Ed Williams III

Snapdraft Football

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Under the Cap: Week 13

Wednesday, November 30, 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 13 squad.


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Vince Young, Eagles, $3,180,000, at Seahawks
With Mike Vick already ruled out for Thursday night's game, Vince Young should be in line for another big performance. He’s coming off his first-ever 400-yard game, and the Seahawks have the 20th ranked pass defense. He’ll be without Jeremy Maclin again, but DeSean Jackson will be out to make up for last week’s poor performance. Young is also always a threat to run, so he could give your team a great start on Thursday night.

Other value picks
Carson Palmer, Raiders, $4,570,000, at Dolphins – Carson Palmer didn’t throw any touchdowns last week, but he did throw for 301 yards. Going against the Miami’s 24th ranked pass defense, Palmer will find the end zone this week.

Kyle Orton, Chiefs, $2,920,000, at Bears – This pick’s a gamble, but sometimes that’s what you have to do in this game. He has plenty of weapons to throw to in Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin. The Bears’ defense is one of the league’s best, though. You’re rolling the dice with this pick, but the reward could be huge.

Running back

LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers, $4,280,000, vs. Panthers
Blount is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time this season, and the Panthers have the 28th ranked rush defense in the league. The Bucs should pound the ball all day to try and control the clock and keep the ball out of Cam Newton’s hands.

Donald Brown, Colts, $2,090,000, at Patriots
Brown is coming off his best game of the season as he rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries against the Panthers. It’s hard to get too excited since it was against Carolina, but for this price it’s worth a gamble. Dan Orlovsky will be at QB this week, so he should rely on the running game as he tries to hit his stride.

Other value picks
Roy Helu, Redskins, $4,000,000, vs. Jets – It’s always risky going with one of Mike Shanahan’s running backs, but he has finally said that Helu is definitely the primary running back after he ran for over 100 yards last week for the first time in his career. He also hauled in seven receptions for 54 yards and will continue to be a threat in the passing game.

Willis McGahee, Broncos, $3,700,000, at Vikings – McGahee is coming off his fifth game of more than 100 yards rushing, and he played a huge role in the Broncos’ overtime win last week. Denver is going to continue to run the ball, so McGahee will see plenty of touches. Tim Tebow could steal a lot of the scoring opportunities, but the yardage should definitely be there.

Wide receiver

Wes Welker, Patriots, $3,830,000, vs. Colts
Tom Brady got re-acclimated with Wes Welker last week to the tune of eight catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles. The Colts won’t have an answer for Welker, and with the playoffs getting closer, Brady will want to keep his connection with the stud receiver strong. Welker is a weekly threat for double digit catches and multiple touchdowns, so you can’t go wrong here.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, $1,300,000, vs. Eagles
Baldwin led the Seahawks in targets last week with 10, which was six more than any other player. This week, it looks like their top receiver Sidney Rice will be out with a concussion. Baldwin should be the team-leader in targets once again, and the Eagles have been very suspect in their pass defense. Baldwin is the best value on the board at such a low price.

Other value picks
Antonio Brown, Steelers, $3,010,000, vs. Bengals – The Bengals should be focused on stopping the dynamic Mike Wallace, which will open things up for Brown in the passing game. Look for Big Ben to target him often in this AFC North showdown.

Jason Avant, Eagles, $1,500,000, at Seahawks – From week to week you never know what you’re going to get with Avant, but he could be worth the risk. He’s coming off arguably his best game of the season in which he caught eight balls for 110 yards and a touchdown, so Vince Young is obviously comfortable with him. Seattle is pretty stout against the run, so the pass-happy Eagles will have to continue to air it out.

Tight end

Jermichael Finley, Packers, $2,530,000, at Giants
I’m going with the ultra-talented Finley one more time. This season has been a bit of a bust for the electric tight end, but with so many options in the passing game, it’s somewhat understandable. The Giants are banged up at the linebacker position and will have trouble matching up with Finley. If he doesn’t go off this week, I’m done picking him, but this could be the week he finally has a monster game.

Other value picks
Brent Celek, Eagles, $1,900,000, at Seahawks – Ever since the Eagles’ bye week in Week 7, Celek has become a reliable option in the passing game. He’s gone for more than 50 yards in every game since then and has five or more catches in every game but one during that stretch. There isn’t a high ceiling here, but he’s a safe option to give you solid production.

Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars, $1,500,000, vs. Chargers – This has been an abysmal season for Lewis, but Blaine Gabbert will continue to throw to him. The Chargers have been a mess this season, so if Lewis is going to have a big game this season, this is the perfect opportunity.

Defense/Special teams

St. Louis Rams, $1,020,000, at 49ers
I feel like I’m giving away three points here, because I don’t see the Rams beating the 49ers, but I’m making this pick to ensure I get a sure thing as my Flex play. The 49ers aren’t a high-scoring team, so the Rams could come through by not giving up too many points. Throw in a couple of sacks and maybe a special teams TD like they had last week, and this pick can easily pay off.

Other value picks
Atlanta Falcons, $2,100,000, at Texans – Rookie T.J. Yates will be making his first career start at QB for Houston, which means great things for the Falcons. Houston will likely try to pound the ball with Arian Foster and Ben Tate, but Atlanta is the second best team in the NFL against the run.

San Diego Chargers, $2,040,000, at Jaguars – The Chargers’ defense has been a mess this season, but the Jaguars’ offense has been just as bad, if not worse. For this price, it’s worth a shot to see if they can force Blaine Gabbert into a couple turnovers.


Matt Prater, Broncos, $2,100,000, at Vikings
Prater isn’t the most accurate kicker, but he’ll be in a dome against the Vikings, which could help. Denver should be able to move the ball against Minnesota, but they’ve struggled to score touchdowns, which is a good thing if you’re a kicker. And Tim Tebow just knows how to win, so there’s another three points for you.

Other value picks
Connor Barth, Buccaneers, $2,480,000, vs. Panthers – Carolina has a tough time slowing down any team, so the Bucs should be able to move the ball easily in this one, giving Barth several scoring opportunities.

Lawrence Tynes, Giants, $2,290,000, vs. Packers – This one could develop into a shoot-out, which means plenty of scoring, which means plenty of field goals and extra points.


Drew Brees, Saints, $6,380,000, vs. Lions
By skimping on defense and at kicker, I can take Drew Brees who is an absolute machine when playing at home. They’ll be hosting the Lions for Sunday Night Football in what should be a big-time shootout. Brees is coming off a monster game against the Giants in which he threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another. Look for at least another 4 TDs in this one as the Saints continue to round into form as the playoffs near.

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