Welcome back, and thanks again for stopping by. So much has gone on the past two weeks, and all of it has been exciting. The addition of two new writers (David Panosian and Mike Osinski), our partnership with FanDuel, some Holiday Shopping help, and of course the action on the gridiron, have all made for a busy week. Of course, none of this can hide the fact that my Plays and Passes for last week were truly atrocious. It happens, what else can be said. I also fell off my bike a bunch of times, but that hasn’t stopped me from riding. I sincerely hope you are enjoying the additions, and find new reason to check back to this site with more regularity. Now on to the week that was…
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At this point in the year, the haves and have not’s are pretty much separated. Yes, you may be fighting for a playoff spot, and of course anything can happen, but did you really expect to be relying on some names you had never heard of at the games premiere position? Whether it is from injury (Aaron Rodgers), or ineffectiveness (Eli Manning), some lesser known players are carrying your Championship dreams. Of course you could be one of the lucky, and own Tom Brady (344 yards, 3 TD’s), or Philip Rivers (392, 3), who continue to put up consistency. Peyton Manning (150-2-1) owners got a huge scare, as his surgically repaired body showed signs of weakness in the cold and windy weather. I would still rather have him than not, but with his home games in Denver, it is cause for concern. Two guys I have liked as fill ins, suddenly are hazardous to your health. That’s right, stay away from Scott Tolzien (98, 0), and Case Keenum (169, 0-1 INT) – although I would still roster Keenum in deeper and dynasty leagues. Colin Kaepernick (325, 3) may have re-discovered himself, and at the perfect time. Mike Glennon (247, 2) continues to be a steady source of dependability, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (320, 2) and Josh McCown (352, 2/1) are making a case for the same. Most of these guys are probably long gone, but there is one name that more than likely remains available, has been flashing potential, and will get a chance to play. That man is Matt McGloin (260, 1/1), and if you are in desperate need for a live arm, he is worth taking a shot on and starting. Matt Flynn (218, 1) is intriguing and has been named the current starter, but I feel the leash is too short in Green Bay to rely too heavily on him just yet.
Suggested Play, Mike Glennon: 247 yards passing, 2 TD’s
Suggested Pass, Matt Ryan: 292 yards passing, 0 TD/0 INT
A week ago, I went out on a limb and said that Zac Stacy would have a tough day against the Bears. It was a cold and lonely island, but not out of the realm of possibility in my opinion. It doesn’t make me happy to say that this came true, as a concussion cut his day short, and I am sure made things very tough for him. Before that happened though, he made me look terrible by running his way to 87 yards and 1 Touchdown in the first half. In fact, if it were not for the injury he may have out-produced Knowshown Moreno (224, 1) who had a monster performance in a frigid New England. The only thing that could have been worse than my Stacy prediction was to think Ben Tate could have a Knownshown type of game at home against the Jags. No, that came to a screeching halt as Tate was only able to put up 1 rushing yard on seven attempts. That is not a typo. You are seeing ONE, (1), uno, correctly. Fortunately, the backups for my hit and miss guys had very solid games, and are available in many leagues. Benny Cunningham (109, 1), and Dennis Johnson (74 yards) both may have earned themselves some more playing time. If they happen to be available, you should certainly add them, at the very least, to keep them from starting against you. Jamaal Charles (115, 2 TD’s; 4 receptions for 42 yards) and Eddie Lacy (110, 1; 6-48) continue to be the most reliable at the position. If you have either, life is good right now.
Suggested Play, Ben Tate: 1 rushing yard, 0 TD.
Suggested Pass, Zac Stacy: 87 rushing yards, 1 TD.
As if the Stacy and Tate debacle wasn’t enough, I also got hammered with my WR picks. Not only did I have this one backwards as well, but Josh Gordon (14 catches for 237 yards, 1 TD) was exceptional, and easily finished as the week’s top producing wide-out. Outside of the usual suspects, there really are not too many guys who may be worth adding that are left out there. Dwayne Bowe (5-51-1) has been a disappointment, but that is only from what his expectations were. He is someone I view as a great Flex starter, and depending on your options, a viable number two receiver. Julian Edelman (9-110-2) is having a career year, but with New England finally being at full strength there are just too many weapons for Tom Brady to play with. Can anyone say with any certainty who will be the Patriots top guy from week to week? That is why I would put Edelman in the same group as Bowe, reliable but not game changing. If Michael Floyd (7-104) is still lingering on the free agents list, you would be wise to add and ride his current hot streak. There really just is not that much that can potentially help you for the playoff run. Justin Hunter (6-109-1) has earned himself more playing time, and will be on a lot of wish lists this week, but he has had one good game. It is tough to pin your hopes on a still unproven rookie. Tiquan Underwood (3-108-2) might be attainable for you, and is in the best situation. He has quickly become a trusted target of his QB Mike Glennon, and is a clear starter on a team playing with some renewed energy. However, this is also his fifth professional season, and his third professional team, so if the numbers never lie, then he too might not be someone to pin your hopes on. You have made it this far with what you have, so the scarcity of usable talent in free agency should not affect you.
Suggested Play, Victor Cruz: 2 receptions for 27 yards.
Suggested Pass, Josh Gordon: 14 receptions for 237 yards, 1 TD.
Some things have been learned this season at the Tight End position that should stick with you for months after you read this. Rob Gronkowski was worth the wait, and Jimmy Graham is an absolute stud. The moral is there are really only two TE’s in all of football that should make you comfortable as an owner. Outside of these two guys it is a crapshoot. Remember that next year when you draft, because there will be two guys in the room smarter than the rest. Jordan Cameron (3-32) looked like he could be in a tier that would challenge for supremacy, but he has quickly faded. While Josh Gordon was running around catching everything, Cameron totaled just 3 catches. I attribute a large portion of his struggles to the inconsistent QB play, but he is going to have to work his way back to prove his worth. Rob Housler (4-51) continues to turn in about the same production, which in a PPR league will give you a minimum of 10 points a week. The potential is still there for greater numbers, and if that is going to be his floor I would be very happy starting him. Timothy Wright (8-75) is also starting to provide more consistency, and has the talent to breakout at any moment. It seems as though John Carlson (3-36) has returned to earth after his two week excursion to the Land of Make Believe. If you were rolling him out as your starter and expecting great results, shame on you. There is a chance with Ladarius Green though. He is listed as a Tight End, but is lining up as a Wide Receiver – and essentially playing as one. He has now gone two straight games with at least 5 targets and a minimum of 80 yards. This week (3-80-1) he added a touchdown, and if this can become his average day it is like fantasy gold at this point in the season.
Suggested Play, Delanie Walker: 5 receptions for 46 yards.
Suggested Pass, Charles Clay: 4 receptions for 27 yards.
Play ‘Em/Pass ‘Em I take heat for some of the guys who appear on this list, but more often than not they are accurate. It is a hypothesis, not an exact science. I will remind you: It is always better when I am asked to choose between specific players. Randomly picking guys from a roster that includes the entire league does not completely paint the picture for your individual team. You can do this by leaving your question in the comment section, emailing me at PeoplezPerspective@gmail.com, or asking on Twitter. There are no bye’s remaining this season. Here are some of the guys I do and do not like…
Play ‘Em: Matt McGloin, OAK (@ DAL) He has been sharp in his only two starts, and now gets a vulnerable defense for his first National game. Those unaware will take notice.
Pass ‘Em: Alex Smith, KC (vs DEN) This should be a gritty, grounded out attack, taking place mainly between the tackles. Smith won’t be bad, he just won’t be good either.
Play ‘Em: Andre Brown, NYG (@ WAS) Since making his debut three weeks ago he has been nothing short of a work horse. That doesn’t change, and neither does the Skin’s ineffectiveness.
Pass ‘Em: Benny Cunningham, STL (@ SF) Talk about bad timing. Just when the rookie is in line to see more carries, he draws an impressive defense who is starting to peak.
Play ‘Em: Jarrett Boykin, GB (@ DET) Since becoming a starter he has had just one bad game. That includes three different QB’s. He is a legitimate elite WR against a bad defense this week.
Pass ‘Em: Mike Wallace, MIA (@ NYJ) If the Jekyll and Hyde theme continues for the Jets, this is a week they will shut their rivals down. Does Ed Reed make an impact in his home debut?
Play ‘Em: Rob Housler, ARI (@ PHI) He has elevated his floor to be respectable, and still holds big time potential. Cardinals offense has been much better of late. He is big reason why.
Pass ‘Em: Timothy Wright, TB (@ CAR) The Panthers think they are better than what they showed at Miami last week. They will make the Bucs pay, which includes Wright’s performance.
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