With a quarter of the season down we are seeing some flat out ridiculous trends that can no longer be deemed as flukes. I guess the Broncos are really a fantasy powerhouse, Sims-Walker really is that bad, the Saints offense is a shell of what it once was, and rookies and undrafted free agents are on top of the world.
Guys I Like Going Forward
Mike Wallace-Wally has been a non-factor in the fantasy world so far this year (barring his two td game against the Bucs) but all that will change once Roethlisberger comes back. Wallace is clearly the most explosive player on the Pittsburgh offense and I believe his stats will trump aging superstar Hines Ward’s. Though the Steelers are on a bye, I mention him because he is a buy high candidate with tremendous upside. Get him from a desperate owner who needs a win this week.
Mike Thomas-Thomas has consistently outgunned touted teammate Sims-Walker and now has 30 targets on the year to MSW’s 23. Sims-Walker has been blanked twice (once against the Colts) and the fact that he only has 12 catches for 139 yards and 1 td through four games is unbelievable to say the least. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after the Jags’ pathetic offensive showings the first three weeks, but if they couldn’t get him the ball in a shootout with the Colts then it makes you wonder if he will ever regain the swagger he enjoyed last year. The bills have a strong pass defense but I like Thomas over Sims-Walker again this week. The only thing MSW should be catching is splinters on your bench.
Davone Bess-Other than the Dolphins special teams’ gaffs, Bess was the best player on the field Monday night. Bess ran sharp routes, gashing the Pats for 9 receptions, 93 yards and a touch. He did a number on the Jets a week before, and he is a guy who has continued to improve, showing spurts of greatness going back to last year. Marshall is clearly the stud, but with the Dolphins struggling in the run game, expect Bess to put up decent numbers going forward. Since the fins have a bye this week, Bess is available in the majority of leagues and a guy you can stash for the future. Bess led Dolphin receivers with 12 targets last week. Marshall, however, is 20 targets up on Bess for the season total with 48.
Michael Crabtree-I urged you to stay patient with him last week and he still disappointed, but with another week to adjust to a new offensive coordinator and a favorable matchup against the Eagles, it is do or die time for Crabtree. Crabtree’s 5 catch 58 yard performance on six targets would not be that bad if he could just find the end zone. I’ll admit that I’m a slightly bias ‘Niners fan but he has too much talent to ignore. He still leads all receivers in targets (25) and if he crabs out again I promise I will stop mentioning him in a positive light.
Kenny Britt-Another repeat offender, Britt has been in this discussion before. I mentioned him last week and he managed to score again on Sunday, catching three passes for 23 yards on a team high seven targets. He has a good matchup against Dallas this week and with Gage out, Britt is the starter. I expect him to remain at that spot and he seems to be out of Jeff Fisher’s doghouse which is nice. He is another guy you can snag off free agency for a bye week fill in and a potential flex player down the road.
Brandon Stokley-I don’t necessarily like Stokley in the long term but with less than a week to prepare with the ‘Hawks he commanded 8 targets to the second place Mike Williams’ 5, posting the strongest statistical game with four catches and 62 yards. A talented slot receiver, Stokley could offer the occasional spark but I would wait before risking a roster spot on him.
Brandon Lloyd-I stated last week that the Broncos were like the Saints in that you never know who is going to get the ball. After four weeks however, Lloyd has emerged as the undisputed number 1 target in Denver. He leads the team with 42 targets and 8 red zone targets and ranks 7th and 2nd in the league respectively. His 18 targets ranked second in the league last week to Reggie Wayne’s 19 and he caught 11 of those targets for 115 yards. There doesn’t seem to be anything stopping the Broncos passing game and Lloyd is the primary beneficiary. He has a tough matchup against Baltimore this week, but he should be a solid play until Orton falls back to reality.
Stephen Williams-Williams has been filling in for an injured Steve Breaston which is a full time job in itself. Williams is a big target (6’5” 205) and he certainly has potential. The problem is the Arizona offense but it’s possible that Max Hall, who looked good in the preseason, could provide a positive spark going forward. With Breaston’s proclivity for getting injured, Williams will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his talent. Be patient but keep an eye on him. He has a nice matchup against the Saints this week but I would be hesitant to start him even if you’re bye week desperate. I’d prefer starting guys like Britt, Manningham, or even Harry Douglas over him as of now.
-Mark Clayton is 7th in the league with 42 targets.
-Darrius Heyward-Bey is 17th in the league with 33 targets, ahead of Colston, Jennings, Crabtree, Floyd, Maclin, Moss, and Harvin.
-Mike Thomas is 21st in total targets and has more targets than Colston, Jennings, Crabtree, Floyd, Maclin, Moss, and Harvin.
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