Fantasy Doc: WRs to watch down the stretch

Posted Nov. 24, 2010 @ 9:58 a.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Now that the regular season is in full swing, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Send your questions to the Doc at

Last year in a twelve-man PPR league I finished dead last at 3-13. I spent most of the summer and rest of the last few months reading everything I could from PFW. Our league expanded this year and we are up to 16 teams. I am currently 8-3 and in first place in the league. Because of PFW help I had an awesome draft. I wanted to say thank you very much to everyone there but I need some help. It's been tough in this league to make moves. The waiver wire is so empty that shaking it doesn't improve it any. It is very tough to make trades in the league and with so many teams one bad trade can kill you.
My running game is solid with Arian Foster, Peyton Hillis and Rashard Mendenhall with Keiland Williams on the bench. My WRs are Mike Williams (TB), Johnny Knox, Michael Crabtree, Brandon Tate and Jacoby Ford. My TEs are Chris Cooley and Rob Gronkowski.
The problem I have been having is who to start down the stretch. I know I should stick with a roster and stay with it instead of making changes each week. Except for Mike Williams I feel each week it's a crapshoot. Doc, you haven't done me wrong all year and I know you won't now. Please advise on which of my WRs and TEs you would start the rest of the season. Thanks from A LOYAL PFW fan!!!
— Chris

Thanks for the kind words, Chris. I'm glad to hear that following PFW's advice has helped you take a big step forward in 2010. Hopefully there are lots of others like you out there.

As for your question, I don't necessarily think you have to pick your starters and stick with them. Sometimes playing matchups can result in the best outcomes, but it's a tricky process that can also burn you. It all depends on your preference as an owner.

That said, if you want the guys I'd recommend the rest of the way at WR, I'd begin with Williams. Even though he's a rookie, he has proven to be a consistent producer, and his schedule during the fantasy playoffs is fantastic. I think he'll finish the year with a bang. I also like Crabtree quite a bit, even after his dud last week. He had scored in four of his previous five games, and QB Troy Smith clearly likes throwing to him. I see him making some big plays down the stretch. Finally, I see Knox as being a decent third option. His numbers over the past five games have been serviceable as Jay Cutler becomes more comfortable with him. The only scary thing about Knox is the Bears' treacherous schedule during fantasy playoff time. Your other WR options are too hit-or-miss.

At tight end, you have to go with Cooley over Gronkowski. Cooley simply has been way more consistent than the rookie, who catches multiple TDs one week and then does nothing the next. Cooley isn't a great source of TDs, but Donovan McNabb likes throwing to him and should continue to do so during the Redskins' light fantasy playoff schedule.

Hey Fantasy Doc,
I currently have WRs Percy Harvin, Austin Collie and Braylon Edwards. I have to drop someone to acquire Vincent Jackson before anyone else does. I'm leaning toward dropping Collie because of his concussion issues. Whom would you dump? Or should I just stay put with what I have? Thanks.

— Jeff

While dropping any of those guys would be difficult, Jeff, you probably have to cut one of them, as Jackson has too much potential value to pass up.

I think I have to agree with you that Collie is the one who has to go. He was absolutely on fire to begin the season, but since then he's drastically cooled off, mainly due to his slew of injuries. First it was a problem with his hand, and now he's dealing with concussion symptoms that have caused the Colts to already rule him out for Week 12. There's no telling when he'll be back to 100 percent, so the odds of him making a major fantasy contribution down the stretch aren't good.

Meanwhile, the cards continue to break right for Jackson. Due to the Chargers' injury problems at receiver, the Pro Bowler will likely play a full complement of snaps when he makes his 2010 debut Sunday night at Indy. Just about all reports indicate that he's in game shape and shouldn't miss a beat upon returning, so his upside is scary in San Diego's No. 1-ranked offense. He probably deserves to be a fantasy starter in most leagues the rest of the way.