Ed Williams III

Snapdraft Football

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Under the Cap: Week 12

Wednesday, November 23, 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. There are also now games that will pay out to up to the top five teams. 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 12 squad.


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Tony Romo, Cowboys, $5,530,000, vs. Dolphins
Tony Romo has been hitting a groove lately, throwing for 270 or more yards in each of his last three games. He’s thrown for eight touchdowns during that stretch as well. The Dolphins are surprisingly one of the NFL’s hottest teams right now after winning three straight, but it’s been against the Chiefs, Redskins and reeling Bills. Look for Romo to stay on track and to give Miami a reality check.

Other value picks
Matt Ryan, Falcons, $5,360,000 vs. Vikings – Matt Ryan has also been turning it on over the last three games. He’s thrown for 275, 351 and 316 yards over the last three games and has a great matchup against a ravaged Vikings secondary. Look for Ryan to have another big day, as the Falcons should roll to an easy win.

Matt Moore, Dolphins, $3,310,000, at Cowboys – This pick is for the risk-takers. Matt Moore has been playing the best football of his career lately, but as I said above, the competition hasn’t exactly been stiff. He threw three TD passes against the Bills in the first half last week, but the Cowboys will provide a stiffer challenge. If you want to roll the dice on Turkey Day, though, Moore may provide you with some great value.

Running back

Steven Jackson, Rams, $5,170,000, vs. Cardinals
Jackson was held to just 42 yards last week against the Seahawks, but before that, he rattled off three straight games of 100+ yards. Look for him to get back on track against a poor Cardinals defense. Sam Bradford has struggled this season, so he may get Jackson involved in the passing game to help him find a rhythm. Look for Jackson to go over 100 yards and find the end zone at least once in this one.

Toby Gerhart, Vikings, $1,040,000, at Falcons
It looks like Adrian Peterson will likely be sitting this one out, and if that’s the case, Gerhart will get the start. The Falcons have a tough run defense, but to get a starting running back at this price is too good to be true. When he started for Peterson last season, Gerhart rushed for 77 yards and added a few catches for 18 more.

Other value picks
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers, $4,200,000, at Chiefs – Mendenhall has had a very disappointing season, topping 100 yards just once all year. That should change this week, though, as the Steelers should be able to blow out the Chiefs. Look for Pittsburgh to get out to an early lead with their passing game and then start feeding the ball to Mendenhall.

LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers, $3,280,000, at Titans – Blount finally woke up last week against the Packers with 107 yards and a TD. His performance was highlighted by a 54-yard run in which he broke several tackles and found the end zone. Look for Blount to back that up with another strong performance against the Titans.

Wide receiver

DeSean Jackson, Eagles, $3,250,000, vs. Patriots
The Patriots’ defense has looked much better the last couple of weeks but it’s been against Mark Sanchez and Tyler Palko. Whether it’s Vince Young or Michael Vick for the Eagles, both are a step up in competition. DeSean Jackson got back into the mix last week after a one-game suspension handed down to him by Andy Reid, and he should continue to build upon that as he tries to salvage his season with a big second half. Jackson should give New England’s inexperienced secondary fits.

Jerome Simpson, Bengals, $1,680,000, vs. Browns
It’s unknown whether A.J. Green will be playing for the Bengals this week, but either way, Simpson should play a big role in the passing game. He’s coming off his third 100+ yard game of the season, and Andy Dalton has showed good chemistry with him. For such a low salary, he will provide great value here.

Other value picks
Laurent Robinson, Cowboys, $3,240,000, vs. Dolphins – Robinson has caught a touchdown pass in four straight games, so you could do much worse than to ride him out until that trend stops. As mentioned above, Tony Romo is in a groove, and Miles Austin is still out, so Robinson should put up nice numbers on Thanksgiving.

Reggie Wayne, Colts, $2,180,000, vs. Panthers – It’s pretty much been a lost season for everyone on the Colts, but if Indianapolis ever had a chance to get things going on offense, it’s against the Panthers. Wayne has probably lost a step, but he’s still very talented. So, for this price it’s worth the risk to see if Curtis Painter can finally get him the ball.

Tight end

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, $3,100,000, at Eagles
Gronkowski has been an absolute beast in the red zone. He scored two touchdowns for the second straight week last week, and the Eagles will have a hard time finding an answer for him. While Philadelphia’s linebackers have looked better of late, they aren’t ready for the likes of Gronkowski. If Brady can get the Pats into the red zone, look for Gronkowski to put up another score or two.

Other value picks
Jermichael Finley, Packers, $2,530,000, at Lions – Finley is freakishly athletic and talented for a tight end, but the Packers have so many weapons that you never know who’s going to have a big day. Finley is due for a monster game, and the Lions will have no answer for him. He’s scored a TD in only three games so far this season, but look for him to make it four this week.

Brent Celek, Eagles, $1,900,000, vs. Patriots – Celek has reemerged as a legit threat at tight end over the last few weeks. Both Michael Vick and Vince Young have gone to him for some big plays, and he’s delivering. With a porous pass defense, he should continue to contribute this week against the Pats.

Defense/Special teams

New Orleans Saints, $1,550,000, vs. Giants
The Giants have an offense capable of putting up some points, but they’ve been hurt by the absence of Ahmad Bradshaw. Brandon Jacobs hasn’t gotten to job done, and it’s hurting the entire offense. The Eagles did a nice job of containing them last week, and you can bet the Saints saw that while on their bye. New Orleans will be fresh and in front of their home crowd this week, so look for them to step up.

Other value picks
Washington Redskins, $1,980,000, at Seahawks – Seattle’s always dangerous at home, but Washington is a nice pick here. While the Redskins have been abominable on offense this season, their defense remains a strong unit. This one should be a low-scoring game.

Atlanta Falcons, $2,100,000, vs. Vikings – Adrian Peterson should be out of action in this one, making the one-dimensional Vikings, well, zero-dimensional. Atlanta will pick up an easy win to stay in the NFC South race.


Jay Feely, Cardinals, $2,190,000, at Rams
It looks like John Skelton will be at QB again for the Cards, which would normally spell disaster for the offense, but they’re playing the Rams who have one of the worst defense in the league. The Cardinals should be able to move the ball and get into field goal range for Feely.

Other value picks
Adam Vinatieri, Colts, $2,130,000, vs. Panthers – Like I said with Reggie Wayne earlier, this is the week the Colts could finally start to move the ball. Adam Vinatieri hasn’t had much practice lately since the Colts hardly score any points, but his leg may get a workout this week.

Josh Brown, Rams, $2,000,000, vs. Cardinals – if these offenses were any good, this could be a track meet since the defenses are so bad. Unfortunately for the Rams, they’ll still struggle to score TDs. But that could be a good thing for Josh Brown as he should see plenty of field goal attempts.


Andy Dalton, Bengals, $3,270,000, vs. Browns
Andy Dalton threw three picks against the Ravens last week, but he also threw for 373 yards and a touchdown. He had thrown for seven touchdowns in his previous three games and has showed great poise for a rookie. After two straight losses to the Steelers and Ravens, Dalton will get the Bengals back on track with a win over the Browns and throw a couple TDs in the process.

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