Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Little Distracted

Ok, I told a bit of a Boras Tale.  Wanted to analyze the few remaining trouble positions, but found myself a little preoccupied.  In any case, sit Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson temporarily if you have a relatively decent alternative.  For instance, I'd play Ben Tate over either.  Even at 10-15 carries a game, he can provide you with some better production.

QB, there aren't too many worries.  Cam will put it all together down the stretch.  Even playing poorly, he's generally a solid bet for 200 passing, 50 rushing, and 1-2 TDs.  Garbage time is his best friend.

Stafford, also, has had a rough start.  He's in a pass-first offense, and has some elite weapons.  He'll easily surpass 30 touchdowns, making him a must-start in any leagues (except those weird 6 team leagues).

Tight End, I'd be most concerned with Finley and Gates.  Finley will find plenty of opportunities in the Green Bay offense.  Cedric had a nice game, but he's not going to steal too many touches from the Packers' receivers.

Gates is a worry, as always.  Any "Questionable" status with him should be an automatic "Doubtful" in your mind.  If someone loves him in your league, trade him now.  His value will only decrease as the Chargers' run game comes to life.

Enjoy your weekend, and good luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All-Panic Team: Wide Receiver

There are quite a few Fantasy owners out there with their fingers on the panic button.  I've even heard of Wes Welker and Jamaal Charles being dropped.  I don't care the format; it's way too early to make a sound decision on these elite players.  We're not talking about "I'll take a shot on him" 6th rounders like Steve Johnson or Mark Ingram.  These are 1st and 2nd round draft picks.  These are guys who, when operating at maximum potential, are Top 5 positional players.  You dropped them?  You make me sick.

Still, even the most savvy, experienced, soul-dead fantasy player is a little worried about some of the big guns out there. Tough not to be.

So, leading up to Sunday, I'll give you two "Panic Button" players at each position, and decide which one deserves the starter spot.

First up:

Wide Receiver

Wes Welker VS Greg Jennings

Wes Welker
"I farted on your team hehehehe."
I've mentioned him significantly since this blog's inception (can you even use this word anymore without being distracting?), and for the first time I find myself swayed into dropping him from elite status.  Past seasons, if Wes wasn't on my fantasy team, I wanted him.  I'd try and fail to trade for him.  And when I did have him, he'd have his Once-A-Year bad game.  Still, I drafted him as my #1 receiver this year.  How could I not? I'm in a PPR league.  In 5 seasons with New England, Welker has averaged over 100 catches a season.  His last three seasons have been demonstrations in PPR dominance.  In 2009 he caught 123 passes in only 14 games.  In 2010, recovering from a torn MCL and ACL, he managed an impressive 86 catches.  And last season, Welker grabbed 122 passes for over 1500 yards.  These are not benchable numbers - at least not in fantasy football.  In reality, they must be, as Julian Edelman (the guy who would sub for Welker during injuries) has taken over Wes' spot on the depth chart.  On top of this, Brandon Lloyd has been the most targeted receiver (21) for Tom Brady so far.  More than Welker (16) and Gronkowski (15). 

Still, I can't recommend benching/dropping him.  In Standard Scoring leagues you have more of an argument, especially given the WR depth out there this year.  But in PPR, it's simply a foolish, irrational, panicked move.  Welker barely played in Week 1.  He was supposedly benched in Week 2, and has still managed double Edelman's targets.  His 50% success rate on targets is not sustainable given his history with Brady and the type of routes he'll run (especially with Hernandez out a few games).  I say "not sustainable", in that it will steadily rise to around 65-70%.  This means Welker will average around 9 targets a game, catch 6, and likely finish the year somewhere between 88-105 receptions.  That should land him in the Top 10, as far as WR reception leaders.  And all of this is assuming he has a bad year. 

Hernandez is out a few weeks.  Brandon Lloyd is questionable week 3, and he's also had a bit of a knack so far for killing drives.  Edelman is at worst Brandon Stokley, and at best Lance Moore when Meachem was still around.  To Boras, this is a recipe for a 20 reception game, or at least a couple 10+ers.  And that puts Welker right back on track to lead the league in receptions.  

Do I think he will?  I do not.
Do I think he could?  Yeah...did you not just read that?
Do I think he will finish Top 10 in receptions?  Almost automatic.  Like a Gostkowski field goal....ohhhhh.
Greg Jennings

"Don't worry, Mom.  I still get paid."

Here's a player I'm much more likely to bench/shop than Welker.  The last two seasons, Jennings has carried a shade less risk than Andre Johnson.  And that ain't good.  Lots of injuries.  Lots of reasons not to rush him back - perhaps the worst problem for Jennings' owners is that the Packers tend to be really good.  A lazy interpretation of his career stats tells us Jennings follows two good seasons with a bad one.  That isn't what owners in 2012 want to hear.  2007-2008's combined 21 touchdowns was followed by 2009's monumentally disappointing 4.  In 2010/2011 he combined for 21 touchdowns again.  Uh oh.

Need I remind you Greg only played in 13 games last year?  If he can manage 13 games this year, I still see him scoring more than 4 TDs.  Even so, with Jordy Nelson's emergence as an elite receiver, and Randall Cobb's versatility on constant display, there are plenty of reasons for Green Bay to ease Jennings back in, and limit his touches going forward.

So, between Welker and Jennings, I'm going to give the edge to Welker in all formats.  At this point it's far more likely Wes has 100 catches (5 times in career) than Jennings catches 10+ TDs (2 times in career).

For the love of Tebow, this article doesn't mean you should drop Greg Jennings for Andrew Hawkins.  But if we're being real, I'd try and trade Jennings.  And maybe Welker too.  More reliable doesn't mean very reliable.  But that's just Boras being Boras.  The real point here is it's too early to panic on elite players.  As sick as ESPN wants you to feel about Welker, he's coming off a 5 catch 95 yard day.  And Greg Jennings is likely to play in Week 3.  Throw them out there with confidence.  

Next article we'll see how Jamaal Charles stacks up against Chris Johnson.
Until then, see who passed through waivers, and get geared up for Thursday Night Football.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Boras Week 2 Q&A

Had a fun time answering classic "Tell me about my roster" and "Who the hell should I start this week" questions on Reddit.  It's always helpful to seek a second opinion, especially with the frustrating, inconsistent nature of fantasy football.  While I don't get paid for my thoughts and advice, my views carry as much weight as any fantasy football expert out there; and that weight is a big ol' 0 pounds 0 ounces.  When you know the cast of characters, it all comes down to dumb luck.  The eye test is the best measurement.  Fortunately for you, I see a lot.

Here are a few excerpts from last night's Q&A (Full link below):
[btw - Im_MrBucket = Boras]

[–]ObeyYourPath   ago
Who do I start at WR: Pick 2, PPR Dez Bryant vs Seahawks Antonio Brown vs Jets, Revis is not playing Reggie Wayne vs Vikings

[–]Im_MrBucket[S]   ago
Wowwwww that's a tough one. Before last week I would've said Bryant and Brown, no doubt. It's hard for me to ignore Reggie's huge week. Keep in mind also that Donald Brown had 0 receptions, Collie is still concussed, and Garcon is Gar-GONE! Wayne is a fantastic receiver, and has some obvious chemistry with Luck.
That said, I like Dez getting more Red Zone targets than Antonio, so I think you're rolling out Bryant and Wayne.
It's a shame to leave a talent like Brown on the bench. But Revis or no, I see Miller and Wallace snaking more TD passes from Brown than Witten/Austin/Ogletree from Dez. It's a comfort thing.

[–]sirnack   ago
Thanks for doing this man. I've got Harvin @Ind, Wayne vs. Min, and Austin @Sea. I need to start two.
[–]Im_MrBucket[S]   ago
Take Harvin and Wayne.
Austin's a very solid receiver. Three reasons I bench him:
  • Of Indy, Minn, and Sea, the Hawks have the most formidable secondary. It's also one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL.
  • Dez and Ogletree can easily blow up as much as Austin. I foresee a lot of 4 catches for 50 yard games this season for Miles.
  • Harvin and Wayne are the focal points of their respective teams. On top of this (and this is fantasy irrelevant), you're gonna enjoy the hell out of what could be a complete stinker of a game!

    [–]kkataro   ago
    Choose 1 please: Steve Smith, Brandon Lloyd, Jeremy Maclin, or Mike Wallace?
    EDIT: Standard scoring
    [–]Im_MrBucket[S]   ago
    Welker's lack of touches was "part of the game plan." Lloyd led the Pats in targets. This could easily switch this week. It's too uncertain.
    Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown face a physical Jets D, though Revis is out. I think Wallace will have the bigger game of the two, though I'm not expecting huge numbers.
    Maclin is questionable. I'm sure he could play, but why would they rush him out against one of the nastiest defenses in the league?
    You've got to start Steve Smith. RG3 picked the Saints apart, and now it's Cam's turn. And you'd better believe he's determined to bounce back from last week. Smith is the obvious beneficiary.
    More good news:
    You have an incredibly deep pool of receivers to choose from. You may find it frustrating week to week to decide who will have the best game, but overall they are going to finish with similar point totals this season. Good problem to have. Even better if you flip one or two for a positional upgrade.

    [–]alexanderfsu   ago
    I have Malcom Floyd, Nate Washington and DeSean Jackson. Choose 1 for WR2.
    For my Flex I have 2 of the 3 receivers up there, Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall.
    I'm leaning towards Dwyer for my Flex instead of Washington or Jackson. Jackson has an injury. Washington is struggly with one too and Jack Locker is out. Dwyer looked solid.
    [–]Im_MrBucket[S]   ago
    Fortunately, DeSean plays the early game, so you'll be able to make your decisions before the games get started Sunday. If Desean is playing, it likely means Maclin isn't. You've gotta start him, even against a tough defense like Baltimore.
    If you're determined to start Malcom Floyd (who I'd take over Nate), Dwyer isn't a terrible flex play.
    In a PPR league, I'd go with Floyd and DeSean (if healthy). Standard league it's closer. I'd still give the edge to that receiver combo. If DeSean is out, Dwyer and Floyd's the smart move.
Click through the full discussion (use Find) for thoughts on your own players.  If it ain't there, hit me up on Twitter or in the comments.