Kevin Smith, RB, DET – Of all the people I expected to carry the Lions to victory on Sunday, Smith was not one of them. 20 touches racked up 201 yards on the game for Smith and we have to be careful not to over react to this performance. Smith needs to be owned in every league and just might be an RB2. He is certainly going to rank as a flex play immediately but we have to look seriously at the match up before we trust him with the season on the line.
Jordy Nelson, WR, GB – I am not sure how much of Nelson’s success is because of Aaron Rodgers and I am not sure how much I care either. At least once a game, every game, Nelson blows the top off of the coverage on his side of the field and no one is playing QB better than Aaron Rodgers. There is no reason to expect Nelson to stop having at least one big reception in each game. He has even been more consistent than Jennings, he just doesn’t have more upside.
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, CLE – None of the Browns RBs have played as well as Ogbonnaya did this week. I am still very wary of exactly how effective he will be the rest of the way but he has to be owned and could be worth a flex start depending on the match up.
Nate Washington, WR, TEN – The emergence of Damian Williams did what I expected it to… open up the field for Nate Washington to be more effective. The depth chart still shows Washington at #1 but I think defenses are more concerned with Williams getting deep and coverage showed this on Sunday. Washington had a lot of room to run his routes and get open and if Williams can find a way to keep the focus of opposing defenses, Washington could settle in as a solid WR2 for the playoffs.
Michael Bush, RB, OAK – Who would have thought that the Raiders wouldn’t even miss Darren McFadden? Not me. Bush has been unbelievable since run DMC went down and the Raiders have said that McFadden WILL NOT come back until he is 100% and while his fantasy owners might not want to hear that, Bush’s do. Bush has been a workhorse and was again this week with 30 carries, over 100 yards and a score. That’s top-end RB2 material there.
Torrey Smith, WR, BAL – He might not be consistent but as we get into the playoffs, people need to throw a “hail mary” and put in a guy like Smith on the chance he has a big game. Most leagues have “that team” that tops the entire league in scoring almost every week and it takes big-play threats like Smith to take down “that team”. Smith is very ownable and very start-able as a flex play. If you are “that team” stick to your consistent producers that have gotten you there.
Greg Jennings, WR, GB – He got banged up in this game and missed some time but he did come back into this game. He only caught two passes for 6 yards. That is zero points for Rodgers’ top receiver. I don’t think that will happen again this year. I am not concerned but this game was a huge disappointment.
Ryan Mathews, RB, SD – I don’t care how bad the match up is, Mathews is supposed to be at least an RB2. If you started him, you will agree that 2 points is NOT enough. Losing the fumble doesn’t help but if he loses the trust of Norv Turner and the Chargers’ coaching staff, his opportunities will continue to drop. He has to turn it around fast to salvage his value.
Steve Johnson, WR, BUF – Wonder why I jumped off the Bills’ bandwagon so fast? This team was never a playoff-caliber team, they were just playing as a team and above their talent level. Injuries are not why they have lost the past three games but they just might be why they lose the next 6. Except for Miami and Denver in weeks 15 and 16, the Bills’ schedule is intimidating and those two games aren’t cake walks. We saw what Miami can do against this team and Tebow just keeps winning. Johnson is down to a flex play and will fall quickly if he can’t be productive despite the teams’ short-comings.
Willis McGahee, RB, DEN – He clearly was not himself on Thursday night but the extra rest should serve him well going into their week 12 match up. I would still count him as an RB2 as so much of that offense has to be run on the ground.
Brandon Marshall, WR, MIA – This zero point outing was baffling for me. The one saving-quality of Matt Moore is that he trusts his top receiver and gets him the ball. He looked like Tom Brady against Buffalo this past week and yet his top receiver did almost nothing. I don’t think you should worry about Marshall going forward, he is a low-end WR1 or great WR2 the rest of the season.