This is it – the last match up of the regular season. After demolishing my opponent by 103FPts last week I currently sit in third place overall and on top of my division, so it looks like I will be extending my season for at least another week. A lot of the players that have proven successful for me are still available in a majority of leagues on CBS, and would be great additions to your roster with the playoffs on the horizon.
The beat-down given by my team was led by a monster performance by Joe Webb. The UAB quarterback accounted for 6 touchdowns on his way to scoring a Week 10-best 59FPts. Webb looked impressive as he threw for 292yds and 4TDs, and ran for 120 and 2 scores. Even with these numbers, he is only owned in 41% of leagues, and only started by 16% of owners. Both numbers are surprising. If you’re in that other 59%, I would highly suggest picking him up; if you’re in the 16% that’s got him on the bench, you’re making a big mistake. On that note, Webb will keep his starting job against a disheveled Memphis squad.
My other option is Kellen Moore. Moore threw for nearly 350yds and 3TDs, but also logged a rare interception. This brings his 2009 totals to 27TDs and only 3INTs – a ratio that’s brought a lot of Heisman talk. So, its not that I don’t like Moore, I just like the state of upheaval that is the Memphis Tigers football, in terms of the potential for Joe Webb. If Moore is available in your league (owned in 29%), he would be a great addition even as a bench player.
Temple RB Bernard Pierce also showed up big in the Owls’ 34-32 win over Miami (OH). Pierce carried the ball 40 times for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns (35FPts). Since no one knows about him, he’s only on 18% of rosters, so there is a good chance he’s available in your league. If this is the case, pick him up!! Temple is playing a 2-7 Akron team, who is in the bottom 30% of the nation in rush yards allowed, giving Pierce an excellent opportunity to have another big week.
Now that Darius Marshall is back from a bye-week, I have to decide whether to start him, or Lance Dunbar alongside Pierce. The proverbial straw on the camel's back, comes in the form of defenses these players are rushing against. Marshall might have a shot at having a great game against Southern Miss, seeing as they allow an average of close to 120 yards per game. But Dunbar will be up against a Florida International defense who doubles that of Southern Miss, allowing nearly 250 yards rushing yards per game. I’m sticking with Dunbar, despite his off week of only rushing for 40yds and no scores.
Marshall, Dunbar, Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews, and Texas El Paso RB Donald Buckram are all owned in no more than 40% of leagues, so they might be available for you to pick up. Leading the nation with over 1400 yards in 2009, Mathews has also logged 14TDs. Buckram led the nation last week with 234yds and 3TDs (57FPts). Any/all of these RBs should be picked up in your league if available. They will only assist in adding to your arsenal.
Someone who should not be picked up, is LeGarrette Blount. Yes, he is a good running back and was supposed to be one of the best this season, but his shenanigans in Week 1 led him to an 8-game suspension. The Pac-10 and Oregon announced this week that Blount's has been reinstated and he is cleared to play. The bad news for fantasy coaches, is twofold: (1) We're not sure how he is going to come off of this hiatus in terms of strength and conditioning, and probably more importantly, (2) LaMichael James has had six games over 100yds rushing and 8TDs since Blount's midfield ruckus. James is an integral portion of the Ducks' offense and it will likely stay that way.
While Jordan Shipley (273) and Danario Alexander (214) led the nation in receiving yardage in Week 11, James Cleveland (WR – Houston) currently leads the nation in touchdowns (11) and fantasy scoring. Both Shipley and Alexander only scored once, while Cleveland found the endzone 3 times. I mentioned picking him up last week, but as of now he is owned in 40% of leagues and started in nearly all of them. Its likely that neither Shipley (94% owned) or Alexander (86% owned) are available in your league, but there is a chance that Cleveland still is. I am lucky enough to have both Alexander and Cleveland, but if I had an extra roster spot open, I would pick up Freddie Barnes (WR – Bowling Green). Barnes is second in fantasy scoring and touchdowns (10), but leads the nation in receiving yardage (1176)…and available in about 70% of leagues – so pick him up if you can!
At this point in the season, you should have a pretty good idea about who you should keep on the field. You might already be out of the competition (as I am in one of my NFL leagues), but if not, seriously take a look at some of these guys, because they could be the player that pulls you over the hump.