Week 9: Player Upgrades
QB Nick Foles, PHI – The carousel of Eagles quarterbacks continues as Foles is likely to be the starter after recovering from a concussion suffered against the Cowboys. Though he put up pedestrian numbers in three quarters against Dallas, Foles has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions in five appearances this season. Barring injury, it's likely Foles will be the starter down the stretch with favorable matchups against the Redskins, Packers, Vikings and Cowboys looming.
QB Case Keenum, HOU – The Matt Schaub era looks to be about finished as Keenum was named the starter this week. The latter performed admirably against the stingy Chiefs defense in Week 7, throwing for 271 yards and a touchdown. Keenum has weapons such as Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, and with games left versus the Raiders, Jaguars (twice) and Broncos he could be a solid backup or spot starter in some formats.
RB Darren McFadden, OAK – Drafting Darren McFadden is a lot like playing Russian Roulette. There's a one in six chance he'll knock your socks off. However, more often than not injuries have hampered his fantasy value and made him one of the more frustrating players to own. McFadden wasn't firing blanks on Sunday though as he found the end zone twice and rushed for 73 yards. Yes, his average yards per carry stands at an uninspiring 3.7, but when healthy McFadden is an explosive runner. Two touchdowns against the Steelers might help spur a turnaround especially with the added running threat of Terrelle Pryor.
RB Andre Ellington, ARI – Ellington was on this list a few weeks ago, but with the disclaimer that coach Bruce Arians wanted to limit his touches. Now since Ellington scampered for 154 yards on a mere 15 carries (a staggering 10.3 YPC) on Sunday, it's a moot point. He has become the lead dog in a long-suffering Cardinal backfield, making it darn near impossible for Arians to reign in his involvement in the offense. Shoot, even if Arians does, Ellington has demonstrated enough big play ability to make the most of a supporting role. He's averaging almost eight yards a carry to go with 198 yards receiving and three total touchdowns. Start him often particularly when the Cardinals play the Jaguars, Rams and Titans down the stretch.
WR Stevie Johnson, BUF – Johnson is banged up so take this with a grain of salt, but he did grit his way through the Saints game to the tune of 72 yards and a touchdown. The Bills top receiver has been targeted 23 times in the past two games and has clearly become a favorite of Thad Lewis. As long as CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson continue to struggle, expect Buffalo to keep airing it out and Johnson to play a key role in the passing attack.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, PIT – Ben Roethlisberger has led a very pass-heavy attack by throwing the ball 30 or more times in every game save one this season. On Sunday, Sanders caught seven passes on 11 targets for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. He has been targeted less than eight times just twice this season and aside from Antonio Brown is the most targeted player on the Steelers. Soft matchups against the Bills and Lions in two of the next three weeks make him a solid short-term play.
TE Scott Chandler, BUF – Yes, two Buffalo players make the list and here's why: Chandler was targeted 11 times in Week 8. Jordan Reed was the only tight end targeted more. In fact, Chandler is the tenth most targeted tight end in the NFL so despite some tough upcoming matchups, he's a guy to consider in a pinch.