Also, before we get into the pickups and drops, I'm going to talk a bit of fantasy strategy right after the jump...
Writing about fantasy football and the NFL in general is what I enjoy doing, but this blog hasn't made me any money (yet), so I have a day job. At that day job, I'm paid poorly to work customer service, dealing with your average person in a well to do suburb. The job is extremely easy, and I spend much of my day thinking about other things, including fantasy football. Unfortunately I also have to deal with customers like this...
"Can you give me two fives instead of a ten? I don't like tens." -Customer at my workplace yesterday.
Obviously, I was at work, and had to simply hand the customer the two fives with a smile on my face, but I was in disbelief. How could someone not like tens? It doesn't make any sense when you actually put some thought into it, but this person obviously just had an issue with ten dollar bills. They would go on to explain that it was because they had received a fake ten in the past, which sounds like a good excuse until you go back to the original statement above and think about it again. Getting a bad ten shouldn't make you never take a ten again, it should make you be more careful about any bill you get, as anything could be a fake. Now how does that relate to fantasy? Well...
"I drafted Beanie Wells in the third round and he was awful last year. I'm not going anywhere near him this year" -Fantasy Owners everywhere before the draft.
This statement made sense to most when they heard it before the draft, but those people were making the same mistake as the lady with the ten dollar bills. Instead of stepping back and evaluating the whole situation logically, they took the easy route to the answer... 'Beanie bad last year.... Beanie be bad this year'. Now they are kicking themselves as Beanie is the seventh highest scoring running back through four games, and he's only played in three.
It's something we've all done, letting the fact that players have burned us in the past affect what we thing about them for a brand new season. It's something you have probably already done this season when you peaked at the waiver wire and saw Matt Hasselbeck atop the available quarterbacks. You saw his name and thought 'Matt Hasselbeck, I'm not going down that road again". Luckily, so did everyone else, and he's still owned in just 27.8% of leagues despite being the number nine quarterback in terms of scoring so far.
The point here though, is that you shouldn't let past experiences make you look stupid today. Instead of saying the fantasy equivalent to "I don't like tens", you should evaluate each situation properly. Instead of not drafting Beanie Wells because he burned you last year, you should have been like my friend Pat, who took Wells last season in the fourth round as his RB2 and ended up finishing in last. This season, Pat drafted Wells again... This time in the fifth. When we ridiculed him, his logic was sound... Tim Hightower was gone, and Ryan Williams was out for the year, leaving Wells alone as the feature back in a Arizona offense that got a major upgrade at quarterback with Kevin Kolb in as the starter. Pat is currently 4-0.
Now... Onto the actual pickup and drops. As always, everyone I'm discussing is owned in less than 50% of leagues. There are guys who I like more than these guys, but I'm not going to discuss them because they are going to be already owned if your league is active. Be sure to take a strong look at those guys though, and think for yourself, or hit me up on twitter @bigderfsports if you need help.
- Matt Hasselbeck (27.8% Owned in ESPN Leagues) - Tennessee Titans - As I wrote above, Hasselbeck is quietly ninth in quarterback fantasy points so far this season. It's not so much an immediate pickup as he draws Pittsburgh this week and follows that up with a bye
-Colt McCoy (20.4%) - Cleveland Browns - Another guy who isn't a good pickup for this week, but who has been quietly producing and is 13th among quarterbacks so far. McCoy is personally going to be starting for me in week six when Philip Rivers is on bye.
-Kyle Orton (32.0%) - Denver Broncos - Orton is the guy you want if you need someone for this week. He's not a long term answer with Tim Tebow waiting in the wings, but he's going to be starting on Sunday in what should be a shootout against San Diego.
-Mark Sanchez (87.9%) - New York Jets - I've been telling you to drop Sanchez for weeks, and last night he finally laid the egg I'd been fearing. Sanchez can put up stats, but he can just as easily murder any fantasy week with an awful -4 like he had on Sunday night. Save yourself from a Sanchez bomb like that in the future by cutting ties now.
-Matt Cassel (63.8%) - Kansas City Chiefs - Most people have cut ties already, but if you're one of the stragglers, now is the time to let him go for a Hasselbeck or McCoy.
-Isaac Redman (2.3%) - Pittsburgh Steelers - With injuries to Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore, Redman might be in line for all of Pittsburgh's carries on Sunday against Tennessee. Mendenhall is already looking like a curse of 370 bust, and Redman might be getting more and more carries the rest of the season.
-Roy Helu (31.6%) - Washington Redskins - You never know what is going to happen with Mike Shanahan's running backs, and Torain and Hightower are already owned. Helu needs to be rostered as well, as he could be the starter any given sunday.
-Stevan Ridley (3.6%) - New England Patriots - It's an ugly week for running back pickups, as basically everyone who is fantasy relevant is already very well owned. Ridley showed up at first in week three, and turned up with a fresh fifteen points this week. He has been running better than BenJarvus Green-Ellis the last two weeks, and Belichick is nothing if not a man who likes results. He could be in line for more carries going ahead.
-Danny Woodhead (82.9%) - His point totals have declined every week, and this week he hurt his ankle and is going to be out for an unknown amount of time. Let him go.
-LaDainian Tomlinson (96.0%) - Tomlinson has already had two goose eggs in four games. He shouldn't be on a roster in almost every league. Let him go if you need to find space for a pickup anywhere on the roster.
-Victor Cruz (19.3%) - New York Giants - I wrote last week that I didn't think Cruz would keep it up when Mario Manningham came back, but he showed up anyway this past Sunday. They rotated him with Manningham as a wide out, and he looked good in the slot as well. His bonehead play doesn't matter for fantasy purposes, and he should continue to get targets as the season goes on.
-Jabar Gaffney (6.2%) - Washington Redskins - Gaffney is the number two wide out in Washington, and has scored at least 6 points in each game so far this year. It's consistent points, and if he catches a touchdown, it's a solid flex play if you are hurting because of the start of byes this week.
-Titus Young (3.6%) - Detroit Lions - There are some other players available if you want to gamble on more risk/reward, but Titus Young is the best risk/reward option with a shot at gaining more targets later in the season. He's a talented young rookie, and should get more involved in the offense as he matures. as Nate Burleson hasn't done much as the number two wide out in Detroit.
-Plaxico Burress (96.2%) - New York Jets - Burress isn't very good. Even if Mark Sanchez was playing better, Burress hasn't done a good job of getting separation downfield at all. There are better fantasy options out there.
-Jermaine Gresham (12.8%) - Cincinnati Bengals - Andy Dalton has been looking Gresham's way often so far this year, and it's made Gresham the number ten tight end so far this year. That makes him worth owning, as both young players should only get better as the season goes along.
That's it for now, game by game run downs to come the rest of the week.
-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin