By: Jordan Hall @jordan_hall23
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There are few things in life that can be as humbling and down right brutal as fantasy football. Whether it’s the direct competition of head to head scoring or the unpredictability of the NFL this season, fantasy football has been very tough on the owner all year long. This weekend was no different.
It is a proven fact that there is nothing worse than having your studs all collectively taking a day off in the same week. Yet, there is a good chance that many of your best players had a noticeable off day this week.
If you were still able to pull a win out of the hat, congratulations. If not, pull up a seat and we’ll take a look back at the men who ruined us.
Steven Ridley could certainly be put on that list. Ridley only received 9 carries for 23 yards but he put the ball on the turf. This is the Hoodie’s biggest pet peeve, so where this leaves Ridley’s career is anyone’s guess.
After the fumble, the Pats relied on Danny Woodhead down the stretch. He got a total of 17 touches and scored twice. I’ve been telling you that he was going to get the rock more down the stretch. I just hope it didn’t swing your league too much one-way or the other.
Aaron Hernandez turned in another fine performance. He totaled 10 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. These last two weeks, he has given us a glance at what we could’ve had all season should he have stayed healthy. We’ll never know truly what could’ve been but at least his patient owners are now reaping the benefits.
Roddy White struggled again, only registering 2 catches for 16 yards. This leaves White with 5 points or less in standard scoring in 3 of the last 4 weeks. While we love Roddy and he is a great guy, I think it’s time to pump the brakes a little on him. He’s getting up there and Julio Jones seems to be factoring more each and every week. I’m not suggesting that he’s old, slow, and fat like Michael Turner just yet, but I think his days as a top 10 guy are over.
One of my biggest sleepers of the week had a very snoozeful day on Sunday. David Wilson only managed 55 yards on 12 carries, while yielding 9 carries to Kregg Lumpkin. I don’t think Wilson owners need to worry about this being a timeshare, as most of Lumpkin’s carries came when the game was out of hand, but still the fact that the Giants are going down big is worrying, especially considering how Tom Coughlin loathes running the football anyway. I love David Wilson’s talent but we may need to hold off on him until next year.
Sam Bradford had a very nice day going 35-55 for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns to only 1 pick. It’s good to see him turn in a nice performance against a bad team. Eventually, the Rams are going to turn him loose like this on a regular basis, and when that happens, he’s going to be a fantasy monster. My regular readers know how much I love Bradford. Don’t sleep on him next year in the draft room; he could be a bargain.
I feel like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drove a dagger square into the middle of my back. Josh Freeman (26-47, 279 yards, 4int) and Doug Martin (9 carries for 16) absolutely obliterated my chances of winning a fantasy championship with their abysmal performances. I don’t think there is much analysis here, however. Martin is still a must start and Freeman is still not a guy you should trust in the playoffs.
Jimmy Graham has quietly been very poor in recent weeks. He turned in another stinker Sunday with a 4 for 69 game. Because tight end has been a train wreck this year, he probably hasn’t killed you, but he certainly has not returned second round value.
Really, James Jones, really? After single digit fantasy points in 5 of his last 7, he exploded for 5 catches for 60 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is what is truly maddening about the Packers offense; it’s an embarrassment of riches. They legitimately have 5 pass catchers that would start on most teams in the league. We always knew that picking out who would have a big game would be a problem, but it has been so very hit or miss this season. We’ll see if Greg Jennings returns next year, perhaps his leaving could loosen up this logjam a little.
Peyton Manning killed a lot of owners Sunday as well. He posted just 204 yards and TD. Peyton had been unstoppable but this game certainly didn’t help owners reach the Promised Land.
If you started Peyton and Ray Rice, you’re probably in trouble. We assumed that new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell would jump start Rice’s season, but instead he handcuffed him even further, only giving him the rock 12 times for 38 yards. Rice appeared to finally be turning a corner but has fallen back off the cliff. You can’t sit him but definitely temper your expectations for now.
It was another big game for Knowshon Moreno as he carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards. Many people doubted him when he got the start for an injured Willis McGahee but he has ran with the opportunity and I think we need to start considering him a legitimate number one guy going into next year. He easily could be a top 20 guy on most draft boards next year.
Reggie Wayne crushed many a hope and dream on Sunday with his 3 for 14 performance. We have grown accustomed to seeing vintage Reggie Wayne this year with Andrew Luck at the helm but Wayne looked more like the 2011 version of himself in this one. Once again, there’s not much to say here. If you have him, you have to start him but I worry that he’ slowing down and this isn’t just a blip on the radar screen.
Three guys that pled on to fantasy owner’s woes: Denario Alexander, Ryan Mathews, and Jamaal Charles. Charles and Alexander were coming off of monster weeks and were in must start territory but posted 1 and 0 fantasy points respectively. True fantasy studs always find a way to give you something. Unfortunately, many times this year Charles has turned in a useless score line. Until the Chiefs are in a better place, I don’t see this changing. With Alexander, you have to keep rolling with him. He’s basically the new Vincent Jackson; he’s going to bomb some weeks, but he capable of winning every single week for you.
Ryan Mathews ended his miserable 2012 campaign in a similar fashion to how he started it; with a clavicle injury. I still love him for 2013 but this injury finally puts him out of his misery for this year.
Lastly, we come to the man who killed the most dreams of the week. I’d like to think that none of my readers started Russell Wilson this week. There was no reason too. The Bills were a good, not great matchup. He is a rookie with a banged up Sidney Rice. He was Russell Wilson. There was no reason to start him, except that he was going to blow up for 205 passing yards and a score, and 92 rushing yards and 3 scores. It was simply inexplicable.
I have given virtually zero love to Wilson over the course of the season but there is a chance that he sneaks inside the top 10 on my draft board next fall. He is what Tim Tebow was last year but he can throw the ball too. I think that Seattle made a bold but great move by naming him starter. He very easily could become a fantasy stud next year. Keep an eye out for him.
Well, I hope you were able to navigate through a treacherous week 15 slate of games. I pity you if your matchup comes down to the hideous Monday night game. But, in any case good luck and hopefully, I’ll see you in the championship.
Jordan answers all fantasy questions on Twitter @jordan_hall23 or #stsfantasy