Fantasy Sleepers

Fantasy Frenzy: Gronk to IR, AP Hurt & Waiver Pickups

Fantasy Football

Week 14 was not your normal week of football. From snowstorms to shootouts to knees getting blown out, the NFL was jam packed with action and awesome moments that needed extra time around the water cooler this morning.

Waiver Wire Pickups & Advice

Fantasy BreakdownWeek 14 was not your normal week of football. From snowstorms to shootouts to knees getting blown out, the NFL was jam packed with action and awesome moments that needed extra time around the water cooler this morning.

Most fantasy leagues kicked off the playoffs week 14, and to all our Gridiron Experts members who listened to me back in the summer and drafted LeSean McCoy over Doug Martin, Spiller, T-Rich, Ray-Ray and all the other let down RB’s this year…you’re welcome. Shady McCoy crushed it with 217 rushing yards and two touchdowns to become week 14’s most productive fantasy running back of the week. I’ll admit I was sinking in my seat through that first half of Sunday’s snowstorm game in Philly. The blizzard in the Lions/Eagles game was surreal, yet the end result and overall game was one to remember. Chip Kelly is playing it cool in post game interviews, but the momentum gained after coming back in the fourth quarter should really speak volumes for this team moving forward. The Eagles are a team on the rise, and they face three opponents that rank near the bottom of nearly all categories defensively to cap off their season. Going green has never been more trendy.

Another surging team right now is the Patriots. Or at least they were prior to Tom Brady’s favorite target going on IR Monday after tearing his right ACL and MCL. The Patriots receiving core has been a complete mess all year and fantasy owners are beyond frustrated. Gronkowski not only brought his talents to a team that was lacking a real boost, but added a sense of balance to the offense as a whole. Now with him gone again, and even with all their recent success, it’s hard not to wonder if we see the Patriots revert back to that frustrating pre-Gronk squad from before. The only saving grace is that the team will have Shane Vereen this time around. Vereen was worth the wait and could see even more targets now that Gronk is out. Another player I think will be busy during the fantasy playoff stretch is Julian Edelman. The four year Patriot played on 82-of-82 snaps in Sunday’s win over the Browns. After a mid-season lull, Edelman has had 3 solid fantasy performances in a row that have included two hundred yard games and 3 scores. Edelman was my sleeper pick for week 14, and he’s on the waiver wire pickup list this week.

Dennis PittaObviously, the big question everyone keeps tweeting my way is who they should pick up to replace Rob Gronkowski. Timing is everything, and I have been talking about Dennis Pitta for 3 weeks. I told you to stash him in a waiver wire article I wrote a couple weeks back and have mentioned him every week since –Read more about why I like him here. I could easily see Pitta racking up 5-6 catches for 70+ yards and a score on Monday night; his debut was more than what most thought he’d do his first week back.

Adrian Peterson’s injury comes at the worst time of the year. Fantasy owners need to see the writing on the wall; with the Vikings eliminated from playoff contention, there are zero reasons for AP to play week 15 or even after. Think big picture people, there is nothing to play for and the Vikings don’t want to force their franchise player into harm’s way if they don’t need to. Glass half full, it’s probably better he’s ruled out (not official yet) as he would have limited snaps and could re-injure his foot on any play.

Finding a replacement running back this time of year is like Xmas shopping on the 24th at a gas station…Beef Jerky anyone?  Daniel Thomas has had an excellent season considering he is easily one of the most hated running backs in fantasy football. Thomas has ruined Lamar Miller’s chances of doing anything this season, and after his week 14 impressive performance I don’t see why you wouldn’t pick him up in a jam. Although, odds are you have a backup plan for this sort of thing, although backup Toby Gerhart did pulled his hamstring and the severity of Vikings RB2 is unknown at this time. It doesn’t sound to be too bad, but if he can’t go the Vikings will likely lean towards Matt Asiata, their third string RB. Don’t overthink opportunities, Asiata has 3 carries in his career and is not a great idea for starting unless you’re in a 16 man league and have no other choices.

If you really need a waiver wire miracle, why not gamble with a goal line running back like Michael Bush, Shonn Greene, or Peyton Hillis? A handful of carries and a goal line score…sounds like a Mary Poppins song to me.

Wide Receivers are the most dangerous thing for me to add to a waiver wire article, mainly because the WR position gets played with the most on Sunday mornings when setting a line-up. Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson has been very impressive. I myself picked him up at the perfect time in a 16 man publisher’s league that earned me a fantasy bye last week. Of course the key to that sentence was that it was a 16 man league, and I have been hit with injuries. Patterson along with players like Rod Streater, Justin Hunter, and most recently Da’Rick Rogers all come with an element of risk. I will always go with my stud players over some streaky player on the waiver wire or a great match-up. Just look at week 14, Josh Gordon (vs. NE), Larry Fitzgerald (vs. STL), and Anquan Boldin (vs. SEA) all had great performances and all were the types of players people overthink for match-ups. I truly care about you doing your very best in the fantasy playoffs, so unless you are royally screwed from AP or Gronk going down, stick with your studs.

Feel free to hit me up on twitter for more Q&A: @GridironExperts

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