Week 13: Start 'Em
Well we are finally here. Most leagues finish their regular season either this weekend or next, so most of you should know where you stand in terms of making the playoffs. As we are getting into week 13 each fantasy owner should know who their best players are, who gives them the best chance to win. If you are dealing with any of the numerous injuries out there, you might want to take a look below and throw one of these guys into your starting lineup. As is always the case, please feel free to contact me later in the week if you have a specific question about your lineup or roster. Good luck and May the Force be with you.
Last week I wrote about Rusty Smith and boy was I wrong, but the Titans have such a juicy match-up that if Kerry Collins is cleared to play, he makes for a great start. Collins has never been very mobile, but has had a great arm and some good deep threats. Most of all, he is a solid start because he faces Jacksonville (who gave up 226 yards and 2 TD's to a Giants offense playing without Nicks or Smith). That's how bad the Jags' pass D is. So follow Collins' injury status; if he is healthy, give him a chance to show you what he's got in this great match-up.
When you are the backup to Adrian Peterson, you can't expect to get too many carries or too many looks in the offense. So rookie Toby Gerhart has had to sit patiently waiting for his chance to show the Vikings fans why Minnesota drafted him in the first place. Finally this past week, Gerhart got his chance for extended play time with Peterson leaving the game early to deal with an ankle injury. Gerhart set career highs in carries (22) and yards (76) and scored his first career TD. Peterson will have an MRI to see the extent of the injury, but if he can't go, Gerhart is a must start as the Vikings face a beat up Bills run defense. Stay on top of the Peterson injury situation and if he's not good to go then Gerhart is a worthy start.
Ever since Mark Clayton went down early in the season, the Rams have been trying to find a WR who can stretch the field and get the double teams away from Danny Amendola. In week six that guy was Danario Alexander, as he caught 4 passes for 72 yards and 1 TD, but unfortunately he suffered a minor injury the next week and he missed the next three games. This past weekend Alexander returned to the field and helped the Rams offense put away the Broncos, as he stretched the field by catching 4 passes for 95 yards, missing a TD by inches as he got tackled on the 1 inch line. As long as Alexander can stay healthy (and that's always a big if) after going through many knee surgeries, he should be a solid flex start (especially this coming week when the Rams face off vs. the Cardinals). Give him a look.
When I say WR on the Eagles, most of you either think of DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin, but there is another WR who seems to fly under the radar and that's Jason Avant. While Avant doesn't have the play making ability of Jackson or Maclin, he does have great hands and runs great routes; playing in a pass first offense leaves him lots of chances to make plays. In 2 of the last 3 games Avant has been a focal point of the offense (going off for 5 catches 76 yards and 1 TD two weeks ago and 8 catches for 83 yards last weekend), so look for that to continue. This week the Eagles face off vs. the worst pass D in the NFL, the Houston Texans. Look for the Eagles to pass on them all day and put up massive yards. Avant makes for a very good flex start in a PPR league.
When the Raiders selected Jacoby Ford in the 2010 NFL draft, most fans assumed he was just another in a long list of super fast WRs -- he'd have trouble actually doing anything more then run fast. When the season began, Ford was simply playing on special teams as the team's kick returner, but with the injuries piling up at the receiver spot, Ford has been used recently as a WR not just a returner. So far the results have been much better than anyone could have expected, gaining over 100 yards in 2 of the last 3 games. Every team is always looking for a big time play maker and that's exactly what Ford seems to be. If you are having WR issues like the Raiders, then you might want to start Ford as a solid flex start.