Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama, 6-foot, 220 pounds
Eddie Lacy PROS: Lightning quick feet, decisive cuts to the hole, good vision, tackle-breaking ability, has shown passing game skills.
CONS: Not a creative runner, overly reliant on spin move, follows blueprint well but unproven in creating plays when they're not there, downside to running behind an elite level offensive line.
DRAFT BRIEFING: Since no one else has emerged from the running back pack, he will likely be the first one taken on draft day. Reasonable guess would be about the same time former teammate Mark Ingram was selected - the very end of Round 1.
2013 OUTLOOK: If he is drafted at the end of Round 1 as expected, it depends if he goes to a team currently needing a running back or if he is going to be mixed into the rotation with plans on role expansion later, i.e. David Wilson last year. Strong bet that if he is drafted at the end of Day 1 he will go to a good offensive team, so think optimistically, right now.
DYNASTY OUTLOOK: From a pure talent perspective, it is tough to get
excited about Lacy. The situation will mean a lot for his long-term success. He probably needs a situation like Rashard Mendenhall in Pittsburgh to be a Top 10 back, and actually I think he could be Mendenhall's replacement in Pittsburgh if he slips to Round 2. For now, expect an uninteresting Top 20 running back, something better than Shonn Greene but without the upside of a David Wilson.
Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds
PROS: Arguably, the most physically gifted wide receiver prospect in this draft. He has quicks in and out of his breaks, is difficult to jam at the line, has an array of moves, and can get on top of the defense vertically.
CONS: Raw...very, very raw. Another year in school would have answered a lot of questions, but those answers could have just as easily pushed his stock deep into Day 2 as it would have vaulted him into the Top 10. He has a tendency to play very undisciplined, run sloppy routes, and effort-related questions have circulated around him since getting to Tennessee.
DRAFT BRIEFING: Due to the lack of physical specimens at wide receiver in this draft, I think he will be picked somewhere in the 20-40 range. Someone is going to fall in love with the potential and believe they can fix the problems.
2013 OUTLOOK: Not someone I will be keeping in the back of my head in August, 2013. Given his weaknesses, his reasonably best case scenario...
Even with the season winding down, we identify a couple of options out on waivers about whom we feel pretty solid. A few others are worth watching, and we troll the deepest of depths for those of you in deep leagues that need to find something to keep your playoff run going. We spread the wealth out among all the skill positions, something for everyone this week!
WR Brandon Gibson, St. Louis
The return of Danny Amendola did not put much of a dent in Gibson's numbers, as he caught six passes which were good for 76 yards against the Minnesota Vikings. His numbers came at the expense of Chris Givens, who saw his production cut to the bone. Amendola is going to get his stats, with Gibson second in line on the Rams. Look for Gibson to continue to be a low-end fantasy option, especially against a weak Tampa Bay defense in Week 16.
RB Jackie Battle, San Diego
With Ryan Mathews lost for the season, Battle becomes the starting back for the Chargers. Curtis Brinkley got more action last week, but that was only because San Diego was playing from behind. The running game will be on display against the New York Jets in Week 16, so look for Battle to be a decent flex play in Week 16.
On the Radar
QB Kirk Cousins, Washington
After calmly stepping in to complete a clutch comeback against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago, not much was expected of the rookie as the starter this week against the Cleveland Browns. He was surprisingly impressive, spreading the ball around on his way to 329 yards and two touchdown passes. With the listless Philadelphia Eagles on the schedule this week, the Redskins can afford to give Robert Griffin III's knee another week to get better. Keep an eye on injury reports; if Cousins is tapped again as the starter, look for him to have another very successful day against Philadelphia.
WR Rod Streater, Oakland
After back-to-back games of close to 100 yards, Streater kept things going with a five-catch, 62-yard effort against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is the third week that Streater has been the leading wide receiver for the Raiders, ahead of both Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. We like his chances to continue these numbers, even against a tough Carolina Panthers team this upcoming week.
TE Tony Scheffler, Detroit
A disappointing fantasy week for Scheffler; only three catches for 36 yards. We expected more, especially when it was announced that Brandon Pettigrew was not going to dress. Keep...
5 Months Oakland Raiders
Denarius Moore hauled in five passes for 46 yards versus the Chiefs in Week 15.
Moore had a good shot at a long touchdown, but Carson Palmer underthrew him just in front of the goal line. While his eight targets led the team, Moore was once again outproduced by Rod Streater. He's a high-risk WR3 option against a tough Panthers pass defense in Week 16.
5 Months Oakland Raiders
Denarius Moore caught just four passes for 43 yards in Oakland's Week 14 loss to Denver.
Moore caught four of his six targets but couldn't do much with them after-the-catch. He hasn't topped four catches in a game since Week 8, and despite being known as a big-play receiver, has gone over 71 yards just three times this season. Couple that with his Week 13 benching for performance-based reasons, Moore is no more than a shaky WR3 on a weekly basis. The Chiefs are up next, and Moore did burn them for 96 yards and a score on five catches in Week 8.
6 Months Oakland Raiders
The San Francisco Chronicle confirms that Denarius Moore will start Thursday versus the Broncos after his temporary benching in Week 13.
Moore was given a wake-up call by coach Dennis Allen after dropping a couple of passes. According to Pro Football Focus, Moore's eight drops are tied for the seventh-most among wide receivers this season. Likely to see plenty of Champ Bailey this week, Moore is a shaky WR3 option.
New York 16, Washington 17
The dual that started in week seven did not disappoint as the two quarterbacks traded blows all game long. On the receiving end for the Giants was Victor Cruz racking up 104 yards on five receptions. Nice to see Cruz stepping up his game just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Martellus Bennett was also a beneficiary catching five of seven targets, for 82 yards and the Giants lone touchdown. With the Saints coming to the Big Apple, Bennett has medium fantasy value as a lower TE1.
With Andre Brown out for the season, Ahmad Bradshaw finally got the workload we all projected according to his third round ADP touching the ball 26 times for 116 yards. Bradshaw should be cemented in our lineups as a borderline RB1 next week facing New Orleans.
Robert Griffin III must be touched by fate after his fumble jumped right into the hands of Skins wide receiver Josh Morgan who rolled in for a 13-yard touchdown. Not the greatest of fantasy performances, Griffin was able to set the single season rookie rushing record, the primary reason he remains a solid fantasy starter. The future of the NFL quarterback position looks brighter than ever.
After a mid third quarter fumble Mike Shannahan showed his confidence in rookie running back Alfred Morris giving him the ball repeatedly on the very next series. Although Morris will never be considered for rookie of the year, he'd certainly get my vote for best draft value, both NFL and fantasy.
Pierre Garcon owners who were patient all season look to have a solid WR2 on their hands. He is a lineup lock now making the championship push.
Tuesday Morning Quick Hits
•Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles has been diagnosed with a torn ACL, he's done for the season. Head coach Jim Schwartz says Titus Young will not replace Broyles in the lineup meaning Mike Thomas becomes a player of intrigue.
•Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are expected to return Thursday night, but the timeshare is still unknown. Best to avoid all Raiders running backs.
•Chargers left tackle Mike Harris has suffered a high ankle sprain. Best to avoid all Chargers players not named Danario Alexander (low end WR3) this week facing Pittsburgh.
•Packers head coach Mike McCarthy says he'll stick with the "hot hand" at running back meaning James Starks is nothing more than a mid-RB3.
•McCarthy also stated that Jordy Nelson will be "hard pressed to play" this weekend after suffering a hamstring injury. Find other...
6 Months Oakland Raiders
Raiders coach Dennis Allen explained that he benched Denarius Moore late in Sunday's loss to Cleveland for dropping passes.
Moore was benched for rookie Rod Streater, who finished with three catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. "Yeah, took him out there at the end," Allen said of Moore. "Dropped a couple balls, and we got to make plays when you've got opportunities. Both those guys. It wasn't from a lack of effort, but we've got to make plays when we've got an opportunity."