2013 Fantasy Football: 15 Players Who Can Save Your Season
2013 Fantasy Football: 15 Players Who Can Save Your Season
As fantasy football owners enter week seven, some are in very different states. A few of you lucky owners might be undefeated, or boast a 5-1 record. Good for you. I’m sure the majority of you are somewhere around 4-2 or 3-3. I hope that as few of you as possible are below the .500 mark.
If you have currently lost more games than you have won, don’t worry, it is a long season, full of peaks and valleys. That two or three game losing streak could quickly turn around and become a winning streak. In one of my leagues, for example, I am currently 2-4, despite scoring the most points in the league. I’ve happened to allow the most points against (by about 45 points), which is why my team is underwater right now. That doesn’t mean that my team is bad, just that I’ve had some bad luck and run into teams on their “hot” week. Two teams above mine have scored 50 points less than mine over the course of the season, for example.
Looking at the total points scored is a great way to gauge your team. There is nothing you can do about stopping the other team from scoring, you can only try to outscore them. If you are among the leader in total points scored for your league, then bounces should start falling your way. However, if your team is near the cellar in points scored you may want to shuffle things around. Sooner or later teams will get hot against you.
Either way, as I’ve stated before, your team can always get better. The following is a list of 15 players who have low ownership percentages that can help you win, or save your season.
Jay Cutler is owned in 82 percent of Yahoo! leagues, despite being the seventh highest scoring quarterback in fantasy this season. With the Chicago Bears new offensive system Cutler is finally playing to his potential. The Bears have a very friendly schedule the rest of the way, including the defensively challenged Philadelphia Eagles in week 16 and Green Bay Packers in week 17.
While I wouldn’t rely on Eli Manning in shallow, one quarterback leagues, he should be on your radar in two quarterback and deep leagues. The New York Giants have been awful, but Manning (owned in 73 percent of Yahoo! leagues) could be a top 15 quarterback over the remaining games. He currently ranks 15th in quarterback scoring, 11th in touchdown passes and sixth in passing yards. With the way the Giants allow points, Manning will have value going forward as the Giants will be playing catch up.
Keenan Allen is owned in 73 percent of Yahoo! leagues and is establishing himself as the primary target for Philip Rivers. Over the last three games, Allen has 20 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Rivers is third in quarterback scoring, and will continue to look for Allen who is capable of generating yards after the catch.
It’s no secret the Giants are bad, but that can be a good thing for fantasy owners. Rueben Randle is owned in 67 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and is a high risk, high reward WR3/flex. In half his games he has generated at least 75 yards and/or a score, in the other half he has been less than 40 yards. The risk is there, but the reward could be worth the gamble.
The Atlanta Falcons attempt and complete more passes than any other team in the league. With Julio Jones out and Roddy White hobbled, the only competition for targets for Harry Douglas will be Tony Gonzalez. Douglas is owned in 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and should finish in the top 25 wide receiver scoring over the remaining games.
Fred Jackson is owned in 86 percent of Yahoo! leagues even though he is 11th in running back scoring so far this season. The Buffalo Bills boast the league’s third best rushing attack. While the timeshare situation is scaring off the novice fantasy owners, a closer look reveals he has scored about 30 more fantasy points than C.J. Spiller (99 percent owned). If Spiller can’t shake his ankle injury, or if he injures it further, Jackson could finish as a top 10-15 back over the remaining games.
Danny Woodhead is owned in 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues, despite averaging 98.5 all purpose yards per game over the last four weeks. Since his week one clunker, the all purpose back has averaged 11.56 fantasy points per game. He is being used in pass, rush and return situations and is the safety valve for Philip Rivers.
Andre Brown is owned in only 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues, no doubt due to his placement on the injured reserve. The Giants running back situation tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hills is really just a stop gap until Brown returns. He was the primary back in the preseason until he broke his leg, and once healthy will be the lead back almost immediately upon his return. Rumors from New York indicate he should be back in week 10.
Flashy, highlight reel plays are not what you will get with Heath Miller, who is owned in 58 percent of Yahoo! leagues. What you will get is consistency. After getting eased back into action in his first game back, Miller caught six passes for 70 yards in his second game, and six more passes for 84 yards in his second game back. He is due for the touchdowns to start coming in. At least, with Miller you can count on five to seven catches and 50-80 yards each week.
Jordan Reed is owned in only 18 percent of Yahoo! leagues and should be owned in all dynasty/keeper leagues, as he is climbing the tight end ladder and creeping in on TE1 status. His route running ability is drawing comparisons to Aaron Hernandez. He has passed Fred Davis as the tight end to own from the Washington Redskins, and looks to be more involved in the offense as the season progresses.
Matt Bryant is owned in 63 percent of Yahoo! leagues and projects to be a top five kicker over the remaining games. The Falcons are still good enough to move the ball, but with the losses and injuries that are plaguing the offense, they might not be able to finish drives. Bryant has a big leg, and is capable of hitting long shots, especially in the dome environment at home.
Steven Hauschka is the fantasy scoring leader for kickers so far in the season, yet is owned in 67 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The Seattle Seahawks are fourth in the league in offensive drives, and second in total team offense despite being sixth in touchdowns per game. What this equates to is plenty of chances for Hauschka to finish off stalled drives in favorable territory.
The leading kicker in fantasy over the last two weeks, Mason Crosby is owned in 64 percent of Yahoo! leagues and could finish as a top five kicker at the end of the season. The Green Bay Packers have one of the most potent offenses in the league and Crosby has shaken the yips that plagued him last season. With such a prolific offense, he will have his chances to contribute offensively.
I think the Tennessee Titans D/ST is the Rodney Dangerfield of fantasy football. They are good, but don’t get much respect. This unit is owned in 49 percent of Yahoo! leagues and is sixth in fantasy scoring and in points per game average at 19.3. The schedule is very favorable going forward for the Titans, with two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars (weeks 10 and 16, allowing fourth most points to D/ST), along with games against the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans (who allow the most fantasy points to opposing D/ST).
Apparently seven is the magic number for the Cleveland Browns D/ST. They are the seventh highest scoring D/ST in fantasy and are owned in 16 percent of Yahoo! leagues. They also rank seventh in per game scoring at 18.4 points. Their front is underrated and they allow the seventh fewest yards per game, they rank eighth (close enough) in passing defense. Their return teams are fourth in yards this season (544) and special teamer Travis Benjamin is a threat to score almost every time he touches the ball.
Read more from Dustin here.