Week 9: Pickups of the Week
1) Jake Locker
2) Nick Foles
3) Christian Ponder
4) Case Keenum
5) Thad Lewis
5) Jason Campbell
Notes: If Terrelle Pryor is available, take him over other names on this list, especially for Week 9. However, Jake Locker is also in the QB1 mix this week - yes, lots of passer issues - thanks to the combination of his legs and the Rams soft secondary. ... Nick Foles is expected to start in Week 9 and considering Michael Vick's injury situation, he likely keeps the gig going forward. Focus more on his two good games rather than his one clunker ...Case Keenum is the new starting QB for the Texans going forward. He showed spunk in his debut and of course he has Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Arian Foster. Right now, that's enough to warrant using him over the retread types. ...Props to Jason Campbell for a steady effort last week, but this week he's against a rested Ravens D. Baltimore has allowed one TDP in four straight games, but also held the opponent to under 200 yards passing in two of those matchups.
1) Shane Vereen
2) Andre Brown
3) Montee Ball
4) Jonathan Stewart
5) Mike Tolbert
6) Donald Brown
Others: LeGarrette Blount, Tashard Choice, James Starks, Peyton Hillis, Lance Dunbar
Notes: Yeah, not much new and different for those seeking Week 9 help. The top three names on this list are all out this week, yet remain the best pickups for the long haul. Everyone else has their current path blocked or are part of a deep committee. For Week 9 specific....Who knows what happens in New England from week to week, but LeGarrette Blount did receive 11 carries against the Dolphins (for 46) after getting eight total in the two prior games. The way to beat Pittsburgh this season is on the ground, so perhaps the Pats stick with a run-heavy approach. ...Tashard Choice could pick up 6-10 touches if C.J. Spiller sits for the second straight week. Green Bay should run all over the Bears, so James Starks has a chance for some decent gainers. ...Jonathan Stewart is little more than a flyer, but DeAngelo Williams continues seeing fewer and fewer carries (including a season-low eight last week).
WR - Mention lots of guys out this week
1) Kendall Wright
2) Marvin Jones
3) Nate Washington
4) Darrius Heyward-Bey
5) Aaron Dobson
6) Kenny Stills
7) Lance Moore
8) Nate Burleson
9) Rod Streater
Others: Kris Durham, Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Brown, LaVon Brazill, Mario Manningham, Dexter McCluster, Leonard Hankerson, Miles White
Notes: Kendall Wright remains a PPR play all season, but Nate Washington dipped when Locker went out. Both are WR3 options in Week 9 against a Rams defense that has allowed 11 touchdowns to wide outs this season. ...Nothing has changed since last week's mention of Darrius Heyward-Bey. He's a risk-reward play due to his suspect hands, but increased role in the Colts offense. ...Nate Burleson joins Mario Manningham in the sign-and-stash category. Expect Burleson to reemerge as the Lions' WR2 once he returns in Week 10. ...Cordarrelle Patterson's targets are increasing. At some point the Vikes should realize the speedster needs to be involved more and more.
1) Coby Fleener
2) Tim Wright
3) Andrew Quarless
4) Delanie Walker
1) Indianapolis - Colts making plays and get Keenum's second career start.
3) San Diego - RG3 is getting sacked and the Redskins' special teams aren't so special.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Bye weeks and injuries ravaged the running back position last week. Same issue befalls quarterbacks this week with no Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick or Jay Cutler. For those owners digging deep this week, choices include Christian Ponder, Thad Lewis, Jason Campbell, Mike Glennon, Case Keenum, Josh McCown and Kellen Clemens. That's 27 percent of the potential passers. With that in mind, the Vikings' QB is the least hideous of the unsightly bunch. Minnesota meets a Dallas team allowing the most points to fantasy QBs this season. Granted, Ponder's short-pass style won't take advantage of any down field holes, but perhaps his receivers or Adrian Peterson could turn a short toss into a long gain. He also helps his own cause on the ground; over his last two games, Ponder has three rushing touchdowns while averaging 44 yards. Beggars can't be choosers, so take the recommendation for what it is. Oh, if the Vikings decide it's a Josh Freeman kind of week, look at Keenum or Lewis, just not in Minnesota's direction.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Props to Peyton Hillis for coming off the street to turn in two solid performances. When the Giants return from their Week 9 bye, don't count on Hillis having an opportunity for a third. Not only is Brown eligible to return from the short-term I.R. after missing the first eight weeks with a leg injury, the third-year back claims he's ready to go. We all remember Brown stole carries from Ahmad Bradshaw and kept David Wilson at bay for much of last season thanks to his healthy 5.3 ypc. Based on that, he should have no issue zooming past the plodding pair of Hillis and Brandon Jacobs. The latest reports on Wilson (neck) have him out another 3-4 weeks. It's conceivable Brown starts for owners by next week.
In case you haven't noticed, not much exists at RB this week in 12-team or larger leagues. Essentially there are a bunch of backup/rotational types that should log a handful of touches, but certainly won't be the offensive focal point. Brown has a chance for more. That's based on 14 touches - same as Trent Richardson - for 65 yards in Indy's win over Denver before the bye week. That's based on Brown going against a Houston defense that has surrendered at least one rushing TD in four of its last five games and at least 94 rushing yards to backs over the last four games. It certainly won't stun anyone if the Colts spent their bye week figuring how to get Richardson going. In case they weren't successful, Brown has a chance for more and at least 5-6 touches regardless.MyFantasyLeague availability: 9%
You knew this was coming. I'm talking about the "Pickups" mention, not Jones' FOUR TOUCHDOWNS in Week 8 against the Jets. Stellar and near record-breaking as Calvin Johnson's performance was, Jones had the more jaw dropping day. Perhaps that's the fantasy writer tasked with predicting the future in me coming out . Perhaps that's because after he received - and deserved - nominal attention in this space last week, he wouldn't stop with the finding-the-end-zone thing. Now the question is: now what? For starters, Jones has scored in three straight games. That's a trend we can get behind, as is him catching all eight of his targets versus New York. The fact that Andy Dalton is winging better than at any point in his career, another plus. However... seriously, make sure you're sitting down for this one...Jones played on just 19 snaps according to Pro Football Focus. That's some staggering efficiency, but also a major red flag. Well, maybe not a red flag, but a major indicator that Jones remains in a third receiver role in Cincinnati behind A.J. Green and Mohammed Sanu. Also, don't forget that slot target Andrew Hawkins (ankle) will return from the short-team IR shortly, adding yet another pair of hands for Dalton. Then there is the not enticing Week 9 matchup against Miami (4th best against fantasy WRs). In other words, ride the wave and sign Jones if you must. Considering struggling options like Robert Woods or any Rams receiver live on rosters, why not Jones? Considering his limited snap count, just don't assume signing him means solving any lingering WR hole.MyFantasyLeague availability: 58%
Don't consider this a bandwagon mention after Stills goes for 3-129-2 in Week 8 against the Bills. He did after all make my preseason "love" list. But, not much happened over the opening six weeks with only one touchdown and 10 receptions. The love didn't fade, but reality of the weekly fantasy world intruded. Now he has scored in two straight games, putting Stills back on the fantasy radar. The reason he could remain there and then some is because, well, look at what's going on around him. Over his last three games, Marques Colston has 15, 11 and 18 receiving yards. Since Week 1, zero touchdowns. Jimmy Graham remains a Red Zone beast, but for the moment a non-factor elsewhere on the field because of an injured foot. Lance Moore scored a TD in his first game back, but his history suggests waves of inconsistency going forward. We know Drew Brees is throwing it, so somebody has to be on the receiving end. As far as flyers go, Still is one of the best around.