2 Guys Fantasy – 2 Guys 2 Watch: Week 13

Before Week Two, very few fantasy owners thought about adding Denarius Moore to their roster

Evan is out this week, so I’m doing double duty.

Frank’s Week 13 AFC Spotlight

The Guy I Like: Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills

Like much of the Bills team this season Stevie Johnson has under achieved. He’s been a serviceable WR2 and/or FLEX option but the dream that he might be a fringe #1 WR have crashed and burned like Mario Williams and his 100 million dollar contract. Too soon?

Heading into Week 13 Johnson has only 4 TDs and one 100 yard game to his credit this season. But on Sunday against the Jags I am looking for him to top the century mark in receiving yards again and find the end zone at least once.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders

Unlike the aforementioned Stevie Johnson I believe Denarius Moore has had quite a good season so far. However, Sunday he faces off against one of the league’s best corners in Joe Haden.

Cleveland’s defense has been packing a punch all season and they shouldn’t have problem limited Oakland’s mistake prone and inconsistent offense when the ball is kicked off on Sunday.

I think the Browns will limit the normally explosive Moore to 60 yards receiving and as well as holding him out of the end zone.

Frank’s Week 13 NFC Spotlight

The Guy I Like: Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

Now that the madness has ceased with regard to the Giants second half collapse and Eli’s tired arm we can focus once again on the Giants potent offense. Bennett will be the beneficiary of the extra attention that will no doubt be afforded to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

The Redskins secondary play has been up down this season for the most part anyway so Bennett should be able to find room to operate in the middle of the field and take advantage of some of the undisciplined plays (Yes, you DeAngelo Hall) the Redskins will inevitably give up.

Look for close to 80 yards and a trip to the end zone for Bennett before it’s all over.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

I didn’t look too bright last week in picking RG3 as the guy I didn’t like but my mom always said I was stubborn. This week young Colin Kapernick visits the Rams in what many people may view as a cake walk.

Not so fast my friend. (Sorry Lee Corso) Seriousl,y these road division games are always tricky. And is everyone forgetting that the Rams played the 49ers to a dead heat (first tie game in 4 years) just 3 weeks ago? What does it all mean?

It means that young Colin will get picked off twice and have just under 200 yards passing with one rushing touchdown.

Week 13 Game Picks

Frank picks against the spread for Week 13.
Patriots over Dolphins(+9)
So this looks like a rout on paper but strange things tend to happen in the land of SOBE.
Giants(-2.5) over Redskins
RG3 is the up and coming star but Eli and the Giants will shine brighter on MNF.
49ers over Rams(+7.5)
This could be a trap game for the Niners and young QB Kaepernick. The Rams are a sneaky good team at home.
Bears(-4) over Seahawks
The Seahawk's road woes will continue in Solider Field against the NFC North leading Bears.
Last Week: 2 - 2 (1 - 2 - 1 vs spread)
2012 Season: 30 - 18 (23 - 24 - 1 vs spread)

Playoffs??? 2 Guys talk Bryce Brown and fantasy sleepers heading into Week 13 of fantasy football

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This is it. The last week of most fantasy regular seasons is here.

Evan is out this week, but Frank and special guest host Brian Cascarelli scour the waiver wire for all the best fantasy players still available.

Brian Cascarelli talks about Knowshon Moreno, Bryce Brown, and Ryan Broyles as players who could really boost your team heading into the fantasy playoffs.

Lastly, Brian and Frank discuss the paradigm of going with high upside (potential) or consistent play (production) players in the fantasy playoffs.

Week 13 Power Poll

Flacco smith jones
Frank ranks all 32 teams heading into Week 13.
RankTeamRecordComment
1Texans10 - 1Let's keep it real. They got a heck of a break on the Justin Forsett TD that wasn't. But they did win a game on the road on a short week against a team who needed it more than they did. Solid win any day in my book.
2Ravens9 - 2The Ray Rice 4th and 29 play will draw all the attention, as it should, but don't forget about rookie kicker Justin Tucker's clutch FG kicking. That's something Raven fans know not to take for granted.
349ers8 - 2 - 1Colin Kaepernick is here to stay. JIm Harbaugh is playing coy with who is going to start this week but it's Kaep's job to lose at this point.
4Falcons10 - 1They win a lot of close games. But as I've said before sometimes the well can run dry when you play so many close games.
5Patriots8 - 3Demolished the Jets on Thursday Night. Thanks to the Pats for making the 3rd game on Thanksgiving unwatchable to anybody but their fans.
6Broncos8 - 3Kansas City is a strange place to play. Although Denver won the game Peyton seemed to struggle at times. Not real cause for concern but against a better team...
7Giants7 - 4Call off the search: The Champ is Here! The Giants certainly put any idea that last years divisional round win in the playoffs over the Packers was a fluke to rest with Sunday Night's performance.
8Bears8 - 3Jay Cutler is back and so is the Bears offense. This is no coincidence.
9Colts7 - 4They are certainly playing better than anyone thought. Who saw Andrew Luck leading his team to the playoffs in year one?
10Packers7 - 4If the Packers can't find a running game and protect Aaron Rodgers better their resurgence to the NFC's elite will be short lived.
11Steelers6 - 5It's getting real ugly without Big Ben. A loss against the Ravens this week eliminate from any chance at the AFC North title as well as dampen their playoff outlook in general.
12Buccaneers6 - 5Played well enough to win against the Falcons. But they don't give out moral victories in the NFL.
13Bengals6 - 5Here come the Bengals behind the Red Rifle (Andy Dalton) and his favorite target A.J. Green. They might be the league's best young QB/WR duo.
14Seahawks6 - 5The winning on the road thing is going to keep them out of the playoffs. That and potential suspensions for starting corners Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.
15Redskins5 - 6RG3 is the real deal that's for certain. But can he beat the Giants on MNF with the team's playoff hopes on the line? Stay tuned...
16Vikings6 - 5I don't know if Christian Ponder is the long term answer at QB for the Vikes. Or maybe he just needs Percy Harvin to get healthy.
17Saints5 - 6As I suspected I believe the Saints magic is about to run out. It is just too difficult to crawl back from and 0 - 4 deficit with a bad defense and a one dimensional offense. Even if that dimension includes Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham.
18Cowboys5 - 6It's all over in Big D. Jason Garrett and Tony Romo are likely gone after the season but what do you replace them with? How about getting a real GM Jerry Jones?
19Lions4 - 7They got jobbed on the botched challenge replay call but the Lions are just not the same team that went 10 - 6 last year. Too many mental lapses.
20Dolphins5 - 6With 5 games left they are still hanging on at the fringe of the playoffs, which is good for a team with a first year coach and QB.
21Browns3 - 8 The Browns have been packing a punch on defense since day one. But 8 forced turnovers??? Man that's just something you don't see everyday.
22Rams4 - 6 - 1Rams finally snapped their losing streak. Ironically, the last time they won it was against the Cardinals.
23Jets4 - 7Giving up 49 points at home on Thanksgiving is as bad as it gets. But I guess it can only get better from here, right?
24Bills4 - 7This team needs so many things. Let's start with a refund on Mario Williams contract.
25Chargers4 - 7The funeral procession for Norv Turner has begun. Let's see if lasts a full five weeks.
26Titans4 - 7At least Jake Locker is back in the line up. He shows flashes of being a star at QB but he is still far from a sure thing at this point.
27Panthers3 - 8Cam went Superman on the Eagles on MNF. Not really surprising considering the Eagles have looked like the damsel in distress all season long.
28Cardinals4 - 77 straight losses and Ryan Lindley is your QB. Yikes. Talk about coal in your stocking.
29Jaguars2 - 9 Chad Henne cerainly looks like the more competent QB in Jacksonville. Will Gabbert have a job next season?
30Eagles3 - 8I feel bad Andy Reid. I really do. Losing his son can't compare to the Eagles 7 game losing streak. But it just adds insult to injury. Tough way for a great coach to go out.
31Raiders3 - 8Hey at least Sebastian Janikowski is still good.
32Chiefs1 - 10And with the number #1 pick the Kansas City Chiefs select...

Hilton Rewards: 5 Things about Week 12 in Fantasy Football

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  • T.Y. to the House
    • T.Y. Hilton continued his strong rookie campaign with two TDs including a 75 yard punt return for a score. As I stated last week Hilton is must start every week and should continue to pay dividends as the fantasy playoffs approach.
  • David Wilson gets 2nd Chance
    • With Andre Brown suffering a broken fibula against the Packers it would seem that David Wilson is the clear #2 option to Ahmad Bradshaw. It could be good insurance to pick up Wilson since he’s only one Bradshaw injury from being the main back in a potent Giants offense. Finally, Wilson may get a chance to show the fantasy potential we thought would be evident at this point in the season.
  • New Day for Knowshon Moreno?
    • Saying Knowshon Moreno has been a fantasy disappointment his whole career would be the understatement of the century. However, I couldn’t help notice Moreno’s strong performance (85 yards rushing) and workload (20 carries) against the Chiefs. Moreno has still got a lot to prove but if he’s out there on waivers he could be worth a look down the stretch as a flex option.
  • What can the Browns do for you?
    • Don’t expect 8 turnovers a game, but the Browns defense could be a sneaky play in next couple of weeks as the fantasy playoffs approach. Cleveland faces an offensively challenged Oakland and Kansas City in the next two weeks. The Browns may have a little bit of magic left for fantasy owners looking for a defense to play based on matchups.
  • Stick with Kaepernick?
    • Two starts. Two wins. Pretty good numbers in both. So what should Colin Kaepernick owners out there do? The next two matchups (Rams, Dolphins) could be good for the young QB and the 49ers offense. However, I would still only recommend playing Colin Kaepernick if you don’t have a top 12 fantasy QB. He’s a young QB and while his upside is high you can’t risk the bottom falling out in the middle of your fantasy playoff run.

Ray of Sunshine: 10 Things About Week 12 in the NFL

ray-rice-27-flex

Here goes the run down for Week 12:

  • Ray of Light
    • If you haven’t seen it already click here. Ray Rice turned in the play of the year with a 4th and 29 conversion against the Chargers. The play certainly helped the Ravens steal victory from the jaws of the defeat and sunk any playoff hopes of the Chargers may have had. Next week the Ravens can put a strangle hold on the AFC North with a win over the Steelers.

  • Giant stomp Pack
    • Giants fans can take their hands off the panic button. Fresh off of the bye the Giants looked like the defending Champs on both sides of the ball. Eli Manning broke his TD pass drought (12 quarters) throwing for 3 scores
      against the Packers. The defense sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and kept him under duress all game long. What we learned is that the Giants, while prone to slumps, are still one of the NFCs best teams when healthy.
  • Steelers suffer Brown out
    • Big Ben’s absence was never more evident than on Sunday, as Pittsburgh
      committed 8 turnovers, and lost their second straight game in the AFC North. It doesn’t get much easier for the Steelers as they travel to Baltimore this week. It’s clear that without Big Ben in the lineup the Steelers are a below average team offensively which could spell doom for their playoff hopes if he misses more time.
  • Luck anything but Lucky
    • Andrew Luck led the Colts to their seventh win on Sunday and placed the Colts smack dab in the middle of the AFC playoff race. With five games left Indy is real threat to get in the playoffs, which is remarkable considering everything the team has gone through. From the release of Peyton Manning, to Chuck Pagano’s leukemia this Colts team has shown a resolve that Hollywood director couldn’t have scripted. Easily the most inspirational story of the year.
  • RG3 shines in Big D
    • I was more than impressed with RG3’s performance against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Griffin shredded the Cowboys secondary for 4 TDs and helped put the Redskins back in the NFC East and wild card playoff race. The Skins play host to the Giants this coming week in a match up that will go a long way in determining their playoff fate going forward. It’ll be interesting to see how RG3 performs in his first real must win game of his career. If his short history is any indicator we won’t be disappointed.
  • Peyton’s Place?
    • Now that its become clear that the Broncos will win the AFC West it’s time to question how far they will go in the playoffs. Peyton Manning certainly has the playoff experience necessary but how will he fare when the weather at Invesco Field is below freezing and snowy? It’s a question worth asking considering Peyton’s road playoff record (2 – 5).
  • Patriot Games
    • It seems like the Patriots play in the Big East sometimes. With their season sweep of the Jets on Thanksgiving Night they all but clinched their playoff berth as AFC East champions. Brady and the Pats are poised to make another playoff run, but will likely need to run the table in their remaining games to grab a first round bye. The way the Pats have played recently I wouldn’t bet against them.
  • Chicago Fire
    • So after their loss on MNF against the 49ers Jay Cutler proved why he’s the least liked, most important player in the NFL. Cutler led the Bears to their 8th win of the year and gave them sole possession of first place in the NFC North. People forget how strong the Bears were playing last year before Cutler broke his thumb. This year it looks
      the Bears might be who we thought they were. Sorry I couldn’t resist linking the video.
  • Kaepernick has Magic Touch
    • You’ve got to feel for Alex Smith. He gets a concussion and next thing
      you know his career as a 49er appears to be over. Colin Kaepernick continued to ride the wave against the Saints converting big pass plays down the field as well as several with his legs. At this point it appears to be Kaepernick’s job to lose. However, this could potentially backfire in Jim Harbaugh’s face as he hands the reigns of a championship caliber team to a second year QB with only two starts under his belt.
  • Falcons skate by in Tampa
    • In what is becoming part of their magical season the Falcons escape Tampa with a one point over their division rival Buccaneers. This script is getting predictable but the Falcons seem to know when turn up their performance when it matters most. I am on record as believing this kind of high wire act isn’t sustainable through a playoff run, but
      then again they keep winning. So what do I know? I just write here.

Evan’s Hot Seat: Carson Palmer

carson palmer

Quick, name the 3 quarterbacks who have averaged over 300 yards passing per game through Week 11.  Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and…and… Peyton Manning? No.  Aaron Rodgers?  Not so much.  Tom Brady?  Not him either.  Try Brees, Ryan and Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.  While many people may have believed Palmer belonged in that esteemed group in 2007 after Palmer completed his third straight season with over 3800 passing yards and 26 passing TDs, few people thought of Palmer as anything but washed up when he came to Oakland via trade at the midpoint of the 2011 season.  While Palmer’s presence has not translated to a bunch of wins on the field, statistically speaking, Palmer has brought a fantasy football relevancy to the Raiders passing game.  Since arriving in Oakland, Palmer has averaged nearly 290 yards passing per game and 1.6 TD throws while completing over 60% of his throws- a stark contrast to the 198 passing yards per game and 1.1 TD passes credited to the Raiders 2010 group of signal callers.  Let’s look at how Palmer’s throwing arm is changing the effectiveness of Oakland’s skill position players.

 

Denarius Moore shows flashes of brilliance but lacks consistency

Raider wide receivers and tight ends

As a result of Palmer’s passing prowess, the 2012 Raiders have 3 receivers (Denarius Moore, Brandon Myers, and Darrius Heyward-Bey) who are on pace in 2012 to surpass the 2010 team’s receiving yards leader, Zach Miller.  There are several factors which play a role in this change.  One is Palmer’s ability to throw the ball downfield.  Early in his career, Palmer was known to have one of the best deep arms in football as he averaged over 7.2 yards per passing attempt each season from 2005-2007.  As a torn rotator cuff injury started to take its toll on Palmer’s arm strength over his last few seasons in Cincinnati, Palmer saw his average yards per pass drop significantly.  Palmer’s shoulder seems to be back at full strength at this point as he has averaged 7.8 yards per attempt in his 19 games with the Raiders, allowing his receivers to post better numbers on each catch they make.  Also, the Raiders let Palmer throws the ball a lot- a staggering 41.5 times per game.  With that many attempts, any Raiders receiver can have a big game at any time.  The one fantasy caveat is that Palmer spreads the ball around a lot due to the fact that he does not have a clear-cut number one guy to throw to.  While receivers like Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward Bey show flashes of brilliance ,they struggle with consistency.  Brandon Myers is a reliable target but lacks the big play ability that some of his fellow tight ends possess.  If the Raiders continue to use Palmer’s arm as consistently as they do, it makes sense to keep an eye on the Oakland receiving corps.  If the team is able to add a marquee receiver or one of the young guys steps up, that person will immediately become a must-start player.  In the meantime, continue to play your Oakland receivers in good matchups and hope that your player is the one who gets the majority of the looks from the Raider QB.

 

Raider running backs

The Raiders used to be a running team.  As recently as 2010, the Raiders ran the ball more than they threw it.  With Carson Palmer under center, that trend has shifted dramatically.  The Raiders are averaging only 81 yards per game on the ground in 2012 on a meager 22 carries per game.  While the health (or lack thereof) of feature backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson may play some role in the lack of a rushing attack, one of the least popular players on your fantasy roster has to be someone who runs for the Raiders.  While the Raiders backfield does suffer from a lack of rushing attempts, they do benefit from another Palmer trend- his propensity to spread the ball around to many different receivers.  Palmer is averaging over 11 targets per game to a member of the Raiders backfield with both Darren McFadden (despite missing missing 2 games due to injury) and fullback Marcel Reece both seeing the ball come their way 48 times already this season.  Have these pass catching opportunities turned an early round fantasy pick like McFadden into a solid contributor.  No, and I do not expect any Raiders back to be a solid fantasy starter until the Raiders involve the running game more.

 

While Carson Palmer has not been the savior Oakland thought it was getting when they traded 2 high draft picks for him at last year’s trading deadline.  Due to the fact that he has not led the Raiders to many wins, Carson Palmer has lived under the fantasy radar since he went to Oakland.  For owners that have struggled to find an answer at the quarterback position this season or who miss out on one of the top QB targets in next year’s draft, do not make the same mistake of overlooking Carson Palmer.  Do I want Palmer running the show for my favorite team every Sunday?  Probably not, but I could do a lot worse than having him as my starting fantasy quarterback.

Giving Thanks for Backups: – 2 Guys talk injuries and players to pick up heading into Week 12

Jay-Cutler-Bears

It’s Week 12 and heading into Thanksgiving hopefully you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Unfortunately, your fantasy team may not be in the same position as Week 12 saw the injury bug claim several marquee fantasy players.

Frank and Evan discuss how to replace players like Lesean McCoy and Rob Gronkowski heading into Week 12.

2 Guys also discuss which back up QBs are worth picking up for the fantasy stretch run.

2 Guys Fantasy – 2 Guys 2 Watch: Week 12

RobertGriffinIII

Evan’s Week 12 Spotlight

The Guy I Like: Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals

While most of the attention will be placed on Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer returning to Cincinnati, the team he said he would rather retire than play for, Andy Dalton and his group of young receivers will look to continue on their recent hot streak. Throughout the season, Dalton has looked for AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham frequently in the passing game, although he seems to be building quite a rapport with rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu over the past couple weeks. Sanu was thrust into the starting lineup due to an injury in Week 11 and found his way into the endzone for the second straight game. Oakland brings one of the league’s most inept pass defenses to the Queen City this Sunday which is why I expect Sanu to score once again. Expect the receiver to end up with 5 or 6 catches, a couple carries out of the backfield, 80 total yards and a TD making him a solid play this week.

The Guy I Do Not Like: DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

The wheels have officially fallen off the wagon that is the 2012 Eagles season. Fans in Philly are calling for Andy Reid to be fired, while the offense has failed to score a touchdown in the past 6 quarters. With the Eagles likely missing both Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy in Week 12 due to concussions, there is little reason to believe that any skill position player will have a solid statistical day as the Eagles face the Carolina Panthers. After struggling early in the year, Carolina’s pass defense has only allowed 215 yards per game after their Week 6 bye, which does not bode well for rookie quarterback Nick Foles and the putrid Eagles offensive line. Even if Jackson is targeted 9 times, as he was in Week 11, expect very little in the way of results. 3 or 4 catches for less than 50 total yards should be what you would expect from Jackson, numbers that can easily be surpassed by someone on your bench.

Frank’s Week 12 Spotlight

The Guy I Like: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton is officially on the scene as Andrew Luck’s big play wide receiver. After his 2 touchdown performance against the Patriots he is entering the must start each week status. This week against a porous Bills secondary is no different. Hilton should be able to find plenty of holes in the Buffalo defense and have a chance to duplicate his recent success. Call me clairvoyant but it’s looking like 85 yards and a touchdown from my view.

The Guy I Do Not Like: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Don’t get me wrong, I like RG3 long term but this week he is headed for quite a tough match up. The Dallas defense has been pretty solid lately and I think they match up quite well with the Redskins. The Redskins don’t have a whole lot of explosiveness at the WR position and the Cowboys secondary might be the strength of their defense. Griffin will still find a way to get some yards even if the Cowboys shut down the passing game down but his final tally won’t look like a typical RG3 stat line. Call it a hunch, but I call it 230 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INT, and 30 yards rushing.

Week 12 Game Picks

Frank picks against the spread for Week 12.
Texans over Lions(+3.5)
This is the Lions last stand but this is the Texans year. Destiny always wins over desperation.
Cowboys over Redskins(+3)
The Cowboys barely beat the Browns last week but this week the Redskins will have their undivided attention.
Chargers(+1) over Ravens
The Ravens are the better team and the Chargers are reeling. So by default NFL logic the Chargers win.
Buccaneers(+1) over Falcons
The Falcons have been winning but the Buccaneers have been peaking.
Last Week: 3 - 1 (1 - 3 vs spread)
2012 Season: 28 - 16 (22 - 22 vs spread)