Value Up-Value Down: Week 13

Crunch time. I’m not talking about the exact moment that you bite down on your Kit Kat bar nor am I creating a phrase for urbandictionary that would be defined as having crack cocaine for lunch. I’m talking about week 13 in your fantasy football teams; a week where all team’s final destinies are determined. (If you stopped reading after the phrase “crack cocaine for lunch,” seek help immediately)

Week 13, like selling drugs, is all about risk/reward. If you’re a team in first and just need to hold your lead in total points to be rewarded the one seed, then you probably won’t be taking any risks. Similarly, let’s assume you decide to just sell small amounts of marijuana on the side. Playing it safe, because you just want to make a little money and stay where you are in life, would be like just selling it to your friends. On the other hand, if you are in a win or go home situation in say the 7th seed, you may want to make riskier decisions. You would then become the Walter White of fantasy football and need to resort to utter insanity immediately.

Whether you are selling a little dope or constructing an elaborate meth lab, we all have the same goal in week 13: win! If we don’t win, only bad things can happen, so let’s make sure we’re 100% smooth this week. Getting caught in the standings, or getting caught by police, it doesn’t matter. Both scenarios suck and are not something we want to deal with.

PSA: Stay off drugs kids……..that was just my fun little metaphor. We at FakePigskin promote a clean, substance free life!

Here are some players whose values have changed significantly since this time last week. Remember, as always, I try my best not to be so obvious with the players I choose……but at this point it’s difficult not to be.

Value Up:

Carson Palmer – Here are quarterbacks ranked according to fantasy points per game over the last 4 weeks: Foles, Brady, Stafford, Roethlisberger, Brees, Wilson, Fitzpatrick and Carson Palmer. Yes, somehow, someway, Palmer has worked his way into the QB8 spot over that span and QB1 consideration weekly. Arizona (and Bruce Arians) realizes their run game and offensive line have flaws. With Housler back and healthy, the team’s strength is their arsenal of talented pass catchers for Palmer to throw to. Between Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Rob Housler and Andre Ellington, Palmer has all the options he could possibly want/need to be successful. The results have been consistent production lately and with Philadelphia and St. Louis on the horizon, I expect those to continue in the near future. In fantasy football, the near future is all we have left, so continue roll with Palmer as a QB1.

Josh Gordon/Jordan Cameron – Isn’t Brandon Weeden just the worst? He didn’t learn from that underhand flip that got him benched earlier in the year as he came in shortly afterwards and did it again. Weeden is impatient, inaccurate and just honestly not very good……….so why would you want to own Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron? Well, Josh Gordon has proven time and time again this season that he is quarterback proof. His combination of size and speed makes him a WR1 regardless of who chucks the ball inaccurately at him. Cameron on the other hand hasn’t been so quarterback proof, but Weeden at least looks for him. Cameron accrued 10 targets last week although he ended up with only 3 catches for 32 yards. I expect Weeden to keep looking for safety valves from here on out and who better than his gigantic TE? Cameron may be a little hit or miss, but the sheer volume of balls he should see will make him a low TE1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on a streak of scoring in 2/3 games because he is talented and receiving looks. The Cleveland Browns aren’t the world’s most exciting team but they do hold some diamonds in the rough.

Brandon Bolden – I don’t understand why some coaches decide to bench their best players after one fumble. Did you watch the Thanksgiving games? Reggie Bush fumbled early and Schwartz continued to roll with him after. Guess what? He had a monster game and won the stupid turkey award (whatever it is). Unfortunately, Bill Belichick doesn’t feel the same way. To be fair, Stevan Ridley’s fumbling has become an issue. With his fumble last Sunday, he had now lost a fumble in three straight games. The Patriots then brought in the back up LaGarrette Blount and he fumbled. Finally, in to the rescue came Brandon Bolden. In my opinion, Bolden is more talented than Blount and he’s more suited for a featured role. Blount has speed and agility limitations that Bolden does not (as much). Ridley can’t be trusted moving forward meaning we could see a steady 12-15 carries for Bolden. If you’ve been looking for a FLEX in a 12 teamer, Bolden is your man. He’s still on the Patriots so temper expectations from week to week due to frustrating changes in rotation.

 

Value Down:

Robert Griffin III – Ahmad Brooks said it best, “he shouldn’t be playing right now.” Griffin is a shell of his former self having probably come back too soon from ACL surgery. He gets the lowly Giants next week but he just cannot be trusted. If you have any sort of decent option, I would try and avoid. I want someone reliable to be leading me to and through the playoffs, and Griffin just cannot provide that kind of stability. Lower him to mid tier QB2.

Darren Sproles – Unfortunately, Sproles’ role in the offense has become too unpredictable. Thomas has taken over some of the pass catching responsibilities that used to be all be Darren’s. Coming off injury next week, we’re not sure if Sproles will be at 100%. Even if he is, he has been nicked up a whole lot this season which is to be expected due to his tiny size. He still plays in the explosive Saints offense and has game changing ability, so I wouldn’t necessary bench him. However, consider him a FLEX option moving forward and no longer an every week RB1 or RB2.

DeSean Jackson – Jackson’s situation is similar to Sproles. Both game changers whose roles have kind of been overtaken by outside sources (Riley Cooper). Both play on decent offenses so you have to continue to roll with them but have to temper expectations. Once catch can make your fantasy day for Jackson but I’ll be skeptical each week as to whether that play is coming. I consider him a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3……..with the ability to be a WR1 on any given reception.

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