I’ll start this week’s Bust article with a little food for thought for fantasy owners out there. Gather ’round..
So as I mentioned in the Walking The Waiver Wire article earlier this week I have the incredible misfortune of owning both injured QB Ben Roethlisberger and injured QB Michael Vick, leaving me in a bit of a pickle for Week 11, if not the rest of the season. So as the trading deadline rapidly approached, my window of opportunity closing fast, I scanned the rosters in my league. You see, that is what you have to do. When you consider wants and needs, you may be able to pull off a deal at this time of the season that you may not have been able to pull off in say, week five. Wants and needs, people. It is the key to any transaction.
Looking over my opponents squads, I noticed two teams with three quarterbacks on their rosters. Certainly can’t employ three quarterbacks in this league, so I dug in and put on my General Manager hat. So the first team boasted quarterbacks Phillip Rivers, Christian Ponder and Jay Cutler. Hmmm… A big, inconsistent underachiever, a bye week snoozer and a concussion. Pass, literally. The next team however was in a much better spot. There I found QB’s Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck and Josh Freeman. So I hit the phone and emails and floated a few offers over. As it turns out, the same team also has WR Victor Cruz on the bye, an injured Antonio Brown and varied beacons of mediocrity filling out his receiving corps. Now, my receivers aren’t world class, but he has a need and I have a need, and that my friend is all that is required to broker a deal. Long story short, and much to my surprise, I was able to secure the services of Matthew Stafford for one WR Mike Williams. To say I was delighted would have been an understatement.
While others in my league were not thrilled, not one of them picked up the phone, or sent an email to this owner with an obvious embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position. Following a week where FOUR starting quarterbacks went down to injury, you would have thought the research would have begun in earnest. But alas it really did not, and I was able to secure more than I had hoped for a serviceable receiver in return.
So take the time to scan the rosters of your fellow league owners, and start up a conversation. You just never know how things will work out, and as the fantasy regaular season comes to a close and playoff spots are determined, an email can make all the difference between the Fantasy Bowl and the Toilet Bowl.
Now that we have that out of the way, let me step away from the podium and let’s take a look at some possible Fantasy Busts for Week 11!
QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals – As you saw this past Monday despite the less than stellar weather, the Chiefs have a pretty good defense. In the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium, they can be even better. While you are likely to see a strike from Dalton to his favorite target, WR A.J. Green, don’t look for an over the top, three or four touchdown pass performance from the Bengals signal caller. Not likely to happen this week.
QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens –The Ravens are facing a defense who knows it has to step up big to cover the fact that their offense is now led by QB Byron Leftwich instead of QB Ben Roethlisberger. So you’d have to imagine that an already stout defense will be running on all cylinders to keep Baltimore off the scoreboard and make thing easy on a quarterback that hasn’t started and NFL game since 2009. Look for the Steelers defense to be primed to give Flacco fits all afternoon.
QB Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh Steelers – Well well, speak of the devil. If the Steelers offensive line lets him get popped a few more times like late last Monday against the Chiefs, it will be a quick return for Leftwich. He is nowhere as elusive as Big Ben, and I fear he’s a myriad of mistakes waiting to happen in this all important divisional matchup. QB Charlie Batch anyone? Heck, it’s 1999 all over again! Maybe they’ll sign WR Antwaan Randle-EL!
RB Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons – I like Turner, I really do. He’s been a mainstay in the backfield for the Atlanta Falcons for years. However, it is obvious that he has lost some burst, and is a secondary option in the Atlanta offensive attack in 2012. He could come away with some production this week against the Arizona Cardinals, but the aerial attack rules the day for the dirty birds without question.
RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears – I’ll go as far as to say that Forte will come away with a fair amount of combined yardage this Monday night against the 49ers. But since the Bears are facing a San Francisco team back at home fresh off an “I kissed my sister” tie at the hands of the St. Louis Rams, I’ll wager that they will be amped up to shut down anything and everything in their way. Did I mention that QB Jason Campbell is replacing an injured Jay Cutler?
RB Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars – So here is a guy who is proving week in and week out exactly why he is an NFL backup. He is a serviceable backup for RB Maurice Jones-Drew but really not much more than that. If he had issues with his other matchups so far, how much can you truly expect from him against one of the best defensive units in the game in the Houston Texans? Exactly.
WR Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets – All of a sudden inexplicably, I am seeing the Jets skill players are popping up higher on the fantasy positional rankings this week. Quite frankly I am not seeing it, especially for the likes of Kerley. He’ll draw plenty of attention from a Rams defense not really getting the credit it deserves in my opinion. I would expect a moderate day, and with that I am being generous.
WR Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams – Without question he is QB Sam Bradford’s go to guy, and his return from injury has made all the difference for the Rams. That said, he will likely draw coverage from Jets CB Antonio Cromartie and that will make things difficult for sure.
WR Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers – Look, every time the fantasy masses get moderately excited about Alexander, whether as a Charger or his days as a St. Louis Ram, he winds up getting hurt. He has played extremely well over the past two weeks, rendering WR Robert Meachem bench fodder, but I am still leery regarding his durability and overall ability to be consistent. Let’s chat next week.
WR Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers – I am not overly confident that he shines against a Chicago Bears defense that has shown the ability to shut down far superior wide receivers this season. Couple that in with QB Alex Smith coming off a concussion and could be in line for another one – I would steer clear of the 49ers receivers as a unit this week.
TE Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – He still plays for them, right? Here we have a big name player who has fallen out of fantasy sight for the better part of the season. I hope he basically tells me “where to go” like Ravens TE Dennis Pitta did after I placed him on this list last week, but until then… The 49ers will need Davis to step up against the Bears defense, but it will be no easy task. If QB Colin Kaepernick gets the nod over QB Alex Smith, forget about Davis entirely. Maddening, I know.
TE Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles – Quite honestly Celek was fading a bit in recent weeks with QB Michael Vick in the lineup. Now with a less mobile, rookie quarterback behind a talent-challenged offensive line, don’t expect a rebound this week from the Eagles big tight end.
Have a great week, enjoy the games and make those deals, people!
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