Week 9: Bargain Hunter
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the entire eastern seaboard earlier this week and thankfully for many in the New England area (myself included), nobody was hurt and the damage wasn't too bad. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was affected by the deadly storm. Some people, myself included, obsess over fantasy sports every single day of our lives, but sometimes, especially during times of crisis, we have to take a step back and remember what is really important.
While the storm may have caused some disruptions (including delaying this column) we are coming back strong with a brand new Week 9 edition of Bargain Hunter, which is designed (and virtually guaranteed) to give salary cap owners (and standard fantasy owners to a lesser extent) an edge by helping them find the best bargains in all of salary cap football. All of the dollar values in this column are based off Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues.
Once again, like I say every week, FFToolbox.com is the ultimate resource to help give yourself the best chance to win in fantasy football. I am a company man afterall. The site has everything, from up to the minute player news throughout the week and on Sunday morning, to weekly rankings that you can customize to your leagues scoring system, to strategy articles (like this one) that are designed to give you an edge in your league. Another great feature that FFToolbox provides is the weekly podcast, which is availble to download on ITunes. With the Tuesday podcast already in the books, be sure to check out the Thursday, Week 9 Preview podcast where Ben Standig, Brian Murphy and I will take an in-depth look at every single Week 9 matchup and give you our sleepers of the week.
If nothing else, follow us on Twitter: @fftoolbox or you can follow me (I promise to be entertaining and answer all fantasy questions) @GeorgeBissell.
This Week 9 Bargain Hunter article features -- Matt Moore, Michael Vick, Joique Bell, Ronnie Brown, Justin Blackmon, Dexter McCluster and Kevin Walter. --
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Due to bye weeks and injuries, salary cap owners may be looking for a cost-efficient alternative at the quarterback position. While fantasy owners may dismiss Matt Moore at first glance, I firmly believe that he is a solid fill-in option this weekend if he is under center against the Indianapolis Colts (who are a league average pass defense --ranked 7th against the pass and surrendering the 15th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season) in Week 9.
Ryan Tannehill practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and will likely be a game-time decision this weekend. If Tannehill is out, Moore, who was solid in relief against the New York Jets last weekend (131 yards and a touchdown), and costs just $8.11 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues, is a solid gamble for salary cap owners as a one-week fill-in.
The Bargain Hunter column's mantra all season long has been to find the under the radar sleepers, the cheapest options out there that will give you the most production for a minimal cost, but we deviate from that philosophy here with this call to pick up and start Michael Vick in Week 9. While it is true that Vick has underperformed this season, concerns about his job security (which have been overblown) have driven down his salary cap value to a modest bargain at $19.61 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues.
Vick is a bargain when compared with the elite options at the position, Aaron Rodgers ($35.22), Drew Brees ($33.18), Tom Brady ($31.57) and Matt Ryan ($26.60) and is a spectacular start in a tasty matchup against the New Orleans Saints, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and are the 30th ranked pass defense in the league this season. Normally, I would not tout a player in Bargain Hunter that eats up this much of an owner's budget, but Vick is a tremendous value pickup for Week 9.
If you asked anyone outside of the Detroit metropolitan area who Joique Bell is, they would not be able to tell you. After half a season of solid production, 20 receptions for 227 yards, Bell is ranked eighth in the NFL in receptions by a running back and is making quite a name for himself in fantasy circles. Despite a limited role as a backup to starter Mikel Leshoure, Bell has fantasy value for salary cap owners looking for a one-week fill-in in Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars' struggling defense, valued at just $5.59 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues.
One of, if not, the most unbelievable statisitcs in fantasy football this season is that Ronnie Brown is fifth in the NFL receptions by a running back with 28 after a monster seven catch, 85-yard performance last weekend. While Brown's performance last weekend may be attributed to his use as a safety valve during poor weather conditions on the road in Cleveland, there is some legitimacy in the fact that the Chargers want to get him involved in the passing game, as evidenced by the fact that he has at least three receptions in all but one game this season.
With an extremely favorable matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (who have given up the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season) in Week 9, Brown is a solid bargain-priced option for salary cap owners, valued at just $5.33 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues.
With 17 targets over the past two weeks, including six catches for 54 yards and his first touchdown of the season, Dexter McCluster has emerged as a solid cost-effective option for salary cap owners as a one-week fill-in for Week 9. With plenty of solid salary cap and fantasy contributors on a bye week (New England, San Francisco, St. Louis and New York Jets) McCluster is a solid fill-in, valued at just $6.77 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues for Week 9 against the San Diego Chargers.
With Matt Cassel back under center, McCluster should see a spike in his fantasy value. As a long-time McCluster believer (and owner), I can tell you, this is the week to get him in your lineup.