2:34 pm, November 20th, 2012
The 11th week of the Fantasy Football season was filled with maybe the most unlikely performances of the season, as a pair of Jacksonville Jaguars busted out for career games against the Texans. Yet some storylines remained the same. The Raiders defense is still terrible and makes any offense look like a juggernaut, and you should start a defensive unit that has the Chiefs as an opponent. There’s also one or two late-season waiver wire gems to be had. Takeaways, ahoy.
1.1. Chad Henne, Fantasy star?
In the most startling performance we have seen in some time, Chad Henne threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns against the mighty Houston defense. Rookie WR Justin Blackmon hauled in seven balls from Henne for 236 yards. Looking at Henne’s mediocre career track record, it’s hard to believe the performance was not a fluke. But you have to add him and Blackmon, just in case Henne has finally turned a corner in his career and Blackmon could be the one that benefits.
2.2. Matt Schaub can still let loose
In the same game, the Houston QB also had a career outing, throwing for 527 yards, five TDs and two interceptions. The Jaguars loaded up against the run and Schaub made them pay. Andre Johnson also had the game of his life, catching 14 passes for 273 yards and a TD. Schaub is unlikely to come anywhere close to such totals again this year, as the Texans are still a run-first team, and he’ll still have some ho-hum outings. It’s nice to see Johnson, though, reassert himself as a top Fantasy WR as the stretch run beckons.
3.3. Matt Ryan can implode at any time
Ryan has been a top Fantasy QB overall this year, but he can melt down when you least expect it. Ryan threw three interceptions vs. the Raiders in Week 6. He tossed five more against Arizona this week. You can’t fully trust Ryan as your ticket to a Fantasy championship.
4.4. A reminder about handcuffs
You should always roster the top backup of your starting running backs, because you can never tell who is going to go down in any given week. LeSean McCoy (concussion) and Willis McGahee (knee) are the latest victims, with the latter maybe being done for the year. Hopefully you rostered Bryce Brown and Ronnie Hillman as the respective handcuffs, if you were smart.
5.5. Injury madness
Darren Sproles looked like he was going to play. He did not. Darrius Heyward-Bey looked like he was going to sit out. He did not. Julio Jones played and was ineffective. All three injured guys served another reminder. Injuries can drive you absolutely crazy, and you have to stay on top of the news all day long.
6.6. Not all Raiders suck
Marcel Reece totaled 193 yards from scrimmage, as he has been a more than adequate replacement for the injured Darren McFadden. Reece is a must-start as a flex until McFadden returns. Well, he’s a must-start if you don’t have any other surefire options at the position. The bye weeks are done, and it may be tougher to keep a guy like Reece in the lineup in some cases.
7.7. Most TEs do, though
Rob Gronkowski is out for four to six weeks with a broken forearm. Unless you have Jimmy Graham or Jason Witten, the tight end position has frustrated you a lot recently. There simply aren’t any dependable or outstanding TEs other than the aforementioned two right now. It’s a weak link on most Fantasy teams, and if you lost Gronk, you’re now in the same unstable boat with most of your leaguemates. We all know Aaron Hernandez can’t stay healthy. If you own Brandon Myers, consider yourself “wealthy” as far as Fantasy TEs are concerned.
8.8. Danario Alexander is really relevant
The Chargers newest playmaker, pulled off the scrap heap, scored twice against Denver. Alexander has shown flashes of potential in the past, but had a lot of trouble staying healthy. He’s a big target with deep gears, a real matchup problem for defenses. Start him as long as he can stay on the field.
9.9. Another reminder: A.J. Green is the best WR in Fantasy
Sorry Megatron. When a guy scores in nine consecutive games, you give him that title. Green faces the Raiders next week. That’s just unfair.
10.10. Jermichael Finley lives
The overrated and frustrating Packers TE caught his first TD pass since Week 1 on Sunday. With the sorry state of TEs right now, you may be motivated to take a shot on Finley again. Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. You’ll be better off with Jermaine Gresham. Don’t get lured in again!
11.11. Mark Ingram is starting to rise
Ingram has rushed for 67 yards in two consecutive games and scored on Sunday. He is running with the most authority and confidence we have seen in his short career so far. You can add or use Ingram in leagues where you are desperate for RB help, even with the New Orleans RB situation being crowded. Ingram is emerging as the leading ballcarrier for the Saints.
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