Coffin Corner: What Do You See?
In the fantasy football game we often do one of two things. Either we look only at last week and think we know everything about a player or we look at his yearlong performance and fail to take into account his current workload and level of performance. In this piece we'll try to work around both of those extremes by taking a look at the last four weeks. Who is surging, slumping and treading water? I'll also point out the craziness that has been the 2013 fantasy football season by showing you just how crappy a team you could have had after thinking you had hit a home run at the draft table. On the flip side, I'll also show an all waiver-wire club that could have you vying for a championship if you had rostered all of them when no one wanted them.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
Take on Ray Flowers. Show me that you've got more football knowledge than the arrogant one.
Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest. Pick your one week squad based on salary cap levels for players. Finish in the top-15 in Week 11 and you will at least double your $10 investment (all top-15 finishers will receive at least $20). Win the battle and you're looking at a $250 windfall. Simple as that. You interested in having some fun while trying to take down The Oracle?
THE LAST FOUR WEEKS
We're going to take a look at some of the players performances the past four weeks in this section of this week's scintillating report (Week 7-10). Not really fair to look at total points, injuries an Bye weeks get in the way of that, so we'll be going at it from a per game bases. Note, we'll be referring to points in a PPR setup.
Matt Forte (22.9): The top runner in football the last month. Doesn't get the fanfare of a guy like Jamaal Charles (18.0) or Adrian Peterson (18.3) but as you can see he has handily outperformed them both the last month.
Chris Johnson (21.8): Here we go again. For the last three years people are continually pissed off if they “have” to own Johnson. He's a frustrating own, there is zero doubt about that. At the same time all he does is produce. Part of the reason for that is that he's never injured, and as we will see below, that's a lot harder to do than many seem to think. Regardless of the dreadful run of four of five games under 40 yards rushing, CJ2K is 2nd in football the last month in points per game. Second. By the way he's up to 15th overall at the position as well.
Zac Stacy (20.8): You can argue that he's been the best runner in football the past month (sorry Eddie Lacy), that's what happens when you touch the ball 27, 33 and 28 times the past three weeks as Stacy has. Alas, Stacy's not a huge catch guy despite his six grab effort in Week 9, and that's why he's third in per game average the past four weeks.
The last four weeks Le'Veon Bell (15.9) has more points per games than Marshawn Lynch (15.8) and LeSean McCoy (14.9). There are multiple reasons for that. First, Bell is the undisputed three down back in Pittsburgh giving him 20 touches a week. Second, the Seahawks seem infatuated with trying to diversify their offense at the goal line instead of just giving it to Beast Mode. Third, even though McCoy went nuts for 155 yards on the ground in Week 10 he had been held to 55 or fewer rushing yards the previous three weeks. It took awhile for Bell to get going, but he's been nails of late.
Ray Rice (9.9) is not physically 100 percent and his o-line continues to stink up the joint. At this point it's not even a certainty that he's going to lead the backfield in touches as Bernard Pierce might from week-to-week. Rice has been so bad that he's behind guys like Peyton Hillis (11.2), Mike Tolbert (10.8) and Chris Ivory (10.7).
Calvin Johnson is averaging 38.6 points a game the past month (he had a Week 9 Bye). He's been so good, and this truly boggles the mind so don't think about it too long or you might lose your sanity, that his average game the past month is better than the combined efforts of Pierre Garcon (17.9) and T.Y. Hilton (20.6). Puff on that one for a while.
Marvin Jones is 9th with an average of 18.1 points. At the same time if we remove his 44.2 point effort and his 1.9 point effort his other two games have resulted in an average of 13.2 points, nearly a full touchdown below his four games average. If you remove his 44.2 point effort he's averaging a mere 9.4 points in the other three outings.
Golden Tate has been the 15th best WR the past month with a 16.3 point average. That's better than a handful of wideouts that I bet everyone in the universe would rather have: DeSean Jackson (15.9), Antonio Brown (15.8), Eric Decker (15.1), Keenan Allen (14.9) and Dez Bryant (14.8). Speaking of that group, Jarrett Boykin of the Packers has a 15.0 mark which just so happens to be higher than Allen and Bryant as well. Boykin is turning into one hell of a waiver-wire add (more on that below) no matter who is throwing the football for the Packers.
Wes Welker scored at least one time in his first six games this season and his total of nine scores on the year already ties his career best mark. However, he's only scored once in the past three games and that leaves him with a four game average of 13.9 points an outing which is less than another slot receiver who gets relatively little love in Kendall Wright (14.5). For his part Wright has hauled in at least five balls in seven of his last eight games. If only he didn't score touchdowns like Brian Hartline was his hero (he has one all season).
What the hell happened to you Victor Cruz? The Giants passing attack is in shambles, thanks for that Eli Manning, but Cruz isn't doing much to help out the cause either. The Giants had a Bye in Week 9 so Cruz has only played three games the past four weeks, but that doesn't help to remove the stink that is his three game average of 10.8 points a contest. Not to bash a guy when he's down, but that's less weekly points than Dexter McCluster (11.4). That's embarrassing. Cruz cannot be this bad for much longer, Eli has to be better and with Andre Brown back to do something on the ground it's better than even money that the Giants offense will improve. Of course, that's like saying if you're dating a two you can do better. There has to be a three out there who would look your way. Cruz is an excellent buy low target if his owner has had it.
You can be a bit disappointed in how Jimmy Graham performed in Week 10 (five receptions, 59 yards) but he still leads all tight ends with an average game the past four weeks of 20.7 points. The next closest guy is Jordan Reed (18.3). Speaking of Reed, he's had five straight games of at least four grabs and over the last four weeks here's an average outing for the Redskin: seven receptions, 81 yards and 0.5 touchdowns.
I'm pretty shocked to see that Coby Fleener is 5th at the position with an average of 11.8 points a game. I look at Fleener and I continue to be less than impressed. I mean, the last four weeks he's averaged four receptions, 45 yards and 0.3 TDs a game. The fact that he's been a top-5 tight end the past month speaks more to the failure of others than anything he's done.
Let's check out some of the disappointing tight ends the past four weeks. They are legion.
Jordan Cameron (10.7) averaged 19.0 points from Weeks 1-6. It's been an entirely difference story the past month. He's still a TE1, but it would be nice to see a big game here, and soon.
Jason Witten (10.3) had a huge Week 9 effort (8-102-1), but if remove that one game we'd be looking at Witten as a 5.7 point per game performer in three of four weeks. What the hall happened to our 5-70 guy? Witten only has five catches once in five games. Ditto reaching 70 yards.
Antonio Gates (10.2) hasn't hasn't scored since Week 4. He's also been over 65 yards just once in his last five games. He has 16 receptions the past three weeks so he's not been awful, but he isn't producing many yards and he's certainly not getting into the end zone.
Greg Olsen (9.7) has been dealing with an ankle issue that hasn't helped, but it's been a really up and down campaign for him. The last four weeks he's scored twice. If he hadn't he'd have been pretty useless given that he's averaging three receptions and 37 yards the past month.
Tony Gonzalez (9.2) has been a disappointment. Whether it's poor offensive line play causing him to block more, double coverage or a toe injury, he's just not been productive since Week 5. Think of it. Gonzo caught 22 passes in Weeks 4-5 but he's only hauled in 14 passes since. Gonzalez has been held to three receptions and less than 35 yards in three of his last four contests.
Vernon Davis (8.5) suffered a blow to his noggin' in Week 10 which limited him to one catch for two yards. Over his two previous games he averaged 3.5 receptions and 57 yards. Even in a PPR setup that's still just 9.2 points. The Niners passing attack is in shambles. Maybe the return of Mario Manningham, and the pending return of Michael Crabtree, can help right a listen ship on offense.
JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT – 2013 DRAFT REVIEW
Let's say you were in a 10 team league this year, and this was what your club looked after the draft. You would have been ecstatic, right?
1st round: Arian Foster
2nd round: Julio Jones
3rd round: Randall Cobb
4th round: David Wilson
5th round: Ahmad Bradshaw
6th round: Jay Cutler
7th round: Miles Austin
8th round: Jermichael Finley
9th round: Mike Williams
10th round: Michael Vick
Stunningly, this supremely talented club would have left you with jack didley nothing at this point of the year. You would be planning your holiday feast of candied yams and copious amounts of gravy to help drown your tears of sadness. However, what if you had worked the waiver-wire extremely hard? It's possible you could have ended up with the following club which, shockingly, would have you in playoff contention right now.
QB: Nick Foles, Terrelle Pryor
RB: Zack Stacy, Knowshon Moreno, Mike Tolbert, Roy Helu, Rashad Jennings, Andre Ellington
WR: Keenan Allen, Terrance Williams, Riley Cooper, Kenny Stills, Harry Douglas, Jarrett Boykin, Eddie Royal
TE: Julius Thomas, Jordan Reed
I mean seriously. If you were in a 10 team league this could have been your team, and it's completely made up off guys that were quite easily on waivers before Week 1. Shocking how things have changed so dramatically this year – and it's only Week 11.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.