Is DMC worth a start against a tough Denver run D? Is Amendola worth the risk if he takes the field? Do you know how to post videos to Facebook? These questions and more will not be answered in the target breakdown this week, at least by me, because quite frankly—I don’t know the answer. These are my questions, dammit. I will be pondering them until kickoff because like many of you, I’m also in a do or die situation. When it comes to this point in the season, and I brought this point up last week, it’s usually better to role with the horses that got you here. That being said, those of you, like me, who have rosters depleted by injury, will be looking for some flex advice. Now that is a question I believe I can answer. Below is a list of guys who have outperformed most early to mid-rounders over the last several week and many are still available on the waiver wire. Forgive me if I start getting all redundant on you; I’ve mentioned all of these guys before. I’m going for rote rehearsal here people. Good luck and happy playoffs.
Explanation of Scoring System
In addition to my comments, my enthusiasm for each player’s potential will be measured out of five tacos. Since we live in America where more is better, the more tacos I rate a player, the more I like him. Why tacos you ask? Well our goal in this fake world is to fill our rosters with so many dominating players that we effortlessly pummel our hapless victims. This pummeling inevitably manifests itself into delight equivalent to a vinegar stroke. If you’ve ever watched The League you’ll know what vinegar strokes are and since this is a family show, I won’t go into an in-depth explanation. You’ll also know that the term was coined by “Taco,” which provides the logic for my use of tacos as positive denotations. That and the fact that I obviously love a good taco. It makes sense in my head.
Brandon Myers– With DMC, Moore, and others mired by injuries this season, Myers’ arrow has steadily climbed. He’s been as rock solid as they come down the stretch, and he’s had more targets than any other TE over the last three games not named Jason Witten (tied with 31). One thing about Myers that has remained consistent throughout the year is the efficiency with which he catches passes. Of his 31 targets over the last three games, he has caught a league high 25 of them (81%), a ratio that is higher than any other TE in the TE1 conversation. He is 2nd behind Witten in receiving yards over that span with 222 and has caught two touchdowns. Combined, his statistics put him alone at the top in fantasy points per game in standard and PPR leagues. He led TE’s this past week with 15 targets, catching 14 for 130 yards and a touchdown. Somehow, this guy’s is still available in approximately 45% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and he faces a Denver defense that has given up the 3rd most points to TEs this season. With DMC, Goodson, DHB, Moore, and now Marcel Reece, all battling injury, Palmer will need to rely on his steady big man now more than ever. He’s a top five play this week in my opinion.
Danario Alexander– I keep writing about him so I’ll keep this brief. He, like Myers, has been consistently solid over the last several weeks and nothing is more important than consistency this weekend. He’s scored the 8th most fantasy points over the last five weeks among receivers and over the last three weeks combined he is ranked in the top ten in all relevant fantasy categories—9th in targets (29) and yards (272), and 7th in catches (18) and touchdowns (2). I just don’t see how he’s still available in 50% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues with those numbers. He does have a really tough matchup against Pittsburg on Sunday, but the Steelers will most likely be without Ike Taylor and Alexander tooled Champ Bailey in week 11. He’s not a guy who will put up Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, D Thomas, or D Bryant numbers consistently, but with all of the injuries surrounding the flex positions, I find it hard to believe that in remotely competitive 10-12 team leagues, there’s not a roster spot for this guy.
Pierre Garcon– I feel like I’m getting redundant here, as I’m including guys I’ve been talking about for weeks now, but somehow they’re still on the waiver wire when they should be on your roster. This is also the case with Garcon, who has been getting healthier each week as he continues to build chemistry with QB phenom RGIII. With renewed hope in Washington, I expect RGIII to lead his team with fierce tenacity at home against a good, but vulnerable, Ravens team this Sunday. When he does, he’ll be calling on his #1, #88 early and often. Last game, Garcon commanded a team high 11 targets, catching eight for 106 yards and a score. He put up similar numbers the week before, in which he caught five of seven targets for 93 yards and a score. At this point, I expect him to catch 5-7 passes for 80 yards at minimum and there’s no reason to think that he won’t go for another hundred and one game against the Ravens’ mid-level pass defense this weekend. His ceiling, however, is much higher than that and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go for two scores at some point in the next few weeks. Somehow he’s still available in approximately 30% of leagues. He needs to be owned and in moderately competitive, relatively deep leagues he deserves to be starting.
T.Y. Hilton/Donnie Avery– With Luck putting up 1.5 touchdowns and roughly 300 yards per game this year, there is enough going around to feed another mouth in Indy. The problem is in figuring out which little birdy is coming to the nest. Last week both were productive—Hilton to 6the tune of six catches and 100 yards on 12 targets, and Avery with five catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns on 14 targets. Both saw added looks in the comeback effort but relatively speaking, both have been decent contributors for weeks now. Both are in the top 25 for FPPG over the last five weeks in standard scoring leagues. Avery is 25th with nine points per game. While that doesn’t sound overly impressive, superstar and fantasy comeback player of the year (he and AP) Reggie Wayne is only one notch ahead at 24th, despite seeing 21 more targets in that span. Over the last five, Avery has caught only 50% of his 40 targets (I’ll let you do the math), but he has accumulated 329 yards receiving (17th among receivers). The two touchdowns he saw Sunday are also the only one’s he’s had over that span. These numbers essentially make Avery a moderate upside, yet somewhat risky flex play in deep leagues.
Hilton, one the other hand, has actually been the Colts’ most productive fantasy receiver over the last five weeks. His 12.1 FPPG rank him 11th among receivers in that span which would appear to put him a couple notches higher than Avery in the serviceability department. While I do believe Hilton is your better play, his numbers over the last five, aside from touchdowns (4), have not been much different than Avery’s. Hilton has caught 21 of his 36 targets for a comparable 335 yards. Hilton does add value in run and return game however, as he’s accumulated 31 rushing yards in that span. In short, Hilton has the edge above Avery due to the fact that he gets the deep balls from Luck, he has big play ability, he’s more efficient with his targets, and he’s more heavily utilized in the offense. In summary, I’d go with Hilton over Avery but both deserve flex consideration at home this week against the Titans in a great fantasy matchup for all Colts players.
Chris Givens– With Amendola out, Givens has stepped up nicely, showing that he is more than just a speedy deep threat. The rookie caught 11 of his 14 targets on Sunday, good for 92 yards receiving. His yardage total and goose-egg in the touchdown department is a bit discouraging, but he was facing a very stingy Niners D that wasn’t even really close to giving up an offensive touchdown all game. Givens has come into his own over the last few games and he’s hanging with some elite company in targets, catches and yards. His 27 targets over the last three put him at 12th among receivers, sandwiched between Torrey Smith and Demaryius Thomas. He is sixth in receptions in that span with 20, stuck between Brandon Marshall and Randall Cobb, and his 226 receiving yards puts in the middle of Julio Jones and Reggie Wayne at 16th among receivers. The only thing preventing him from being a fantasy starter is the fact that he’s tied to an inefficient, unpredictable offense that simply does not score a lot of points. That could all change this weekend however, when the Rams take on the defensive laughing stock of the NFL, the Buffalo Bills. Even if Amendola plays, he’ll be limited, and I would still recommend considering Givens in your starting lineup. However, if Amendola misses the game altogether, he’s a low risk, high upside starter in a great matchup this week.
Josh Gordon– After catching fire early the flash fell off the map a bit toward the middle of the year which was undoubtedly a consequence of Little’s increasing role and unsustainability of Gordon’s touchdown pace. He’s back on the map now however, and he’s looking like a moderate risk, high upside play against the Chefs at home this Sunday. Over the last three, Gordon finds himself in the top fifteen in targets (21), catches (15), and receiving yards (229). He’s only found paydirt once, but I’m impressed with the efficiency with which Gordon is catching the ball and his yardage total speaks to his big play ability. Greg Little is really his only competition and Greg has provided little of that lately. He has only caught eight of his 13 targets for 107 yards over the last three. He deserves consideration as a WR3 with upside this week.
No one is averaging more FPPG over the last three than Dez Bryant (23.1). Ride him all the way to the finish line.
Greg Jennings needs to be started this week with Nelson likely out with a hamstring injury. He had eight targets in his first game back and he is slotted to take over Nelson’s role on the outside which means he’ll get some shots down the field and some increased looks in the redzone. I don’t think you can sit him this week.
Davone Bess has more targets on the year than Julio Jones, Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith, Eric Decker, DeSean Jackson, Percy Harvin, Randall Cobb, Lance Moore, and Hakeem Nicks to name a few. He’s 19th overall among WRs in targets with 97. He’s 18th in receptions and 22nd in yards but his one touchdown has left him out of the fantasy limelight.
On the season, Denario Alexander is ranked 13th in FPPG among WRs in standard leagues (10.8).
Megatron’s 1,428 receiving yards put him 246 yards ahead of the next closest person (Brandon Marshall). He is on pace to break Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a season but he is averaging over two fewer fantasy points per game this year than last year.
James Jones has scored the second most receiving touchdowns on the year (9).
That’s it for this week’s target breakdown…good luck this weekend!