Week 16: Player Upgrades
Torrey Smith has emerged as one of my favorite keeper/dynasty league targets going forward and has been mentioned in Player Upgrades on a number of occasions this season. Fantasy owners in those formats should look to acquire his services, because Smith just looks like a special player to me. He's a big-play gamebreaker with tremendous potential to grow into a solid all-around receiver (like Mike Wallace did with the Steelers) in the future.
This past weekend, Smith matched a season-high with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Smith has scored in back-to-back games and despite a very difficult match-up on paper with the Cleveland Browns (who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season), Smith is worthy of a spot in fantasy owners' starting lineups due to his ability to make a big play and score at any moment.
With Deion Branch out of the lineup, the New England Patriots needed someone else to step up alongside Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker last weekend against the Denver Broncos; Aaron Hernandez answered the call. Hernandez (who has been featured in Player Upgrades on numerous occasions this season) set season-highs across the board this past weekend, reeling in nine passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. Hernandez is one of the most unique players at the tight end position in the NFL today. He is big enough to be a problem in the red-zone and against smaller defenders at the tight end position, while also having the ability to split out wide and make an impact as a wide receiver.
Fantasy owners in keeper and dynasty leagues should be targeting Hernandez going forward. Hernandez (along with Gronkowski) is going to be the central building block for the Patriots' explosive offense for years to come, which means that Hernandez' fantasy stock is on the rise for the future.