Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays - Week 10 Thursday Edition

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the projections for our Vikings players as well as my Fantasy Mid-Season Awards and Over Achiever and Under Achiever picks for Week 10.

Just when I thought we'd get into a groove of Fantasy Football Fridays, the NFL had to go and ruin it with a Thursday night game. I really hate Thursday night games. I gots thangs to do during the week! So, I'll be missing the game against the Redskins, unfortunately. But that won't stop me from providing fantasy goodness to all you fine readers out there. Also, using Frigga's inspiration and guidance, I will be checking back on this thread periodically to provide sit/start and trading or general roster advice in the comments section, should you wish to seek it. And others should feel free to chime in as well. Think of this as a weekly open thread dedicated to all things fantasy football. As a general rule, the stats provided here assume a standard 10-team league, such as those found at Yahoo! Sports or ESPN.

Fantasy Mid-Season Awards

Since the Vikings season is now half-over I thought it would be kind of fun to hand out some "Midseason Fantasy Awards", but then I remembered that we basically have Adrian Peterson and not much else for fantasy purposes. So instead I've decided to open it up to the entire NFL. I could just highlight the scoring leaders at every position, but that would be boring so I made up some of my own awards. Let's get to it!

Best Draft Value Award - RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

I was tempted to give this award to the Kansas City Chiefs D/ST, but they since they were drafted by pretty much nobody, they don't really qualify. But if you picked them up on the waiver wire (and admit it, if they're on your team that's exactly what you did), then be happy you have the #1 scoring D/ST in fantasy football by a long shot. In any case, while I don't particularly like Moreno as a real life running back, he has been money in fantasy football. His average draft position was 158th, or near the bottom of the 16th round as a flier or a hedged bet against injury. Before the season started most of us assumed he would be a part of a 3-headed monster in Denver with Ronnie Hillman, Monte Ball and Moreno in a dreaded timeshare. While that was sort of the case for the first few weeks, Moreno has since seized the starting job by the horns and has been delivering as a #1 RB in fantasy. Since Week 5, in his last 4 games he's been averaging over 15 carries per game and has caught over 5 passes per game. With an average of 20 touches per game in the last 4, he's averaging over 100 yards from scrimmage and has 6 total TDs (5 on the ground and 1 through the air). So far this year, he's the 6th highest rated running back in total fantasy points this year in standard leagues. With Hillman and Ball suffering from fumblitis recently, Moreno doesn't appear to be in any danger of losing his grasp on a premier starting role in a potent offense. If you own Moreno, be glad you lucked into a solid RB starter in an otherwise dreadful year for running backs.

Biggest Bust Award - RB Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens

This was a tough decision and there are a lot of worthy competitors (even more if we open up competition to porn stars). This year guys like Doug Martin, Arian Foster, Trent Richardson, Roddy White, Dwayne Bowe, Kyle Rudolph, Colin Kaepernick and even Tom Brady (until last week) have all fallen way short of expectations. But for me this award has to go to Rice, because of where he was drafted. Rice was a Top 10 pick in almost every league on the planet, but has managed only 55 standard fantasy points on the year. He is the 39th best RB this year and has been outscored by the likes of James Starks, Roy Helu, Mike Tolbert, Joique Bell and Andre Ellington. Any of those guys would have provided your fantasy team more total fantasy points on the year than Ray Rice. Many people saw a decline coming this season, but nobody thought he would fall this far.

Mr. Consistency Award - RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Forte is having one of the best fantasy seasons of his career so far. In standard scoring he's put up double digit fantasy points in EVERY SINGLE game. He's been exceptionally good in the last 2 games, scoring over 20 points in both. No other running back has put up consistent double-digit point totals in every game this season. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers get an honorable mention, but it's much easier for QBs to maintain double-digit fantasy points, which all of them have done as well. No other player in fantasy has put up double-digit point totals every week outside of these five guys whether it is due to injury, bad matchups or poor play. Finding that consistent, reliable option in fantasy football is difficult, but cherish it when you have it!

Cumulative Projections

This week our Minnesota Vikings face the Washington Redskins, and like last week, they have a terrible defense. There are several Vikings players that are worth a start this week, and it couldn't come at a better time as BYE weeks are still in full effect. The Redskins aren't that great of a team this season, but RGIII has continued to improve and develop from his ACL injury with each passing week. That said we're dealing with a rash of injuries, which may negate the matchup advantage. Phil Loadholt is out and Charlie Johnson is doubtful to play which could hurt both the rushing and passing offense. Kyle Rudolph is out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot, which could hurt Ponder a bit, but who knows. In any case, let's get to the cumulative projections!

Christian Ponder

Passing Yards

TDs

INTs

Rush Yards

Rush TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

244

1

1

21

1

19

Yahoo!

220

1.2

1.2

23.1

0.1

14.48

CBS

227

0.3

1

18

0.7

14

Fleaflicker

259

1

1

15

0

16

Average

237.5

0.875

1.05

19.275

0.45

15.87

How about that Christian Ponder, huh? He topped the projected point total by a pretty healthy margin last week, thanks in large part to his rushing score. As a passer, he was pretty much right on projection though. I don't think we can underestimate Ponder's propensity for running with the football as he has averaged nearly 30 rushing yards per game, and has run for over 60 yards the past two games. I think his rushing projection is a little on the low side. Washington is allowing an average of over 18 fantasy points per game to QBs this season and is the 4th worst fantasy defense against QBs. Need I remind you that Ponder threw for 352 yards, 2TDs and 2INTs last year against Washington.

Frigga Says: I like Ponder as a plug and play start this week against a really bad defense. If you're hurting for a QB, Ponder is almost assuredly on your waiver wire, ready to be claimed.

Adrian Peterson

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

89

1

23

0

16

Yahoo!

95.4

1.3

22.6

0.1

19.43

CBS

132.3

1.7

18.3

0

24.2

Fleaflicker

131

1

32

3

22

Average

111.925

1.25

23.975

0.775

20.4075

Well, that was nice. Peterson finally got back on track against Dallas putting up 177 yards from scrimmage and a TD. Have I mentioned that Washington has a bad defense? Because they have the league's WORST fantasy defense against RBs. Peterson is projected for some serious fantasy gold this week. With Ponder going nuts in Washington last year, and Peterson still getting back to form after the ACL injury, he only managed 97 yards from scrimmage and no TDs. But I expect that to be dramatically different this year.

Frigga Says: Always start him.

Greg Jennings

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

79

1

0

0

13

Yahoo!

51.5

0.3

0

0

7

CBS

60.7

0

0

0

6

Fleaflicker

71

1

0

0

13

Average

65.55

0.575

0

0

9.75

Jennings was the most targeted receiver last week, but it still didn't amount to much: 56 yards and no score. Despite the excellent fantasy matchup, Jennings wasn't able to capitalize as Ponder spread the ball around to 7 different receivers. The opportunities might get a slight increase with Kyle Rudolph out 4-6 weeks, and if I haven't mentioned it yet, Washington has a terrible defense. They have the 3rd worst fantasy defense against WRs allowing an average 27 fantasy points to all opposing receivers.

Frigga Says: If there was ever a week where you might consider starting Greg Jennings, this week is it. If he can't capitalize on one of the best fantasy matchups on paper, along with less competition for targets with Rudolph out, then he never will.

Jerome Simpson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

80

0

0

0

8

Yahoo!

42.1

0.2

0

0

5.08

CBS

37

0

0

0

3

Fleaflicker

45

0

0

0

5

Average

51.025

0.05

0

0

5.27

While Jennings had a disappointing game last week, Simpson's was even worse. He's been a total non-factor since the BYE week, and despite still having the target total edge over Jennings on the year, he's fallen behind him over the last 4 weeks. Simpson has 25 total targets during that time frame, while Jennings has had 32. All of the projections expect Jennings to outscore Simpson this week, with the exception of ESPN who projects them to essentially tie in yardage, with the TD nod going to Jennings. The matchup is great, as I've continually mentioned, but conventional wisdom is a little down on Simpson this week.

Frigga Says: Keep Simpson on your bench.

Cordarrelle Patterson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

18

0

0

0

1

Yahoo!

28

0.2

1.2

0

4.59

CBS

32

0

1.7

0

3

Fleaflicker

32

0

0

0

3

Average

27.5

0.05

0.725

0

2.8975

Patterson is still electric as a kick returner, but just isn't getting many opportunities in the passing game. I thought about leaving Patterson off the list, because his cumulative projected total is abysmal. But I bring him up for one reason: snap counts! I mentioned last week that his average was 14 snaps per game and that his highest snap count of the year was against the Giants when he got 25 out of a possible 72 snaps on offense. However, last week he FINALLY got more than that. But don't get too excited, it was only better by 1 snap as he got 26 snaps out of a possible 71 against Dallas. *sad trombone* Until this lack of usage changes, he's going to be pretty severely limited. But I think it's only a matter of time before he "breaks loose!"

Frigga Says: Keep Patterson on your bench, except in a league with return yards.

John Carlson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

16

0

0

0

1

Yahoo!

30.6

0.2

0

0

4.52

CBS

26

0

0

0

2

Fleaflicker

46

0

0

0

5

Average

29.65

0.05

0

0

3.13

First off, John Carlson pales in comparison to Kyle Rudolph. There was a time when Carlson was almost a viable fantasy starter at TE, but that was at least 4 years ago. John Carlson had his best game as a Viking last week when he caught 4 passes for 23 yards. That should tell you all you need to know. Even the best projection only has him getting 46 yards. Sure, anything is possible, but there is just no reason to believe John Carlson will suddenly emerge as the go-to receiving option with Rudolph out. At least Rudolph had incredible hands and was big enough to be a legitimate red zone threat. John Carlson is an inch shorter and about 10 pounds lighter than Kyle Rudolph. If we're looking for red zone threats, check out the 6'6" Chase Ford, or even Joe Webb.

Frigga Says: Keep John Carlson on the waiver wire, unless he surprises everyone in the NFL on Thursday.

Fantasy Points

Vikings Defense/Special Teams

Blair Walsh

ESPN

1

9

Yahoo!

4.94

6.49

CBS

6.2

6.6

Fleaflicker

8

5

Average

5.035

6.7725

Hopefully you didn't start the Vikings D/ST or Blair Walsh last week. While they did get you a few points, they weren't even ranked in the top 14 at their position. Washington has an average offense this season, but with all the injuries piling up for the Vikings on defense, they can't be counted on to stop anyone or generate turnovers and sacks (ie, points). With Blair Walsh still being listed on the injury report, and missing a PAT last week, one has to wonder what the issue is.

Frigga Says: Continue to find better options on the waiver wire if you can.

Fantasy Over Achiever/Under Achiever

Like always, each week I'm going to pick a non-obvious player that I think will significantly outscore and underscore their weekly average based on opportunity, matchup or both. Don't think of this as sit/start advice necessarily, but rather to upgrade or lower your expectations.

Last week I went 1 of 2 in my predictions. But I think I kind of get a pass on one of them, seeing as how Jeremy Kerley was knocked out of his game with an injury in the 1st quarter after catching only 1 pass. Greg Salas sort of filled the void catching 2 passes for 57 yards, and even Zach Sudfeld of former Patriots fame (he's now on the Jets) caught a couple of deep balls for 47 yards. Too bad...I still think Kerley could have done well. But wow did Vincent Jackson get shut down in Seattle. It was even worse than I thought. He was only targeted 4 times and hauled in 2 catches for 11 yards. Yikes.

Overachiever: WR Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

Doug Baldwin is averaging a paltry 5.8 points per game, but with Sidney Rice out for the year, and Harvin still not practicing Baldwin has moved into a much greater role alongside Golden Tate in the passing game. Last week (his 2nd week without Sidney Rice), he saw 10 targets and hauled in 6 of them for 75 yards and a score. Expect variable production the rest of the year, but as long as Harvin continues to be out, he's at least the #2 receiving option if not #1 some weeks. He's got a tasty matchup against a bad Atlanta Falcons defense that is allowing an average of over 23 points to opposing wide receivers. I like Baldwin this week.

Underachiever: TE Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers

I will admit that this pick is total speculation on my part. But hear me out. Yes, Davis has been having a fantastic year but there are a couple clues that lead me to believe he could disappoint this week. First, Mario Manningham will be returning to action this week and that could cut into Vernon's targets a bit. Second, the 49ers returned to the read-option the last two weeks before the BYE week. Last year, when Kaepernick took over and the 49ers ran the read-option, Davis production took a severe nose dive. It wasn't until the playoffs that his usage saw an uptick. But there are some red flags here, because the past two weeks, Davis targets, yardage and receptions were down just a little bit. I'm not sure if there is a correlation or not, but conversely Kaepernicks numbers were WAY up the last two weeks before their BYE week. And lastly, Vernon Davis (and by extension Kaepernick) faces the Carolina Panthers who have the 3rd best fantasy defense against QBs. They are average against TEs, ranked 17th allowing an average of 7.6 points per game, but if Kaepernick struggles as a passer or if they move to more of a read-option look with a heavy ground game like they have in the recent past, Davis could suffer. Lastly, Davis is averaging an obscene 11.7 points per game, 2nd best among all tight ends, and I just generally question whether or not he can maintain that level of production going forward.

Last Week 1-1, Season So Far: 1-1

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