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Fantasy Football: Week 3 starts, sits 09.19.14 at 11:22 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 3 starts and sits. Between injuries, suspensions, deactivations and the like, the average fantasy football GM’s head is spinning. I know mine is. As always, I will avoid the easy calls. I’m not here to tell you what to do with players you’d never consider benching.

I’ll be back Sunday morning with my partner in crime, Jim Hackett, for another Fantasy Football Hour. Check it out! We’re on air from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on 93.7 FM. If you sleep in, you can listen right here on WEEI.com. In addition, I’ll be here, as always, with a chat on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Head on over if you have any lineup questions.

If you are looking for info on players not listed in this article, go to Rotobahn and check out my full Lineup Rankings. I’ll be updating them over the weekend, as always. And, to keep track of all things fantasy football at both Rotobahn and WEEI, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I always tweet links to new articles.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Broncos

He’ll shine in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. Wilson’s an underrated fantasy QB and he’ll give you some touchdowns this week. He’s playable in all formats.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers at Cardinals

Kaepernick’s always a solid play and should get it done this weekend in a tough divisional matchup. Yes, he has some injuries to his tight ends, but San Francisco has more offensive depth than in the past. Start Kaepernick if you normally would.

Kirk Cousins, Washington at Eagles

He’s not an ideal option because he’s got injuries to his tight ends and receivers, but he’ll also be playing in a high-scoring game and his team will not be in close-it-out mode at the end. Washington is far more likely to be throwing the football in the fourth quarter. Cousins can help you in deep formats.

Sit

Joe Flacco, Ravens at Browns

He’s playing decent football, but the Browns are looking tough at home and can take his receivers away for much of the game. Flacco is playable, but this is a week to look for other options if you can.

Derek Carr, Raiders at Patriots

It may be tempting to start him in a deep league because he’ll be throwing a lot and playing from behind, but I hate playing rookie quarterbacks against Bill Belichick defenses. I’d avoid doing so if possible.

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Read More: Colin Kaepernick, Derek Carr, joe flacco, Kirk Cousins
Fantasy Football: Week 2 waiver wire 09.16.14 at 10:46 am ET
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Depending on your perspective, it’s a great waiver wire week. There are tons of options that can really make a fantasy impact, especially in the running game. Of course, the reason there are so many options is because we had so many tough injuries last week. I certainly can understand if some of you are in a bit of a mood. You’re not alone.

As I mentioned last week, the players listed below are good pickups in just about any league, and there are plenty of options here. That being said, if you play in deeper leagues, with 12 or more teams, I will be posting my expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn later Tuesday. It will be loaded with options for you big leaguers, and it’s all free. You don’t even need to register. One thing I recommend doing is to follow Rotobahn on Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date on all of our content whether it’s here at WEEI or at Rotobahn.

The ownership percentage is listed for each player. The rate of ownership is based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.

QUARTERBACKS

Kirk Cousins, Washington — 8 percent availability

He’s a nice pickup and he will get at least a handful of starts while Robert Griffin III gets healthy. If Cousins plays to his potential while Griffin is out, he could end up being the quarterback of the future in Washington. Cousins is an add in all leagues as a strong QB2.

Josh McCown, Buccaneers — 29 percent availability

He’s been in control the first two weeks, and as his weapons continue to mature, his numbers should continue to be solid. McCown is an underrated passer. He’s efficient and accurate. You can get by with him at quarterback even in smaller leagues.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 4 percent availability

He could be a nice addition, but it’s hard to tell when the Jaguars will make the move to the younger quarterback. If and when Bortles gets the gig, he brings a lot of skills to the table. He’ll get you points with his arm and with his feet as well. If you are searching for fantasy upside at the position, Bortles could be the move.

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Read More: Blake Bortles, Josh McCown, Kirk Cousins, Knile Davis
Fantasy Football: Week 2 starts, sits 09.12.14 at 2:15 pm ET
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Welcome to the Week 2 starts and sits. I hope you all did well last week, but if bad luck befell you, we’re here to help you up off the ground. There are some good sleepers this week and I’ve tried to bring a few to the surface. However, if you need more information on players not listed, you can always hit Rotobahn and check out my full Lineup Rankings, which will be updated over the weekend as always.

Jim Hackett and I will be back again on Sunday morning on 93.7 FM with another Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be getting into some Week 1 fallout and looking forward to Week 2 by getting into some matchups and some potential value plays in both seasonal and weekly fantasy football. Join us! Our show comes on at 6:30 a.m. for all you early risers, but you can always listen to us later on as the show will be posted right here at WEEI.com. To keep up with all of our fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter. I tweet links to all our chats, articles and rankings.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Falcons

Dalton has a home matchup vs. a porous defense. This is when you use him if you have a need. He’s a better option than some guys who are typically QB1 caliber, like Robert Griffin and Jay Cutler.

Jake Locker, Titans vs. Cowboys

On paper, this is definitely the week to play Locker. He’s got the Dallas defense and he’s at home. After he stood up to KC on the road, you have to like his chances here. His weapons are all healthy and ready to go.

Brian Hoyer, Browns vs. Saints

You probably don’t need him, but he looked good last week in the second half and this is a better matchup at home. Hoyer’s a solid player and his knee looks healthy enough at this point. He can help you if you’re in a jam.

Sit

Alex Smith, Chiefs at Broncos

I just don’t trust his line, and though Dwayne Bowe returns, he’ll be shadowed by Aqib Talib all day. I’m staying away from Smith until the Chiefs get their offense sorted out.

Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Seahawks

He’s got injured receivers and he’s facing an imposing defense. He’s playable if you need him, because he’s a fine player. However, if you have another option like Andy Dalton or Jake Locker, this is the week to consider using them.

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Read More: Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Brian Hoyer, Frank Gore
Fantasy Football: Week 1 waiver wire 09.09.14 at 1:58 pm ET
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Welcome to the first waiver wire of 2014. It was a wild Week 1 and I’m here to help you sort out the best available free agent targets. The level of available talent identified here is geared for the more common 10-team leagues. I like all the players listed below in those types of formats, and obviously in larger ones if they happen to be available. I’ll be posting the Rotobahn waiver wire later Tuesday, and as always, I’ll be digging even deeper and adding more names as I continue to break down Week 1 game film.

I’ll be back later this week with another Starts and Sits column plus another podcast with Fantasy Football Hour co-host Jim Hackett. All the ownership rates listed below are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and are most reflective of 10-team leagues. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter.

QUARTERBACKS

Carson Palmer, Cardinals

Palmer is taken in just over half of all leagues, and his weapons make him dangerous in plus matchups. He gets the Giants next week and has some nice soft matchups on the horizon from Weeks 6-9.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

He looked very much in-control in Week 1 vs. a New England defense that we expected to hold him down. Tannehill certainly has some fantasy appeal as a matchup play when the opponent is right. You still can get him in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.

Jake Locker, Titans

Locker gets Dallas this week and that could be a reason to add him in and of itself. Locker also has a nice developing group of weapons, and he played well on the road last week against a tough Rams defense. He’s got some appeal in the short term for sure. Locker can be had in 88 percent of leagues.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans

Fitzpatrick is what he is — an uninspiring quarterback. Still, he has some very nice targets to throw to like Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. He also has a decent overall schedule and that includes visiting Oakland this week. He’s only taken in 9 percent of leagues.

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Read More: Carson Palmer, Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill
Fantasy Football: Week 1 starts, sits 09.05.14 at 2:02 pm ET
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Well, it’€™s officially Week 1 and it’€™s time for our first batch of starts and sits. For our newer readers, I do my best to avoid the obvious choices. These are not rankings. Rather, they are takes on specific matchups that make players more or less desirable than they would normally be. Is there a player you want our take on that isn’€™t mentioned? No problem. For rankings on all the major players, go to Rotobahn and check out our full Week 1 lineup rankings.

This Sunday features the first regular-season airing of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. We’€™ll be discussing this article and other Week 1 roster options that will help you to submit your most potent weekly fantasy roster. Tune in to WEEI 93.7-FM at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday game days to check it out. If you’€™re not an early riser, go to WEEI.com and enjoy it on your own schedule. I’ll be back in this space on Tuesday with our first waiver wire of the year.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Chargers

He’€™s got a nice home matchup, so it’€™s a good week to use him. He should be ready to roll in his second year as the starter in HC Bruce Arians’€™ offense. If Andre Ellington’s new foot injury proves serious, Palmer will be throwing most of the game.

Derek Carr, Raiders at Jets

He’€™s far from ideal, but if you are a Cam Newton owner (like me), looking for insurance, you could do worse than the strong-armed Carr vs. a battered Jets secondary.

Geno Smith, Jets vs. Raiders

It’€™s a great home matchup, so if you need a cheap option in a deep league, Smith can help.

Sit

Robert Griffin III, Washington at Texans

If you happen to have another strong option, then this is a week to consider benching Griffin, who will be running a new offense while facing JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney … and the chaos they create.

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Read More: Carson Palmer, Chris Johnson, Derek Carr, Eric Decker
Fantasy Football: Late-round targets optimized for league size 08.26.14 at 3:14 pm ET
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Today I want to provide our readers with some late-round ammo, and we will focus our targets to fit the various league sizes in which our readers compete. Now, while I like to think that all of us play in competitive 12-team formats, I know that forming leagues can be difficult and sometimes we have to settle for eight or 10 or whatever we can come up with.

The objective is to identify the late-round talent to target for various league size based on ADP data over the last few weeks. I’€™m focusing on players who have the potential to become steals and perform far better than their draft position would indicate. You can gain a big edge by nailing a few of these picks, and the risk is next to nothing because of the predictable strength of the waiver wire in 2014.

The ADP (sourced from myfantasyleague.com) given is specific to the league size in question. I’€™ll go from small leagues to large ones.

Jim Hackett and I will get into some of these players and much on the WEEI Fantasy Football Hour, so be sure to tune in. Our fourth show airs this Sunday at 7:30 a.m on 93.7.

EIGHT-TEAM LEAGUES

Terrance West, RB, Browns — ADP 142

I’€™ve been singing West’€™s praises since before the draft as I love his chances at earning a major role in his rookie season. That he plays behind oft-injured Ben Tate is an added bonus. Don’€™t let him get through your draft and into free agency. Roster him late.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles — ADP 143

He’€™s got big upside, but it might take a little time for him to get fully up to speed. Matthews is going to start as the third receiver in Philadelphia, but he’€™s a game-ready talent who can be a difference-maker for the Eagles. He has the potential to explode at any time. Matthews is well worth a shot at the end of your bench in small leagues. Check out his game by reading his Rotobahn scouting report.

Rueben Randle, WR, Giants — ADP 176

Randle has WR2 upside even in small formats, so I would make sure he is rostered in my league. With rookie Odell Beckham Jr. banged up a bit, Randle almost assuredly is going to get off to a good start, and he’€™s the best red zone weapon on the Giants roster — by a good margin.

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Fantasy Football: High-value targets revisited 08.22.14 at 11:03 am ET
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A few weeks back, before training camps opened, we took a look at fantasy value based on a player’s average draft position. It’s the best way to estimate what a player’s price tag will be on draft day. Today I will update the prices of those players and I’ll add a few new options as well. It seemed like a good idea with so many fantasy drafts taking place this weekend. The players from the original article have their prior ADP in parentheses, and the original analysis in italics, followed by the updated outlook.

As we like to do at Rotobahn, we’ll be counting the values down from late selections to the early ones. A good journalist might call that burying the lead, but most fantasy footballers know the great players as well as the experts do. It’s the deep part of the talent pool where you can gain a big competitive advantage.

Jim Hackett and I will get into some of these players in Friday’s podcast and on the WEEI Fantasy Football Hour, so be sure to tune in. Our third show airs this Sunday at 7:30 a.m on 93.7.

For a look at our take on the top 500 fantasy options for 2014, head on over to Rotobahn, where you will also find scouting reports on over 60 rookies and projections for the upcoming season. Our cheat sheets are free, customizable and updated frequently.

If you’ve missed any of our preseason fantasy football content, you can access it below.

ADP data was obtained at Fantasy Football Calculator.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns — ADP 187 (224)

He’s not being drafted at all in smaller leagues, and you can get him very late in large formats, as his ADP indicates. That’s not bad for a player who could be the Browns’ top receiver in 2014. Frankly, if he stays healthy, I can’t see anybody else on the roster outplaying him. In fairness, that speaks to how underrated Hawkins currently is, but it also speaks to how woefully thin Cleveland is at receiver.

Update: The word is getting out. Hawkins has jumped up significantly, but he’s still a solid value. He’s the one receiver in Cleveland who can get open consistently.

Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants — ADP 184 (163)

Do not wait until 163 to draft this guy. Beckham, for whatever reason, is being ignored in fantasy circles and we think he’s a potential WR3 in 12-team leagues. As we said in his Rotobahn scouting report, Beckham has perhaps the best hands we’ve seen since we scouted Michael Crabtree. He’s also got all the skills you want a receiver to have, including outstanding agility and speed. He should fit right into the Giants offense and could be a fantasy force from Day 1. He’s a steal at his current ADP.

Update: The rookie has been struggling since he injured his hamstring early on in camp. I have no choice but to downgrade Beckham, and I have. Guess what? He’s still a nice upside pick at his old ADP and a potential steal at his new one. Do not let this guy go undrafted in large leagues. He could really pay off once he gets healthy.

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