Fantasy Doctor: I must be doing something right, maybe
November 4, 2015
Look, I try not to be repetitive in these columns. But with another week in the NFL crossed off the calendar, your beloved Fantasy Doctor has gone 3-0 across three leagues yet again.
I’m 12-0 over the last month and it’s beginning to scare me. Is this all some sick set-up for me to lose every fantasy matchup for the rest of my life? Probably. But while the streak lasts, I’ll enjoy it and try to figure out exactly what it is that I’m doing right — and hopefully keep doing it.
The glaring advantage I’ve noticed is the level of production I’m getting out of guys that I drafted in late rounds or snatched off waivers. The three-headed monster of Cam Newton, Todd Gurley and Gary Barnidge has propelled me to the top of two separate leagues, and has made up for some injuries that would normally derail an entire fantasy season.
But what does that mean for you, the faithful reader? Well, based off the success I’ve stumbled upon so far, here are some mildly underrated players you should target — through trade or free agency if available — and the guys you can use as bait to land them.
Quarterback: Newton then Tyrod Taylor then Johnny Manziel.
The aforementioned Cam has been nothing but solid all year and could still be available on some waiver wires. I’ve expressed appreciation for Taylor all season, and he’s still a good play coming off injury. And with Josh McCown likely sidelined again in Cleveland, Money Manziel is worth a cautionary look.
Bait: Drew Brees is coming off an insane seven-touchdown performance, and with his value at the highest its been in years, dangle him on that trade block for someone more consistent.
Running back: Gurley, DeAngelo Williams and Charcandrick West.
I can’t say enough about the heroics Gurley has displayed this season, as he continues to put up first-round numbers after snagging him off waivers. It’ll be hard to get him at this point, but try if you can. West has put up Jamaal Charles-esque numbers the past two weeks and is worth starting for the rest of the year. And, of course, another one of my players, Le’Veon Bell, is out for the year. Go grab his incumbent, Williams.
Bait: C.J. Anderson finally had a good game for Denver, but so did Ronnie Hillman, so trade either of these committee-trapped dudes while they’re posting numbers.
Wide receiver: Julian Edelman, Stefon Diggs and Nelson Agholor.
Even with so many other weapons around him, Edelman never fails to produce and has netted at least 80 yards or a touchdown in all but one of his games this season. I raved about Charles Johnson as a sleeper wideout before the season, but Diggs has been the Viking to break out midseason. He’s been targeted at least nine times in each of his past four games. Another preseason sleeper, Agholor has been mostly absent because of injury but is ready to help a weak receiver corps in Philly this week.
Bait: Brandon LaFell will get his chances, but he’s the New England weapon I’d want the least.
Tight end: Heath Miller, Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald.
With Big Ben back in town, the old, reliable Miller is fantasy relevant again and faces a porous Oakland defense this week. San Fransisco continues to bottom out as they shipped Davis to Denver, opening up some new tight end opportunities. Davis is worth a glance with Peyton throwing to him, and on the other side, McDonald is the tight end next in line in San Fran. The benching of Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert doesn’t bode well for anyone’s fantasy value in the Bay, though.
Bait: Much love for Barnidge, but his pairing with McCown, not Manziel, has been the secret sauce.
Defense of the week: Atlanta will be an elite option against those poor Niners in Gabbert’s first start of the year.