Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 9

Key injuries are cause for concern for fantasy owners. (seattlepi.com)
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 50% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

The past couple of weeks we have covered the rash of injuries to hit some of the NFL's key players. In fantasy leagues losing a Julio Jones for the year is devastating, but for better or worse you have to move on. You cut Jones, add one of the fine alternatives as suggested by your humble narrator, and you keep on trucking.

But now, as these injuries pile up, we have to focus on the collateral damage. The players affected indirectly by these notable injuries, and really put on the - I don't want to say panic hat, but let's say - worry hoodie. 


For every key injury, a team gets weaker. Players do have the ability to rise above these kinds of things, but here are some elite fantasy options that have had their legs cut out from under them so far. Let's take a look at a couple of them and see if we should stick it out or look for better options.

THE QUARTERBACKS
Russell Wilson, SEA 
Key Injuries: Russell Okung - OT, Breno Giacomini - OT

If you're the Rams you have to feel a little slighted about your 14-9 loss last night on Monday Night Football. You were within a goal line stand of defeating one of the best teams in football on a night where hardly anyone in St. Louis cared about football, and all you hear is how bad the Seahawks looked. Well, there's a reason for that. Both starting offensive tackles are injured and without them, not only is the pass protection poor, but this also greatly limits Seattle's run game and play action attack. 

It's a bad scene, but the good news is that it will get better for the Seahawks. Pete Carroll is hopeful Okung can make it back this year, and Giacomini has a much more positive outlook. With an easy schedule over the next couple of weeks, and the imminent return of Percy Harvin don't lose faith in Wilson.
DECISION: HOLD

Matt Ryan, ATL
Key Injuries: Roddy White - WR, Julio Jones - WR, Stephen Jackson - RB

At the beginning of the year if you had to talk about what the Falcons' keys to success were this year, it probably had a lot to do with all of those guys I just named. Jones is the only one lost for the year, but White hasn't been the same as he's battled an ankle injury all year before finally missing some games which allowed teams to double team Tony Gonzalez and leave Ryan with few options. 

Jackson hasn't been healthy either and he hasn't shown much punch when he has been in there, so with Jaquizz Rodgers an effective weapon in his absence there could be less of Jackson on the field.

Sure Ryan has had adequate fill-ins at WR like Harry Douglas and someone I'll mention in a few, but can he really keep this going? He had a stinker of a game last week, and while the pass attempts will be up there, high volume throwing has never been Ryan's calling card. 
DECISION: SELL

Tom Brady, NE
Key Injuries: Danny Amendola - WR, Shane Vereen - RB, Sebastian Vollmer - OT, Rob Gronkowski - TE, Vince Wilfork - DT, Jerod Mayo - LB, Aquib Talib - CB

That's a lot of names. Sure, Sebastian Vollmer and Jerod Mayo doesn't jump off the page, but for every massive injury on offense the Pats have sustained, there's been a huge loss at every level of the defense over the past couple of weeks. A poor defense puts a lot of pressure on an offense, and with key injuries on that front the Pats can't operate like they would like.

It's easy to pass a lot of the blame on injuries, but Brady has not been good this year. You have to scroll pretty far down to find him on Football Outsider's DVOA ranks, and if you just watch him he's not as sharp as he used to be; especially down field. Having Amendola healthy (for however many quarters that lasts) and Gronk gaining steam can only help, but there are legit concerns for this team. If anyone can make a big turnaround in the second half, it's Brady, but you can't be certain.
DECISION: SELL


THE RUNNING BACKS
LeSean McCoy, PHI
Key Injury: Michael Vick - QB

Believe it or not, there was a QB controversy in Philadelphia. Vick or Foles was the question and it's looking more and more likely that neither is the answer. After Foles' epic choke job against the Cowboys, Vick re-injured his sensitive hamstring leaving mortified Philly fans to watch Matt Barkley play 4+ quarters of NFL football. Foles might possibly be back this week at Oakland, but Barkley is taking first team reps today.

It's pretty clear that McCoy is a more effective runner with Vick than Foles (there is an article somewhere on Philly.com I read that broke it down ... if I had a research team I'm sure I'd link to it), and with Matt Barkley, well, McCoy might not want to make the trip West. 

These past two weeks aren't the best to review the Eagles as they've been horrible, but there are several positives for McCoy moving forward. He is the undisputed back on a once mighty offense. He will get his opportunities, and the schedule is a favorable one for him. There is upside to jump on here, so I'd only move McCoy for another Top 10 back.
DECISION: HOLD, UNLESS YOU GET A TOP BACK IN RETURN

Matt Forte, CHI
Key Injury: Jay Cutler - QB

I'm electing to Trust in Trestman. Josh McCown looked good when he stepped in for Cutler against Washington, and the schedule in the coming weeks isn't too bad. I think there will be a lot of focus on getting Forte the ball, and McCown can make that happen.
DECISION: HOLD

THE WIDE RECEIVERS
Josh Gordon, CLE
Key Injury: Brian Hoyer - QB
Key Decision: Jason Campbell starting over Brandon Weeden

People love throwing Josh Gordon the football. He has at least 6 targets in the last 4 weeks, and when he gets the ball, he makes big plays. I'm sure most of Cleveland and all of Gordon's fantasy owners are hoping that Campbell stays at QB, but you never know what Cleveland is going to do. The caveat here is that there have been rumors since the beginning of the season that Gordon could be traded. That is looking more and more unlikely, but a move to a contender could boost his value even higher. 
DECISION: HOLD

Vincent Jackson, TB
Key Injuries: Doug Martin - RB, Carl Nicks, OG, Greg Schiano - HC

I think it's pretty clear that the Buccs hate Greg Schiano. The disciplinarian model doesn't mean failure in the NFL, but you have to have a personality to back it up. I wonder if Schiano's time at Rutgers, a decent football school but not elite, didn't give him the skills to manage high level talent? 

Some injuries took their toll on this team, and cutting their starting quarterback a couple of weeks into the season isn't great either. Oh, and there was also an infectious disease outbreak in the locker room. So this is either a bad football team or a bad football team that is being cursed by God or something. The good news for V-Jax is that none of this bothers him. He makes big plays and gets the football. Even with Mike Glennon hurling footballs around, Jackson should demand and get several deep balls per game. His production will be sporadic, but he has plenty of big games in him.
DECISION: HOLD

Just another victim.

Emmanuel Sanders, PIT - WR (50%) +New England Patriots 

Slowly ... extremely slowly, the Steelers look to be figuring something out. Not exactly dominating, but at least not being embarrassing. Sanders deserves a bench spot.

Daniel Thomas, MIA - RB (16%) v. Cincinnati

Lamar Miller is owned in 84% of leagues. Thomas should be owned in just as much. There can be arguments that Miller isn't getting a fair shake at the majority of carries or he has and just hasn't delivered, but Joe Philbin is trotting both of them out there. I mean Miller is averaging 4.5 YPC compared to Thomas' 3.5, so I'm sure it's not just a numbers thing, but oh well.

Montee Ball, DEN - RB (38%) BYE

Knowshon Moreno owners don't want you to know this, but this is what we've feared all season long. At some point, for some reason, the Broncos are going to decide they need to ease up on the oft-injured Moreno and start getting Montee Ball the football. Ball's touches last week against Washington were many but produced little. He did get some goal line looks, and Moreno has already lost one TD to a stupid reason. So who knows what's in store. It'd be shocking if the Broncos turned the pass catching and pass blocking part of Moreno's game over to Ball - especially with Peyton Manning dinged up, but crazier things have happened.

Peyton Hillis, NYG - RB (40%) BYE

Has a football player gone from more likable to less likable so quickly than Hillis? One year he's bowling over defenders and winning Madden Cover votes, the next he's sitting out games for no reason, demanding more money and ruining his career. Well after a shot in Tampa Bay, he's on the Giants and showing a little spring in his step. 70 yards against the Eagles is nothing to do double back-flips about, but it's something. He would most assuredly be the goal line back until Andre Brown returns.

Dexter McCluster, KC - RB/WR (5%) +Buffalo Bills 

We've all been waiting for it. Begging for it. The day when McCluster becomes scat-back extraordinaire. Ultimately, that time may never come, but Andy Reid has found some use for McCluster. In the Chiefs conservative offense, McCluster has worked well as a receiver for Alex Smith. Captain Check-down has turned his nose up at Dwayne Bowe and made McCluster an apple in his orchard. If I would have told you McCluster and Bowe would have similar value going into Week 9 you probably would have told me to jump in a slow cooker and die, but that's where we are.

PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

Lance Moore, NO - WR (28%) +New York Jets 

Marques Colston has done something to offend Drew Brees. He's not getting any looks. Even with Jimmy Graham semi-injured and Darren Sproles doing zilch, Colston still only managed 3 receptions for 18 yards last week. Lance Moore re-introduced himself with a touchdown catch, but I'd rather have Kenny Stills than Moore.

THE 1%

Drew Davis, ATL - WR (1%) +Carolina Panthers 

Who needs Julio Jones and Roddy White? The Falcons have Harry Douglas and Drew Davis! Davis is getting as many snaps as Douglas and if Douglas is in Jones' role, than Davis is in White's. Of course Roddy should be back at some point this year, making Douglas the better long-term add, but Davis has some short-term value.

Joel Dreessen, DEN - TE (1%)

Bonus 1%! Broncos have a much needed bye this week, but it's worth noting that Julius Thomas has a knock on his ankle, and he should be fine coming out of the bye, but any time you can potentially add a piece of the Denver offense, you must take note.

PERSONS OF INTEREST 

Noteworth players that have previously been mentioned on FAABulous that are still un-owned in 50% of leagues.

Marvin Jones, CIN - WR (22%), Terrelle Pryor, OAK - QB (36%), Tim Wright, WR/TE - TB (5%), Mike Tolbert, CAR - RB (21%), Kenny Stills, NO - WR (9%), Aaron Dobson, WR - NE (23%)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 8

Gio Bernard disappointed this weekend, but it's all in the game. (wpxi.com)
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 50% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

It was a simple question my friend posted on Facebook: Bernard or Douglas? The context was who to start this past week in fantasy at his flex spot. Normally, I ignore these requests because internally I feel like should I toss in my $0.02 and make the wrong pick, I've slighted my friend and embarrassed myself. This is clearly a ridiculous thought as my friend a.) posted this for anyone and everyone to answer b.) my opinion isn't anymore or less valuable than anyone else that posted on their and c.) it's not like I'm making up some fantasy football prediction algorithm - there are multiple rankings outlets that would clearly back up one player over the other.

So with that as my misguided mentality, I had been tailgating before the Eagles Cowboys game and for whatever reason decided to type in "Gio." That would be for Giovani Bernard of the Bengals. Against a Detroit Lions defense that has struggled against the run, and more importantly I thought Bernard's pass catching ability would play a big role as well. What resulted was only able to get 5.90 fantasy points to the alternative Harry Douglas' career high game score of 20.90.

The fact that Gio stunk and Douglas went off really bothered me, but when you're looking at flex positions and it can really come down to a TD or one long reception. Last week my brother asked me if he should start Miles Austin or Kenbrell Thompkins. I said Thompkins, and although Austin had zero catches/yards/anything Thompkins only performed a little better before he caught a touchdown pass late in the game.

I stand by the Gio pick just because it's what I would have done. It didn't work out, but it can't be viewed a poor decision. Ultimately it was just one part of a disappointing sports weekend for me. Junior dos Santos lost his trilogy with Cain Velasquez in convincing fashion (and if I had time, I would have posted a Looking for a Fight where I picked JdS), and speaking of bad calls, the Eagles lost thanks to Nick Foles putting on one of the worst displays of quarterbacking ever!

In fairness, my write up on Foles was regarding a game manager that made quick decisions and didn't turn the ball over. These skills gave him an advantage as compared to Michael Vick, but the lingering question is whether he could be the long-term solution (I sided with no).

Well, whoever that game manager guy was didn't show up on Sunday. You could have told me him and Matt Barkley switched minds a la Freaky Friday and I would have believed you ... until Barkley came in and threw for 3 interceptions in three drives (not including a pick he threw during a free play when the Cowboys jumped offsides). It's hard to tell what was going on with Foles. The most common thought is that he just collapsed under the pressure of the game. Foles had started before, but those were either in games that didn't matter or the case of last week, was in Tampa, not in Philly. All week fans saw this game as the biggest one of the season due to the fact that either the Eagles would be able to beat the Cowboys and be able to make a run at the division title, or they'd lose and basically put an end to the optimism that this team could realistically compete. With Foles knowing this, did he just get too caught up in the moment? When he was facing the Cowboys man defense, as opposed to more of a zone oriented defense did that make him panic? Something was clearly off, but whether it was the pressure or the strategy, Foles made it extremely difficult to vie for a starting job for the remainder of this year or in the future.
Note: Michael Vick has been named the starter for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
Anyway, I happened to mention the injury bug finally hitting the league last week, well that was just the initial blast to the big wallop this week.

Season altering and ending injuries happened to key fantasy players: most notably Doug Martin and Reggie Wayne. It's a blood bath out there, so now is the time to not hold on to any dead spots and maximize the value of your roster. That means carrying 2 QB's if your QB isn't elite or hasn't had his bye week yet, taking fliers on anyone that could step up for an injured player, and most importantly reevaluating players on your team that will be negatively affected by a key player's injury. So with that in mind, here are some players I will say you MUST add this week if you've been affected by injuries.

Reggie Wayne's injury was the most disastrous of this week, but it also provides the most opportunities. (espn.go.com)

Geno Smith, QB - NYJ (13% owned) +Cincinnati Bengals 

As many issues that surround the Jets and Geno before the season started, it's not hard to view how things are going so far as a success. The Jets are winning and Geno is a big reason why. For fantasy purposes, he has shown he's capable of having big games, already registering 3 20+ point performances. This week in Cincy probably won't go so well even with Leon Hall out for the season, but you need to make sure you have a solid back up QB.

Chris Ivory, RB - NYJ (28%) +Cincinnati Bengals 

Two Jets! Ivory appears to be in a timeshare with Bilal Powell for whatever reason. So far there's no pattern of actually splitting carries, just that if one guy gets going early, the Jets will keep feeding him.

Donald Brown, RB - IND (6%) BYE

This bye week will be a big deal for Donald Brown. He's effectively run the ball for a 5.9 yards per carry average, and can grab a couple of passes out of the backfield on third down. The not so big secret in Indy is that Brown is actually out producing big trade acquisition Trent Richardson. With Reggie Wayne going down, the Colts will have to get creative and really turn the screws to make their offense as efficient as possible. This could lead to more carries for Brown if Richardson can't "get it" in the next week or so, but there will almost certainly be more utilization of Brown in the pass game, which should equate to more snaps.

Darius Heyward-Bey, WR - IND (19%) BYE

With T.Y. Hilton already owned in 91% of leagues, and Colby Fleener already mentioned here in FAABulous, let's turn our sights to burner extraordinaire DHB. The former Raider has served his purpose as well as he can in the Colts new run heavy offense. However, with Wayne being done for the year, I would imagine the Colts looking to transition Hilton into more of a possession receiver role that Wayne had - along with Fleener and maybe sprinkle in some LaVon Brazill - and unleash Bey down the sideline. Luck doesn't throw the ball deep much anymore (a reason I was down on Hilton early in the season), but his opportunities will increase greatly with Wayne out.

Marvin Jones, WR - CIN (2%) v NYJ

Any Bengals wide receiver carries the Andy Dalton caveat, but Jones has made big strides as the #2 WR to A.J. Green. He's received 5+ targets the past two games and has two TDs to show for it. The second year man from Cal doesn't have to worry much about making big plays down field, but if he can get the trust of Dalton and find a little cushion in that 10-15 yard range, he should only improve.

Jordan Reed, TE - WAS (25%) +Denver Broncos 

Reed is the hot add this week. He has been impressive, and he has potential to be a steady player on the lower half of the top 10 TEs list. He had a big boost in targets last week against a horrendous Bears defense, but he came through when it mattered. The big thing to take away from the game is that Washington appears to be back to its run-option ways which was so successful last year. Robert Griffin III is getting healthier and healthier. But let's also keep in mind that RGIII doesn't use his TEs a lot. Granted, he hasn't always had the greatest talent lining up there, but I had Fred Davis ranked 13 overall in the pre-season for a reason. Reed can easily fill that spot.

PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

Mike James, RB - TB (7%) v CAR

Here's what I'm assuming: Mike James isn't better than Doug Martin. Here's what I know: Doug Martin wasn't doing anything this year.

THE 1%

Josh McCown, QB - CHI (1%) BYE

He has the weapons around him, and let's count this on trust Trestman. Also, Casey Keenum didn't look that terrible, right? Am I crazy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 7

Nick Foles gets the Philly QB controversy conversation in full swing. (espn.go.com)
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 50% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

The major injuries that many fantasy owners seemingly avoided most of the year came crashing down on the shores of Fantasy Island over the past week. Most notably Julio Jones' injury ended his season, and more long-term injuries to Randall Cobb, David Wilson finally being diagnosed, Danny Amendola, Cecil Shorts, DeMarco Murray, and Michael Vick all led to major waiver moves being needed in Week 7.

While not the most significant, but the most intriguing, Michael Vick's hamstring injury opened the door for Nick Foles last week in Tampa and Foles took his first start of the season and ignited a QB controversy in Philadelphia. After filling in admirably after Vick limped off in New York two weeks ago, Foles started against Tampa Bay and threw for 3 TDs and ran for 1 more while amassing 296 passing yards, no turnovers, and a 89.8 QBR. 

We are all aware of Vick's ability and his positives and negatives, so let's take a look at Foles to see if he truly deserves to take Vick's job.

There's no denying that Foles has delivered some great performances so far under new Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly in 2013. Aside from one play for an injured Vick against San Diego and garbage time in Denver, Foles has show two key attributes that Vick has not: passing accuracy and protecting the football.

2013 REGULAR SEASON GAME LOGPASSINGRUSHING
DATEOPPRESULTCMPATTYDSCMP%AVGLNGTDINTQBRRATATTYDSAVGLNGTD
Sun 10/6@W 36-211625197647.88282084.6114.9310.330
NYG
Sun 10/13@W 31-202231296719.55473089.8133.3320.741
TB
Total385649367.58.75475087.2124.1630.541
*stats courtesy of ESPN.com

In over 56 passes he hasn't thrown an interception yet or lost the football. Despite his noted lack of running ability, his quick decision making has allowed him to thrive without the threat of breaking off a big run. 

As we dig a little deeper into Foles' 2013 we see he is clearly excelling in two key areas: the red zone and 3rd down. One additional item to Foles' red zone stats, Chip Kelly said that Foles' success compared to Vick's is that Kelly did a better job making play calls in the red zone more recently with Foles than Vick. Seems a little like falling on the sword, but something to keep in mind.

Looking at the third down numbers, Foles has remained consistent. He's only taken one sack on third down, and his completion percentage is at 80%. 


BY DOWNCMPATTYDSCMP%AVGLNGTDINTSACKRATATTYDSAVGLNGTD
DOWN = 1 OVERALL1625230649.244300133.3410.341
DOWN = 2 OVERALL132118361.98.7147201121.722130
DOWN = 3 OVERALL1215129808.637101124.700000

Sure, on 3rd and long defenses tend to drop back and protect the first down marker, but in 3rd down and 9+ yards to go Foles has an average of 7 yards per pass and a 75% completion rate, which compared to Vick's 25% completion rate and lone 45 yard run in similar scenarios purports to greater success for Foles in this key area.

Chip Kelly has repeated over and over again that he doesn't need a mobile quarterback for a team in  his system to succeed. Over the past couple of weeks, with Vick and Foles he's shown that to be true. Vick did have 79 yards rushing before he left the Giants game, but when Foles came in and was able to affectively throw the ball, it only made Vick's rushing yards seem like a byproduct of his inability to make the proper reads and quick decisions in this offense. Two things that have plagued Vick his entire playing career.

There is always another side to the story, so two of the biggest negatives you can say about Foles is that he's done this against an 0-6 Giants team and a Tampa Bay team that is on the verge of either a meltdown or a MRSA pandemic. Even if he plays well on Sunday, doubts will linger as Dallas has just as bad a pass defense. He hasn't had his leap game yet. Although keep in mind winning is winning, so an Eagles victory and solid Foles performance will undoubtedly push Vick to the bench.

The second negative is that Foles had his shot to impress last year under then head coach Andy Reid. Foles started 7 games that year, and even though the team was crumbling around Reid, Foles put in some lackluster performances. His QBR was a below average 43.1 and he had a near 1:1 TD/INT ratio. Again, this was under a different regime with a different scheme and a different team mentality, so while this is a point against Foles, I can't say that a young quarterback in a new system can't improve year to year.

So what if Foles is able to keep up his consistency and not turn the ball over? What if he's Kelly's version of Jeff Garcia? A player lacking natural talent, but can make quick passes, the right decisions and do that in a way that he's more than a game manager. The short answer is that Foles will start for the rest of the season and this is Vick's last year with the Eagles. The long-term is more complicated.

Can Nick Foles be the guy? In a quarterback heavy draft in 2014, would the Eagles be able to bypass taking a stud QB in favor of addressing the numerous needs on the defensive end of the ball? Does Chip Kelly really want Foles in there or does he want a more mobile quarterback that he can groom that has the skill sets Foles already has? 

Ultimately, I think that Foles can be an everyday quarterback in the league. I'm not sure he has the extra gear to become elite. The more and more you look around football, as the game progresses to a more pass happy system, you need an elite quarterback. Foles, for all his decision making and controlling the football, is still unproven long-term with those skills. If he can develop them, and be one of those single digit INT guys, then I'm all in, but more than likely his skills against high calibur defenses and over time will regress to league average. For all the things that Kelly says he needs in a quarterback, elite skill is probably high on his list. That's probably why he went with Vick to start the season. Vick has the elite skills of a quarterback in the rushing and throwing strength categories, but his decision making and accuracy are terrible. 

Where the Eagles realistically find themselves is 3-3 tied at the top of the NFC East with a big and winnable game. Anyone that has thoughts of tanking or this being a lost season is dilusional. The Eagles are looking to win games, and whether it's Vick or more likely Foles, they're going to do their best to make the playoffs. The way this year is shaping up, the Eagles toughest games are behind them and a lot can happen between now and December, but whether they win the division or finish 3-13 there will be a quarterback available where they are drafting. I believe they'll take one. That doesn't mean Foles can't make it a tough decision for Howie Roseman, but for what Foles has exhibited so far - I think he's our quarterback for good this year.


Joseph Randle will have plenty of open lanes against the Eagles. (fansided.com)

Nick Foles, QB - PHI (12% owned) v DAL

No matter how things work out, Foles looks to be the starter for this week against Dallas, and for that he's worth an add. An interesting side note whenver a new QB takes over is how he affects other teammates. Foles certainly seemed to find Riley Cooper a bit more than Vick did. Could Brent Celek get more involved? 

Joseph Randle, RB - DAL (3%) +Philadelphia Eagles 

While Lance Dunbar appeared to be the favorite to take over when DeMarco Murray went down, Dunbar's own minor injury has led to an opening for Randle. The 5th round pick hasn't shown much so far, but with DMM's injury history along with the Cowboys taking on the Eagles run defense, he's a quality add for this week.

Aaron Dobson, WR - NE (15%) +New York Jets 

Well, we can call of the search for productivity out of one Daniel Amendola this year. The Wes Welker replacement has gone according to everyone's plan except for the Pats and his fantasy owners. While battling through several nagging injuries, Amendola was on the wrong end of a brutal hit that knocked him out cold. League of Denial or not, Danny won't be back in action soon. So with Gronkwatch on-going, let's turn back to Aaron Dobson. We were witnesses to Dobson horrid early season play, but Tom Brady gave him 10 targets last week against New Orleans. Brady has already cured Kenbrell Thompkins so his next mission is Dobson. 

Jarrett Boykin, WR - GB (3%) v CLE

If Aaron Rodgers was doing Aaron Rodgers things then I'd be more aggressive with Boykin. I don't mind so much that Boykin had a couple key drops - I'll cut him some slack for that, but Rodgers can easily assist Boykin in having the game of his career any given week. With Randall Cobb avoiding major injury and James Jones banged up, this should be a no brainer, but while Rodgers is throwing the football like a mere mortal, I would imagine Jordy Nelson (covered by Joe Haden) and Jermichael Finley benefit more than Boykin.

Mike Tolbert/Jonathan Stewart, RB - CAR (6%/7% respectively) v STL

One for now, one for later. As much of a relief it was to see Cam Newton get back to his running ways for Carolina, they braintrust over there must know that they can't rely on Newton as their main running source. DeAngelo Williams is handling the field between the 30's kind of okay, but for the spots that matter Tolbert and potentially a health Stewart get stats where it matters. Stewart makes enough money that if healthy, he has to supplant Tolbert, so depeding on need, I'd keep these guys handy.


PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

Brandon Jacobs, RB - NYG (26%) v MIN

When you watch Brandon Jacobs play like he did on Sunday, you wonder how he isn't a Hall of Famer. He's a big, big running back and when he gets a head of steam going, he is tough to bring down. Sadly though, he hardly runs that way any more - not that he did it that much in his prime either. He filled his role and always has a chance to plop into the end zone, but I'm not here to tell you he'll be getting 2 TDs per game the rest of the season (you know the answer to that already) I'm here to tell you he's not worth adding to your team.

THE 1%

Tim Wright, WR/TE - TB (0%) +Atlanta Falcons 

Until we up the % of ownership on this group to 10% it's hard sometimes to not just make this the TE category, but with Wright I'll accept his selection as this week's 1%. The versatile and athletic TE is slowly emerging as a weapon, at least under the Mike Glennon era, and while the most optimistic hope for a Marques Colston clone, what we're really looking at is a viable red zone option on a horrid Buccs team that can't even get Doug Martin a romp to TD glory (only 1 TD all year). So long as Wright doesn't get MRSA between now and Sunday, I like him against a ravaged Falcons defense.