Underrated/Overrated: Battle, McCoy offer efficiency, not sizzle
Last week was the week of the quarterback, with Tim Tebow performing his miracles and Carson Palmer playing like, well, an ex-Bengal who hasn't seen a field in several months. Unfortunately, the wheel of injuries hit the RBs this week, leaving many a fantasy owner in the lurch. No worries -- there's some serious value on your waiver wire and we'll help you find it, assisted by our lifelong platonic friend, math.
We'll look at who's really winning the ground battle in Kansas City, see if you should "Run Away" from Colt "The Real" McCoy, and even compare Owen Daniels to Greek yogurt. That's right everyone, that's the key to solid fantasy advice and recommendations -- food and '90s-era dance music references. Free career advice for all of you budding columnists out there; you're welcome.
After several weeks of Todd Haley-induced fantasy disasters, the Chiefs have righted their ship and found the successor to Jamaal Charles. His name? Mr. Jackie Battle, son! While he failed to get into the end zone last week, he has a Christian Okoye-esque 35 carries and 216 yards in the last two games. Add in a solid 49 percent success rate and you get an extremely efficient running back who ranks fifth among RBs in terms of total efficiency added this season. Let's hope Jonathan Baldwin doesn't try to pick a fight with him.
While not really a high-end fantasy option, Nelson is a consistent fill-in guy, scoring at least six points most weeks this season. Nelson has the second-most targets on the Bills at 38 behind Stevie Johnson. He also possesses the highest catch rate out of the Bills receivers at 71 percent. No one circles the wagons like David Nelson. No one!
Coming into last week's "professional football contest" against Seattle, McCoy had scored 13-plus points in every game so far this season. In fact, that narcoleptic punt-fest was his first game without a TD and less than 200 yards this year. McCoy boasts an 8:4 TD to interception ratio and actually ranks fifth among QBs in rushing yards this season, proving that yes, if a QB does well and no one is watching, he does indeed make a sound. Not usually known for his mobility, McCoy has had more successful runs than every QB except Cam Newton, Michael Vick and Josh Freeman. Now if he could only run out of town to a better team..
Ballard has flown under the radar as Kevin Boss' replacement. In fact, he is so far under the radar that when Keith mentioned him, I thought he was making up a fake name. No joke. Scoring 32 points in his last three games and consistently putting up 8-plus per week, Ballard has caught 15 of 17 balls thrown his way. That's an 88 percent catch rate, higher than any other Giant with at least five targets and certainly much higher than Victor "Bricks" Cruz. Hopefully Ballard's emergence will help Eli Manning understand that to make an offense truly work, he needs to throw to his own team every now and then.
Looking into our giant tome o' nerdery, we see that the Panthers' offense performs above expectation on plays involving Williams, but he personally has a run success rate of only 34 percent. This means that the majority of his contributions have been on big plays. Williams, who has a career success rate of 39 percent, scored 29 percent of his fantasy points on a single play in Week 5. Keep in mind, he's been below 12 carries and 5 points almost every week this year -- time to dump him like the ABC fall schedule.
Last week, we mentioned that Lloyd looks to be on pace for similar seasons to his 2004 and '05 49ers campaigns. We wrote, "Lloyd's catch rate is usually below 50 percent, which is definitely subpar for a prime receiver. In fact, he has never had a season above 53 percent. This means that he is much more of a big-play receiver than a possession guy. Ironic then that a St. Louis offense that prides itself on the short pass and high completion percentages would want such a man!" Lloyd's catch rate so far this year is 54 percent and he only has one game over 10 points.
Vick is a dynamic player and an asset to any fantasy team. That being said, many owners came into the year with extremely high expectations for the injury-prone Eagle. Let me throw a few stats your way: 0 rushing TDs, 9:8 TD to interception ratio. Last year, Vick had nine rushing TDs and a 21:6 TD to interception ratio. Consider this his regression to the mean. Score one for PETA.
Daniels has been the embodiment of inconsistency this year, the complete opposite of Greek yogurt. Daniels has two games over 10 points and two games under 2 points; talk about feast or famine! Add in the Texans' tight end by committee approach with Joel Dreessen and James Casey stealing targets and TDs and you get one of the only tight ends I wouldn't touch.