Week 1 Playoffs Recap:
Week 2 Playoff Predictions: (YTD 23-7)
WNSP Game of the Week:
McGill 28 Auburn 21
With only a handful of weeks left in the fantasy football season, owners are starting to put more emphasis on solidifying their lineups.
We’re entering the last crucial BYE week, which has many Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson owners scrambling to find substitutes.
There have been multiple injuries to the quarterback and running back positions in the previous weeks, but luckily none of them are elite enough to lose sleep over.
Unless you’re playing in a 16-team league, you’re probably not starting Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, and Michael Vick anymore.
I realize they’re all out with injuries, but I highly doubt you had much faith in any of them two weeks ago.
Running back is the most crucial position to solidify for teams trying to make the playoffs.
Let’s be honest…when isn’t it?
The worst thing you could do as an owner is practically give away your best backs in one-sided trades to teams that are in the hunt, if you’re that team that doesn’t have a Jaguars chance of making the playoffs.
Looking at the the various backfield rotations across the league, it’s almost a gamble itself on picking up the free agents out there on the waiver wire right now.
Let’s take a look at the backfields that you need to be taking a closer look at this week…
Who to start this week: Jonathan Dwyer (31% owned)
Who you need to invest in: Rashard Mendenhall (69% owned)
Analysis : Right now Jonathan Dwyer is the best option for the Steelers, between him and Redman. Mendenhall could’ve played last week if he needed to, but Pittsburgh had enough options to go to. Mike Tomlin has already come out and said that Mendenahll will start if he’s healthy. He is currently listed as probable for this Sunday’s matchup, but we’ll see how long that last as the week goes on. If he does end up playing, you can expect the Steelers backfield to split carries between the two. Mendenhall will be the primary back in any situation, but this might be the last week to invest in Dwyer because of the the simple fact that Tomlin will look to ease Mendenhall back into playing mode.
Who to start this week: James Starks (5% owned)
Who you need to invest in: Cedric Benson (49% owned)
Analysis: Alex Green has been a dismal option for owners ever since Cedric Benson went down with an injury. James Starks produced 61 yards off of 17 carries during the Packers’ last outing against the Cardinals, out-playing Green. Mike McCarthy said that Green was the starter going forward, but it looks like Starks is starting to come alive once again in the Green Bay backfield. They’re on the road against the Lions this week, which could pose a problem from a rushing attack standpoint. Green and Starks will still split carries, but expect Starks to get more opportunities when it comes down to crunch time. Cedric Benson is going to be back around the first week of the fantasy playoffs, so it would wise to invest in him now if he’s on waivers in your league. He’s been a reliable dual threat-back in his first season with the Packers, and he can be a quality flex option going into your playoffs. Benson never rushed for 100 yards this season, but he gave owners quality outings as a dual threat. If you have an unreliable play at the flex option, Benson is someone to fill that void.
Who to start this week: Chris Ivory (7% owned)
Who you need to invest in: Chris Ivory (7% owned)
Analysis: Just because Darren Sproles says he’s going to return only 1-2 weeks after his hand surgery, doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to happen. Unless they gave him a brand new robotic hand, that’s not going to happen. If he does go out there, don’t expect him to be very effective. Sproles makes his money catching passes out of the backfield, which hasn’t been that effective this season. The Saints have been winning lately with the ground-and-pound style of attack, with Ingram and Ivory, and that is what they’ll continue to do. Yes they have a stable of backs, but right now you need to invest in Chris Ivory. Fans have been wondering where he’s been all season, but it’s just a matter having enough playing time for all the different running backs. It’s never a bad thing to have too many quality rushers on one team, except from a fantasy perspective. In only 17 carries, Chris Ivory has produced 120 yards and a touchdown in a matter of just two weeks. When you have a stable of backs, you go with whoever has the hottest hand. Right now, the Saints’ best running back is Chris Ivory. Not just because he’s healthy, but the fact that he’s been highly productive. As a fantasy owner scrounging for quality during this late playoff push, you can at least rent some value out of Ivory until Sproles returns.
Who to start this week: LaRod Stephens-Howling (24% owned)
Who you need to invest in: Beanie Wells (47% owned)
Analysis: LSH has been a good substitute after Wells and Williams went down with injuries, but that run will soon come to an end. He’s doesn’t exactly blow you away with his stats, which is why the Cardinals will look to go back to Beanie Wells as soon as he is healthy. Wells is back at practice and slated to return next week against the Rams, so it would be wise to invest in him now. He’s not an elite back, but he’s a lot better than what you’re settling for as substitutes during these tough BYE weeks. This is more of a risky/desperation move at the flex position, but keep in mind…we are talking about the Cardinals.