By Zach Kilpatrick
The Meridian Star
So you made it past the first round, or you are playing in a dynasty league and need to know who to pick up, or you just want to avoid finishing last in your league in order to not lose a bet. Whatever your reason for reading I am glad that you are, and I am going to give you a couple of guys that you may be able to insert to help you out this week:
Alex smith (KC)- I know, I know they say he is just a “game manager” and the word means that he doesn’t score much. Here are the facts— he has at least two touchdowns in each of the past four weeks and three touchdowns in two of those games.
He has over 200 yards in three of those games and would have this past week if they hadn’t completely destroyed the Redskins.
The next two weeks he gets the 20th and 29th ranked pass defenses, and he is a good player to stash on your bench for the last week in case of an injury. He is available in about 30 percent of leagues.
Montee Ball (DEN)- Ball is a guy that is second on the depth chart and that is always something to be wary of. However on a team that puts up numbers like this Denver team, there are lots of carries and fantasy points to go around. He has double-digit fantasy points in three of the last four weeks and is available in about 20 percent of leagues if you need help at running back.
Joique Bell (DET)- Last week Reggie Bush injured his calf and sat out. If he misses any more time Bell will get basically all of the carries and Matt Stafford isn’t afraid to throw it to him either. If you have Bush, or not, I highly recommend grabbing Bell. Available in about 37 percent of leagues.
Julian Edelman (NE)- You saw Edelman here last week, and I wouldn’t run him again, except with Rob Gronkowsi going down for the year, he is even more of a must-have now. He has averaged about 16 points over the last three weeks and will be targeted even more as the Patriots fight for home-field advantage. He is available in about 65 percent of leagues.
Michael Crabtree (SF)- So, Crabtree is back and getting into shape. He isn’t quite a safe play yet, but I would be targeting him to play in week 16 against a mediocre Atlanta secondary. He is available in about 75 percent of leagues.
Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN)- I almost didn’t run his name because it is almost too long to fit on the page, but he is a guy to look at for sure. He scored 20 points this past week and is getting more and more snaps and touches. On top of that, he is matched up against the league-worst Eagles secondary this week, and if your league plays a two week final into Week 17, the 28th worst Lions are his opponent. He is available in almost all leagues.
Ladarius Green (SD)- Green is an up-and-coming player who has had some big weeks recently and is seeing a lot more snaps. He is 6-6 and runs a 4.4 40, and is playing a Denver team that is 31st vs tight ends. If you have no other options he could be an intriguing play. If you are in a dynasty league, he is a must-have.
Thursday Night Start ‘em Sit ‘em:
This is a team that will have to score early and often to try and match Denver, and I believe they will. Philip Rivers is a must play this week and I could see Keenan Allen as a top 10 wide receiver as well. Danny Woodhead and Ryan Matthews are both pretty decent options, but if they get behind early and have to throw I like Woodhead a lot more, especially in PPR leagues. Antonio Gates and Tyrone Green are both intriguing plays (see above), and Gates is safer while Green has more upside. If you usually play Nick Novak he should have a good night as well.
Do I have to tell you to play Peyton Manning? The wide receivers for Denver are always good plays as well (Eric Decker and DemaryiusThomas), but watch Wes Welker as he may be out due to another concussion.
I really like Knowshon Moreno this week, and if your roster is really thin Montee Ball could be a decent flex play as well. If I had Julius Thomas I would play him and expect big things, and I would play Matt Prater as well.