You’re Tearing Up the Dance Floor Honey: Fantasy Tips Week 7

Daniel Kitchen, NFL Staff Writer

My iPod has no sense of what writing ethics are. I ask it to play on shuffle one song, and that will be my title. Not only does it pick Nickleback, a band I will most likely take heat for even mentioning, but it picks a song I can not say the name of for fear of having my blog torn down.

The life of a fantasy waiver-wire is much like the process of my iPod’s shuffle mode. Most of the time, there’s some good songs intermixed, and a lot of useless ones need deciphered through first. Rarely, but on occasion, everything clicks and there’s an everpresent multitudeĀ of songs to listen to. And then there are weeks like this one, where you have to scrape the dregs of the music library to find some tolerable songs. Not only did more research go into this blog than any other, but there are the fewest amount of players in the “Like” and “Dislike” sections of any post thus far.

PLAYERS I LIKE

Quarterback

There are actually no waiver-wire quarterbacks I am overly entranced with this week. The best steals are owned in eighty-ninety percent of leagues, and with the NFL being so shaky now this season with passing consistancy, most teams, unless you own Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees (yes I left Peyton Manning out of this), own two quarterbacks. If you have a QB on a bye, pick up whichever player has the best match-up against a bad secondary.

Running Backs

Alex Green, Green Bay

My general rule about running backs: if they are the starter, and are available in free agency, waste a roster spot to add them. Alex Green didn’t do too well last week, but he is now fully expected to monopolize the carries and take Cedric Benson’s role. If he has not been snapped up in your league, add him.

Felix Jones, Dallas

Jones always does this to us. We draft him high on reports he will be “Dallas’s next big thing”, then he ends up hurt or underperforming. Jones, with the injury to DeMarco Murray, is penciled to be the “big thing” in Big D… again. I have little doubt he won’t do spectacularly this week: he plays the fifth-worst run defense in the league. Add him only s a one-week filler though. Jones can not handle a long-term responsibility, and until DeMarco Murray came along, Dallas employed a multiback committee. One week, nothing more.

William Powell, Arizona

Chris Wells and Ryan Williams are both on IR and Powell outperformed the rest of Arizona’s backs to a 5.4 yards per carry average. The job is his. But is the ability there? Perhaps not. He plays Minnesota’s tough run defense this week. A good or even average performance is enough credibility to make a flier worth your while.

Shonn Greene, New York Jets

So Greene makes a career out of playing well when we’ve given up on him. Greene did prove my point though that, with Santonio Holmes out for the year, he will have to step up. His next two opponents, New England and Miami, are both of the better teams in the league against the run, so he, like Powell above him, will have to prove his meddle against a tough challenge.

Wide Receiver

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

He is owned in all leagues. But if you have him, play him above all else. Two weeks ago, he broke 200 yards. This week, he gets Cleveland’s not too good secondary. I’d look for him to approach 150 yards.

That’s all I have in wide receivers this week. There are no new names. It may be hard because of six teams on the bye, but use who you have, and check my earlier posts for anybody who may still be available. Besides, skeleton crews are the most fun to manage!

Tight Ends

Also very limited here, so address my earlier posts for other names if necessary.

Scott Chandler, Buffalo

Still far and away the WORST team in recent history against tight ends, Tennessee has Scott Chandler this week. Chandler can usually get some OK yardage against good defenses, which by logic means he should get great yardage and a score this week.

Defenses

No big waiver-wire steals on defense this week. From whatever’s left, pick the one that plays the worst offense in the league.

 

PLAYERS I DO NOT LIKE

Quarterback

Christian Ponder, Minnesota

Minnesota isn’t the only team with a surprisingly good defense this year. Their opponent, Arizona, is also playing well on that side of the ball. In an overtime game, with all the extra opportunities in the world to perform, Buffalo’s quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, mustered barely over 150 yards. Ponder is similar to Fitzpatrick in talent and ability (at least Ponder’s can go up from here), so I don’t see much more coming from him than from Fitz.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit

When I posted last week that Stafford may be having issues in the next weeks, it was partially a joke. Stafford commands one of the best offenses in the league, and should be a must-start. All of a sudden I seem like a prophet. Stafford had a not-up-to-par performance against Philadelphia, that was only saved by an overtime period that allowed him to hit 311 yards. He now plays a bitter rival and arguably the best pass defense of the decade in Chicago. If a waiver-wire option is available for you, I’d take it this week.

Running Back

Vick Ballard, Indianapolis

I may be a hypocrite for saying this, but even as a starting running back, Ballard is not worth a spot on my team. He plays on a team that even without Peyton Manning is still almost exclusively passing, and his predecessor couldn’t run very well. Ballard is not as good as Donald Brown, and even against Cleveland’s middle-of-the-league run defense, I don’t see good things happening for Ballard.

Wide Receivers

Brian Hartline, Miami

This is not a piece that is going to say dump Hartline if you have him. He is a wonderful receiving option if you have an open hole due to a bye. But he is on a bye this week, and follows it up next week against one of the two teams tied for best fantasy D against opposing receivers. Not a good combo.

Other

ANY PLAYER ON THE CHICAGO BEARS OR DETROIT LIONS

Obviously this is a slight exaggeration. Calvin Johnson needs started against this match-up, and so does Matt Forte. But other than those two must-starts, I wouldn’t risk anything else (Perhaps the Bears Defense can be a starter if there’s no obvious great match-ups ont he waiver wire). These two teams hate each other, and they are proud of their nasty, brutal, and usually rule-breaking defenses. The Calvin Johnson game-winning touchdown incident from seasons back still looms, and Detroit will fight to prove they earned that win just as much as Chicago will fight to prove they screwed Detroit out of one. It will be a straight-up ugly game to watch, and it could turn ugly for your team if you play too many of the participants.

 

By far the shortest fantasy post I’ve ever had. This week, especially if you have many players on byes, will show just how great of a fantasy owner (and waiver-wire connoisseur) you are.

Good Luck, Happy Sunday, and God Bless!

– Dan