What a crazy week… With all the duds this week (more to come on them tomorrow) a LOT of people missed the playoffs and just as many people snuck their way in! If you are one of these fantasy-ninjas, then congrats and let’s take a look at how you can bolster your roster moving into the playoffs!
Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR - After last week’s game I was torn… Stewart looked like the more complete RB, he ran hard and hit holes quickly. Goodson looked good too however, slightly less polished… but he contributed a lot in the passing game and looked to have the most fantasy value of the duo. Not anymore! Stewart saw 21 carries to Goodson’s 3 and he also was able to rack up 91 yards. While both backs found the end zone in this game, the staggering difference in the number of carries make the decision on who to own a no-brainer. I wouldn’t drop Goodson yet, especially in PPR formats, but I also wouldn’t trust him next week!
Tashard Choice, RB, DAL - Tashard Choice gave the Cowboys balance. Felix Jones saw more touches, but he wasn’t able to find the end zone like Choice did. We should expect this to continue and probably trend more towards Felix, as was the case this week. One thing you should count on is Tashard Choice being the one to see the work at the goal line. Choice is a flex play at best, but he has to be owned after a performance like this because if he follows it up with another good game, you will be able to count on him against Washington and Arizona in Weeks 16 and 17.
Donald Driver, WR, GB – I had my concerns about Driver being able to return to the same level of play he had demonstrated earlier in his career, but if you have seen his TD catch this week… then you wont have any more worries either. If you didn’t see it, I will let the highlight reel provide all the evidence you will need to grab this guy off waivers… if he was dropped that is!
Anthony Dixon, RB, SF – There is a disclaimer that comes with this one: Brian Westbrook SHOULD be the guy! Westbrook was quicker into the hole and looked to be a much more complete back on the carries that he received. With that said, Singletary and the 49ers split carries evenly between Dixon and Westbrook. Until we see that they will make a commitment to the injury-prone veteran, Dixon has to be owned too as he will see more of the goal line carries.
Earl Bennett, WR, CHI – We really can’t treat Bennett’s production as an anomaly any longer. He is as close to a big and physical wide receiver as the Bears have, so he is likely to see the most red zone targets of any of the WRs on the Bears. This week Bennett led the team in targets with 8 and hauled in 7 of them for 105 yards. Assuming Driver was never let go in your league, Bennett is by far the best option available for pickup at WR this week.
Anthony Armstrong, WR, WAS – If you have to start a Redskins receiver, it looks like it should be Armstrong. He was an unknown talent before the season and because of this we have been (correctly) suspicious about adding this guy to our fantasy teams. Now however, the Redskins have lost hopes for a playoff run and are turning to their younger players so they can be developed for the future. Since they are a bad team, the Skins will be down and throwing… so it seems like you should be able to count on their young, deep threat!
Roy Williams, WR, DAL – With Dez Bryant’s ankle broken and him being out for the season, Roy Williams will return to fantasy-relevance. The whole reason he fell in value was due to the injury to Romo and Kitna not being good enough to keep THREE receivers valuable to their fantasy owners. Since Williams is back to the 2nd spot on the depth chart, he is likely to be a worthy flex play for the fantasy playoffs.
James Starks, RB, GB – Who the hell saw this coming!? Starks saw by far the most carries of any Packer this weekend and performed well with them totaling 73 yards on 18 carries. John Kuhn saw the 2nd most carries with just 6, but he maintained his role as the goal line back and was able to punch one in. With Starks looking to take the lead carries and Kuhn sure to get the work at the goal line, Brandon Jackson may not have any value left outside of PPR leagues. Wait a week to drop him, but I wouldn’t start Starks or Jackson until we see if this was just a one week thing, or a new trend.
Benjamin Watson, TE, CLE – TEs are a mess this season… now Heath Miller and Todd Heap join the list of injured players at this position. Watson had 100 yards receiving with Jake Delhomme at QB this week. Colt McCoy loved Watson before his injury and he has been a consistent producer for fantasy owners in deep leagues. It’s time to call him up to be used in standard leagues with the injuries stacking up!
Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC - We are moving into the playoffs for fantasy owners and handcuffs are a must-have if your lucky enough to have one of the few studs left at RB. The trend in the NFL is to split RB carries to ensure long careers out of their highly paid young prospects. This is not beneficial to fantasy owners who have a late draft pick. However, what is worse is when your star goes down with an injury late in the season… just like Michael Turner did last year! If you own Maurice Jones-Drew, Jennings is a must-add for your team to ensure that this aging star doesn’t go down and leave you SOL.
Randy Moss, WR, TEN – In the playoffs, fantasy owners must rely on their trusted players to make it through each week. Since one loss ends your season, you have to ask yourself if you can live with your decision through the entire off season should it go the wrong direction! After an entire season of disappointments, Moss is not able to be trusted so you may as well get someone who actually has upside.
Mike Williams, WR, SEA - His injury isn’t likely to be season ending, but with it being his 2nd one in a row… he is likely to need a game or two to get used to the speed of a live game again.
Justin Forsett, RB, SEA – There are no really good match ups left on the Seahawks schedule and since Forsett was so far behind Lynch in production this week, there just isn’t enough time left in the fantasy season for Forsett to be a factor again.
Keiland Williams, RB, WAS – It was a short run… but Williams’ ride is over. Torain is about to come back from injury and James Davis appears to be the guy that Shanahan wants to see get the work.
Ryan Mathews, RB, SD – See Randy Moss.
Donald Brown, RB, IND – There just doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Brown. He hasn’t had a break out performance all year and Javarris James is the guy getting the goal line work with Addai being out. The Colts are DYING for Addai to return and when he does, Brown will only be used when necessary. Expect Addai to make it into the lineup for week 14, but even if he isn’t, don’t leave your season in the hands of Brown.
Blair White, WR, IND – Collie is expected to return from injury this week and that will kill White’s value. You may want to hold him for a week to see if Collie can stay healthy, but definitely don’t start White when he is 4th on the depth chart.