NFL Fantasy: Goodbye, bye
By DAN BILICKI, QMI Agency
|The Denver Broncos took a tough blow this week, learning that feature back Willis McGahee will be out 6-8 weeks with a leg fracture and torn MCL. (REUTERS)
Week 12 will be the first since Week 3 in which all 16 teams will play.
That can be good news or bad depending on how you look at it. Sure, you now have everyone on your roster to choose from, but so does your opponent. Also, there’s no excuse now that your first-round pick was sitting on a beach somewhere while the guy who sits next to you at work whupped you.
— The Denver Broncos took a tough blow this week, learning that feature back Willis McGahee will be out 6-8 weeks with a leg fracture and torn MCL. He was placed on the IR with the return tag, but that just means he can come back for the AFC title game should they make it that far. That also means his fantasy season is over and that he can be dumped. In his place we’re looking at a committee of Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and even Knowshon Moreno. The safest bet for your fantasy team is Hillman, who also has the most upside.
— If you thought things were bad for Pittsburgh with Byron Leftwich under centre, well they’re probably going to get worse with Charlie Batch at QB. With Ben Roethlisberger ailing from rib and shoulder injuries, Leftwich suffered a couple of cracked ribs of his own in his first start of the season. That means Batch will step in while former Pats QB Brian Hoyer will back him up. Not so good news for Steelers wide receivers, who already took a hit with Big Ben out of the lineup. Don’t expect much for a couple of weeks.
— Just when you thought the Eagles’ season couldn’t any worse, LeSean McCoy goes down with a concussion. He’s still experiencing headaches and is unlikely to play on Monday night, so it’s best to make other plans. Starting in his place would be Bryce Brown, who may still be available.
— Bills RB Fred Jackson has been practising fully and will return for a game off due to a concussion. It’s not all good news, though, as C.J. Spiller will likely get the majority of carries. Spiller has been a stud this season and that could spell the end for Jackson’s high value in Buffalo. Unless the former first-round pick goes down, Jackson will only be in a time-share at best.
— Well, it looks like the Patriots might not need Rob Gronkowski after all. After breaking his arm on Sunday and having surgery to repair it earlier this week, Gronk missed Thursday’s rout of the Jets, in which New England piled up 49 points, 35 in the second quarter alone. Aaron Hernandez was back to fill in the void left by Gronk at TE, but long-term we see a lot of three-receiver sets and a rise in value for Julian Edelman — who has scored in two straight games now.
— The Jacksonville Jaguars finally got sick of Rashad Jennings’ lack of production and bolted him to the bench on Sunday. Jennings was supposed to be Jacksonville’s starter coming into the season, even when Maurice Jones-Drew came back from his holdout. But now, it will be Jalen Parmele’s turn to carry the rock for the Jags — until MJD comes back. Parmele racked up 80 rushing last week and should be a nice plug-and-play running back if you have a hole to fill this week.
PICK UP OF THE WEEK
Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
It took far too long, but the first receiver taken in this year’s draft finally had a breakout week. His 236 receiving yards nearly doubled his total for the season. He also scored his second touchdown of the season. While you can’t expect an output like that every week, Blackmon will definitely be on the rise for the rest of the season.
DROP OF THE WEEK
Alex Green, RB, GB
Since taking over as the feature back for the Pack, Green hasn’t exactly endeared himself to fantasy owners — and apparently the team, either. He has still yet to score a touchdown this season and has averaged only 3.1 yards per carry. Last week was the tipping point, when James Starks took the vast majority of snaps and Green didn’t get a single touch. He has also been hobbled by a slight knee injury.
WAIVER 'D' OF THE WEEK
St. Louis Rams
The Rams didn’t perform well in this spot last week against the Jets, but that seemed more like a fluke than anything. Either way, they travel to Arizona to take on sixth-round rookie QB Ryan Lindley in his first career start. And, when these two teams played in Week 5, the Rams defence scored 18 points – second most that week.
SIT OR START
Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF at NO
If he starts for San Francisco over Alex Smith, he should start for you against the soft Saints defence.
Chad Henne, QB, JAC vs. TEN
He has shown that he’s much more competent running the Jags offence than Blaine Gabbert.
Philip Rivers, QB, SD vs. BAL
We are coming to the end of Rivers’ fantasy relevancy.
Jake Locker, QB, TEN at JAC
Jags just gave up 500 yards through the air to Andrew Luck.
New Orleans RBs vs. SF
Firstly, you’ll always lose playing roulette with them. Second, this is a terrible matchup.
Bryce Brown, RB, PHI vs. CAR
The Panthers can be run against and Brown — expected to replace the concussed LeSean McCoy — is going to get a lot of carries.
Cecil Shorts III, WR, JAC vs. TEN
He has nearly made his way into the conversation as an every-week must-start.
Danny Amendola, WR, STL at ARI
The Cards have buckled down in pass defence and Amendola is on the limp.
Dallas Clark, TE, TB vs. ATL
Tied for the most targets last week and has scored two weeks in a row.