It is not often that a fantasy defense scores as many fantasy points as a top ranked offensive player, but that is just what the Bears defense did this week as they handled the Titans offense. The Dolphins lost a close one to the Colts, but Brian Hartline showed that he is not someone to count out of fantasy football circles just yet. All in all it was a wild ride weekend where see saw as many highs as we did lows.
Our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope take a look back at Week 9 in the fantasy football season and shine the spotlight on several players that could be worth adding to your fantasy roster for Week 10.
Winners (by James Morris)
Russell Wilson – QB Seahawks: I had a discussion on Facebook with a Seahawks fan about Wilson and my point is that he is simply average as a QB. The evidence in this point is the fact that he threw for just 167 yards despite it being a relatively close game with the Vikings. The reason he makes the winners list is because he also threw 3 TDs.
Carson Palmer – QB Raiders: Palmer is only owned in 60.1 percent of NFL.com leagues, but he was the #1 fantasy QB in week 9 ahead of even Aaron Rodgers. Palmer tossed the pigskin around the field for 414 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. But, he also found the defense 3 times for INTs. Despite the interceptions, Palmer was stellar and showed that there is still life in the veteran QB. He is worth owning in all formats as the Raiders have the 8th best Strength of Schedule for fantasy QBs going forward.
Ryan Tannehill – QB Dolphins: Tannehill is one of the more underrated QBs in the NFL this season from my point of view. No, he isn’t elite. But, he did throw for 290 yards and a TD this week (11th in NFL.com scoring), and NFL.com projected him to finish 21st in NFL.com scoring. Tannehill is the real deal, and I think he will be a good fantasy QB in the years to come.
Doug Martin – RB Buccaneers: The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Month for October put on a show against the Vikings as he ran for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was also able to reel in 4 passes for 21 yards and take home the #1 spot overall in week 9 (55.20 in NFL.com PPR scoring). Martin started off slow, but he has the making a fantasy MVP if his stats continue as they have over the last three weeks.
Mikel Leshoure – RB Lions: Finally we saw signs of life from Fo’ Sho’ Leshoure! The Lions RB rumbled his way to a mere 70 yards rushing, but crossed the goal-line 3 times for a total of 25.00 FP (fantasy points) in NFL.com scoring. I think this has more to do with the Jaguars defense than a sudden emergence of fantasy value from Leshoure, but his owners will take whatever they can get from him at this point.
Chris Johnson – RB Titans: CJ2K was having an uneventful day until early in the 4th quarter he found a seam and broke an 80-yard run for a touchdown. Because of that one run, he finished with 141 yards rushing and a TD, good enough for 3rd on the RB rankings for week 9. The game was out of hand at that point and I was fully expecting the Bears defense to give up something big, and this does nothing to change my views on CJ2K going forward.
Reggie Bush – RB Dolphins: A lot of fantasy owners or NFL fans in general will look at Bush’s week 9 numbers and say they were just O.K. But, did you know that his 41 yards rushing, 2 catches for 25 yards and a touchdown were good enough to rank him 10th in fantasy scoring this week? That is a low-end RB1, and better than guys like Jamaal Charles and Ryan Mathews.
Brandon Marshall – WR Bears: All three of Cutler’s TD passes went Marshall’s way, so the 9 catches for 122 yards were just icing on the cake for fantasy owners this weekend. Marshall finished with 39.20 FP in NFL.com scoring, nearly 10 points ahead of the #2 WR this week (Eric Decker with 29.90). To put that in perspective, Laurent Robinson had 6 catches for 41 yards, and scored 10.10 FP this week.
Brian Hartline – WR Dolphins: In PPR leagues (Points Per Reception), a player can overcome not reaching the endzone if he hauls in enough passes and gains enough yards. That is exactly what Hartline did this week as he finished with 8 catches for 107 yards, good enough for a #10 ranking at WR in NFL.com PPR scoring.
Jermaine Gresham – TE Bengals: Gresham was someone that I recommended to my social media fans because the Broncos defense allows the 4th most fantasy points to TEs’ in PPR formats at15.9 PPG. Gresham was able to rack up 6 catches for 108 yards, and just like Hartline, his catches and yardage was enough to put him in the #1 spot for TEs’ this week.
Chicago Bears defense: The Bears defense scored 27.00 FP in NFL.com scoring, and that put them with the 6th highest total for ALL fantasy football. It is rare that a defense scores as many points as a top-tier offensive player, but that is what they did with their 4 recovered fumbles, 2 sacks, 2 defensive TDs, 1 INT and 18 points allowed. Needless to say, my phone was blowing up with texts from Chris ‘Da Bears fan all morning long.
Losers (by James Morris)
Eli Manning – QB Giants: The Giants offense was a bust this week as they managed just one touchdown (Andre Brown 1-yard run) and 2 field goals. Manning managed just 125 yards passing, no TDs and an INT, stats his owners have not become accustomed to seeing. The Steelers defense gets the credit here, so chalk this one up as a bad game and keep plugging Manning into your QB1 spot to finish out the season.
Matt Ryan – QB Falcons: The Cowboys pass defense is one of the better ones in the NFL (3rd in YPG allowed at 187.7 and 2nd in passing TDs allowed at 7), so it isn’t a shock to see Ryan finish with 0 TD passes in week 9. Ryan was able to throw for 342 yards, but the lack of scoring ranked him #18 for fantasy QBs this week.
Matthew Stafford – QB Lions: Sometimes the worst thing a QB can do for fantasy teams is play a really bad team in reality. Why is that you ask? Because when they get up early on the scoreboard, NFL coaches don’t run the score up. Thus, the offense slows down and the running game becomes a bigger focus than the passing game. That is what happened to Stafford this week and he finished with a modest 285 yards passing and no TDs.
Robert Griffin III – QB Redskins: And on the other end of the rookie QB spectrum we have RGIII with his 215 yards passing, 53 yards rushing and no endzone visits. This was one of those games where I figured the QBs (RGIII and Cam Newton) would play a bigger role and the score would jump up into the 50’s for combined score. But, that didn’t happen and RGIII owners suffered because of it.
Willis McGahee – RB Broncos: There is a reason why I don’t own McGahee in a single one of my leagues, so I should have known better than to start him in my advice columns this week. Whatcu Talk’n Bout Willis finished with an empty 66 yards rushing in Sunday’s game against the Bengals, and ranked out as a flex play when looking at FP scored (8.00).
Jamaal Charles – RB Chiefs: Charles is someone that I would sell before the fantasy trade deadline (if yours hasn’t already passed) because the Chiefs passing attack is just too erratic to take the heat off the run. Charles finished Thursday night’s game with 39 yards rushing, and 3 catches for 37 yards. He ranked out as a low-end RB2, and not the RB1 owners drafted him to be.
Santana Moss – WR Redskins: Too many people got excited when Moss scored 3 TDs in the last two weeks, and he now sits at 62.7 percent owned in NFL.com fantasy football leagues. He followed up his impressive weeks 7 & 8 performances by hauling in a single pass for 2 yards this week, and it wasn’t even a touchdown pass! I told people to stay away from Moss as they would regret it when he remembers that he is Santana Moss, and that is just what he did this week.
Hakeem Nicks – WR Giants: I am starting to lose faith that Nicks is going to come around this season and make a meaningful fantasy contribution. Nicks managed just one catch for 10 yards, barely enough to register a blip on the fantasy radar. I wouldn’t cut him because he has the skills to put up 10 catches for 199 yards and a TD, just as he did in week 2 against the Buccaneers. Let’s just hope he comes out of the week 11 bye on the same page as Eli Manning.
Titus Young – WR Lions: Young was someone I had high expectations from due to Calvin Johnson’s alleged injury. But that wasn’t the case as he was able to catch just 2 passes for 20 yards, and let a wide-open touchdown pass go right through his hands. I still think the kid has a ton of upside in the second half of the NFL season, so stick with him and hope he works on his hands during practice this week.
Brandon Pettigrew – TE Lions: When NFL.com was projecting Pettigrew to put up 18.10 FP (6 catches for 61 yards and a TD) in week 9, I knew right then and there he was someone to avoid like the plague. As much as I love playing fantasy football on NFL.com, they have a terrible projection system. What he did do was finish with a single catch for 11 yards, and a #24 ranking at TE this week.
Washington Redskins defense: It’s a good thing the Redskins defense is owned in just 7.8 percent of NFL.com leagues, because they were horrible against the Panthers on Sunday. Not only did they allow 21 points, but they didn’t have a single scoring stat to speak of for fantasy owners. No sacks, no INTs, no fumbles recovered, nothing. The only good news is that they broke even with a 0.00 scoring this week. But, that also means you would have been just as well off the 49ers, Rams, Jets or Patriots defenses this week, and they all had bye’s
Week 10 Waiver Wire Adds (by Jon Cope)
James Starks- RB, Packers (owned in 22.2% of NFL.com leagues)- Starks led the Packers in carries on Sunday with 17 compared for only 11 for Alex Green, who had been Green Bay’s primary back since the injury to Cedric Benson. While Starks is far from a game-breaker, he is a solid between-the-tackles runner who can be a decent option for owners down the stretch after the Packers have their Week 10 bye.
Taiwan Jones- RB, Raiders (owned in 0.2% of NFL.com leagues)- If you’re in a deep league and are short on running backs, Jones might be worth a speculative add this week. Both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson left the Raiders game on Sunday against Tampa Bay with injuries, leaving Jones as the only healthy tailback on the Oakland roster. If McFadden and Goodson are unavailable to play Sunday, Jones would be a decent option against a Ravens run defense that is not nearly as stingy as it used to be.
Brian Hartline- WR, Dolphins (owned in 35.6% of NFL.com leagues)- Hartline has been dropped by some after his production slowed down in recent weeks before his 7-catch, 100-yard performance against the Colts. Hartline has developed a very good chemistry with Ryan Tannehill and has a nice matchup on Sunday against the Titans. If you need a WR this week with the Packers receivers and Larry Fitzgerald on bye, then the Dolphins fourth year wide receiver should be one of your targets on the waiver wire.
T.Y. Hilton- WR, Colts (owned in 0.7% of NFL.com leagues)- As Dolphin fans unfortunately saw on Sunday, the Miami Springs High and F.I.U alum is quickly becoming one of Andrew Luck’s favorite targets. Hilton had 6 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 11 targets on Sunday against the Dolphins. With fellow wide receiver Donnie Avery sustaining an injury in the second half of Sunday’s game, Hilton could be in line for an even larger role in the offense on Thursday as the Colts have a favorable matchup against the Jaguars.
Brandon Myers- TE, Raiders (owned in 5.3 % of NFL.com leagues)- Myers had a huge day on Sunday with 8 receptions for 59 yards and 2 TDs for the Raiders in their loss to Tampa. Myers has been a steady producer for the Raiders passing game all year; in fact, he’s 5th among NFL tight ends in receiving yards with 442. In a year in which many of the bigger name tight ends have been inconsistent and disappointing (Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Antonio Gates , Aaron Hernandez & Jimmy Graham), Myers has been a reliable option, especially in PPR leagues.
Be sure to check back here on Wednesday for a Week 10 Fantasy Q & A.
Also, for more fantasy guidance, follow James on Twitter here.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.