Week 14: PPR Watch
PPR is here to stay and I love to make your team better. Agree or disagree with the picks? Let me hear it. Question about someone I didn't mention? Ask me in the comments section and follow me on Twitter. @MarkKadubec -- Playoff Edition! Hopefully you're chillin' like me with bye and watching your rivals eliminate each other. If not, good luck in Week 14!
Confident - A lot of fantasy owners may never forgive Mike Williams for what he did to them at the start of the season, but if they've made the playoffs anyway, his efforts over the past few weeks might earn a free pass. In the last 5 games, Williams is 7th in targets, 7th in receptions, and 17th in fantasy PPG. He hasn't had that enormous game that turns a lot of heads, but he has scored twice and been very consistent. If you were concerned that he'd fall off again with Josh Freeman injured, he didn't -- still targeted 9 times, he managed 5 catches for 93 yards. Josh Johnson has a big arm, and while it's probably better for Williams if Freeman is able to go this week against Jacksonville, the drop off to Johnson isn't dramatic. And Jacksonville.... did you see that game Monday night? Rivers threw 3 touchdowns to wide receivers' and with Mathis and Cox on IR, they're now starting undrafted rookies at corner. Play Williams.
Confident - I feel like Moss makes this list at least a couple times a year, and he's always a confident. In two games since coming back from a hand injury, Santana has been less than impressive, catching only 9 passes for 71 yards. Still, Moss has been targeted 19 times, and 12 of them came last week against the Jets. Normally sure handed, Moss had a pair of key drops in week 13 and may still be having problems with the injury, but the opportunity is there. With Fred Davis suspended for failing a drug test and done for the season, both Moss and Gaffney should see even more targets. If the matchup was bad, then I'd probably stay away, but that couldn't be further from the case. The Patriots have given up over 1100 yards to receivers over the past 5 games, the most in the league. For the season, they've given up the most fantasy PPG, period. Even if the Redskins get way behind (and they probably will), it just means garbage time for Moss. Enjoy.
Confident - Analysts have already started to drop the 'bust' word on Spiller, but let us remember that this is a kid that's still only 24 years old, and has only had 128 carries in his career. I think a lot of people believe that if Spiller truly had feature back potential, he'd have blazed by Fred Jackson on the depth chart. But Jackson has been woefully underrated for years, and it's not uncommon for rookie RBs to struggle for a while in pass protection. (See Beanie Wells, who lost playing time to Tim Hightower). Spiller now has his opportunity to show the Bills what he can do, and managed 102 total yards and a touchdown on 17 touches. Not too shabby. In week 14 he has a solid match-up against a Chargers defense that's allowed the 7th most fantasy points to RBs in the past 5 weeks. They haven't given up a ton of TDs, but they do allow a lot yards and Spiller can contribute in the passing game. If you need to use him, this is the week because I wouldn't let him get anywhere near my lineup against Miami in week 15.
Caution - When Matt Schaub went down for the season, there was a lot of talk that Owen Daniels would be the obvious beneficiary in the passing game. The assumption: 'Backup quarterbacks prefer short passing options, and will use the TE more.' You hear it all the time. It's not that it isn't true, but it is one of those things where the more you hear it, the more true it sounds, and the less prone you are to deeper analysis. Daniels IS getting his share of the passing offense, but even with Schaub the Texans were running the ball over 55% of the time and Daniels was only the 15th most targeted TE in the league. Since Yates has taken over, Daniels is down to 23rd in targets and has caught only 7 passes for 66 yards in those 2 games. The opportunity just isn't there. The Texans play the Bengals in week 14, and Cincinnati has allowed the 4th fewest fantasy PPG to TEs this year. Daniels is a risky start at best.
Caution - In PPR, you should have already been approaching Holmes with caution for some time now. His name and talent say 'must start'; his quarterback and stat line say 'stay away!'. Holmes has just 41 receptions on the year. That's less than Greg Little, Jason Avant, Early Doucet, and David Nelson. No offense to any of those guys, but that's not the kind of company you were expecting for Holmes when you drafted him. We've reached week 14. It's time to stop thinking of these guys in terms of the production you expected to get, and start looking at them for what they are. In Holmes' case, he's going to catch 3-5 balls for 50-60 yards, and catch a touchdown every other week. That's it. If it is more than you are likely to get from the other guys on your bench, start as usual; but if you've got a better match-up play, consider it. The Chiefs don't sound too bad, but over the past 5 weeks they've allowed only 2 touchdowns. Yes, they've played some mediocre passing offenses, but then again, most of the teams ranked lower in passing than the Jets are playing their second or third string quarterback.