It’s hard to believe we’re in Week Five, but for fantasy owners it means one month’s worth of trend data. We now have enough data to notice some legitimate trends. It’s important to follow them to sell high on some players and buy low on others while deciding who to release and who to keep. What did I see and notice from Week Four and earlier heading into Week Five?
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed us Monday night he could be one of the league’s best quarterbacks statistically and probably have more wins if the offensive line could keep him off his back! He has been taken down 20 times so far, which breaks down to five sacks per game. He’s four sacks “ahead” of the next quarterback, the Buffalo Bills‘ Trent Edwards. C’mon, man! Give Rodgers the protection he needs or consider your Super Bowl dreams lost!
Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis (calf, ankles) is still an adequate fantasy performer, but he’s done as a high-end fantasy back. You can’t waive him, nor can you bench him most weeks. What you need to do is be practical with him and look at him as no better than a No. 3, flex, or bye week or injury fill-in fantasy player. As an analogy, Bengals running back Cedric Benson is a must-play every week now. However, the first few weeks we looked at the matchups to decide whether to play him. Sadly that is the category Portis now falls into. Don’t expect anything more, and if you can trade him for something valuable, try to, because I believe he’ll get worse as the season progresses.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is performing worse than almost anyone expected. Sadly, I did expect his current production but stupidly took him in one league, and as soon as I took him I knew I would regret it. The team is utilizing him as best they can in the first four weeks with 12, 28, 19 and 23 touches, respectively, along with 10 total red zone touches – but he isn’t producing! His yards-per-carry averages are horrific (1.8, 3.3, 2.0 and 2.9, respectively, in the last four games), and his yardage is pathetic with 47.25 rushing yards per game. At what point do we dump him? I was ready to this week until I realized he was still the best of the worst on the waiver wire for running backs. That is, his utilizations keep me from dropping him, but I don’t think he will improve much, if any. He’s a horrible fit in Kansas City, and the team needs to explore trading him for anything right now! The Cleveland Browns did a great job of trading baggage, and the Chiefs should, too.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston belongs in point-per-reception (PPR) lineups every week. He has 15 targets in the last two weeks of play, and it’s clear Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is not afraid to throw to the open receiver versus forcing it to Larry Fitzgerald. Breaston only has two red zone targets, thus the PPR recommendation. He’s a given as a No. 3, flex, or bye or injury fill-in fantasy player.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman may have passed Joey Galloway on the depth chart, but his position as the team’s No. 3 wideout is not exactly titillating. He’s sharing time with Sam Aiken and in Week 4 had one reception and one target, while Aiken, despite only one reception, had five targets. Don’t drop Edelman yet if you’ve paid a bundle for him as I did in a high-stakes league. He’s still learning the game and may take a little while to be a viable No. 3, flex position, bye week or injury fill-in. However, if you’re in a basic, sign-and-release league instead of a bid league, you can drop him.
Oakland Raiders tight end Zach Miller (concussion) may become a casualty of the fantasy Turk for owners who need a body to waive! This has nothing to do with his play: The real problem is his quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, who’s becoming known as JaAwful Russell. He’s the league’s worst quarterback with his decision making and arguably the most inaccurate to play the game in the last 10 years! Despite six targets in Week 4, Miller only had three receptions for 33 yards. For the year, he has 20 targets, five per week. Only waive him if you have no one else on roster to drop. Right now he only has value as a bye week or injury fill-in because of his targets.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is turning me into a fan … it only took 16 years! Why you ask? He’s finally playing like the quarterback he should have become over a decade ago. He’s not shooting from the hip – he’s playing with intensity on every play instead of trying to force the issue. To be frank, this past Monday night was the best I’ve ever seen him play for four quarters! Sure, laugh at me, but I’m just calling it like I see it. This is the Favre I can root for; the underdog, the savvy gunslinger, someone who I’d try to grab on every waiver wire he’s still available in. Yes, he is still available in some leagues! However, if you own him and someone offers the farm, you should consider it. I believe he has limited shelf life and will break down as the year progresses.
For other players and detailed breakdowns, check out KFFL.com’s own waiver wire and other articles. Regardless of what you use, it’s up to you to make sure the players or defenses listed conform to your league’s scoring rules.
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