Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trades, Injuries and Changes Shake Up Fantasy Football Rosters **updated

**updated: Detroit Lions acquire running back Ronnie Brown

For the past five weeks it seems that we have had to shake up our fantasy football rosters and rankings based on the weekly injuries constantly hitting NFL teams. Well, we seem to be alleviated from that this week, but faced with a delightful set of new problems. Rather than a host of unwanted injuries, we now get to modify our rosters based on a delightful combination of injuries, trades and replacements.

Let’s start from West to East.

Oakland Raiders
The biggest fantasy football injury this week seems to come from the Bay area as Jason Campbell is out for the season. Kyle Boller came in and completed 8 passes for 100 yards and no scores, with the team leading, though, we didn’t really get a feel for how he will react as a starter.

Oakland has just completed a trade for Carson Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer is coming out of a very ugly relationship. He hasn’t played a game this season, but did see his stats bump in 2010, when he threw for just under 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Expect it to take some time for him to get used to the system at all. I honestly don’t know what kind of playing shape Palmer is in, but he will definitely be the starter going forward. You can predict slow play from the receivers for a few weeks as Palmer gets settled, but in the end I think the receivers put up better numbers in the second half of the season than they did with Jason Campbell.

A focus will be put on the run game, so McFadden and Bush will be the least affected. Campbell was making ground it gaining respect for the passing game, but that all seems to be out the window. Kevin Boss is an intriguing tight end to watch though with Palmer coming in.

Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow steps in at quarterback. You have already heard what I have to say about that. But he will be starting his first game without the team’s best receiver Brandon Lloyd, who was traded to the St. Louis Rams.

John Fox should get the running game that he has likely wanted all along. With Tebow picking up an unpredictable amount of yardage each game and McGahee and Moreno getting the carries, the run game should be the only bright spot on the offense. I expect most of Tebow’s passes to be underneath as he does not have the arm or accuracy to make any downfield impact.

Lots of buzz going around about Demaryius Thomas stepping in as the number one receiver, but I for one will not be biting on him. Expect Eric Decker to be the Broncos’ top performing receiver this year. And like the situation in Oakland, tight end Daniel Fells might be one to watch.

Dallas Cowboys
Oh my sweet, sweet Cowboys. Injury to starting guard Bill Nagy and starting running back Felix Jones will make a couple waves. Mostly in the backfield.

Tashard Choice is a fumble away from getting tarred and feathered by Cowboy faithfuls, DeMarco Murray could see some extended playing time and definitely has the most upside going forward of any other Dallas back. Trade talks have come in about getting rid of Choice, but they will not go through because of the injury to Jones.

I expect the next 2-4 weeks with Felix’s injury to be proving time for DeMarco Murray. If you are short at running back, he could be a risky pickup for you, but the upside is definitely there.

Minnesota Vikings
Last night’s game made it pretty evident that it is time for Christian Ponder to step into the spotlight. He didn’t get much playing time, but what he showed was promising. Not sure what exactly we can make of it since the Vikings were trailing heavily and his yardage can all be filed under Garbage Time.

That said, he was impressive against the Bears defense in the passing game. He was under a good amount of pressure, made some errant throws and scrambled a lot, but was able to escape and get some positives.

Short of a horrific fire at a Starting NFL Quarterbacks Convention leaving all fantasy football starters hospitalized, I will not be starting Ponder this year. I expect the next few weeks to be a hell of a Welcome to the NFL for him. He does improve the passing game though as he is not, by any means, Donovan McNabb. I actually have the stock rising on Percy Harvin and maybe even Michael Jenkins and Greg Camarillo. Harvin, of course, the only real fantasy football starter of the bunch. Adrian Peterson is a beast and shouldn’t be too affected unless Ponder fails epically.

St. Louis Rams
Rams finally made a splash and added a wide receiver that might actually get some work done. Sam Bradford has been doing the best with what he has in Greg Salas and Danario Alexander, but these are not the elite receivers that he needs to help the team.

The acquisition of Brandon Lloyd from the Denver Broncos likely means that Mike Sims-Walker is cut. I expect Lloyd to get a handle on the offense pretty early and have the best impact of any Rams’ receiver going forward. This greatly increases the value of Sam Bradford and, in time, might open up some holes for Steven Jackson.

It does look like Bradford will be out this week against Dallas, and A.J. Feely could get the start. If this is the case, proceed with caution for every Rams player, including Jackson, as the Cowboys have the best run defense in the NFL.

Detroit Lions
Jahvid Best left the game with his second concussion of the year. I have heard everything from he might miss a week or two to he is being put on IR and his season is over. Maurice Morris had all of the carries in his absence this week, gaining 20 yards on five carries. Keiland Williams is second on the team in total rushing yards behind Best with a grand total of 49.

I originally had Moore getting most of the work, and he could get most in the next few weeks if Best doesn't return. However, Ronnie Brown has just been traded to the Detriot Lions. He should see some carries pretty soon and if Best doesn't come back in the next few weeks, it should be at least a solid split between Brown and Morris.

Overall, Brown is a nice fit for this offense. They need a power runner to offset Best and Brown can get that done. Will also like lining up in shotgun beside Stafford. But it is definitely a gamble to get either of these guys until we see a Lions game or at least learn a little more about Best's status.

More news to come on all of these. Any other teams you want to learn more about, all you have to do is ask. Got any questions about lineup changes, sleepers, trades, etc., you know what to do.


  1. I was offered Fitzgerald and Steve Johnson for Julio Jones and Andre Johnson. Should I accept? Thank-you

  2. The injury bug hit my RB corps hard, as I have both Best and Felix. The only other viable RB on my roster is Foster; I have Ridley as well, but I will do everything I can tonight to drop him for Demarco Murray.

    To pick up another RB, such is Maurice Morris, I’d have to drop a receiver. Could you help me rank my current receivers and a couple free agents, to help me gauge which three I should keep in addition to Larry Fitzgerald, who I also have? I’m in a 12-team, standard league, and start 2 WRs (or 3 if I want to use 1 at flex):

    - Mike Williams (TB)
    - Percy Harvin
    - Manningham
    - Heyward-Bey
    - Greg Little (free agent)
    - Steve Breaston (free agent)

    Any advice you can provide would be very helpful! Thanks!!

  3. I probably would. Jones and Johnson have both missed time due to injury, so there is no telling when they will be back, what strength they will be, and if they will reagrrivate that injury. And comparatively, Fitz and Johnson have scored more points on average than Jones and Johnson have.

    tough losing Johnson, because when he returns, he will likely continue having big weeks, but I think that Giving up a top 3 WR and a top 25 WR is comparable to receiving two top 10-15 WRs.

  4. I was offered arian foster for chris johnson and shonn greene. should i do it? I also have fred jackson and ryan mattews at running back.

  5. I need to drop either Crabtree, Decker or Breaston to make roster space for a bye week fill in. Crabtree is on bye and I lean towards him, in spite of his upside, since the 49ers is on bye. I might be able to pick him up again the if the other two disappoint this week. They're all backups by the way. My starters are Wallace and Vjax. It is a non PPR league. Thanks for your in depth posts and advice.

  6. I would have them ranked in the order that you put them here. Heyward Bey could have sleeper potential, but we'll have to wait a couple weeks on that to see if Palmer pans out.

    Harvin could either go up or down with Christian Ponder, but he seemed to have a better day on Sunday after McNabb left. All of them are pretty iffy, but that is how I would call them.

  7. I'd say absolutely. Foster and Jackson would be a killer duo every week. Even if Johnson picks his game up, you can feel good knowing that Foster will still be outgaining him. I say make the move.

  8. I agree that Crabtree should go. He has shown very few signs of doing anything spectacular this year, and since it is his bye week, chances are that he will remain in free agency until next week when your bye fiasco is over.

  9. Like the changes to the site - like the idea of the polls too.

    In a little bye-week predicament this week. Sitting in first at 4-2 but my record is tied with 3 others in a 10-team standard.

    1. Julio Jones might be out this week, but there isn't one guy I would want to drop. I've asked another team if they would trade Nelson for Hines Ward (vs Ari) but haven't heard back. Other teams have D.Driver, Mike Thomas, L.Moore, N.Washington, Burress.

    2. I also really wanted to put in a claim for Dallas Def for this week, but wouldn't want to drop NYJ. Shall I just forget about that and roll with NYJ vs SD?

    QB - Ryan (trying to claim Cassel, but I'm last on waivers so not sure, maybe Colt McCoy?)
    WR - Vjax
    WR - Julio Jones
    WR - Greg Little
    RB - Mendenhall
    RB - Sproles
    TE - Olsen
    K - Baily
    D - Jets

    Vick (bye)
    Nicks (bye)
    David Nelson (bye)
    LeSean McCoy (bye)
    Aaron Hernandez (bye)

  10. I've been starting Freeman at QB and have Bradford as backup. I picked up Tebow last week for trade bait, but am concerned Bradford's ankle may not be ready to go next week for Freeman's bye. (Bradford is vs Arizona, Tebow vs Oakland)

    I may be able to trade Tebow for Steven Jackson, is this smart? The Rams have a tough schedule for RBs over the rest of the season.

    My RBs are weak (I start 2)
    Daniel Thomas
    Montario Hardesty
    Pierre Thomas
    Roy Helu
    Stevan Ridley

    If I don't trade Tebow, start him vs Miami this week over Freeman vs Chicago?


  11. Hey man, digging the new layout.

    I'm sitting pretty at 6-0 thanks pretty much exclusively to this site. It's a standard Yahoo league (Non-PPR) and this is my team:

    QB: Stafford
    WR: C Johnson, Welker
    RB: McCoy, F. Jackson
    TE: V Davis
    Flex: McGahee
    Def: Detroit
    K: Jason Hanson
    Bench: Felix Jones, P Manning, Mike Thomas, Johnny Knox, Delone Carter

    As you can see, my bench has been absolutely useless so far. Though I'm 6-0 without playing any of them, I know that the only weeks that matter are Weeks 13-16.

    Looking at my roster, do you see any players that you might dangle and try to sell high on to prepare for those playoff weeks? And do you have any suggestions for players to target during those weeks (Starters or bench players to stock up on)? For example I know Baltimore has a pretty easy schedule (Rice, Bouldin) but it's tough rolling those dice when what you have has worked so well...

    As always, great articles and the advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

  12. Hey,

    I'm scuttling along at 3-3, and just outside the playoff picture (a win this week would move me into the picture). A bit of bad luck (Britt - and losing by 5 that week, and a 1 point loss) has me at 3-3 instead of 5-1.

    My team is ok, but I need to drop someone for a 3rd WR this week, and I'm having trouble deciding who to drop.

    QB (1): Romo, Ryan (Just traded Cruz for Romo)
    WR (3): Nicks (bye), S Johnson (bye), Boldin, Nelson
    RB (2): McCoy (bye), MJD, D Thomas, Hightower, Battle
    TE (1): Gates (I've been using a number of guys in the mean time, none of which are on my roster)
    K (1): Bailey (because they play stl)
    D (1): Dal (because they play stl), SF (bye)

    Normally I would only run one D, but SF has been nails. Also, I may have to drop two players as Gates may not play.

    I'm thinking I've got to drop Battle and in case Gates is out, I should also drop... ... ... what do you think?

    Also, who to pick up? Harvin (waivers, and I'm low on the list), Walters, Alexander? Lots of yuck out there.

  13. Hey GHL! I posted on your Twitter page before and you told me to post my line up on here before you can determine if my trade is acceptable or not. So here it is:

    QB: Stafford, Romo
    RB: AP, Fred Jackson, Demarco Murray, BJGE, Jackie Battle, Mike Tolbert
    WR: Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace, Mario Manningham, Steve Johnson
    TE: Finley
    Def: Lions, Cowboys (don't worry I'm going to start using your shuffle strategy this week)
    K: Crosby

    And again I was offered AP for Frank Gore and Miles Austin.
    *UPDATE* After he realized I liked the trade he said he will get back to me after hes done thinking about it and might include another player from my team in the trade.

  14. So I was going to go with your earlier advice and take the Fitz and S. Johnson trade for Andre and Jones but was offered from the same person Fitzgerald for Nate Washington and Julio Jones. I accepted quickly giving me a trio of Andre (when better), Mike Wallace, and now Fitzgerald too. Hopefully I can start moving up. Below is my team in our 12 team league.

    QB: Shaub and Cutler
    RB: McCoy, Mathews, Torain
    WR/TE: Andre, Wallace, Fitz, Pettigrew, Davis
    D: Ravens
    Kick: Hanson

  15. Thanks! I’m hoping the polls get readers more involved.

    Definitely a rough bye week for you. But it is doable. I don’t think you really need to be afraid of anyone claiming Cassel. I’m going to be getting to my rankings in the next few hours, so those will be up this afternoon if you want a better idea of what QB I think you should look for.

    I’m not exactly sure that Ward is going to do much good this week, his fantasy value has declined pretty sharply. If you are scared of Jones sitting out, Harry Douglas is still an option. In a ten team league, there are likely some other sleepers in free agency that you can go after, Nelson would be the guy to drop to get them, as he is the least likely to be picked up by another team.

    I tried to grab the Dallas defense this week too, but was 10th on waivers so I missed out on them. Jets are usually a pretty good call against any team, so you can be confident with them. Cowboys would likely be better though, but I wouldn’t drop NYJ.

  16. Definitely some struggles at QB and RB here. Picking up Tebow was a good call, and he should be the QB that you roll with this week.

    Your lack of a running game is tough though and you should probably look into that trade. Hopefully once Bradford is healthy, his numbers will jump with the acquisition of Lloyd to help him out.

    Ideally, I would try to hold Tebow this week and play him and then make a trade next week to get a better running back. Stephen Jackson has a tough schedule, but he can get the job done. Try shopping around for a few more offers. You are really going to have to find the perfect balance since you are struggling at both positions.

  17. Thank you sir. And congrats on your record. Happy to help! Make sure you spread the word about us, outside of your league of course.

    I haven’t looked in depth at the fantasy playoff season yet, but as you said, Baltimore has probably the easiest schedule. As long as you are rocking C Johnson and Welker at WR though, you seem pretty locked to have good days.

    At 6-0, I know that it is very tempting to start screwing around, especially since you have done so little this year with a great starting lineup like that. But I would be hesitant to make any big splashes.

    If you want to put feelers out there, I’d do it with McGahee and see if he can get you another Flex player with a better playoff schedule (Broncos face the Bears in 14, Pats in 15 and Bills in 16). Overall though, I wouldn’t worry too much. You have a good amount of time before you need to start worrying about the perfect playoff lineup.

  18. 1) Cruz for Romo might be the damn fantasy trade of the year. Great stepup at quarterback, Cruz is fluky at best.
    2) I’d probably drop Battle and Hightower. Definitely hard to do, but you need a third WR and a TE. And you really don’t have much room to cut. Since Romo has already passed his bye, you could potentially put Ryan out there for a trade and see if anyone bites that would give you a solid WR3 that you could actually hang on to. I’d try proposing some trades to the teams that need QBs this week.
    3) I’ll be posting my rankings later today, I’m working on them right now. At first glance, I would say Harvin. He was great once Ponder came in. But check back.

  19. Thanks for stopping by! A lot easier to assess a trade when you can see the whole thing.

    So, you give Peterson to get Gore and Austin.

    Your WRs are already strong with Jennings, Wallace and Johnson. This is the main thing that I wanted to see in looking at the trade. But having Austin in there as well would be a boost and allow you to shop around Steve Johnson to get another RB to help you out there.

    Peterson is holding it down right now with Jackson, but you have very little behind them. Gore would be a bit of a step down in consistency, but he has been having a pretty decent year as SF is rolling. Who knows how starting Ponder is going to affect Peterson. I’d imagine that defenses play the run a bit harder.

    I like the trade. I think it leaves you with a lot of good options. You’ll maintain good points at RB, and increase a bit at WR. And you will have a ‘must-start’ WR on your bench that you can turn around and trade for some RB support.

    I’d take the trade, but know that you have some work to be done after taking it. Be careful when he is asking for an additional player. Unless it’s a low RB or Manningham, I’d turn it down.

  20. Sounds like a definite good move to me. Great lineup once Andre is back, hopefully soon.

    And here I just made your question my poll for the day. Oh well.

  21. Thanks a lot GHL. You rock!

  22. Thanks for the response. I guess I am getting a little ahead of myself. However, I took the liberty of starting to upgrade my bench since like I said I haven't used any of those players yet (and for good reason).

    I dropped Manning for DeMarco Murray and dropped Knox for Ben Watson (need a TE this week).

    My WR 2 this week is going to be Mike Thomas vs Baltimore (OUCH). I'm looking at Greg Little and Lance Moore sitting on the wire. Should I snag either of them as an upgrade over Thomas? I'm thinking beyond just this week.

  23. Little seems to be gaining ground. Moore is the same NO receiver he has always been. Some big weeks, some weeks with nothing at all. He is good, but also a huge fantasy headache. I do have little ahead of Thomas and likely will from here on out. Just a better passing offense on that team than in Jacksonville. And for consistency reasons, I would like him over Moore. Jump on Moore though if any of the NO receivers go down.

  24. i have mathews at my number 2 rb, should i try and trade him or ride through the rest of the season w/ him?

  25. Depends on a lot really. He has been solid all year, so he could definitely wind up being a top 10 guy. He is hot right now, so you could probably trade him for a great player at any position. Just depends on who else is on your team and where you are having trouble.

    You also posted this comment on my post about trades. Read that, do a little math and see what you can manage.

    If you have any further questions, post a little more detail so i can help you out. And only post on one of the articles. No need to spread it all over. I'll get to you.