|Fantasy Football: Week 14 waiver wire||12.03.13 at 10:20 am ET|
As we look toward what is a playoff week in most fantasy football formats, there certainly are a few solid new options to consider adding. The sad reality is that half of the teams in most leagues just got sent packing, and that obviously cuts down on the competition for talent. Hence, we are concentrating on the better players vs. the depth moves, but we still have a little of both.
If you are looking for deeper options, you can head over to Rotobahn later Tuesday and check out my expanded wire for those in deep formats. As always, I’ll be back later this week with Jim Hackett for the Fantasy Football Podcast, plus the starts and sits. Then, on Sunday, I’ll be hosting a chat to help with any last-minute lineup issues that you might have. To those of you reading this, please accept our congratulations on making your league’s playoffs. Now let’s see if we can bring home the fantasy bacon!
Andy Dalton, Bengals
He’s available in about 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and that percentage could rise after the stinker that Dalton had in Week 13. Still, we like Dalton’s Week 14 matchup, and Week 16 is pretty sweet, too.
- Week 14 – Colts
- Week 15 – at Steelers
- Week 16 – Vikings
Joe Flacco, Ravens
He plays at home vs. the Vikings this week, and that could be enough to make him a great add. As an added bonus, he’s playable on all three remaining weeks. In Week 14, Flacco may also see the return of his favorite target, Dennis Pitta.
- Week 14 – Vikings
- Week 15 – at Lions
- Week 16 – Patriots
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
He can’t help you Week 16, but he’ll be useful this week and next. Palmer has been very good lately, with multiple touchdown passes in five consecutive games. He can help you as a QB2 in most leagues, and you can still add him in 54 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
- Week 14 – Rams
- Week 15 – at Titans
- Week 16 – at Seahawks
EJ Manuel, Bills
He plays a solid, though not incredible, schedule the rest of the way, and he’s been getting better in terms of health. Manuel also has scored well the last two weeks, so he can help you if you need to add a QB2 in a 12-team league. His receivers are healthy and he now has C.J. Spiller ripping off big runs, and that could take the edge off of the pass rush going forward.
- Week 14 – at Buccaneers
- Week 15 – at Jaguars
- Week 16 – Dolphins
|Fantasy Football: Week 13 starts, sits||11.30.13 at 8:23 am ET|
Welcome to the starts and sits for Week 13. I’ll be featuring better players than usual because there are no more bye concerns and most fantasy teams, especially those still alive, will be looking at better players when it comes to lineup decisions.
For those who have more questions than this article has answers for, you have two places to go. First, you can hit Rotobahn and consult our full lineup rankings, which will give you a ranking and a “skinny” on just about any player you might be considering in any league. Second, you can come back to WEEI.com tomorrow and participate in our Sunday morning chat where I will answer all of your lineup questions. You’ll find a link to the chat on the homepage in the “This Just In” section.
Tom Brady, Patriots at Texans
Just kidding, folks. This one is an ultra-obvious freebie — meant to do nothing but point out that Rotobahn had the future Hall of Famer on our trade-for list when others were running for cover. For those who stuck with Brady … or dealt for him, enjoy the next few weeks. He’s a QB1, period.
Josh McCown, Bears at Vikings
How often do we recommend a backup quarterback playing on the road? Not that often, but McCown has been very good so far in terms of fantasy production and this matchup is very solid. Start McCown in any format this week and you are in pretty good shape.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers vs. Rams
Two things factor into the decision to make CK a start. First, he looked much better last week. Second, he gets Michael Crabtree back this week. The Rams are not an easy mark, but they can be had, especially when on the road, and this one is at Frisco.
Andrew Luck, Colts vs. Titans
He may not inspire the kind of confidence that he did a few weeks back, but a lot of it is perception. Luck is still a very sound fantasy play in 12-team leagues and has produced good fantasy numbers in games that were pretty ugly from the Colts’ perspective. He was serviceable against the Titans on the road in Week 11 and he should be able to handle them this week in Indianapolis.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Chargers
He’s been a strong option for most of the season and he gets a decent road matchup here. We expect the Bengals to be ready after having an extra week to prepare. Dalton can start for you in any format this week. He always has nice scoring potential due to the quality of the weapons around him.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals at Eagles
The matchup is mediocre, but he’s playing well and has tons of good places to throw the football in Bruce Arians’ offense. The Eagles are playing well, but they will have trouble matching up with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Palmer can help you in 12-team leagues this week.
Brandon Weeden, Browns vs. Jaguars
Here’s an option for those searching for an answer in a deep league. Weeden is not a great start, but he may be the best thing on waiver wires in 12-team formats and he could have a solid day at home vs. the Jaguars. Weeden can be your QB this week if you are hurting and he might just surprise you if he can get Josh Gordon going and hit on a few deep balls.
Mike Glennon, Bucs at Panthers
The rookie has been pretty good so far, but he lacks the experience and the firepower to play against the Panthers defense on the road in a hostile environment. Look elsewhere if you can.
|Fantasy Football: Week 11 starts, sits||11.15.13 at 9:28 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 11 starts and sits. It’s a tough week with a lot of bad matchups, but I’ve done my best to find some appealing options for this weekend. If you need some more feedback on players not listed here, hit Rotobahn for our full lineup rankings. And don’t forget to check out our weekly podcast, too. I’ll also be back at WEEI on Sunday at 11 a.m. for our regular chat, so send in those questions.
Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Redskins
Is Michael Vick healthy yet? Will it matter when he is? Foles has been outstanding lately, and I’d be very willing to start him this week against a Washington defense that fails to inspire fear in opponents. He’s a QB1 in Rotobahn’s Week 11 rankings.
Case Keenum, Texans vs. Raiders
This kid can play, and there’s very little reason to doubt him in this plus matchup at home. Expect a few big plays and a solid performance that yields numbers worthy of a start in most formats.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Browns
Dalton has played well against Cleveland in the past and he has enough options to work around CB Joe Haden if he’s having a good day against A.J. Green. Dalton should give you solid production that’s good enough to be a QB1 in 12-team leagues.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals at Jaguars
The Jaguars will give him some opportunities, and he’s been solid the last few weeks against stronger opponents. If you need an option this week, Palmer can give you a serviceable start.
|Fantasy Football: Week 9 waiver wire||10.29.13 at 10:18 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 9 waiver wire. I know a lot of you are too busy enjoying the Red Sox to go digging in the fantasy weeds, so it’s probably a good thing (for you) that I’m a Mets fan. In the words of Tommy Callahan, “I got spare time.”
We had more injuries in Week 8, and that makes this upcoming week a challenge in terms of putting a team on the field, especially in deeper formats. I’ll do my best to give you ideas and options for all league types and sizes. For those of you playing in large formats, feel free to head over to Rotobahn.com, where I’ll be adding more targets throughout the day as I continue to work through last week’s game tape.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
He’s already taken in 76 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but that leaves enough possibility to mention him. Dalton is on a serious hot streak over the last three games and is a solid QB1 in all leagues based on his production so far. The skill talent around him is simply outstanding. Add him if you can.
Alex Smith, Chiefs
He’s still available in 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and you can’t argue with his consistent production. Smith is coming off of his best fantasy week so far in Week 8, and he gets the Bills in Week 9. Add him if you need short- or long-term help at the position, but be wary of his Week 10 bye.
Jake Locker, Titans
He’s past the bye and he’s healthy. Throw in the fact that the Titans have already played the worst part of their schedule and you have a player to own in 12-team formats. He’s also largely available, with a 17 percent ownership rate in Yahoo! leagues.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders
He got it done in a tough matchup last week. Granted, he got a lot of his points on a single play. Pryor has some solid matchup value in all formats with the Eagles and Giants on the schedule the next two weeks. He is available in 64 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Josh McCown, Bears
He’ll be the man until Jay Cutler comes back. McCown can help you in deeper formats as a Cutler replacement or as bye week help. I thought he looked pretty good in relief against Washington in Week 7 — making some good throws and clean reads. The matchups the next two weeks are at Green Bay and home vs. Detroit. That’s not too bad, and you can get McCown in all but 4 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Geno Smith, Jets
Geno was a “sit” in my Week 8 starts and sits column at WEEI, but he’s a reasonable play this week, at home vs. the Saints. The Jets will need to throw if they are going to compete, and hosting New Orleans is a far easier task than playing the Bengals on the road. Smith can help you in large formats if you’re in a jam, and you can still get him in 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Case Keenum, Texans
Keenum will draw the start this week at home vs. the Colts. He’s a player to add in large formats for sure, because he has a chance to take this gig for the rest of the season if he plays as well as he did in Week 7 at Kansas City. He’s available in 97 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
|Fantasy Football: Week 7 waiver wire||10.15.13 at 9:57 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 7 waiver wire. Things start to get more challenging this week as the byes hit in full force. We also had injuries to some major players over the weekend, which will have some fantasy GMs searching for answers. For those of you who play in deeper formats, head on over to Rotobahn.com for even more free agent options. I will be adding names throughout the day as I continue to work through the Week 6 game film. I’ll be back here at WEEI on Friday with my starts and sits. I’ll also sit down with Jim Hackett for the Fantasy Football Podcast brought to you by our friends at Mohegan Sun. You can find the podcast in our audio on demand section.
Jay Cutler, Bears
You can still get him in 24 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he’s looking more and more like a weekly starting option, even in smaller leagues. The new coaching staff has really improved things in Chicago, and the personnel has been upgraded as well.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
He’s available in 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he can be a strong play when the matchup is right. Dalton’s weapons are all young and improving, and that includes rookies Gio Bernard and Tyler Eifert.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders
You can still get him 63 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He can be your starter on most weeks if need be because he gives you extra points with his feet and he has underrated weapons around him.
Sam Bradford, Rams
He’s got a lot of good receivers to work with, and the running game has been stabilized in recent weeks by our guy Zac Stacy. Bradford can help you when the matchup is right, and you can still get him in 51 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Nick Foles, Eagles
We’ve always liked Foles, and now he may have stolen the starting gig from Michael Vick. He’s a much more accurate passer than Vick and he runs the offense the way Chip Kelly wants it run. Foles is definitely worth a speculative add right now if you have a roster spot for him and a need at quarterback. Foles can be had in 71 percent of CBS leagues.
Josh Freeman, Vikings
He could end up starting as soon as this week, and he is the most talented quarterback in Minnesota at this point. In larger formats, he might be worth adding now. You can get him in 84 percent of CBS leagues.
|Fantasy Football: Week 6 starts, sits||10.11.13 at 9:08 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 6 starts and sits. I’ve tried to vary the level of options to give people in all league sizes something to chew on. If you are looking for more comprehensive rankings, go to Rotobahn.com, where we rank them all every week and update the rankings every weekend. Jim Hackett and I will be doing our weekly podcast later Friday and we’ll cover these starts and sits in depth. Check it out. You can find it in our audio on demand area. I’ll also be back Sunday, as usual, to answer all of your lineup questions in our Sunday morning chat sponsored by our friends at Mohegan Sun.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Bills
There are better options out there, obviously, but Dalton should do well this week against a Bills squad that is beat up on the back end. He’s got weapons all around him and a solid ground game to work off of.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Jets
The Steelers are looking better than they did a few weeks back and they get a Jets team that may be down a few cornerbacks. This bodes well for Big Ben and his receivers. He’s a good play in most formats.
Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. Raiders
If you are looking for help this week, Smith can step in for you. A big game may not be in the cards, but a solid effort seems to be something you can count on from Smith and Andy Reid’s offense.
Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Packers
There will be plenty of points in this game, and Flacco will need to attack the Pack downfield. Ray Rice’s major contributions likely will be in the passing game, and that helps Flacco. He’s a decent play if you are in need.
Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Rams
He’s risky, as he could have a short leash this week in a home game in front of potentially hostile fans. He’s playable if you are stuck with him, but this is definitely a week to consider other options. Schaub may not get a chance to finish if he starts poorly.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals at 49ers
It’s a bad matchup, and Palmer has really been struggling lately. He may post some garbage-time numbers, but the 49ers usually are pretty good at playing hard for 60 minutes. I’d avoid Palmer this week. This offense has a lot of upside, but this is not the week to roll the dice with it.
|Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo on M&M: ‘Frustrating loss for us’||10.07.13 at 12:36 pm ET|
Defensive end Rob Ninkovich and linebacker Jerod Mayo appeared on Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the Patriots’ defensive performance in the team’s 13-6 loss to the Bengals.
New England lost its first game of the season on Sunday. Much of the consternation surrounded the offense, which failed to score a touchdown and accumulated just 248 yards, in addition to turning the ball over twice.
The Patriots defense allowed just one touchdown, but it came in the fourth quarter, and it proved to be the game-winning points.
“It’s a frustrating loss for us as a defense, because you play well early in the game, you have some big stops and turnovers, you keep them from scoring,” said Ninkovich, who recorded three tackles and half a sack in the game.
New England forced Cincinnati into a pair of turnovers, and the defense sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton four times.
But the defense faltered on the most important drive of the game. At the end of the third quarter, the Patriots trailed 6-3 and had Cincinnati stuck in a third-and-15 from its own 2-yard line. Dalton pulled off the improbable, as he connected with wide receiver Marvin Jones for a 28-yard gain to move the chains.
The Bengals marched the ball up the field, and former New England running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis punched a touchdown in from a yard out.
“Obviously we didn’t play well enough,” Mayo said. “Our job is to go out there and hold them from scoring any points at all. Unfortunately they scored more than us yesterday. We had some good plays, but we also had a lot of plays where we just weren’t ready to go. That’s my fault. I’ve got to get the guys ready.”
Said Ninkovich: “With us giving up 13 points, it was too much and we lost. I’m not one to make any excuses, so I think that we’re going to get better, we’re going to continue to progress as a defense the younger guys are going to continue to mature and get better.”
One of those younger guys to show up on Sunday was defensive tackle Chris Jones, who filled in admirably for the injured Vince Wilfork. The rookie recorded 1½ sacks. Jones must continue to step up with Wilfork out for the season, and the other defensive tackle, Tommy Kelly, possibly sidelined as well with a knee injury.
“You don’t really have to communicate as much with those older guys because they kind of know the situation and they know kind of what to expect,” Ninkovich said. “But the younger guys, you’ve just got to make sure that, ‘Hey, expect this, play it this way.’ So you just kind of have more communication.”
The Patriots play host to Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense next Sunday.
“I think Drew, his track record kind of speaks for himself as far as the things he’s done in his career,” Ninkovich said “It’s going to be a good challenge for us, and I’m happy we’re going to be playing at home and not the [Superdome], because that’s a hard place to play, kind of similar to Georgia when you’re down there playing the Falcons, similar atmosphere.”
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