One of my favorite strategies when it comes to assembling a fantasy football team is to take advantage of the fluidity of the running backs and look to upgrade my RB2 as the year progresses. The first step in this process is to take some fliers on running backs during your draft and hope you can keep them long enough so they get their chance. Coming into this season, I identified four targets and at least to this point, I have chosen poorly. While the likes of Delone Carter and Kendall Hunter populate many of my rosters, my opponents are reaping the benefits of my passing on Roy Helu and DeMarco Murray. I suppose I should not complain about this, but I will anyway. In the leagues I could most use help at RB2, I have been at or near the top of the standings and waivers are via reverse standings which means I get my choice of the best available defense every week, not the hot running back or wide receiver. The good news is we are getting close to the point in the season where the standings are getting striated and teams need to make a desperation trade to compete or in keeper leagues, make a deal to help next season. I hope I have put myself in a position to take advantage either way and make a deal to augment my running back position.
I was frolicking in the Arizona sun last week and was unable to discuss my entry in the SiriusXM Salary Cap Challenge, which as it turns out was a good thing as my scuffles continue after a solid start. But that is not going to stop me from plugging away again. And actually, I feel a little better about this week’s entry as the salaries have been adjusted for the first time this season so we all have to review the inventory to find the bargains.
QB: Matthew Stafford ($6300) – I ended up with Stafford by default as I decided to move away from the very top tier of QB, pick the other positions and see what was left, then decide if there was someone I liked to fit in under the cap. As it turns out, Stafford fits perfectly. He has struggled a little the past few weeks so his number has fallen a bit. The Bears defense is good, but it is not the daunting unit of the past and it can be beaten by the pass.
RB: Arian Foster ($9800) – When healthy, I feel Foster is the most dangerous player in the league, and he is looking pretty spry. The fact he is a threat both as a runner and a receiver means he is not likely to put up a complete buzzkill game, and with Andre Johnson still out, Foster will be called upon to make things happen catching balls out of the backfield.
RB : Roy Helu ($4000) – I am pretty sure anyone paying attention will have Helu on their roster after last week’s 14 catch explosion. You don’t need me to tell you he won’t do that again, but it is pretty obvious Helu is now the man in Mike Shanahan’s offense. And with due respect to the nickname “Shenanigans” when it comes to how the Redskins Head Coach handles his backfield, sometimes you use a committee when you have no Chairman.
WR: Calvin Johnson ($8900) – While there is something to be said for diversifying your portfolio, I have no issue double-dipping with the Lions QB/WR combo. I used to think the only person that could guard Michael Jordan back in the day was Michael Jordan. While Megatron obviously does not play defense so the line is not quite the same, you get my point, the only person that can cover Johnson would be his defensive twin.
WR: Brandon Lloyd ($6400) – As the season wears on and Sam Bradford and Lloyd get to know each other better, Lloyd has the chance to be a real difference maker. If you have a chance to get Lloyd in a deal, he makes a great target for a squad looking to fortify for a playoff run.
WR: Earl Bennett ($4000) – While I do not expect Bennett to go off, he is the favorite receiver of Jay Cutler who has quietly ratcheted up his game lately. In a PPR league, Bennett will do his job which is important as you need some stable foundation from which to build upon.
Flex: Willis McGehee ($4700) – This is the selection I like the least as it seems too much like a lemming pick, but McGehee is the starter and the price is right. I am not counting on another long scamper, but a solid day against the Chiefs is likely.
TE: Jason Witten ($7700) – Going rather expensive at tight end hindered the QB slot, but I like the way it turned out. With Miles Austin out again, there is a good chance Witten has a larger role in the game plan, and he is always Tony Romo’s safety blanket so his production should be quite high.
K: Robbie Gould ($4000) – Again hoping to zag while most everyone else zigs and takes the cheapest active kicker, Dan Dailey. I can fit in the extra couple hundred and Gould should be good for at least a couple of field goals against rival Detroit.
DEF: Jacksonville ($4000) – So, do you still think Curtis Painter isn’t that bad?
Good luck to you and your squads this week.