First off I would like to state it’s good to be back to normal. As a resident of New Jersey I haven’t had many reasons to use the word normal since Superstorm Sandy ravaged our area. Personally I was one of the lucky ones. We had a tree come down, which destroyed our fence, our mailbox broke off its post and we lost some siding off the house. Miraculously we ended up keeping power through the entire ordeal, although we did lose our cable and internet service for an extended period of time.
When the storm first hit it didn’t seem that bad, but as the night continued it really began to bare its teeth. I kept hearing cracks followed by thumps of trees falling to the ground. Transformers would thunderously explode and light up the sky. The situation went from amusing to seriously concerning. It wasn’t until daybreak when I got to actually feast my eyes on what occurred. My little corner of the world looked like a small bomb went off, and I live roughly 15 miles from the coast and a little over a hundred miles from the eye of the storm hit land.
Phone calls starting coming through from friends and family that lost power and my wife and I quickly found out we were the lucky ones. We opened up our house to all, and actually ended up with 12 people and three dogs at the height of what we liked to call our “refuge” camp. I formed a makeshift work crew with my father, father-in-law and brother-in-law to help chop up trees in my neighborhood. It made us feel good to help out others in a time of need.
Times like these make you truly understand just how lucky we have things as a society. Running water, electricity and internet are three things we now take for granted. When they are taken away life grinds to a halt. My heart goes out to all those that lost everything. Knowing a few people who did is the thing that made this hit home the most. If you are in a position to help someone who needs it, do so. Being that I didn’t write last week I really needed to get that off my chest.
Now onto football and better times moving forward for all.
The Falcons may have suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of New Orleans, but the strong play of Tony Gonzalez wasn’t the cause of it. He wound up hauling in 11 passes for 122 yards and a pair of scores. A huge performance when you consider he had 11 grabs for 107 yards over his last three games. Heading into this season many Fantasy pundits were down on Gonzalez because of the fact that he would be fighting for the attention of Matt Ryan with star receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. Ryan has shown throughout the year that he is more than willing to take what the opposing defense is willing to give him. An early leg injury to Jones (which he returned from later in the contest) meant the Saints doubled up on White. Ryan liked Gonzo matched up with linebackers and safeties and peppered him with 15 targets as a result. That was your recipe for the big game. Keep rolling Gonzalez out there as a high end TE1 regardless of matchup for the remainder of the year.
Alex Smith suffered a concussion in the second quarter of the 49ers tie with the Rams. Backup Colin Kaepernick came in to bring the team back for the tie, which coincidently means if he has a sister he has to kiss her. Back to business though, as the injury to Smith means we are probably going to see Kaepernick next week against the Bears as well. From watching him in limited action this yea,r his best weapon without a shadow of a doubt is his legs. He ran for 66 yards and a score on eight carries and quite honestly should have run more. Chicago will be ready for him next week but I don’t think it will matter; the kid is that fast. Expect Jim Harbaugh to work in plenty quarterback draws and rollouts where Kaepernick can chose whether to run or throw. If you are in a deep league and usually start the aforementioned Smith, Michael Vick or Jay Cutler(all Week 10 concussion victims) you may want to look toward Kaepernick. Sure the matchup is tough, when you take into consideration 60 rushing yards equals 150 passing yards in most leagues he is worth the gamble.
Heading into Week 10 the Dolphins hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 22 contests, by far the longest streak in the league. Because of this there weren’t many Fantasy owners expecting all that much from Chris Johnson. His awful start to the season where he ran for 210 yards over his first five games has left a lack of trust in the man Fantasy owners drafted in the first round of their drafts. After racking up 126 yards and a touchdown this week I am deeming him no longer questionable. Over his last five games he has 652 yards and four scores while averaging 6.7 yards-per-carry. He looks to have that swagger back. His vision and burst look renewed, which is a result of both better blocking and increased confidence. With the Colts, Jets and Packers on tap for the all-important Fantasy playoffs Johnson will be a difference-maker in a positive fashion for his owners when it matters most.
Sam Bradford couldn’t be happier right now. His team went into San Francisco and managed a tie against a heavily favored opponent and he also got his favorite target back for the game. Danny Amendola returned from his clavicle injury to catch 11 passes for 102 yards. He also had a 79-yard catch in overtime overturned by an illegal procedure penalty that would have put the Rams in a goal-to-go situation and surely won the game. Amendola has hauled in 43 passes for 497 yards and a score in a little more than five games. Those are absolutely monster numbers, particularly from a PPR standpoint. Injury seems to be the only thing his owners need to be concerned with because when he is on the field he catches passes; lots of them. Consider him a rock-solid WR2 moving forward.
Oh Reggie Bush, how your Fantasy owners must now loathe you. If you owned him you had to start him against a Tennessee defense that was allowing 22.6 Fantasy points-per-game to opposing running backs heading into Week 10. Bush proceeded to then fumble on his fourth carry of the game, a play that directly resulted in the Titans scoring their first touchdown. It planted him on the bench for the remainder of the first half; which the Dolphins ended up heading to the locker room trailing 24-3. Daniel Thomas, who had been eating into Bush’s workload heading into the contest. ended up seeing just 10 touches on the game as Miami played catch-up for the entire game. Regardless this marked the third consecutive game Thomas got more run than Bush. All signs are pointing toward a timeshare approach moving forward, but there is no doubt Bush still remains the more talented player. Because of this I am placing low-ball offers for him this week. Remember money is a prime motivator in this league. Bush’s contract expires at the end of the season and he knows another mistake or two will seriously jeopardize his ability at landing any type of long-term deal. I am expecting a solid finish from him because of this.
Those of you out there searching for a difference-making talent at wide receiver should look no further than your waiver wires. Danario Alexander started for the Chargers in Week 9 as an injury replacement for Robert Meachem and led the team in receiving yardage. His reward was a second start against Tampa Bay with the expectation that he would split work with Meachem. After taking a quick slant from Philip Rivers 80 yards to paydirt on his first target he looks to have completely taken the job. Alexander is a physical specimen at 6’5’/217 with plus speed to boot. His issue has just been staying on the field. Chronically bad knees dating back to his college years have led to a myriad of other leg ailments, likely do to his body compensating for his knee pain. Rivers has looked lost for most of the season without a go-to option on the outside. Now that he has one expect him to pepper him with a ton of targets. Believe it or not, Alexander can be a faster version of Vincent Jackson. He should be the number one waiver option this week and has the potential to put up Top-20 numbers at receiver for the remainder of the season.