|Fantasy Football: Week 12 starts, sits||11.22.13 at 10:28 am ET|
Welcome to the starts and sits for Week 12. I’ve done my best to find some options from across the spectrum while avoiding the really obvious stuff. This is the last bye week for the NFL, so things get a lot easier going forward for those whose teams are still in the thick of things. If you require more assistance or clarity, head over to Rotobahn and check out our full lineup rankings. Also, make sure you check out the Fantasy Football Podcast with Jim Hackett sponsored by our friends at Mohegan Sun. And, as always, I’ll be here Sunday morning for our chat to help with your Week 12 lineup decisions.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Browns
He’s gone off in two out of the last three games, and he’s worth a look based on upside alone. He probably will have his best receiver taken away because Cleveland’s Joe Haden is one of the league’s best cornerbacks, but Big Ben has other places he can go with the ball.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Colts
He’ll have his ups and downs in this weekend’s game because Indy can get a pass rush going sometimes, but he’ll have enough moments throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd to have a solid fantasy outing.
Josh McCown, Bears at Rams
He’s not fun to watch, but like Shaun Hill on the Lions, he gets the job done. Coach Marc Trestman has done his usual magnificent job with his quarterbacks, and you can expect some solid stats in Week 12. The Rams simply cannot match up with the size and athleticism of the Chicago receivers and tight ends. The Rams could get lit up if they fail to rush the passer, which is the strength of their defense. McCown is a solid option in 12-team leagues.
Mike Glennon, Bucs at Lions
This is a deep play. Glennon is a bit risky on the road, but I like the matchup with the Tampa receivers going against the Detroit defensive backs. I also think the Bucs can hold up better than most teams against the Lions’ nasty front four. Glennon can play for you in a 12-team league if you’re in a bind. The same can be said for Scott Tolzien of the Packers and and Case Keenum of the Texans.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Panthers
He’s got bad protection, broken weapons and a bad Week 1 matchup. He may get some volume stats, but you can do better in most formats. Leave Tannehill on the bench this week if you have other options.
|Fantasy Football: Week 12 waiver wire||11.19.13 at 10:17 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 12 waiver wire. The obvious breakout player this week is Tampa Bay’s Bobby Rainey, who was a recommended pickup in our Week 11 waiver wire. He’s obviously a high priority pickup this week. Do not pass up a chance to get him as a free agent. I’ll also give a tip of the cap to Shane Vereen, who looked pretty good in defeat Monday night.
This is a time of transition in fantasy football as the byes are coming to an end. This is a tough week, with four teams off, but if you have no bye issues in Week 12, you need to start looking forward now. Middle-of-the-road players who had significant value during the byes are no longer worth as much.
When it comes to free agency, you should be looking for players who can move the needle vs. the fill-in types. It’s a good move to get ahead of the game while a lot of other owners are simply looking to plug holes. I’ve tried to give you the best options to consider, but for those looking to plug a hole, head over to Rotobahn, where I will be adding players throughout the day. We’ll also be updating our Watch List tomorrow. That’s a great source of under-the-radar talent.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
He’s starting to heat up, with monster games two out of the last three weeks. You actually can add this guy in 34 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so go get him if he’s there. All of his main weapons are healthy now.
Josh McCown, Bears
He’s a viable option this week if you are looking for a quarterback, and he’s still there for the taking in 84 percent of Yahoo! leagues. With news that Jay Cutler’s ankle injury may be more serious than first reported, McCown’s value could extend further down the line. The 12-year veteran has played surprisingly well in Marc Trestman’s system.
Matt McGloin, Raiders
He should start for the Raiders for at least one more week, and he’s looked good enough to be worth something in larger formats. The Raiders host the Titans this week. You can still get McGloin in nearly all leagues.
|Fantasy Football: Week 10 starts, sits||11.08.13 at 10:29 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 10 starts and sits. Just to clarify, these are not the top-rated players at their positions this week. Rather, they are players who are on the edge in terms of the weekly value. If you want my top ranked players at every position, go to Rotobahn.com for our full lineup rankings. Jim Hackett and I will back later Friday with our weekly podcast, and please join us for a Sunday morning chat, as I’ll be here at 11 a.m. to answer all of your lineup questions.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Bills
I’m sticking with Big Ben after he came through for me last week. His matchup gets better going from the Patriots at Foxboro to the Bills on his home field. The Steelers also have a full complement of weapons for the first time in a while with the return of WR Markus Wheaton, who we like a lot. Roethlisberger can help in any league this week.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders at Giants
He’s the fulcrum of the Oakland offense. Nothing happens without him involved. Pryor should be good for a few big plays against the Giants, who have been giving up plays all year. Pryor is a good option, especially in bigger leagues, and he has big-game potential if things break right.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Raiders
Yes, there’s risk, but if you are hurting for options, he looks like a good start to me this week. The Giants have slowly become functional on offense, and I think the return of tailback Andre Brown will be another boost — giving Manning another way to make plays in passing situations. He can help you in most formats this week.
Jake Locker, Titans vs. Jaguars
He is playing better, and he should perform well in a sweet home matchup this week. His running game has kicked in, and that opens things up downfield. Plus, Locker can get you extra points with his feet. He can help you this week if you need an option in a big league.
|Chandler Jones on M&M: ‘I get a front-row seat to watch Tom Brady and this offense go to work’||11.04.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones and cornerback Kyle Arrington joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk about Sunday’s 55-31 win over the Steelers.
Jones, Arrington and the rest of the Pats defense did not need to be at their best as New England’s Tom Brady-led offense erupted for 55 points and 610 total yards on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
“I get a front row seat to watch Tom Brady and this offense go to work, and it’s fun,” Jones said.
Brady and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dueled as both threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns.
“[Roethlisberger is] tremendous, it’s almost like playing that backyard streetball,” Arrington said.
Although the defense did not have its best showing of the season, it stepped up when necessary. The Pats forced three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble) and sacked Roethlisberger five times. Rookie defensive back Duron Harmon and safety Devin McCourty registered the interceptions, while defensive tackle Joe Vellano recovered the fumble.
“Fourth quarter, I think we did a great job of finishing the game. Offense did a tremendous job of helping us out,” Arrington said. “It was a great team effort yesterday.”
The defensive line once again performed admirably, as Jones led the way with two sacks. Jones continues to thrive in a versatile role that puts him as a traditional defensive end at times, and as an outside linebacker as well.
|Adam Schefter on D&C: Dolphins OL Jonathan Martin ‘felt threatened, he felt harassed’ by teammate Richie Incognito||at 9:50 am ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan to discuss the ongoing Jonathan Martin bullying saga with the Dolphins, and the health issues of a pair of NFL coaches.
Miami announced on Sunday the indefinite suspension of offensive lineman Richie Incognito for his role in the alleged bullying of Martin, the Dolphins’ second-year lineman.
Martin left the team for emotional reasons last week, before Miami’s 22-20 overtime win against the Bengals on Thursday. A voicemail left by Incognito on Martin’s phone was the smoking gun, according to Schefter.
“They went over the transcripts of one voicemail last night, and made the determination to suspend Richie Incognito immediately,” Schefter said, adding: “Richie Incognito is on the Dolphins’ leadership council. … It’s unbelievable to think that he wielded his powers the way that he did.”
The reported trigger for Martin’s absence was a lunch room incident. According to ESPN, Incognito also approached Martin last summer to help fund a trip to Las Vegas with a group of Dolphins players. Martin donated $15,000 out of fear of retribution if he didn’t, but he never joined his teammates.
“We’ve seen in the NFL, veterans take rookies out and rookies picking up big dinner tabs and things of this sort,” Schefter said. “This went above and beyond that. This was an example where Jonathan Martin felt threatened, he felt intimidated, he felt harassed.”
It’s unknown when Martin will return to Miami, and how long Incognito’s suspension will last.
“The union is in a very difficult spot, because it is the union’s job to defend Richie Incognito,” Schefter said. “However, once the union gets a copy of this one particular voicemail, and the instances and text messages, the defense is going to be difficult to do.”
|Fantasy Football: Week 9 starts, sits||11.01.13 at 10:18 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 9 starts and sits. With six teams sitting out the week on their bye, this is a tough week to find worthy fantasy talent. I’ve done my best here to give you some options and some ideas. If you require even more clarity, feel free to head over to Rotobahn.com, where I have full lineup rankings posted. I update those rankings every Saturday. And, as usual, I’ll be here at WEEI on Sunday morning for a chat. Bring your lineup questions and I’ll bring the answers.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders vs. Eagles
He’s always good for a decent game because he attacks the defense with both his arm and his legs. Pryor has a high ceiling and is capable of big games. He could post one this week, but it’s his floor that I like even more. Pryor can help you in any league at QB in Week 9.
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Steelers
Brady is in one of the worst statistical funks of his career, but there have been extenuating circumstances. We all know about the injuries, but one other thing worth noting is that the Patriots have faced tough defenses three out of the last four weeks. It started with the Bengals in Week 5. Last week it was the Dolphins, who shut down Andy Dalton and company Thursday night. Things don’t ease up for Brady and the Patriots offense. They play a lot of good pass defenses over the season’s second half. Those who expect Brady to finish the season in a blaze of glory will be disappointed, but I do think we’ll see solid improvement if the Patriots can get healthy, especially when Shane Vereen returns. I have Brady as a QB1 this week, but that’s more about the lack of options than my thinking Brady will go off. I’m hoping for decent numbers and I would not be afraid to play him. I do not expect another week of single-digit fantasy output like we’ve seen three out of the last four games. I’m sticking with the Canton-bound quarterback.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Patriots
Like with Brady, I am expecting Roethlisberger to rise to the occasion this weekend and post serviceable numbers. Like with the Patriots, the Steelers have injuries to key offensive personnel. Where Roethlisberger has an edge is that New England is hurting on both sides of the ball. He should be able to find the soft spots in the secondary, and he should be able to get a ground game going to work off of. In a down week for signal callers, he’s a guy who can start this week in most leagues.
Josh McCown, Bears at Packers
This is a desperation recommendation. You don’t want to play McCown, but if you are searching for a QB, he could help you. He does face a formidable task going to Lambeau Field this weekend to face the Packers. However, he has a lot of talent around him, and the Bears probably will be forced to throw a lot because they are not in a good position to stop the Packers offense. McCown should offer serviceable numbers for desperate fantasy GMs.
Jason Campbell, Browns vs. Ravens
He looked pretty good last week, but I would avoid chasing that performance this week because the Ravens are playing good defense and have very good corners. I’d rather play McCown.
|Fantasy Football: Week 7 starts, sits||10.18.13 at 10:37 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 7 starts and sits. I’ll be back later today with Jim Hackett for the Fantasy Football Podcast. Check it out in our audio on demand section. For those of you looking for further lineup clarity, feel free to head over to Rotobahn, where we do full weekly positional rankings and update them every Saturday. And, don’t forget to join me here at WEEI on Sunday mornings for our weekly chat for all of your lineup questions.
Jay Cutler, Bears at Redskins
Cutler is becoming a weekly play, and his offense is supporting him well. The pass protection is the key, but so is the play of his receivers. With Alshon Jeffery stepping up and with the excellent play of new tight end Martellus Bennett, the Bears offense has more than just Brandon Marshall. Cutler should do well this weekend in Washington.
Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Cowboys
He may or may not have the starting gig for the remainder of the season, but he is a very strong play at home vs. Dallas. The Cowboys are giving up consistent fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Vikings
Yes, I know. The idea of playing Eli Manning right now is unsettling. I get it. The thing is, he should do very well at home vs. a Vikings team that has been a get-well matchup for passers all year, including Cam Newton in Week 6. Manning may not be a QB1 in 12-team leagues this week, but he’s a solid option if you are looking for answers. He’s going to have a lot of open receivers.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Bills
He’s a playable option in 12-team leagues if you are looking for an option. The Bills should be a bit better vs. the pass this week as they are finally getting healthy on the back end, but Miami throws the ball getting off the team bus, so you’ll have volume on your side. Make Miami’s refusal to run the ball work for you.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Ravens
If you are in need this week, Big Ben makes a serviceable option, even in a tough matchup. Roethlisberger’s teammates have taken their games up a notch and the Steelers have welcomed back both tight end Heath Miller and starting tailback Le’Veon Bell. That has helped out a lot.
Geno Smith, Jets vs. Patriots
Smith has shown to have some moxie and some fantasy upside when the matchup is right. That being said, I don’t think the matchup is good enough to bet on this weekend. The Patriots have injury issues on defense, but it’s going to set up more opportunities on the ground than through the air.
Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. Texans
Smith is a system guy and he’s doing a nice job, but he is unlikely to post the kind of fantasy numbers that will help your team, especially against a stingy pass defense like the Texans.
- 2013 Week 13 Patriots Power Rankings
- Patriots Are Reliant on Rookies, But Still Winning
- New England Patriots Links 12/04/13 - Patriots Preparing For All Browns...
- NFL Playoff Picture: Where do the Patriots Stand After 12 Games?
- Turning Heel
- New England Patriots Links 12/03/13 - Brady, Patriots Heat Up in December
- Patriots vs. Texans: By the Numbers