Brad Morgan

Red Zone Report

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The Home Stretch

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just like every year, we've all learned a lot this season…

Wait, this the season isn't over yet. It's not time for the wrap it all up column; it's time to go for it all baby. Just like you (those still reading fantasy football articles who are done, I applaud you) I'm in the championship this week, and I'm in it for the glory.

It's important to ride the guys who got you here, but don't forget that your judgment got you this far, too. There are many under-the-radar players this week that could help your team if you have deficiencies at WR3, RB2, TE or in the Flex spot. I'll save the wrap up stuff for next week. Let's get to this week's Red Zone Report:

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Greg Camarillo, Dolphins WR

The biggest knock on the Dolphins has been their lack of playmakers at the WR position. And while Greg Camarillo is certainly not what you would categorize as a "playmaker", he has become a very important part of Miami's passing attack. Only 10 receivers have been thrown more passes than Camarillo's 27 in the last two weeks.

On a team devoid of typical Red Zone receivers, he was targeted 3 times in scoring situations last week. In addition to his growing role, Camarillo finds himself in a great matchup this week facing Houston in what is shaping up to be a shootout. Owned in just 3% of Yahoo leagues, Camarillo is a solid WR3 play this week at home against the Texans.

Josh Morgan, 49ers WR

No one will ever accuse Josh Morgan of being spectacular, but sometimes that's not important. Everything about Morgan screams boring and mundane. He's the 3rd receiving option on a mediocre team, a former sixth-round draft pick, and lacks overly impressive size or speed. Honestly, aside from having an amazing last name, there's not much to like about Morgan on the surface.

Over the last month Morgan has racked up 7.25 targets per game, which is close to what solid WR2s put up for the season (Donald Driver is at 7.2, Marques Colston is at 7.3, and Sidney Rice is at 7.6). Although Morgan doesn't have the same caliber talent as these players, getting over 7 targets consistently is a recipe for success. In addition, Morgan is a huge factor in scoring situations: he's been thrown to 16 times in the Red Zone, second only to Vernon Davis' 18 RZ targets.

Now facing the Lions' NFL-worst pass defense, Morgan is in line for a big-time game. Owned in just 7% of Yahoo leagues, I would start Morgan as a WR3 with confidence, and wouldn't have to be pushed too hard to use him as a WR2.

Michael Bush, Raiders RB

Ever since watching him dominate Kentucky in the first game of Louisville's 2006 season, I've been a huge fan of Bush. Unfortunately, that first game only lasted one half, as Bush broke his leg on his 17th carry, effectively ending his college career and killing any chance he had of being a first-round draft pick. Since being picked by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, Bush has struggled to get a real chance to be Oakland's starting tailback. However, when he has been given opportunity, he has succeeded.

This past game was another example of Michael Bush just needing a chance. Against an above average Denver Broncos run defense, Bush put up a monster game (133 yards and a TD on just 18 carries). In addition to getting the bulk of Oakland's carries, he was the lead option on the Goal Line, getting 3 of the 4 carries from inside the 5-yard line.

Bush's combination of explosive ability to accelerate and hulk-like power (6-1/245) makes him a dangerous runner against any team. Facing the Browns putrid 27th ranked rushing defense this week, Bush should be licking his chops. Owned in just 15% of Yahoo leagues, Bush is a lower end RB2 play with a ton of upside (Although my crazy love for him and this matchup is tempting me to rank him higher).

Jermichael Finley, Packers TE

One of Rotoworld's (and yours truly's) favorite preseason sleepers, the freakishly athletic Tight End has emerged as a viable TE1 option lately. I actually drafted Finley with the last pick in my draft (leaving me kicker-less), hoping I would be able to make a 2 for 1 deal and hold onto Jermichael long enough for him to start playing on a consistent basis. Although I ended up dropping him for some kicker at Noon on that first Sunday, he was a player I would be keeping my eye on.

While he has shown flashes all year, over the past five games Finley has become an essential part of the Packers' passing game. In those last five, Finley has scored the 5th most points among TEs (48.2, good for just under 10 points per game). In addition to his production, Aaron Rodgers has been throwing Jermichael the ball more than just about anybody: averaging 8.2 targets over that time span (to put that in perspective, Dallas Clark is averaging 8.3 for the season).

Still owned in just 37% of Yahoo leagues (and an unbelievable 21% of ESPN leagues), and facing Seattle's 27th ranked pass defense, Finley is a great TE1 start this week. Much like Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, and Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley has the athletic ability to break off huge plays; which could win you your league this week.

Beanie Wells, Cardinals RB

The artist formerly known as Chris Wells has become finally become the Cardinals' lead back. Tim Hightower did a nice job getting the most out of his below-average physical tools, but Beanie's time has come. Although Wells is owned in most leagues, it's important for his owners to know that he's a RB1 option this week, START HIM! Facing the Rams' league worst run defense, Wells is a great bet to put up a monster game.

Jerious Norwood, Falcons RB

After, in person, watching Norwood contribute to yet another disappointing Jets loss, it pains me to recommend him. However, if Michael Turner is out (and it appears he will be) Norwood has a great matchup against the 31st ranked rushing defense, the Buffalo Bills. Although Jason Snelling will get the bulk of the Red Zone carries, Norwood's ability to break off the big play makes him viable option as well. Norwood is a great flex play, and Snelling is a low end RB2 this week.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs WR

In his first game back, Bowe got right into the swing of things. He got an encouraging 10 targets, and remained a factor in the Red Zone with 3 RZ looks. Get him back in your lineups and start him confidently as a WR2.

Fred Davis, Redskins TE

Still owned in just 41% of Yahoo leagues, Fred Davis is an every-week fantasy starter. Over the past 3 games, the only tight end with more fantasy points is Dallas Clark. Facing the Cowboys this week, who have given up 6.9 points to TEs over the last 7 games, Davis has a solid matchup. Don't forget that Jason Campbell loves to look for Davis is scoring situations. Davis has racked up an impressive 11 RZ targets in the past 4 games. The only TEs I would start over Jason Campbell's new favorite target are: Clark, Antonio Gates, and Vernon Davis. That's it.

Leonard Weaver, Eagles RB

The writing is on the wall for LeSean McCoy: Andy Reid doesn't trust him as a starting RB. Over the past 3 games, McCoy has averaged just over 8 carries; and although he's getting 4 targets, it's not enough to mitigate his inconsistent workload. It seemed that McCoy was similar enough to Brian Westbrook that he would be able to approximate his value within the Eagles offense. Unfortunately, McCoy hasn't made an impact anywhere close to that of Westbrook. Fullback Leonard Weaver, however, has shown the ability to provide the Philly offense with a more fruitful rushing attack.

This past game, Weaver had 5 of the 6 carries inside of the 20-yard line, and 2 of 3 inside the five (ironically, that 1 went to McCoy for a 1-yd TD). Going up against the 12th toughest defense against the run (Denver Broncos), Weaver makes for a decent flex play, and is the Philly RB to start. Owned in just 5% of Yahoo leagues, Weaver is an alright bet to get 50ish yards and a touchdown this week.

John Paul Foschi, Bengals TE

This is only for those in two Tight End leagues. John Paul Foschi, despite his 3 names -- which usually means someone is insane (John Wilkes Booth, Mary Kate Olson, Anna Nicole Smith, Billy Bob Thornton, among others) -- is a good TE2 option this week. Although this success has really come out of the blue, Foschi racked up 9 targets (including 2 in the RZ), and 7 receptions in Week 15. Owned in virtually no leagues, I'd say he cracks my top 15 for TEs this week.

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