Week 5: PPR Watch
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Confident - Before you start screaming "fluke," let us remember now that Hartline has had not 1, but 2 huge games already this season -- first landing on everyone's radar in week 2 with 9 catches for 111 yards against the Raiders. He was shutdown in games against the Texans and Jets, but Jonathan Joseph and Darryl Revis (played the first 3 quarters) can do that to anyone. It's too early to say Hartline is this year's Victor Cruz (and Tannehill is no Eli Manning), but being third in targets after 4 weeks means that Hartline should not only be on your roster, but should probably be in your starting lineup in leagues 12 teams or deeper. Cincinnati on the road is a tough matchup, particularly with Leon Hall returning, but the 5 weeks after that are all cake, and the Bengals' numbers are padded a bit by games against Cleveland and Jacksonville. Don't hesitate to use him.
Confident - Forget sleeper, let's just go all the way with Hixon and move him straight to confident. This is dependent on Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden's status heading into week 5, but both guys missed practice Wednesday; and at this point there seems like a really good chance Hixon is going to be a starter. If he is a starter, you're playing him...simple as that. Eli has been lighting it up this year for fantasy, and Hixon already showed he could get it done in week 4, catching 6 of 11 targets for 114 yards. This week the Giants try to bounce back from a tough loss against a Cleveland secondary that will be missing Joe Haden for the 4th straight week. With Haden out, the Browns have been torched. Only the Redskins allow more fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Play him and feel good about it.
Caution - Owners who grabbed Heath Miller have to be excited by what they've found so far. Even after the bye week, Miller is still top 10 in fantasy points at his position. While you may be excited to get him back, there are a couple things you definitely want to consider. First and foremost, Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers have been completely ineffective at running the ball, and it has caused them to lean more heavily on the pass. I'm not a big fan of Mendenhall, but it's reasonable to assume that with his return they are going to at least *try* to run the ball more often. Add to that the fact they're playing a fantastic Philly Defense that's been good at stopping everything, and I just don't think I can trust a journeyman player like Miller. He's still only been good for about 9 yards a catch. 5 catches for 45 yards sounds about like the ceiling this week, and I need more upside than that.
Caution - Ridley is the kind of running back that scares me in PPR formats. I drafted him just about everywhere, expecting the Patriots to refocus on the running game. And they have. Frankly he's been pretty solid so far, and I expect him to continue to be a viable fantasy runner the rest of the year. Unfortunately, he may not be a very consistent one. Only 8 targets through 4 weeks is considerably down from what I had hoped. With Vereen back healthy, Woodhead still hanging around, and Boldin emerging, this backfield is becoming it's usual mess. Of the group, I think Ridley's still the guy to own. He should get 15 carries a game and have some goal line opportunities, but when he doesn't score, you're going to wish you'd played someone else. Denver's defense has been solid this year, allowing only 3.2 yards per carry to running backs and 1 TD. If you have better options, use them.
Dump Him - I'm as guilty as anyone. The way the Dallas offense looked against the Giants, it was easy to make a case for Ogletree as a worthy lineup addition. I was wrong, others were wrong. Don't keep hurting yourself by keeping this guy on your roster (much less in your lineup). In the three weeks since his breakout game 1, Ogletree is 66th in targets, averaging just 3 catches for 33 yards a game. Ogletree is still owned about 50% of the time in most leagues. You absolutely can't win your league without speculative adds, but you've got to know when to let go. The Dallas offense is a mess, It's time to move on. Dallas doesn't play again until week 6, there are better players to have on your roster.