Week 9: PPR Watch
Have a question about a player not featured in this article? Use the comments section or hit me up on Twitter @MarkKadubec.
Confident - Moore is finally healthy, and he's got great chemistry with Carson Palmer. Even in PPR formats, Moore is 10th in scoring among wide receivers over the past 3 weeks; and while his 14 receptions aren't mind blowing, he's getting 8 targets a game on average and finding the endzone. With McFadden averaging only 3.3 YPC in the new blocking scheme, Moore's picked up the offensive slack, and is a big reason the Raiders have won their last 2. Tampa Bay is looking improved as well, but they're still allowing the 3rd most fantasy points per game to WRs overall, and have still been in the top 10 in points allowed over the last 3 games. Moore should be considered an every week start at this point, and a high end WR2. If you can find an owner that doesn't agree, go get him.
Confident - This "confident" is contingent on the status on Mikel LeShoure. If LeShoure is healthy come game day, you can slot him in here instead. The thing is, you can make a pretty good case that Bell is a worthy Sleeper In PPR even when Mikel is getting the start. The last few weeks, Bell has been in on about 40% of the overall snaps, and only the Chargers right now are throwing more balls in the direction of their running backs. Matthew Stafford has targetted Lions runners 61 times in just 7 games. Bell gets some opportunities in the red zone, is the 10th most targeted running back in the league, and even as a backup has a pretty good chance of producing against the Jags. If LeShoure's role ends up being reduced due to injury, Bell is a fantastic play this week against a Jacksonville defense that has given up the 5th most points to running backs. If he isn't owned, grab him; if you need a RB in PPR, play him. Simple as that.
Confident - Hartline had the 2 big games, and then not much else. It seems clear that the Dolphins' #1 receiver is going to struggle in tough matchups. Just 4 catches for 41 yards against the Jets, shutout against the Rams, and 4 for 59 against Cincinnati. But they were all top 10 secondaries at the time he faced them. The Dolphins aren't exactly flush with other receiving options either, making it easier to take him out of the game. Fortunately, the tough part of the schedule is out of the way. The next three weeks Miami has Indy, Tenn, and Buffalo. Three winnable matchups for the Fins, and a nice opportunity to bounce back for Brian Hartline. Don't be afraid to get him back in your lineup.
Confident - Shorts has been a hot waiver add the last couple weeks, and his production warrants it. In the last 2 games, Shorts has been targeted a whopping 22 times, and managed 195 yards and a touchdown. Excellent numbers, and he's averaging 6 catches a game on top of it. 12 catches on 22 targets is still a pretty low conversion rate, and his numbers last week came against a Green Bay pass defense that has quietly been one of the worst. Over the past 5 games the Packers have allowed more catches and yards to receivers than any team in the league, and it's not that close. The Lions on the other hand (widely thought of as having a poor secondary) have actually been pretty solid, ranking in the top 10 against the position. It's not another fantastic matchup, but the game is at home, and there is certainly a good chance Detroit can get out in front of the Jags. Robinson will likely be back this week, and that could eat into a few of Shorts' targets, but Gabbert has stuggled so much to get any chemistry with his recievers, that I think it's unlikely he'll lose many snaps. I'd feel pretty comfortable using Shorts if you need him.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Caution - If it wasn't that there are so few TEs producing consistently, I'd probably list Rudolph as an Avoid. As a Rudolph owner in about 4 leagues, he's essentially dead to me. Just 8 catches on 17 targets for 73 yards over the past 3 weeks? Unacceptable. Yes, he scored 3 weeks ago, but he's been virtually invisible since. A lot of the blame falls on Christian Ponder. After making very few mistakes early on, Ponder has thrown 5 picks in the last 3 weeks, and the Viking offense has taken visible steps backwards. Rudolph clearly has the potential to be a weapon, but until he gets more targets and can demonstrate the ability to consistently catch 5 passes a game (he's only done it 3 times in 8 games), I'm going to look for safer options. This week the Vikings play the league's #1 defense on the road in Seattle. I'll pass.