Line of scrimmage: Fantasy playoff weeks reveal valuable targets
Halloween marked some scary moments, and no, Dave, I'm not referring to you trick-or-treating with a fake ID saying you're 12. I am referring to the NFL, where Cowboys coach Wade Phillips admitted out loud that he no longer knew what to do, Lions rookie Matthew Stafford tossed four TDs while his team sealed a victory on a defensive play, and most shockingly, Minnesota waived Randy Moss just weeks after acquiring him for a third round pick. Things have turned upside down. I've called an exorcism hotline to make sure I'm not possessed, Dave, all the while humming the tune of ...
Not really handed out as much kicked out. This is our chance, Dave. I can see it -- Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Randy Moss -- he's just that one piece we're missing, that one good omen.
A little curveball, if you'll permit me using mixed terminology. But we can work that out over a beer.
I think that's "Rolling Stone."
Oh, that's funny, Dave.
Someone take that bag away from him.
Roddy White is the man to land this year. He's a 10-plus target guy per week, and is on pace for over almost 1,500 yards. Consistency equals White this year, so pray for a bad Week 9 and pounce using old cherished clichés like "first-half anomaly."
LeGarrette Blount is going to be a huge second half factor. Why? He runs with aggression and power. He has good vision. He punches people who get in the way. Assuming no one's trading any top RBs, you're looking for opportunity. Blount doubled his carries last week from 11 to 22 leading to his best day as a pro. I don't expect any threat from Cadillac Williams after last week's display, and although he's not a great PPR guy, he's still attainable for cheap.
My last choice is a replacement player, someone at a spot you wouldn't normally consider. Some experts think TEs hardly count. Well, tell that to the owner of Owen Daniels last year, or Jermichael Finley or Dallas Clark this year. Monday evening, Jacob Tamme announced his arrival with six receptions, 64 yards and score. He's not as good a blocker as Clark, so he may sit on certain downs. But in deep leagues, he's likely available, on a powerful offense, and has the best hands to fill in for Clark.
Block: Public humiliation works wonders in San Francisco. Last year, it was Mike Singletary sending Vernon Davis to the locker room mid-game, and then berating selfish players in his post-game press conference. This year, the now elite TE Davis gave it to Crabtree prior to opening weekend for not being prepared. Since then, Crabtree has improved his game, culminating in a Week 5 14-target game for 105 receiving yards and a TD. For the year, he's averaging three catches per game and 48 yards, though in his last five contests, he's augmented that to five catches and 61 yards per tilt. His three TDs have come against Oakland, Philadelphia and Denver, passing defenses ranked fourth, 10th and seventh, respectively.
The schedule for San Francisco down the stretch includes two contests each against St. Louis and Arizona, as well as Seattle and the middling pass defenses of Green Bay and Tampa Bay. With Davis' injury becoming more problematic, expect more opportunities to flow his direction. He should garner you at least three more receiving scores and about 420 more yards. He's a good get as a WR2 the rest of the way.
Romo's consistency has been unmatched in fantasy except by a scant few: Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, and recently, Philip Rivers. When it comes to the fantasy playoffs in Week 15-17, he's facing some sorry pass defenses: Washington, Arizona and Philadelphia, currently ranked "terrible," "disastrous," and "decent" (21, 28, 10). Presently, Romo is ranked seventh among QBs in both ESPN and standard Yahoo! fantasy leagues. The Dallas offense, inept as it is now, might be better come December. Dallas has more weapons than a local reserves armory, and since the team has already thrown in the towel on this season's playoff chances, it's unlikely they'd rest starters during those weeks. Consistency is king in fantasy football -- well, that and the ability to keep your opponent away from a computer until lineups lock. So if you're relying on someone like David Garrard or Donovan McNabb, keep him.