In the Books: Week 10
By: Chase Wheetley
The Emergence of Danario Alexander
Danario Alexander is a guy that has the talent to be a pickup that fantasy owners can ride to championships, but unfortunately his knees have never held up. As long as Alexander is healthy, so far in his career he has produced. In college at Missouri in his senior year he had 113 receptions for 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those stats may sound like a receiver that would go in the early rounds, but Alexander went undrafted after having knee surgery and missing most of the draft process. Knee injuries and hamstring problems have followed him during his short NFL career, but in the 20 games he’s played in now, his totals are 56 catches for 932 yards and 4 touchdowns. Alexander has been in San Diego two weeks and is already starting over Robert Meachem, which is almost as impressive as the fact that he hadn’t played in a game since the 2011 season until Week 9, when he came onto the scene. Even if he gets hurt again, be sure to stash him on your deep league rosters, because if he can recover he’ll probably be back in San Diego in a favorable situation next year. In fact, if you missed out on picking him up, him getting hurt may be the easiest way for you to get another shot at him. Keep your eyes out if something happens for league mates that abandon ship.
What Do We Have in Doug Martin?
I’ve been on the Doug Martin bandwagon all along, but I think even I underestimated what exactly we have in him. In my November rankings I ranked him as RB12, and for that I was wrong. Of course, I ranked him before his 250 yard, 4 touchdown performance of last week, but he did nothing different last week than he’s done all season. Martin is an explosive player that does everything right and plays in a run heavy offense. He has the perfect body to carry the load, and he has soft hands and is great in the passing game. I think the over/under on where Doug Martin lands in dynasty rankings should be around RB6. People that took him in the third and fourth rounds of dynasty startups this offseason are looking pretty smart right now.
Wherefore Art Thou Eli?
It’s been three games now since Eli Manning has thrown a touchdown. Nearly a quarter of the season. Eli, the guy that is supposed to be a safe, if unexciting QB1. Analysts are throwing around terms like “tired arm” to explain what’s going on. Eli reached rock bottom Sunday, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt on Sunday against the Bengals. I haven’t lost long-term confidence in Eli, but in both leagues where I own him I’ve been starting Andrew Luck over him the past two weeks. Hopefully he’ll look more like himself after the bye week. If so, and if Hakeem Nicks is healthy, this may be your last chance to make a buy-low offer for Nicks, because his numbers will pick up if Manning returns at full strength.
Looking Ahead at Playoff Schedules
I know it’s only Week 10, but now is the time I like to look ahead at playoff matchups and make a few short-term moves that may benefit me in the playoffs. I’m looking to trade prospects and picks in all my leagues right now for proven veterans with favorable playoff schedules. Target rebuilding teams in your league and just look up and down their roster on MFL, click the player’s profile, and look at his opponent’s rush and pass defense numbers in weeks 14-16. A few guys I’m looking to buy based on playoff matchups include Jamaal Charles, Ahmad Bradshaw, Dwayne Bowe, Jeremy Maclin, and Vincent Jackson. Several that I’m avoiding are Frank Gore, Sidney Rice, Malcom Floyd, Andre Johnson, and Owen Daniels.
Who Is Going to Bring Home Championships?
There are a few key players every year that win championships for their owners. There are only a few weeks left, but there is still time to identify and acquire these players. I touched on this idea above with the matchups, but now is the time to find guys that have underproduced this year but are still poised to break out before the season is over. There are plenty of candidates, and we probably all have our favorites. I’ll tell you now Jamaal Charles is mine. I’ll take Charles off of anyone’s hands if they are nervous about his future. He’s still the same player, has a favorable schedule, and there is nowhere to go but up as far as the future situation goes. I’ll be back in Week 13 to get one last edition in before the playoffs. Until then, find your guy(s), get him, and hopefully ride him to championships in all your leagues.
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