The golden rule in fantasy football is this: Don’t overreact.
Just because a player had a good week last week, does not mean he is destined for super stardom. Think your transactions through. Decide who really possesses long-term value and who is just a flash in the pan. At the end of the season you will be thankful that you did.
"Red Light, Green Light" can help guide you through some of those names you have been thinking about.
If you followed my advice last week, you will notice that Brandon LaFell and Dennis Pitta had pretty good games. While Randall Cobb and Kevin Ogletree flopped, I still think the pieces are in place for them to achieve success the remainder of the season.
Three of my four "Red Light" picks predictably flopped, and I am sticking by the notion that Alfred Morris will not hold the starting running back job all year in Washington.
So with that said, here are this week's picks.
As a reminder, my "Green Light" players are guys I think you should pick up for the long haul, if you already have not.
"Yellow Light" players have shown nice potential but still have red flags that limit me from going all in on them.
Lastly, "Red Light" players are guys who I think you should avoid. Do not be fooled by a fluky one-week performance.
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams
Who leads the NFL in receptions? And second in targets? And third in receiving yards? If you had not guessed yet, the answer to all of these is Amendola. And he is only 57 percent owned in ESPN leagues.
Can I get an “Amen” for Danny?
Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
So Amendola is third in the NFL in receiving yards, do you know who is fourth? Yes sir, none other than Brent Celek. Celek is coming off a monster game in which he caught eight passes for 157 yards.
The reason for all the success could largely be due to the fact that go-to receiver Jeremy Maclin is dealing with a hip pointer injury. Maclin is expected to miss this weekend’s game, which leaves the door open for more fantasy domination by Celek.
Even when Maclin returns, I believe Celek has become one of Michael Vick’s most reliable receivers, giving him fantasy relevance throughout the season.
Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants
Martellus Bennett had always been overshadowed by Jason Witten in Dallas. However, now he is the No. 1 tight end for the Giants, and reminds me—in terms of stature—of both Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham (remember what those two accomplished last year?).
He has already caught one touchdown in both games this year, and should benefit especially from Hakeem Nicks’ absence Thursday night. I think Bennett finishes as a top 10 tight end this year, given the Giants' dependence on the passing game.
Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants
I liked what I saw from Andre Brown this past week, as he delivered 90 total yards and a touchdown, stepping in for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw. However, to be honest, I had never heard of Brown prior to that game, given that was his first major NFL action, despite being a third-year pro.
I would like to see more from him before I consider him worthy of a start in fantasy football. However, this week might be your only option, because Bradshaw will likely return next week.
Start Brown only if you are desperate.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
Hartline almost earned a "green light" recommendation from me this week. He ripped the Raiders for 111 yards on nine catches, garnering 12 targets from rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Those are definitely starter numbers in the fantasy realm, particularly in PPR leagues.
But let us not forget that he does have a rookie throwing to him, and no matter how promising that rookie may be, he is destined for his ups and downs this season (just rehash his putrid Week 1 performance of three interceptions and a 39.0 QB rating).
Given that inconsistency, Hartline will at best mimic those same results. I would only add Hartline if you are in a PPR league, but don’t expect consistency given his limiting situation.
Donnie Avery, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Donnie Avery has always been known for having great speed and good receiving skills. His knock is that he is injury-prone. Thus far in 2012, he has been healthy and delivering for any fantasy owners willing to take a risk on him.
He is sneakily in the top 25 in the NFL in receiving yards, targets and receptions.
But not only do you have to worry about Avery injuring himself, but also be concerned about the return of Austin Collie, which is likely to happen soon. Only add and start Avery if you know Collie is inactive for the Colts on Sunday.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
I know you are looking up who this is right now. You know that Shonn Greene is the starting running back for the Jets. And that LT retired and Joe McKnight was the most recent backup.
But I want to put Bilal Powell on your radar because I have a sneaky suspicion he may steal the starting running back position from Greene if he is not careful. Greene is averaging a dismal 3.1 yards per carry on the year and has put the ball on the ground twice (only Michael Vick has fumbled more).
This past week versus the Steelers, Powell had nearly as many carries in the game as Greene, and averaged almost twice as many yards per carry. The Jets love to run, and I am sure they love to win too. So to make the latter happen, they might have to give Powell a starting chance, before long.
Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals
A lot of folks were high on Williams entering the season, believing he could steal the starting job in Arizona away from the injury-prone Beanie Wells. I guess he isn’t quite over his torn patellar tendon though, because in two games Williams has carried the ball 18 times for a measly 22 yards.
With a performance like that, Beanie’s starting job will remain very secure.
Robert Meachem, WR, San Diego Chargers
Meachem is another guy we all had high hopes for this year, as he escaped the target share in New Orleans to become “the No. 1 receiver” in San Diego. If he could even come close to delivering Vincent Jackson numbers, all of his owners would be content.
Well, the opposite has happened thus far. Meachem does not look in sync with Philip Rivers, and he has only caught two passes for 49 yards in two games so far (no receptions this past week). That is not a good sign for the future.
Keep an eye on him, but he is not even worthy of a roster spot at this point.
Follow Andrew McFadden on Twitter @andrewmcfadden.
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