4 Months San Diego Chargers
New Chargers coach Mike McCoy plans to hire an offensive coordinator who will also handle play-calling duties.
McCoy promised to be "heavily involved" in game-planning and installation, but "game-day responsibilities" will keep him from calling plays. It's the opposite of Norv Turner's approach the past few seasons. McCoy cited the presence of Philip Rivers as a primary factor in accepting the job. The respect is mutual. "Of the potential candidates, I can honestly say this is the guy I was hoping for," Rivers told XEPRS-AM on Tuesday. "I feel great about it."
We begin a new premium series intended to cover players in dynasty purgatory. We begin our evaluations with none other than Philip Rivers.
5 Months San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers completed 13-of-17 passes for 151 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Chargers' Week 17 win over the Raiders.
Rivers got Norv Turner a win what's expected to be his final game as the Chargers' head coach, but his declining play led to Norv's demise. In the first 12 games of the season, Rivers threw just 18 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. On the season, he averaged just 225.3 yards per game, his worst mark since 2007. Rivers is just 31 and theoretically in his prime, but candidates for the Chargers' head coaching gig will have to decide how much is left in his arm.
The 2012 fantasy season has come to an end for me. I'll be traveling next week for the holidays, so this is my final column of the year. I want to thank all of you who stopped by and read my advice on trading players this season. I hope you found some of my inane babbling useful.
In the final edition of The Feeding Frenzy, I will take a look back and a look ahead to 2013. First, I will look at the players I think were the Top 5 waiver wire pickups of the season. Now I know in some leagues a couple of these players may have been drafted, but the fact is if you go back to August and look at the information available, they weren't being selected in a majority of drafts.
Finally, I'll look ahead to next season and five players I'm high on for 2013. Obviously things change, but these are five guys that as of right now are high on my fantasy radar for next year.
So if you're still playing in your fantasy championship games, I wish you luck. I also hope everyone has a great holiday season. As for me, if this is the end of the line, I'll see you all in the funny papers.
Here are my five top waiver wire pickups from the 2012 season:
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle -- Wilson was expected to be a game manager in his first year as a starter in the NFL. He was anything but that as Wilson has eclipsed 20 fantasy points in seven of 14 fantasy starts this season. Wilson has gotten better as the year has gone on too, averaging 25 fantasy points since Week 8. Through 14 games, Wilson has outscored bigger name quarterbacks such as Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers. For those who believe you shouldn't use a high draft pick on a quarterback, Wilson adds more fodder to their argument.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver -- Moreno was a late addition to fantasy teams, but if you were fortunate enough to get him, it has paid off. Since Moreno started against Kansas City four weeks ago, he has averaged 19 points in points per reception formats. Even more importantly, Moreno has done most of his damage during fantasy playoffs, rushing for 237 yards and two scores over the last two weeks. Moreno may not be done yet. He gets the Cleveland Browns and their 18th ranked rush defense in Week 16. I said to sell Moreno after his first start. I was dead wrong. Peyton Manning got me again. First Joseph Addai, now Moreno.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay -- There were talks of Jones being traded during the summer, but, rather than leaving Green Bay, Jones...
5 Months San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers completed 16-of-23 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Chargers' Week 15 blowout loss to Carolina.
He scrambled three times for four yards. The Chargers got dominated in time of possession and had no prayer in pass protection. Rivers settled for checkdowns throughout the contest, completing just two passes for 39 yards combined to outside receivers Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander, on five combined targets. Rivers has had a nightmare 2012 season, bringing San Diego's skill-position players down along with him. The Chargers will face the Jets' top-five pass defense in Week 16.
The end of the fantasy season is drawing near and that means everyone is running out of ideas and getting lazy. That's why you keep seeing those stupid "Biggest Fantasy Busts" lists that are so annoying. Like we need someone to tell us which players were busts, right? Well, here is my list.
I apologize in advance but when you write a column about trading all season by the time we get to Week 15 you need to be creative because trading has run its course. I have two columns left this season and with all the trading pretty much done I figured I would use my remaining time to look back and ahead. So this week I'm going to look at which players let us all down this fantasy season and next week I'll look ahead to 2013.
Here are the guys I think let us down the most in 2012:
Philip Rivers, QB San Diego -- Some people thought Rivers was going to have a big bounceback season in 2012 and advised fantasy owners to draft him as their starter in the 5th or 6th round of drafts. Unfortunately, I was one of those people beating that drum and I was dead wrong.
Now four months later I think Rivers is one of the 10 worst quarterbacks in the NFL. I mean this guy can't hit simple out routes most of the time. I'm talking about plays where he has time in the pocket and his receiver is open by 10 yards on a 12-yard out. Those are the easiest throws to make and Rivers isn't even close. I no longer think Rivers is declining, I think he is a flat-out disaster.
In fantasy terms, Rivers has topped 20 points four times this year. To put that in perspective, Chad Henne has two 20+ fantasy weeks. I mean, do I really need to go on? This guy is all done. I don't know who will be running the Chargers next season but his first order of business should be to select a young quarterback in the first two rounds of the draft because my 2-year old son throws a nicer ball than Rivers and most of his passes go backwards.
LeSean McCoy, RB Philadelphia -- On most of the "Biggest Fantasy Bust" lists that are coming out McCoy is showing up in the Top 3. I think that's a bit harsh but there is no denying that McCoy didn't have the kind of year fantasy owners were expecting when they selected him with a Top 5 pick.
The only reason I think people are being a little too hard on McCoy is because before he got hurt he scored at least 15 fantasy points in eight of 10 games in PPR formats. I know those aren't elite numbers but on the other hand they aren't far off from what Ray Rice...
Knowshon Moreno is becoming a dependable backfield option. Sometimes, it takes good players a few years, and some luck, to start making an impact. In Moreno's case, he had basically been left for dead, buried on a depth chart behind a workhorse and then several younger backs. But when you combine a Willis McGahee injury with those young backs not knowing how to protect a Hall of Fame quarterback with recent injury problems, and all of a sudden, that guy on the scout team starts to look good. On Thursday night, Moreno ran 32 times for 119 yards and a score, with another 48 yards on four catches. With Peyton Manning at the controls, there will plenty of running lanes for Moreno, and I think he could end up making a difference for the lucky fantasy players that grabbed him.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is providing a late season lift. Green-Ellis played well, posting 89 yards rushing on just twelve carries in Sunday's loss to Cowboys. The Law Firm had been fairly unimpressive most of the season, underwhelming as he'd amassed just 537 yards and three touchdowns through the Bengals first nine games. But in his last four games, he's now put up 437 yards and two scores. Despite Sunday's loss, the Bengals offense has discovered a balanced attack that features Green-Ellis on the ground and the Dalton-Green combo through the air. I like Green-Ellis as a dependable, productive RB2 going forward.
A healthy Jake Locker means a dangerous Kenny Britt. Locker missed several weeks with a dislocated non-throwing shoulder. Matt Hasselbeck did as best he could, but he doesn't have the same skill set or arm strength as the second-year signal caller. Locker is now healthy, and while the Titans aren't winning games, Britt's fantasy outlook is much improved. In Weeks 12 and 13, Britt caught two and three passes, respectively, but he also scored in each game. In Week 14 against Indianapolis, Britt didn't score, but he did catch eight of nine targets for 143 yards. A receiver that has been largely forgotten this season, he's certainly making a case to be remembered next season.
Adrian Peterson could run for 2,000 yards this season. Peterson was the story for the Vikings once again, running for a ho-hum 154 yards on 31 carries and adding two catches for 16 yards. In short, Peterson amazes me. After starting off fine, Christian Ponder has been abysmal this season, topping 270 yards just once and falling short of the 100-yard mark three times. With teams stacked up against the run,...