Inside the Insider: Bartender's Choice - Week 12
by Jeff Haseley and Ryan Hester
November 23rd, 2012

Before we get into the weekly "behind the scenes" look at Footballguys.com, Jeff and I wanted to be sure to wish all of the loyal insiders a Happy Thanksgiving weekend. This time of year isn't just great for football as the "real" football playoff picture begins to take shape and the fantasy season hits the home stretch; it's great because the holidays are here, feasts are forthcoming, and great times with family and friends are to be had for the next five weeks.

If you couldn't tell by the title, this week, Jeff and I are focusing on recent events in the season. Later in the piece, Jeff will highlight our owner David Dodds' "Who's Hot" feature where David focuses on the players who have performed best in the last four weeks. But first, I'll talk about the "Dynasty Movement" feature put together by various staff members each week.

Dynasty Movement

At Footballguys, we believe that football is never over. Therefore, we believe that fantasy football is never over either. So you have a 2-9 record and have no chance at your league's playoffs? That's no reason to stop watching football and paying attention to which players are on the rise and on the decline. Even in redraft leagues, paying attention to how certain players are performing can help you bounce back next year. If you're in a Dynasty League, especially, you definitely need to be aware of the ever-changing football climate.

In the weekly Dynasty Movement article, posted every Wednesday during the season, the guys break down players position-by-position and discuss which ones have their proverbial arrows pointing up and which ones are pointing down. Here are some specific examples of write-ups from last week:

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (Upgrade): Alex Smith is "an" answer, but not "the" answer in San Francisco. Kaepernick could be "the" answer in a year or two because there's a Vince Young dynamic to his game that could elevate this offense. He's worth a QB3 or QB4 addition if you have the room to be patient with one boom-bust quarterback prospect at the end of your depth chart. I think the 49ers coaching staff and front office has achieved enough stability in a short period of time to feel good that Kaepernick has a chance to be a part of a three-year plan.

Golden Tate, Seahawks (Upgrade): I love how Tate fights for the ball. He did this at Notre Dame, but I didn't know if he could do the same in the NFL. He's doing it almost weekly with the Seahawks and with Russell Wilson growing up fast; Tate looks like the real deal. He just might have some of the Percy Harvin-Randall Cobb style to him.

Ryan Mathews, Chargers (Downgrade): I've been extolling his virtues as a runner since he was at Fresno State. However, his flashes of elite skill haven't grown into consistent play. Some of this has to do with a team that picks wide receivers with the same wisdom that the women on Lifetime movies pick men, but Mathews' questionable work ethic and lack of ball security have also been contributing factors. There's still time for him to develop into a solid RB1, but I'd be wary of Mathews and any change to the Chargers because he doesn't strike me as a player who adjusts well to new situations that challenge him.

All of the above were from Matt Waldman, and if you read that Mathews section closely, you'll know that Footballguys isn't completely lacking in humor. Also good to keep in mind is that this was written before Kaepernick's big performance on Monday Night Football. Knowing how to properly evaluate players is the essence of fantasy football. At Footballguys, we have so many pieces that help our Insiders do just that. The "Dynasty Movement" piece is among the best because it showcases different voices each week providing out Insiders with a vast sampling of opinions on various players.

Who's Hot - Last 4 weeks

This weekly article, compiled by David Dodds, breaks down the best fantasy performers of the last four weeks, sorted by average fantasy points. Who's Hot - Last 4 Weeks can be found in the weekly content section and is usually posted every Tuesday starting around the middle of the fantasy season. This year, it became a available in the weekly content in week nine.

The stats are compiled for each fantasy position - Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Kicker, Team Offense and Team Defense. Below is an example from this week's piece.

This is a useful data chart, because it shows which players are performing at their best over the last four games. When it comes down to making the decision of who to start, this is a very good tool to assist you with your thought process.

Where does Mike Leshoure fit into the list of recent running back ranks? Is Robert Griffin a Top 10 quarterback over the last four games? How much better has Doug Martin been over the likes of Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson? All of these questions and more can be answered using this tool. You always want to start the best possible players in your lineup. Let this guide be your voice of reason. Insert the right players into your lineup and Dominate your League!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com and hester@footballguys.com.

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