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Each week I will highlight players and teams who have seen their value rise or fall during the previous week. I will also try to highlight players that have favorable schedules coming up that could give them a boost in value. Remember that you always want to sell high and buy low!
1. Nick Foles: He has put up solid stats in two games with limited playing time and exploded when he started against Tampa Bay. Foles has thrown six touchdowns (and a rushing touchdown) with zero interceptions over the last 3 games. Michael Vick is expected to at least be out until week 8 but if Foles can put together another strong game against a division opponent (Dallas), he may be able to hold on to the job. Foles has the potential to put up top 10 quarterback stats as a starter for the Eagles with several favorable matchups during the next 5 weeks. They get to play the Cowboys, Giants, Raiders, and the Washington franchise. Obviously, a lot of Foles value depends on the health of Vick and if/when he makes it back to the starting lineup. Foles is a definite add for Vick owners and for teams that don’t have Vick on the roster.
2. Jordy Nelson: Nelson was already putting up solid stats before the Packers were hit with all the injuries at wide receiver. He has been averaging 8 targets, has gone over 80 yards in 4 of 5 games, and scored in 3 of 5 games. The Packers have a favorable schedule the next few weeks, and Nelson is going to see a lot of passes from Aaron Rodgers, as one of his few trusted options. Another positive thing going for Nelson is the fact that the Packers have already had their bye week. Nelson should put up #1 receiver stats for the forseeable future. I would target him in a trade by giving up a player who hasn’t had their bye week yet.
3. Keenan Allen: Allen has caught the eye of Phillip Rivers, and has been getting a ton passes thrown his way the past 3 weeks. His numbers for the past 3 weeks are impressive: 2o catches, 302 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a total of 27 targets. It’s not like he had a one monster game and then a couple of average games during this 3 game span. He hasn’t gone below 80 yards in any of the 3 games, and has seen his average number of targets hover around 10. Rivers has really started to trust Allen and that should continue as the Chargers lack talent at receiver. He was a very good player in college and has adjusted to life in the NFL rather quickly. He should continue to put up WR2 stats as the Chargers #1 receiver.
-Heath Miller: Has 6 catches and at least 7o yards receiving in each of his last two games. Miller has also averaged over 6 targets per game. He has only played in three games and is still getting into football shape. He is a popular target in the red zone for Big Ben.
Justin Blackmon: He had 20 targets last week against Denver as Cecil Shorts got injured early in the game . Blackmon will continue to prosper with Chad Henne at quarterback, and should continue to be the main receiver in Jacksonville as a solid #2 fantasy receiver.
Joseph Randle: Should be the lead running back against Philadelphia with Murray and Dunbar out with injuries. Although the Cowboys don’t run the ball a lot, Randle should put a solid stats in what should be a high scoring game.
1. Anquan Boldin: We all remember how Boldin exploded out of the gate against the Packers in week 1. Most defensive coordinators also remember that game because teams have focused on shutting down Boldin this year. With limited options at receiver for the 49ers, Boldin has been getting double covered a majority of the time. He doesn’t have elite speed or quickness to overcome the extra attention, and his stats the past few games have suffered. He still is getting a solid amount of targets, around 8 per game, but he has been held under 70 yards in 4 games this year. It also doesn’t help that Vernon Davis is back healthy and getting more attention from Kaepernick. Boldin has scored fewer points in his last 5 games combined that he did in week 1. Don’t value Boldin more than what he is, which is a borderline WR2/WR3.
2. Rashard Mendenhall: Coming into the season, Mendenhall was expected to be the main running back for the Cardinals. Now let’s be honest, he wasn’t drafted by fantasy owners as someone they would depend on as a starter each week. Mendenhall was expected to be a quality RB3/flex for teams that could be used as a fill-in for a bye week or an injured player. The thought was that he would get around 15-17 total touches per game on a team that was going to feature a potential passing attack. Mendenhall has not taken advantage of his opportunities with the Cardinals and is losing playing time each week to Andre Ellington. Mendenhall has only topped 45 yards rushing once this year and he is not involved in the passing game. The expected 17-20 total touches has dipped to just 10 in each of the last 4 weeks. The Cardinals are not playing well on offense, Carson Palmer has struggled behind a bad offensive line, and Larry Fitzgerald has been held back with hamstring issues. Mendenhall is barely worth a roster spot in a 10-team league, and should be looked at as an end of the roster running back in larger leagues.
-Marques Colston: He only has 34 targets on the year, which ranks him third on the Saints in targets. Colston has also been held under 20 yards in his last 2 games. He isn’t getting much separation and Brees doesn’t look for him in the red zone. Should only be used as a WR3.
Danny Amendola: Unable to stay healthy, while Tom Brady is developing trust in his other wide receivers. Gronkowski is coming back at some point and you can’t trust Amendola to be able to play through an entire game without getting hurt.
C.J. Spiller: Fred Jackson is not going away this year and Spiller is stuck in a timeshare at running back. Jackson is also getting twice as many targets. View Spiller as a low-end RB2 or flex until he starts getting a majority of the playing time.