By JD Stoecker
It’s getting to that point in the season where we start separating the wheat from the chaff, on the field and in our cyber fields of fantasy. At this point your league probably has the two or three players that are clear favorites, four to six guys who might scrap their way into the playoffs, and another three or four teams who are completely out. If your team is completely out of it, stop reading because I can’t help you anymore, and if your team is that bad clearly you haven’t been reading my instructions to fantasy glory.
There are still some teams out there with byes so pay attention to your rosters! I don’t just mean on a week to week, look a few weeks ahead. Bye’s are not a reason to lose, unless you stink. The other good part of being mid-season is that you have a pretty good feel for your team at this point and there are fewer and fewer players emerging as fantasy sleepers this year. With that being said, when you see injuries now you need to have to mentality of grab their back up and ask questions later. Early in the season you can go with the watch list route, the fantasy wire is way too thin now so be aggressive. Be, be aggressive. Darmarco Murray was the last superstar to appear out of now where but there’s very little chance that he’s still available. If he is, you can no longer brag about winning your league.
Roy Helu emerged finally last weekend! I’ve been waiting for him all season because I think that guy has a ton of talent but just needed a shot in Mike Shanahan’s stable of running backs. The reason I really think he’ll be an asset moving forward is his ability to catch the football. He caught 14 balls last week. 14!? That’s more than Kim Kardashian has caught since her divorce! Zing! Tim Hightower is out so I see Helu really getting a grunt of the touches for the Redskins now. He’s still available in about half of the Yahoo fantasy leagues. Wake up team owners!
Sticking to running backs, Willis McGahee smashed the Raider defense last week (I know from personal experience, he single-handedly ruined my perfect season. It stung even worse being a Bronco fan. I didn’t know whether to cheer or cry). Here’s why Willis had such a big game, the spread option that Tebow runs so well! McGahee struggled in the first half to move the ball, after Tebow ran over the century mark the Raiders had trouble deciding which runner to stop. That indecision lead to tons of yards for both of them. I think we will see more and more of that now that the Broncos are running a Tebow-friendly offense and not the non-sense they were calling his first two weeks under center. I also would like to make a bold prediction that the Broncos have a shot to win the AFC West, before you tell me I’m crazy remember how crappy that division is. The Raiders just lost to Denver. The Chiefs just lost to Miami, who had just lost to Denver, and Phillip Rivers is leading the league in completed passes… to the other team! Zing! One more and I’m on fire if were playing NBA Jam rules.
Did anyone see a #CJWhoK sighting last week? I’m trying to get that hash tag to trend on Twitter so feel free to jump on board. He played strong on the first two series’ of the game then just disappeared like Joe Paterno’s legacy at Penn State. ZING! I’m on fire baby! Boomshakalaka!
Two backup running backs you need to make sure are still starting running backs because the starter is injured: Michael Bush and Brandon Jacobs, both physical tough runners who do well with a high volume of touches. The problem is that the neither is really a feature back, until a few great weeks like this where the guy they say that there’s no animosity towards for taking their starting spot is out. Ahmad Bradshaw and Darren McFadden were both out last week and still questionable for this week. Flex those back ups!
I scrolled through the fantasy wire to give you guys an underdog pick. I didn’t have to scroll far, Scott Chandler! Who? He plays tight end for Buffalo. He had a big game two weeks ago against the Redskins, dismal against the Jets but they are finally playing like their supposed to so don’t let that scare you. Chandler is playing against Dallas who has let up the most fantasy points to any tight end in the last five weeks and are the second highest for the entire season. Cha-Ching!
I’ve closed all of my fantasy articles with an update on my own squad to let it sink just how much I know. This past weekend I suffered my first defeat, to one of my best friends and fellow thirddownback.com writer Drew Garrison. There was never a more entertaining game that you couldn’t actually watch on television. In fact, if someone would like to compile a list of highlights of the players that we had playing last weekend I would greatly appreciate it and I can forward you our rosters. I won’t pay you though. Do something out of the goodness of your heart sucker. So I am now 8-1 on the season and looking for a redemption weekend.