Ed Williams III

Snapdraft Football

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Under the Cap: Week 14

Wednesday, December 07, 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 14 squad.


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Philip Rivers, Chargers, $5,350,000, vs. Bills
Rivers finally decided to show up in Week 13, and while it might be too late for the Chargers to make a run at the AFC West, it’s never too late to use him in Snapdraft. He threw for three TDs against a solid Jacksonville defense, so imagine what he can do against the porous Bills’ secondary.

Other value picks
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills, $5,280,000, at Chargers – While the Bills’ have been a mess on defense for much of the season, the Chargers haven’t been much better. Look for Fitzpatrick to have a big day in what could be an offensive shootout.

Joe Flacco, Ravens, $4,680,000, vs. Colts – Flacco isn’t usually someone you think of having a high ceiling, but against the Colts, anything is possible. Look for Flacco to hook up with Torrey Smith on some deep balls in this one.

Running back

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, $4,270,000, vs. Rams
Lynch has been running like a man possessed lately. He’s been the NFL’s leader in yards after contact since Week 9, and despite the Eagles keeping eight men in the box against him on 17 of his 22 carries last week, he still racked up 148 yards and two touchdowns.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots, $3,300,000, at Redskins
Don’t look for a lot of yards from Green-Ellis, but he’s the best bet of the Patriots’ running backs to get some goal line carries. Brady could get tired of throwing TDs to Rob Gronkowski and throw the Law Firm a bone in this one.

Other value picks
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars, $4,680,000, vs. Buccaneers – Despite another disappointing year for the Jags, Jones-Drew has been a beast. He put up more than 180 total yards last week against the Chargers, and should continue to put up big numbers against Tampa Bay.

Shonn Greene, Jets, $4,220,000, vs. Chiefs – Greene exploded from out of nowhere to score three touchdowns last week against the Redskins after having scored only two TDs the whole rest of the year. The Jets will continue to grind things out with their “ground and pound” style, which means good things for Greene.

Wide receiver

Santana Moss, Redskins, $2,710,000, vs. Patriots
This will be Moss’ third start since returning from a hand injury, but he’s already locked in as Rex Grossman’s No. 1 target. The Patriots have one of the worst secondaries in the league and made Dan Orlovsky look like a competent QB last week, so Moss should have a nice game.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers, $1,820,000, at Cardinals
There’s only been one time since Week 5 that Crabtree hasn’t hauled in at least four catches, and he’s coming off a four-catch, 96-yard, one-TD performance against the Rams. The Cardinals are coming off a huge win against the Cowboys, so this could be a big let-down game for them as the 49ers are looking to hold on to that first round bye spot.

Other value picks
Riley Cooper, Eagles, $2,870,000, at Dolphins – This is a risky pick because Jeremy Maclin could return this week. Even if Maclin does return, though, who knows what DeSean Jackson’s role since his mood and commitment to the team seems to have deteriorated past the point of no return.

Torrey Smith, Ravens, $2,500,000, vs. Colts – As mentioned above with Flacco, the Colts have a secondary that the Baltimore QB should be able to exploit with the deep ball, and Smith has proven to be one of the best deep ball threats around.

Tight end

Brent Celek, Eagles, $1,900,000, at Dolphins
Celek is coming off a poor game, but Vince Young was brutal in that one, and Michael Vick should be back this week. Before Vick got hurt, Celek was becoming a bigger part of the passing game, so look for that trend to continue this week.

Other value picks
Jason Witten, Cowboys, $2,710,000, vs. Giants – Tony Romo’s security blanket should have a nice game on Sunday Night Football in a huge NFC East showdown.

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals, $2,090,000, vs. Texans – Gresham has emerged as one of Andy Dalton’s favorite red zone targets. The Texans have an elite defense, but the Bengals should still be able to find a couple of scoring opportunities, which is where Gresham would be a factor.

Defense/Special teams

Seattle Seahawks, $1,960,000, vs. Rams
This week I found a fairly cheap defensive option that should actually win their game. The Rams are just a complete mess right now, and the Seahawks seem to be hitting their stride a bit. Plus, they’re at home, which is always a dangerous place to play.

Other value picks
Jacksonville Jaguars, $2,010,000, vs. Buccaneers – The Jags allowed the Chargers to put up a lot of points, but they’re normally a very solid group. Look for them to get back to their old ways against a reeling Tampa team.

Pittsburgh Steelers, $2,220,000, vs. Browns – While the Steelers’ defense hasn’t looked as stout as in past years, they’re still a very solid group, especially when playing against Colt McCoy.


Lawrence Tynes, Giants, $2,290,000, at Cowboys
The Cowboys have a good run defense, but the Giants do most of their damage through the air anyways. The G-Men shouldn’t have too big a problem moving the ball, setting up some scoring opportunities for Tynes.

Other value picks
Ryan Longwell, Vikings, $2,520,000, at Lions – The Lions just don’t look like the same team that started out 5-0. Especially without Ndamukong Suh again, the Vikings will be able to move the ball and get some scoring opportunities.

Nick Folk, Jets, $2,560,000, vs. Chiefs – The Chiefs have been very solid on defense, which could force the Jets into several field goal opportunities instead of touchdowns.


Christian Ponder, Vikings, $3,230,000, at Lions
As mentioned above, the Lions are struggling right now, especially on defense. Christian Ponder hasn’t been getting many wins, but he’s coming off a 381-yard, 3 TD performance against the Broncos. He is nursing a hip pointer injury, so keep an eye on the injury reports to be safe.

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