Fantasy Football players to add and some to avoid in your PPR leagues:
Pick Me Up
Nate Burleson (16 percent ownership per CBS)
Burleson was a solid fantasy option as a third wideout during the first three weeks of the season. He had six or more receptions in each of his first three games while snagging a staggering 82.6 percent of his targets (19 catches on 23 targets) before breaking his forearm in a crazy accident involving a pizza in his car. While he was out, replacement Kris Durham seen six or more targets in four of six starts and averaged 10.5 points per game. In an offense with Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush drawing the attention of the defense, Burleson will see accommodating coverage upon his return.
Slap the Cuffs on ‘Em
Handcuffing your running backs during the draft isn’t an advisable strategy. All handcuffing does, by definition, is limit your mobility throughout the season. You have bye weeks and injuries to deal with, meaning you need the flexibility of those roster spots to field an optimal week to week team. Now that we are nearly through all of the bye weeks (only six teams still have a bye) it’s time to dump your bye week fillers and stash some lottery tickets that could help you hit the fantasy jackpot. You don’t have to even own the starters in front of them, but these guys could turn into a blue chip option if given the full-time job.
Christine Michael SEA (eight percent ownership)
Michael has only played 24 snaps this season, but has flashed some of the ability that had fantasy owners swooning for him late in their drafts as a Rip Van Winkle. In that minimal opportunity, Michael has carried 17 times for 70 yards (4.1 yards per carry). Marshawn Lynch has already been battling through foot and back problems during the season and Seattle is cruising to home field advantage in the NFC. If Lynch were to go down, or Seattle were to clinch that home turf earl, Michael would likely step into the lead back role with Robert Turbin maintaining his current place on passing downs and spot carries. If he’s out there still and you have an empty spot, scoop him up immediately.
Knile Davis KC (18 percent)
Jamaal Charles has never carried a load like this in an offense ever in his career. Through nine weeks, he averages 24 touches per game, which would put him on pace for 386 touches on the season, nearly 70 more than the career high of 320 he had last season. Even if the Chiefs lose their grip on the AFC West to the Broncos, they are currently four games ahead of anyone that contend with them for a wild card berth. Already dealing with minor issues, Kansas City could limit Charles late in the year as they prepare to ride him in the postseason.
Bryce Brown PHI (34 percent)
Brown was in this same exact position last season. Taking over for an injured LeSean McCoy, Brown posted two consecutive 30 point games in weeks 12 and 13 to get fantasy owners into the postseason. It was thought that he would have a more significant role in the offense alongside McCoy this season, but he has had at least seven carries in only three games this season. McCoy is averaging 22.3 touches per game, if he were to go down, Brown could have a déjà vu performance in 2013.
Dennis Johnson HOU (29 percent)
Johnson is still a favorite among the scouting crowd in fantasy circles. He was originally with the Texans in training camp before being released and signed by the Browns. After losing out in a position battle with Bobby Rainey, Johnson rejoined the Texans and is currently only sitting behind an often hobbled Ben Tate, who is currently playing with four broken ribs. With Houston’s favorable remaining schedule, Johnson would be at worst a volume option if Tate were to lose ground or the Texans wanted to explore their roster with him being a free agent in the offseason.
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Tavon Austin: Week 10 line: two catches for 138 yards, two touchdowns, punt return touchdown – 28.2 PTS
Three is the number of touchdowns Austin had in the game this past Sunday. Three is also the number of targets he had in the game and has had three or fewer targets over his past three games. His two long catch and runs were the first two receptions he’s had all season that have gone over 25 yards, so don’t expect this to become a weekly occurrence. Even if the Rams give him an expansive role going forward (which they didn’t do on Sunday), their schedule with a backup quarterback is miserable. After the bye, they get a solid tilt versus the Bears, but then face the 49ers, Cardinals and Saints in the fantasy playoffs.
Mark Ingram NO: Week 10 line: 14 carries for 145 yards, one touchdown, two catches for 15 yards – 24 PTS
It needs to be said, but don’t do it. Don’t buy into this being the real Mark Ingram. He had just three carries for 15 yards at halftime, as the Saints built a 28-10 lead. With Sean Lee leaving with an injury and the Cowboys already defeated, he cleaned up in the second half. Even in an explosive offense like the Saints have, Ingram is nothing more than a mop up option.