Week 10 Risers and Fallers
November 20, 2015 | Chet
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It’s time to take a dive back into the rising and falling seas of fantasy football production. Here’s a quick overview of some guys on the uptick or the downslope of fake football’s stock watch in accordance with their recent performance and situations. If you have any questions, comments, concerns or otherwise, feel free to yell at me in the comments section below or send me words on Twitter!
The ownership percentages are a median between Yahoo! and ESPN own%.
Eli Manning (90.3%) and his stats have become the beneficiary of a complete lack of a Giants run game. While a slew of running backs have struggled to gain footing behind him, Eli has thrown the ball 40 or more times in each of his last three games, piling up 924 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’ll take a very satisfyingly round 2,700 yards into Washington in Week 12 (Week 11 bye) to face Football Outsiders’ 21st ranked defense according to DVOA. It’s hard to say if it will be an immediate factor or not, but New York put Victor Cruz on IR this week and followed that move up by signing Hakeem Nicks. Eli has thrown more balls to Hakeem than to any other receiver he’s come out of the huddle with — a total of 520 times through the years. With two weeks to prepare with his old friend, chemistry may spark again and give him another receiving option.
Charcandrick West (86.1%) put up his third straight fantastic game, this time against a top-3 defense in the league, racking up 161 total yards and two scores. Maybe even more important than the great yardage is the fact that Knile Davis never saw the field and Charmander ceded only two carries to Spencer West (four yards). The Chiefs will look to continue their ultra conservative play calling against a San Diego defense that has allowed the absolute most fantasy points to opposing running backs and has been beat for at least 100 yards rushing in seven of their nine games. Two weeks from now West gets an Oakland team that allowed almost 400 yards on the ground against Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The week after that? San Diego again. Could be a top-5 rusher as the season winds down.
Danny Amendola (61.1%) probably gets the biggest stock boost of the week and is honestly still wayyy too under-owned as a man stepping up into the no. 2 (or no. 1) WR position in the highest scoring offense in the league. With Julian Edelman out for the rest of the fantasy football season, Amendola stepped up and received a season-high in targets with 11, converting it into 10 catches and what could be construed as a disappointing 79 yards. Danny almost returned a punt for a touchdown before being tripped up by a teammate. He will look to be the main returner for here on out with a possibility for a sneaky special teams TD to go along with his increased role. With Julian out Tom Brady has 8.8 targets/game to spread around to the rest of the receiving group, and if we assume Amendola only gets three of those, we’re looking at a nice floor of ~8 targets on any given week for the former Rams receiver. A WR2 in PPR leagues and a very good Flex play from here on out.
Kamar Aiken (49.2%) will be the fortunate beneficiary of Breshad Perriman’s official IR designation and the probable retirement of injured Steve Smith. Green pastures lay ahead for the minimally used receiver, who was the target of the first nine passes Joe Flacco threw to wide outs against Jacksonville. In the two games since Smith was injured, Aiken has 23 targets, turning them into 13 catches and 135 yards. With Flacco completing the ball to 10 different pass catchers throughout Week 10, it’s comforting to note that Kamar had twice as many targets as the next closest guy (Chris Givens had 7 targets, converting 4 into catches and getting to 37 yards). The Rams have been a stout pass defense, but did just allow three passing touchdowns to the Bears this past week. He’s probably a desperation play this week, but should be kept in mind for WR3 and Flex plays down the line.
Jay Ajayi (17.9%) may have had an easier time usurping more carries from fellow Dolphins RB Lamar Miller when Lamar was struggling mightily early in the year, but Jay’s first 11 rushes of his career have led to success. The rookie received only 5 carries in Week 9 yet accumulated only three fewer yards (44-41) than Miller, in 7 fewer carries. Week 10 was a very similar story, as he accumulated five more yards (48-43) on 6 carries, a whopping 10 less than the starter had. It’s a shame that we’re nearing the finish line of the season to see all that Jay can offer, but, nonetheless, Miami is facing the 15th, 1st and 10th ranked rush defenses before finishing the fantasy playoffs against the 18th, 27th, and 22nd ranked ground defenses. If your team is set and you’re looking for an unlikely boost in the most important part of your fake season he is definitely worth a bench stash, especially after Dan Campbell has admitted that he needs more reps in the offense.
Jordan Matthews (92.3%) had his one week in the sun when he caught nine balls for 133 yards and a score, but apparently that vacation into relevance was to be short lived as he returned back down to his mediocre-ness in Week 10, catching all of three balls for 21 yards. With Miami putting the clamps on what is practically the only Philadelphia WR threat, running backs Darren Sproles and Demarco Murray (6,7) and tight end Zach Ertz (10) out-targeted Matthews while he was only on the field for 59% of the offensive snaps. The splits from 2014 would point to the fact that JMatt did indeed score more fantasy points with Mark Sanchez behind center than with any other QB, but it’s a very minimal difference. He received slightly less targets from Marky Mark and essentially the same exact amount of receptions. Start ‘em where ya got ‘em, but I would continue to stay away for DFS purposes.
James Jones (76.9%) has become a non-priority in the three games since Green Bay’s bye week, receiving 10 targets, 3 catches and 59 yards with a healthy Davante Adams back in the lineup. For comparison, Adams had 21 targets last week alone. We won’t talk about what he did with all those targets (nothing…like, the worst showing ever), but the fact remains that Aaron Rodgers insisted on throwing him the ball over and over again. If there’s any sort of silver lining here it’s that the Packers are on a three game losing streak and would presumably look to mix things up a little bit to get back on the right track. I would lean towards the side of Jones’ first half of the year being little more than a flash in the pan, but that doesn’t mean you should go drop him unless you need to clear some space on your bench. His value completely depends on whether or not he gets in the end zone and a Week 12 Thursday Night Football matchup with Chicago might be a perfect time to Flex him up.
Peyton Manning (73.5%) is descending into full fledged embarrassment in what is likely his last season strapping on that giant helmet. After breaking the all-time NFL passing record on a 4-yard flip to a running back on a flat route, he went on to complete four more of his 20 pass attempts, tossing 4 interceptions compared to his 5 total completions. Not only is he not playing in Week 11 after leaving his record breaking game with a foot injury (among other reasons), there’s a chance we’ve seen the last of the Tennessee Volunteer. It would seem nearly impossible for Brock Osweiler to play any worse than his mentor, as 9 touchdowns and 17 interceptions is just about as bad as it gets. Peyton is unownable in 14-team 2 QB leagues. Please, for the sake of Hand Egg, get him off your team.
Mike Wallace (51.6%) had his third straight game of one or zero catches and continues to be an absolute non-factor in the 7-2 Vikings’ offense. If you remove the one good game he’s had this season (Week 4 at Denver, surprisingly) he has averaged 2.5 catches a game for 29.3 yards and zero scores. A Mike Zimmer-led Minnesota team simply doesn’t throw it downfield, deciding instead to run the rock and let the defense take care of things, and opting for the short passing game when forced to take it to the air. For a player catching just 56% of his targets on a team that doesn’t throw the ball deep, I think it’s fair to say that Wallace is much more likely to be a “bust” almost every week until the end of the season.
Theo Riddick (27%) had his lowest total yards mark (26) of the season on Sunday as the Lions squeaked out a victory against the Packers. This marks his third straight week of less-than-stellar numbers, but he should remain a great Flex option in PPR leagues moving forward; only two running backs in the league average more targets per game (Devonta Freeman, Danny Woodhead), and there should be plenty of opportunities for Detroit to be playing from behind as the season goes on. One of those fantastic opportunities should be this coming Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Neither defense is especially tough (ok, they both suck), and I’d expect the game to become a shootout, which would mean that Theo will get the majority of the RB snaps. With the Lions passing the ball on nearly 70% of their plays, all signs point to him having a flashback to the beginning of the season when he had 10 or more targets in two of the first five games.