By Kimra Schleicher //
Week 4 Thoughts:
Can you believe we are one quarter of the way through the NFL season? As I was sitting down to watch the New Orleans Saints-Green Bay Packers game on Sunday, I couldn't believe that heading into the game both teams were a combined 1-5 to start the season. Also, I must admit when I am terribly wrong. The past two weeks I have been highlighting Brian Hartline as the main wide receiver in Miami. Last week, I mentioned that I would probably sit Hartline due to the great Arizona defense, unless I had limited options at WR on my team in a deep league. I took my own advice and sat Hartline on several teams but did play him on a couple of teams due to bye weeks. On Sunday night, I had a Hartline headache when looking at what could have been on several of my teams. In a point per reception (PPR) league, Hartline had an astonishing 43 points! He posted 12 receptions for 253 yards and a touchdown. Oh, what could have been! This is the life of a fantasy football player during the NFL season. Trust me, Hartline will be in all of my lineups this weekend as Miami faces the Bengals.
One of the areas I continue to address with new fantasy football players is that you must continue to work the waiver wire. The NFL has a long season and there are going to be injuries. You must continue to add depth to your team and handcuff your top players. Most of the players I've highlighted recently would be ideal in a deep league; a 12-14 team league with 16 or more roster spots. However, I do play in a few leagues where there are 10 teams with 15 roster spots and 10 starters. I do not consider a 10-team league with 15 roster spots as a deep league. You should have plenty of options on the waiver wire if you play in those types of leagues.
Week 5 Free Agent Focus:
If you had Jake Locker as your backup, you should consider adding Matt Hasselbeck, Brandon Weeden or
Ryan Tannehill as a backup. It appears Locker will be out a few weeks with his shoulder injury. Always review schedules for bye weeks and look for a sweet spot in a schedule before adding a backup.
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots
You never know what Bill Belichick is going to do in the backfield, but on Sunday it appeared that Brandon Bolden would see additional time moving forward. He carried the ball 16 times for 137 yards. To date, New England is second in rush attempts and I expect that number to fall as Tom Brady continues to throw the ball more often. However, if you own Ridley or want to grab and stash a player, I would look to add Bolden to your roster this week.
Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers
If you own Frank Gore, I would add Kendall Hunter immediately if he is available. Hunter has been quiet until last Sunday when he scored a TD on 8 carries. Last year, Frank Gore faded down the stretch and his yards per carry decreased from 4.9 to 3.5 in the last eight games of the season. Kendall Hunter is a guy who will produce when given the chance and I believe he will see that opportunity at some point later in the season.
Jerome Simpson, Minnesota Vikings
I highlighted Jerome Simpson last week, but if he is still available go get him now. The Vikings put in packages for Simpson on Sunday and he got behind the defense on a few occasions and drew two pass interference penalties for 57 yards. He only caught 4 balls for 50 yards on Sunday but it looks like he will become a significant part of the offense the rest of the way.
Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals
Roberts caught 6 passes for 118 yards and scored two TDs on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. It is clear that Roberts is the WR2 behind Larry Fitzgerald. While defenses continue to key in on Fitzgerald, look for Roberts to continue to post solid numbers.
Leonard Hankerson, Washington Redskins
While filling in for Pierre Garcon, Hankerson has been a good flex option. Last Sunday, he posted 7 catches for 57 yards and was targeted 11 times. As Griffin becomes more comfortable with the offense, I believe Hankerson will continue to grow. Hankerson has plenty of upside and I would look to add him if available.
Domenik Hixon, New York Giants
I added Hixon in a few leagues last weekend as I heard Hakeem Nicks was suffering from injuries and most likely would not play on Sunday night. It was indeed Hixon and not Ramses Barden who filled in for Nicks. Hixon was targeted 11 times and caught six receptions for 114 yards. If Nicks continues to struggle, Hixon would make a very nice addition to your team and provide you a great flex player for bye weeks.