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All that doesn’t matter much in terms of fantasy football, except Sanchez, who despite a cringe-inducing history takes over a high-volume offense at a time when many deep leaguers are struggling to find quarterback help.
Let’s take a closer look at the Sanchise and some other waiver wire targets still available in nearly every league.
Mark Sanchez (Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues): In his first action in two seasons, Sanchez came on in relief of Nick Foles and completed 68 percent of his passes for 202 yards, two scores, and two picks. Did Mark Sanchez suddenly learn to play quarterback after ranking as the worst statistical quarterback in the NFL while on the Jets? Not likely, but the Chip Kelly offense should give Sanchez enough volume that his turnovers won’t hurt too much.
Sanchez’s schedule is another reason to feel optimistic. Next week he’ll face a Panthers defense that has given up multiple passing touchdowns in five of their last seven games. If we remove Russell Wilson’s Week 8 stinker, the Panthers are giving up an average of 298 passing yards per game since Week 3.
After that he’ll face a Green Bay defense giving up the 11th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Then he’ll face a Titans defense that has recently given up 290+ yards to the likes of Brian Hoyer and Blake Bortles and were scorched by Andrew Luck for 393 yards and four touchdowns just a few weeks ago.
It’s a nice four-game stretch that can suddenly lead Mark Sanchez to his first taste of fantasy relevance in his career.
Zach Mettenberger (2 percent): Mettenberger is coming off a bye week after he picked apart the Texans secondary for 299 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in his first career start. Now he’ll face a Ravens defense that just gave up 340 yards and six touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger two days ago.
The Ravens defense has now given up 300+ yards or multiple touchdowns in four of their last five games, including a 314-yard, two touchdown performance from Mike Glennon a few weeks ago.
Mettenberger will then face the Steelers, who have given up 703 yards and five touchdowns to Andrew Luck and Joe Flacco over the last two weeks and gave up 262 yards and two touchdowns to Ryan Fitzpatrick the previous week. They, too, were burned by Mike Glennon for 302 yards and two scores earlier this year. (Mike Glennon and Ryan Fitzpatrick are my benchmark for whether a mediocre passer can post a QB1 week against a defense.)
After that, he’ll face a Philly defense that has allowed two or more passing touchdowns in seven of their eight games this season, including to passers like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Austin Davis, Kirk Cousins, and Chad Henne.
Then he gets Houston (2 or more passing touchdowns allowed in seven consecutive weeks), the Giants (nine passing TDs allowed over their last three games), and the Jets (allowing 2.4 passing TDs per game since Week 5).
You couldn’t ask for a better schedule for the rookie passer to spread his wings and he’s available in virtually every league.
Running Back Targets:
Charles Sims (25 percent): After all the hype leading up to Sunday’s game, Charles Sims didn’t even touch the ball and will make us wait one more week to see the magic we’ve been promised. Despite the extra week delay, the plan remains the same. Sims, barring utter disappointment, is likely the future of this running game with Doug Martin looking more like a bust each week and Bobby Rainey not getting much work.
The third-rounder posted 1,496 yards from scrimmage and 14 offensive touchdowns in his lone season starting at West Virginia, rushing 208 times and catching 45 passes as a true dual threat back. Though I wouldn’t expect 20 touches right off the bat, Sims should have added value in PPR leagues.
Adrian Peterson (37 percent): Peterson is expected to plead guilty to misdemeanor child abuse and that could pave the way to his return. That’s not a certainty by any stretch but if you’re in one of the 60+ percent of leagues where he’s available, I would buy that lottery ticket and hopes he suits up in time for the home stretch. A bench spot is a lot to waste if he doesn’t suit up this season but the upside is potential RB1 numbers for, essentially, free.
Wide Receiver Targets:
Davante Adams (13 percent): Over his last four weeks, Adams has either caught a touchdown or 6+ passes for 75+ yards. The second rounder has been targeted 18 times over the last three weeks and continues to improve and get a larger share of looks from Aaron Rodgers.
With games against the porous Chicago defense and an Eagles defense giving up a ton of passing scores up next, Adams could see a nice bump in fantasy production in the immediate future.
Markus Wheaton (38 percent): We don’t know how long Ben Roethlisberger’s hot streak will last but we know it won’t be snapped by the atrocious Jets secondary and we should ride it out. There has been enough to go around for everyone over the last few weeks and Wheaton has 118 yards and two touchdowns over his last two games.
I would definitely start him this week against the Jets who couldn’t stop a wide receiver if their lives depended on it. Beyond that, it’s a matter of how long Big Ben can keep putting up monster numbers.
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