Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 15

Barry Church
Barry Church is worth using against the high-powered Eagles offense in week 15

Looks like I cooled off a bit – at least for my Fantasy Forecaster suggestions. Not a good thing as we head to the playoffs. This was my first sub-60% week since week 8 for the pod. On the bright side, the picks you come here for were 7-2, upping my season long success rate to 71%. The moral of the story, I must get flustered by Doug and Payton on the podcast and it throws me off.

My total score for the week was 14-10-2 (60%). Not too bad but now that playoffs are here, every call is magnified and I have to do better than that. After all, you guys are coming here for expert picks and 60% isn’t going to cut it.

 Week 14 results from the Sunday pod:

Player Stats Start/Sit Result Type
Whitney Mercilus 1/0/0 Start Loss IDP
Mario Williams 2/0/0 Sit Win IDP
Jerry Hughes 2/0/0 Sit Win IDP
Chris Long 1/0/0 Start Loss IDP
Robert Quinn 3/2/1.5/PD Start Win IDP
Jurrell Casey 1/3/0; 3 QB Hits Start Loss IDP
Alec Ogletree 2/5/0/PD Start Loss IDP
James Laurinitus 4/2/1.5/PD Start Win IDP
Paul Worrilow 3/2/0/PD Start Loss IDP
Pierre Garcon 9-95yds Sit Loss Offense
Isaiah Crowell 14-54 yds; TD Start Win Offense
Rashad Jennings 2-5yds/1-17 yds Diminished Roll N/A Offense
Jordan Cameron 4-41yds Start – if Active Tie Offense
Jordan Reed 3-25 yds Start Loss Offense
Delanie Walker 4-27 yds Start Loss Offense
Donte Moncrief 3-33 yds Flex Play Tie Offense
Chad Greenway 7/4/0 Start Win IDP
Jonathan Stewart 20-155; TD Start Win Offense

Week 14 Summary: 7-8-2  (47%)

Season Summary (since week 8): 59-29-2 (67%)

*IDP Stats are listed as:  Solos/Assists/Sacks; PD = Pass Defensed; FR = Fumble Recover; INT = Interception

Week 14 Results from this column:

Player Stats Start/Sit Result Type
Ziggy Ansah 1/0/1 Start Y IDP
Demarcus Ware 0/0/0 Start N IDP
JJ Watt 4/0/3/PD Start (2 sacks/     4 solo min) Y IDP
Chad Greenway 7/4/0 Start Y IDP
Bobby Wagner 7/0/0 Start Y IDP
Danny Lansanah 7/1/0 Start Y IDP
Eric Weddle 6/1/0 Start Y IDP
Jonathan Cyprian 5/3/0 Start Y IDP
Kam Chancellor 1/1/0/PD Start N IDP

Week 14: 7-2 (78%)

Season Summary: 66-27 (71%)

Week 15 injuries of note:

  • Chandler Jones (NE DL): Jones has practiced in a limited fashion this week. I don’t have much confidence in him having an impact until I see him going full speed in a game situation. I would hold him out until he gets into game action. If you are in a dynasty league and he is on the waiver wire for some reason I would pick him up as a stash for next year. He is still a top 10 DL when healthy.
  • Haloti Ngata (BAL DL): Ngata was suspended 4 games for substance abuse. Time to drop him as he is done for the year. This is probably a bigger deal to Baltimore’s team defense then to fantasy owners.
  • Shariff Floyd (MIN DL): Floyd started the game last week only to re-injure his knee and have to leave the contest. I would target him as a buy-low in dynasty leagues as he should be fine for next year. The way the Vikings defense improved under Mike Zimmer I would expect big things from Floyd in 2016. For this year he is too risky to start unless he gets a clean bill of health.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ DL): Wilkerson is still suffering from his turf toe injury. However, he is trying to practice with a special shoe. I wouldn’t even think about using him at this stage of the season until he is healthy and shows he still has the same power and explosion.
  • Gerald McCoy (TB DL): McCoy briefly left the game last week with a knee injury. He returned to the game and it’s being reported as only a bruise. He should be good to go.
  • Jadeveon Clowney (HOU LB): Well, the second opinion didn’t come back good. The Texans placed Clowney on IR, ending his season. The more important news (especially in dynasty leagues) is that he is going in for microfracture surgery on his troublesome knee and will be out for at least 9 months. The worry here is that he will lose that explosion off the line which was his best attribute. If I have him in dynasty I might look to see if there is another owner out there willing to take the risk as he is most likely 2 years away from getting back to form, if ever.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN LB): He was placed on IR due to his knee issue. That means that Vinny Rey should continue to be an effective LB 2 or 3 for the remainder of the year. This was a very disappointing year for anyone that drafted Burfict expecting a 2013 repeat. At this point I would stay away from him in any dynasty league due to the myriad of injuries he has had. The biggest of which were repeat concussions earlier in the year.
  • NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman was activated from the PUP list but I wouldn’t even bother with him. Chris Borland has been phenomenal and the rest of the 49ers have given up on the year. I don’t see management putting Bowman out there this year and if they do I wouldn’t expect him to do much. He might be a low risk dynasty pickup as he will have had 18 months of recovery time from his surgery at the start of next year.
  • Lavonte David (TB LB): David suffered what appeared to be a concussion late in Sunday’s game. He will have to pass the concussion protocol so pay attention to the reports as the week goes along. If he is active he has to be in your lineup. Either way Danny Lansanah has been impressive over the last few weeks and should be owned.
  • Antonio Cromartie (ARI DB): Cromartie left last week’s game with an ankle injury but reports are that he is expected to play Thursday night against the Rams. I wouldn’t expect a big game out of Cromartie either way.
  • Kenny Vaccaro (NO DB): Vaccaro was benched after a horrendous year. He is safe to drop in re-draft leagues but you may want to hold on in dynasty leagues to see what happens in the off-season. He is a highly touted prospect that was a top draft pick so he has some talent.
  • Louis Delmas (MIA DB): Delmas suffered a torn ACL and has been placed on IR. He is done for the season.

Who to play (or not):


  • Ziggy Ansah (DET DL): The Vikings are allowing pressure on almost 20% of their passes as well as sacks on about 10% of their drop backs. Ansah is in line for a huge day as Minnesota has given up 6 sacks over the last 2 weeks.
  • Cameron Jordan (NO DL): Surprisingly, the Bears didn’t give up a sack last week in that garbage time bonanza. However, that was against the Cowboys who only have 19 total sacks on the year. There will be sacks to be had this week and I expect Jordan to feast.
  • Charles Johnson (CAR DL): Tampa Bay gave up 6 sacks last week and now Johnson comes to town. He was a held off the stat sheet last week against the Saints but they don’t give up sacks. He will eat, as he has a sack in every other game since week 7.
  • Damontre Moore (NYG DL): He is more of a dynasty stash but does have some upside this week. Moore had 2 sacks last week against the lowly Titans as he played in 78% of the snaps. He is starting to get playing time and that is resulting in him getting to the quarterback. He gets Washington this week so he should have some chances. Tough to start a guy like this in a playoff game but if he is available pick him up as a dynasty stash for next year at the very least.


  • Rolando McClain (DAL LB): Last week against the Eagles he had a decent game with 6 solos. He is a high floor option this week as there will be plenty of opportunities.
  • Curtis Lofton (NO LB): Coming off an 11/6/0/FR game last week I expect another big showing on Monday night against the Bears. Lofton hasn’t been below 6 solo tackles since week 9 and in that game he had 6 assists so he was around the ball. Get him in your lineup this week.
  • Elvis Dumervil (BAL LB): Dumervil is coming off a 3.5 sack game against the Chargers and now he gets Jacksonville. He is a must-start in big play leagues but I see another big game this week with at least one sack. Get him in the lineup.


  • Ryan Mundy (CHI DB): Mundy has had no less than 6 solo tackles in 4 of the last 5 games. The one game he didn’t he had an interception against the Vikings. I think he will be tested often against the Saints and he will continue his tackle streak and high floor numbers.
  • Barry Church (DAL DB): I am following my own rule of using safeties against the Eagles. Church should get lots of opportunities and take advantage. In their last game against the Eagles he put up 9/2/0/PD so expect a lot of the same in week 15.
  • Antrel Rolle (NYG DB): Last time out against Washington, Rolle had 1 tackle and an interception. I am going to say sit him this week as I don’t think he will be in line for much in this game.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/TZvGrm

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!


Fantasy Football Boom Or Bust: Week 11


Colin Kaepernick: Last week the Giants let Russell Wilson run for 102 yards and prior to last week they had given up 9 passing touchdowns over their last 3 games. I expect the 49ers to replicate the Seahawks zone read running scheme, which should reproduce the Colin Kaepernick we fell in love with 2 years ago.

Le’Veon Bell: Bell is usually a must start but he has not surpassed 100 yards on the ground since week 3 and he’s only produced 56 yards over the last 2 weeks. He has a great matchup this week against a Titans team giving up an average of 127 yards on the ground per game. After last week the Titans defense has now allowed 10 rushing touchdowns on the year. Look for Bell to have a bounce-back game for the Steelers in prime time.

Ryan Mathews: The Chargers could not be more thankful for Mathews’ return after Branden Oliver’s dismal performance over the last three weeks (3 YPC, 0 touchdowns). Opposing running backs have reached the end zone 9 times and have run for over 100 yards 7 times against the Raiders. Mathews should have a memorable return against the team he ran for 99 yards and a touchdown against a season ago.

Alfred Morris: With RGIII under center, Morris is averaging 91 yards a game and has accumulated 19 touchdowns. In 11 games without Griffin, he’s averaged 69 yards, compiling 7 scores. Morris has been the biggest beneficiary of Griffin’s ability to run the zone read offense. Be ready for a big day from Freddy against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed 80+ rushing yards to running backs in 8 games this season.

Cordarrelle Patterson: Did anybody else watch last Sunday’s game? In case you didn’t, the Bears defense is awful. They have now allowed 106 points and 11 passing touchdowns over the last 2 weeks! I know Patterson doesn’t have a quarterback even close to the caliber of Rodgers or Brady, but the Vikings should find a way to get this dynamic play-maker the ball in week 11.

If there were a game for Pierre Garcon to regain his fantasy relevance, this is it
If there were a game for Pierre Garcon to regain his fantasy relevance, this is it

Pierre Garcon: If Pierre Garcon can’t produce big numbers in this game he should be dropped in all shallow leagues. He has now had a bye week to regain his chemistry with Griffin and they are playing the league’s worst pass defense. The Bucs have allowed performances of 63, 55, 33 and 32 fantasy points (ESPN) by wide receiving corps this year. Unless DeSean Jackson just goes absolutely nuts, Garcon is in line for a big game.

Dwayne Allen: The Pats have allowed tight ends to score in each of the last 3 weeks and the Hoody loves to make teams beat them with their secondary options. With the Patriots’ defense focusing on Hilton and Bradshaw, watch for Allen to be Luck’s number 1 option.

Browns D/ST: I think it is a fantasy football rule to start a defense playing against a quarterback in his first start, especially if that defense is coming off a week where they made Andy Dalton look like well, Andy Dalton. The Browns have forced 12 turnovers in the last 4 games which they will add to this week against the Texans. I think this game will be a low-scoring affair, making the Texans defense a good play as well.

Chiefs D/ST: 3 words; Arrowhead in November. The Chiefs have surrendered just 31 points total in their last 3 home games and the Seahawks’ offense has been stuck in struggle city. The Chiefs defense is a sneaky play this week against the defending champs.


Russell Wilson: The Seahawks passing game has really struggled of late and I don’t see it getting any better when they travel to Arrowhead. Wilson has not surpassed 200 yards passing in any of his last 3 games and has only thrown for 1 score during that time. His ability to run makes him very hard to bench, but keep in mind that the Chiefs have only allowed 20+ fantasy points (ESPN) to one QB this year and his name is Peyton Manning.

Mark Sanchez: There are 2 things to look at here. First, Green Bay’s pass defense has been above average this year, allowing only one 300-yard and 20+ point (ESPN) passer; Drew Brees. Their defense has been especially good at home, surrendering only 4 touchdowns through the air in their last 4 games. The second thing to look at is the overreaction to Sanchez in the Eagles great team win last Monday night. The Eagles were fortunate enough to force 3 turnovers in Panther territory that lead to 17 points as well as generating 14 points on defense and special teams. Sanchez and the Eagles’ offense had 9 drives start in their own territory, and they only scored on 2 of them. Expect Sanchez to have an average game at best in the frigid Wisconsin air.

CJ Anderson: This is more of a gut feeling as I hate doubting anyone on the Broncos’ offense, but this is a tough matchup for them. The Rams have allowed only 1 100-yard rusher over their past 5 games and only Demarco Murray achieved that feat against them at home. All of the sudden the Broncos have a very crowded backfield. Although Ronnie Hillman is expected to miss at least this week, Montee Ball is returning from injury and Juwan Thompson continues to get the rare goal line carries. The only way I see Anderson having a big game is if he breaks off a long run and finds pay dirt.

Marshawn Lynch: Last week Beast Mode had one of the best fantasy performances for a running back in recent years, however that was the first time he had gone over the century mark on the ground since week 1. This week, Lynch goes up against the 6th best fantasy run defense instead of the Giants’ 31st best. The Chiefs have not allowed a running back score a touchdown this year and I think they will keep that streak alive in week 11. Expect the Lynch we saw in weeks 5 through 8, not the one we saw in week 10.

AJ Green: If Keenan Lewis is healthy I would stay away from AJ Green. I will repeat what I wrote last week regarding receivers that Lewis follows. He held Kelvin Benjamin to 2 catches for 18 yards, Jordy Nelson to 3 catches for 25 yards and now, before injury, Michael Crabtree to 2 catches for 11 yards. Lewis is the most underrated corner in the game and should strike fear in fantasy owners like Revis, Peterson, Sherman and Hayden do.

Martellus Bennett: The Vikings being number 2 against tight ends this year coupled with how bad the Bears offense is playing makes Bennett a risky week 11 start. I know it’s hard to bench a guy at a position where there is very little depth, but if you have another solid option at tight end I would go with it.

Eagles D/ST: In their last 8 home games, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 28 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Eagles have relied on their defense or special teams to score at least 1 touchdown a week, but the statistics tell us that Rodgers won’t give them that opportunity.

Cardinals D/ST: This is not a knock on the Cardinal defense, I’m just weary of a clicking Lions’ offense. The last time the Cardinals went up against a team with 2 stud receivers, the Broncos, they let Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas combine for 327 receiving yards and 2 scores. Don’t let their recent performance against the Rams give you faith that they will stop Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/7AoT7L

Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!

5 Burning Questions: Fantasy Wide Receivers

The fantasy football Season is upon us and our team here at The Sports Script wants to make sure you are completely prepared for your draft! Our football staff will be periodically releasing questions and answers to burning questions that the readers have at each position. Our talented team of writers  has you covered! Today we continue with our wide receivers installment.

5 questions about fantasy WR:

1. Which WR are 1st round worthy?

Gallimore: Calvin Johnson is a “no doubt about it” first round pick for me. After that, I wouldn’t have a problem with your choice of Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant towards the latter part of round 1 and depending on your thoughts of Jimmy Graham or Peyton I could see AJ Green or Brandon Marshall sneaking in as well in deeper leagues.

Moore: Megatron, Thomas, Bryant and Marshall. Those 4 receivers are as low-risk as they come. Megatron is Megatron, Thomas is Peyton’s #1 guy, Bryant is sleeper for #1 WR in PPR and in a very pass-friendly offense and Marshall is Cutler’s security blanket.

Hines: In the 1st round a majority of people look for that stud RB to help stabilize their team. I am in the minority in regards to this strategy. After the top RB are gone (and there aren’t many) I wouldn’t blame anyone for going after Calvin Johnson. In the 1st two rounds you are looking for consistency. You can’t tell me that Calvin isn’t more valuable than Doug Martin, who is currently going in front of Johnson in some mock drafts. Anywhere after pick 4 (AP, McCoy, Forte, Charles going in those top 4 we assume), I would be okay with someone taking Calvin. The only other non-RB I would take in the 1st round is someone we will talk about in a future column, stay tuned.

Valero: I am not fond of drafting a WR in the 1st round as I like my running backs. However, in the latter half of the 1st you strongly have to consider it. Calvin Johnson is a shoe-in for the 1st round and one could select A.J. Green near the end of the turn.

2. Which WR has the biggest sleeper appeal?

Gallimore: I look to Golden Tate (mid 30’s ranking) as a great candidate to move into the top 15 when all is said and done. He comes from a running heavy system to a pass happy one with a QB that will get him the ball. Megatron will dictate coverage and Tate will be the big benefactor.

Moore: Eric Decker. He is now in sole possession of being a #1 WR on a team that will want their young QB to throw. He could haul in 90 receptions. He could be a back-end WR1/top WR2 if he stays healthy. He will be force-fed the ball as he is the only WR on that team that has it all together.

Hines: Reuben Randle. Currently Randle goes after pick 100 in drafts and is someone that I am looking to have on my team this year. Last year Randle only started in three games but had 6 TD and 611 yards. Eli targets him in the red zone, and with Cruz being double covered, Randle should get a ton of looks. Randle isn’t going to be a top option by any means, but he has the potential to be a great flex play.

Valero: Hakeem Nicks. I think he is going to have a bigger impact than most people think. Nicks is a really good WR and is the type of player that will fit right in with Luck. I can see him ending the season as the Colts’ most valuable pass-catcher.

3. Who will be the biggest bust at the position?

Gallimore: I hate to say it because I have him in a dynasty league but Percy Harvin. He has never had a 1,000 yard season and his physical style of play leads to injuries every year. On a per game basis he is usually very good but over the course of the season he won’t warrant his top 20 price tag.

Moore: Pierre Garcon. No way he gets over 180 targets and 110 receptions again. Washington has a new HC who will implement a more balanced offense and rely less on the passing game. DeSean Jackson is in Washington now as well, and will definitely eat into targets. He could have 80-90 receptions, but that might even be too much. I see him as a high-end WR2 this year instead of a mid-tier WR1, which most people are drafting him as.

Hines: I love Keenan Allen! He came out in his rookie year and was an absolute stud for fantasy owners. Regardless of the relationship between he and Phillip Rivers, there are more mouths to feed in San Diego entering 2014. Based on ADP, Allen just will not provide the value that you will have to pay to get him.

Valero: A few names that come to mind are Keenan Allen, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson. Randall Cobb represents the biggest bust value, I think he has all the talent in the world but dealt with injury a season ago and doesn’t warrant his draft position.

4. Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins?

Gallimore: I most likely won’t get either as they are going higher than I would spend but if I have to make a choice I go with…both. I know it’s cheating but I take Mike Evans for redrafts and Watkins in dynasty leagues. Each has value but I would go with Evans in the short term because I trust his QB a little bit more plus he has V-Jax taking away some attention.

Moore: Sammy Watkins. He’s a much more talented receiver. He may be over-drafted, but he will still have a better year than Evans. Evans is behind Vincent Jackson, who is the go-to guy in TB, while Watkins is clearly the #1 in Buffalo. He has been doing some amazing things in camp as well. Evans will be good no doubt, but Watkins will be better.

Hines: Josh McCown is the starting QB for the Bucs this year. Now, he isn’t the best option in the world, but under Marc Trestman and the new Bears offense, McCown had a great year filling in for Jay Cutler. Now the main man in Tampa, he has a new weapon in Mike Evans to throw to. Mike comes from Texas A&M where he was the guy you saw catching the balls that Manziel would just throw up for him to get. The kid is a play-maker, and although Watkins is a future stud, I think in 2014, Evans will is the one you want.

Valero: Their ADP are within a few spots of each other and honestly maybe a little too high for my taste but Mike Evans is going to win ROY this year, go ahead and book it. He may not kill it week to week but will have over 900 yards and 7 scores.

5. What’s the highest you would draft a WR?

Gallimore: I would look to take Calvin Johnson at pick 1.07. The top 4 RB (AP, Charles, McCoy, Forte) in some order, then I would also take Lacy and Jimmy Graham before pulling the trigger on a WR. I just think after those 6 players the next tier of RB has too much risk to pass on the consistency of Megatron.

Moore: 5th after AP, McCoy, Forte and Charles are gone (in no specific order). I’d rather have Megatron over Lacy personally. I can always spend the next two rounds on RB and have a little leeway with WR2. He has proven he can fight through injuries and will have Golden Tate to take some of the pressure off of him.

Hines: Again, going back to question #1, I am in the minority when it comes to this question but in standard leagues I think anywhere after 4 is fair game for a WR selection. That is assuming that AP, McCoy, Charles, and Forte are off the board. In PPR leagues I am in the same position. After those top guys, I would rather have Calvin than Lacy, Martin, or any of the other RB going in the first round. If I am 5th pick though, give me Calvin.

Valero: It depends on the draft, in PPR I would totally go around the 5th or 6th slot but in Standard leagues I would wait until probably the top half of round 2 in order to take one.

Make sure to follow Ricky, Jared, Shane and Doug on Twitter. The Sports Script is your one stop shop for fantasy football coverage in 2014.

Week 11 Fantasy Football Must Start/Must Sit

Week 10 is in the books and we are in the fast track to the Fantasy Playoffs which is kind of sad considering that means the NFL/Fantasy season is almost over. Week 10 was good to me for the most part but the Bernard/Bell combo surprised me taking advantage of a tough matchup. Week 11 will be great but before we jump into that let’s see how I did in week 10.

Starts that made me look good

Russell Wilson – 307 total yards and 2 TDs
Robert Griffin III – 325 total yards and 3 TDs
Maurice Jones-Drew – 74 total yards and a TD
TY Hilton – 7 catches 130 yards
Antonio Gates – 4 catches 62 yards
Arizona Cardinals D – 21 points/3 sacks/1 TO/1 TD

Starts that made me look bad

Fred Jackson – 62 total yards
Keenan Allen – 4 catches 41 yards

Sits that made me look good

Matt Ryan – 172 yards and 1 TD
Jason Witten – 2 catches for 27 yards
Larry Fitzgerald – 3 catches 23 yards
Anquan Boldin – 3 catches 23 yards

Sits that made me look bad

Gio Bernard – 95 total yards and a TD
Le’Veon Bell – 96 total yards and a TD
Green Bay Packers D – 27 points given up

Week 10 Fantasy Football Must Start (Bye weeks: Cowboys and Rams)

Case Keenum vs. Oakland Raiders

Keenum has been so impressive over the last few weeks (7 TDs/0 INTS over 3 weeks) and has been in each game this year. He is defintley fighting for at least a look at the starting QB job for 2014 but we are talking about now. Keenum has one of the better matchups against the Raiders this week who have given up an average of 265 yards and 2 TDs to opposing QBs this year. The Raiders just aren’t very good on defense and Keenum will show just that on Sunday.

Russell Wilson vs. Minnesota Vikings

Wilson has been on fire as of late throwing 10 total TD over the past 4 weeks and right now he sits in the top 5 of all Fantasy QBs this year (Yeah didn’t see that one coming). He has been so good and now he is getting his shiny new toy Percy Harvin in the mix, he is going to be great throughout the Fantasy playoffs. This week he faces the Vikings who are just terrible against the pass and I expect him to finish in the top 5 this week.

Danny Woodhead vs. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have given up 20 or more points in 3 straight games which include 5 rushing TDs. Woodhead leads all RBs with 53 catches this season and has been used on 3rd down situations for the Chargers. If you own him in PPR he is a must start every week and this week I would start him in any league.

Alshon Jeffery vs. Baltimore Ravens

Jeffery is becoming a solid WR2 since week 4 and he provided a 9 catch 114 yard performance against the Lions last week. The Ravens are going to shift a lot of their focus on Brandon Marshall and that will bode well for Jeffery this week. He needs to start this week and for the rest of the season.

Pierre Garcon vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Garcon is 6th in the league in receiving yards with 803 and has posted back to back 100+ yard performances. Garcon is the #1 target in Washington and faces an Eagles D that has a secondary that is easily exposed.

Antonio Gates vs. Miami Dolphins

The tight end position has been pretty bad this year and Gates has surprised me in his ability to be Fantasy relevant again. This is pure gut here with the Dolphins having shut down their last 5 opponents TEs. I would go with Gates regardless this week.

Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs. Denver Broncos

The Chiefs D has carried Fantasy teams across the board and don’t think they should stay away because Peyton Manning is coming to town. I would start them this week especially with Peyton’s ankles not 100% and the Chiefs can get to the QB. They will force Manning to make mistakes and I am a firm believer in starting them this week.

Take the time to check out PerfectStreak.com where you can sign up for free right now and get entered to win a free $20 to play. Pick games and win cash now!!!!!!! Make your 1st deposit this week and you will be entered to win a Sports Script prize pack!

Week 10 Fantasy Football Must Sit

Andrew Luck vs. Tennessee Titans

I feel like this matchup will go one of two ways for Luck, he will bounce back and destroy the Titans after a miserable performance against the Rams or he will go out and face a tough Tennessee Titans Pass D and have a mediocre performance. I am going for part #2, the Titans have given up 1 passing TD in the last 5 weeks and that’s impressive considering they have faced Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson in that time frame. Luck will struggle and you should only start if you have no better options.

Tom Brady vs. Carolina Panthers

So last time I had him on this list he went out and torched the Steelers for 432 yards and 4 TDs. So factor in that and he is coming off a bye and the Patriots are so good after bye weeks but this time he faces a Carolina Panthers team that has been very good over the past 5 weeks. They are on a 5 game win streak and opposing QBs are having a hard time against them averaging only 7 Fantasy Points per game. Brady could prove me wrong and I wouldn’t be surprised if guys like Keenam, Glennon and even Tannehill have a better week.

Fred Jackson/CJ Spiller vs. New York Jets

It doesn’t get much better than the New York Jets run defense, they have yet to allow over 100 yards to anyone this season and have held opposing Fantasy RBs to single digit point totals in 3 out of the last 4 games. Jackson has been good this year but hasn’t found the endzone in the last 2 weeks and Spiller still isn’t 100% and hasn’t been great this year. Neither guy is worth a look this week.

Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Arizona Cardinals

Jones-Drew has posted solid numbers in 3 out of his last 4 outings but is facing a Cardinal run D that has given up 77 yards rushing in the last two games. This is going to be a low scoring slugfest and MJD should be planted on the bench.

Cecil Shorts vs. Arizona Cardinals

Shorts is only catching 53% of his targets this season and unless you are using him in PPR formats has been pretty bad in standard leagues. He should draw Patrick Peterson this weekend and that is not good news for Shorts owners. Bench Shorts and even drop him in shallow leagues.

Steve Smith vs. New England Patriots

Steve Smith will see Aqib Talib on Monday Night and that isn’t good news for him. Smith hasn’t found the endzone since week 7 and has yet to reach 100 yards receiving this year. Not a good week to have him in the lineup.

Garrett Graham vs. Oakland Raiders

Graham has been a huge disappointment since the injury to Owen Daniels. The Raiders have been pretty good against TEs this year and Graham is just not rosterable anymore. Find other options.

New York Giants D vs. Green Bay Packers

This is enticing matchup for the Giants this week as they have scored a defensive TD in 4 straight games. But Scott Tolzien is coming to town!!!!!! Okay that was kind of a joke. Green Bay didn’t look that bad last week with Tolzien at the helm and a full week of practice I can see them scoring some points and not making the turnovers needed to start the Giants. Don’t fall for the trap and leave them on the bench.

Also don’t forget to check out the Sports Script podcast every Sunday morning at 11am (EST) as we answer any and all start and sit questions. www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration

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Week 8 Fantasy Football Must Start/Must Sit

So my Must starts last week were 2-5 and my Must sits were 6-1, I am just not sure how to feel about that this week. Each week a new QB comes out and scores more points than Tom Brady, we’ve lost Reggie Wayne, Doug Martin (Possibly) and Sam Bradford for the season. Injuries are just brutal, not just in real football but in Fantasy Football. I am thankful that I have not been hit with multiple injury bugs on one team. I have been hit with injuries just not 2 or 3 guys on one team like some have. With all the injuries and some big time players on bye-weeks, some fantasy owners (including myself) are looking for some big time help in week 8. Before we dive into that let’s take a look at how my Must Start/Must Sit did last week.

Starts that made me look good

Mike Wallace – 5 catches 76 yards (12 yards rushing) Wallace was heavily targeted (10); he didn’t find the endzone but did do the damage this week.
Green Bay Packers Defense – 13 points, 216 yards, 3 sacks and 1 turnover

Starts that made me look bad

Jay Cutler – He got a whopping -1 point this week. Hopefully he does have a speedy recovery from the groin injury.
Ray Rice – Totaled 72 yards but didn’t find the endzone for the 2nd straight game.
DeAngelo Williams – Great matchup and just didn’t produce off it. 59 total yards.
T.Y. Hilton – 2 catches 27 yards. The targets where there (11) just didn’t produce with them.
Antonio Gates – 6 catches 31 yards – Gates had 6 catches but the yards weren’t there to back it up.

Sits that made me look good

Bilal Powell – 6 yards – Not only was he not effective, Ivory took over the full load and Powell may be in jeopardy of losing his job.
Dwayne Bowe – 5 catches for 66 yards – In PPR leagues he was solid and in Standard he has produced what he has been, not much of anything.
Anquan Boldin – 5 catches for 74 yards – Same as Bowe, PPR leagues he was good but Standard it was his 3rd straight single digit output.
Garrett Graham – 3 catches 38 yards – Had a tough matchup this week, going forward he should produce better Fantasy stats.
Cleveland Browns Defense – 31 points, 1 sack and 0 turnovers – Just manhandled by a better team.

Sits that made me look bad

Le’Veon Bell – 99 total yards, he didn’t find the endzone but looked really good against a tough Ravens Run D.
Matt Ryan – 20/26 for 273 yards and 3 TDs – Ryan proved me wrong and worthy of a start against a solid Bucs D.

Week 8 Fantasy Football Must Start

Robert Griffin III vs. Denver Broncos

So last week against a depleted Bears D, we finally saw the RGIII we all wanted when we drafted him. He also had his highest output of the season on the ground with 84 yards on 11 carries (also a season high). He is facing a Broncos team fresh off their 1st loss of the season to the Colts. Even better news for RGIII owners is that the Broncos give up the most Fantasy points to opposing QBs. Whether the game is high scoring or not, we will see a lot of points from him this week.

Russell Wilson vs. St. Louis Rams

Outside of the two fumbles (he does have 5 on the season) Wilson had a tremendous game throwing the ball against a pretty good Cardinals D. This week he matches up against a St. Louis team that is going to have a change at QB with Bradford out for the year. The Seahawks force turnovers and that can mean nothing but good things for Wilson. Great matchup for him this week and even better we get to watch it happen on Monday Night Football.

Knowshon Moreno vs. Washington Redskins

Raise your hand if you thought Moreno would be leading the league in TDs (8)? Sit down you are all liars. Moreno has been nothing short of amazing for Fantasy Owners this season. He has a TD in 4 straight games (totaling 6 in that span) and has a firm grip on this RB job that no one thought he would have. Guess Moreno owners? The Redskins have given up 8 rushing TDs this season and 22 Fantasy PPG to RBs. Start Moreno in every format known to man this week.

Eddie Lacy vs. Minnesota Vikings

Lacy carries over the last 3 games 23, 23 and 22, he has totaled 301 yards rushing over the last 3 games (most in the NFL in that time frame). He also received 7 targets out of the backfield in week 7 due to all the injuries the Packers have on offense. With Finley out for a few games and James Jones still dealing with injuries, this team is going to rely on Lacy and he has stepped up to the plate.

Terrence Williams vs. Detroit Lions

He was on my Sleeper list for 2 straight weeks and came through with TDs. It’s time for him to be on the big boy list of the Must Starts. He has caught a TD in 3 straight games and faces a Lions team that has given up TDs in 4 straight games to WRs (including a big 80 yards bomb to AJ Green last week). I like Williams and think he is a top 20 play this week. If for any reason he is available on any of your waiver wires, he is a must pick up right now!

Pierre Garcon vs. Denver Broncos

Love the pair of RGIII/Garcon this week against Denver. Garcon hasn’t reached the endzone since week 4 but has been heavily targeted in the passing game. WRs have found pay dirt 8 times this year against the Broncos and I expect Garcon to make that nine.

Larry Fitzgerald vs. Atlanta Falcons

In what was supposed to be a huge bounce back season for Fitzgerald, it has been just as frustrating owning him this year as any year in the past. But this week a great matchup is store for Fitzgerald and we can only hope that Carson Palmer will take advantage of this and throw to Cardinals and not the Falcons this week. Even though you may be frustrated, this is a week where you have to start him.

Tony Gonzalez vs. Arizona Cardinals

When the Cardinals give up TDs to tight ends they do it right. 4 times they have given up 2 touchdowns to TEs in one game. They are coming off back to back games in doing so; last week was a frustrating week to own Gonzo as he only produced 2 catches on 4 targets for 30 yards. Teams are going to key in on him with the injuries to White and Julio but this week’s matchup is too hard to turn down. Stick with him this week and expect big numbers in return.

Carolina Panther vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Panthers after spending a few weeks on my Sleepers piece, have made it to the big time and made my Must Start Defense of week 8. The Panthers D is giving up only 13 PPG (1st in the NFC), 19 sacks and they have forced 14 total turnovers. The Bucs have given up the ball 10 times this year and QBs have been sacked 14 times. All the Thursday night games have been a bit sluggish, so the Panthers will have a field day against this Bucs team that’s going to be without their best RB in Doug Martin.

Week 8 Fantasy Football Must Sit

Terrelle Pryor vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

After the bye the Steelers D has awoken from total abomination. They are 2-0 after the bye and have given up only 17 points in two games against QBs. Even though there is a lot of QBs on a bye week this week, I still don’t like this matchup for Pryor. Only start in 2QB leagues this week.

DeAngelo Williams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are only one of two teams that have yet to give up a TD to a RB. But hey, Williams owners also know that he has yet to find the endzone this year either. I really don’t like this matchup for him and don’t expect him to find much running room on Thursday night.

Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Rodgers found the endzone through the air on Sunday twice but couldn’t muster up any rushing yards, totaling only 16 on 8 carries. Cardinals have been rock solid only giving up 12 fantasy points a game to RBs this year. Rodgers is an easy must sit for week 8.

Josh Gordon vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy Owners (me included) just want a QB that will get Gordon the ball and get it to him regularly. Weeden is just not that guy and he has the unfortunate opportunity of going into Kansas City and playing against the #1 defense in football. It’s really hard to decided and sit your stud but this is the week I would take a look at better matchups.

Kenbrell Thompkins vs. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are the only team in football that has yet to give up a TD to opposing WR. With the way Brady has played lately, I don’t expect that to change after this week either. Thompkins has 4 single points Fantasy games this year and this week will make it 5.

Jared Cook vs. Seattle Seahawks

After any amazing week 1 performance, everyone thought we finally saw the Jared Cook we all have been waiting for. He totaled 24 points in standard leagues (31 in PPR) in week 1; he has 19 points (35 in PPR) since then. Cook is facing a Seahawks D that is very good against TEs (5 PPG). He isn’t worth a start this week.

New Orléans Saints Defense vs. Buffalo Bills

I don’t expect the Bills to beat the Saints but I think this going game will be competitive this week. The Bills have scored 20 or more points in every game this season. The Saints have been good but not great on defense this year. I would look for a better option on the wire this week (Panthers, Steelers or Falcons).

Also don’t forget to check out the Sports Script podcast every Sunday morning at 11am (EST) as we answer any and all start and sit questions. www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration

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Week 4 Fantasy Football Must Start/Must Sit

I am back for another edition of my Start/Sit piece. Last week was another interesting week of Fantasy with the likes of Jake Locker, Geno Smith and Antonio Brown in the top 10 of scoring. The ups and downs of some players this year has been crazy. A new guy has stepped up and showed up in the top 10 each of the first 3 weeks of the season. Before I take a look at week 4, I show you how I did in week 3.

Starts & Sits that made me look good.

Matthew Stafford (385 yards & 2 TDs), Julio Jones (9/115), Pierre Garcon (8/73) & Patriots D
Daryl Richardson (1 touch), Stevan Ridley (35 yards) & T.Y. Hilton (2/13)

Start & Sits that made me looks bad.

Terrelle Pryor (281 yards & a TD), Marshawn Lynch (69 yards) & Cecil Shorts (8/143)

Week 4 Must Start

Andrew Luck vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Luck didn’t have the best game in week 3 but didn’t need to as the run game was on fire. The Jaguars have played pretty well against the pass; they rank in the top 10. But Luck had some success last season against the Jaguars and fully expect the same this year. They aren’t a very good team; look for Luck to be a great fantasy option in week 4.

Matt Forte vs. Detroit Lions

Forte has 18 catches through 3 games, he had 44 all of last year. He is on pace to have the best season of his career. He is getting the goal-line touches and rushed for 199 yards and a TD against the Lions last season. Forte is an easy must start for the week.

Bilal Powell vs. Tennessee Titans

Powell had a coming out part against the Bills, rushing for 149 yards. The Titans D has been quite impressive in 2013 but I think they can be run on. They have yet to face a QB with the athleticism as Geno Smith does. Powell should help the Jets open up the run this weekend and should be started as a RB2/Flex.

Cecil Shorts vs. Indianapolis Colts

Shorts showed even in a touch matchup he should be in the lineup. There is concern this week as Gabbert has taken the job back from Henne but I am here to tell you not to worry. Last season Shorts caught 7 balls for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Colts and Blaine Gabbert was the QB of both of those games. Start Shorts as a borderline WR1 this week.

Denarius Moore vs. Washington Redskins

I don’t think it matters who will be starting at QB for the Raiders this weekend. Whoever it is will be throwing against a terrible Redskins pass defense. In 3 games he has 11 catches for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. The quarterback situation should not hold you back from starting him in week 4.

Antonio Gates vs. Dallas Cowboys

Are the Gates finally open again? Boy that joke sounded better in my head. Well he has 15 catches for 228 yards a TD heading into week 4. He didn’t get his 15 reception or over 200 yards until week 5 of last season. I would roll with Gates until they are closed. (Yep I did it again)

New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans

I think you could start both teams this week but if I had to pick one it would be the Jets. They are playing some really good football on defense. They are facing a Titans team that isn’t overly impressive on offense. The Jets have managed 12 sacks through 3, if they get to Locker early this defense will have a field day on Sunday.

Must Sit

Michael Vick vs. Denver Broncos

This Broncos D is playing a lot better than I thought they would to start the season. They are giving up a lot of garbage time yards and points to teams after getting up by 3 or 4 scores. I see the Broncos getting up early in this game causing Vick to throw more and making some mistakes. I would recommend against starting him this week.

Carson Palmer vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For those with Newton and Rodgers looking for a spot start for the week, Palmer is not the answer. The Bucs have 4 interceptions and 12 sacks through 3 games; he is in for a long day in Tampa.

Ryan Matthews vs. Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys are giving up 66 YPG on the ground, WOW. If they Cowboys shut down the run expect to see a lot of Woodhead and Brown this week as the Chargers are going to have to throw if they have a chance at winning this game.

Fred Jackson vs. Baltimore Ravens

Even if Spiller were to somehow miss this week’s game I still wouldn’t recommend starting Jackson. The Ravens run defense has been really good; teams are averaging only 74 YPG against them. Tough matchup = easy sit for him.

DeAndre Hopkins vs. Seattle Seahawks

I recommended sitting Cecil Shorts last weekend and it bit me in the butt. This week I say sit Hopkins, Andre Johnson doesn’t look likely for this game so Hopkins will be all alone out there. He may be Schaub’s best option this week but I would recommend if you have better options, start them.

Roddy White vs. New England Patriots

The Patriots have been really good against the pass, actually they rank in the top part against teams top receiving options. Whtie hasn’t shown to be healthy this year and until he does he shouldn’t be in the lineup.

Kyle Rudolph vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

As bad as the season has been for the Steelers they are playing fairly well on defense. The offense is what is causing the high scoring by giving up a ton of turnovers. They have yet to give up a touchdown to a tight end this year and held Martellus Bennett to 2 catches for 10 yards in week 3. If you have other options I would use them instead this week.

Houston Texans vs. Seattle Seahawks

This is just one of those weeks you have to sit the Texans defense. They are playing probably the best team in football right now and even though they are at home, the Seahawks will be coming to play.

Also don’t forget to check out our new Podcast/Show on Sunday’s at 11am (EST) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration we answer questions your Fantasy Football questions live on the air.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@rickygangster) or (@thesportsscript) as we answer all your Fantasy Football questions all week up until game time.

Week 3 Fantasy Football Must Start/Must Sit

Tomorrow already starts week 3 of the Fantasy Football season, it totally seems like the season is flying by already. Last week, I provided some good (Marlon Brown) & not so good (Sit Eric Decker) advice. This week is my week of redemption for those who sat Eric Decker. I will guarantee that these guys are, well no wait I can’t predict the future. So I will tell you that heading into week 3 we have better feeling on who is good and who isn’t good for your Fantasy team. (Check out my Week 3 Fantasy Sleepers http://wp.me/p2MUTr-m4)

Week 3 Must Start

Matthew Stafford vs. Washington Redskins (52/79, 635 yards, 4 TDs & 1 INT)

Stafford didn’t throw his 4th touchdown pass until week 5 last year and he had 4 INTs in the 1st two games last year. So there has been much improvement in his decision-making this year. He has probably one of the best matchups he will have all season. The Redskins have given up 621 yards and 6 touchdown passes to quarterbacks in week 1 and 2. Stafford is set up to have a top 5 QB game this week.

Marshawn Lynch vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (45 carries, 141 yards, 2 TDs & 5 catches, 46 yards & a TD)

Lynch is a perfect example of why not to panic and trade or bench a guy after the 1st week of the season. He totaled over 100+ yards and 3 touchdowns against the 49ers in week 2. The Jaguars are fresh off giving up 226 yards (129 to McFadden) on the ground to the Raiders. Lynch is in place to have a field day against them.

Rashard Mendenhall vs. New Orléans Saints (31 carries, 126 yards & a TD, 3 catches, 32 yards)

While the Saints defense has improved against the pass, they rank 27th against the run. Mendenhall looked pretty good against the Lions last week (Did I really just say that?). Even with Ellington in the fold Mendenhall will be a great play this week against the Saints.

Julio Jones vs. Miami Dolphins (23 targets, 18 catches, 258 yards & 2 TDs)

The Miami defense has played really good this season but they kind of got exposed last week with the deep ball by Luck and T.Y. Hilton. They connected on 6 catches for 124 yards in week 2 and this is only great news for Jones and this matchup. Through two weeks we have gotten consistent play out of Julio, it is only the 2nd time in the last 2 years he has had games with back to back touchdowns. In what could be a tough matchup for the Falcons, Julio is a must start.

Pierre Garcon vs. Detroit Lions (24 targets, 15 catches, 207 yards & a TD)

I expect this game to be a full on shootout as the Redskins do not know how to defend the pass. Garcon has become the captain of garbage time points (12 catches 140 yards & a TD in the 2nd half). With the high scoring affair, he is an easy WR1 this week.

Greg Olsen vs. New York Giants (17 targets, 12 catches, 140 yards & a TD)

Olsen comes into week 3 as the 4th most targeted tight end in the league. He had a big day last week against the Bills. He has a matchup against a Giants team that has given up a total of 14 catches 117 yards and 3 touchdowns to tight ends over the 1st two weeks of the season. Olsen is one of Newton’s favorite targets and with this matchup he is easily a must start this week.

New England Patriots Defense vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have mustered up 31 points in the 1st two games of the season. They are facing a Patriots team that may be lost on offense but have played really good defense. I recommended them last week and will do the same again this week.

Week 3 Must Sit

Terrelle Pryor vs. Denver Broncos

Can the Pryor chatter finally die down? In probably the best matchup he will have all season he mustered up 10 Fantasy points. He just isn’t a guy you can rely on week to week, I’ll even go one better he is a guy I wouldn’t start again this season. He has a tough matchup against the Broncos where they are going to force him to throw and throw from behind. He is droppable in everything but 2 QB formats.

Daryl Richardson vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys did a great job against Jamaal Charles in week 2, shutting him down to only yards through 3 and half quarters. He did manage to reach 53 yards rushing towards the end of the game basically against a tired, ran down Cowboys defense. Richardson isn’t a very good matchup this week against them. I would sit him unless you are thin at the RB position.

Stevan Ridley vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers defense has only given up 118 yards in the 1st two games on the ground to RBs. Ridley hasn’t been impressive at all this year. He should see his normal 15-20 touches but I don’t see him getting more than 50-60 yards. Without him reaching the endzone, I find it hard to start him unless you are in deeper leagues.

T.Y. Hilton vs. San Francisco 49ers

Hilton was a great play last week against a tough matchup in the Dolphins. Hilton faces a 49ers team fresh off a blowout loss by the Seahawks. I look for them to shut down the Colts and I think they will focus on shutting down deep threat in Hilton.

Any Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks

Did you see what the Seahawks did to the 49ers? The Jaguars aren’t a quarter as good as them. Shorts might be the only guy worth looking at but he gets Richard Sherman this week. Sit any and all Jaguars you own.

Miami Dolphins Defense vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Dolphins Defense was haven’t given up a lot of points but they have been shown that they can be thrown on. They face a team that is known for its great aerial attack in the Falcons. I think this will be an easy sit for the Dolphins D this week.

Also don’t forget to check out our new Podcast/Show on Sunday’s at 11am (EST) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration we answer questions your Fantasy Football questions live on the air.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@rickygangster) or (@thesportsscript) as we answer all your Fantasy Football questions all week up until game time.

2013 Fantasy Football WR Rankings

Fantasy Football season is upon us. Which means that millions of people around the world are drafting their teams. So I am here to bring you my latest rankings. Today I am going to give you my WR Rankings.

rankings as of 08/22/2013

1 Calvin Johnson – Det 9
2 Dez Bryant – Dal 11
3 A.J. Green – Cin 12
4 Demaryius Thomas –   Den 9
5 Brandon Marshall –   Chi 8
6 Larry Fitzgerald –   Ari 9
7 Julio Jones – Atl 6
8 Vincent Jackson – TB 5
9 Andre Johnson – Hou 8
10 Roddy White – Atl 6
11 Victor Cruz – NYG 9
12 Marques Colston – NO 7
13 Randall Cobb – GB 4
14 Dwayne Bowe – KC 10
15 Danny Amendola – NE 10
16 Hakeem Nicks – NYG 9
17 Jordy Nelson – GB 4
18 Steve Smith – Car 4
19 Mike Wallace – Mia 6
20 Greg Jennings – Min 5
21 Antonio Brown – Pit 5
22 Wes Welker – Den 9
23 Reggie Wayne – Ind 8
24 Eric Decker – Den 9
25 Pierre Garcon – Was 5
26 Cecil Shorts – Jac 9
27 Torrey Smith – Bal 8
28 James Jones – GB 4
29 T.Y. Hilton – Ind 8
30 DeSean Jackson – Phi 12
31 Steve Johnson – Buf 9
32 Mike Williams – TB 5
33 Miles Austin – Dal 11
34 Kenny Britt – Ten 8
35 Tavon Austin – StL 11
36 Josh Gordon – Cle 10
37 Lance Moore – NO 7
38 Anquan Boldin – SF 9
39 Kenbrell Thompkins – NE 10
40 Emmanuel Sanders –   Pit 5
41 Rueben Randle – NYG 9
42 Michael Floyd – Ari 9
43 Golden Tate – Sea 12
44 Vincent Brown – SD 8
45 Justin Blackmon – Jac 9
46 Kendall Wright – Ten 8
47 Ryan Broyles – Det 9
48 DeAndre Hopkins – Hou 8
49 Alshon Jeffery – Chi 8
50 Darrius Heyward-Bey –   Ind 8

NFL 32 Team Preview: Washington Redskins

We’ll be hashing over the Washington Redskins in today’s 32 NFL Team preview. The burgundy and gold have come a long way. Winning the NFC East last year, the Redskins hosted their first home Playoff game since 1999. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen seem to have done just what they promised. They’ve got the Skins’ back on top, but now have to keep them there. Shanahan needs to have a winning season in 2013 to turn his 21-27 overall record with the team into a positive one. Washington’s goal will be holding more home Playoff games this upcoming season.

Offense: An Offense that struggled in 2011 was reborn with the addition of a Quarterback in the 2012 Draft. Robert Griffin III led the Skins’ with 3,200 passing yards, 815 rushing yards, 20 passing/7 rushing touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. He only lost 2 but he needs to shore up putting on the ball on the ground as he fumbled 12 times in his rookie year. Griffin possesses arm strength and accuracy that’s rarely seen in a player at his position who’s considered a running threat. If RGIII has another season where he carries the team on his back with big numbers, he’s going to be considered one of the best in the game. Notably, Washington has Kirk Cousins at back up. If Robert Griffin isn’t available to play the first few weeks due to his knee injury, Kirk will fill in fine as he proved last year. The team has a solid pair of Tight Ends in Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen. Davis, coming off an Achilles injury, really seemed like he was beginning to build a rapport with RGIII until the injury. Paulsen stepped in and was a key 3rd down guy that caught a majority of his targets. Jordan Reed was taken in the 3rd round of the Draft and, though a project player, a lot of fans have faith that he’s going to be a force in the passing game. The Skins’ have a lot of talent on their hands at his position. Pierre Garçon missed time and was never 100% healthy in 2012, but still managed to lead the team in receiving (44 catches, 663 yards, and 4 touchdowns). He and Santana Moss are the key complement players in the passing game. Both tied for most plays over 20 yards receiving (10) and first downs (26). Moss ended last season with 8 touchdowns. Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson, and Aldrick Robinson will pretty much round out the rest of the positions. Morgan is a reliable Receiver who does great in run blocking. Robinson snuck past Defensive Backs a few times for big plays last season, and will be looking to have more of those in this coming year. Leonard Hankerson was big for Washington in the middle on slants and posts. Making sure Robert Griffin has time to throw is the responsibility of the Offensive Line. Left Tackle Trent Williams is quietly one of the better players at his position in the league. He’s only allowed 8.5 sacks the past 2 seasons, playing against some of the best pass rushers in the NFL, many who reside in the NFC East. Tyler Polumbus will be the team’s starter at Right Tackle. Will Montgomery, Center, played solid for someone who many fans had concerns about handling the position going into last year. Chris Chester and Kory Lichtensteiger will be the franchises Guards. Josh LeRibeus played solid when called upon at the end of the season. So if Chester or Lichtensteiger have an issue, he should have no problem taking over. Alfred Morris is the Running Back they’ll be opening lanes for. Morris ran for 1,613 yards in his rookie campaign, along with scoring 13 touchdowns. Nobody expected him to have numbers this big, being a 6th round pick, so I’m curious to see how 2013 is going to go for him. Notably, Roy Helu and Chris Thompson will be fighting to back Alfred up. Helu was a nice pick up for the Redskins in 2011, setting the team record for catches in a game, but missed almost all of 2012 due to injury. Thompson was always a home run threat at Florida State and was chosen in the 4th round of the draft. He’s a long shot, coming off season-ending back and ACL injuries in 2011 and ’12, but could prove to be an explosive player. The Redskins offense, 5th overall in 2012 (1st in rushing, 20th in passing), all falls on to the shoulders of its Quarterback. They’re a solid group, but he takes them to another level and will need to be healthy throughout 2013 for success.

Defense: Defensively the Skins’ ranked 28th in the league last year (5th versus the run and 30th against the pass). The leader of the Defense is 16-year vet, Middle Linebacker, London Fletcher. Fletcher led the Redskins in tackling (139 total) and interceptions (5) last year, also registering 3 sacks. London’s presence alone brings certain inspiration to Washington, who will be starting beside Perry Riley. Perry had good stats for his first full year as a starter with 3.5 sacks and 129 total tackles. Brian Orakpo forms a solid pairing with Ryan Kerrigan at Outside Linebacker. Orakpo put up 28.5 sacks over 3 years before being injured in the second game of 2012 and missing the rest of the year. Kerrigan has totaled 16 sacks for the Redskins since being drafted in 2011. They should have the most significant amount of pressure on Quarterback’s than anyone else on the team. Rob Jackson is a notable here as he was a force while replacing Orakpo during his injury. He led the team in tackles for loss with 5 and had 4 interceptions with 4.5 sacks. The Skins’ Defensive Line is responsible for their stellar play against the run last season. Stephen Bowen and Adam Carriker should be the team’s starting D-End’s. In 2012, Carriker suffered a season-ending knee injury and missed a majority of the season. He still might not be ready to play when the season starts and, if so, Jarvis Jenkins would take his spot. Bowen has made the most of his opportunities to be a starter in Washington since being signed in 2011. Another player they signed that same year Barry Cofield, one of the better Nose Tackles in the game, is good at putting stress on pass throwers. Second-String is Chris Baker who comes in at times to spell Cofield, mainly during rushing situations. The Secondary of the Redskins needed a lot of help during the Offseason. The team did just that, making a lot of moves on limited funds. Phillip Thomas was drafted along with Bacarri Rambo to compete for a starting Safety position. Thomas led the NCAA in interceptions with 8 in 2012 and is the favorite to win the position. Rambo has a playmaker for Georgia that will be a nice player to have if Brandon Meriweather cannot make it through the season. Meriweather missed all but one half of football in 2012. In that game, his strong performance had fans envisioning what he would have looked like with the team all season if healthy. The depth at Cornerback got younger and deeper when the team selected David Amerson 51st overall. Amerson led the NCAA in interceptions with 13 in 2011, but had some coverage problems at NC State in 2012. He should be a perfect fit with Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall. Hall tied for the lead on the Redskins in tackles for loss (5), led in pass deflections (14), intercepted 4 passes and had a sack in 2012. Wilson forced 3 fumbles while picking off 2 passes last year. The remaining members of the Cornerback group are E.J. Biggers, Chase Minnifield, and Richard Crawford. Biggers was signed to the team during Free Agency from Tampa. Minnifield came to the team as an injured rookie last season and is trying to see playing time in 2013. Crawford made a big difference in the return game and seemed to feel more comfortable as the season ended. He’ll be the player that I’ll have my eye on early. The Defense for the Redskins is going to get a big boost with Orakpo and Carriker coming back. Their Secondary is young and will have some growing pains, but the team should be noticeably better against the pass. Quarterback stress by the D-Line will be the key to how effective they’ll be in 2013.

End Result: This season is only going to go as well as Robert Griffin does. If he and key members on the team stay healthy, I predict the Redskins will be 12-4 . Now Washington, being last alphabetically, was finished before I had the chance to tag them with the 11-5 record I had in mind. Either way, I had them taking a step forward after 2012.