Playoff FelixirTuesday, December 13, 2011
continue story »
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos - Bouncing back from a series of early-game drops, Thomas came up big down the stretch for the second straight game. His 13 targets were five more than the next closest receiver, and he’s now led the team in receiving for two straight games while averaging a 5.5/111/1.5 line. While Thomas isn’t the most reliable receiver, the matchup is right in Week 15 against New England’s burnable secondary. No defense has allowed more fantasy points to opposing receivers or quarterbacks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.
Jabar Gaffney, Redskins - With Fred Davis out for the season, Redskins tight ends failed to see a single target against the Patriots in Week 14. It was Gaffney who filled Davis’ role, fielding eight targets on his way to a 6/92/1 line. A top-30 fantasy receiver on pace for 64 receptions and 930 yards, Gaffney has juicy matchups against the Giants (second-most fantasy points to opposing receivers) and Vikings (fourth-most) the next two weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.
James Jones, Packers - Green Bay will go with a committee attack to replace Greg Jennings, but Rotoworld has always believed Jones would be the primary beneficiary of any injury to a starter. Jones led the Packers receivers in Week 14 snaps and should see action in some two-receiver sets and most three-wide formations against the Chiefs. He’s a viable WR3 option against the Chiefs this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.
Randall Cobb, Packers - The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recommends the rookie as “perhaps the one who stands to gain the most” from Greg Jennings’ MCL injury in Green Bay. A poor man’s Percy Harvin, Cobb figures to pick up snaps in the slot where he can use his playmaking ability after the catch. While Cobb is a high-risk WR3 option at Kansas City in Week 15, he’s at least worth rostering to gauge his place in the pecking order.
Recommendation: Worth a look as a roster stash.
Golden Tate, Seahawks - Doug Baldwin is a promising slot receiver, but Tate is the No. 1 option in Seattle despite the Monday night boxcore. Leading the receivers in snaps and targets since Sidney Rice went down for the season, Tate’s playmaking ability has been evident even if he was underutilized in the second of the win over the Rams. Going forward, I’m still playing Tate over Baldwin due the edge in upside.
Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.
Titus Young, Lions - The rookie’s 4/87/1 line against the Vikings moved him past Nate Burleson and into the top-50 fantasy receivers for 2011. With defenses going to crazy measures in an effort to stop Calvin Johnson, Young tied for the team lead with seven targets in Week 14. He offers more playmaking ability and fantasy upside than Burleson.
Recommendation: Worth a look as a boom-or-bust matchup play.
Jerome Simpson, Bengals - I’ve recommended steering clear of Simpson all season because Cincinnati’s second receiver is simply not reliable on a week-to-week basis. I wouldn’t be confident starting Simpson even against an injury-ravaged Rams secondary allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers, but he’s worth a look for the overmatched fantasy owner looking to land a haymaker against a more talented roster. Whereas a low-upside option like Donald Driver hasn’t topped 100 yards in two and a half years, Simpson has accomplished the feat five times in his past 15 games.
Recommendation: Worth a look as a boom-or-bust play.
Donald Driver, Packers - Even before Greg Jennings’ MCL sprain, Driver had picked up his play over the past month, with three four-catch games. While Driver’s role should remain stable in Week 15 at Kansas City, his fantasy upside is limited by the presence of James Jones and Randall Cobb. Driver hasn’t topped 90 yards since Week 12 of the 2009 season.
Recommendation: Worth a look as a low-upside matchup play.
Devin Aromashodu, Vikings - With Adrian Peterson out of the lineup and Michael Jenkins done for the season, Aromashodu has racked up a whopping 25 targets the past two weeks on his way to 10 catches for 137 yards. The matchup is right this week in a potential shootout with the Saints, but Peterson’s return should mean a run-oriented game plan. This offense won’t support two fantasy receivers most weeks, and Percy Harvin is the clear No. 1.
Recommendation: Worth a look as a desperation matchup play.
Watch List: Riley Cooper, Brandon LaFell, Austin Collie, Jarett Dillard, Kyle Williams
Jeremy Maclin’s hamstring “tightened up” at Miami. If he misses practice time, Cooper could be worth a look in deeper leagues against the Jets elite secondary. … LaFell is starting and blocking well, but he’s not yet producing. … Collie’s production is ticking up with Dan Orlovsky at quarterback. … Dillard led the Jags receivers in Week 14 with Mike Thomas concussed. … Williams and Ted Ginn are splitting production opposite Michael Crabtree.
Hold Off: Kevin Walter, Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy, Donte Stallworth
Walter is coming off a fine game against the Bengals, but T.J. Yates isn’t going to throw 44 times versus the Panthers. … Schilens is nursing a foot injury again while Murphy figures to lose snaps with Denarious Moore (ankle) and/or Jacoby Ford (foot) returning this week. … Stallworth has to prove those 96 yards weren’t due primarily to New England’s overmatched secondary.
Cut Bait: Robert Meachem, Brad Smith, Earl Bennett, Vincent Brown
Dump Meachem if you chased his 100-yard game from Week 13. … Smith was shut out after consecutive games over 70 yards. … Bennett has been an afterthought since Caleb Hanie took over. … Brown has played fewer snaps than Patrick Crayton since Malcom Floyd’s return.