What’s up fans of football, fake and real? Can you freakin’ believe the 49ers are 8-1 and the Eagles are 3-6? Sorry Drew but I had to rub it in. My old school profile picture of Ronnie Lott beats your old school Randall Cunningham any day. I just had to get that off my chest. Back to reality, fakality or fake reality; it depends on how you look at it.
Some Real Lookers
Harry Douglas-I actually thought that ole’ Harry could have been a decent sleeper pick around draft time but a struggling Matt Ryan has meant no nookie for Douglas. Sunday, a day in which the dougster caught eight passes for 133 yards on a redonkulous 14 targets (twice as many as any other Falcon-White) was surely an aberration right? I don’t know if it was a hurting linebacking core that prompted the Falcons to gameplan the way they did, or if it was simply an adjustment after Jones’s hamstring aggravation, but conventional wisdom has to tell you that Douglas is at best the fourth receiving option behind some true studs in T-Gonz, R-White, and Coolio Jones. He can’t be rosterable can he? Not so fast grasshopper. It is interesting to note that over the last four games Douglas has 25 targets, 14 receptions and 252 receiving yards compared to Roddy White’s 31, 15, 211 yards and one td. Though the Falcon’s have not released any definitive information on Jones’s reaggravation, if he indeed misses time, Douglas could be a decent spot flex start against the Titans on Sunday.
Ed Dickson-the inconsistency of the Ravens offense and the TE2 numbers have undoubtedly deterred some potential owners from rostering Dickson, but Daniels owners in need of a bye week replacement or those who play a TE in the flex may want to note that Dickson is sixth overall in TE targets on the year with 68, ahead of guys like Jermichael Finley, Fred Davis, Greg Olson, Dustin Keller, Owen Daniels, and Aaron Hernandez and tied with Tony Gonzalez. He commanded a monstrous 14 targets against the Seahawks on Sunday, catching ten passes for 79 yards. He’s seventh in receptions by TE’s with 40 and is top fifteen in receiving yards and touchdowns. Over the last five weeks however, Dickson is fourth in TE targets and receptions and is top ten in receiving yards and touchdowns. His role seems to be increasing as the year goes on and those looking to bolster the TE position for the playoffs may want to take notice.
Damian Williams-Williams made a nasty touchdown grab in the back of the endzone on Sunday, his second in as many weeks. He racked up five catches 107 yards on a team tying seven targets (CJnotsolame). Munchack loves the kid and thinks he’s getting better every week which tells me that he will continue to see a lot of looks in the future, especially with a banged up Nate Washington. I like his upside a lot going forward.
Steve Smith and Brent Celek-let’s call a spade a spade. The Eagles simply do not look good in real life. However, their appeal as a fantasy powerhouse still remains. The latest juggernaut to emerge is the once great Steve Smith, shaking off his rust by catching five of his team high 10 targets for 47 yards. With Desean long gone and Maclin missing in action, Smith took over and had a big day, a day I assumed would belong to Jason Avant. I don’t like to make bold predictions based on one week’s performance but I do like guys who re-emerge after showing promise in the past. He’s worth keeping an eye on. It’s also fair to note that teammate Brent Celek is top six in TE targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns over the last five weeks. I may like Celek slightly more than Dickson for the simple fact that the Eagles offense is more explosive.
Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid-guys who came up big that you should be cautious about
Donald Jones-the Bills got housed on Sunday and were forced to pass early and often. Jones was the target beneficiary, garnering 10 and catching six for 51 yards. However, he only caught one ball for six yards last week and is coming off an injury. That, coupled with the fact that David Nelson is essentially the exact same player and that Fred Jackson will be #2 if not #1 in receiving targets week to week, suggests that Jones should remain on the waiver wire.
Titus Young and Nate Burleson-Stafford threw the ball 63 times in a pitiful loss to the Bears on Sunday, resulting in some unbelievably high target numbers and some inflated statistics for typical underachievers Titus Young and Nate Burleson. Burleson and Young were both targeted nine times, tied with Pettigrew and second to the 19 targets of Calvin Johnson. Burleson faired slightly better statistically, catching eight passes for 83 yards compared to Young’s seven catches for 74 yards. The Lion’s offense has been truly offensive and I see no reason at this point to invest in either of what used to be two promising players earlier in the season.
Andrew Hawkins-the 25 year old Toledo grad caught five of his career total ten catches on Sunday. He also commanded the second most targets with five. Apparently A.J. Green’s injury is insignificant, but on Sunday, Hawkins even outplayed the usually consistent Jerome Simpson who didn’t catch a single one of his four targets. Andre Caldwell, the team’s fourth option, only caught three of his team high eight targets for 25 yards. Hawkins is worth nothing with Green on the field, but it’s possible that he could move into the starting spot if Green were to miss any time. He’s worth keeping an eye on but he’s certainly not worth an add at this point.
Chad Ochocinco-Ocho oh-no looked ok on his two catches Sunday night but he still kind of looked like a skittish lab rat, especially when he stepped out of bounce on his first grab even though he had plenty of room to turn it up. It’s also fair to note that Ocho only commanded two targets and his performance at this point seems to the the exception to the rule. However, Collinsworth did make a quite a few comments about how good Ocho looked in practice last week and how the Pat’s coaching staff was impressed with his work. He may be worth monitoring going forward. Hey, maybe he’s just a slow learner.
I Stand Corrected-guys I misjudged to some degree last week
Denarius Moore-the chemistry between Moore and Palmer is palpable and after two straight solid weeks, Moore’s performance is arguably turning into a trend. Moore blew up on Thursday night, catching five of his seven targets for 123 yards and two touchdowns. DHB was once again completely absent, not receiving a single target, and his primary competition, Jacoby Ford, suffered a foot injury and is likely to miss at least one or two weeks, paving the way for more greatness from Moore in the future. I don’t know what to say to DHB owners at this point other than I don’t think anyone saw this coming and it’s possible that he simply does not mesh with what they are planning to do with Carson Palmer at the helm. Moore, needless to say, is a must add if he’s available.
Vincent Brown-last week I mentioned Brown as a guy to keep an eye on, and he proved to be more than that, catching five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown on a team high nine targets. He clearly outshined his counterpart V-Jax who was held to only one catch and 22 yards. Floyd’s status for week 11 does not look good par Norv Turner’s post game comments. He has yet to practice and even if he comes back, it may not matter with the way that Brown is playing. Brown is definitely worth an add and a potential flex start against what could become a shootout with the Bears in a key game for both teams this weekend.
Earl Bennett-last week I lauded Bennett’s chemistry with Cutler but I cautioned the consistency of this slot receiver. However, this past week he posted nearly identical numbers, catching all six of his targets for 81 yards. I still wouldn’t expect the world out of him but Cutler should continue to find him in key situations. I like him as a flex play in PPR leagues going forward but don’t expect a lot of touchdowns as Bennett is not exactly a formidable red zone target.
Bummer Man…That’s a Bummer…Do You Mind If I Do a J?
Leonard Hankerson-hopefully you got that Big Lebowski reference but in all seriousness, I feel bad for the young upstart who was placed on I.R. after tearing ligaments in his hip. In his second consecutive start, Hankerson caught eight balls for 106 yards on a team high nine targets. Shanahan called the loss of Hankerson “devastating” and I really liked his upside. I know it’s early, but a lot of you guys are in keeper leagues or dynasty leagues and if you don’t have a good keeper option he could be worth a stash and a wait and see for what he does in the offseason. Either way, he’s a good guy to keep in mind for next year’s drafts as he should make a good late round sleeper given his potential to remain a starter next year.