What an important part of the season we have already come upon. Most of us as managers have an idea of if we will be making the playoffs or not, but please please PLEASE DO NOT QUIT! The last thing other managers want to see is their playoffs being decided by teams that aren’t at least sporting full lineups (unless of course you’re the one facing that team, haha)!
Okay, with that out of the way, something that I think is very important right around now is to start looking at the playoff weeks in your fantasy league. Most playoffs take place from weeks 14 to 16, especially because week 17 usually sports non-starters for playoff bound teams int he NFL. Another thing to do, especially this week, is to make any trade offers or deals that you are wanting to make as this week is the deadline for standard Yahoo leagues.
There are a few players that I wanted to note before going into some FA and Waiver Wire pickups that I am really trying to figure out. I am noting them because each was supposed to be elite at their position this year, and well, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. I’ll tell you my thoughts on what you ought to do.
Chris Johnson (RB-TEN): I really can’t explain what is going on with this guy. CJ2k? Not likely at all. He currently sports just over 40 yards per game at 2.8 yards per carry. I don’t want to beat a dead horse (that statement would’ve been funny if Johnson was a Colt), but it is now time to panic. Against the Colts porous rush defense, CJ couldn’t muster up even a decent game. He’s so busy blaming everybody else for his troubles, but his backup Javon Ringer seemed to do just fine in the same offense with the same guys blocking for him. Am I giving up on CJ completely? I actually went back and watched some highlights from his monster year two years ago, and even last year where he still played pretty well. This year, he looks very different. Blame it on missing training camp or whatever, but he just doesn’t look like he wants to play. You can’t drop CJ outright, but he has shown that even WITH a choice matchup, he is not trustworthy. What to do? See if there’s a manager in your league willing to “buy low” on CJ based on past stats and address a need in your lineup.
Phillip Rivers (QB-SD): Here is another guy that was supposed to be a must-start weekly stud at his position. He’s averaging the 16th most fantasy points per game (17th if you consider Chad Henne’s pre-injury numbers). That is absolutely mind-boggling! There have been conjectures of injury, but both Rivers and his coach claim he is 100% healthy. I almost wish there was an injury to explain what exactly is going on as Rivers is now leading the NFL in interceptions as well. I love Rivers, but I’m not so sure I can call him a weekly must-start anymore when he’s scoring less per game than Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman. What to do? I believe in Rivers far more than I do in the aforementioned Chris Johnson. I was looking for zip on Rivers throws yesterday night, and he still definitely has the arm. He also is on a pass-first offense with great receivers and an elite tight end in Antonio Gates. I see much better weeks ahead. Hold onto him, but if you have a capable backup like Matt Schaub, you may want to check matchups before deciding to go with Rivers.
Vernon Davis (TE-SF): I feel bad adding Vernon Davis to this list because his lackluster fantasy value lately is not a result of something that he has done. Rather, his situation is just not a good one. Can you imagine this beast on a team like New Orleans Saints? I have no doubt he’d be doing better than Jimmy Graham is right now. I love this guy, and he’s still one of the best and physically gifted tight ends in the game. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into fantasy points. He’s currently the 12th ranked tight end, which means he’s not even a weekly starter in standard 10-team leagues. With the conservative offense of the 49ers, I can’t trust anyone in San Francisco but the defense and Frank Gore. What to do? He’s still worth holding onto, but if there is a guy on free agency like Fred Davis or Greg Olsen, I’d consider picking them up and playing them based on matchups. I made the difficult decision to bench Vernon Davis this past week and played Fred Davis instead (which ended up being the game-winning decision in a close matchup). Again, no knock on Vernon Davis, but there may be better options depending on the matchup.
Potential Adds (Players are placed in order of value from left to right):
QB: Carson Palmer (OAK), Matt Cassel (KC), Andy Dalton (CIN)
WR: Michael Crabtree (SF), Jonathan Baldwin (KC), Greg Little (CLE), Laurent Robinson (DAL)
RB: Chris Ogbonnaya (CLE), Kevin Faulk (NE), Javon Ringer (TEN)
TE: Scott Chandler (BUF), Jake Ballard (NYG), Jared Cook (TEN)
DEF: ATL v. IND