For the second week in a row I have woken up Tuesday morning a loser by one point. By now I should be hitting my midseason stride instead of wondering whether or not I need to replace Vincent Jackson. I hope your weekend was better than mine. In the event that your weekend sucked as well, here are some options that might improve you position.
Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills– We get a few of these guys on here every week. Why is he still available at all? Over the last 4 weeks (which is how long he has started) he is ranked 12th overall. However outside of Brady, Manning, and Luck he has been the most consistent. A few of those “top” guys had a few high individual games while Orton has been on cruise control. Here are his averages through his first 4 games. 282 yards, 2.3 touchdowns, .75 interceptions, .50 fumbles. That add up to an average of 17.5 points per game. Going by those numbers he is more accurately ranked around 6th. 1.7% owned? Yes, I know that he is going into the bye week but if you are going to need a back-up or even a starter the rest of the way, he needs to be on your team.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – Another guy who has me scratching my head wondering what is wrong with the world. Since coming back Palmer has averaged more than 18 fantasy point per game. He is leading one of the best teams in the NFL with a number of dangerous weapons. Carson Palmer should be in someone starting line-up. Maybe you are still waiting for Newton to take off or you think the Ryan is still going to blow up. Time to be realistic guys, bench the underachievers and get Palmer into the game. You won’t be sorry.
As you see this week, the QB position is deeper than ever before. Here we are at week #8 and we are still seeing QB’s on the waiver wire that could be starting in any league. If you are hurting for a QB don’t worry. As you can see there are plenty to choose from. This list is far from comprehensive as I am only making the case for the ones I think will have the biggest impact. Hoyer, Bridgewater, and Smith all have some value.
Each week the running back wore also has me scratching my head because the pool for reliable starters is so shallow yet really good RB’s are still just sitting there. So if week in and week out this section feels like a scene out of Groundhogs Day it’s because the same names are still available. I find it hard to believe that most teams couldn’t use Ronnie Hillman.
Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos– Speak of the devil because there has to be some voodoo out there as Hillman is still available in almost 70% of all leagues. So let’s do the same song and dance one more time and see if people finally get it. If you take the averages from the 4 games that Hillman has started he is tied for 2nd in carries behind only Demarco Murray and he is 3rd in yards behind Murray and Foster. Basically what I am saying is that as long as he has been starting Hillman is a legit RB1. If those stats don’t do it for you take a second and look at his teammates. Peyton Manning is ranked 2nd overall for QB, Thomas and Sanders are both top 10 WR’s, and Julius Thomas is the 3rd ranked TE. He plays for an offensive juggernaut, defenses can’t stack the box because they have to cover the receivers. They are always going to be in the red zone and they are always going to score points. This guy is a sure thing!
Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars– If Hillman is taken, Robinson is the next best thing. Through 2 games you get similar stats to Hillman but you are dealing with a Jacksonville team that isn’t very good offensively. Bad team or not if you need a RB to fill a slot and you are looking for consistency, this is where you go. Could be a good week as the Bengals have given up the 3rd most TD’s and the 8th most rushing yards this season.
Jonus Gray, New England Patriots– Who? You would think that the same logic that applies to the Broncos RB concerning a high powered offense would also apply to the Pats. However, it almost works in the opposite since there are no guarantees in NE. If you believe the reports, Gray has taken over the main RB duties that usually went to Ridley who is out for the season. All of the same rules apply, blah blah blah good offense creates red zone opportunities. He is most likely going to be hit or miss but if you are hurting for back its better than nothing.
If you are not playing in a PPR league this has to be the most frustrating part of your week. Who is going to find the end zone? It’s really just a guessing game at this point, so put on your blind fold, grab dart and let’s see where it lands.
Brandon Lafell, New England Patriots– I am starting with Lafell simply because Brady is back to being Brady and he just doesn’t have many options. With 11 receptions on 11 targets he has shown he can be relied upon to carry an offense. They are going to need him this week if they are going to keep up with the high scoring Broncos. 11 catches for 124 yards and touchdown should catch you eye. If you believe in Brady you should pick up Lafell.
Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns– I feel like I am repeating myself over and over again. Please pick this guy up this week, even if it’s for one week. He has scored double digits the last couple of weeks and they are going up against Tampa Bay. That should be enough to get him to your flex. Until Brown comes back in a few weeks Hawkins is the clear #1 option for this Browns team. He has almost twice as many targets as his runner up. If the running game gets on track this week, Hawkins will have another big game.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers- Adams is slowly becoming a regular target for Aaron Rodgers. Nelson, Cobb, and Boykins are still around but that didn’t stop Adams from leading the team in targets. Good players on good teams are always worth looking into. Adams will need to find the end zone to be a serious impact but he is a good choice for a quick fill-in and maybe more if something were to happen to any of the Packers top 3 receiving threats.
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars– He is basically a more consistent Hawkins, in fact I may have grouped them together in a previous blog. Everyone is waiting for Shorts to be the man but Robinson keeps making a case for himself. Averaging almost 5 catches and 60 yards per game, there is some real constancy here. Only 2 touchdowns this season but for Jacksonville that is a lot, both of them coming in the last 2 weeks. The Bengals have not been the dominate team we thought they might be. They give up points and they give up yards.
This was a tough week for the TE position. Not too many players stuck out so we are going to have to go back in time to find that diamond in the rough.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts– It’s funny that so many of these guys are still out there but none of them are available in my league. We covered this last week, Allen is a must start each week. Once again he found the end zone for his 6th TD in 8 games. He is going against a Giants team that will probably allow ample opportunities for this high power offense to score. He is ranked #7 overall and there is a considerable gap between #7 and #8. About 40% of the teams in your league are starting someone less than Allen, is it you?
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers– It felt like we were in a time machine on Sunday as we watched Miller catch 7 passes for 112 yards and touchdown. Not sure what to think about the Steelers offense but I know that Big Ben doesn’t mind throwing in Millers direction. He isn’t the Miller of old but he has proven there is some real value left. If you’re nostalgic and desperate it’s probably going to be Miller time anyway.