Week 14: PPR Watch
Caution - I know it is crazy to say "wait" on a player that's been out for 4 weeks when it is likely the first round of the playoffs and you've finally gotten him back, but that's exactly what I'm going to do. If you're in the playoffs, you've probably found someone else to fill in over the past 4 weeks. Unless that player was Marcel Reece, I see little reason to rush McFadden back into your lineup. First off, he wasn't that productive before he was injured anyway, and even if the Raiders' line has been better the past few weeks, it is impossible to know what his workload will be. Most importantly, Denver has been one of the league's best teams against the run, allowing only 4 touchdowns all year. Assuming he gets 60% of the snaps, McFadden could contribute catching screen passes if/when the Raiders get behind, but there's just too much risk with too little reward here. Bench McFadden for now, hope he plays well; and if he does, then hopefully you can play him with confidence in week 15.
Caution - A popular add this week. Relying on a #2 WR in Detroit is hazardous, and no matter how many times Stafford drops back to pass, the position has been inconsistent at best. Enter Mike Thomas. In his 4th year, Thomas (still only 25) could be a nice fit in this Detroit offense, featuring similar size to a Titus Young and Ryan Broyles, but with more experience and proven ability as a route runner. From a fantasy standpoint, he's a fairly known quantity in PPR, having posted 66 catches with the Jags in 2010-2011. Unfortunately, as a known quantity, he's also not very dynamic. Thomas has shown little big play ability in his career, and despite being on the field for 91% of the snaps, he only had 4 targets. Stafford can't target Megatron 20 times every week, and even with Pettigrew getting more looks there should be more opportunity for Thomas this week. Still, how much more, and are you willing to put your playoff lives at stake on him? I'm not, but he's still worth a pickup and maybe consideration in 14 team+ leagues.