Money Talks - Week 12
by Jeff Pasquino
November 21st, 2012

Welcome to "Money Talks". The general purpose of this column will be to give you some advice for one of the more popular methods of adding new fantasy players each week the Free Agency Acquisition Budget, or "FAAB". What this is in a nutshell is a budget of money that every team is given to bid on free agents each week, much like in an auction. Usually this is done via blind bids, meaning that no other owner knows how much you have bid on a given player unless you announce your bid in some sort of a poker-like bluff move. Some leagues do reveal all bids after the bidding is closed and waivers are processed, while other leagues just show winning bids. It can be fun to see if several teams bid on a given player or if an owner spent a ton of money on a guy no one else even wanted.

Enough of that for now. I will give both general advice and also some weekly assistance for this advanced waiver process in this column. I hope you enjoy and get the player(s) you want every week. Here we go.

Assumptions

As with anything in fantasy football, not all leagues are the same. Some are big, some are small. Such is the way with FAAB waivers. Some leagues use a big budget of $1,000 per owner or more, while others use $100 or less. I will assume $1,000 for the purposes of this article and let you, the reader, do the math to adjust to your league. Another difference is that in some leagues the FAAB process is the ONLY way to get new players. Other leagues have the FAAB process first and then allow free transactions for that week on any player not getting a bid (so you can cover your kicker's bye, for example, for free). I will assume that is NOT the case here and think that every transaction will cost you something. If it does not, great but at least you know why I might say to grab a kicker now for a buck.

Now let's talk about bidding in general. For many more experienced leagues, round numbers are the kiss of death. Even older leagues (and owners) start to see bidding trends over time ("Jeff loves to end in a 7"), which can be dangerous when you are trying to outbid everyone. The natural assumption is to bid in large round numbers please avoid that temptation. $53 vs. $50 may seem like a trivial difference, but many more people bid $50 instead of adding a few extra bucks that can change who wins.

Another generally accepted rule do not be stingy early in the year. Sure it is nice to hold on to extra "cash" in case a stud RB goes down for the year, but look around your league and count how many NFL backups are even available on the waiver wire. Not many? Right. Go big early on players who seem to come out of nowhere, like Victor Cruz last year. Most fantasy studs appear on the scene in September instead of weeks later.

There is a "ying" to the "yang" of the last rule which is to not excessively churn your roster. While it may not seem like much, but if you drop 5-10% of your bankroll each week on bench players that never see the light of day in your lineup, then you are just wasting money. Think about it this way if you save for a rainy day, you can be prepared to go all out for when you need that money to go "all in" on a player you really want. Of course the trick is figuring out which player is worthy of such a big bid.

Another item to discuss who to drop. Keep perspective on your team. If you are short on running backs, you probably want to cut a different position player to grab running back depth. To say that another way, if you are strong and deep already at wide receiver, a sixth or seventh wideout is very unlikely to help. Let that steer your cuts.

Another tip it is far better to bid on a player a week or two early instead of a week late. That can be the difference between a $3 player and a $300 player. If you really want Ray Rice's understudy, get him now before he pulls that hammy and everyone gets in on the action.

Week 5 tip Bye weeks are here, so some of the best deals are both players on a bye week or coming off of one. For example, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis were both off last week. With the idea of "out of sight, out of mind", players on both teams could be bargain acquisitions and this general trend will continue through Week 12.

Week 6 tip Don't forget about both teams coming off of a bye week (like Oakland) or heading into one (like the Saints). While everyone targets the hottest guy from last week to stick in for this week, cheap players are available for two weeks from now.

Week 7 tip Welcome to the toughest week for waiver wires. That's because six teams are on a bye, so more owners are short on players. You better up the ante if you want to get someone on your roster.

Week 8 tip With big names falling to injury like Maurice Jones-Drew, his backup (Rashad Jennings) is the top dog this week. Keep in mind though that he is not the only player to pursue this week, so be sure to have a Plan B as the second options are likely to be much easier and cheaper to get.

Week 9 tip The regular season is winding down (for fantasy football purposes), so that means a few things first, you need to up your bids as money moves are likely dwindling. Also winding down are the number of teams that are really showing interest, as teams unlikely to make the postseason may not make many moves. Look at the money left for other owners and overbid the ones you can to get players you really want this late in the year.

Week 10 tip More of the same from last week. Spend the money you have saved as there is little time to make a major move.

Week 11 tip More of the same from last week. Spend the money you have saved as there is little time to make a major move. For those in High Stakes leagues, this could be the last week for moves so spend it all, as you can't take it with you. Make sure you have depth if rosters freeze from now until the end of your playoffs including two kickers and possibly two defenses too.

Week 12 tip Byes are over. Bid only on guys you might start if an injury hits, or even backup a key guy you like (such as Bernard Pierce if you own Ray Rice). Make sure you have depth if rosters freeze from now until the end of your playoffs including two kickers and possibly two defenses too.

Now, on to some specific players to target here in NFL Week12 of the 2012 season:

Big Bucks

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos ($357): Denver is gearing up for not only an AFC West championship but also a playoff push, but to do so they need as many weapons on offense as possible. A stable ground game certainly will help Peyton Manning, and with Willis McGahee first having ball security issues and now sidelined for at least four weeks, Hillman is going to get even more chances. Hillman may not be the featured tailback (Lance Ball will get some chances), but Hillman has major upside here, especially in PPR leagues.

Danario Alexander, WR, Chargers ($327): Mentioned last week, you have to grab Danario Alexander if he is still available. There is no question that Danario Alexander is an explosive player, something that San Diego has been in dire need at wideout this season. Phillip Rivers found Alexander five times for 136 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown against Tampa Bay in Week 10. Last week he had seven catches, 96 yards and two touchdowns on a team high 11 targets. Alexander has high upside for a team with a solid quarterback and an offense that can put up big numbers when everything is clicking.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Jaguars ($313): Blackmon was a stud prospect as a rookie in the draft this year, but Jacksonville has been a fantasy wasteland with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. After Chad Henne came in against Houston, Blackmon exploded for seven catches, 236 yards and a touchdown. Grab him and use him as long as Henne starts as Jacksonville has a nice schedule going forward.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers ($311): The 49ers had to go with their young quarterback, but the kid from the University of Nevada is no rookie. Coach Jim Harbaugh drafted Kaepernick last season and red-shirted the then rookie behind Alex Smith. With Smith ailing and Kaepernick lighting up the Bears on Monday Night Football, the former Wolf Pack quarterback is at the top of the quarterback waiver wire list this week.

Jalen Parmele, RB, Jaguars ($257): Jacksonville has really struggled on the ground since Maurice Jones-Drew went down with an injury. Rashad Jennings was supposed to fill the void but has been rather disappointing. Jacksonville gave Parmele the ball and a chance this week against Houston and he responded well with 80 yards on 28 carries. The schedule does get easier and the signs are not good for Jones-Drew to return this year, so grab Parmele if you need a RB.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars ($253): Cecil Shorts scored on a long touchdown from Chad Henne in Week 11, adding to his value as a solid waiver wire wideout acquisition. Shorts, Blackmon and Laurent Robinson form a solid trio of options for Chad Henne and a favorable Jacksonville passing schedule going forward.

Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks ($225): Golden Tate could be "fool's gold" here, as you could easily be chasing scores that will not come down the line. Tate had two touchdown receptions three weeks ago against Detroit, and then he followed that performance up in Week 10 with a touchdown catch and a TD pass as well. Looking at the big picture, however, Tate only had two targets that week and has never had more than seven chances all season long. Tate has good upside but he could be a lineup headache if you decide to start him. You might steal him as the Seahawks had a bye last week.

Chad Henne, QB, Jaguars ($221): Blaine Gabbert was injured, opening up the door and the opportunity for Chad Henne to step up and in as the starter in Jacksonville. Henne has the game of his life, racking up four touchdowns and 354 yards against the very tough Houston Texans. Now that Jacksonville has issues on the ground and a favorable schedule for passing (Tennessee, Buffalo, NY Jets, New England) over the next four weeks, Henne should be the second quarterback taken off the waiver wire.

Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals ($213): Wells is expected back this week for Arizona and start in the Cardinals' backfield. His schedule does him no favors, but a starting NFL tailback always has some value. He will have to push LaRod Stephens-Howling to the bench, which might prove a challenge.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts ($211): With Donnie Avery sidelined with a concussion, Hilton saw plenty of chances in Week 11 against New England, where he reeled in six passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Hilton was second on the team with nine targets (to Reggie Wayne) and the Colts will get Hilton plenty of targets this week at home against the Bills.

Bilal Powell, RB, Jets ($202): Powell stepped it up in Week 11 with two goal line plunges for touchdowns against the Rams, running hard in between the tackles and pounding the ball into the end zone. While not flashy, Powell has great upside as Shonn Greene has been very ineffective all season.

Medium Money

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots ($165): Simple math here as someone has to fill the void created by the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Edelman had a great Week 11 with 105 total yards plus a 68-yard punt return for a second touchdown on the day. Expect Edelman to see more snaps and targets for the next month or so, starting Thursday night against the Jets.

Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles ($155): Bryce Brown was a seventh round draft back, but keep in mind that running backs have been falling and falling in the draft as they are more of a commodity and viewed as "a dime a dozen" in today's NFL. Brown was a stud prospect heading to Tennessee in college but transferred to Kansas State and fell through the scouting cracks. Brown could start this week if LeSean McCoy is out due to a concussion.

Ryan Broyles, WR, Lions ($128): Simple "next man up" here as Titus Young is suspended. Broyles should see plenty of action with Calvin Johnson starting on the other side and Matthew Stafford looking to throw plenty this week against Houston.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Lions ($128, $203 in TE PPR bonus leagues): Simple "next man up" here as Titus Young is suspended. Scheffler gets plenty of playing time and split looks with Ryan Broyles as the third option with Young in the lineup, so with Young suspended Scheffler should see plenty of action and Matthew Stafford looking to throw plenty this week against Houston.

Dallas Clark, TE, Buccaneers ($107, $177 in TE PPR bonus leagues): Clark had a great game last week, catching seven balls for 58 yards and the game-winning touchdown against Carolina in overtime. With big matchups ahead (Atlanta, Denver), Tampa Bay will need lots of passing and yards to compete, which gives Clark good upside.

Chump Change

Tony Moeaki, TE, Chiefs ($77, $137 in TE PPR bonus leagues): Don't look now, but Moeaki has had three or four catches and over 50 yards receiving in the last three games. If you need tight end help, the athletic receiver posing as a tight end is a sneaky and solid waiver wire add.

Charlie Batch, QB, Steelers ($77): Not a great option here if you own Ben Roethlisberger or Byron Leftwich, but if you need quarterback help Batch is a stable veteran who can produce. He is the third quarterback in Pittsburgh for a reason, however, and the Steelers are likely to be without Antonio Brown again in Week 12. The matchup (Cleveland) is a good one, so he is worth a flier.

As always, questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.

© 2012 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved