Fantasy Fallout: Week 9 & 10 Review

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

Greetings folks, I have returned. I know you missed me and I apologize. It couldn’t be helped. Sometimes you just have to take a break and enjoy life. That’s why I didn’t get you a review of Week 9 or offer up any assistance for Week 10. Have no fear. I have returned to take a look back at the past couple of weeks and will try to offer some assistance for the stretch run. First, you know I have to brag on my teams.

In Week 9 my teams went 4-2. Then we ran up a 5-1 record in Week 10. That puts me in first place in two leagues, third in another (but four of us have the same record), third outright in another, sixth in another and bringing up the rear is my one injury riddled, suck ass team sitting in 10th. Overall, I have nothing to complain about. Of six teams, I have five in playoff position with two or three lined up for first round byes.

Now we all stand at the starting gate of the final three-week run to close this thing out. Four teams still have byes, but they are spread out. The trade deadline for most leagues is this coming Friday. This is it. This is your last chance to make a move. The middle of the pack will separate over the next three weeks. There is little time left for comebacks. The time to sink or swim is now. I wish you all the best of luck.

Now, let’s run through a quick review of the past two weeks and jump into finding you all some help.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS

Week 9 MVP

Nick Foles pretty much set the world on fire this week and is opening eyes around the league. He almost matched Peyton Manning’s Week 1 fantasy output, falling just 0.34 points shy. Had I actually written this following Week 9, I may have cautioned you to proceed slowly before jumping on the Foles’ bandwagon. After seeing his follow up performance in Week 10, it is clear Foles is for real and Vick should put his Philly house on the market. I fear what this means for the Cowboys in Week 17. 

Cameron Wake has been frustratingly inconsistent this year but came up big for the fantasy owners who kept the faith. Not only was he the highest scoring IDP of Week 9, he won the real game for his team with an overtime sack of Andy Dalton. How cool is that? Anyway, he probably won’t score 20 points again, but if you got it from his this week, congratulations. He just showed you have to keep playing him.

Here is the rest of the best from Week 9.

Week 9 MVP Team

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Nick Foles Phi – QB

53.08

24%

Andre Johnson Hou – WR

35.52

99%

Riley Cooper Phi – WR

29.72

9%

T.Y. Hilton Ind – WR

28.95

93%

Zac Stacy StL – RB

25.37

71%

Chris Johnson Ten – RB

24.08

97%

Jimmy Graham NO – TE

21.98

100%

 

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Brent Grimes Mia – CB

18.13

1%

Sean Smith KC – CB

15.83

0%

Mark Barron TB – S

15.60

14%

Paul Worrilow Atl – LB

14.00

0%

Tamba Hali KC – LB

12.37

53%

Cameron Wake Mia – DE

20.00

19%

Nick Hayden Dal – DT

14.00

1%


Week 10 MVP

Tavon Austin finally made a huge splash for the Rams and all the fantasy owners who stubbornly refused to let him go. It was a great performance, and I’ll tip my hat to him with a weekly MVP. My love stops there though. Austin only played 15 snaps in the whole game and only had two catches on targets targets. Yes, he broke those for 138 yards and two TDs and added another sweet ass kick return TD. Just remember, the Rams have a bye in Week 11 then come back to face Chicago and San Francisco.

Vincent Ray came out of nowhere to fill in for the injured Rey Maualuga. He damn near destroyed the Ravens and looked great while posting the week’s highest IDP scoring. Maualuga has a strained MCL. I’m not sure when he will return, but I think Ray just gave a ton of fantasy owners reason to pick him up and see if he can keep doing this down the regular season stretch.

Here is the rest of those who impressed in Week 10.

Week 10 MVP Team

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Drew Brees NO – QB

33.80

100%

Peyton Manning Den – QB

30.18

100%

Tavon Austin StL – WR

33.70

43%

Demaryius Thomas Den – WR

26.95

100%

Pierre Thomas NO – RB

21.15

73%

Darren Sproles NO – RB

19.22

90%

John Carlson Min – TE

14.28

2%

 

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

James Ihedigbo Bal – S

18.03

1%

Will Blackmon Jax – CB

14.70

0%

Tracy Porter Oak – CB

14.43

7%

Vincent Rey Cin – LB

24.63

0%

DeMeco Ryans Phi – LB

16.33

43%

Chris Long StL – DE

16.50

17%

J.J. Watt Hou – DE

16.00

75%


MISSING IN ACTION

Week 9 Stinker

Ray Rice . . . I don’t even know where to start. Ray Ray looks pitiful. It hurts me as a fan of his who has had a keeper team built around him for a couple years now. 3.28 points will not get it done. Backups and kick returns out performed those numbers. I’m not sure what else to say. Rice just isn’t getting it done.

Mario Williams . . . Mario, Mario, Mario, wherefore art thou Mario? I hate picking on the DLs because they are inconsistent for the most part. However, much more is expected of Mario and he should be able to produce more than a single fantasy point on a weekly basis.

Here is a look at the other guys who sucked in Week 9.

Week 9 MIA Team

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Matt Ryan Atl – QB

5.61

98%

Robert Griffin III Was – QB

6.41

95%

Vincent Jackson TB – WR

1.23

99%

Josh Gordon Cle – WR

4.35

95%

Ray Rice Bal – RB

3.28

99%

Trent Richardson Ind – RB

4.03

98%

Jordan Cameron Cle – TE

0.52

97%

 

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Barry Church Dal – S

4.50

68%

Leodis McKelvin Buf – CB

3.90

54%

Eric Berry KC – S

4.50

44%

Derrick Johnson KC – LB

5.50

80%

Vontaze Burfict Cin – LB

5.00

71%

Robert Quinn StL – DE

2.50

47%

Mario Williams Buf – DE

1.00

46%


Week 10 MIA

The read option QBs make it too easy to pick on them. Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, it is your turn to be picked again. Cam sucked and Kaep was even worse. Everyone and their dog still own and play these guys and they probably have middle of the pack teams. Seriously, what is it going to take for fantasy owners to move on from the read option QBs. Real life success does not equal fantasy success.

Mario Williams and Cameron Wake what the hell? Mario follows up a single point with a goose egg. Wake falls all the way off from a 20 point MVP performance to a two-point dud. Performances like these make life hell for owners not wise or aggressive enough to go get a guy like JJ Watt. (can’t help myself)

All of these guys sucked last week too.

Week 10 MIA Team

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Cam Newton Car – QB

3.36

99%

Colin Kaepernick SF – QB

2.34

97%

Victor Cruz NYG – WR

3.22

100%

Dez Bryant Dal – WR

3.18

100%

Matt Forte Chi – RB

4.27

100%

Ray Rice Bal – RB

5.23

99%

Jason Witten Dal – TE

2.30

99%

 

Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Earl Thomas Sea – S

2.00

73%

Leodis McKelvin Buf – CB

3.50

53%

Sean Lee Dal – LB

2.00

93%

Terrell Suggs Bal – LB

3.00

37%

Mario Williams Buf – DE

0.00

46%

Jared Allen Min – DE

3.00

34%

Cameron Wake Mia – DE

2.00

29%


BYE WEEK BLUES

The good news is we are almost done with bye weeks. The three-week gauntlet of six, six and four teams is over. Now there are only two teams a week to dance around.

Bye Teams: Dallas and St. Louis.

OFFENSE:

Quarterbacks: This week the only missing QB to discuss is my boy, Tony Romo. I hope the Cowboys can iron out some things in the bye week so he comes back for the stretch run in elite mode. Kellen Clemens almost looked like a decent QB on Sunday but may be useless now that bye weeks are ending.

At this point in the season, there aren’t a lot of secrets left. Still there should be a ton of owners out there trying to figure out who to play while Romo is relaxing this week. Here are a few of the matchups I think are worth exploiting this week.

Carson Palmer: This may be the only time I ever recommend you play Palmer. Quite simply, the Cardinals play the Jaguars. In case you weren’t aware, the Jaguars are really awful. Sure they got their first win last week. It may be all they manage this year. I expect Palmer to have a decent game and maybe, just maybe, for the first time this year, he can get through a game without throwing a pick.

Mike Glennon: Atlanta is suffering through a nightmare of a season and could fall victim to the Bucs this weekend. With Doug Martin out, Mike James was looking good until his ankle snapped on Monday night. Now with only Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainy at RB, Glennon may have to air it out this weekend. Since Atlanta has done little to stop anyone else, I wouldn’t be surprised if Glennon set new personal records.

Case Keenum: A lot of things are wrong with Houston. There is no getting round that. However, one thing that seems right is the emergence of Keenum. He is playing very well, maybe good enough for me to back off my calls for the Texans to draft Johnny Football, just maybe. For now, Keenum looks legit and Oakland’s defense should allow him plenty of scoring opportunity this weekend.

Running Backs: DeMarco Murray looked good against the Saints and a bye week of rest will only help. I still don’t trust him to stay healthy, but I know a ton of owners will miss his services this week. The bigger loss this week may be Zac Stacy who has emerged as a legit work horse.

There have been a few RBs emerge as pick-up worthy over the past week or two. As with most weeks, they were probably snapped up quickly and are long gone. Still, here is a quick look at a few likely adds.

Brian Leonard/Bobby Rainey: With the understanding that a team simply cannot pass every single down, it stands to reason that someone has to run the ball for Tampa Bay. The time share split may not be immediately clear. So, both of these guys were hot pick-ups this week. I really don’t think that highly of Atlanta’s defense. So, I put in waiver claims for both guys and will probably play whichever one I land.

Andre Brown: The Giants were supposed to ease Brown back into action with him returning from a broken leg. Brown got 31 touches for 119 yards and a TD. Welcome back. He was only owned in about 49% of leagues as owners were waiting to see how quickly he would get back in the swing of things. Grab him if you still can. It appears the Giants are going to ride him until something breaks . . . again.

Mark Ingram: It took a while for Ingram to finally show up, but he did so in a big way this weekend. Now, don’t get too excited. New Orleans ran all over the Cowboys this weekend. Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Ingram were three of the top 5 RB scorers this weekend. That won’t happen against a real NFL defense like San Francisco, who is up next for the Saints. Still, Ingram could be helpful down the stretch.

Wide Receivers: Dez Bryant owners will morn his loss this week. As one of them, I’m hoping the week off helps his back. Terrance Williams, Dwight Harris and Cole Beasley are all probably leaving holes in line-ups for deeper leagues. I already registered my thoughts on Tavon Austin. His 33-point break out in Week 10 almost doubled his total points for the year. I still see him only as a viable option in keepers and Dynasty leagues. The Rams haven’t had any consistency at WR all year. Their bye shouldn’t hurt much.

Rishard Matthews: Matthew came out of nowhere to post the fourth most points for a fantasy WR this weekend. Owners will jump all over him and I support that jump. Mike Wallace just hasn’t gotten it done for the Dolphins. Tannehill loves the slot receivers and underneath guys. Due to injuries, Matthews has fallen in line to get a ton of those targets. He had 0% Yahoo ownership before this breakout.

Riley Cooper: Maybe it is because Nick Foles is white, but these two just seem to click. Cooper followed up a 29.72 point performance in Week 9 with another strong 19.55 point performance in Week 10. Teams have no choice but to double DeSean Jackson and add some help to stop LeSean McCoy in the run game. So, more big scoring weeks for Cooper should probably be expected.

Tight End: Jason Witten isn’t having a monster year, but he is still fifth in overall TE scoring. He will be missed across the entire fantasy landscape. Jared Cook is rarely reliable. Shed no tears for his bye week.

John Carlson: He may not lead all TEs in scoring again like he did in Week 10, but Carlson is the Vikings starter due to injury. He has had moderately successful stretches at different stops in his career. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a few more decent games along the way this year.

Rob Housler: Remember back in pre-season when Housler was supposed to be the next coming of Shannon Sharpe? Well that hasn’t happened but he is coming off a really good game to face the Jags next week. He may led all TEs in scoring this week. Jason Witten owners should take a shot on him.

DEFENSE:

Defensive Backs: Although the Cowboys have just about the worst Defense in the NFL, they provide several high scoring IDPs. Barry Church leads all DBs in scoring, Brandon Carr ranks seventhand Orlando Scandrick ranks 35th. I was somewhat surprised to find the Rams highest scoring DB is safety Rodney McCloud at 45th. A lot of IDP owners probably invested in Jenoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan, although neither are having very good years so far. Both could contribute down the stretch.

Tracy Porter: After taking one back to the house last week, Porter may finally get some love. His ownership is only at 8% even though he ranks 10th in overall DB scoring. Oakland plays Houston this weekend. Even though I like Case Keenum right now, it would surprise no one to see the rookie slip up and throw a pick or two this weekend. Porter is a quality pick-up in all IDP leagues.

Aaron Williams: It took people a long time to get on the DaNorris Searcy bandwagon. They are even slower to jump on Williams. Although he ranks 14th in DB scoring, less than half a point behind Searcy, he is only owned in 7% of yahoo leagues. With the Jets coming to town, Williams is in line for a good week.

James Ihedigbo: This guy ranks 15th in DB scoring and is owned in 1% of yahoo leagues. If that isn’t enough for you then consider this. Even through the Texans just cut Ravens’ legend, Ed Reed, Baltimore says they have no interest in a reunion. That tells me they are all in on Ihedigbo. You should be too.

Linebackers: Sean Lee leads all IDPs overall scoring. Sadly, this bye week is on the beginning of him being out of action. His injury Sunday night in New Orleans pretty much ensures he will miss the rest of the fantasy regular season. His back up was hurt too. So, Bruce Carter, who ranks 40th in LB scoring, may be the only LB from Dallas worth owning going forward. The Rams have a pair of great ones in James Laurinaitis (12th) and rookie, Alec Ogletree (13th). They will be hard to replace this week.

Vincent Ray: Like I said earlier, this guy will be gold in the middle of Cincinnati’s defense as long as Maualuga is out. He could be in for a nice run of double digit scoring weeks to carry you through the end of the regular season. If you need help at LB, here is a golden opportunity. Take advantage quickly.

Dannell Ellerbe: This guy continues to be overlooked. He is right on the brink of being a Top 25 scorer yet is owned in only 7% of Yahoo leagues. I was in need of a LB last week and was surprised to see him available. I grabbed him and he helped me win this weekend. I heard a similar story from another owner.

Aldon Smith: If you didn’t grab him when he returned to action last week, you may not have many more chances to do so. I had this guy early this season and dropped him. It may take a couple more weeks before San Francisco fully unleashes this guy. Once they do, sack city. Don’t wait too long.

Defensive Linemen: The Rams have two Top 10 scoring DLs in Robert Quinn (2nd) and Chris Long (6th). While DeMarcus Ware has let some owners down with mediocre production and absence due to injury, Jason Hatcher has emerged as the Cowboys top DL and currently ranks 14th in scoring. George Selvie isn’t far behind ranking 22nd. All of these guys being out will leave owners digging deep for DL points.

Sorry guys. I wish I had a secret DL to tell you about but I really don’t. Bruce Irvin is still only owned in 7% of leagues. Chris Jones is only owned in 3%. Both are averaging over 5.0 fantasy points a game. Check their injury status. If they are in line to play, they are probably worth taking a shot at.

FATMAN’S FOLLIES

Oh man, there is so much I’d like to discuss. There is probably too much really. We are down to three weeks in the fantasy regular season. At this point, anything from an injury could break your team and cause all of your hard work to unravel. At the same time, having a couple weak teams pop up on the schedule against your teams could give you a huge boost. Separation in the standings will start to become more prominent. Fantasy playoff positioning will start to shape up.

Luck is now out the window. Luck favors the prepared. So prepare. Look ahead at the scheduled. Know what is in front of you. Most of your league’s trade deadlines are looming in about 72 hours. Now is the time to look at team schedules. Locate matchups that favor particular players. Make a trade for those players. If you need to make the playoffs, you may have to give up a better all-around player to get a guy who has a better match up on the scheduled. That could be the difference in your season.

In my keeper, Tony Romo is my QB. I have known this week was coming all year. I think I have had six different back up QBs on my team so far this year. None have played. Earlier today, I dropped the guy I had planned to use in favor of Carson Palmer. Those who know me know I hate Carson Palmer. It goes all the way back to his USC days. I just don’t like the guy. Still, he faces the Jaguars this week. That is an opportunity I can’t pass up. Sure, it may backfire, but I still have to give it a try. This is for the bye.

Likewise in two, maybe three leagues, I’m running Rashad Mendenhall this week against Jacksonville. Why not? For whatever reason, his coach still believes in him and is going to give him the ball. Even he should be able to score on the Jags.  I own Larry Fitzgerald in one league. I wish it were more.

Oh and you can bet your ass I’ll play anyone against the Cowboys when they come back from their bye. They have the worst defense in the league and just lost their best player, Sean Lee. Their opponents during the fantasy playoffs are at Chicago, versus Green Bay and at Washington. Hell yeah! Go out and acquire as many Bears, Packers and Redskins as you can. Line up against Monte and win your league.

For those of you who are sitting pretty at 8-2, 9-1 or 10-0, the worst thing you can do now is get complacent. Now is the time to look even further ahead to weeks 14-16, the fantasy playoffs. Those studs on your team that got you this far may have a horrible fantasy playoff schedule. A couple weeks back I talked about the schedule the Colts face; at Cincinnati, versus Houston and at Kansas City. It may be time to give up Andrew Luck for a weaker overall player that has a softer fantasy playoff schedule.

Look ahead. Be prepared.

Go forth and prosper.

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