Week 15 - Touchdowns in Strange Places
By Rick Tittsler
Sometimes, as fantasy owners, we need just one TD to tip the scales in our favor. Like coaches on Sunday afternoon, we mutter, “C’mon baby, we need 6!”
It’s been a truly weird fantasy season, with 9th-rounders and undrafted players making entire fantasy all-star lineups. If someone tells you they drafted Peyton Hillis, they’re fibbing! If you say you spent a pick on Josh Freeman, you’re asking us to believe a lot (or you live in Tampa Bay). Speaking of Tampa Bay…what is a LeGarrette Blount? A fancy ballpoint pen? Rock-climbing equipment? How about Detroit’s Shaun Hill? Really?!
I doubt that Steve Johnson (who?) of Buffalo or Mike X Williams (laughing stock!) of the Seahawks were on anyone’s draft board. Don’t forget the new Rams fantasy names this season—Bradford and Amendola. And remind me again, who the TEs are for the Patriots? Oh yeah, Gronkowski (365/7) and Hernandez (532/4).
I’ve given up trying to figure out which kicker is on which team from week-to-week. And don’t even get me started on D/STs! The Cardinals have the most defensive TDs? The Chargers lead the league in sacks?
Has the fantasy world gone mad?! Yep, pretty much. So much so, that I think some TDs can be had in some very unusual places as we head into week 15. If you’re desperate at a position and need just one unexpected TD, take a gander at my list of “Hail Mary Players.”
Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins — Ronnie Brown will get his, too. Take a look at the Buffalo inactives (two waterboys and an equipment manager are listed as “doubtful”). Miami will run, run, run. Ronnie gets half the points of a stud RB and Ricky gets the other half. Don’t be surprised if EACH scores.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints — Chris Ivory looks to be OUT and Julius Jones (fairly productive in limited time) has a lingering ankle issue. Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be catching swing passes against the aggressive Ravens defense. My crystal ball says a pass-interference call against the Ravens gives the Saints the ball near the goal line and Pierre “Fresh Legs” Thomas gets a short field and a short TD.
Sam Hurd, Dallas Cowboys — Dez Bryant is on IR, Miles Austin has faded in recent weeks and Roy “I-always-smile-after-I-fumble” Williams is hurting. Guess who has a veteran QB going against a soft pass defense? Six-foot three-inch Sam Hurd. Sure, it takes guts to plug him in during your playoffs, it was also risky grabbing Chris Ivory off the waiver wire!
Owen Daniels, Houston Texans — On the waiver wire in many leagues, Daniels has a sweet match-up against the Titans this week. If Schaub gets hot, this could be a high-scoring affair. Kerry Collins will rack up fantasy points against the Texans defense, so Houston will keep throwing this week. Daniels was targeted 11 times last week and racked-up 91 yards after missing 5 weeks. Some folks have just forgotten about him.
Raiders D/ST — Tim Tebow? Game on! The Raiders only have 8 INTs all season long, but they might have 11 by 7:15 Sunday evening. The Broncos have some major re-building ahead, and this week it’s the Raiders who benefit. Three INTs with one returned for a TD seems very realistic. Unless the Denver kicker can boot 68-yard FGs, Oakland might even pitch a shutout!
* Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers — No, I’m NOT recommending you use GB’s QB2, but I do think he will exceed expectations. I attended camp several times this summer, and have watched him practice numerous times. He is an NFL-caliber QB with weapons, going against a weak secondary. Yes, the Patriots are hot and at home. Yes, they’ll try to confuse him all day long. But I’ll take the “over” on a stat line of 220 yards/1 TD after a full week of practice with the starters.