Ed Williams III

Snapdraft Football

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Under the Cap: Week 16

Wednesday, December 21, 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. You can also now sign up for a live draft version of Snapdraft. And 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 16 squad.


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Kyle Orton, Chiefs, $2,920,000, vs. Raiders
The Chiefs pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the season when they beat the Packers last week, and Kyle Orton was a big reason why. He didn’t connect for any TDs, but he threw for 299 yards and kept the offense moving. Look for another nice game against a Raiders’ defense that doesn’t scare anyone. Look for Orton to find the end zone for a couple of scores in this one.

Other value picks
Matt Ryan, Falcons, $5,100,000, at Saints – Matty Ice seems to be finally hitting his groove. He’s thrown for at least three touchdowns in three of his last four games, and this one should be a shootout. The Falcons may not win, but Ryan will throw a few TDs to at least stay within striking distance of the Saints.

Matt Moore, Dolphins, $3,610,000, at Patriots – Moore won’t put up huge yardage totals, but he’s a good bet to find the end zone at least a couple of times against the terrible secondary of the Patriots.

Running back

LeSean McCoy, Eagles, $5,500,000, at Cowboys
Even though the Eagles ran all over the Cowboys in their first matchup, Dallas does have the No. 7 ranked rush defense. But even if Shady is bottled up a bit in the running game, he’ll still be a productive force in the passing game. And he’s been a scoring machine. Look for him to continue to add to his franchise-record TD totals.

Donald Brown, Colts, $2,090,000, vs. Texans
Brown blew up last week for 160 yards and a touchdown against the Titans in the Colts’ first win of the season. He had been showing signs of life for much of the second half of the season, so I don’t think this was a complete fluke. At this price, it’s worth seeing if he can recapture the magic of last week.

Other value picks
Reggie Bush, Dolphins, $4,450,000, at Patriots – Bush exploded last week against the Bills for 203 yards on the ground. He can do some serious damage against a very poor Pats’ defense again this week.

Shonn Greene, Jets, $4,220,000, vs. Giants – The Jets like to use their “ground and pound” attack, and the Giants have just the No. 22 rush defense in the league, so Green should get plenty of touches. He’s banged up a bit but should still have a very productive game.

Wide receiver

Calvin Johnson, Lions, $4,400,000, vs. Chargers
After five weeks in a row of not reaching 100 yards receiving, Calvin Johnson exploded for nine catches for 214 yards and two TDs against the Raiders last week. The Chargers have been better of late, but their defense is still suspect. Look for Johnson to exploit that.

Santana Moss, Redskins, $2,710,000, vs. Vikings
Santana Moss only caught two passes last week, but he did find the end zone. This week he’ll go against the league’s third-worst pass defense, so he should be in line for a big day. The Redskins would be foolish not to take to the air early and often, and Moss is Rex Grossman’s No. 1 target.

Other value picks
Vincent Jackson, Chargers, $3,710,000, at Lions – The Chargers have their backs up against the wall and will do everything they can to beat the Lions. Philip Rivers has looked like his old self lately and should hook up with Vincent Jackson plenty against a suspect Lions secondary.

Reggie Wayne, Colts, $2,180,000, vs. Texans – Dan Orlovsky has been a step up from Curtis Painter, and Reggie Wayne has started to come alive a bit. He has a touchdown in two of his last four games.

Tight end

Brent Celek, Eagles, $1,900,000, at Cowboys
Brent Celek went off last week for 156 yards on five catches and a touchdown. It was his best game of the season, but his second best game came against the Cowboys in their first matchup. He hauled in seven catches for 94 yards and a score in that one, and he should be a big part of the offense again this week.

Other value picks
Aaron Hernandez, Patriots, $2,400,000, vs. Dolphins – Hernandez is coming off the best game of his career in which he had nine catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Look for Brady to continue to feed his talented tight end against the Dolphins.

Dustin Keller, Jets, $1,800,000, vs. Giants – Keller hasn’t put up huge numbers this year, but the talent is there. Call this one a hunch, but I think the Giants will struggle to stop him in this one. Sanchez will have to get the ball out quickly, and Keller could become a nice security blanket.

Defense/special teams

Arizona Cardinals, $1,380,000, at Bengals
The Cardinals are on a 4-game winning streak and haven’t given up more than 20 points during that stretch. Both teams are in a must-win situation as they’re clinging to their playoff hopes, but Arizona has all the momentum. They’ll be on the road, but the Bengals have struggled all season against good teams, and all of a sudden, the Cardinals appear to be a good team.

Other value picks
Pittsburgh Steelers, $2,200,000, vs. Rams – The Steelers are a little banged up, but the Rams are arguably the worst team in the league. Sam Bradford isn’t likely to play again this week, so Kellen Clemens is the likely starter. Pittsburgh should have a field day with that matchup.

Seattle Seahawks, $1,960,000, vs. 49ers – The Seahawks have won five of their last six games and are rounding into impressive form. They haven’t given up more than 14 points in their last three games and have scored four touchdowns in that span. The 49ers are a great team, but not a great offense. This one should be very low-scoring.


Jay Feely, Cardinals, $2,190,000, at Bengals
Feely is pretty much the cheapest kicker on the board that has a good shot to win. The kicking position is often a crapshoot, so it’s wise to save some money here.

Other value picks
Matt Prater, Broncos, $2,510,000, at Bills – Prater has nailed some big kicks in some big pressure situations. This week, the Broncos play the Bill, which should mean plenty of scoring opportunities for Denver.

Lawrence Tynes, Giants, $2,290,000, at Jets – Eli Manning should bounce back against the Jets this week, but the Jets have a very good defense. They should be able to hold the Giants to a bunch of field goal opportunities, which would mean good things for Tynes.


Rex Grossman, Redskins, $3,890,000, vs. Vikings
Grossman has been all over the board this season, but he has had some very nice games. This week, he’s matched up against the league’s third-worst pass defense, so he should be in line for one of those nice games. He’s thrown for two touchdowns in three of his last five games, and I expect him to at least match that.

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