out of Buffalo racked up 114 rushing yards off just 19 carries, caught four passes for 68 yards and scored two touchdowns this  week. Donald Brown went down with a concussion and Ryan Mathews is still out for a few more games. Oliver has drawn comparisons to Darren Sproles because he's short and wears the same number, but Oliver is more powerful than the former Charger.

Rashad Jennings was bound to suffer some sort of injury due to his workload and that happened Sunday, although Jennings avoided major injury (sprained MCL). He will be out a few weeks leaving Andre Williams to be the lead back in the meantime for the Giants, including a nice match-up this week at Philadelphia. Williams is a downhill runner with tremendous power and he can deliver punishment. Williams was the recipient of the 2013 Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back last year at Boston College with 2,177 rushing yards, the 5th-most in a season in FBS history. 

Montee Ball (Denver) was knocked out with a groin injury against the Cardinals, and fantasy GMs are probably glad they won't need to play him anytime soon. Ronnie Hillman will get the start and he is a priority add for this week as well. Hillman rushed for 64 yards after becoming the featured back this past week after Ball left the game. If nothing else, Hillman has a lot more speed and wiggle. C.J. Anderson was a healthy scratch this past week (mainly as he doesn't play special teams) but he will figure heavily as well and Anderson could end up as the starter down the road (and Anderson arguably has more upside). 

Another week, another long, sudden Antone Smith touchdown for the Falcons - I also spotlighted Smith two weeks ago for pick-up and will do so again this week. Smith now has four long touchdowns and he is one of the top fantasy running backs in any scoring format (especially touchdown-heavy formats of course), and despite the fact that he's touched the ball just 17 times! How does Atlanta not give this guy more work and just sees what happens at this point? It's unreal. Falcons' Head Coach Mike Smith did say after Sunday’s game that, "We need to have more plays designed for Antone."

Get Storm Johnson (Jacksonville) on your radar. Jacksonville needs all the offensive sparks it can get and Johnson was easily their best back this last week albeit on limited touches (27 yards rushing on four carries). Johnson runs hard and has a nice combination of vision and quick feet, and he also is solid out of the backfield as a receiver. As an added plus, Johnson was a teammate of Blake Bortles at the University of Central Florida. 

Zac Stazy (St. Louis) left the game against the Eagles in the third quarter with a calf injury and was immediately shut down for the rest of the game. Benny Cunningham filled in just fine collecting 71 total yards on ten touches and a rushing touchdown. Stacy however is not expected to miss Week 6 (but Cunningham remains a good addition). 

If you miss out on all those guys, George Winn could get the start in Detroit pending the status of Reggie Bush (ankle) and Joique Bell (concussion). Winn took his 11 carries for 48 yards against a tough Bills run defense on Sunday, although Bush is expected to be available for Week 6. 

Turning to other positions, New York Giant rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a must add if available as well. Beckham has a ton of talent (he was the 12th pick in this year's NFL Draft), and it was just a matter of getting over a hamstring injury to show it. In his NFL debut this week against Atlanta, Beckham caught four passes for 44 yards and caught the game-winning touchdown. The rapport between Beckham and Eli Manning should only improve as they get more time together on the field. Beckham missed nearly all of the summer and the first four games with the hamstring issues.

Speaking of rookie wide receivers, one that has not really busted out yet, but certainly could on any given week is Davante Adams (Green Bay). Adams scored his first NFL touchdown on Thursday night. While he caught just 1 of 4 targets, it was a blowout in which Aaron Rodgers threw just 17 times. Adams has the #3 wide receiver job for Green Bay locked down and Adams is just one injury away to either Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson from major fantasy production. 

It looks like it is time to start taking quarterback Austin Davis (St. Louis) a little more seriously. Davis turned in his second-straight 300-yard, 3-TD game on Sunday. He has good weapons and is slinging it. The only negative is the Rams have San Francisco and Seattle as their next two opponents. 

Tight ends Luke Willson (Seattle) and Tim Wright (New England) are your top two grabs at that position for the week. 

Other fantasy notes 
There were three note-worthy NFL accomplishments this week as well. 

In addition to throwing a career-best 477 yards this week, Peyton Manning collected his 500th, 501st, 502nd and 503rd career passing touchdowns. Only Manning and Brett Favre are in the 500-touchdown club. Favre currently leads the NFL record books at 508. Manning is going to demolish that record. 

Tom Brady re-grouped and led the Patriots to a nice win over the then-undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. Along the way, Brady passed the 50,000-yard plateau and is now at 50,232. Only six quarterbacks in NFL history can make that claim (Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Drew Brees, John Elway and now Brady). 

Wes Welker collected seven receptions this week giving him 854 for his career. With it, Welker passed Rod Smith and Welker is now the leader for most receptions by an undrafted player in NFL history. Welker hasn't really got going in his two games back, but he remains a solid start in this Bronco offense (13 receptions, 118 yards and no touchdowns in two games). 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 5 fantasy football tips for your lineup

Week 5 is here with just two teams on a BYE (Miami and Oakland who played in London last week), and off a week where the (once) great Tom Brady looked like he is swiftly ready for the fantasy football waiver wire (Brady is under 60 percent for the season on completion percentage and averaging a paltry 197.8 yards passing per game). I called this last week saying the heyday for Tom Brady has come and gone (and start Blake Bortles instead). So, let's continue to work to stay one step ahead! Here's a look at tips for Week 5 and sleepers to consider for your lineup. 

DeMarco Murray has opened with four straight games to start the season with 100 rushing yards and score a rushing touchdown - it is truly rarified air. Jim Brown owns the record at 6 games, followed by O.J. Simpson (5), and then Emmitt Smith and now Murray at 4. Murray remains the top back in fantasy for Week 5. 

Eli Manning is finding his groove. It's not surprising that Manning started slow as the team installed a completing new offense new Ben McAdoo. Manning completed just 61% of his passes in Weeks 1 and 2 (that’s darn near Tom Brady levels!), but he’s completed 73% the last two weeks. He’s on fire and impossible not to start this week at home against the Falcons. Manning threw his 238th career touchdown last week, passing Jim Kelly and moving into 20th all-time. 

Staying with the Giants, I have running back Rashad Jennings as a Top 3 option this week. The Atlanta Falcons have been an absolute sieve on defense against the run (ranked 28th, including getting shredded for 241 yards last week at Minnesota). Jennings had just 13 carries in the Giants’ last game, but that was mainly due to that game being out of hand and letting rookie Andre Williams get some game action. Prior to that Jennings was averaging 25.3 touches per game. A full 10 days to rest since their last game is a plus as well.

Everything adds up here for Matthew Stafford to tear it up this week. Buffalo has been super stout against the run (4th against) while weak against the pass (27th against) - if Detroit is going to do damage, it will be via the air (especially with Joique Bell likely out with a concussion). Perhaps most importantly, Calvin Johnson should be back healthy, while Lions look to move to 4-1. 

Look for Cam Newton to get his act together fantasy-wise a little this week. His ribs are another week healed and his ankle is reportedly feeling better as well - head coach Ron Rivera has said they plan to let Cam be Cam a little bit more this week. They need to after getting demolished last week against Steve Smith and the Baltimore Ravens. The Panthers have fallen to 2-2 and need to come out and get a win. I think they do so this week. Kelvin Benjamin is on pace for 84 receptions, 1,316 yards and 12 TDs for the season. Benjamin could have a 2-TD game in this one. 

Giovani Bernard is simply a super safe elite back - he was the 14th-best running back in Week 1, the 3rd-best running back in Week 2, and the 8th-best running back in Week 3. He is also due to take one to the house. The Bengals are off a BYE and have had plenty of time to devise a gameplan, and did you see the way Jamaal Charles abused the Patriots defense last week? 

Nick Novak has now made 27 field goals in a row and is the number one kicker heading into Week 5. Keep him locked in your lineup – the Chargers don’t have their BYE week until Week 10. 

Daily fantasy football: My lineup from last week was a little middle-of-the-pack (Donald Brown was a brown banana in particular) so let’s work on a winner here. My Week 5 lineup is: QB Eli Manning ($7,300), RB DeMarco Murray ($9,000), RB Rashad Jennings ($7,200), WR Percy Harvin ($7,600), WR Kelvin Benjamin ($7,100), WR Sammy Watkins ($6,600), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,700), K Steven Hauschka ($5,200), Philadelphia Defense ($5,300). 

Percy Harvin isn't a sleeper per se, but I think he is a sneaky play for a Top 10 week on Monday Night Football. The Seahawks have had a week off to prepare for this one and face a Washington team whose strength on defense is stopping the run. Look for Russell Wilson to Harvin to have a strong game. Washington has allowed 300-plus yards in back-to-back games and 82 points in their last two games. Harvin is also from Virginia so this is a bit of a homecoming game for him as an added wild card factor. 

With Mike Evans out for a few weeks there is an opportunity for targets for someone in Tampa. Louis Murphy should draw the start in his absence. Murphy saw 11 targets last week and converted six of them for 99 yards. He and Mike Glennon had a chance to work together on the reserve team. The other sleeper is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who saw 7 targets last week and played in all 71 snaps. This week’s game could be a shootout against the Saints, and they rank 30th against the pass. 

I am adding Joe Flacco here. Joe Flacco? Sleeper? Flacco has two 300-yard games on the season, and 7 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions - the Ravens likely will need to keep up with the Colts in the dome. 

St. Louis wide receiver (and former Appalachian State star) Brian Quick has come into his own here in his third year. He’s posted between 14-17 fantasy points every game this season and should be good for another solid game. He and Austin Davis have developed a nice rapport and the Rams will likely have plenty of snaps in this game playing against the Eagles and their up-tempo approach. 

Someone has to carry the ball this week in Carolina and it looks like undrafted rookie Darrin Reaves will have to carry the bulk of the load this week. I certainly would prefer to have better options but if you are in a bind somehow Reaves should be available on your waiver wire. 

Starting Cleveland Brown receivers may not sound super attractive but Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins are both legit #3 fantasy receivers. Austin comes into Week 5 with touchdowns in back-to-back games and Hawkins is ranked 19th in targets among receivers (and despite already having had his BYE week). 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 5 fantasy football rankings

Below are Week 5 fantasy football rankings based on potential performance in this week's games for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker and team defense.


1 Peyton Manning, Denver vs. Arizona 
2 Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
3 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 
4 Matthew Stafford, Detroit vs. Buffalo 
5 Andrew Luck, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
6 Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets 
7 Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
8 Russell Wilson, Seattle at Washington 
9 Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
10 Nick Foles, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
11 Jay Cutler, Chicago at Carolina 
12 Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta 
13 Matt Ryan, Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 
14 Cam Newton, Carolina vs. Chicago 
15 Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Houston 
16 Andy Dalton, Cincinnati at New England 
17 Alex Smith, Kansas City at San Francisco ... Alex Smith makes his first return back to San Francisco since being traded to Kansas City
18 Blake Bortles, Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh 
19 Tom Brady, New England vs. Cincinnati 
20 Joe Flacco, Baltimore at Indianapolis 

Running Back

1 DeMarco Murray, Dallas vs. Houston ... Murray has 100 yards rushing and a rushing TD in each of the first four games, only Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson and Emmitt Smith and now DeMarco Murray can make that claim 
2 Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
3 Rashad Jennings, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta 
4 Matt Forte, Chicago at Carolina 
5 Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati at New England 
6 Jamaal Charles, Kansas City at San Francisco 
7 Marshawn Lynch, Seattle at Washington 
8 LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
9 Andre Ellington, Arizona at Denver 
10 Reggie Bush, Detroit vs. Buffalo ... Joique Bell (concussion is likely going to be out in Week 5)
11 Eddie Lacy, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 
12 Montee Ball, Denver vs. Arizona 
13 Matt Asiata, Minnesota at Green Bay 
14 Zac Stacy, St. Louis at Philadelphia 
15 Arian Foster, Houston at Dallas ... Foster remains less than 100% and questionable
16 Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
17 Darren Sproles, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
18 Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
19 C.J. Spiller, Buffalo at Detroit 
20 Chris Ivory, N.Y. Jets at San Diego 
21 Doug Martin, Tampa Bay at New Orleans 
22 Ben Tate, Cleveland at Tennessee ... Tate projects to make his return this week
23 Justin Forsett, Baltimore at Indianapolis 
24 Trent Richardson, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
25 Bishop Sankey, Tennessee vs. Cleveland ... Sankey will reportedly get much more work this week
26 Fred Jackson, Buffalo at Detroit 
27 Shane Vereen, New England vs. Cincinnati 
28 Alfred Morris, Washington vs. Seattle 
29 Pierre Thomas, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
30 Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati at New England 

Wide Receivers

1 Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
2 Dez Bryant, Dallas vs. Houston ... Bryant has scored a TD in three straight games
3 Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. Buffalo 
4 A.J. Green, Cincinnati at New England 
5 Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 
6 Demaryius Thomas, Denver vs. Arizona 
7 Julio Jones, Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 
8 Randall Cobb, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 
9 Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina vs. Chicago 
10 Brandon Marshall, Chicago at Carolina 
11 Emmanuel Sanders, Denver vs. Arizona 
12 Alshon Jeffery, Chicago at Carolina 
13 Percy Harvin, Seattle at Washington 
14 Victor Cruz, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta 
15 Steve Smith, Baltimore at Indianapolis 
16 Michael Floyd, Arizona at Denver 
17 Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
18 Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay at New Orleans 
19 Wes Welker, Denver vs. Arizona 
20 Andre Johnson, Houston at Dallas 
21 Keenan Allen, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets 
22 Julian Edelman, New England vs. Cincinnati 
23 DeAndre Hopkins, Houston at Dallas 
24 Golden Tate, Detroit vs. Buffalo 
25 Michael Crabtree, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
26 T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
27 Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota at Green Bay 
28 Brandin Cooks, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
29 Sammy Watkins, Buffalo at Detroit ... Kyle Orton under center should be an upgrade for Watkins
30 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Denver 
31 Roddy White, Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 
32 Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland at Tennessee 
33 Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
34 Eric Decker, N.Y. Jets at San Diego 
35 Terrance Williams, Dallas vs. Houston 
36 Brian Quick, St. Louis at Philadelphia 
37 Anquan Boldin, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
38 Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
39 Allen Robinson, Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh 
40 Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
41 Allen Hurns, Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh 
42 Eddie Royal, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets 
43 Rueben Randle, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta 
44 Pierre Garcon, Washington vs. Seattle 
45 Greg Jennings, Minnesota at Green Bay ... Grudge match opportunity for Jennings
46 Miles Austin, Cleveland at Tennessee 
47 Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City at San Francisco 
48 John Brown, Arizona at Denver 
49 Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati at New England ... Marvin Jones was slated to return although he tweaked his ankle Wednesday and is TBD
50 Davante Adams, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 

Tight End
1 Jimmy Graham, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
2 Julius Thomas, Denver vs. Arizona 
3 Martellus Bennett, Chicago at Carolina ... Wow, Bennett is the #1 tight end in fantasy after 4 weeks
4 Greg Olsen, Carolina vs. Chicago ... Olsen faces his former team
5 Larry Donnell, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta 
6 Rob Gronkowski, New England vs. Cincinnati 
7 Delanie Walker, Tennessee vs. Cleveland 
8 Travis Kelce, Kansas City at San Francisco 
9 Jordan Cameron, Cleveland at Tennessee ... The BYE week came at a good time for Cameron who should be back to full strength this week
10 Heath Miller, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
11 Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets 
12 Vernon Davis, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
13 Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Houston ... Witten is on pace for just 624 yards
14 Zach Ertz, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
15 Jordan Reed, Washington vs. Seattle ... Reed (hamstring) has a fair chance to return this week but a Monday night call makes him an iffy gamble
16 Eric Ebron, Detroit vs. Buffalo 
17 Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
18 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay at New Orleans 
19 Clay Harbor, Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh 
20 Owen Daniels, Baltimore at Indianapolis  


1 Steven Hauschka, Seattle at Washington 
2 Nick Novak, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets 
3 Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis vs. Baltimore 
4 Cody Parkey, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
5 Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
6 Dan Bailey, Dallas vs. Houston 
7 Justin Tucker, Baltimore at Indianapolis 
8 Phil Dawson, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
9 Mason Crosby, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 
10 Mike Nugent, Cincinnati at New England 
11 Stephen Gostkowski, New England vs. Cincinnati 
12 Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona at Denver 
13 Blair Walsh, Minnesota at Green Bay 
14 Josh Brown, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta 
15 Brandon McManus, Denver vs. Arizona ... Arizona has allowed one field goal all year long for what it's worth
16 Shayne Graham, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
17 Robbie Gould, Chicago at Carolina 
18 Alex Henery, Detroit vs. Buffalo 
19 Matt Bryant, Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 
20 Dan Carpenter, Buffalo at Detroit 

1 Seattle DT, Seattle at Washington 
2 San Diego DT, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets 
3 Philadelphia DT, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 
4 Denver DT, Denver vs. Arizona 
5 Cleveland DT, Cleveland at Tennessee 
6 Detroit DT, Detroit vs. Buffalo 
7 Pittsburgh DT, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 
8 Buffalo DT, Buffalo at Detroit ... Jim Schwartz will return to Detroit as the Bills defensive coordinator
9 San Francisco DT, San Francisco vs. Kansas City 
10 Cincinnati DT, Cincinnati at New England 
11 New York Giants DT, N.Y. Giants vs. Atlanta ... The Giants lead the league with 7 INTs, and Atlanta lost two starting offensive lineman last week
12 Carolina DT, Carolina vs. Chicago 
13 Chicago DT, Chicago at Carolina 
14 Green Bay DT, Green Bay vs. Minnesota 
15 Dallas DT, Dallas vs. Houston 
16 Kansas City DT, Kansas City at San Francisco 
17 New Orleans DT, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 
18 Houston DT, Houston at Dallas 
19 New England DT, New England vs. Cincinnati ... Andy Dalton has yet to take a sack this season
20 Tennessee DT, Tennessee vs. Cleveland  

For full Week 5 rankings, click here to access at Fantasy Football Warehouse...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 5 fantasy moves to make now

It is already officially that time of the season - coaches are being fired (Dennis Allen is out in Oakland) and quarterbacks are being benched (Kyle Orton will take over for an ineffective E.J. Manuel in Buffalo). Likewise, you may need to shake things up on your fantasy team. Let's take a look at some top targets heading into Week 5.

First let's take a look at quarterback. I spotlighted Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota) and Blake Bortles (Jacksonville) last week so hopefully you already made the move. Rookies or not, they both look exceptional. If somehow they are still on your waiver wire, they are the prime quarterbacks to target. 

Kyle Orton will get the start in Buffalo. You had to see this one coming after Buffalo surprisingly signed Orton to a 2-year, $11M deal in late August, plus E.J. Manuel just doesn't look like a starting NFL quarterback. Through two seasons, Manuel has a career 58.6 completion percentage. Orton is worth adding for desperate teams. He was the 14th best fantasy quarterback in 2009 - still, I am saying only for desperate teams. The move should really help rookie receiver Sammy Watkins however. 

Who is next to get benched? It could be Jets' quarterback Geno Smith, who threw his 5th interception of the season this week (and lost a fumble) in a 7-point home loss to the Lions. Michael Vick seems likely to get the nod at some point. This is football blasphemy and I am not saying this is anywhere near on the horizon, but Tom Brady looks washed up. In the later part of the season, it is possible the Patriots turn to rookie Jimmy Garoppolo - crazier things have happened. In Philadelphia, Nick Foles' job is safe, but he is taking a beating. Mark Sanchez could find himself with the keys to the Philadelphia offense at some point. 

Jerick McKinnon finally got some touches in Minnesota, and he looked exceptional. His athletic skills are on a completely different level than that of Matt Asiata. McKinnon carried the ball 18 times for 135 yards (7.5 yards per carry) and showed why he was a third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. That said, Asiata will still start (for now) but expect the workload to move closer to a 50/50 split. McKinnon is likely your top waiver wire claim this week if he is available in your league. 

I mentioned Lorenzo Taliaferro last week and he remains a priority add if Taliaferro is still available (or he is a good trade target). Justin Forsett had the better fantasy game, but I would much rather have Taliaferro for the rest of the season based on his upside. Taliaferro led the Ravens with 15 carries and he scored a 1-yard TD this week. Bernard Pierce didn't see a single touch.

The war of attrition that has decimated Carolina's backfield has left Darrin Reaves as the last man standing. Reaves has good size (5'10", 220 lbs.), but was unimpressive in Week 4 totaling just 26 yards on 12 carries (2.2 yards per carry). Games against Chicago next week and Green Bay in week seven might help the running game, but it's hard to get excited about a running back on a team that has yet to surpass 75 rushing yards in a game. Reaves is an emergency BYE week cover play at best.

Marvin Jones (Cincinnati) is slated to make his 2014 debut after recovering from a broken foot in pre-season. It's not the same offense as last year, but Jones scored 10 TDs last season. He is worth adding if on your waiver wire. 

It's hard to know what the Raiders offense will look now that Dennis Allen is out (offensive line coach Tony Sparano is expected to be the interim head coach but there are some rumors that they are trying to woo Jon Gruden to come back), plus Derek Carr left Week 4 with a sprained MCL and a high-ankle sprain, but wide receiver Andre Holmes is a good deep sleeper. Rod Streater (foot surgery) is out and could be miss the season while Holmes got the start this week and collected 74 yards with a TD. Holmes has big-play potential. 

In Tampa, Mike Evans injured his groin and he will be out a few weeks. Louis Murphy should draw the start in his absence. Murphy seemed to quickly earn the trust of quarterback Mike Glennon this week (they likely have been practicing together as backups), seeing 11 targets and converting six of them for 99 yards. Murphy is worth adding if you need BYE week help. The Evans injury, should also mean more targets for tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (he saw 7 pass targets against the Steelers and he played in 71-of-71 snaps this week). Give it a week to sink in, but Mike Evans will make for a good buy low target if an impatient owner doesn't want to wait this one out. 

Based on ownership numbers, fantasy owners are leery of trusting Eddie Royal (San Diego) after his torrid start in 2013 (10 receptions, 114 yards, five TDs in weeks one and two) led to diminishing returns as the season progressed. In 2014, Royal has done more of the same in weeks three and four with 13 receptions for 147 yards and four TDs. Royal should remain a viable target for Philip Rivers, but don't expect the TDs to continue to come in bunches. 

Jarius Wright (Minnesota) showed to have a good rapport with Teddy Bridgewater (they also have been practicing together as backups). Wright was targeted 10 times this week and converted eight for 132 yards. Rookie QBs tend to rely on the short and intermediate receivers as they get acclimated to the speed of the NFL, playing right into the wheelhouse of Wright as Minnesota's slot receiver. Wright has appeal as a BYE week filler or occasional flex starter but he’s only really a target for deeper leagues. 

Other fantasy notes 
Carson Palmer (shoulder) could be back soon. Most importantly, that would be good news for Michael Floyd. Through three games Floyd is averaging a lethal 22.9 yards per catch but he has no touchdowns yet. You might be able to target Floyd in a trade at some discount. Regardless of who starts this week for the Cardinals, Floyd is a good buy-low target. 

Now might be a good time to try to trade Andre Johnson (Houston) based on name value. Through four games, Johnson is on pace for 88 receptions, 1,048 yards but zero touchdowns. Meanwhile, his teammate DeAndre Hopkins has 3 TDs on the season. 

Speaking of moving a player with solid name value, consider dealing Jets running back Chris Johnson. Chris Ivory simply looks like the better back (in fact, Ivory looks like a poor man’s Marshawn Lynch). Johnson scored a 35-yard TD run this week and that might also help to create some added buzz to move him and get a decent return. 

During Monday Night Football, I was engaged with several people saying how they would not trade tight end Travis Kelce for Rob Gronkowski straight up, and how Kelce is the new Gronk. Good points - Kelce does look like the new Gronk. You might want to try to work a trade like this if you own Gronkowski (and maybe you can still get something extra in return). For those on Twitter, you can follow me at @Speedkills_FFW

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 4 fantasy football tips for your lineup

Week 4 is upon us with six teams on a BYE (Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle and St. Louis) and two franchises about to officially start a new chapter as Jacksonville will start Blake Bortles this week at quarterback and Minnesota will start Teddy Bridgewater. Here's a look at tips for Week 4 and sleepers to consider for your lineup. 

Uh-oh, it is likely the week that many in Charlotte were either dreading or greatly looking forward to - the Panthers will square off against Steve Smith in a Ravens' uniform. It sure will be interesting. Look for Smith to be ultra-motivated and if you own Steve Smith, you start Steve Smith. 

Have the Montee Ball, Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy blues? Join the club. We will need to wait a week for Ball as he's on a BYE, but look for both Forte and Lacy to get going this week as the Bears and Packers square off – hey, it  starts with belief! Lacy has faced three top five defenses to start the year (and they have been super stingy, the Jets at 55 rushing yards per game, Detroit at 64 and Seattle at 72), while Forte has faced three top seven defenses to start the year. As they go up against one another, Lacy faces the Chicago (defense 26th against the run) while Forte faces the Packers (30th against the run - and Forte was outstanding last year in two games against the Packers with 4 TDs). 

If you own Nick Foles (Philadelphia), don't let the San Francisco name scare you. They are a middle of the pack defense this year. Foles has yet to pass for under 320 yards in a game this season, and he is on pace for 5,216 passing yards. 

It looks like the heyday for Tom Brady has come and gone. He will have better days as he is pace for a tepid 3,371 passing yards and 16 TDs - but at Arrowhead this week, I'll pass. It may sound crazy, but I think I would rather start Blake Bortles (Jacksonville) in his first NFL start this week (it's close anyway). With most young quarterbacks, they play kind of scared, but not so with Bortles, and he has a lively arm and gets the ball down the field. Bortles averaged a very healthy 9.3 yards per attempt and 15.9 yards per completion last week. Bortles also led the NFL at 16.3 yards per completion average in pre-season. Amaze your friends and beat them with a Blake Bortles - Allen Robinson combo this week. Make sure Robinson is not on your waiver wire. 

Both the Indianapolis running backs have value. Ahmad Bradshaw is a touchdown-catching machine. He has three receiving touchdowns the last two weeks and he is currently the 6th best running back in point-per-reception scoring. Bradshaw makes for a solid number two running back for the foreseeable future, although the Colts will continue to get Trent Richardson the ball plenty. Richardson's yard per attempt have gone up from 3.3 in Week 1 to 3.8 in Week 2 and 4.1 last week. It's progress. 

You don’t need me to tell you to start Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh), but start him with confidence anyway – when/if Brown collects has five receptions this week he will have done so in 21 straight games. He'll be the first player in the history of the NFL to have done so. Brown gets Jacksonville who has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team this season. Likewise, teammate Markus Wheaton makes for a solid spot-start during a heavy BYE week. 

Daily fantasy football: Jordy Nelson, where were you last week? My Week 4 lineup is: QB Drew Brees ($9,200), RB DeMarco Murray ($9,000), RB Donald Brown ($6,300), WR Michael Crabtree ($7,000), WR DeAndre Hopkins ($6,400), WR Brandin Cooks ($6,200), TE Antonio Gates ($58000), K Nick Novak ($5,200), Pittsburgh Defense ($4,900). 

Donald Brown (San Diego) averaged just 2.0 yards per carry last week at Buffalo but that will greatly increase this week at home against Jacksonville, who rank 29th against the run. I am aggressively ranking Brown as the 5th best running back for the week. Be sure to get Brown in your lineup. 

If you are really hurting at running back, Branden Oliver (San Diego) will also get mixed in with Danny Woodhead out for the season. Oliver had just three touches last week but he will get more reps this week with a full week to prepare as the new number two running back for the Chargers. Likewise for a super deep sleeper, Darrin Reaves (Carolina) will likely get reps after being called up from the practice squad last week. For running backs, half of the equation is opportunity. 

LeGarrette Blount (Pittsburgh) gets to face his former team Tampa Bay. You can easily imagine Blount getting across the stripe in this one. 

Antonio Gates (San Diego) had an off-week last week with one catch but he should get back to being super productive this week with Ladarius Green now questionable with a hamstring issue while Gates gets the Jaguars who has allowed a touchdown to tight ends in every game this year, and twice as many touchdowns to tight ends as to receivers (4 to 2). 

There are many prime defensive match-ups this week to roll the dice on. In terms of defenses that may be on your waiver wire, I particularly like San Diego at home against Jacksonville, Miami at Oakland, and Pittsburgh at home against Tampa Bay. The Detroit Defense is also a strong play (Jets' quarterback Geno Smith is improving but he is a pick-six candidate in any given game) - the Lions are the surprise #1 ranked defense in total yards allowed through three games.