Ed Williams III

Snapdraft Football

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Under the Cap: Week 9

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Snapdraft is a weekly game in which you select a team that fits under a $27 million salary cap. There’s a wide variety of league sizes, and while each league costs at least $1, there are cash prizes as well. Each week I’ll take a look at the matchups and the salaries and put together a winning combination. Since there’s a salary cap, you can’t just stack your team with a bunch of studs, so finding some bargains will be key. Here’s the Week 9 squad.

 

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Quarterback

Matt Ryan, Falcons, $5,360,000, at Colts
Matt Ryan hasn’t thrown more than one touchdown in a game since Week 2’s shootout against the Eagles, but look for that to change against the hapless Colts. Ryan is coming off a bye and should have Julio Jones back at his disposal. The Falcons should be able to shred the Indy secondary, so Ryan is a good sneaky play here.

Other value picks
Mark Sanchez, Jets, $5,000,000, at Bills – The Sanchize has thrown multiple touchdowns in all but two games this season, and he’ll also be coming off a bye. He’s also playing the potent Bills, so this could develop into a shootout if Buffalo can overcome a trip to Revis Island.

Andy Dalton, Bengals, $3,270,000, at Titans – Dalton hasn’t lit it up this season, but he’s playing much better than your average rookie as well. He has a great rapport with fellow rookie A.J. Green, and the two should hook up for at least one score. Dalton is a smart play if you’re saving up money for somewhere else.

Running back

Steven Jackson, Rams, $4,170,000, at Cardinals
Something tells me last week’s outburst of 159 yards and two TDs wasn’t a fluke. The Rams finally seem to be putting things together, even in the absence of Sam Bradford. After upsetting the Saints last week, the Rams will take on the porous Cardinals’ defense. Whether Bradford plays or not this week, Jackson will carry a big load and put up nice numbers.

Jackie Battle, Chiefs, $2,950,000, vs. Dolphins
Battle finally got on the board with a touchdown last week against the Chargers. Ever since taking over an increased role in the offense, he’s reached at least 70 yards rushing in each game. Look for that trend to continue against the lowly Dolphins. At this price, and with this matchup, this pick is a no-brainer.

Other value picks
Shonn Greene, Jets, $3,850,000, at Bills – Ever since Rex Ryan said the Jets were going back to the “ground and pound” attack, Greene has gotten at least 20 carries and topped 70 yards in each game. He’s coming off a bye week, so he’ll be well-rested, and the Jets should be able to move the ball against the Bills.

Javon Ringer, Titans, $2,000,000, vs. Bengals – This is one of those high risk/high reward picks. With Chris Johnson looking like he was running in quicksand again last week, the Titans turned to Ringer for more carries. He rushed 14 times for 60 yards, and if he has the hot hand, they may ride him again against the Bengals.

Wide receiver

A.J. Green, Bengals, $3,870,000, at Titans
The rookie receiver is a star in the making. He has a touchdown in all but two of his games so far, and he’s playing like a veteran. He’s topped 110 yards twice and has reached 90 yards in another game. He’s in sync with Andy Dalton, and has the ability to just go up and snatch the ball out of the air. When you can do that, you become a great red zone target, and that’s exactly what you want here.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, $1,300,000, at Cowboys
Baldwin was shut out two weeks ago, but before that he had games of 84 yards and 136 yards and a score. Then, last week, he bounced back with give catches for 73 yards. Look for him to have another nice game against a banged up Cowboys secondary. At this price, it would be foolish not to go with him. There’s no one in this price range with even close to Baldwin’s amount of value.

Other value picks
Victor Cruz, Giants, $2,480,000, at Patriots – The Bills managed to contain Cruz in Week 6, but since he was asked to step up in Week 3, he’s gone for 110 yards (2 TDs), 98 yards, 161 yards (1 TD) and 99 yards (1 TD). With so much attention being given to Hakeem Nicks, Cruz has been a big beneficiary. This could turn into a shootout, too, which could mean another big day for Cruz.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers, $1,820,000, at Redskins – Crabtree’s stock has been rising for the 49ers for a while, and he finally hit pay dirt last week. No 49ers receiver is exactly reliable thanks to Alex Smith at quarterback, but Crabtree has been getting plenty of targets, and he’s a great talent, so at this price he’s a nice investment.

Tight end

Jermichael Finley, Packers, $2,530,000, at Chargers
Finley has been relatively quiet since a 3-TD outburst in Week 3, but I have a feeling that’s about to change. The Packers are coming off a bye, so look for the offense to be as potent as ever. Finley is an athletic beast, and if he can just hold on to the ball and avoid careless drops, he could be in line for a big day against San Diego.

Other value picks
Brent Celek, Eagles, $1,900,000, vs. Bears – After what seemed like an eternity, Celek has reached fantasy relevance again, scoring a TD in his last two games. He hauled in seven balls against the Cowboys for 94 yards and a score. The Bears have allowed the most points to tight ends this season, so Celek could have a third nice week in a row.

Dallas Clark, Colts, $1,600,000, vs. Falcons – Clark was shut out against the Saints in Week 7, but he hauled in six catches for 53 yards and a core against the Bengals in Week 6 and then another six balls for 77 yards in Week 8. He’s a risky play since you can’t count on Curtis Painter, but he could be worth the risk.

Defense/Special teams

St. Louis Rams, $1,020,000, at Cardinals
The Rams are the cheapest defense on the board, but they’re coming off a game in which they held the same Saints’ offense that dropped 62 on the Colts to just 21 points. Kevin Kolb may not even play for Arizona, so the Rams could be feasting on John Skelton come Sunday. That’s too juicy to pass up.

Other value picks
Atlanta Falcons, $1,750,000, at Colts – The Falcons are coming off a bye and are playing the winless Colts. Atlanta should be able to force Curtis Painter into a couple of mistakes and hold the offense in check while coasting to an easy win.

Houston Texans, $2,280,000, vs. Browns – Even with multiple injuries, the Texans’ defense has been one of the team’s strengths this year for a chance. Meanwhile, the Browns’ offense is one of the worst in the league. It doesn’t take much to shut down Colt McCoy.

Kicker

Josh Brown, Rams, $2,000,000, at Cardinals
Not only are the Rams playing a horrid Arizona defense, but Brown has a big leg on top of it. Look for the Rams to get plenty of scoring opportunities in this one, so go with the biggest value on the board here.

Other value picks
Connor Barth, Buccaneers, $2,480,000, at Saints – The Bucs have already annihilated the Saints once, so maybe they can do it again. This one will probably be high-scoring, so Barth is a nice option here.

Nick Folk, Jets, $2,560,000, at Bills – Here’s another one that could develop into a shootout. Folk has been solid this year, and the Jets should be able to get into scoring range quite a bit against the Bills’ defense.

Flex

Matt Cassel, Chiefs, $3,440,000, vs. Dolphins
Going with a QB at the Flex position seems like the way to go again this week. Cassel has a nice matchup against the Dolphins, and he also seemed to get rookie Jonathan Baldwin into the mix against the Chargers this past week. Now with three capable targets in the passing game with Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and now Baldwin, Cassel should be able to spread it around against the ‘Fins.






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