Playbook Week 10 Fantasy Tips Part 1

Fantasy Tips, Inside the Game, Playbook War Room

For this edition of our weekly fantasy blog, we decided to look at each matchup and uncover a less heralded player to examine. Being this late in the season, circumstances have changed on every team; some of these changes have allowed new faces to become fantasy relevant. Injuries have been the biggest reason some of these guys have emerged into the fantasy realm. The other aspect, we have noticed, is that a lot of the guys are younger players who have needed time to not only learn their offense, but to work themselves into the game plan. The guys here at Playbook are going to let you know what these guys have been doing to get their names mentioned, but also, and equally importantly, if our all-22 film study makes us think their success will continue for the next few weeks.

PIT@CIN

Antonio Brown, WR Pittsburgh

What we like:

  • Steelers have shown a new devotion to the intermediate passing game and Brown has been reaping most of those benefits
  • Typically gets clean releases off the line, but is good at minimizing contact and elusive enough to cut across a defenders face to get to where he needs to be
  • Improved OL has allowed Heath Miller to get involved in the passing game, which has forced LBs to cover, which opens up the middle of the field for Brown
  • Is developing chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger to take advantage of Big Ben’s ability to extend plays. Has the quickness to stop and start back up again before a CB can recover.

Will it continue: This is the offense that we envisioned from the Steelers at the beginning of the year.  Brown has evolved from solely a big play threat and now utilizes his speed to be a threat on shorter and intermediate routes. Enough attention is being directed towards Mike Wallace and Miller, that Brown should continue to have a lot of space to work with. We think that he should continue to be a flex starter for the remainder of the season.

STL@CLE

Chris Ogbonnaya, RB Cleveland

What we like:

  • Chris is the only RB that seems to be healthy right now in Cleveland, and is going to receive a large amount of carries until Peyton Hillis, and Montario Hardesty’s health improves
  • Can make people miss in space. Whether he is catching or running the ball, he has shown enough lateral agility to gain an extra yard or two from making the first tackler miss
  • Has soft hands out of the backfield. Colt McCoy does not throw the ball down field much and does not hesitate to get the ball to his check down or hot receiver.

Will it continue: The carries are going to be there at least for this week. We do not think Ogbonnaya’s success will increase enough for him to warrant a starting fantasy spot. The Browns OL has struggled this year getting to 2nd level defenders, but they are not consistently strong enough at the point of attack to win one on one matchups with opposing DL; neither of which help Ogbonnaya. Chris has two fumbles in the past two games, so you have to believe if that continues the Browns will find somebody else to run the ball.

JAC@IND

Austin Collie (AP)

Austin Collie, WR Indianapolis

What we like:

  • Dallas Clark is injured which leaves really nobody in the Colts offense who consistently goes over the middle of the field
  • Curtis Painter has regressed a bit from the beginning of the season, so getting easy throws over the middle of the field can only help him
  • Collie possesses a good football IQ which allows him to find soft spots in a team’s zone coverage or get open quickly when teams decide to blitz

Will it continue: Neither team really possesses an explosive enough offense to warrant any more in-depth fantasy analysis. We are not too confident that the Colts Offense will drastically improve as the season progresses. Collie being the third target in a poor offense does not bode well for the future; we’d stay away.

DEN@KC

Jackie Battle (AP)

Jackie Battle, RB Kansas City

What we like:

  • He is a downhill runner that understands he does his best work when he makes a single cut and hits the hole
  • Always seems to fall forward and is strong enough to break a few tackles before going down
  • Has emerged as the workhorse in the Chiefs backfield and should continue to get 15-20 touches a game

Will it continue: We believe that Battle’s production should not drift too far from where it is now.  He is an old-fashioned workhorse RB that will get you positive yards on nearly every carry. His lack of agility around the line of scrimmage really limits any hope for him to break off big runs. He will continue to get a couple catches here and there, but most of his work will be done between the tackles. What you have now is what you’re going to get.

WAS@MIA

Roy Helu, RB Washington

Roy Helu (AP)

What we like:

  • His agility and elusiveness make him a good fit for the Redskins zone blocking scheme and it provides something unique that Ryan Torain and Tashard Choice do not have.
  • Has become John Beck’s check down target. The OL has been playing poorly, which has forced Beck to get the ball out to him quicker than the offense would like.

Will it continue: There is too much uncertainty with the Redskins backfield to think Helu will consistently put up these numbers. Based solely on what we have seen from him, we think he can develop into a quality fantasy starter. Right now though, he has not completely emerged as THE guy to warrant the majority of the carries. He has fumbled once since getting more touches and if that continues he will quickly find himself back on the bench.

NE@NYJ

Plaxico Burress (AP)

Plaxico Burress, WR New York Jets

What we like:

  • For being a bigger guy, Plaxico gets great releases off the line. He avoids contact and does a good job of shielding the DB once he gets past them.
  • The Jets have started to take advantage of his size. Sanchez seems to understand that if you keep the ball high he is going to have a very good chance to come down with it.
  • He is at his best in the redzone. The threat of the fade ball does not allow CBs to play a true inside shade on him. This allows him to get cleaner releases and so he can get behind the defense along the back endline.

Will it continue: Plax has finally started to look like his old self, but more importantly has been utilized properly. The Jets are becoming a very heavy play-action team and are utilizing Plax’s size to take full advantage of that. His threat in the red-zone makes him worthy of a fantasy roster spot and we believe he could start to sneak into people’s lineups as the season progresses.

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