Make My Way Back Home and Learn To Fly: Week 4 Fantasy Tips

First I gotta say, Foo Fighters is doing an amazing job of getting me into a good writing zone. They also gave me the title for today’s piece, and I’ve been told the random titles are both amusing and helpful in finding my writings through a google search. Score one for contemporary music!

I loved the support I received for my first fantasy installment! Some people told me they used my tips and scored big, and no one has run me down for costing them a game (yet) so I consider it a success! There were some hits (Mikel Leshoure, Steelers WR’s) and some misses (Jonathan Dwyer, Seattle’s D). This week’s waiver wire steals, surprise sleepers, and other tidbits:

PLAYERS I LIKE

Quarterback

Andy Dalton, Cincinatti

Dalton and AJ Green proved to be a 25-point combination last week, and Jacksonville just surrendered 313 yards to Andrew Luck, who has yet to reach 300-yards/game ability. Providing a consistant performance, Dalton is the only semi-available quarterback to use as a bye-week filler (though if you had either of the quarterbacks on their bye week right now as a starter, you need to question whether or not you should be playing fantasy).

 

Running Backs

Mikel Leshoure, Detroit

He proved last week that he has complete control of the staring job, as the one he replaced, Kevin Smith, had no carries to Leshoure’s 30. He also rushed for 100 yards and a score, a great day for any running back. He is still available in over half of all leagues, so get him while he’s hot. This year has proven why you need every back you can get.

 

Andre Brown, New York Giants

Don’t rush to add Brown after reading this; he may be available in almost forty percent of leagues at this point, but Ahmad Bradshaw is back as starter, and Brown is projected by all to not get as many touches. If you got an open roster spot or are extremely desperate at running back, use him, but otherwise don’t worry too much (unless Bradshaw gets hurt again and David Wilson stays invisible).

 

Wide Receiver

Donnie Avery/ T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

With the hundredth injury to Austin Collie in the past three seasons (the man must be the unluckiest player in the league), a spot opposite to Reggie Wayne is now open in Indy. Avery is the safe bet, but if you are looking to add a little flair to your life beyond drinking out-of-date milk, Hilton is emerging as a speedy deep-threat with an occasional case of stone-hands. Avery has the job (and the points) now, but in a few weeks Hilton may be the one you want.

 

Wes Welker/Brandon Lloyd, New England

With Aaron Hernandez gone, and The Gronk receiving apparently none of his now vacated targets, they had to go somewhere. Enter the reemergence of Wes Welker, a forgotten man in New England until last week. His value is practically worthless with Lloyd, Hernandez, and Gronk all healthy. If one of them goes down however…    Lloyd also received a couple of Hernandez’s targets, but he was almost a must-start anyways. Lloyd is now close to being a fantasy elite, and Welker is relevant enough to consider starting him again (until Hernandez is back).

 

Brandon Marshall, Chicago

This one is more of a joke than anything. I benched him on every team I own him (I think that amounts to 3 out of 7) because of his tough match-up against Dallas. With my luck, he’s going to explode for a couple touchdowns, so start him if you really want to test my luck.

 

Tight End

Jared Cook, Tennessee

Cook is injured for the time being, but he should still be active for this week’s games. As of yesterday his percentage owned was down to 83.1%, so if you’re one of the lucky leagues someone dumped him in, scoop him up. He will (and has already) receive plenty of targets with an inexperienced rookie starting, and a whily veteran playing back-up.

 

Dennis Pitta, Baltimore

This is one of those picks where I want to slap those who do not listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth! (Rush Hour reference!!!) Everyone with fantasy knowledge said Pitta would score double digit points, and he did it. Again. Third week in a row. Available in over half of all leagues. At a position of weakness unless you own one of the three prime guys currently healthy. Add him immediately.

 

Defenses

Arizona

I will finally believe in some portion of Arizona’s insane 3-0 start. It may have taken a match-up with the woeful Miami offense, and it may be the only portion of Arizona’s team I consider on the whole to be average, but hey, at least I’m starting to believe.

 

Kickers

Just kidding! You really think kickers are worth waiver-wire steals in fantasy? Pick a high-scoring offense’s kicker and forget about him for 17 weeks.

 

PLAYERS I DO NOT LIKE

Quarterback

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo

A Player I liked last week, Fitz has gone from an excellent match-up to a not-so-great one. New England’s secondary is not in any way good, but for some reason they seem to pound opposing quarterbacks into submission. Don’t start unless absolutely necessary (which it shouldn’t be).

 

Running Backs

Kevin Smith, Detroit

He want form a shaky amount of carries to absolutely none and third string on the depth chart. Dump-zone him now!

 

Alfred Morris, Washington

An early candidate for waiver-wire man of the year, Morris plays the best rush defense in the league vs. Tampa Bay. They have yet to allow an opponent over 52 yards rushing. Morris isn’t good enough to break that streak.

 

Any running back on tenure for the St. Louis Rams

They can’t run the ball this season with one person consistently, or consistently well. Avoid unless a last resort.

 

Ryan Williams, Arizona

He hasn’t proven himself worthy of a job as an NFL or fantasy starter in the couple of starts he’s been given thus far, and he plays the third best run D in the league. Don’t you dare do it anybody considering playing him.

 

Wide Receiver

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

Normally a good flex play, Jackson has a bad match-up with DeAngelo Hall this week. Avoid him if you have enough reliable players to fill the starting spots.

 

Ramses Barden, New York Giants

Let me make one thing clear about last week: Barden got so many targets and yards because of injuries. Unless the Giants are playing a team while either Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks is out, AND the team is willing to commit a ridiculous amount of coverage to the healthy receiver (to the point a nobody like Barden can light them up), Barden isn’t worth a roster spot.

 

Tight End

If fantasy has shwon me something these three weeks, it’s that this year is the year of the fantasy tight end. Thus, I have no tight ends I am guaranteeing have a bad game this week.

 

Defenses

Pittsburgh

I hate to hate on my boys, but this is not the defense I know and love in Pittsburgh. Their secondary is full of holes, their line is letting runners through, and they are actually unowned in some (but few) leagues. If they have a bad match-up, break conventional wisdom and waiver-wire a second defense onto your roster.

 

Tennessee

They get eaten alive against the pass (30th) and the run (29th) week in and week out. Don’t play them against anybody until those numbers skyrocket.

 

Other

Anybody Playing for the Cleveland Browns

They play Baltimore on the road, and the Ravens just knocked off a powerful New England offense. Trent Richardson is the only Brown with any potential, but there’s so much risk I wouldn’t play him unless you have to.

 

 

Those would be my picks in fantasy this week. Please read the descriptions (I do not want people thinking I support the Cleveland Browns roster to light up Baltimore) under the players, listen to my advice (if you dare to), and happy fantasy!

God Bless!

– Dan