Fantast Football Doctor: Week 2 Pick Ups

Analogous to what David "MVP" Eckstein does for The Hardball Times, I'm going to do for all you GOI fans. I promise I originally came up with the idea of doing (at least I will try and do) a weekly pick up column after watching Michael Vick run and have is way with the Packers. But then I started reading some of DME's THT stuff and I really like the format they use. So I'm going to steal it. A small tweak, I'm going to rank my pick ups (because in a league like the GOI league where all players go into waivers every week so you have to put out waiver claims and you have to rank your waiver claims) in order of where you should rank your waiver claims

1) Brandon Jackson | Green Bay | RB | 33% Yahoo! ownership

My guess is that Jackson's high ownership is because of many leagues that do not have a waiver wire system and that you can pick up any player at any time. With Ryan Grant officially out for the entire year, everyone needs to pick up Jackson. I know he didn't get the goal line TD, but he's going to be the clear cut #1 starting RB in Green Bay. Remember folks, Grant was no top tier draft pick. At one point he was the Giants #5 RB (behind Jacobs, Ward, Bradshaw, and Droughs) and he was better than Samkon Gado. Yes, an "In Gado We Trust" reference. Last year Green Bay ranked eighth in run blocking offensive lines, which bodes well for any running back.

Nevertheless, Jackson will be a starting running back on a very good offensive team. Even if you have like Ray Rice and DeAngello Williams (which I do have in a very shallow league), Jackson can at least be used on your bench/ for trade bait.

In FAAB leagues I would waste all my money on Jackson. Very rare will a starting RB come into the league that isn't on somebody's bench already.

2) Michael Vick | Philadelphia | QB | 22% Yahoo! ownership

Not only is he on an Andy Reid team (which throws it 60% of the time) but Vick will get rushing yards (it's easier to rack up fantasy points with rushing yards than passing yards) and he looked really good against a very good defense in Green Bay. Last week Vick led all Eagles in carries and rushing yards (in fact he was top 5 of all players in rushing yards). And ESPECIALLY if you lost Kevin Kolb, you need to get Vick.

If Kolb also went down for the rest of the reason I would rank Vick as my 9th best QB of the year. Vick looked accurate, has some great receivers in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek, and is a more proven quarterback than Kevin Kolb is.

Now I do think when Kolb is healthy, he will be the clear cut starter and there will be no controversy. I don't think you trade away Donovan McNabb just to start Vick when you have the opportunity to start Kolb. But concussions are a funny injury and it wouldn't surprise me if Kolb came back in two weeks or eights weeks.

3) Brandon Lloyd | Denver | WR | 8% Yahoo! ownership

Now I play mainly in very deep leagues this year and where the WR depth is scarce so Llyod is a more attractive offer to me, but I like him a lot. In the preseason the debate with whether the Denver WR you wanted was Eddie Royal or Jabar Gaffney. But if Lloyd is healthy, I think you want him over either of those two guys (and I like Royal a lot). Now, yes, Lloyd is an Illinois alum so I'm extremely EXTREMELY biased, but last week he led all Denver wide outs in receiving yards and fantasy points. While Royal got 10 targets, Lloyd got 8, more than half of Gaffney (3).

I've seen Lloyd play in Chicago and a little bit everywhere else and I'm a big fan of his talent, but he's never been able to stay healthy. But when on the field, I like him a lot. But when, not if but when, he goes down, I like Royal. Not only did I like him in the preseason (I have two board bets with Royal vs. Thomas against Cubsfan and Royal v. Gaffney vs. FFSpin) but Jabar Gaffney hasn't done anything in the pros yet. And he had Tom Brady throwing to him at one point.

4) Peyton Hillis | Cleveland | RB | 10% Yahoo! ownership

The Browns just do not like Jerome Harrison. With Montario Hardesty getting injured, everybody thought Harrison would be a legit #1 back and thus be fantasy useful. But last week, both Hillis and Harrison got the same amount of carries (9). While I think Harrison is the better talent and better player, I will still take a guy who at least is getting consistent carries.

I like Peyton Hillis because two years ago, when I won the 'Game of Inches' league (I put that in quotes because this years GOI league essentially has the same fantasy owners as my league did two years ago) I picked up Peyton Hillis because the Broncos, without hyperbole, had lost at least five of their starting runnings backs and were forced to stat Hillis- who did very well.

So if the Browns are going to continue to feed Hillis the rock, I'm going to continue to tout him.

5) Mark Clayton | St. Louis | WR | 20% Yahoo! ownership

I only like Clayon for the deepest of leagues. That Rams offensive line is terrible which in turn will make Sam Bradford not that good. I love the talent of Bradford and with time and a MUCH improved offensive line and this young receiving corps, I have no doubt Bradford could be very good one day. Just not this year. And it's not like Mary Clayton was a stud during his stint in Baltimore.

But he did catch 10 balls for 119 yards on Sunday. I know St. Louis will be down all year and thus will be forced to throw. But that happened last year and it's not like any Rams outside of Steven Jackson were any good last year. You can be down and throwing like in Carolina and just not be effective/ give up INTs and such.

But despite everything negative I have just said I think if you have the bench room, Clayton is a nice flyer because he still is by far and away the best receiver the Rams have, he so far has good chemistry with Bradford, and the Rams will be throwing a lot. And I did rank Clayton as my 39th best wide out (which is a start in 14+ 3 wide out leagues).

Guys I'm not yet sold on:
(These are guys who I'm not yet ready to recommend. Guys I'm not completely sold that they will continue to put up good fantasy numbers in the future but won't be surprised if they do)

Legedu Naanee | San Diego | WR | 26% Yahoo! ownership

Philip Rivers is awesome so I don't doubt he can make Naanee put up better numbers than even Naanee thought possible. But I think think Malcolm Floyd puts up the best fantasy numbers of any wide out there (assuming Vincent Jackson doesn't immediately play after his suspension, and I don't think Jackson will play a down for San Diego this year). Last year, Floyd was 7th in DVOA (essentially value per play weighted against defense played) and 18th in DYAR (essentially total value weighted against defense played). This made him better than DeSean Jackson, Derrick Mason, and Brandon Marshall in the limited amount of time Floyd played. So when Floyd far and away led the Chargers in targets yet had a bad fantasy game and Naanee had the good one, I don't trust that Naanee will continue to be the wide out that has the good day. I want to see what he can do with Floyd starts to go off (or continuously not catch passes).

Austin Collie | Indianapolis | WR | 72% Yahoo! ownership

How often will you see Collie led all Colts receivers in receiving yards? My guess is this happens once, MAYBE twice the rest of the year. He had some great games last year but I think Garcon and Wayne will continue to take "catches" away from Collie and I believe Anthony Gonzalez will too. As good as Peyton Manning is, he can't throw 400+ yards EVERY game to give three Colts wide out great fantasy days. For the rest of the year I rank Colts receivers 1. Reggie Wayne 2. Pierre Garcon 3. Anthony Gonzalez 4. Austin Collie. I think this game is a fluke unless Collie shows me otherwise. The burden of proof is on you Austin!

Mohamed Massaquoi | Cleveland | WR | 49% Yahoo! ownership

This guy was a highly touted sleeper last year and did nothing. He's on a bad team, he has Turnover McGee and a Derek-Anderson-quality (still) QB in Jake Delhomme throwing to him and he only got 2 catches for 46 yards but had a good fantasy day because he caught a touchdown.

Carson Palmer | Cincinnati | QB | 92% Yahoo! ownership

Palmer was a top 5 quarterback in the league during his first four years in the NFL. But then in a playoff game in 2008, he tore up his knee. Since then he's never been the same. I drafted Palmer last year as my back up because he had more than a year to recover from his surgery, he had his boy Chad Ochocinco to throw to, yet put up a disappointing season. He just didn't look the same. I joked with Scott Pashley of FFSpin during our podcast, that before Sunday's game, I could make the argument that the best USC quarterback in the game right now was Matt Cassel. It would not shock me one bit if Palmer becomes a top 10 quarterback again because the man clearly has talent a good receiving corps, but I need to see more- especially in front of a better defense than New England.


Cubsfan4evr said...

I like the column idea!

As a Ryan Grant owner I tried to pickup Brandon Jackson in all of my leagues after the game because I knew Grant would miss at least a game if not more and Jackson looked pretty good in game one when Grant went down. Then I heard from Sexy Rexy that Ryan Grant was out for the season and I knew at that point I was doomed if everyone else would try to pick him up. I ended up not getting my waiver claim on him in any of my leagues. As Sexy Rexy said, Grant was solid, but the system is what made him a good player and getting the touches so Jackson should be a solid number two option at RB if he continue to get the ball like he should.

As a Kolb owner I will have to pick up a new QB. I am still not sold on Vick, but it looks like he may be the best option available.

In one of my leagues I drafted Kolb as my starter with Big Ben as my back up. Now I need to pick up another QB but don't know what to do. I can't carry three QB for a few weeks. DO I drop Ben or Kolb?

Sexy Rexy said...

Not only is Vick a top 10 option normally but he's probably a top 5 option for next week when he faces the Lions

I find it very hard to believe that you can't drop your worst WR or a back up TE to pick up Vick. It's not ideal, but if truly your options are between Kolb and Big Ben to drop, I'd drop Ben