Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Analysis: Josh Freeman has now thrown for six touchdown passes and 748 passing yards over his last two games. While his opponents have not been solid defensive clubs, he has done what is expected of him. Freeman is punishing lesser teams with his arm leading Tampa to 35 and 38 points in his last two contests.
Freeman is available in thirty percent of leagues and he is certainly worth a look. With guys like Alex Smith and Andrew Luck underperforming, Josh Freeman as a QB2 makes a lot of sense. With games against Oakland, Carolina and San Diego in the near future you have to love Freeman’s fantasy potential. Those three opponents coming up in the next four weeks rank nineteenth or worst in passing yards allowed per game.
With a passer rating of 91.2, zero fumbles lost and only nine sacks on the year, Josh Freeman is limiting the mistakes which you cannot say for a Sam Bradford or a Ryan Fitzpatrick. We are going into the middle of the 2012 NFL season and Josh Freeman is surging at the right time.
With Vincent Jackson signing a five year deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Mike Williams’ fantasy value is in question.
Analysis: Mike Williams did have a down year in 2011 but Josh Freeman’s dip in play was more to blame. Williams was targeted 124 times in 2011, fourteenth most in the NFL. Even with Jackson in the mix Williams is still good for 100 targets this year. He caught 65 balls for 771 yards in his second year and as a rookie he caught 65 balls for 964 yards. The biggest difference was the three touchdowns last year to the eleven in his rookie year. Most people want to blame Williams but take a look at Josh Freeman’s numbers- 2010- 25 TD, 6 INT while in 2011- 16 TD, 22 INT. Freeman has ball security issues which also include 27 total fumbles over the past three seasons. With Kellen Winslow gone, Mike Williams is far and away the second option in the Tampa passing game this year which will improve… Josh Freeman isn’t an awful quarterback. Vincent Jackson will get his share but to expect just three touchdowns from Williams again in 2012 is a joke.
At the moment Williams is the 45th to 49th wide out being taken off the board with an ADP in the 120-150 range. On talent alone he is certainly worth a gamble at his ADP and he has tons of upside unlike Laurent Robinson and Randall Cobb who are in his ADP range.
Earnest Graham’s rushing total may not be impressive, however, his reception total may surprise you.
Analysis: Earnest Graham has hauled in twenty balls in just three games this year, if that stat doesn’t scream PPR depth then I don’t know what does. Graham may only have thirty yards on the ground this year but twenty receptions for 116 receiving yards will get some attention. Graham’s twenty-two targets tell the whole story with passing down situations considering feature back LeGarrette Blount only has three targets on the year. LeGarrette Blount may have a monopoly on carrying the rock and goal line situations but Earnest Graham is the man with the hands in passing situations. Graham’s 146 total yards and twenty receptions make him hard to ignore in deep PPR leagues and since he’s available in tons of leagues you have to give this guy a look. Tampa is passing the ball 36.3 times per game thus far this season to just 23.7 rushing attempts per game and expect that trend to continue if not bump up just a bit. The Bucs are in between a passing team and a balanced team but we will see more forty passing attempt games with Josh Freeman than thirty carry games with LeGarrette Blount and friends.
After a solid 6 for 7, two touchdown performance in his first preseason game, Matthew Stafford has hit the ground running in 2011. With an ADP of 98 he sure seems like a bargain.
Analysis: We cannot forget that Matthew Stafford in 2010 threw six touchdowns to just one interception in three games. Stafford’s completion percentage was around the sixty percent mark as the young talent continues to develop on the Lions offense. Stafford is being taken as the thirteenth quarterback off the board and that is a bargain. Streaming Stafford with an Eli Manning or a Josh Freeman instead of taking an elite quarterback can be effective this year. Stafford has QB1 potential but due to injuries he hasn’t quite been able to prove himself. We all love Calvin Johnson but we cannot ignore how good Brandon Pettigrew is. Pettigrew is just twenty-six years old and last year was a solid campaign that included 71 receptions for 722 yards. Jahvid Best recorded 58 receptions as a rookie back and has the potential for much more.
The only concern when drafting Stafford will be his health. If he plays every game he will put up QB1 numbers, period. Whatever happens- a Shaun Hill insurance pick seems like the smart thing to do late in a draft.