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Le'Veon Bell

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell Lookin' To Get PAID!


“Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell will report back to team before regular season kicks off, though it remains unclear exactly when.” Bell values himself at about $15mm per year, your move Rooney.

Fantasy Goo: There is no doubt Bell is an elite RB1 when he is active, this hold-out makes me nervous. He might be staying in shape, but there is no way to really simulate game-speed without actually participating with the team. He missed 3 games last year and came in shredding defenses, but that is much different than missing camp completely.


08/18/17, 05:48 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Eddie Lacy

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Thomas Rawls

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts

Indy Needs Some Luck


There has been quite a bit of concern about Andrew Luck’s availability to start the season on the active roster after offseason surgery. Hartbeat points out that, “Colts seem confident in Luck for week 1 as they haven't changed their playbook.” There is a concern about his offensive line though as starting C Ryan Kelly is likely to find himself on the designated IR for return after foot surgery.

Fantasy Goo: Luck put together a 2016 season with a career best 71.2 QBR and a 92.4 PFF grade. If he’s healthy he’s a must start, and his ADP has fallen nearly two rounds since August first. He is now being drafted as the eighth QB off the board. Check out the Draft Kit vol.3 to get the full goo.


08/17/17, 08:57 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers

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08/17/17, 10:10 AM CDT by The Hartbeat

Source: pyromaniac.com


Curtis Samuel

Carolina Panthers

Samuel Back in Pads


Curtis Samuel was back in full pads for today's practice (Wednesday), he has missed almost all of training camp with a hamstring problem that began as a issue in the spring. He's been out for so long that it's hard to see him having a immediate early-season role.

Fantasy Goo: Samuel is the ultimate utility knife if he can get healthy, he can pick up the big plays vacated by Ginn and match anything fellow rookie McCaffrey does in the passing game.


08/16/17, 08:15 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Ty Montgomery

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jamaal Williams

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jaron Brown

Arizona Cardinals

Jaron Number Two?


Larry Fitzgerald is the No. 1 wideout. Brown? “He’s No. 2 right now,” Coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday.
“I’ve been here for a while,” Jaron Brown said. “Every camp is different. We obviously have injuries, and that gives me an opportunity. I just try to take advantage.

Fantasy Goo: I could see Jaron shooting up draft boards, and I like him as a last round dart throw, but this just makes that receiving corps all the more crowded. A torn ACL prevented Jaron from possibly breaking-out last year. Yesterday we thought JJ Nelson would emerge, I’m sure we will be re-visiting this regularly.


08/16/17, 04:21 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys

Beasley Under the Radar


NFL Next Gen Stats have revealed many of their numbers to the public recently. Hartbeat picked this one out on Twitter: Cole Beasley adding another advanced stat that he thrives in, Top 10 in separation among all pass catchers.

Fantasy Goo: Beasley was one of the most efficient weapons in the NFL last year. His Defense-adjusted Yards above Replacement and Defense-adjusted Value over Average ranked as 5th best among WRs. For more on Beasley and others check out the Pyro Pulse podcast episode 6, WR Tiers.


08/15/17, 05:08 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


John Brown

Arizona Cardinals

John Brown’s Health Back in Question


WR John Brown looking like sickle cell IS NOT being managed by the Cardinals. Could be another injury plagued season for Brown. Arians said WR John Brown not practicing full time is a concern (He's been participating in certain drills during practice).

Fantasy Goo: JJ Nelson was the WR11 in PPR scoring weeks 13-17, it appears as though we should be drafting Nelson as one of our late round flyers immediately. If the Brown news continues to be negative we will begin to see Nelson’s stock rise. Jaron Brown and Chad Williams are names we should also keep an eye on, but Arians has complained about their lack of performance publicly.


08/15/17, 04:28 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Maxx Williams

Baltimore Ravens

Maxx Looks Slow, Open Door for Watson


“Tight end Maxx Williams deserves a ton of credit for persevering through a serious knee surgery and getting back onto the field this summer. But in watching him run, it’s still pretty clear that he has a ways to go. He has bulked up and gotten considerably stronger, so it will be interesting to see whether he becomes more of a blocking tight end, assuming he’s on the season-opening roster.”

fantasy Goo: Ben Watson appears to be worth a last round flier. Denis Pitta was the number eight TE overall last year and he only scored 2 TD’s. Watson was the number 6 TE in 2015 with Drew Brees throwing him 6 TD’s.


08/15/17, 03:54 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.baltimoresun.com


Ryan Mathews

Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan Matthews Released


After passing his physical earlier today, The Eagles have informed former starting RB Ryan Mathews that he's been released. This move was completely expected, the Eagles save a bunch of money by releasing him now.

Fantasy Goo: Hartbeat would like to see him land in: IND, SF, MIA or CHI (all backup roles). I think the Giants or Ravens should see what he has left in the tank, even if it’s just a few games Matthews is a talented back, he’s just been drenched with injuries. I don’t think the team that picks him up has to pay much for him.


08/15/17, 03:30 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Devonta Freeman

Atlanta Falcons

Freeman in Concussion Protocol


Coach Quinn says Devonta Freeman is in concussion protocol, will be ruled out for Sunday's game. This really means nothing if he’s back by next week, but if this lingers like Jay Ajayi’s concussion, Coleman might actually be worth his draft value in the sixth round.

Fantasy Goo: Despite being only 206 lbs he had the 3rd most RZ carries with 53. Although Coleman is an extremely strong receiver Freeman was still top 5 in catches among RBs on only a 63% snap share.


08/14/17, 04:34 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette Battling Same Issues


Jaguars rookie RB Leonard Fournette suffered a foot injury and HC Doug Marrone said team intends to be "careful with him." Fournette battled a recurring foot/ankle injury throughout his final season at LSU. It was a real problem most of the year.

Fantasy Goo: Fournette was clocked running 22.9 MPH at LSU last season, for reference Tyreek Hill was the NFLs fastest player at 23.2MPH. It appears as though Jacksonville is being cautious, but rookies need to get on the field and learn the nuances of the NFL, especially pass blocking.


08/14/17, 03:31 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Matthews

Buffalo Bills

Matthews Must Play With Pain


Bills' WR Jordan Mathews has what team is calling "a chip fracture in his sternum" and is week to week.
The good news is that it’s just a pain tolerance issue. The bad news is that it can be pretty painful.

Fantasy Goo: Matthews move to Buffalo had very little effect on his projections, but with lack of practice with his new team he will almost certainly get off to a slow start. Check the Pyro Pulse Podcast (Ep.5) to get the hot, sticky goo on how this affects the value of the other Bills and Eagles skill players.


08/14/17, 03:29 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Marqise Lee

Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee High Ankle Sprain Opens Door for Hurns, Again


Jaguars WR Marqise Lee suffered a high-ankle sprain, source said. He'll push hard to be ready for Week 1, but caution could push it back.

Fantasy Goo: Lee was the 39th overall pick of the 2014 draft. In 2016 he caught a career-high 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. He was finally healthy after continuous injuries the last two years. I think many would rank him higher if we could be sure that he has beaten Allen Hurns out for regular targets.


08/14/17, 02:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Reed

Washington Redskins

Reed Has "Special Shoes"


“Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said his new cleats and orthotics have made a difference for his sprained big toe. Reed said, "I'll be out there shortly." He remains on the PUP list.”

Fantasy Goo: Jay Gruden has made it very clear that the offense runs through Jordan Reed, this was never more prominent than when the Redskins let their two best WRs based on production walk this offseason. Reed has obviously red flags when it comes to injuries, he is one dirty hit away from a career ending concussion. When he is healthy, there is no TE that I would rather have, Reed has averaged the most fantasy points per game over the past two seasons and is targeted on a minimum of 15% of his routes.
For more see Hartbeat TE Gold Diggers vol.1


08/13/17, 08:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Sterling Shepard

New York Giants

Shepard Back in Practice


“Just 11 days after he was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury fearing the worst, Shepard practiced fully with his teammates on Sunday. There appeared to be very few restrictions on the second-year receiver, who also didn't seem to be favoring his injured ankle at all.”

Fantasy Goo: Shepard finished second among rookie WRs in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. In general, second year WRs see a jump in fantasy production by 16%, but Sterling is more likely to move in an inverse fashion. With the Giants bringing in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, Shepard is the most likely to see a decrease in targets. See Hartbeat, WR Gold Diggers vol.1 for more.


08/13/17, 07:55 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Robby Anderson

New York Jets

Robby With Early Bomb


With Enunwa out for the season the New York Jets will be looking for one of their young receivers to step-up. On their first drive Josh McCown connected with Robby Anderson for a 53 yard gain and finished the drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Charone Peake. Anderson finished the first half with three receptions for 71 yards.

Fantasy Goo: Anderson could be a nice late-round flyer, but this offense doesn’t project for much fire-power. Anderson projects for a 63/830/4 line and Peake is nothing more than a DFS GPP play or possible bye-week flyer.


08/13/17, 08:14 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce to Return Next Week


After the game, Chiefs coach Andy Reid provided an update on a few of those guys, specifically Travis Kelce. “They are close,” Reid noted of those three guys. “(They will) potentially get some work this next week, we’ll just see how it goes. They’ve got a big rehab session (Saturday), so we’ll see.”

Fantasy Goo: Since he fractured his patella in 2013 and missed his entire rookie campaign, Kelce has not missed a game. Kelce led all TEs last season in fantasy points, but he also thrived under advanced metrics, also leading the league in Success Rate on 65% of his plays. – Hartbeat
I five games without Maclin on the field over the past two years Kelce averages 2.76 more PPR points per game even though he did not score a TD in any of them.


08/12/17, 07:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jay Ajayi

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Fantasy Football Playoff Player Rankings - Week 1

Fantasy Football Playoff Player Rankings - Week 1

Posted by Dawgmaticå on 01/02/13

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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2012 Fantasy Football Playoff Player Rankings

 

 

 

Player Rankings – Playoffs Week 1

 

Cincinnati @ Houston – Saturday, Jan. 5th – 4:30pm ET

Minnesota @ Green Bay – Saturday, Jan. 5th – 8:00pm ET

Indianapolis @ Baltimore – Sunday, Jan. 6th – 1:00pm ET

Seattle @ Washington – Sunday, Jan. 6th – 4:30pm ET

 

 

 

Quarterbacks

(Updated:  Thursday, Jan. 3 - 1:57PM CT)


 

Aaron Rodgers - Pyro Character  Russell Wilson - Pyro Character  Joe Flacco - Pyro Character  Robert Griffin III - Pyro Character  Andrew Luck - Pyro Character  Andy Dalton - Pyro Character  Matt Schaub - Pyro Character  Christian Ponder - Pyro Character

 

 

1.         Aaron Rodgers (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Aaron Rodgers averaged 325.5 yards and 2.5 touchdowns in the two games he faced off against the Vikings this season. Being the playoffs, however, this is the only game that counts, and Rodgers knows what to do when it counts. In six career playoff matches, Rodgers has averaged 296.8 yards and three total TDs per game, so with the Vikings maybe owning the worst defense in the 2012 post-season, you have to think Aaron puts up some big numbers here. Having a full complement of wide receivers to throw to certainly doesn’t hurt.


2.         Russell Wilson (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) Where would the Seahawks be without their rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson. The guy has been amazing during the second half of the season putting up 20 total touchdowns (just two interceptions) and a 7-1 record over the last eight games and actually climbed into the top ten fantasy QBs by season’s end. Against a mediocre Washington D, he should be good for at least one more game.


3.         Joe Flacco (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) He’s not flashy by any means, but Joseph Vincent Flacco gets the job done. He’s been to the playoffs every year since entering the league back in 2008 and though he’s only had a few good fantasy games in the post-season, this one should be added to the list. His statistics at home are far better than when he is away, as evidenced by his 18 total touchdowns in Baltimore versus just seven on the road. Indy can be beat both through the air and on the ground, though I expect the Colts to stack the line against Ray Rice so Flacco should have plenty of room to throw the ball.


4.         Robert Griffin III (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) – The Redskins are going to need Griffin to step up in a big way if they want to beat the Seahawks this Sunday. His poise should be up to the challenge, though the overall fantasy numbers may lack a bit. Seattle takes care of the quarterback position as well as any defense in the league, but Griffin’s athleticism should be able to squeak out some decent fantasy points by the end of this one. Just don’t expect a monster effort here. 


5.         Andrew Luck (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Of the three rookie quarterbacks who made it to the playoffs, it would be tough to pick which one had the best season, but I’d probably choose Andrew Luck in the end. After going 2-14 last season, Luck turned the franchise around almost on his own as he led the Colts to an 11-5 record while putting together six fourth-quarter comebacks along the way. However, I’m not sure he has enough to overcome a Ravens defense that not only allowed the second-fewest passing TDs in 2012, but will be returning their defensive leader, Ray Lewis, to its lineup this Sunday. Indy will need to pass a bunch to win this game, so Luck’s final fantasy stats should inflate to the mid-range zone by the final whistle. 


6.         Andy Dalton (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – Andy Dalton is one of those quarterbacks where it doesn’t really matter if he’s at home or on the road as he pretty much puts up the same numbers no matter where he is. However, the Bengals themselves tend to win more when Dalton passes less, so don’t be surprised to see them try to control the clock with their running game. In games where their opponent ran the ball 25 times or more, the Houston Texans went 2-4, with those two wins coming against the Titans and Jaguars. I expect the Bengals coaching staff to know this.  


7.          Matt Schaub (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) Schaub has his good games and his bad, though his best games usually come at home. That being said, I’m still not expecting much out of him this Saturday as Count Chuckula finished off the regular season about as poor as you could imagine. After tossing up just one touchdown and three interceptions in his last four games combined (three Texans losses), it would be fair to say that opposing defenses figured out how to stop them, so my guess is that a top-notch Bengals pass D will do the same.


8.         Christian Ponder (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Ponder had a few nice fantasy games this season, but the fact is, he had just as many games where he threw for less than 160 yards as he did for 200 yards or more. He also averaged just 169.3 yards and less than one passing touchdown per game on the road this season. The Vikings know that their key to victory starts with Adrian Peterson, a formula I don’t expect them to abandon now.

 

 

 

Running Backs

(Updated:  Friday, Jan. 4 - 7:24PM CT)

 


Adrian Peterson - Pyro Character  Ray Rice - Pyro Character  Marshawn Lynch - Pyro Character  Arian Foster - Pyro Character  Alfred Morris - Pyro Character  Vick Ballard - Pyro Character  BenJarvus Green-Ellis - Pyro Character  DuJuan Harris - Pyro Character  Bernard Pierce - Pyro Character  Ryan Grant - Pyro Character


 

1.         Adrian Peterson (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) – The world runs through Purple Jesus when it comes to the Vikings’ offensive strategy, and considering where it’s gotten them, I see no reason to change it now. If AP doesn’t get upwards of 30 touches and 150 yards in this game, I’d be shocked to the bejesus.


2.         Ray Rice (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Ray Rice absolutely loves playing in Baltimore as he’s scored a touchdown in 14 of his last 18 regular season home games. However, the playoffs are a whole different story, though I expect the outcome to stay the same. In six career post-season games as a starter, Rice has put up four total touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) while averaging 108.7 total yards per game. Against probably the worst rush defense to make it to the playoffs, Rice should be able to out-perform each of these past numbers, even if the Colts decide to stack the box against him.


3.         Marshawn Lynch (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) “Fugly McSkittles” didn’t break down the way some thought he would over the course of 2012 and in fact, was a gem for fantasy owners down the stretch against the league’s toughest second-half schedule versus the rush. It doesn’t get any easier this Sunday with the Redskins top ten rush D on tap, but Lynch is as fearless of a runner as the NFL has to offer, so don’t expect his fantasy stats to suffer too much, if at all.


4.         Arian Foster (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – You can’t really say a guy was a bad fantasy player when he had more touchdowns than games played in a season, though I wouldn’t blame fantasy owners for feeling that way with the way Arian Foster performed in the last half of 2012. Is it possible the Texans overused him in the first half? Absolutely, but the bright side heading into the playoffs is that Foster has seen 20 or more touches in a game just once in the last five weeks, so he should be ready for a full load this Saturday. Look for Houston to do what they do best against the Bengals, which is to wear the defense down with one of the league’s best rushing attacks until inevitably; they finally break. 


5.         Alfred Morris (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) – If Alfred Morris can keep the momentum going from what he did in that regular season finale against the Cowboys, not even the hard-nosed Seahawks defense will be able to contain him. Considering Seattle’s top tier pass D will be back working at full capacity this Sunday, the Redskins will need a big game from Morris anyway if they want to win this game. Washington has won seven games in a row now and in each one of them, Morris carried the ball 20 or more times. I expect the same strategy to be used here, though his final fantasy numbers will hinge on whether or not he can get into the end zone.


6.         BenJarvus Green-Ellis (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) I have no doubt BenJarvus Green-Ellis did better this season than was expected, especially during a five-week stretch in the second half of the season when he put up four 100-yard games, three touchdowns and five straight double-digit fantasy performances. However, the Law Firm didn’t play in the Bengals Week 17 game after coming down with a hamstring injury in warm-ups, so he’s a bit on the cold side going into Saturday’s matchup with the Texans. That being said, he’s been practicing on a limited basis this week and should be fine come game-time. The formula to beat the Texans seems to be to run the ball at least 25 times in the game, so if he’s healthy enough to take it on, I anticipate a heavy workload for Green-Ellis. 


7.         Vick Ballard (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Vick Ballard has been phenomenal of late putting up four double-digit fantasy performances in the last five weeks, including the first 100-yard game of his career. Baltimore hasn’t been the same run-stuffing machine they have been over the last decade or so, but despite Ballard’s recent hot streak, the return of Ray Lewis should have the defense amped up enough to slow down the Colts running game. If Andrew Luck and the Colts can keep the game close, Ballard will have a chance at another double-digit fantasy game. If not, then it’s doubtful he sees the ball enough to make a major impact.


8.         DuJuan Harris (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) The undrafted kid out of Troy University is hardly the second coming of anything, but he’s looked pretty darn special playing within the Packers high-flying offense over the last couple of weeks—at least as good as any other Packers running back this season. His dwarfish stature makes him a tough target to get a bead on, especially since the Vikings should be worrying more about what Rodgers and his all-star receiving corps will be doing. I’m not expecting big numbers here by any means, but he could sneak up and give you more than 50 total yards.


9.         Bernard Pierce (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Pierce has done really well in a backup roll this season and proved his worth with 212 rushing yards over the Ravens last two games. However, he’s still a backup—and a rookie one at that—so don’t more than eight touches with this being a win-or-go-home game.


10.       Ryan Grant (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Being a veteran with playoff experience who obviously knows the Packers system, Grant could have the inside track to leading the Green Bay backfield in touches and snaps this Saturday night. The big question, however, is whether or not he still has the skills to do any fantasy damage with the opportunity. I wouldn’t be shocked to see 50-60 total yards out of him, but I’d be even less shocked to see 20-30.

 

11.       Cedric Peerman (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – Here are a couple of things you might not know about Cedric Peerman. First, he’s one of the fastest running backs in the NFL and was once clocked at 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Second, he’s an ordained minister. With the Houston Texans being possibly the best run-stuffing team in the NFL (unfortunately for Green-Ellis), the Bengals might do well to run outside a bit using a kid with both speed and God on his side.


12.       Ben Tate (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – Injuries aside, I expected more from Ben Tate this season. His future is still bright and he may even become the Texans lead back some day, but as for this weekend, I don’t expect to see him spell Foster for more than five to eight carries.


13.       Alex Green (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) – Alex Green doesn’t have the same shiftiness as DuJuan Harris or the steady, veteran savvy of a Ryan Grant, but he could still make an impact in this game if he happen to get the hot hand at some point. The Packers use a full-out “hot hand” approach when it comes to their backfield, so it’s entirely possible for Green to come up with double-digit touches in this one. If so, he will end up with top ten fantasy numbers for the week.


14.       Delone Carter (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) – Delone Carter needs to be accounted for simply because of his goal line capabilities. He hasn’t played in almost a month due to an ankle injury, but if the Colts get down inside the three-yard line, Carter should resume his role as the short-yardage touchdown-maker.


15.       Robert Turbin (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) – Turbin has played well enough in a backup role this season to earn a few looks this weekend, but when it comes to the playoffs, it’s hard for a coaching staff to trust a rookie with anything more than that.


16.       Toby Gerhart (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) – Gerhart gives it everything he’s got whenever he touches the ball, but he won’t be pettin’ pigskin more than just a couple of times in this one. His only chance at making an impact here is if Peterson gets tired from a 60-plus yard run and Gerhart comes in to vulture a TD from a couple of yards out.


17.       Evan Royster (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) – If the Redskins get behind by more than a touchdown at some point, Royster could see a couple of targets out of the backfield and maybe a draw play or two. Even then, his impact would be negligible unless he happens to vulture a TD somehow.


18.       Brian Leonard (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – Leonard has one touchdown in his six-year career and put up more than three fantasy points just once the entire season—in Week 17 when the Bengals sat Green-Ellis for the game. With the Law Firm back and Cedric Peerman also ready to go, Leonard’s chance of doing anything of significance is slim to none.


19.       John Kuhn (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) – Kuhn hasn’t seen nearly the same love this season as he has in the past, but he still catches a few balls out of the backfield and will always be a threat to punch it in on the goal line.


20.       Leon Washington (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) – Washington is really only being mentioned here on the slight chance he takes one of his rare rushing attempts or punt/kickoff returns to the house.


21.       Justin Forsett (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – The only way I see Forsett getting any play in this one is if Foster or Tate go down to injury.


22.       Mewelde Moore (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) – With Delone Carter returning from his ankle injury, I doubt Moore even gets in the game. Maybe he’ll catch a pass for a few yards, but that’s about it.


 

 

Wide Receivers

(Updated:  Friday, Jan. 4 - 9:18PM CT)

 

 

Andre Johnson - Pyro Character  Greg Jennings - Pyro Character  A.J. Green - Pyro Character  Torrey Smith - Pyro Character  Randall Cobb - Pyro Character  Jordy Nelson - Pyro Character  T.Y. Hilton - Pyro Character  Pierre Garcon - Pyro Character  Reggie Wayne - Pyro Character  Sidney Rice - Pyro Character

 

 

1.         Andre Johnson (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – Old Man Johnson didn’t quite play his age this year, as it could easily be argued that despite his usual touchdown deficiency, Andre might very well have had the best season of his career in 2012. Cincinnati, however, has been one of the best at defending the pass all year long so ‘Dre will certainly have his work cut out for him this weekend. Last year when these two teams met in the first round of the playoffs, Johnson put up 90 yards and a touchdown on five catches (nine targets), numbers he may need to out-do if the Texans want to move on into the next round. I believe he will.


2.         Greg Jennings (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Sure is nice to see the old Greg Jennings back, isn’t Mr. Rodgers. The old Jennings, when healthy, is usually the quickest of the Packers outside receivers to get open. Basically what this means is that if the Vikings happen to go blitz-heavy again or if the Packers offensive line can’t hold their front four back, Jennings will likely see the most targets come his way. He’s also as sure-handed as they come, so he has the trust of Mr. Rodgers as well. I can’t promise another eight catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns again simply because Rodgers has too many other weapons at his disposal. However, I can tell you that Jennings has nine touchdowns in his last seven games against the Vikings, so at least one score looks pretty darn likely. 


3.         A.J. Green (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – For quite a while there, A.J. Green was the gold standard to which all other fantasy wide receivers were compared. He was targeted a ton, made plenty of catches, had 100-yard games and my ohhhhh my, those weekly touchdowns. Recently, however, things haven’t been the same with Green putting up one just 100-yard and one touchdown over the final five weeks of the season. Still, the 6’4” receiver is a caged beast who could explode at any moment—especially on the road where he averaged 106.8 yards while catching six of his 11 TDs this season. Houston’s pass defense isn’t nearly as dominant as it was last season, so even though I expect Green to be double- and sometimes triple-teamed, he should still pull through with some nice numbers this playoff weekend.  


4.         Torrey Smith (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Torrey Smith is one of the biggest feast-or-famine fantasy receivers in the game today, but when he does decide to roll up his sleeves and slap on the bib, it’s usually at home against a bottom tier pass defense. The Indianapolis Colts pass D is exactly that, especially when it comes to their coverage of opposing WR1s. Not only did they allow the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, but they also gave up 17 double-digit performances with 10 of them going for over 14 points. Basically, the Colts have a tendency to allow the big game, and Torrey Smith just loves these all-you-can-eat buffets. 


5.         Randall Cobb (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET)Randall Cobb wasn’t able to play against the Vikings last weekend due to ankle and knee injuries, but it looks like he’ll be 100 percent for the game this Saturday, which is bad news for the Vikings secondary. Minnesota had trouble with slot-type receivers all year long and Cobb might just be the best of the bunch. In their first matchup back in Week 13, Randall caught all six of his targets for 64 yards, though I could easily see more balls thrown his way this time around. When Rodgers really wants to get down to business, he can work those high-percentage throws with the best that ever played, and Cobb is definitely the highest percentage toss on the field catching an astounding 80 of his 104 targets this season.  


6.         Jordy Nelson (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) – Jordy Nelson’s big-play ability measures up to some of the best in the game, but strange as it is to say, within this Packer offense, he’s a bit of an afterthought… with an oomph. A 6’3” speed-demon of an afterthought, of course, but the point is that he doesn’t see enough targets to be ranked higher than this. I don’t even know if you could consider him second fiddle on the team with Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb back healthy, but one thing is for sure—Nelson has as much of a chance as anybody to put up a monster game this weekend.


7.         T.Y. Hilton (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Make no mistake about it, T.Y. Hilton has been the best fantasy receiver, if not overall receiver on the Colts since just before the midway point of the 2012 season. He may not get as many targets or catch as many passes as Reggie Wayne, but because Wayne gets most of the attention from opposing defenses, Hilton has been able to make more big plays and catch more touchdowns than Reggie. I expect the Ravens to do what most defenses have done and try to take Wayne out of the equation this Sunday and if that happens, Hilton will be the Colts receiver you want on your fantasy team this weekend.


8.         Pierre Garcon (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) With Brandon Browner’s suspension in the rearview mirror, Seattle will have both of their top corners back in the lineup this weekend, so it won’t be easy for Pierre Garcon to put up big numbers this weekend. However, Garcon is one of the best at getting open when given the time to do so, even against the league’s top cornerbacks, and I have no doubt Robert Griffin will find him the time this weekend. A big play or two, which I believe he will make, is all it will take for Pierre to come up with top ten fantasy numbers on Sunday.


9.         Reggie Wayne (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)Reggie still ended up with the second most targets in the league, but most every other statistic fell off for Wayne in the second half of the season, though it’s hardly his fault as to why. Opposing defenses decided that throwing double-coverage on Wayne would be the best way to slow the Colts offense down, so even though he’s still one of the best in the league at age 34, he can’t beat two guys on every play. He’ll still get his targets regardless this Sunday and will likely put up pretty good numbers, but he rarely catches touchdowns away from home, so don’t expect too much here.


10.       Sidney Rice (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) Seattle won’t stray from being a run-first team this Sunday, but considering how bad the Redskins defense was against the pass all season, it will be tough not to let Russell Wilson toss the pill around a little more than usual. If that happens, Rice will be the one seeing most of the targets seeing how he’s easily the most talented receiver on the roster. Sidney also caught more than twice as many passes on the road this year, so if the Redskins happen to get up on the ‘Hawks in this game, look for Rice to get involved early.


11.       Anquan Boldin (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Anquan Boldin isn’t the same stud he used to be, but he’s still a pretty powerful force out there going for 78 or more yards in almost half of his games this season (7 out of 15 games). ‘Quan also came up with double-digit fantasy performances in each of the Ravens two playoff games last year, so it certainly wouldn’t be a shock to see him pull through with some top ten numbers this Sunday.


12.       James Jones (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Lest it be forgotten, I feel compelled to recapitulate how hard Aaron Rodgers lobbied for the Packers to re-sign James Jones this past summer. Rodgers even went so far as to say that “We don't win the Super Bowl without him and we need him.” Though Jones may be stuck as the team’s WR4 now that Jennings, Cobb and Nelson are all healthy, it should not go unnoticed that Jones led the team this year with 14 touchdowns while also placing second in receptions (64), targets (98) and yards (784). In addition, he gained the trust of Rodgers by ridding himself of the “dropsies”, so fourth receiver or not, he still has as good a shot as any to catch a touchdown this Saturday.


13.       Golden Tate (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET) It wouldn’t bowl me over in the slightest to see Golden Tate come up with a big game instead of Sidney Rice this Sunday. Actually, with the porous secondary the Redskins throw out there each week, there’s no reason why both receivers can’t have good games. Their numbers are nearly identical and might be precisely identical had Tate not missed the first game of the season with a knee injury. If I had to pick one, I’d probably go with Rice, but you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to.


14.       Santana Moss (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)  Holy cow, am I reading this correctly? Santana Moss tied for 12th in the league with eight touchdowns on the seasons? I guess the 33 year old had a little more left than I thought he did. He’s also one of just three receivers in the top 50 to have more touchdowns than fantasy points per game (6.5; James Jones, 14 and 10.8; Eric Decker, 13 and 11.5). Seattle didn’t allow many passing touchdowns this season, but when they did, they almost exclusively went to slot receivers like Moss.


15.       Jarius Wright (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Jarius could, and probably should see the bulk of the wide receiver targets this Saturday after putting up his best fantasy game of the year against the Packers last weekend. However, targets don’t necessarily turn into much of anything in this Minnesota offense, but you never know. The Vikings may have to turn to the pass if Green Bay gets out to an early lead, so Wright could end up with some pretty good numbers by the time this one’s over.


16.       Donnie Avery (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)


17.       Marvin Jones (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


18.       Doug Baldwin (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)


19.       Jacoby Jones (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)


20.       Michael Jenkins (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET)


21.       Andrew Hawkins (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


22.       Kevin Walter (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


23.       Jerome Simpson (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET)


24.       Josh Morgan (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)


25.       DeVier Posey (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


26.       Leonard Hankerson (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)


27.       LaVon Brazill (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)


28.       Donald Driver (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) 


29.       Keshawn Martin (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) 


30.       Brandon Tate (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


31.       Lestar Jean (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


32.       Aldrick Robinson (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)

 

 

 

Tight Ends

(Updated:  Friday, Jan. 4 - 1:03PM CT)

 

 

Dennis Pitta - Pyro Character  Jermichael Finley - Pyro Character  Jermaine Gresham - Pyro Character  Kyle Rudolph - Pyro Character  Owen Daniels - Pyro Character

 

 

1.         Dennis Pitta (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET) Dennis Pitta may not be the end-all be-all of tight ends, but he sure has been looking good since the Ravens got rid of offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. In fact, he’s been a top-five fantasy player over the last eight weeks, so you at least have to like his consistency. The Colts are usually very good at defending tight ends and don’t often give up big fantasy points to the position, but the top players can do some damage against them, so we’ll see if Pitta is up to the task. If Baltimore runs a bit of the no-huddle offense at them on Sunday, his chances to do so will go up.


2.         Jermichael Finley (vs. Min; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) People can say what they want about Jermichael Finley—and it might very well be deserved (he really has been an ass)—but in this last half of the Packers 2012 season, the guy has come through. Finley has now put up five or more catches for 60-plus yards in four of his last five games, and while the touchdowns haven’t quite been there, he’s certainly due to get in the end zone sooner than later. In two games with Minnesota this season, Jermichael has averaged eight targets, seven catches, and 66 yards a game. Combine those lofty numbers with the amount Green Bay will be passing the ball this Saturday, and suddenly Finley looks like a real good fantasy play, doesn’t he?


3.         Jermaine Gresham (at Hou; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) Jermaine Gresham’s overall play this year has inched him into the top ten fantasy discussion heading into next season, though for myself, I’m still not completely convinced. He has most of you could ever want in a tight end, but a trend I’m finding to be quite bothersome so far in his career is his poor play down the stretch of a season, particularly over his team’s last five games. It’s as if his body never got past playing the shortened college schedule. Be that as it may, Gresham has a great matchup this playoff weekend going up against a Texans defense that allowed the most touchdowns and fourth most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Cinci will need him to step up if they want to win this game, so hopefully Jermaine can step it up for them. 


4.         Kyle Rudolph (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET) Kyle Rudolph is no model of consistency, but his red zone play and super-glue hands give him as good a chance to score as any tight end in the league. Period. Last week against the Pack, Rudolph put up a stinker catching just two passes for a measly 20 yards. However, up in Green Bay back in Week 13, Kyle caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown—numbers any guy would love to have on their fantasy team this week. It’s tough to predict which Rudolph you’re going to get, seeing how he plays equally both on the road or at home and against good teams or bad, but that’s a chance you have to take when the talent pool is this thin.


5.         Owen Daniels (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET) – Owen Daniels has hit the skids as of late averaging just three catches for 32.2 yards with NO touchdowns over the last five weeks of the season. Some of it can be attributed to nagging injuries taking their toll, but the Texans offense as a whole hasn’t played very well either, and you can’t blame it all on Owen. Cincinnati can be had for a decent amount of catches and yardage, but a tight end hasn’t scored on them since Week 9, so don’t expect a slumping Daniels to suddenly pull a 180 here.


6.         Zach Miller (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)


7.         Logan Paulsen (vs. Sea; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)


8.         Dwayne Allen (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)


9.         Anthony McCoy (at Was; Sunday, 4:30pm ET)


10.       James Casey (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


11.       Coby Fleener (at Bal; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)


12.       Garrett Graham (vs. Cin; Saturday, 4:30pm ET)


13.       Ed Dickson (vs. Ind; Sunday, 1:00pm ET)


14.       John Carlson (@ GB; Saturday, 8:00pm ET)

 

 

 

 

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