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Monday, November 18, 2013

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 WRAPUP: 1:00 GAMES

Not as exciting a day as we have seen in the past in fantasy football parlance but there were some out of the blue performances to certainly take note of.

-E.J. Manuel was a guy from the start I told you all to take a flier on as your backup with upside but injuries curtailed the storyline for awhile.  However now that he is back, Manuel is picking up where he left off in September with some solid but unspectacular starts.  Manuel toyed with the New York Jets Sunday by throwing for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He remains a clear low end QB 2 in those type of formats at best but I stand my earlier assertion that 2014 is when Manuel will be worth looking into in a more prominent role.

-I love killing C.J. Spiller every week but I have to admit now I am getting bored with saying the same things.  He rushed for only 6 yards on 13 carries which is an utter disgrace and continues a season-long struggle when he is the clear cut number 1 fantasy football bust.  He absolutely can't be started right now but truth be told Fred Jackson was not much better with 32 yards on 12 carries. 

-Marquise Goodwin came out of the shadows to catch 6 balls for 81 yards and a score.  Goodwin was the featured Bills receiver as both Steve Johnson and Robert Woods were injured.  It is likely Goodwin will go back to irrelevance.  This is especially true when you consider the bad weather as already arrived in Buffalo and that means we are past the cutoff date where those who take part in the passing game on this team are not useful.

-Nice game for Chris Ivory in the middle of the disaster that were the Jets Sunday as he rushed for 98 yards and a score on only 15 carries.  Same deal as before with Ivory as a RB 2 in standard formats.

-There you go Ray Rice!!!!  Needless to say it has been a very trying year for fantasy football owners of Ray Rice who has dealt with a hip injury and drastically reduced numbers across the board.  It had gotten so bad that Rice was being benched in more than a few leagues which is something I couldn't find fault with to a degree.  However Rice gave us a reminder of how great he can be Sunday by rushing for 131 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown to go along with 3 catches for 17 yards.  The fact Rice got so much work in a week leading up to the game where John Harbaugh said he would go with Bernard Pierce at times is telling.  Obviously things are looking up finally.

-Alshon Jeffrey was the receiving star for the Bears in the wind and rain by catching 7 balls for 83 yards while Brandon Marshall came in with only 4 for 42.  Jeffrey was open all game long while Marshall was dealing with Ravens CB Jimmy Graham. 

-Matt Forte was quiet the last few weeks but he came back strong against the Ravens by rushing for 83 yards on 18 carries while also catching 5 balls for 42 yards and a score.  No fears of wearing down yet despite the overall increase in work Forte is getting. 

-Boy Andy Dalton is trying patience again.  For the second week in a row Dalton was careless with the football as he tossed two picks early in the first half.  However Dalton saves his day by throwing three touchdown passes which compensated for the turnovers and the horrid total of 93 yards passing.  Dalton's terrific mid-October stretch was eye opening but is quickly being forgotten.  Ultimately I still like Dalton a lot given his vast array of weapons but his turnovers are killing his bottom line.

-Ugh Jason Campbell showed why he has been a backup for so long.  Three interceptions quickly changed the narrative on the guy after he played very well the last two weeks off the bench in place of Brandon Weeden. 

-Basically if your star fantasy football receiver is going against Browns CB Joe Haden, you have trouble.  Just check out the grand total of 2 catches for 7 yards compiled by A.J. Green Sunday.  Haden picked off two passed headed toward Green early on in the game and completely shut him down.  Green will obviously be fine but Haden is a true shutdown corner in ever sense of the word.

-Josh Gordon is so underrated it is scary.  If he played on any other team with a good QB, the numbers could be staggering.  He reminds me a lot of Dez Bryant the way he is so athletic and can come up with almost every pass tossed his way.  Gordon caught 5 balls for 125 yards and 1 TD and is every bit a low end WR 1.

-Boy did LeSean McCoy fantasy football owners like yours truly go through the gamut of emotions Sunday.  After seemingly sleepwalking through a terrible October, McCoy is back to being the best fantasy football back in the game as he rushed for 77 yards on 20 carries with 2 scores to go along with 4 catches for 73 more yards.  In between McCoy gave us all heart attacks as he left the game with what was feared a hamstring injury.  The walk to the locker room was sobering but soon McCoy was back out for the second half and all was right in the fantasy football world.  The fact that Nick Foles has played so great the last month clearly has done nothing but open up running lanes for McCoy.  In fact things went to the extreme the other way as Foles failed to throw for a touchdown but still has also yet to throw a pick.

-I wrote a small piece about how RG3 puts up more garbage time fantasy football points than anyone and that was true once again Sunday as he tossed two second half scores and the majority of his 264 yards.  Hey however you want to get there is fine with us as long as the numbers add up.

-Alfred Morris was totally overshadowed by McCoy but he made it five straight games of good to great production by rushing for 93 yards on 22 carries.

-It was a tale of two halves for Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson as both men were on pace for record-breaking yardage totals respectively.  Both men were shut down almost completely in the second half however which ultimately put a damper on what we thought would be monumental numbers.  Stafford finished with 362 yards with 2 TD's and 1 INT while Johnson came in with 6 catches for 179 yards and 2 scores.  Could have been more though.

-Reggie Bush took a seat due to fumbling issues.  Truth be told September Bush has been pretty ordinary and is being lost in the shuffle with all the passing Detroit is doing.  Bush finished with only 31 rushing yards on 12 carries while Joquie Bell came on in relief to score a TD and pick up 49 yards on 9 attempts.  Bush is getting dangerously close to RB 3 status, especially in standard formats.

-Ben Roethlisberger has been locked in the last three weeks and had his best game of the season Sunday in tossing four touchdown passes with a total of 367 yards.  While Big Ben has been very inconsistent form game to game during his entire career, start him while he is hot.

-Antonio Brown kept up the show Sunday in scoring two touchdowns on his 7 catches for 147 yards.  The NFL's leading receptions wideout has been even better than anyone could have imagined.

-Heath Miller is likely sitting there on your wire waiting to get picked up.  Miller is now at the point in his career where he is a boring fantasy football veteran but Roethlisberger loves him.  He grabbed 8 passes for 67 yards on Sunday.

-Bobby Rainey anyone?  The Browns castoff quickly seized control of the Buccaneer's starting running back job as rumbled for an insane 163 yards on 30 carries and 2 touchdowns while also catching 2 balls for 4 yards and a third score.  I had Rainey in the ADD section in last week's ADD/DROP column and said if you had only one spot to use on your roster, use it on him and not Brian Leonard due to his bigger play ability.  Obviously Rainey knows what he is doing running the football but the story is not longer a secret and the battle will be fierce to claim him off waivers this week.

-Tim Wright caught only one pass for the second week in a row so no need to stick with him.  One bad game for an unproven guy is all right but two in a row means time to move on.

-Vincent Jackson seriously had no in between when it comes to his games.  He either catches 2 balls for 15 yards or has a game like he did Sunday when he grabbed 10 balls for 165 yards and a score. 

-Harry Douglas is a true breakout guy this season as he had another huge game Sunday in catching 6 balls for 134 yards and a score.  Douglas has performed like a WR 1 since Julio Jones went out and he likely will cause Roddy White to get cut in the offseason.

-Carson Palmer has the Cardinals at 6-4 so he has been well worth the investment.  Sunday was a big day for Palmer as he tossed for 419 yards and 2 scores with no turnovers.  He has getting back to being useful in two-QB formats but play the matchups as when Palmer is bad, he is really bad.

-No reason to talk about the running games for both as Andre Ellington, Rashard Mendenhall, and Maurice Jones-Drew were all horrendous.

-Michael Floyd has hinted at big time ability in the past but not until Sunday did we really see it in spades.  Floyd caught 6 passes for an extreme 193 yards and a touchdown Sunday and he should be included in your lineups for next week to see if he can build on that tremendous outing.

-Cecil Shorts popped off after the game after he grabbed only 2 balls for 22 yards.  This was the second straight miserable outing for Shorts who complained about his place in the offense.  I don't blame him as your best player should not be featured so poorly.  Usually when situations like this arise, the player is huge the next week so give Shorts another game. 

-All Case Keenum owners were banging their heads against the wall Sunday as Gary Kubiak inexplicably benched him for Matt Schaub despite the rookie playing just fine.  Keenum has been very good since becoming the starter to the point where some fantasy football owners were using him as their number 1 guy.  Kubiak claims he wanted better tempo which is why he went back to Schaub.  This is now clearly one big mess and both guys should be ignored until it is ironed out.  If Kubiak goes back to Schaub, run way. 

-Andre Johnson owners had to be especially annoyed about Keenum hitting the bench since all five of his touchdowns had come with the kid under center.  Johnson still was very good Sunday in catching 10 balls for 116 yards but if Schaub returns, than the TD outlook dims.  Overall though as a big Johnson lover, the guy has been a stud all season and has fought through some injuries to stay out there every week. 

-Matt McGloin was just the latest QB to come out of nowhere to perform well in his first start as he threw for three scores and 197 yards.  Rod Streater was the beneficiary as he grabbed 6 balls for 84 yards and a score.  Don't go running picking up McGloin as we have to see a whole lot more to even think of doing such a move.

-Garrett Graham has been solid in replacing Owen Daniels and Sunday was a big day as he caught 7 balls for 136 yards and a score.  Graham is a solid tight end 1 to use for now and this is especially true if Schaub returns under center this week.

There you have it. Let us hear your thoughts.

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