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...
Cincinnati 34, Philadelphia 13
In spite of the score, Andy Dalton has regressed over the past three weeks, thus hindering fantasy owners who thought they had unearthed a solid fantasy sleeper. In this game the second year signal caller struggled to accumulate a meager 127 yards and one touchdown pass. Up next for Dalton is stiff Pittsburgh pass defense. Hopefully you have better options.
Nick Foles is yet another rookie quarterback developing before our very eyes. However the production of the Philly passing game was severely hindered by seven Eagles turnovers. By game's end Jeremy Maclin had emerged as the team's leading wide receiver with 74 yards. Hard to rely on these paltry numbers with a fantasy championship in the balance.
So much for plug and play status of rookie Bryce Brown. In this game Brown contributed to the turnover woes of the Eagles with a fumble of his own that resulted in Bengals TD. With LeSean McCoy likely returning for the next two games, Brown will be relegated to a secondary role.
New York 0, Atlanta 34
Taking his first start at running back, David Wilson looked awesome early in this game picking up 44 yards on his first five carries. For some reason the Giants didn't trust the rookie in a full-time role as newly signed Kregg Lumpkin nearly matched Wilson's rushing attempts. Further inhibiting Wilson's outing was the Giants falling behind 24-0 in the early third quarter. Wilson's week 16 status is contingent on Ahmad Bradshaw's return.
Michael Turner is a risky start every week due to his high dependency on touchdowns. However, we can't argue with production as he just keeps doing it. Turner is a plug-and-pray in fantasy lineups next week against Detroit.
Green Bay 21, Chicago 13
With Greg Jennings locked down by Charles Tillman, it was James Jones prospering with three touchdowns along with Randell Cobb's 115 yards. Jones has been a conundrum all season with very sporadic production. Do not feel bad if you sat him this week, and I wouldn't blame you for sitting him next week.
Alex Green is the lead ball carrier in the Green Bay backfield with 13 rushing attempts. However, the RBBC is alive and well as Ryan Grant, DuJuan Harris and John Kuhn all took carries. No Packers runner is recommended.
Matt Forte proves he is a solid RB1 value when the Bears are absent Michael Bush. With a plus matchup forthcoming with the Arizona Cardinals, Forte is a solid RB1 so long as...
5 Months Green Bay Packers
James Jones exploded for a career-high three touchdowns on seven targets, five receptions and 60 yards to lead the Packers to a 21-13 victory at Chicago in Week 15.
No receiver causes his fantasy owners to pull out their hair more than Jones, who only produces big games when he's left on the bench. Jones got the scoring started with a 29-yard grab and came back with an 8-yard score just before halftime following a Jay Cutler interception. After a high pass through Jones' hands, Aaron Rodgers found him just inside the pylon for a 6-yard touchdown in the middle of the third quarter. Jones has a fine matchup in Week 16 versus the Titans, but he's made a habit of following up big games with an air ball.
6 Months Green Bay Packers
James Jones caught two passes for 27 yards in Green Bay's Week 14 win over the Lions.
Yet another disappointing night for Jones, who now has just six catches for 100 yards and one touchdown in four games since the Packers' Week 10 bye. Although things were a bit skewed this evening since the Packers attempted just 24 passes in a game where the Lions dominated the time of possession, it's plain to see Jones' role has been scaled back even with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson trading off missed games. Jones is a threat to score in any given week, but his "high-risk" WR3 tag is no longer accompanied by "high-reward."
Each week I dig through player props and attempt to pick out the most attractive opportunities. After all, betting is all about finding bad odds and exploiting them! The Sand$ represents how much I am wagering and ultimately how confident I am in each bet. The money line is displayed at the end of each bet. Like a point spread, the money line is used to even out the attractiveness of both sides. For example, a negative line of -115 would require a bet of 115 Sand$ in order to win 100 Sand$. A positive line of +130 would return 130 Sand$ when a bet of 100 Sand$ is placed.
Occasionally I will put out a parlay bet as well. A parlay is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers and is dependent on all of those wagers winning together. The benefit of the parlay bet is much better odds than placing each individual bet separately since the difficulty of hitting it is much higher.
Season prop bets: 20,000 Sand$
Week 11 prop bets: 2,500 Sand$
Last week gain/loss: +4,566 Sand$
Season gain/loss: +13,108 Sand$
Week 13 Results
200 Sand$ - Ryan Lindley (Arizona) First Pass Will Be INCOMPLETE (EVEN) (-200)
400 Sand$ - Mark Sanchez (New York) Total Completions UNDER 19.5 (-115) (+348)
400 Sand$ - Steve Smith (Carolina) Total Receiving Yards OVER 60.5 (-115) (+348)
200 Sand$ - Brady Quinn (Kansas City) Will Throw an INTERCEPTION before a TOUCHDOWN (-110) (-200)
200 Sand$ - C.J. Spiller (Buffalo) Total Rushing + Receiving Yards OVER 113.5 (-115) (-200)
300 Sand$ - Stevan Ridley (New England) Total Rushing Yards UNDER 78.5 (-115) (+261)
200 Sand$ - Reggie Bush (Miami) Total Rushing + Receiving Yards UNDER 80.5 (-115) (+174)
400 Sand$ - Eric Decker (Denver) Total Receptions Over 4 (-115) (-400)
100 Sand$ - Indianapolis Colts Will Score 2.5 MORE Points Than Titans (-115) (+87)
Week 14 Player Prop Bets
100 Sand$ - Ray Rice (Baltimore) Total Rushing + Receiving Yards UNDER 118.5 (-115)
The Washington run defense ranks in the Top 5 while the pass defense is second-worst in the league. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and the Ravens continue to be all over the place in how Rice is used on a weekly basis.
200 Sand$ - Philip Rivers (San Diego) Total Completions OVER 21.5 (-115)
Rivers has topped 21 completions in nine out of 12 games this season. Pittsburgh has one of the best pass defenses in the league, but the Chargers certainly aren't getting anywhere trying to run the ball.
200 Sand$ -...
6 Months Green Bay Packers
James Jones caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown versus the Vikings in Week 13.
Jones appeared to be on his way to a monster game in the first quarter, but his second score was called back on a holding penalty while he was busy doing the Lambeau Leap. He was targeted just the two times and was an afterthought in the final three quarters. On pace for a 59/713/12 stat line, Jones is just a borderline WR3 option going forward.
6 Months Green Bay Packers
Packers OC Tom Clements blamed the Giants' scheme for James Jones' lack of Week 12 involvement in the offense.
Jones wasn't even targeted. "I'm sure it's frustrating for him," Clements said. "It's frustrating for all of us." The Packers were simply out-coached on Sunday Night Football, as the Giants shut down their passing game with two deep safeties, won the trench battle, and dared Green Bay to run. The Packers don't run the ball effectively. Jones will understandably be hard for fantasy owners to trust in Week 13 coming off the goose egg, but there are brighter box-score days ahead.