Adam Levitan

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Midseason Mock

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


5.1 Marques Colston
5.2 Wes Welker
5.3 Mike Wallace
5.4 Eric Decker
5.5 Dez Bryant
5.6 Roddy White
5.7 Hakeem Nicks
5.8 Denarius Moore
5.9 Cam Newton
5.10 Larry Fitzgerald

Notes: The wide receiver run is on in a big way. Even though there are three starting wideout spots, a lot of owners used the flex spot for a wideout as well. In half-PPR and the pass-happy state of the league, it makes sense. … Wes Welker’s early-season playing-time concerns are a distant memory. … Can the Cowboys trust Dez Bryant? Probably not. But he still has 41 catches in seven games and hasn’t scratched the surface of his ability yet. … Denarius Moore here will raise some eyebrows, but it shouldn’t. He’s a first-round talent, not a fifth-round guy where the Raiders took him last year. Carson Palmers’ clear go-to guy. … Despite all the hand-wringing over Cam Newton, he’s still run for 310 yards with three rushing touchdowns. If he can get the passing game going, look out.

6.1 Willis McGahee
6.2 Randall Cobb
6.3 Andre Johnson
6.4 James Jones
6.5 Steve Smith
6.6 DeMarco Murray
6.7 Tony Gonzalez
6.8 Torrey Smith
6.9 Dwayne Bowe
6.10 Jason Witten

Notes: We see some drastic shifts in value from preseason rankings here. Randall Cobb and James Jones -- now locked into major gigs in Green Bay -- go with old stalwart Andre Johnson between them. … DeMarco Murray’s foot injury doesn’t appear overly serious, but he falls here because foot sprains and running backs just don’t mix. Still, Felix Jones has flopped once again with his opportunity. There’s no question that the Cowboys’ backfield belongs to a healthy Murray. … Tony Gonzalez’s piping hot start to the season was bound to cool off. He’s 36 years old after all. … Dwayne Bowe is long on talent and short on quarterback play. It doesn’t look like he’ll be getting the trade he wants.

7.1 Stevie Johnson
7.2 Miles Austin
7.3 Titus Young
7.4 Brandon Lloyd
7.5 Kenny Britt
7.6 Antonio Brown
7.7 Antonio Gates
7.8 Jeremy Maclin
7.9 Josh Gordon
7.10 Steven Jackson

Notes: Titus Young was one of my favorite players back in the preseason, when he led this list of “Favorite Fliers.” Now that Nate Burleson (leg) is out of the mix, he’s an every-down wideout with elite speed that sees single-coverage on every play. What’s not to like? … Brandon Lloyd has been inches away from monster games all season long. You have to think he’s going to start getting some bounces. … Kenny Britt’s Week 8 statline was marred by two offensive pass interference calls. I bet if those went uncalled, he would have come off the board a lot higher. … I took Antonio Gates, but I don’t really love the pick. If I could go back, I would take Owen Daniels. … Josh Gordon jumps off the board as an interesting name. He’s certainly a playmaker and figures to start even when Mohamed Massaquoi is healthy.

8.1 Danny Amendola
8.2 DeSean Jackson
8.3 Greg Olsen
8.4 Eli Manning
8.5 Ben Roethlisberger
8.6 Owen Daniels
8.7 Michael Turner
8.8 Brandon Pettigrew
8.9 Heath Miller
8.10 Cecil Shorts

Notes: Danny Amendola is expected back Week 10 and will certainly be a target monster. There’s no way he should be unowned in any format. … I took a quarterback with my last pick and ended up with Eli Manning. Can’t be a bad thing. … Brandon Pettigrew probably doesn’t get enough credit in fantasy circles. In half-PPR or full-PPR formats, he’s a beast. Caught 83 balls last year and is on pace to catch 84 more this year. … Somehow, Heath Miller is fantasy’s No. 3 tight end this season. Will it continue? I’m betting no, but it’s hard to trust the likes of Jared Cook, Jermichael Finley or Vernon Davis right now. … Cecil Shorts has done more than enough to earn an every-down role. It remains to be seen if the Jags will keep him there when Laurent Robinson (concussions) returns.

On to Tuesday's news...

No word on the Eagles’ quarterback situation just yet, but the signs are pointing toward Michael Vick getting one more chance. A loss to the Saints though, and it will almost certainly be Nick Foles time. … The Lions traded for Mike Thomas, but he’s not a real threat to Titus Young or Ryan Broyles. Thomas will be depth in the slot and help in the return game. … In the wake of a trade demand, the Titans claim they’re hoping to get Jared Cook more opportunities going forward. … Dwayne Bowe is not expected to be traded by Thursday’s deadline. … Alex Green will reportedly stick as the Packers’ feature back.

Brady Quinn (head) won’t play Thursday, giving Matt Cassel the start. … Alshon Jeffery (hand) could be back by Week 10. He’ll just be a situational red-zone threat opposite Brandon Marshall. … Dez Bryant’s bruised hip is not a real concern. … Kenny Britt (knee) guaranteed he’ll play in Week 9. He’s coming within inches of some big plays weekly … Larry Fitzgerald took some big shots and needed a concussion test Monday night, but said he came out of the game just fine.

Jonathan Dwyer (quad) will sit out Wednesday’s practice, but is expected back Thursday. If healthy, he’ll start and Isaac Redman will be the third-down back. Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles’) is on the wrong side of questionable for Week 9. … It sounds like Ben Tate (hamstring) is going to miss Week 9. Justin Forsett would back up Arian Foster. … DeMarco Murray’s (foot) status remains unclear. Felix Jones has been so bad, however, that we know Murray will resume the featured job as soon as he’s ready.

Adding a different D/ST each week based on matchups is a fine strategy. Here are three units that might be on waivers to consider for streaming purposes:

* For more waiver thoughts at all positions, check out Chris Wesseling’s latest here.

1. CHARGERS vs. Chiefs - The Chargers were on this list last week, so hopefully you can just ride them again. Matt Cassel is back under center, on the road in a short week and even the run game is floundering now. Cassel has turned the ball over a mind-boggling 17 times in six games this season.

2. PACKERS vs. Cardinals - Chances are strong that the Packers are owned in your league because they played the Jags last week. But if they’re not, it’s time to scoop. If you take away Larry Fitzgerald, you suffocate this John Skelton led offense.  

3. RAVENS at Browns - The Ravens may have been dropped because they were on a bye last week and have lost Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. It won’t matter this week. Terrell Suggs should be that much healthier after the bye and the Browns’ passing game was inept against the Chargers.

Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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