Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 7

Shelling out some cash for Felix Jones is pretty much a requirement. (Getty)

FAABulous will recap the week of football activity and point fantasy owners where to spend their hard earned (not really) FAAB or waiver priority. Players will be owned in at most 30% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

Any article about adding football players for your fantasy team this week will undoubtedly mention Felix Jones. The Cowboys back-up running back will re-assume a starting role for at least this week as incumbent/budding star DeMarco Murray has succumb to another injury in his young career.

It's another opportunity for Jones to show some consistency among the early flashes that had him pegged as the future star running back in Dallas. Jones was the 22nd pick in a pretty loaded draft, especially when you take a look at the running backs. Jones was the sentimental pick for owner Jerry Jones, who like Felix, is an Arkansas Razorback alumni (I'm told any and all similarities end there). After Jerry was unable to move up to draft Darren McFadden fourth overall, Felix was selected as the third RB in the draft after McFadden and Jonathan Stewart.

The running backs taken after Jones (in order): Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, Kevin Smith, and Jamaal Charles.

Outside of Rice - who clearly anyone 54 picks earlier probably should have considered - every one of those running backs have had their ups and downs, but outside of Smith, are clearly and definitively better than Jones.

The point of all of this is, yes, Jones hasn't been able to replicate the early explosiveness that highlighted the first 6 games of his career, but he is talented. When a player of DMM's magnitude goes down, there is a common perception to quickly add his back-up. Well, back-ups are back-ups for a reason. They aren't very good. This isn't always the case. Jones is a decent example. He has the talent and ability and plays for a team that should pack a punch on offense. What always bewilders me is when players that are clearly no good become FAAB darlings.

We all go for fliers, and we love to hit that homerun pick, but it rarely happens. More often than not, you get Vick Ballard or the oft-referenced Brandon Jackson from Green Bay several years back. Jackson is still serving 15 years of a 30 year fantasy prison sentence for all the FAAB dollars he stole. It's not his fault he failed fantasy wise. It's ours! Every owner that spent a large amount of money on a player that his own team dictated as a 2nd fiddle.

While running backs always seem to spring out of nowhere, it's important that when these situations come about, we still keep our heads. We don't get caught up on if this second year back-up is the next Arian Foster. Odds are he isn't. And in Jones' case, he'll be right back to the bench when DMM is healthy. Jones is an add for his potential, but know you're getting the same Jones that has been around for several years now.

Time to shop with our heads, not our hearts.

Felix Jones, RB - DAL (23% owned)

People may be chomping at the bit for Jones, but he's only the second most famous Felix this week.



Daryl Richardson, RB - STL (14%)

A funny thing happened last week when Stephen Jackson was declared healthy for the first time all year; he still split carries with Richardson. Richardson has done a good job sharing the load with Jackson, and it is a positive that he still got touches even with Jackson ready to roll. There's rumors that Jackson is on his way out in St. Louis, which makes sense, but as long as he's still on the roster, he's the best RB they have. Richardson will stick around, and clearly Jackson hasn't been the picture of health in his latter years. Richardson is worth a bench spot to see how this rides out.

Sidney Rice, WR - SEA (63%)

I wanted to put Rice as my Penny Saved this week, but I just...couldn't...do it. Rice has shown his talent before, and he's been gaining steam over the past three weeks. While the Seahawks are built around defense, special teams, and running in that order, Russell Wilson has shown himself able to at least get the ball deep on occasion.

Kendall Wright, WR - TEN (38%)

There was a lot of buzz around the young wideout and while he hasn't been a disappointment, necessarily, he hasn't had a big game yet. Part of that might relate to the teams he's faced thus far: Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh. Easier times are ahead, starting this week with Buffalo. Wright has 33 receptions on the year, so he's been involved. Some easier match-ups will lead to bigger numbers even with Kenny Britt and Nate Washington around.

PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

Montario Hardesty, RB - CLE (3%) 

Hardesty is the flip side to Felix Jones. People will see Trent Richardson is out, and hustle to pick up the back-up in Cleveland. Hardesty had a decent game last week, but he's never proved himself to be an every down back. If you're looking purely for a guy that will get attempts, then go for him. Other than that, I don't see much fantasy production coming his way. Especially with Brandon Weeden and Josh Gordon beginning an air show with each other.

THE 1%

Tom Crabtree, TE - GB (0%)

Don't look now, but the forever disappointing dynasty of Jermichael Finley in Green Bay may be slowly ending its reign. Tom Crabtree may not ultimately be the man to do it, but with yet another Finley year of inconsistency and dropsies, it's time to seriously start looking at other, more reliable options for Aaron Rodgers. Crabtree is what he is at this point, so maybe he can help with a fluky TD here or there, but let this be a warning sign for Finley owners. Time to make your escape.

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