I haven’t talked about any neat little strategy tricks in a while, so let’s go for it now. One thing that I’ve really liked to do is stash running backs and I’ll go to great lengths to do so.
One tactic I’ll use is I will give some kickers that play on Monday Night Football a huge advantage as far as assets to start for the week. Furthermore, if the running back on that kicker’s team has a fairly valuable handcuff, then I would give the kicker a big bump in value. It also helps if that kicker plays indoors.
Monday night serves as a good example. David Akers is owned pretty much across the board, but let’s pretend he was on the waiver wire for this example.
Let’s say you’re in a 10-team league and you went to go pick up a kicker and chose David Akers (or even Jay Feely). As the week progressed through Sunday and Thursday, there’s a pretty good chance that Monday Night Football may be completely irrelevant. You might be up or down an insurmountable point total, so Akers really doesn’t come into play.
My strategy would be to cut David Akers for Kendall Hunter on Sunday night. It’s an absolute joke that Hunter is only owned in 15 percent of leagues. But I digress. It’s certainly unlikely that Frank Gore gets hurt, but if he does get hurt and misses time, you just struck gold with an RB2 and only risked a kicker.
Most of the time this strategy doesn’t work, but it could have also worked for handcuff receivers. Let’s say you had Jason Hanson and used this strategy to add Titus Young. Yeah, you’d be sitting pretty right now and I hope you took my advice of calling him a must add last week.
Nick Foles- What great timing for Vick to possibly get benched. The schedule for the Eagles gets pretty soft with New Orleans, Dallas (not soft), Washington and Carolina in the next four weeks. The Eagles have deep threats all over the place and Foles has a good enough arm to get it to them. He’s far from must-add material, but there’s plenty of upside.
Jake Locker- Locker could be back this week. I’d add him as a bench stash in two-QB leagues.
Tim Tebow- He might have value and it seems like he’ll win the job soon. Err Sanchez will lose the job.
Here’s a list of QBs I’d consider starting for Week 9 and are available in at least 25 percent of leagues: Josh Freeman, Carson Palmer, Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Matt Moore/Ryan Tannehill
Running Backs (it’s a weak crop this week)
Ronnie Hillman- Willis McGahee and Peyton Manning were the main stories of Sunday Night Football. Heck, even Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas were bigger headline makers than Hillman. However, if you’re in a competitive league, Hillman should have your attention. It’s abundantly clear that he’s the No.2 back on the depth chart. Willis McGahee is 31 and the Broncos are going to give him a heavy load. The more carries he gets, the more likely he gets hurt. Hillman is a fantastic stash with high upside and could be viewed as a top-10 handcuff.
Beanie Wells- Beanie Baby won’t be back until Week 12, but the Cardinals are really short at back. He’s a solid stash and the Cardinals don’t have a terrible schedule after Week 12 considering the strong defenses in their division.
Dexter McCluster- McCluster Effs was a touch and target stud on Sunday with six catches for 54 yards on eight targets. He also scored his first TD of the season. The Ole Miss product has been dormant for a while, but this is his second game in a row with six catches. He’s still not worth starting, but PPR leagues should add him in most 12-team leagues for his RB eligibility.
James Starks- Alex Green has been a nightmare at running back. He has a 2.9 YPC so far this season and had just 2.5 yesterday on his 22 carries. Considering the formidable passing offense the Packers have, a YPC under 3.0 is a total joke.
Phillip Tanner- Yeah, Felix Jones is pretty bad. I don’t know how the Cowboys let him carry the ball more than 10 times after that fumble against the Giants. Tanner should see more carries, but DeMarco Murray will be back soon. For what it’s worth, I’d try to buy low on Murray as well.
Danny Amendola- Amendola was questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, which is a testament to modern medicine. Amendola and the Rams will be on a bye this week, but he should be able to return next week. He needs to be owned in every PPR league.
Brandon LaFell- Hey! LaFell is back! This is LaFell’s second productive week with 88 receiving yards on three catches and four targets; he followed it up from his four-catch, eight-target day last week and added a TD. It’ll be tough to start him, but the upside is there.
Cecil Shorts- Jaguar WR alert! Blaine Gabbert didn’t look like Blaine Gabbert on Sunday and he was doing all the important things: going through his progressions, having pocket presence and making good pre-snap reads. Obviously, this is far from party time for Gabbert and the JAX aerial attack. However, Short saw a team-high 11 targets and turned them into eight catches for 116 yards. He’s the Jaguars top receiver and that’ll make him worth owning in most 12-team PPR leagues.
Santana Moss and Josh Morgan- The Skins have one of the messier receiver rotations this side of the New York Jets. Sunday suggested that Moss (nine targets, four catches, 21 yards and TD) and Josh Morgan (eight targets, five receptions and 46 yards) are going to be the top two while Pierre Garcon’s foot heals. The Skins have a tougher schedule coming up for perimeter receivers over the next two weeks with Philly and Dallas, but it gets a lot better with the Giants and Baltimore will follow. Morgan has the higher upside and might be entrenched by the time they take on the Giants on 12/3. Morgan is a deep-league stash and Moss might be useful as a WR3 in 14-team PPR leagus against the Eagles and Cowboys in Week 10 and 11, respectively.
Chris Givens- Givens hurt himself on Sunday, so his line of just three catches for 63 yards shouldn’t be too discouraging. He did score, so he was a useful player for those that had the guts to start him. The rookie isn’t quite polished and really is the STL version of Josh Gordon. He doesn’t run a variety of routes and he’ll likely be a boom-or-bust guy. There’s still plenty of upside, but he’ll lose some of it once Amendola is ready.
Vincent Brown- So Robert Meachem definitely isn’t a starting-caliber WR. He had another goose egg and had -6 yards from scrimmage! Brown enthusiasts actually got some bad news today since the SD State product still can’t run. That said, the Chargers are likely to turn him loose in the event he can come back healthy. He’s a stash special in 14-team leagues that are looking for upside.
Clyde Gates- 11 targets and seven receptions tied for team highs and led the team in receiving yards with 82. He plays for the Jets and their O is the worst in the league. We’re talking deep leagues here, folks.