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Time for fantasy owners to sit back and watch Josh Gordon fly

 

Start

1. WR Josh Gordon, CLE:

Gordon is finally back from his suspension and is seemingly ready to pick up right where he left off. A fantasy superstar from a year ago, Gordon had a record breaking year, going for 87-1,646-9 (breaking 100 yards in 7 games) in only 14 games. As the Browns are fighting for a spot in the playoffs, they will be relying on their star wideout to help them get there. Coach Mike Pettine stated that Gordon would be limited to a snap count, but that should not deter fantasy owners from starting him for Week 12, as Cleveland takes on Atlanta's league-worst pass defense (allowing 281.2 passing yards per game). Josh Gordon is a must fantasy football start as he makes his return to the field for Sunday's contest.

2. WR Mike Evans, TB:

Rookie Mike Evans has arguably been the hottest wide receiver as of late, going for 21-458-5 in his last 3 games combined. Evans surpassed veteran Vincent Jackson as the number one wide receiver for Tampa Bay, and seems to be the only offensive player producing on a weekly basis. He has completely taken over the offense, and has a favorable matchup ahead of him as the Bucs head to Chicago to take on the Bears. Chicago ranks 25th in allowing 256.4 yards per game through the air, and last in surrendering 29 points per game. Coming off the best performance of his young career (7 catches for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns), the young stud should be expected to keep the ball rolling as he continues to make a name for himself.

 

SIT:

1. RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA:

Lynch is coming off back-to-back solid performances (21-140-4 and 24-124-0), but will have a difficult time continuing that high level of play against a stout Cardinals defense. Arizona ranks 3rd in surrendering 80.4 rushing yards per game, while also ranking 2nd in allowing a minuscule 17.6 total points per game. Marshawn Lynch has had a strong showing in what may be his last season in Seattle, but this bump in the road could be significant, coming at an inopportune time for the middle-of-the-pack Seahawks. Expect Lynch to put up low RB2 numbers as he will struggle to get things going.

2. RB Alfred Morris, WAS:

Alfred Morris is coming off a solid game where he rushed for 96 yards, and added 36 yards from his two receptions. However, he most likely won't be able to put up a second straight solid performance, as he and the Redskins square off against a very tough 49ers run defenes. Morris has a tough task ahead of him against a San Francisco rush defense that ranks 6th in the league allowing 88.6 rushing yards per contest. With the spotty and erratic play of Robert Griffin III, Morris will struggle to find open running lanes. Consider Morris nothing more than a middling RB2 for Week 12.

For more fantasy sit start advice, stay tuned to ASL!

 

Ben Tate will play backup behind Jerick McKinnon against the Packers

 

RB Fantasy Football News -

For a minute, it seemed like the Minnesota Vikings were in full panic mode. Adrian Peterson was basically suspended for the remainder of the year and out of nowhere, the Vikes signed free agent Ben Tate out of Cleveland.

Matt Asiata (concussion) and Jerick McKinnon (back) are both in RB news, dealing with injuries, but signing Tate seemed to be a bit of a mystery until Coach Norv Turner cleared things up when he stated the McKinnon is still the team’s lead back and that Tate was an insurance policy back.

“Obviously, we’re in a situation where we had one back that could practice, so the timing of (Tate) being released and the opportunity for us to add a back, certainly it was good timing,’’ Turner said.

McKinnon returned to practice on Thursday and stressed that he was in no danger of missing the team’s Week 12 matchup against the visiting Packers. The bad news is that Green Bay is scoring points so quickly, that team’s are abandoning the run game shortly after kickoff.

Asiata is carrying a doubtful tag coming into Week 12 and Tate will need some time to get familiar with the playbook. McKinnon is the only viable fantasy RB option this week and Green Bay does allow 4.5 yards per carry.

ASL has the latest in RB fantasy news - stay tuned!

Peyton Manning - Struggling with injured receivers and a banged up backfield

 

QB Fantasy Football News -

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been in the league for far too long to let a few mediocre games get deep under his skin, but there are certainly times when his frustration is impossible to miss. So who is this interception throwing imposter and what has he done with the real fantasy QB stud Peyton Manning? Dare we say the golden boy is not looking so…golden at the moment? Well, let’s not go too far with the acquisition, but yes, it’s apparent that Manning is throwing more interceptions than usual.

In QB news, Manning had only succumbed to tossing three interceptions through the Broncos first seven games. Now compare those first seven of games to his last three games where he has thrown an outstanding six interceptions as if he was the second coming of Brett Favre!

However, this is Peyton Manning we are talking about and fantasy owners should not show any signs of concern or even think about benching him. Manning has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game except one this season. If that doesn’t impress you, Manning has thrown for more than 250 yards in eight out of ten games thus far.

Manning and the Broncos are also struggling with significant injuries right now. Emmanuel Sanders is going through the NFL's concussion protocol, Julius Thomas has an ankle issue and all of his starting running backs are out for at least the next two to three weeks. At this point, the team is going to be relying on Manning’s arm even more than usual.

So fantasy owners, yes Manning is suffering through a little rough patch right now and throwing some uncommon interceptions, but let us take a step back and let Peyton Manning do what he does best, and that's score you fantasy points for you and win you games.  Keep reading our QB fantasy news on Fantasy Focus for updates.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups -

DE Jeremiah Attaochu, San Diego
Attaochu is the Chargers’ 2nd-round (#50) draft pick out of Georgia Tech this year. Some scouts rated Jeremiah Attaochu as a late first-round prospect/talent, but he missed the NFL Combine battling a hamstring injury. In his young NFL career, he has been nicked up as well and has missed some games of late. The fact is that he has not been fully, consistently healthy to build/grow into more playing time this season. However, he was back in the lineup as of last week…and had a couple of tackles, and a timely sack of Derek Carr late in the Chargers narrow win over the Raiders.

Why I would mention Attaochu now? It's not because he is a high draft pick coming back into playing time, but it’s more that he is a terrific pass rusher…and he could jump onto IDP radars quickly (in sack favorable scoring systems). In his final two seasons in college, he posted double-digit sacks (10.0 and 12.5) each season…and was a general menace on every play. He is insatiable trying to get to the QB.
 

Working with the current Chargers’ D-Line, Attaochu might have a Connor Barwin-esque run of sacks as he gets more playing time…a guy who isn’t discussed as a top pass-rusher, but you look up and suddenly he is getting sack totals in bunches.

LB Christian Kirksey, Cleveland
Karlos Dansby is going to miss a few weeks with injury, and Kirksey is a guy who can fill right in and put up equivalent numbers. Last week, when Dansby left early…Kirksey had nine total tackles. Back in Week 7, against Jacksonville he posted nine tackles as well. In his final three seasons at Iowa State, he averaged over 100+ tackles per season. He is a tackle accumulator. He’s a solid athlete, but has an above-average feel for the game. He might give you multiple games with double-digit tackles while Dansby is out.  He is one great option out of the short term fantasy pickups available.

DB Ron Parker, Kansas City
Parker is really starting to come on for KC, even with Eric Berry back. With Berry’s return, Parker has been playing more Cornerback, and in the past two weeks, Parker has averaged 9.5 total tackles and 1.5 PDs (three in his game vs. BUF). Prior to Week 11, he had a PD in five straight games. Because of his inexperience, QBs are going after him…so his PD counts should be solid. In 10 games played this season, he has seven or more tackles in five of them.

Parker is a terrific athlete out a small college (Newberry). He is a 4.4+ runner (clocked in the 4.3s at a Pro Day) with great burst and agility in a 205-pound, 5’11”+ frame. He is a very willing tackler with a nice wingspan to reach after ball-carriers in space, or deflect incoming passes.
He is a 4th-year player who has bounced around, mostly with Seattle who had a log jam of DBs and couldn’t keep him. He’s found a home in KC…playing CB with a Safety mentality.

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 

Kenny Stills got a boost in value when Brandin Cooks went down with an injury

 

Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups -

1. WR Kenny Stills, NO:

Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills has seen a spark in value as fellow wideout Brandin Cooks will be out for 2-4 weeks with a thumb injury. Stills put up a solid showing last week, going for 4-32-1 against the Bengals. He's likely to be much more involved in the Saints offense as the season comes to a close. As their WR3, he is next in line to start opposite WR Marques Colston, and should still be left open due to defenses focusing on superstar tight end Jimmy Graham. Stills has shown the ability to use his speed and quickness to make big plays, but will now have more opportunities as his snap count is sure to increase drastically. 

2. TE Coby Fleener, IND:

Colts tight end Coby Fleener's stock is on the rise as starting TE Dwayne Allen has sustained an ankle injury, and could possibly miss next week's contest with the Jaguars. Fleener's rapport with former college teammate, and now Colts QB Andrew Luck showed as the two connected on 7 passes and 144 yards. After Allen went down, Fleener was the focal point of their offense as the Patriots defense was purely focused on stopping T.Y. Hilton. Fleener's role in Indy's offense should be present in the weeks to come as he is a reliable check down for Luck, and he can be added as a middle-of-the-pack TE1 in standard leagues.  If available, Fleener is one of the better fantasy pickups around.

3. RB Jonas Gray, NE:

Jonas Gray exploded into the fantasy picture as the Patriots thrashed the Colts, making the term "breakout performance" an overwhelming understatement. The 24-year-old newly relevant New England running back took 38 carries for 199 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, his expectations should be tempered as this is only one impressive showing he's ever had, and against a weak rush defense. Immediately, he should be viewed as a RB2 against the Lions very stout rush defense, but has a major upside as an important piece to the Patriots offense.

4. WR Jarvis Landry, MIA:

Landry has been a solid contributor in Miami for the last 3 weeks, and his role in that offense makes him an intriguing add in fantasy leagues. He's coming off a 5-46-1 line as the Dolphins took down the Bills, scoring a touchdown for the second time in 3 games. He managed to turn the ball over in special teams against Buffalo, yet made up for it by making a nifty move at the goal line to get into the end zone on the very next drive. His rapport with QB Ryan Tannehill is only growing stronger and this could bode well for his value for the end of the season. Consider Landry a WR3 for the next couple weeks, especially in PPR leagues.

Took them long enough - The Raiders finally give Latvius Murray his shot

  

It may FINALLY be Latavius Murray time. He's been close to the top of fantasy sleeper picks for a long time. The Raiders finally gave Murray some playing time and he answered the bell with 4 carries for 43 yards and 3 catches for 16 yards on 4 targets. The good news, and not shocking to us: He looked so obviously superior to the existing and tired, ancient RB duo in place. He’s going to be a hot name in smarter FF circles. He may even catch heat among the masses this week. If he wasn't on the Raiders, he may even make the list of best fantasy football keepers.  

Here is a list of some trends in the NFL fantasy world.

– Assuming Fred Jackson is cleared, he will waltz in and takeover all the main touch responsibilities. However, there will be a MAT-BACK situation looming. Two weeks ago, when FJax came back from injury quickly, there was a quasi-three-way between him, Bryce Brown, and Anthony Dixon. If you have to bet on one—you go FJax. 

— Just to save us all time: If you have a sit-start question that involves a Cleveland Browns RB, don’t even bother asking me…your guess from one week to the next is as good as mine. This ‘hot hand’/MAT-BACK approach is the wave of the near future…like when the ‘pistol’ QBs were going to take over the NFL a year or two ago.

 — Rams IDP CB E.J. Gaines has six or more tackles in four of his last 5 games…6.4 tackles per game in that span.

 — Don’t lose sight of Chris Hogan as a very viable, decent PPR WR in deeper leagues. See our BUF-MIA recap to get a bio and trending on Hogan.

 – Jerick McKinnon’s targets in games since Teddy Bridgewater became the full starter from Week 6 on: 5-6-4-1-4-7 (4.5 per game). Look past the game with one target, and in the other five games he is averaging 5.3 per game. The awful Norv Turner offense, whatever that is, will dump a lot of passes to the RB.

 — The last three weeks of carries for Steven Jackson: 18-16-17 (17.0 per game). You could do worse in your RB despair.

 — In the past four weeks, Philip Rivers has 6 TD/6 INT and all four games below 255 yards passing, three of them below 210-yards…and a 1-3 record with a lucky win at Oakland.

 — IDP LB Brandon Marshall has three double-digit tackle counts in his past four games, averaging 10.8 tackles per game in that four-game span.

 — Pierre Garcon in RG3’s first two-games back from injury: 2.0 catches for 10.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 5.5 targets per game. Let’s just put a fork in this one…more on that in the WAS-TB recap slated for Monday. 

 — Jordan Reed vs. Niles Paul in RG3’s two games back from injury:

Reed = 1.5 catches for 19.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 2.0 targets

Paul = 2.5 catches for 17.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 3.5 targets

 — How is the NFL takeover by Pistol/running QBs going? RG3, Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow, Michael Vick…are all between awful and limited. Russell Wilson isn’t exactly lighting up the airways either, but there is hope there because he is a pass-first QB.

A year or so ago I started readjusting all out scouting metrics to allow more room/grace for the running QB (the ‘wave of the future’ in the NFL). We had slammed these run-first type QBs in our scouting metrics prior. Now, I might just go back to Classic Coke, and ditch New Coke on the QB scouting.

 — The last six weeks of TD passes for Matt Ryan: 1-1-1-2-1-1 (1.2 per game). Two of them Antone Smith screen passes converted into gifts for Ryan. He also hasn’t gone past 275 yards passing in the last five games. He has one 300+ yard game in his last nine games.

 — The last two weeks for Mohammed Sanu: 2.5 catches for 21.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 6.5 targets. He had a near-miss TD this week, but it still was a flimsy week. Once A.J. Green came back the fade began.

 — Charles Sims’ rushing output in his first two NFL games: 21 carries for 59 yards (2.8 ypc).

 — IDP LB Emmanuel Lamur has averaged 9.7 tackles per game in his last three starts with Vontaze Burfict out.

 – Roy Helu has the 8th most catches among all RBs this season.

 — Last two weeks of Andre Ellington rushing: 37 carries for 65 yards (1.8 ypc).

 — Ahmad Bradshaw limped off Sunday night, which means it’s probably time to try to gin up excitement for Trent Richardson. Some FF-analysts will be clever with dropping some Daniel Herron ‘best NFL fantasy sleepers’ discussion…and that’s reasonable. The real sleeper play…you know who it is: If anyone aside from FFM recommends Zurlon Tipton, I hope they note they heard about him here first in April…May…June…July…

If I do get the due credit, the earth may stop rotating, and we’ll all die. If you don’t know our scouting on Zurlon Tipton…my friend, you need College Football Metrics.com…or all the other Internet places I gave briefer teases. It’s too soon for Tipton, most likely, but he likely sees active duty if Bradshaw is out. Then he gets a couple of heartbeats closer to the prize. Those with deep roster Dynasty leagues, if you haven’t indulged already…you may be getting final chances. Maybe…

Tipton’s more of a 2015+ story, I would suspect.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

Week 10 provided rays of hope for Frank Gore owners

 

RB Fantasy Football News

Frank Gore fantasy RB owners were on the ropes before Week 10. Gore ran the ball just 9 times for 20 yards and no TDs during Week 7 and 14 times for 49 yards and no TDs during Week 9. (Week 8 was a Bye Week)

Between splitting time with Carlos Hyde and a pass first ask questions later offense, Gore’s usage was on the a serious decline. But Week 10 provided rays of hope for what was starting to look like a lost season, landing Gore back in RB fantasy news.

Last week against the Saints, Gore got the ball 23 times rushing for 81 yards and touchdown. A more balanced run and pass attack by the 49ers made all the difference in the world for Gore. It also indicates that was once evolving as a running back by committee approach, is not going to happen. Hyde has clearly taken a backseat to the veteran touching the ball only 12 times during the team’s last three games.

It’s important to keep in mind that Gore’s rushing numbers are NOT setting the world on fire. He’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry during his last four games, but it’s clear that Niner’s offensive coordinator Greg Roman trusts him over Hyde.

Gore should produce another strong game during Week 11 as the 49ers travel to the Meadowlands to take on a struggling Giants defense. The biggest obstacle for Gore owners right now is the 49ers remaining schedule with two of the team's next five games against the Seahawks.

For the most up to date RB news, keep following ASL!

 

Fantasy owners need Rivers to redeem himself after posting 138 YDS & 0 TDS against the Fins

 

Start

1. QB Philip Rivers, SD:

Rivers has an ideal matchup ahead of him, as the Chargers host the 0-9 Raiders. After a horrid performance with 3 interceptions and 1 lost fumble against the Dolphins, Rivers will look to bounce back against Oakland's mediocre pass defense (ranked 18th giving up 241.6 passing yards per contest). The Chargers will most likely look to throw early on as they try to impose their will on Oakland. Expect Rivers to throw for at least 2 or 3 touchdowns, and possibly break 300 yards through the air as well. Rivers should be used as a top 10 QB1 for this week.

2. WR Mike Evans, TB:

Mike Evans has been playing very well as of late, going for14-249-3 during his last two games combined and will look to keep the ball rolling against the Redskins for Week 11. The rookie wideout has really come into his own and has proven his ability to make big plays for the lackluster Buccaneers offense. Against a solid Redskins defense (ranking 7th in allowing 222.9 passing yards per game), it may be tough for him to get open, but he should be able to make the most out of his limited opportunities. Evans is a decent fantasy football start for Sunday's contest and can comfortably be utilized as a WR2. 

 

Sit

1. WR Michael Floyd, ARI:

Floyd should be avoided in all fantasy leagues this week. The Cardinals will be hosting the number one defense on Sunday, as the Lions are first in the league allowing only 283.4 total yards per game (and 3rd in allowing 212.1 passing yards game). Floyd will also be working with QB Drew Stanton since Carson Palmer went down with a torn ACL, and that does not bode well for his performance ceiling. Expect Drew Stanton to struggle heavily with this Lions defense, and Floyd to be nothing better than a weak WR4 for Sunday.

2. RB Bobby Rainey, TB:

Tampa Bay halfback Bobby Rainey's fantasy value is on the decline with Charles Sims starting to play now, and he is no longer a safe play in standard fantasy formats. Last week, Rainey only managed to pick up 14 rushing yards off 6 carries, and he may have opened a greater window of opportunity for the rookie Sims. They will most likely split carries for Week 11, not allowing Rainey to get too much of a rhythm going at Washington. Sims is the better running back for the Bucs, and as a result, Rainey should no longer be seen as a relevant fantasy option.

For the latest fantasy sit start advice, stay tuned to ASL!

Browns star receiver Josh Gordon is finally coming in from the cold

 

WR Fantasy Football News -

Josh Gordon, the number one scoring fantasy WR in 2013, is primed to make his 2014 debut during Week 12 against the Falcons. Surprisingly, Gordon is still not owned in 100% of fantasy leagues, and he absolutely needs to be. In 2013, Gordon posted the tenth most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history in only 14 games. In WR news, Gordon missed the first two games of 2013 due to another suspension and put up historic numbers with four different quarterbacks throughout the season. 

It's a bit of a stretch to predict the same type of production for Gordon this season after sitting out nearly three quarters of the year, but that's a risk every fantasy owner fortunate enough to own Gordon needs to take. Gordon put up monster numbers last year with several no-name quarterbacks and will instantly morph into the number one option for a Browns team that is surprisingly in first place 10 weeks into the season.

Some owners may want to see what type of numbers Gordon produces in his first game of the season before plugging him into their lineup, but it's hard to imagine that many owners couldn't use Gordon as a high-end WR2 or Flex play in Week 12.

There's a lot of speculation going around about what Gordon can accomplish once he returns to the playing field this season, but I've got a strong feeling I'll be hearing a lot of buzz about how "Josh Gordon won me my fantasy league this year" when it's all said and done. 

Look for Josh Gordon to put up top 10 fantasy WR numbers in Week 12 and for the remainder of the season which will make him a low-end WR1 and high-end WR2 starting in Week 12. The biggest concern for Gordon owners might be the fact that the Browns will likely be winning many of their remaining games and won't have to air it out on every down like they have in previous years when they had no running game.

Stay tuned to ASL for the best WR fantasy news.

 

An inept Jets defense made hamburger out of Roethlisberger

 

With the fantasy football playoffs inching ever closer, it's time to take a look at four impact players who suffered severe setbacks during Week 10 and made NFL player news.

Ben Roethlisberger

Although the New York Jets have a defense that is far superior to their offense, they are a mess of a team that had one win going into Sunday. Factor that in with the fact that Big Ben had racked up 12 TD’s in the last two weeks and fantasy owners thought they had a sure thing going. Well, welcome to the NFL. On Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger was all over the place and while he managed at least one touchdown pass, he also had two interceptions. Oh, and the Steelers LOST to the Jets.

It was ugly, but Roethlisberger most likely had a bad week and will rebound going forward.

Carson Palmer

Success and optimism are ever fleeting at the professional level. The Arizona Cardinals sit at 8-1, with the best record in the NFL. However, Palmer, re-energized after a bizarre stint in Oakland, is out for the year with a torn ACL. The injury occurred early in the fourth quarter, and although he has been steady while healthy this season, Sunday’s game against the Rams produced one of Palmer’s weakest efforts of the year. No touchdowns, one pick, and three sacks. In fact, the Cardinals were losing when Palmer went down only to rally for a 17 point victory.

But, the biggest reason for that victory was the defense. Drew Stanton will be inserted as Arizona’s QB for the remainder of the campaign, and you’d have to be pretty desperate to use him on a fantasy roster.

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Although the Ravens beat the Titans 21-7 on Sunday, Flacco didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet. He didn’t throw an interception, but only tossed one TD, and totaled a measly 169 yards through the air. No turnovers is an admirable accomplishment, but with the amount of money Flacco is making and the passing stats elite quarterbacks are putting up, 169 yards and 1 TD is not acceptable for those owners who count on him.

Flacco still ranks tied for 10th in touchdown passes, but he’s always liable to throw up a dud like Sunday’s.

Matt Forte

Somebody tell the Bears they were supposed to play on Sunday night, because the Packers were the only team that showed up. Instead of trying to control the clock, run the ball and keep Aaron Rodgers off of the field, the Bears coaching staff did the EXACT OPPOSITE. They abandoned the run at the beginning of the game and got humiliated on national television.

The Bad News Bears took to the air and gave Chicago a black eye that they will be talking about for years. Forte is one of the best backs in the league, yet he was a forgotten man in the first half finishing with 8 points in standard scoring, when owners needed a 20-point or more performance from a typical NFL fantasy stud.

Forte will keep grinding, but he should be monitored because the Bears coaching staff is a complete train wreck and it may get uglier before it sorts itself out.