Against the odds plays for week 14

“You may be the first person in history to get a fantasy football concussion”

The time has finally come! Week 14, the first week of fantasy football playoffs! Everyone is rushing to their favorite rankings website to help set their lineups. Men and women everywhere are spending less time Christmas shopping and more time listening to their favorite podcast (hopefully @WATOffb). One thing I could never understand is why podcasts talk about a player they think is going to have a good game, but then totally contradict what they say based on the rankings they produce.  What one needs to understand is that the rankings are merely an expectation and you shouldn’t make your decisions only on where a guy is ranked. Consider everything that is going on with said player to include, matchup, opportunity, potential injuries, and home/away splits to exploit. I know that is a lot to consider sometimes and, most don’t have the time to do that kind of research in December with the holidays fast approaching. Well have no fear because WATO is here for YOU! We broke down a few players who we feel will perform better than what the odds and rankings are saying for your team!

QB

Baker Mayfield: Yahoo has this Dangerous man ranked around the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Case Keenum?? I’m here to tell you that a QB who has thrown over 40 times each game in his last 5 games, will be a top 12 QB this week against a Carolina Defense who have forgot how to cover people.

RB

LaGarrette Blount: Everyone is rushing to pick up the likes of Jaylen Samuels and Jeff Wilson from the movie Office Space….Well give me Blount who has 35 carries over his last two games. No Kerryon Johnson and going up against Arizona who has given up a league leading 17 TDs to Running backs.

Justin Jackson: Plays Cincinnati this week. Chargers coaching staff have said they want to let Gordon rest and don’t want to overwork Ekeler. Jackson is a top 20 Rb this week.

Bold North toss up….Stevan Ridley: It’s no secret that the Steelers like to use one back on offense. This week Tomlin came out and said they will be using a committee approach. Jaylen Samuels will start but he has averaged only 2.58 yards a carry this year. When the Steelers need to rush the ball, they may be relying more on Ridley than Samuels. This is not a sure-fire pick and I wouldn’t start Ridley going into week one of the playoffs, but if you have a spot he may be the back to own if Samuels can’t get it done.

WR

Larry Fitzgerald: This future HOFer isn’t getting much love this week in the rankings and I don’t know why. Christian Kirk goes down on IR and vacates 68 targets on the year. Fitz gets to play at home vs Detroit who has given up 7 TDs to opposing wrs over last 5 games. I look for Fitz to have a good game this week and find the end zone!

Anthony Miller: It sounds like he will be getting Mitchell back this week! Miller has only averaged three targets in Trubisky’s absence. I like Miller to have a bounce back game against a Rams defense who has allowed 26 passing scores this season.

Bold North toss upDaeSean Hamilton….Emmanuel Sanders is out for the season and everyone is rushing to pick up Courtland Sutton. However, Denver beat reporter Zac Stevens expects Hamilton to take over Sanders’ role in terms of playing in the slot. When Hamiliton’s inside, Tim Patrick will be outside Sutton in 3 wr sets. Keenum loves targeting slot wrs and Hamilton could provide great value to teams down the stretch. He’s not a start, but a pickup and monitor.

I’m not going to offer up TE’s to stream because it’s a nightmare. Why is everyone on the band wagon of eliminating kickers from fantasy? The TE position is the hardest position to predict when it comes to streaming and it’s much harder to get points out of compared to kickers. You can literally pick up almost any kicker and they will give you points each week, but the TE spot is a complete gamble and nobody knows what is going to happen. Kickers stay, TE’s be gone! End of rant!

What are the odds you win this week? Hopefully after reading this pretty good! Good luck this week!

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Week 13 Waiver Wire

“Here’s a guy, here’s a guy who when he puts his contacts in, he can see better”

-John Madden

For most leagues week 13 is the final week before the playoffs start. Are you in the hunt? Have you clinched a playoff spot? Are you doomed to play in the loser’s bracket, but don’t wanna end up in women’s clothing at your next draft? Well you have come to the right place, because there is still hope for you regardless of how your season has gone thus far! We saw some key injuries and guys being placed on IR this week! Marvin Jones, Andy Dalton, and Jack Doyle all moved to IR, and Melvin Gordon is going to miss time with an MCL Sprain. Here’s what we have for moves you should consider!

Shallow leagues: (guys owned in most leagues but may be out there if you have a smaller league or less roster spots)

Austin Eckler, RB Chargers: Gordon injury opens up Eckler to be a direct handcuff and he should be owned in all leagues!

Josh Adams, RB Eagles: The Eagles said they wanted to get Adams more involved and that is what they did! Adams rushed 22 times for 84 yards and a TD this week. Doesn’t have a great schedule ahead but worth a roster spot for sure!

Josh Reynolds, WR Rams: Had his breakout game in week 11 but if people slept on him because of the bye, pick him up!

Deeper leagues

Carlos Hyde/TJ Yeldon, RB Jags: If the Fournette owner made the mistake of not handcuffing him with Yeldon or Hyde, pick them up if you need a one week fill in for a start. Fournette has been suspended for one week for the incident that happened against Buffalo.

Adam Humphries, WR Bucs: We talked about Humphries on the show last week. The vacated targets by OJ Howard created opportunities for Humphries the WR playing in the slot. Had a good week last week catching 6 balls for 54 and a score.

Nyheim Hines/Jordan Wilkins, RB Colts: Marlon Mack banged up and left the game with a concussion. Hines and Wilkins could see an increase in work this next week against the Jags.

Seattle Defense: Plays SF two out of the next three weeks!

Deepest of leagues

Justin Jackson, RB Chargers: Because Eckler is probably owned, look for Jackson if you need a guy to move into that support role recently filled by Eckler. He ran for 57 yards on only 7 carries and has big play ability.

Gerald Everett, TE Rams: had a bye last week but has scored 3 tds in last two games played. Good fill in for Doyle owners who need upside at the TE position.

Week 13 Saints @ Cowboys preview

“The best way to gain more yards is advance the ball down the field from the line of scrimmage.”

-John Madden

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While everyone else is talking about having a case of the Monday’s, WATO crew is already thinking about week 13! We will be recording our week 13 show on Thursday due to Dad life and hockey practice! Have no fear all-stars because we are still here for you! Here is the write up for the Thursday game! As we move into Week 13, on the docket for Thursday Night Football is the Saints heading to Dallas. With a 52.5 over/under, the Saints look to continue their 10-game winning streak. 

The Saints have managed to win all 5 road games to date and now they head to Dallas to face an improved Defense. Drew Brees has multiple touchdown games in 12 of his last 18 games. Last week we saw Brees throw touchdown passes to everyone we’ve never heard of before and he forgot about Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.  The Atlanta defense was a mess this last week, and Brees had the chance to get other players not normally involved and that paid off. However, this week he faces a much better defense and I think we see him return to his safety blanket and call on familiar faces. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas have combined for 1,599 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. Kamara also has 11 rushing touchdowns to add to that total.  In a game where the Saints are facing a surging Dallas offense at home, it should be a much closer game where the usual fantasy assets will be needed.

The Saints are a high-powered offense and are averaging just over 37 points a game. Meanwhile, Dallas is averaging 21.  The Dallas pass attack has been elevated by the addition of Amari Cooper, but it will still be difficult to keep up with the Saints offense. I look for Dallas to try and play the possession game out of the gate in this and attempt to keep the Saints offense off the field. The main issue I see with this plan is that the Dallas offense has not been great at finishing drives in the red-zone. It will be difficult for the Boys to play the possession game if they are trading field goals with the Saints instead of touchdowns. I like the odds of this game hitting the projected over/under of 52.5 and I feel like there will be plenty of fantasy points to go around. Here are my plays:

Starts (start with confidence)

Saints:

Drew Brees: Top play every week, always in your lineup

Alvin Kamara: Wasn’t needed last week against a bad ATL defense. In line for bounce back this week.

Michael Thomas: Wasn’t needed last week against a bad ATL defense. In line for bounce back this week.

Mark Ingram: Getting nearly the same amount of work as Kamara and you can’t afford to sit him.

Cowboys:

Dak Prescott: Big game last week vs Wash, and he will have to chase points.

Zeke Elliot: Saints good against the run but he hasn’t scored under 22 the last three weeks.

Amari Cooper: Huge game last week and his usage looks to be solid, ride that wave!

Flyers (take a chance, might perform for you)

It’s week 13, you need wins and points! Don’t get cute and chase touchdowns that happened last week! Not many flyers here for that reason.

Saints:

Tre-Quan Smith: sat last week but if he is active you play him.

Cowboys:

None

Sits (let someone else start them)

Saints:
All backup wrs to Tre-Quan Smith, to risky and td dependent. Brandon Marshall also does not excite anyone unless Michael J. Fox shows up with a time machine and we go back to 2012.

Ben Watson: Saw only two targets last week and hasn’t been reliable.

Cowboys:

Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley: hardly any targets to go around and they haven’t been as involved.

Both Defenses are a sit for me this week.

Week 11 Waiver Wire Adds

Is your house on fire, Clark?

No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.

WATO moves you should make….

By: Matt Higgins

Tis the season All stars.  The Wife wants you to put up the Christmas tree and break your neck hanging Christmas lights, The kids want to financially break Dad by circling everything in the Black Friday shopper, and all Dad wants to do is limp into the fantasy playoffs and strip his coworkers, family, and friends of their pride.  Have no fear Dads,  WATO nation is here for both you and our female fans!

            Since the season is 70% over we are going to assume that you only have 30$ left in your fantasy budget and we will tell you how much of that budget to spend.

Rashaad Penny 15$ of your 30$ remaining

When Chris Carson got his chance with this offense he was a stud, when Mike Davis got his chance in this offense he was a stud, and last week Rashaad Penny got his chance and he too was a stud.  Half way through the season Seattle assumed the identity as one of the best run games in football.  Rashaad Penny was a first round pick.  I got to think he is the guy that they want to be a star.  It’s my guess that he will assume the lead of this committee from here on out. 

Josh Reynolds 12$ of your 30$ remaining

It’s going to take a leap of faith to go all in on Josh Reynolds with us.  If you were a Cooper Kupp owner it may not take as much.  Kupp has been a star and when Kupp was out Reynolds took that roll in its entirety and he was a star too.  If you lost kupp this may be the best chance you get to replace his production

Doug Martin 9$ of your 30$ remaining

Does he play on a great team?  Absolutely not.  Do the Raiders play ahead and commit to the run?  Absolutely not.  Is he a sexy pickup?  Too short and absolutely not.  However, this is a guy you can start.  Alex Collins, Frank Gore, Lamar Miller, Adrian Petersons, Marc Ingram are all people with similar upside, touches, and opportunity.  He has Arizona, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Denver still on the schedule.  If you need running back he’s a descent pickup. 

Tyrell Williams 3$ of your 30$ budget

He plays almost every play in this offense, he’s the Chargers number 2 pass option, and is getting consistent targets.  I would feel better starting Tyrell Williams in the flex over other potential pickups like Zay Jones with Josh Allen, Donte Moncrief and every other Jags WR’s, or any wide receiver in Jets uniform.  

Streaming Defenses:

Cardinals, Colts, Giants

Week 10 WATO moves

Hey, Lloyd, Look! There’s some people who want a ride too!

PICK’EM UP!

MOCK, si. ING, si. BIRD, si.

Week 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

Mike Davis (SEA):

Mike Davis is my top RB pickup for the week as he is probably available in most leagues. Chris Carson is notorious for not being able to stay on the field. Owners last week were only able to get one half out of Carson as he left with an injury. Coaching staff for the Seahawks already stated that it is unlikely Carson does any practicing this week. I like Davis as a workhorse in week 10 and potentially the rest of the season.

Elijah McGuire(NYJ):

He was on our pickup radar last week. He came out and was given work right out of the gate. I look for the Jets to keep this rolling and split the touches between Crowell and McGuire the rest of the way.

D’onta Foreman (HOU):

Texans are on bye this week but Foreman is close to returning. Alfred Blue and Lamar Miller haven’t been anything special and Foreman flashed last season before getting hurt. He is overcoming a major injury, but if he can stay on the field it might mean he takes over that backfield in Houston.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB):

Otherwise known to the WATO listeners as SCAB because one of our hosts couldn’t pronounce his name. MVS is my top WR pickup of the week if he isn’t already owned in your league. MVS has played 81.4% of the snaps since week 4 of the season. Geronimo Allison has been placed on IR, so I look for MVS to surpass his current production and become a legitimate WR2/3 in that Packer offense.  

Tre-Quan Smith (NO):

Another guy who was on our waiver list last week. He caught a TD last week vs the Rams and faces a Bengals team who is the 5th worst against WRs to date. There are rumors that the Saints are working out other WRs like Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall, but I see Smith locked in to that number 2 WR roll in the saints offense regardless of who they might bring in.

Maurice Harris (WAS):

Filling in for Jamison Crowder, Harris saw 12 targets last week and caught 10 for 124 yards. Paul Richardson has also been placed on IR. The opportunity is there for Harris to be involved the rest of the way. He also plays Tampa next week who attempts to play football games without a defense. I like Harris as a deeper league pickup and a decent flex option in week 10.

Cordarrelle Patterson (NE):

Who would have thought that this guy would be filling in for the Pats at RB with James White? With Michel out, the last two games have consisted of Patterson getting 21 carries for 99 yards with one touchdown. He almost had two tds vs the Packers but he was ruled down before getting in.  Michel is slated to return this week before the Patriots go on bye, but it is hard to imagine them giving him a ton of work before getting another week off vs Tennessee. I like Patterson as a decent play at the WR position with the rushing upside this week.

Other fliers if you have the space:

Dez Bryant: Rumors are he might sign with the Saints.

Adam Humphries: Had a big day last week, but still hard to trust. Decent WR4/5 flier.

John Ross: Dealing with injuries of his own, but AJ Green will be out at least next two games.

C.J. Uzomah: Played 97 percent of snaps before going on bye. Green is out so more targets for Uzomah?

Don’t forget the handcuffs!

It’s getting late in the season so look at what handcuffs are out there. If you have a big name back, make sure to get their handcuff. Even if you don’t have that starter it is also worth picking up the big name handcuffs. For example, I’d rather own guys like Malcolm Brown, Gio Bernard, and Nyheim Hines than roster a guy like Dez Bryant, Adam Humphries, and John Ross.

Week 9 Injuries and Notes

Key injuries and other options week 9

Stefon Diggs: Doubtful to play. Kyle Rudolph and Laquon Treadwell will see more targets. I think this hurts Thielen’s value as Slay could look to shadow him in the slot but you are still rolling him out there.

Royce Freeman: is not expected to play so fire up Lindsay and if you are desperate Booker should have some value.

Melvin Gordon: is expected to play, start your stud but I do think Ekler is still involved enough to warrant a flex start if you need him.

Chris Carson: sounding more like a true time game decision. Mike Davis is probably available on your waiver wire and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Penny finally get some work if Carson is out.

Cooper Kupp sounds like he will be a go this week, start him!

Dalvin Cook: is expected to play but will be on a pitch count. I don’t feel confident starting him but I do still feel confident in starting Murray.

Geronimo Allison: won’t play on Sunday vs New England after suffering a groin injury Thursday. This gives the rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling a huge opportunity and I like him as a WR2 in what should be a high scoring game. I also think Jimmy Graham also gets a bump from this.

Alex Collins: is expected to play. I don’t feel confident starting any of the Baltimore backs this week in what looks like it will be a three-headed committee.

Keke Coutee: is out this week. Tyler Ervin should fill in for him but I do not feel confident in starting him anywhere. Bump to Hopkins and the TEs Jordan Thomas and Ryan Griffin. I don’t expect a huge game from D. Thomas but I think he is an ok flex if you need one in bye week hell.

Chris Thompson: is out as well for Sunday in what was a great matchup vs Falcons who give up the most catches to pass catching RBs. Kapri Bibbs is a sneaky play in his absence and could have a decent day if he can stay on the field himself.

Sony Michel: Limited practice all week so it looks like he has a real shot to play. However, they do play in the Sunday Night game so check status tomorrow and have a backup plan in case Bill sits him again.

Other (not so popular in a pinch) Options With Favorable Match ups:

DeVante Parker and Danny Amendola

Duke Johnson

D.J. Moore

Isaiah Crowell

Willie Snead

Frank Gore

Terrelle Pryor (QB play?)

Fantasy Soaring vs Fantasy Boring

Week 9

We are a little over half-way done with the season. Is your fantasy team soaring into the playoffs, or is your roster full of boring losers? Here’s some info to help you finish the rest of the season on a high note!

Soaring! (guys to target)

Sammy Watkins:

Yes it’s the man that nobody knows when to start, but let me ease that concern for you a little. Watkins has 16 targets in his last two games. He also has a goaline target in every game but one this season. Tyreek Hill came away with a groin strain in week 8, that could mean a bump for Mr. Watkins! So don’t let him sit on your bench this week and fire him up while the getting is good!

Kenyan Drake:

You could put Drake in the boring category for the first quarter of the season but that is mainly because of his coach and his fellow running back, the most boring (and maybe oldest) person in football Frank Gore…but Drake is averaging almost 14 touches over his last four games and he hasn’t had fewer than 78 yards in that span. I like what I am seeing from a usage perspective with Drake and wouldn’t be afraid to throw him in my lineup as a flex/RB3. He might be of use to your team and you can still probably get him at a decent price.

Phillip Lindsay:

Lindsay finally got the backfield to himself….well almost to himself, he did yield some work to Booker. Lindsay ran 18 times for 95 yards with a rushing TD, and also added 3 receptions for 17 yards. It is clear that he is the most talented back on that roster who can do it all. One reason I want to grab this guy is looking at his schedule. He plays Houston this week and then goes on a bye, so there may be some opportunity to buy low there. He comes back and gets the Chargers and Steelers in games that should have high over under scores. In Weeks 13-16 he gets Cincinnati, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Oakland! I see great things ahead for Lindsay the rest of the year, even with Freeman coming back.   

Courtland Sutton:

We have heard a lot of rumors regarding Thomas and or Sanders being moved at the deadline. I think Thomas ends up being the one on the move and Sutton would benefit from this! UPDATE: Thomas has been traded to the Texans! This is the perfect scenario for Sutton owners. Look for Sutton to see a big boost in targets and production. If you have the number one waiver priority and he is out there, use it!

Tre’Quan Smith:

He didn’t have a big week vs Minnesota but he ran 92% of the routes and is the clear #2 wideout. Brees won’t be held under 200 yards passing every week, and I look for some big games to come from Smith.

Soaring (guys to pick-up)

D.J. Moore: breakout game vs a very good defense. If you need a receiver go get him!

DeVante Parker: I put this here because a lot of people are high on him now, I am not. Pick up at your own risk/need.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Out producing Allison and looks like he could be in line for more solid production.

Peyton Barber: If you ever had him earlier you probably dropped him, but he is the starter and looking good. The rookie Jones also will be out with a hammy injury, go get him.

Elijah McGuire: Remember this guy? McGuire returned to practice last week and is scheduled to come off the IR this week. Powell is on IR and Cannon hasn’t done much to distance himself. If you have the roster space he’s a good one to get.

Josh Adams: Most productive back last week but they are on bye. This will still be a headache but he’s probably out on your wire.

Keke Coutee: Will Fuller is out and this is a guy that was also probably dropped. Someone other than Hopkins will have to catch the ball. This is of course dependent on if they make a trade or not. Update: Demaryius Thomas has been traded to the Texans! This of course hurts Coutee’s production. Coutee could still be productive but temper your expectations for him moving forward.

Jack Doyle: The guy wears a C on his jersey. He out snapped Ebron and looked great, if he is out there game on!

David Moore: been very productive and has 4 touchdowns in 3 games. Doug Baldwin who?

Ryan FitzMAGIC: He’s back and has been named the starter, averaged 400 passing yards a game at the beginning of the season when he was a starter.

Boring: (Guys I’m looking to move)

Doug Baldwin:

Last week I said I thought Doug Baldwin would return to form after showing some promise before bye week. That was wrong and if he is on any of my teams I’m looking to move him to someone who is old enough to remember when he was good. Since his return from injury he is averaging only 4 targets a game and 3.5 receptions totaling 39 yards….You can find more production on the waiver wire.

David Johnson:

What happened to this guy? Last week we heard all the hype about a new offensive coordinator making Johnson a focal point. Well can the coordinator play offensive line? Johnson saw 20 touches in week 8 and still wasn’t able to produce for fantasy. Poor offensive line play, with a rookie qb seeing stacked boxes has Johnson on the low end of production every week. The owner of this guy has to be sick of running him out there every week, so luckily they are on bye. If I’m a team competing for a playoff run, I’m looking to move Johnson to a team who likes watching highlights from 2016. Cut your ties and see what you can get for that name value!

Kenny Golladay:

What happened to this so called number one WR? He has 3 targets over his last two games and it is clear he is not the number one wr on his team. There is some talk that Golden Tate may be traded and this would take Golladay off this list for me, but if Tate stays, I would look to either bench or see what I can get for Kenny G! UPDATE!!!! Golden Tate was traded today to the Eagles and will be on bye in week 9. Like I said yesterday before the trade, this takes Golladay off my sell list. I look for Golladay and Jones to both see a big boost in Targets and production!

Dalvin Cook:

At what point do we start seeing Cook on the wire? This nagging bag of injuries has been useless since week 3 of last year. Rumor now is he won’t play until week 11 and that’s not even a given. If you don’t own Murray there’s no point to hold onto Cook. I wouldn’t recommended dropping just yet, but I’d be fine with cutting ties at this point and try to package him with someone else to upgrade at a position if you can.

Boring: (go ahead and cut)

Raheem Mostert, Al Morris: What a headache this backfield has been for fantasy owners! If I’m not a breida owner I want nothing to do with any of these guys and I’d be fine using their spot on my team to house a second defense with good matchups.

Cameron Meredith: Anyone else tired of holding this guy? He’s been a non-factor, even after the Ginn injury. He could have one or two good games by the end of the season, but you can’t trust him.

Geronimo Allison: Being outplayed by the rookie and looking like a waste of a roster space. (this could also be said for his teammate Ty Montgomery).

Duke Johnson: Guy has been on a lot of rosters still leading up to week 9…that is something to be said for a guy who has had 6 or fewer touches in every game this season. What are you waiting for? Go find yourself lighting in a bottle somewhere else, because it does not live in Cleveland.

Royce Freeman:

This one hurts, because I was high on him all off-season. It is time to cut ties and say goodbye. Lindsay is the local kid who has taken total control of this backfield. Freeman can be dropped in all leagues, unless you are a Lindsay owner with a deep bench.

Jordy Nelson:

Cooper is gone, where was his WR1 performance? The closest he came to the number 1 was the 1.90 fantasy points he scored this week. The week before the bye he sat at 1.60 and has been a ghost ever since. When you start losing your job to Brandon Lafell it’s time for you to retire. Well retire from my fantasy team at least, he gone!