2014 NFL Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 10
Did you miss me last week? My apologies, life got in the way. That said, let’s get right to it. This is the last week for byes which means if you may have a need to fill a spot on your squad one last time. As always I’m here to help navigate the waiver wire. Here are some players who can help you this week and into the playoffs where you are surely headed if you’ve taken my advice.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (42% owned standard ESPN leagues)
I’m actually shocked at his low ownership. Matthews has found the end zone at least once in three straight weeks while topping 100 yards twice. Those are elite fantasy numbers. While there were initial thoughts that the Eagles’ passing game would suffer a bit when Nick Foles went down the early results certainly don’t show it. Matthews and new quarterback Mark Sanchez worked well together in the preseason and they have picked up right where they left off. While Jeremy Maclin is still the lead dog in Philly it appears as if Matthews has surpassed Riley Cooper as a solid number two. I’ll pause while you laugh or snicker at the obvious poop joke there. Anyway, Matthews needs to be owned in all formats and is a luxury plug and play option if you have someone like a Kelvin Benjamin or Antonio Brown on a bye.
Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos (42% owned)
First, let me say this is the first time I’ve ever written about Welker here. During his time in New England and first year in Denver he has been a fantasy god in PPR leagues. This year? Not so much. But that could change as soon as Sunday. Emmanuel Sanders was forced to leave Sunday’s game with a concussion and may not suit up this weekend. If he misses time expect those targets to go to Welker. Miami has a good defense but you have to figure that Peyton Manning will be steamed after last week’s poor performance and will look to leave their DB’s gasping for air in the high altitude. If Sanders does play the expectations for Welker should be tempered but the intrigue here is high. Something to keep an eye on for sure.
Isiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns (24% owned)
The fantasy Cerberus that was Cleveland’s backfield is no more. Ben Tate has been released which leaves Crowell and Terrence West as the primaries in the run game. The big question is which one is worth starting? Well, that’s a coin flip. At least it’s 50-50 odds now that Tate is gone but starting a Browns running back is the old risky with potential kind of play. Crowell was the only back who produced against the Texans totaling a team-high 72 yards just a week after West went off for 94 yards and a score. Could it be West again come game day? Maybe. Could it be Crowell? Who’s to say? I liken this to back when Mike Shanahan coached the Denver Broncos and always rode the hot hand. It’s a great team strategy even though it might make fantasy owners pull their hair out. While Crowell may not be an automatic start in all leagues he is an automatic add.
Jonas Gray, RB, New England Patriots (9% owned)
His name is Jonas. He’s carrying the rock. Thanks for all you’ve shown us. We’ll add you right now. That’s the tune that 91% of fantasy owners should be singing right now. Gray made his presence known in prime time Sunday night rushing for a career-high 199 yards and four touchdowns against the Colts. He will easily be the hottest add this week and I’m sure carried most owners to victory last week. Had I not kept him on my bench I would be among those winning owners but I digress. Gray should be the lead back from here on out though Shane Vereen will steal some carries and probably handle most of the pass-catching duties which will limit Gray some. That said, a commodity like this isn’t usually this available this late in the year. Sure Bill Belicheck could go back to the aerial attack but one thing looks for sure. Gray will get the red zone carries. Don’t expect four touchdowns again but 75 yards and a score each week is solid production.
Drew Stanton, QB, Arizona Cardinals (5% owned)
Let’s look at the facts. The quarterback job is his in Arizona with Carson Palmer out for the rest of the season. He also filled in admirably early in the year when Palmer was injured. In a battle of first place teams Stanton threw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns. That’s good. He also threw two interceptions. Not so good. He has a wealth of receivers in Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown. Andre Ellington is also an excellent pass catcher out of the backfield. Aside from the interceptions, which happen, this all sounds like a player good enough to add to your team if you need some help at the quarterback position. Maybe you have a middling star such as Robert Griffin or were turned off by Eli Manning’s five-pick day. Maybe you want a change of pace. Bruce Arians has shown that he isn’t afraid to have Stanton throw the ball downfield and that is certainly valuable. He’s worth a speculative add this week although I would keep him on the bench as the Cards travel to Seattle.
Have a questions on a player I didn’t mention here? Please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with my thoughts as soon as I can. Want to reach me even quicker? Follow me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy and ask away.