Opportunity Knocks: Fantasy Clicks

Publish date:

Recent Fantasy Clicks 11-26-08: Opportunity knicks 11-25-08: Thunderous changes in Oklahoma City 11-24-08: Week 12 revelations 11-21-08: Thursday night revelations 11-20-08: Thursday night revelations 11-19-08: Must-see TV? 11-18-08: Too legit to quit 11-17-08: Week 11 revelations 11-14-08: Jet-setting Revelations 11-13-08: The rich get surgery 11-12-08: Four commandments of trading 11-11-08: Cards are who we thought they were 11-10-08: Week 10 revelations 11-07-08: The Cutler did it 11-06-08: Golden Nuggets 11-05-08: Regret in the making 11-04-08: A costly win for the Steelers 11-03-08: Week 9 revelations 10-31-08: Into the great wide open 10-30-08: Planning makes perfect 10-29-08: The last temptation of Kurt Warner 10-28-08: A titanic statement on Monday night 10-27-08: Week 8 revelations 10-24-08: 'Tis better to receive 10-23-08: It's getting drafty in here 10-22-08: We won't get fooled again 10-21-08: Pats turn back the clock 10-20-08: Week 7 revelations 10-17-08: Johnson & Johnson 10-16-08: Who's next? 10-15-08: Deadline deal 10-14-08: Romo and Pinkie-gate 10-13-08: Week 6 Revelations 10-10-08: Clash of the titans 10-09-08: Not your father's microfracture surgery 10-08-08: Brian's Song 10-06-08: Week 5 revelations 10-03-08: Kiss and tell

Opportunity Knocks

Derek Anderson: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

So, I guess you've heard the news ... the sky is inexplicably falling in Cleveland now that Brady Quinn is done for the season with torn finger tendons. Well, fear not, myopic Browns fans, because your non-playoff season will still end on a positive note -- thanks to the strong arm of Derek Anderson. For those not wearing Brady Blinders (there's a million-dollar marketing idea!), you're really going to admire Anderson's contribution, barring injury, over the next five weeks. Yes, the matchups are not always kind (@ Tennessee, @ Pittsburgh) ... and yes, the brutal early winters in Ohio usually don't portend fantasy goodness for quarterbacks, but Anderson's reputation is on the line here -- if not with the Browns in '09 but for another franchise that's savvy enough to recognize his immense QB1 talents. This week, I have Anderson as a "lock" for 275 yards and/or three TDs (against the Colts). Am I crazy? Our friends at Accuscore have their own estimates for Anderson (1,505 yards and 9 TDs in '08) vs. Peyton Manning:

Anderson: 195 yards, 1.0 TD
Manning: 245 yards, 1.7 TDs
Final Score: Indianapolis 24, Cleveland 17


I know it's Week 13, but DO NOT be afraid to look ahead to the start of the fantasy playoffs ... and which players should absolutely dominate their competition in Week 14:

QBs: Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Trent Edwards, Jay Cutler, Tyler Thigpen, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers
RBs: LaDainian Tomlinson, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, Reggie Bush, Brandon Jacobs, Brian Westbrook, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Grant, Chris Johnson, Joseph Addai, Marshawn Lynch, Tim Hightower
WRs: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Lee Evans, Greg Jennings, Antonio Bryant, Hines Ward, Terrell Owens, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Reggie Wayne, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Marques Colston

QB Locks -- 275 Yards and/or 3 TDs, Week 13

1. Philip Rivers vs. San Diego
2. Chad Pennington vs. St. Louis
3. Tony Romo vs. Seattle
4. Peyton Manning vs. Cleveland
5. Sage Rosenfels vs. Jacksonville
6. Derek Anderson vs. Indianapolis
7. Kurt Warner vs. Philadelphia

Donovan's McNightmare

I don't know if it stems from the Eagles blowing three highly winnable games against the Cowboys, Giants and Bears this season ... or Tie-gate against the lowly Bengals ... or his mid-game benching against the Ravens in Week 12 ... or the simple 10-Year Itch after living the "fishbowl life" in one of America's most unforgiving sports towns, but Donovan McNabb, in my opinion, has definitely reached the point of no return in his own Philadelphia story. He looks like, talks like and yawns like someone who's just killing time before he gets a fresh start with another franchise, another thriving city, another rabid fan base -- sometime in February or March. With so much turmoil surrounding McNabb, there is no way I can endorse him as a 250-yard and/or 3-TD lock against Arizona on Thursday.

Think about it: If McNabb is truly going to hit rock-bottom this year, in terms of his relationship with Eagles fans, it's likely going to occur at a home game ... against a good opponent ... in unstable Eastern weather ... and maybe even on a national holiday -- like Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong: McNabb is a great talent and a top-10 QB pick for next year's fantasy drafts, regardless of which jersey he's wearing. But right here, right now, I'd rather put my playoff fate into the hands of Shaun Hill, Tyler Thigpen, Chad Pennington, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers than McNabb's.

RB Locks -- 120 Total Yards and/or 2 TDs

1. Joseph Addai vs. Cleveland
2. Darren McFadden vs. Kansas City
3. Frank Gore vs. Buffalo
4. Chris Johnson vs. Detroit (I'm tempted to have LenDale White here, too)
5. Michael Turner vs. San Diego (how long has he had this one circled on his calendar?)
6. Adrian Peterson vs. Chicago
7. Marion Barber vs. Seattle
8. Julius Jones vs. Dallas (I have no choice but to write this)
9. Marshawn Lynch vs. San Francisco
10. Thomas Jones vs. Denver
11. LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Atlanta (there is no way I miss on this pick)
12. Larry Johnson vs. Oakland
13. Ryan Grant vs. Carolina
14. Clinton Portis vs. N.Y. Giants

Target Practice

A receiver is only as good as his quarterback ... and the number of opportunities he gets to make a catch (known as Targets). So, while the fantasy world applauds Green Bay wideout Greg Jennings for his 8-catch, 101-yard, 1-TD effort against New Orleans last week, I'm busy marveling at the stunning 15 passes that came Jennings' way. Not to belabor the point, but Targets are a must-know for fantasy owners -- especially in PPR leagues. This underrated stat is the best way to safeguard against one-hit wonders during a long, long, long fantasy season. To wit, SI.com presents a list of the 26 pass-catchers (including three tight ends) with at least 8.8 Targets since Week 9:

1. WR Anquan Boldin, Cardinals (14.0 Targets)
2. TE Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs (13.0 Targets)
3. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals (13.0 Targets)
4. WR Braylon Edwards, Browns (12.0 Targets)
5. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (11.8 Targets)
6. WR Brandon Marshall, Broncos (11.8 Targets)
7. WR Calvin Johnson, Lions (10.5 Targets)
8. WR Terrell Owens, Cowboys (10.3 Targets)
9. WR Santonio Holmes, Steelers (10.3 Targets)
10. WR Steve Smith, Panthers (10.0 Targets)
11. WR Randy Moss, Patriots (9.8 Targets)
12. TE Kellen Winslow, Browns (9.8 Targets)
13. WR Kevin Curtis, Eagles (9.8 Targets)
14. WR Lance Moore, Saints (9.7 Targets)
15. WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (9.5 Targets)
16. WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles (9.5 Targets)
17. WR Wes Welker, Patriots (9.3 Targets)
18. WR Andre Johnson, Texans (9.3 Targets)
19. TE Chris Cooley, Redskins (9.3Targets)
20. WR Greg Jennings, Packers (9.0 Targets)
21. WR Roddy White, Falcons (9.0 Targets)
22. WR Marvin Harrison, Colts (9.0 Targets)
23. WR Santana Moss, Redskins (9.0 Targets)
24. WR Mark Bradley, Chiefs (8.8 Targets)
25. WR Hines Ward, Steelers (8.8 Targets)
26. WR Donald Driver, Packers (8.8 Targets)

Kicker Locks For 3 Field Goals

1. Rob Bironas vs. Detroit
2. Matt Prater vs. N.Y. Jets
3. Matt Bryant vs. New Orleans
4. Mason Crosby vs. Carolina
5. Nate Kaeding vs. Atlanta
6. Shaun Suisham vs. N.Y. Giants
7. Jay Feely vs. Denver
8. Robbie Gould vs. Minnesota
9. Rian Lindell vs. San Francisco

If I Were A Bidding Man ...

Here are seven free agents I'd spend at least $21 on this week in blind-bidding leagues when handling waiver-wire pickups ($100 salary cap):
1. QB Chad Pennington, Dolphins (who's going to stop him in the next four weeks?)
2. WR Brandon Stokley, Broncos (might double his 22 targets since Week 9 ... in Denver's next four games)
3. TE John Carlson, Seahawks (you have to love his schedule down the stretch)
4. PK Neil Rackers, Cardinals (12 field goals in his last four games)
5. RB Pierre Thomas, Saints (just in case you're skeptical of Reggie Bush's "healthy" knee -- like me)
6. QB Shaun Hill, 49ers (the perfect blend of close-game and garbage-time goodness)
7. WR Ted Ginn, Jr. , Dolphins (success for Pennington ... means success for Ginn)

Top 5 Highest-Scoring Games, Week 13

1. Atlanta @ San Diego
2. Chicago @ Minnesota
3. Seattle @ Dallas
4. Indianapolis @ Cleveland
5. Tennessee @ Detroit

Fountain Of Youth

Chris Johnson: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Fifteen years from now, NFL historians will revere the RB Class of '08 in the same way the QB Class of '83 has been deified. We're talking 10 potential franchise backs -- Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden, Kevin Smith, Matt Forte, Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall (out for the season) and Jamaal Charles, to name a few. Here are some Week 11 projections for the '08 class, courtesy of Pigskin Addiction:

Chris Johnson, Titans: 125 yards, 1 TD
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers: 40 yards, 1 TD
Steve Slaton, Texans: 100 yards, 1 TD
Darren McFadden, Raiders: 75 total yards, 1 TD
Kevin Smith, Lions: 80 yards
Matt Forte, Bears: 125 total yards, 1 TD
Tim Hightower, Cardinals:125 total yards, 1 TD

WR Locks for 110 Yards and/or 1 TD -- Week 13

1. Braylon Edwards vs. Indianapolis
2. Anquan Boldin vs. Philadelphia
3. Terrell Owens vs. Seattle
4. Wes Welker vs. Pittsburgh
5. Reggie Wayne vs. Cleveland
6. Ted Ginn vs. St. Louis
7. Jerricho Cotchery vs. Denver
8. Chris Chambers vs. Atlanta
9. Andre Johnson vs. Jacksonville
10. Bernard Berrian vs. Chicago

Five Players Who'll Disappoint -- Week 13

1. DeAngelo Williams (just playing a hunch)
2. Willis McGahee (you'd think he'd dominate this week)
3. Plaxico Burress (inexplicably easy one to call)
4. Donovan McNabb (sorry, I'm not buying any comeback talk)
5. Reggie Bush (temper your expectations -- let him ease back into action)

Five Unsung Players Who'll Score 1 TD

1. WR Donald Driver (vs. Panthers)
2. WR Steve Breaston (vs. Eagles)
3. TE Desmond Clark (vs. Vikings)
4. RB Lorenzo Booker (vs. Cardinals)
5. RB Antonio Pittman (vs. Dolphins)

Use Your Delusion

Just wondering ... which fan base has a more annoying - and baseless -- sense of entitlement right now: Cubs fans presupposing a world title every year ("It's gonna happen ... a playoff sweep!") ... or Knicks fans assuming LeBron James will be theirs in 2010 -- because the Knickerbockers are the only club with salary cap room (wrong!) to pursue the bumper crop of high-profile free agents come then?

Permission To Talk Fantasy Hoops

We're slowly but surely getting close to that point where Fantasy Clicks becomes the sole haven for fantasy hoops. But in the meantime ... here are some unique lists for fantasy fans of cross-pollination:
4.6 Assists/46% FG
Chris Paul, Hornets
Jose Calderon, Raptors
Jason Kidd, Mavericks
Steve Nash, Suns
Dwyane Wade, Heat
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Rajon Rondo, Celtics
Tony Parker, Spurs
Derrick Rose, Bulls
Joe Johnson, Hawks
Vince Carter, Nets
Jameer Nelson, Magic
Brandon Roy, Blazers
Beno Udrih, Kings
Brad Miller, Kings
Mike Miller, Timberwolves

5.2 Rebounds/1.5 3-pointers per game
Danny Granger, Pacers
Quentin Richardson, Knicks
Rashard Lewis, Magic
Matt Barnes, Suns
Al Harrington, Knicks
Rasheed Wallace, Pistons
Paul Pierce, Celtics
Ron Artest, Rockets
Jason Kidd, Mavericks
Hedo Turkoglu, Magic
Richard Jefferson, Bucks
Troy Murphy, Pacers

17.5 Points/88% Free Throws
Tony Parker, Spurs
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
David West, Hornets
O.J. Mayo, Grizzlies
Ben Gordon, Bulls
Chauncey Billups, Nuggets

I Can't Leave Without Saying ...

This has nothing to do with fantasy (or sports, for that matter) ... but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. And in the spirit of the holiday, may I present a classic YouTube clip that's been the talk of the SI.com offices all week (Note: Focus on the background, not Gov. Sarah Palin's interview). Enjoy!

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