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Maurice Morris — I’m fairly certain that I was the only one talking this cat up all week and it paid off with a huge effort on Sunday. I speculated that Morris could touch the ball close to 20 times and he responded with 17 carries for 126 yards and a rushing touchdown along with six looks, five receptions, and 35 receiving yards. That’s a solid 20+ point effort in most formats.
Advice: I see no reason why anything would change in weeks 16 and 17. Morris should continue to approach 20 touches each week unless the team decides to give Aaron Brown a chance to show what he do. I can’t guarantee Morris will go over the century mark again, but he’s a solid RB2 play in 12 team leagues.
Jerome Harrison — Not many people had Harrison in their lineup this week and rightfully so. There was no telling if Harrison would see most of the looks, or if it would be Chris Jennings, who saw 20 carries in week 14, compared to just seven for Harrison.
Still, even has the backup, Harrison should’ve been considered a very deep sleeper up against the porous Chiefs. He showed up big time with 34 carries, 286 yards, and three touchdowns in what is the biggest fantasy performance by a running back this season.
This is not Harrison’s first big game of the season. Back in week four he went for 152 yards on 34 touches, but the next week he touched the ball just eight times with Jamal Lewis back in the fold. Lewis is gone now, but Jennings is still in the mix in Cleveland.
Advice: You almost have to consider Harrison in your flex spot for week 16, but you shouldn’t feel comfortable about it and you won’t hear me recommending it. The Browns run offense has been anything but effective for a majority of the season and the split in carries has been off the charts inconsistent. He has upside, but don’t be shocked if he ends up with 28 total yards on nine touches.
Michael Bush — An injury to Justin Fargas allowed Michael Bush to rush for 133 yards and a score on 18 carries against Denver on Sunday. Prior to that game, Bush had carried the ball only eight times since week 11. Fargas’ injury seems to be minor and if he is back in the fold next week, Bush cannot be relied on for double-digit looks once again. Although you’d expect him to see more looks after such a strong effort, it’s still a three-headed monster in Oakland.
Advice: Unless Fargas is out or Coach Cable says otherwise, Bush is third in line for carries and should not be considered in any format. If Fargas is out or Bush is named the RB2, those of you in very deep leagues who are desperate for help at your flex spot can consider his services.
Jason Snelling — Michael Turner made his return in week 15, which led to the masses dropping Snelling. Turner lasted only one carry before sitting out the rest of the game and it’s unknown whether he will suit up for the rest of the season, especially considering that Atlanta has been eliminated from the playoffs. Snelling ended up with only 64 yards, but did have an intriguing 21 looks, which was 10 more than seen by Jerious Norwood.
Advice: Snelling has done an okay job filling in for Turner when he’s missed time and that, coupled with the fact that he could start the team’s final two games, means he’s worth consideration as a flex play going forward. That said, if Turner plays, Snelling should not be in your lineup.
Derrick Ward — Whenever I’ve had an empty roster spot this season, Ward has been a player I’ve consistently turned to. Cadillac Williams has stayed relatively healthy so it hasn’t quite paid off as I’d hoped, but consider that in week 15, Ward carried the ball 19 times compared to 12 for Williams. Williams did, however, rack up 88 total yards on 13 touches, which was more efficient than the 73 yards on 20 touches for Ward. Neither has been overly impressive this season, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the timeshare.
Advice: You can’t rely on 20 touches for Ward unless news breaks that he is the new starter. If you have a roster spot to fill, he’s a good speculative pick for your bench, but nothing more right now.
Lance Moore — Moore was back in the fold in week 15 and took advantage by scoring a touchdown despite only two looks. Despite the score, two looks should concern you if you’re considering using him in week 16 for several reasons.
(a) It’s two looks. That’s not a lot
(b) The Saints threw the ball 45 times, which is almost a dozen more pass attempts than they average a game this season
(c) The percentage of passes going to his teammates was about the same as in recent weeks. I’d mention that Jeremy Shockey was out as another reason to be skeptical of Moore, but David Thomas filled in with a whopping 10 targets, which is more than even Shockey is accustomed to.
Advice: Moore will always have decent potential because of the outstanding offense he is a part of, but he’s going to have trouble finding playing time with all the stars around him. At this point, he’s only worth a desperate play in a deep league.
Malcom Floyd — Floyd didn’t exactly light it up after Chris Chambers was cut loose, but he’s now been targeted a total of 16 times over the last two games. That is a healthy number for a player not being used in most leagues, but part of the reason for that is the fact that he’s caught only seven of those 16 balls.
Advice: Any player seeing eight targets a game in an above average offense is worth keeping an eye on. Floyd isn’t the safest play, but he has a ton of upside and is worth consideration in WR-deep leagues.
Josh Morgan — One of the most popular sleepers heading into this season, Morgan has been a disappointment for fantasy owners who reached on him in their draft. He’s quietly been picking it up over the last few weeks, as he’s now been targeted eight times in three of the 49ers last four games.
His numbers from the last four games (which include a three-catch, 14-yard week 14 effort) total to 29 targets, 22 receptions, 174 yards, and two touchdowns. Morgan is the third option in San Francisco with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis keeping Alex Smith busy, but he’s a talented receiver yet to break out who is now seeing almost double-digits in looks every game.
Advice: Definitely worth considering in deeper leagues and someone you should definitely snag for your bench if you’re in any type of dynasty league. The Gore-Crabtree-Morgan-V Davis offense has tons of potential.
Bo Scaife — Although Scaife is anything but a gamebreaker, he’s been extremely consistent over the last 6 games and is worth a mention. In those six games, he’s been targeted 42 times, has 25 receptions, 261 yards, and one score.
He was targeted 10 times on one occasion and has caught five balls, three times. His high for yardage is 68. What does that all mean? It means he’s a safe play for close to eight points in PPR formats and considering all the targets, it’s only a matter of time before he gets into the endzone again.
Advice: Again, he doesn’t have a ton of breakout potential, but he’s safe for four catches, 50 yards. If you’re desperate for tight end help and looking around on the Waiver Wire, he’s worth a look.
Quick Hits and Follow Ups
Arian Foster / Ryan Moats / Chris Brown — I’ve been preaching this and preaching this. Stay away from Houston running backs. Everyone was excited about Foster this week and I just didn’t understand it. All it takes is one fumble and the “starter” gets sent to the bench for the rest of the game. Anyone who owned Steve Slaton or Ryan Moats knows all about this. If you played Foster in week 15, now you do, too.
Felix Jones — His touches continue to increase over the last month or two and it’s something worth keeping an eye on. Since week 11, he’s seen no fewer than nine looks in any given week. His latest effort was 15 looks (14 touches) against the Saints. He racked up 68 yards on those touches and is still averaging just under six yards per carry.
Greg Camarillo — Mentioned him last week after he was targeted 17 times in two games. Make it 27 times in three games after 10 more looks this week. He only caught five of them for 46 yards, but bump him up a few notches on your watch list.
Devin Aromashodu — Devin Hester was out again so another guy I mentioned last week saw significant action. Aromashodu saw 10 more targets, but disappointed in the execution part of the deal with only twp receptions for 10 yards. Hard to recommend him going forward, but if Hester is out again in week 16, those double-digit targets in back-to-back weeks make him worth consideration in deeper leagues.
Bernard Berrian — seven targets, five catches, 36 yards. Six targets , four catches , 43 yards. Five targets, three catches , 25 yards. Those are Berrian’s stat lines from his last three games. Add to the equation that Brett Favre and the running game are struggling and that 6-4-35 average line feels even worse.
Kevin Curtis — Back in the fold in week 15, but was targeted only twice. Jeremy Maclin should still be out in week 16, but there is no reason to believe Curtis will see more than 4-5 looks a game going forward with Jackson, Celek, Avant, and Brown ahead of him for looks. He has potential because this offense is so stellar, but he’s not worth the gamble this week.
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