Torrey Smith rips his fantasy football owners

Torrey-Smith-Did-Not-Smoke-or-Drink-in-CollegeThe Baltimore Ravens pulled out a crucial win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night, but Torrey Smith had a relatively quiet game. The wide receiver secured just four of his 12 targets for 69 yards. He did not find the end zone.

Given that Week 15 was the semifinals for many fantasy football players, Smith left a lot of his “owners” disappointed. A four-catch, 69-yard performance is not going to carry many teams to the fantasy finals, and those who have Smith on their team let him hear about it after the game. He was quick to fire back.

About an hour before Smith sent his angry tweet, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was saying “you’re welcome” to his fantasy owners after he kicked six field goals. It’s interesting to see how differently teammates can feel about fantasy football after the same game. But don’t worry, Torrey — Ray Rice knows exactly how you feel.

H/T Jimmy Traina’s The Big Buzz

Week 15 fantasy pickups include Toby Gerhart, Jordan Todman, Da’Rick Rogers

dennis-pitta-ravensFor those of you who have made it to this point, congratulations. By now almost all fantasy football leagues have begun their playoffs. If you’re still in the hunt, you still need to be working the waiver wire. There were a ton of injuries across the NFL last weekend, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. We’re here to help. Here are your Week 15 fantasy pickups.

Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings: Adrian Peterson received good news this week in that he reportedly avoided any fractures or structural damage with his foot injury. However, he has been wearing a walking boot. The Vikings are 3-9-1 and out of the playoff hunt. They’re not going to risk Peterson suffering a serious injury, so he’s questionable at best for this weekend’s game against the Eagles. Gerhart would handle the bulk of the carries in AP’s absence and could make for a solid spot start.

Jordan Todman, RB, Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a hamstring injury last Thursday night against the Texans. While he says the injury is nothing serious, hamstring tweaks can be problematic for running backs. Todman carried the ball seven times for just 14 yards when MJD went down against Houston, but he could be in for more work against Buffalo’s 26th-ranked rush defense this weekend. It’s a tasty matchup and Todman would make for an intriguing start if Jones-Drew is unable to go.

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Jordan Todman a fantasy possibility after MJD injury

Jordan TodmanJordan Todman could be a fantasy possibility for Week 15 depending on the status of Maurice Jones-Drew.

MJD was having his best game of the season on Thursday night before exiting the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 27-20 win over the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. Todman came in and replaced him before briefly leaving with a cramp and then returning.

Todman finished with 14 yards on 7 carries. MJD had 103 yards on 14 carries before his injury. The 100-yard game was his first of the season.

Though the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have the greatest offensive line or team, they have shown signs of improvement during their three-game winning streak. Todman won’t put you over the top if you’re still involved in fantasy football — playoffs or otherwise — but he will probably be worth an add if Jones-Drew is out for Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills.

Week 13 fantasy pickups include Benny Cunningham, Nate Burleson, Montee Ball

nate-burlesonFor most of you, Week 13 is the final week of the regular season in fantasy football. That means if you are on the playoff bubble and need to win this week, this is the most crucial week of the season. Bench the wrong guy and it could very well be “see ya next year.” Leave the wrong guy on waivers and you might be kicking yourself until next August. Hopefully, we can help. Here are your Week 13 fantasy pickups.

Benny Cunningham, RB, Rams: Zac Stacy left Sunday’s win over the Bears with a concussion. Prior to his departure, he was completely shredding Chicago’s porous run defense. Cunningham took over after Stacy went out and did the same, racking up 109 yards and scoring a touchdown on 13 carries. Against the Niners this week, it will not be that simple. Still, Stacy owners have no choice. If you’re in the playoff hunt, Stacy has probably helped get you there. With his status still up in the air, Cunningham needs to be added.

Nate Burleson, WR, Lions: Burleson was out a bit longer than expected while recovering from a broken arm, but the extra rest appears to have served him well. With Calvin Johnson facing the usual double-teams against the Bucs, Burleson worked the middle of the field and racked up seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Burleson is a particularly solid add in PPR leagues, as he has caught at least six passes in every game he has played this year. Matthew Stafford trusts Burleson, and he should continue to benefit from Megatron getting all of the attention.

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Lamar Miller fantasy outlook after Daniel Thomas’ season-ending ankle injury

Lamar-Miller-DolphinsThe Miami Dolphins have gone with a two-headed running back committee this season of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. It has driven fantasy owners insane. Now that Daniel Thomas has suffered a season-ending ankle injury, that is going to change.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Thomas tore a ligament in his left ankle during Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. He is expected to avoid having surgery, though the injury likely signals the end of his 2013 season. Miller, who has averaged 4.2 yards per carry this year as opposed to Thomas’ 3.6 yards, is expected to receive a boost in touches.

Fantasy owners who have Miller will probably see improvement based on volume alone. And Miami’s schedule is relatively favorable through the end of the fantasy season. They travel to New York to face a first-ranked Jets’ rushing defense next week, which could be brutal. Then it’s off to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, who allow 118.8 rushing yards per game. The Dolphins then face the New England Patriots, who have been shredded on the ground without Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, before taking on the Buffalo Bills’ 24th-ranked rushing defense.

Miller could be a great asset in the fantasy playoffs, especially with cold weather becoming a factor and teams looking to keep the ball on the ground.

Benny Cunningham could be fantasy option in Week 13 after running over Bears

Benny CunninghamBenny Cunningham busted out for a big game on Sunday against the Chicago Bears and could be a fantasy option in Week 13 depending on the health of Zac Stacy.

Stacy left Sunday’s game in the second quarter with a concussion, and it was all Cunningham after that. The undrafted back out of Middle Tennessee State piled up 109 yards on 13 carries, including a 9-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.

Much like Stacy before his concussion, Cunningham had a great average against the Bears, going for 8.4 yards per carry. Stacy had 7.3 yards per carry before leaving the game. Oh yeah, and Tavon Austin broke a 65-yard touchdown on a (reverse?) reverse in the first quarter.

The Bears’ poor rush defense — they entered Sunday’s game second-worst in the league in rushing yards allowed per game — had a lot to do with Cunningham looking good. But Cunningham clearly is second on the team’s depth chart behind Stacy, and he would be in line for a lot of work against a tougher San Francisco 49ers defense next week. Daryl Richardson was a healthy scratch for this one, so he would probably be activated next week if Stacy can’t play, but that would be in a backup role.

In other words, don’t get too excited about Cunningham’s prospects, but keep in mind he is an option if you need a running back to pick up.

Bryce Brown on fantasy radar after LeSean McCoy leaves with apparent hamstring injury

LeSean McCoy

UPDATE: McCoy returned to the game in the second half, saying that his hamstring was “tight.” It will be worth monitoring to see if he injures it further.

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy left Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins with an apparently hamstring injury. McCoy ripped off a long run in the second quarter before falling to the turf without being touched and immediately grabbing the back of his leg.

Should McCoy miss any time, Bryce Brown would become a must-add in fantasy football leagues. Brown has done very little this year since McCoy has been running so well. Savvy McCoy fantasy owners like have Brown on their bench as a handcuff, but now is the time to take advantage if he’s available.

Chip Kelly’s offense racks up yards and gets plenty of production from the running back position, so Brown would have immediate RB2 potential if McCoy is forced to miss next week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Obviously, Eagles fans are hoping McCoy’s injury is just a minor strain or cramp. McCoy was leading the NFL in rushing yards heading into Week 11 and was arguably Philadelphia’s best player on a week-to-week basis.