Vicks has given us the opportunity for a sponsored "SB Nation Sleeper of the Week." Get it, "sleeper?" I have to be honest, I still giggle when I read the headline. This is one of those times when I appreciate advertisers who actually try. And to be honest, in those rare instances when I am sick, I am a fan of NyQuil. As Denis Leary said (and Bill Hicks probably wrote…) "NyQuil. The sniffling sneezing how-the-hell-did-I-get-on-my-kitchen-floor medicine."
Here at Field Gulls we’ve had discussions on just about every aspect of football, including having discussions about when we can or should have discussions about Fantasy. Well, this IS the place. You can, if you must, add fantasy talk in additional game threads, but be warned, someone may be watching, and they may be mocking. Here, you have free rein to talk your team’s reign or your rain of injuries.
I was bouncing around trying to come up with an idea for this week's write up, and you'll love what I decided on. But first, let's address last week. The Bills went out and won, proving me wrong on my prediction there. Shocking. Whatever I say, expect the opposite. Kind of a good rule of thumb. Then again, David Nelson caught only 1 pass for a 6 yard TD, with only two targets, and Scott Chandler was 1 reception (1 target) for 4 yards. So I wasn't completely off in my predictions. Danny, I do hope Nelson is now either in the waiver bin or on someone else's team in your league...
That Buffalo Philly game really makes me wonder what the heck happened to the Eagles though. They went from a team knocking at the door to a team that may put one of the longest tenured and most highly respected coaches on the proverbial hot seat. As the saying goes, NFL stands for Not For Long if you don't win...
What's more, this Philly start is raising cain with fantasy leagues. I saw Mike Vick go top 3 in several leagues in which I was either in or helped someone to draft. While I never thought he was deserving to go ahead of Brady, Brees or Rodgers at QB, I certainly didn't think by week 6 he'd be ranging anywhere between 8 and 17 in QB scoring in the various leagues to which I'm attached, ranking behind such luminaries as Matt Hasselbeck, Cam Newton and Alex Smith. ALEX SMITH?!?!?
DeSean Jackson is still a top 20 wide receiver, but then if you look closer, that's still a bit disappointing. He's closer to 20 than 10, and he's appeared healthy while playing in every game thus far, while so many other upper tier WR's such as Miles Austin, Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Dez Bryant, Sidney Rice, Kenny Britt, and Brandon Lloyd (among others) have all had times of ineffectiveness and missed considerable time/snaps due to injury.
I still think they will right the ship, at least enough to keep Andy Reid's job. But the playoffs?!? That's not even on the distant horizon for this struggling team. Getting out of the cellar in the NFC East will be a significant chore at this point.
Are There Any Sleepers Left?
Injuries and now bye weeks are forcing issue and in deeper leagues, there aren't that many good consistent scorers left. Are there any hidden gems out there? While at this point in the season you aren't likely going to find a frontline WR1 or RB1, you may find a spot starter, a bye week replacement, or even a potentially upside guy moving forward.
Places to look? Offenses that started slowly but are picking it up. Players coming back from injury that maybe you can buy low on. Also, players on bye so their value might be decreased temporarily. Players who had team injuries that negatively affected their value, but those teammates might be returning to action. Finally, potential replacement starters who might get a run and show higher value than expected, allowing them to keep the starting role they temporarily inherited.
Finally, remember these are players that are probably not full time starters. They're players to fill out the edges of your roster with hope of upside, as opposed to immediate starters.
Anyone coming to mind? I'll give you a clue... I can't believe I'm writing this, but I see some actual fantasy value in players we're quite familiar with.
- Sidney Rice. Sidney was a top10 WR two years ago prior to injury. He's young, he's healthy, and since his return has 15 receptions and 21 targets in two games. He's a legitimate starting option moving forward, but if you are in a league with non-Seahawk fans, they might not know it yet. Get him for a fast starter like either David or Jordy Nelson, he's a better option than either moving forward. He is a full time WR2 moving forward off the bye.
- Doug Baldwin. Whereas Sidney may not be available given his past performance, going into a bye week I'm positive Baldwin will be. My co-GM and I are debating dropping BMW (our 5th/6th WR) for him, given his perceived higher upside in our eyes. This isn't an indictment of BMW, but an approbation of Baldwin. The last two weeks he has 15 targets and 13 receptions, and seems an ideal possession receiver with sneaky YAC (yard after catch) potential. Grab him now before it's too late. While he will not be a weekly fantasy stud, he will be a guy you can put in any week in a pinch, and if you are in a PPR league, his high target and reception numbers will help you.
- Player 3- flip a coin. Charlie Whitehurst and Tavaris Jackson. Don't laugh. Tavaris was the 13th rated QB in my keeper league over the last 3 weeks including reduced stats vs. NYG due to injury. Add Charlie's 8 points and he moves into the top 10 and ahead of Alex Smith and-yes, it's TRUE-hot starting Matt Hasselbeck. (At least over the last 3 weeks!)
Also, tied with my Baldwin comment. I'm willing to let go of BMW and keep him off the list of Seahawks to grab for a couple of reasons. First, he was getting fewer looks early in the season when he could/should have been getting more (only 14 targets through 4 games) and the emergence of Baldwin and return of Rice aren't going to immediately help him now. Second, he is injured himself. I still think he's a good compliment to Rice and Baldwin, but I think he's the compliment as opposed to the guy you trust to score. The other two are simply better fantasy scoring options moving forward.
I know I didn't watch the game last week (and yes, I did finish the Portland Marathon, but no, I wasn't fast. At all.) According to everything I've read, both QB's played decently. Charlie might hold the offense if Tavaris' injury lingers, but both QB's fit the bill of a player with offensive upside that comes from
- an improved offense that started slow. With three new starters on the OL simple getting their bearings helps
- other players in the offense being injured and either back, or coming back soon from injury (Rice, Gallery),
- the "X factor"-that thing that seems to come from a team that is doing positive things and feeding off of itself. Say what you will about Pete Carroll, his teams seem to do that.
Now, this doesn't mean grab all these players and damn me to hell if they don't perform. But in larger leagues, the QB might be a solid ‘depth with upside" guy, and Baldwin fits the bill of bench depth from a possession receiver as well as Jordy Nelson, Lance Moore or Deion Branch. All things being equal, why not go with the guy in Blue???
Have a great weekend either watching football all day and not caring who wins or loses, or possibly taking the weekend off entirely and building some marriage/relationship credit.
You know the drill. Discuss the article and your own fantasy questions below.