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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Fantasy football: Old, reliable players paying off

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  • There’s something gratifying when, in a fantasy world where Danny Woodhead (NE) could threaten to be the top fantasy running back for the week (he still finished tied for third in Week 10), the old and reliable fantasy studs come through and have great games.
    Not good. Great.
    Adrian Peterson (MIN) and Tony Gonzalez (ATL) have been among the best in their positions in fantasy football and real football for a while now. Tony G is 36 years old and he’s the second-best fantasy tight end in the league.
    Let that sink in for a second. I think fantasy observers at this point of the year have let the shock wear off, but what he’s been doing has been nothing short of incredible.
    Last week, Gonzalez was a top-10 fantasy player with 24 points in standard leagues — even better in PPR (points per reception) leagues.
    Then there’s Peterson — I’m no longer convinced he’s an cyborg; he’s in fact an alien — who is No. 1 running back in fantasy after 10 weeks. People drafted him in the second round or later!
    It’s just nice to see players be consistent in an otherwise volatile game known as fantasy football.
    Underachieving “studs”
    For all the old, reliable fantasy players, there’s the underachievers. The guys you had high expectations for but struggled to do great things on a more consistent basis.
    Ray Rice (BAL) had 12 fantasy points against Oakland in Week 10. Oakland.
    LeSean McCoy (PHI) had 10 points, Hakeem Nicks (NYG) and Mike Wallace (PIT) both had seven.
    Wallace started the season well through four weeks, but has been off and on ever since. Nicks is the 55th ranked fantasy receiver in the league. McCoy is No. 11 and Rice is No. 5.
    And sadly, Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) has been handcuffed by his own quarterback and is ranked No. 24 at his position, which is behind his own teammate Andre Roberts (ARI).
    It’s not that these players have all been bad, but they surely haven’t been great and great consistently.
    Can’t Wait! Waiver Wire Pickups
    Last week was, unfortunately, Concussion Sunday for quarterbacks. Add in Ben Roethlisberger’s (PIT) shoulder injury and suddenly there’s a big market for backup QBs.
    And seeing as there aren’t very many options out there at running back, tight end and receiver, that’s about all you can hope for on the wire.
    QB: Nick Foles (PHI), Jason Campbell (CHI), Colin Kaepernick (SF), Byron Leftwich (PIT)
    RB: Chris Ivory (NO)
    WR: Danario Alexander (SD)
    Breakin’ Bread List
    I failed to mention Drew Brees (NO) regarding old, reliable players only because quarterbacks tend to be more prone to solid performances.
    Page 2 of 2 - It’s harder for running backs and tight ends to be consistently great in a passing league.
    That said, Brees has been great as usual this year. And the matchup against Oakland is just too good for Brees not to be on the list.
    And I guess I’ll go ahead and pick the top players in Thursday’s game too. I will say, from a fantasy standpoint, Reggie Bush (MIA) and CJ Spiller (BUF) do make this an interesting contest, especially since both have been doubted on whether or not they can be feature backs.
    Yep. That’s all I got.
    QB: Drew Brees (NO) at Oakland, Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) vs. Miami
    RB: Arian Foster (HOU) vs. Jacksonville, Reggie Bush (MIA) at Buffalo
    WR: AJ Green at Kansas City, Brian Hartline (MIA) at Buffalo
    The Purple Drank list — presented by Eli Manning (NYG)
    Eli, Eli, Eli.
    The number of times I just wrote the NY Giants quarterback is how many times he’s finished with single-digit totals.
    Manning’s been absolutely awful lately. And that’s before Week 8, when this horrid trend began. He’s been pretty mediocre since the Cleveland game and hasn’t scored more than 13 points since.
    It gets worse. Manning has scored 10 points in the last three weeks. Five against Dallas, three against Pittsburgh and two against Cincinnati.
    Some are blaming his performances on a dead arm. As for me, I’m blaming it on the Purple Drank.
    QB: Blaine Gabbert (JAC) at Houston, Mark Sanchez (NYJ) at St. Louis
    RB: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (CIN) at Kansas City, Shonn Greene (NYJ) at St. Louis
    WR: Mike Wallace (PIT) vs. Baltimore, DeSean Jackson (PHI) at Washington
    Don’t sleep on my sleepers
    QB: Matt Schaub (HOU) vs. Jacksonville, Brandon Weeden (CLE) at Dallas
    RB: Marcel Reece (OAK) vs. New Orleans, Donald Brown (IND) at New England
    WR: Donald Jones (BUF) vs. Miami, T.Y. Hilton (IND) at New England
    Joey Baskerville (@jmark79) writes his column every Wednesday during the NFL season. Reach him at jbaskerville@journalstandard.com.
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