Blogs > N-H Fantasy Sports

News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fantasy football: How far has Peyton Hillis' 2011 draft stock plummeted?

Peyton Hillis was a revelation in 2010, and it had nothing to do with the fact he was the first white running back to rush for 1,000 yards since Craig James in 1985.

He was undrafted in many fantasy leagues, yet he entered Sunday ranked second at running back for the season in most point-per-reception leagues. That happens about as often as the aforementioned James isn't annoying during an ESPN college football broadcast.

For the season, Hillis has rushed for 1,164 yards through Week 16, scored 13 touchdowns and caught 60 passes for 474 yards.

Then there's this:

-- He has zero TDs in his last four games.

-- In that span, he's rushed for 259 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry.

-- He has 14 receptions for 60 yards in the four games, and has averaged 79.8 total yards per game -- down from his season norm of 109.2.

-- In Weeks 14 through 16, when the majority of the fantasy leagues hold their postseason, he had 202 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards.

-- In Weeks 15 and 16 (fantasy semifinal and championship week), he had 26 carries for 94 yards and three catches for 28 yards.

-- In Week 16, he matched his season lows with 35 yards rushing and one reception.

All of which makes us wonder how far he will slip on draft day in 2011.

Prior to the last few weeks, it could have assumed Hillis would be drafted among the top seven running backs -- likely after Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew.

Now, he probably won't go before Steven Jackson, and would you take him over Darren McFadden? Jamaal Charles? How about Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Rashard Mendenhall and/or Matt Forte?

Obviously, we have a long time to answer that potential dilemma. But it's an interesting subplot looking ahead to 2011 -- which is all we can do at this point after the 2010 fantasy season had another wacky ending (see Tim Tebow, David Garrard and Carson Palmer).

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Panthers-Steelers game



QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Rashard Mendenhall, WR Mike Wallace, K Shaun Suisham, defense and special teams.

Quick slants: Roethlisberger has thrown only two touchdown passes in his last four games, but he is averaging 260 yards per game and seems due for a big night. ... Mendenhall hasn't been as effective on the ground since Roethlisberger returned from a four-game suspension -- two 100-yard games, compared to two in the Steelers' first four games. Regardless, he's rushed for 1,173 yards and 10 TDs, and he is facing a Carolina run defense that ranks 23rd in the league at 126.2 yards per game and has given up the second-most rushing TDs (17). ... Suisham is perfect on 10 field-goal attempts in five games since replacing Jeff Reed, and he's averaging 8.2 points per game. ... The Steelers' defense is tied for first in the league at 15.7 points allowed per game. Pittsburgh is third in total yards allowed, first in rushing yards allowed and 24th defending the pass.


QB Jimmy Clausen, RB Jonathan Stewart, RB Mike Goodson, WR Steve Smith, WR David Gettis, K John Kasay, defense and special teams.

WR Hines Ward, WR Emmanuel Sanders, TE Heath Miller.

Quick slants: Clausen has two touchdown passes in 243 attempts and has been intercepted seven times. His passer rating is 59.1. ... Stewart has rushed for a combined 270 yards in his last two games and has averaged 115 yards on the ground in his last four, but I wouldn't play him against a defense that is allowing 63.4 rushing yards per game. The Steelers give up 3.0 yards per rush and have yielded only five TDs on the ground. ... Goodson had a TD in three consecutive games prior to last week, when he had 21 yards on 10 carries. ... Former fantasy stud Smith hasn't reached the end zone since Week 2 and has had two receptions in three of his last four contests. ... The Panthers' defense is ranked 12th overall, but is 24th in points per game (25.0) and 23rd vs. the run. ... Ward has zero TDs since Week 9 and has had 34 receiving yards or fewer in four of his last six games. In the other two contests in that span, he had a combined 15 catches for 222 yards, so he tends to be an all-or-nothing option at age 34. ... Miller has missed the last two games because of a concussion, but will play tonight. He hasn't had a TD since Week 6.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's 49ers-Chargers game


-- 49ers:
TE Vernon Davis, K Jeff Reed.

-- Chargers:
QB Philip Rivers, WR Vincent Jackson, WR Malcom Floyd, K Nate Kaeding, defense and special teams.

Quick slants:
Davis has 744 yards and six touchdowns on the season, and he has nine catches for 196 yards and two scores in his last two games. ... In two games with San Francisco, Reed has scored 26 points and is perfect on seven field-goal attempts. ... Rivers has endured his only "slump" of the season, throwing for a combined 691 yards, three TDs and two interceptions in his last three games. With 3,868 yards and 26 TDs on the season, you have to play him every week. ... Jackson made it through an entire game last week, but had only two catches for 29 yards and one rush for 14 yards. Just a hunch: With Floyd banged up, this will be Jackson's breakout game. ... Floyd is a difficult call, since he missed practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury, but he's expected to play and he had four catches and two TDs last week. The Chargers' receiving corps is banged up, so they need him tonight. ... Kaeding is averaging 7.6 points per game. ... San Diego's defense is ranked first overall (265 yards per game), first against the pass (173) and fourth vs. the run (91.6).


QB Alex Smith, RB Brian Westbrook, RB Anthony Dixon, WR Michael Crabtree, WR Josh Morgan, defense and special teams.

Chargers: RB Mike Tolbert, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Patrick Crayton, TE Antonio Gates, TE Randy McMichael.

Quick slants: Smith threw for 255 yards and three TDs last week, his first game since Week 7, but I wouldn't play him against a defense that has one more interception (13) than TD passes allowed (12). ... Westbrook is a tempting play in point-per-reception leagues after he caught six passes for 87 yards and a TD last week against Seattle. In standard formats, however, I wouldn't start him because he's had only 18 carries for 54 yards in the two games in which Frank Gore has missed. ... Crabtree had one catch for 1 yard last week, and he hasn't had more than 48 yards in a game since Week 10. ... The 49ers' defense ranks 11th overall (327.4 yards per game), but is 20th against the pass (227). ... Tolbert has 10 TDs on the ground, but he split 32 carries with Mathews last week, and the rookie is San Diego's featured back when healthy (which hasn't been often). ... Mathews had 16 carries for 65 yards and a TD last week, his first appearance since Week 9, but Tolbert gets the majority of the goal-line work. ... Crayton is out with a wrist injury. ... Gates is doubtful with foot and ankle injuries. ... With Gates out last week, his replacement, McMichaels, had only two catches for 26 yards.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Colts-Titans game


QB Peyton Manning, WR Reggie Wayne, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Jacob Tamme, K Adam Vinatieri.

Titans: RB Chris Johnson, K Rob Bironas.

Quick slants: Manning has been at his worst in Indy's last three games, throwing 11 interceptions. Even while struggling, though, he's thrown for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns in that span. ... Wayne has 27 receptions for 342 yards and two TDs in his last three. ... Garcon has had five or more receptions in four consecutive games. ... Tamme has been limited by a hamstring injury, but is expected to play. If he's listed as active an hour before game time, play the tight end who has 42 receptions for 416 yards and three TDs in six games in place of Dallas Clark. ... Vinatieri and Bironas are each averaging 7.4 points per game. The latter has missed one kick all year (21-for-22 on field goals and perfect in 26 point-after attempts). ... Johnson's dreams of a record-setting season seem a faint memory after a two-game span in which he's had a combined 20 carries for 58 yards. He has 74 total yards in the two contests.


RB Joseph Addai, RB Donald Brown, RB Javarris James, RB Mike Hart, WR Austin Collie, WR Blair White, defense and special teams.

Titans: QB Kerry Collins, WR Nate Washington, WR Kenny Britt, TE Bo Scaife, defense and special teams.

Quick slants: Addai is out again with a shoulder injury, and Hart will sit with an ankle ailment. ... Brown is expected to play through an ankle injury, but he has one TD on 107 touches this season. ... James had two TDs last week and has three scores in his last four games, but he has all of 21 carries for 47 yards in the four contests. ... Collie could return after missing the last two games with a concussion, but he's a risky play against a Titans defense that has one more interception (15) than TD passes allowed (14). ... Washington had five catches for 117 yards in Week 11, but has four receptions for 50 yards and no TDs in his last two. ... Britt is expected to return after missing the Titans' last four games with a hamstring ailment. He had seven TDs in a five-game span between Weeks 3 and 7, but I wouldn't risk playing him in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. ... The Colts' defense ranks 18th overall (342.8 yards per game) and is 22nd in points allowed (24.2). Indy ranks 29th against the run (142.8 yards, 13 TDs) and fourth vs. the pass. ... The Titans' defense is 24th overall (362.1 yards per game), but is eighth in points allowed at 19.6 per contest. Tennessee is 22nd against the run (123.4 yards, six rushing TDs) and 23rd vs. the pass (239 yards, 14 TDs, 15 picks).

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Texans-Eagles game

In case you can't bear to watch the No-Longer-Chosen One's return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight ...


Eagles: QB Michael Vick, RB LeSean McCoy, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Jeremy Maclin, K David Akers.

Texans: QB Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster, WR Andre Johnson, K Neil Rackers.

Quick slants: McCoy is averaging 5 yards per carry, has seven total touchdowns and has 59 receptions. ... Maclin has eight touchdowns and actually has 16 more catches (51 to 35), 74 more receiving yards (752 to 678) and three more TDs than Jackson, his more celebrated teammate. ... Akers is averaging 9.5 points per game. ... Schaub, after a rough stretch, has rebounded to throw five touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last three games. ... Foster -- the best player in fantasy this season; you saw that coming, right? -- has rushed for 1,147 yards and 12 TDs and caught 48 passes for 453 yards and a TD. ... Rackes is averaging 7.6 points per game.


WR Jason Avant, TE Brent Celek, defense and special teams.

Texans: WR Kevin Walter, TE Joel Dreessen, defense and special teams.

Quick slants: The Texans have the league's second-worst pass defense, allowing 286 yards per game through the air, and have given up an NFL-worst 25 TD tosses. ... Houston ranks ninth against the run at 100.2 yards per game (eight rushing TDs allowed). ... Philly is 12th vs. the run (102.5 rushing yards per game, eight TDs) and No. 13 vs. the pass (214 yards, 22 TDs, 19 interceptions). The Eagles have allowed the fourth-most TD passes, but lead the league in picks.

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