“Sauer Notes” Cornucopia of Riches: Football, Food, and Family
In the world today it is too easy to focus on the negatives. Whether it be our job, relationship problems, fantasy letdowns, or bills (actual money, not the team), we always seem to focus much of our time on these issues. If you were plagued by another plethora of injuries during Week 11 like Freeman, Forsett, West, or Lynch do not let it ruin your week.
Take this opportunity of a short work week (for most) to celebrate the greater aspects of life. Take Thanksgiving to heart, be thankful for your freedoms. Be thankful that you have family to celebrate the holidays with. Be thankful that whatever device you are using to read this article is powered by electricity and internet. Be thankful for the turkey, biscuits, potatoes, and pies that you will be trying to rest off as you watch the Cowboys and Panthers. Be thankful you survived your food coma to then watch the Bears against Packers.
With a short week, along with the holiday festivities and other time consuming priorities, we will stay on the positive path here. We will do our regular weekly MVP’s, but in this time of giving thanks we will not mention the busts. We would not want a family gathering to go astray with a “Hey A.J (Green), you really hurt me this week in fantasy, and I drafted you first overall because you are my cousin.”
With that being said, we will go over some Start Em’ Sit Em’ for Week 12, and do our best Black Friday impersonation as we pick over the muddled mess that is the waiver wire.
Week 11 MVP’s
Deandre Hopkins- All that can be said about the one they call “Nuk” is, wow. You obviously were not thinking about sitting a top-five receiver just because he would be watched by Revis. With expectations already being tempered and the addition of another quarterback to the Houston carousel, in T.J Yates, you were probably hoping him to get you at least double digits. Well, Hopkins was targeted double the amount of any other receiver, and frankly made Revis look like a rookie, especially on his 61-yard touchdown matched up one-on-one. Hopkins finished the day with 5/118/2 on 12 targets. The Texans expect Hoyer to be back under center this week, and as Hopkins will be on the other end of the spectrum, in terms of matchups, taking on the Saints.
Danny Amendola- My choice to put him here was not solely based on a grand performance. Rather the fact that he was most likely scooped off your waiver wire, thrusted right into a starting role, and somewhat delivered. But the main reason is this may have been his only chance to sniff this section of my article. If you have played fantasy football at all prior to this season, you know that some players are more adverse to injury than others. Danny Amendola, along with many others, fits that bill perfectly. I actually made some jokes at work about Danny being the number one waiver priority this past week, but how long until you need to replace him: Week 13, Week 14? Turns out, he is getting an MRI done on his knee injury that forced him to leave the game during the third quarter, and the Patriots will be working out some veteran wide outs to supplement the injuries at the position. At least he got you the 20 points before injuring himself waving for a fair catch, that he did not even end up catching. He could have had an enormous day had there not been an inadvertent whistle, that could of added approximately 70 yards and a touchdown with no defender in sight after the play had been blown dead.
Calvin Johnson- Although Calvin has not had a Calvin-like season, he does have a favorable matchup on Thanksgiving against the Eagles. The Eagles give up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and have surrounded the second most touchdown receptions. Granted, Jameis Winston just threw five touchdowns to help inflate those numbers. Expect the Lions passing attack to come alive on Thursday.
Alshon Jeffery- What a frustrating player Jeffery has been this season. If you take out the St. Louis game where the Bears took an early lead and did not need to pass, Jeffery has averaged 23 points in the other four games in which he appeared. The problem here is that Alshon has played in as many games as he has missed (5). Last week, he was able to get in a couple of limited practices before being deemed inactive on Sunday. Again, he put in another limited practice on Monday, so he really has two days to show the health of his groin heading into Thursday’s game against the Packers. With Cutler playing some of his best football as of late, and the matchup against an exploitable Green Bay secondary, if Jeffery suits up, you need to get him in your lineup.
Terrence Williams- Can we all rejoice to the return of Tony Romo, being able to liquidate all the assets in that offense. The Cowboys will have a tough matchup against the Panthers on Thanksgiving, and fully expect Josh Norman to shadow Dez Bryant. This will not scare me enough to list Dez in the latter portion of this article: nevertheless, bumping Terrence Williams up to a flex-worhty starter. With the Panthers seemingly putting up points in bunches, in conjunction with a strong front-seven along the defensive front, the Cowboys may be forced to air it out early and often. Williams was only targeted four times, but caught all of them for 79 yards and a touchdown. With Dez being covered by Norman for most of the contest, Romo may look Willams way more often than he did against the Dolphins. Williams has a knack for making big plays when he gets the chance, and now that Weeden and Cassell are not tossing him the football, he has a way better chance of connecting on one.
Dwayne Harris- Did you see what Cam Newton just did to the Redskins with weapons like Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn Jr. at his disposal? Now we find ourselves in a scenario where the Giants do not have themselves a John Stewart to get their offense rolling on the ground. The G-Men will, unsuccessfully, try to get their quadruplex of RB going to no avail, and have to turn to their passing game. Obviously, Beckham Jr. will see the lion’s share of targets, and rightfully so. We know that Eli can make more than one WR in this offense serviceable for starting consideration, and that man is no longer Rueben Randle. Coming off his best outing of the season against the Patriots, Harris should be involved in the Giants’ passing attack the rest of the way. If you are in leagues that reward points for return yardage, Harris can be considered a weekly starter with his expected expanded role in the aerial attack.
Vincent Jackson- V-Jax came off the shelf from his three-week knee injury at the perfect time for Winston’s touchdown party against the Eagles on Sunday. He joined in on the fun, snaring one of the five touchdown passes to go along with four receptions and 56 yards. Jackson saw six targets from Winston, and we can expect that number to be consistent going forward. In Week 12, the Bucs will take on the Colts. If you have read any of these articles in the past, you are aware of the under appreciation I feel for corner Vontae Davis. He is one of the most underrated cover corners in league, and is expected to be covering Mike Evans for the better part of the contest. This will open up the field for V-Jax to get free on the lesser defensive backs, and the return of Austin Seferian-Jenkins does not scare me off of having Jackson as a WR2 this week.
Sammy Watkins- If you watched the MNF game between the Bills and Patriots, you probably remember Gruden clamoring for the Bills offense to get Watkins involved. During the post game with Ray Lewis and the three guys wearing the same suit every week(Levy, Dilfer, Young, can’t one of you guys buy a grey suitcoat?) this was mentioned again, as Watkins was not even targeted in the first half. I have said this all season long; The Bills passing attack can not be trusted, and I only listed Watkins as a start last week with the ideology that the Pats would put up a lot of points at home, forcing the Bills to try and play catch-up. This week, the matchup looks juicy on paper, with the Chiefs hovering around the bottom three teams in terms of giving up points to opposing WR. Although, with the return of Sam Shields and the more consistent play out of their first-round pick in CB Marcus Peters, they have been a lot better as of late. We have a team that wants to ground and pound, an already inconsistent passing attack, and an injury to Tyrod Taylor equaling our top sit of the week.
Jeremy Maclin- Despite being the undisputed top receiver for the Chiefs, Maclin now has four straight games with only three receptions, and has not broken 50 yards receiving over that stretch. This is parallel to the deficiencies there are in Sammy Watkins production, playing in a run-first Buffalo offense. Andy Reid wants to run the football with West and his offensive tackles, and take the occasional shot down field. With Maclin set to face Stephon Gillmore on Sunday, there is more than likely a chance that Maclin continues his stretch off bad performances. Assuming this will be a defensive battle throughout most of the game, I do not envision either of these pass catchers to have a serviceable day. Do not let the name recognition sway your decisions here; I would start guys like Dwayne Harris or Kendall Wright over both.
Black Friday Deals
Some consumers just feel the need to make a purchase, even if they do not necessarily need the product. Do not let the big ‘for sale’ signs reel you in on players kicking around on your waiver wire. Unlike last week with Amendola being a hot add, or this week with the RB position and all of the injuries, do not just drop a guy to add another of the same caliber.
There are no injury replacements you need to be aiming for, nor should we be speculating on stash-and-hold type players (unless it’s a dynasty format) as the playoffs will be upon us momentarily. Players like Kamar Aiken, who is still roughly only 50 percent owned, can help you in the here and now, even with Matt “Pick-Six” Schuab. The aforementioned Dwayne Harris is leading the tradition of the Giants’ third WR popping up and having value in the second half of each year. Marquess Wilson, even with the possible return of Alshon Jeffery, holds some value as Cutler has averaged 19 fantasy points per game, and the Bears have matchups versus the Packers, 49ers, Redskins, and then the Bucs during championship week. Devin Funchess has been more involved in the Carolina passing attack and has found the end zone in back-to-back weeks. If Terrence Williams was dropped in the wake of the Romo injury, if it’s not too late already, go add him as well.
Golden Tate is PPR gold on the kickoff of Thanksgiving going 9/98/0.
Panthers stay undefeated, Funchess scores twice, and Terrence Williams matches him with two scores of his own.
Which Green Bay WR is it this week? As you burn off your cornbread, you are wishing you had corn on the Cobb, as Randall Cobb goes 8/121/1.
With the twelfth man on their side, Antonio Brown gets held in check in Seattle finishing with 5/52/0. But wait, Martavis Bryant burns the Legion of Boom to the tune of 6/111/1.
Lastly, McCown named the starter, after the Manziel partying video, is all about the Benjamin’s as Travis finishes with 8/135/1.
Enjoy the holidays folks. With a short week, feel free to ask your lineup questions, waiver advice, or trade offers.
Find me on twitter: @zaksauer