Imagine you are in another dimension. Very much like the world you know, but also very different. It’s darker and gloomy with names heading the leaderboards like Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Robert Woods, Terrance Williams, Marqise Lee, Deonte Thompson, Jared Cook, Julius Thomas, Javorius Allen and Cole Beasley filling out a big part of the weekly top 25. Role Players, Bye Week fill-ins and waiver wire floaters in the world you are used to. Most weeks, hell even most years, all of those categorical names would be 100% correct, BUT in 2017 week 9 of this absurd NFL season those are names at the top.
As the year goes on we continue to see craziness in our fantasy lineups and it should come as no surprise considering the pattern we are in. Right now in fantasy the “Go to Guys” list has been severely depleted and each week we see new players emerge. Outside of maybe 4-5 guys the RB position gets very complicated. The NFL coaches and staff are making a clear move in the backfield. The days of lone backs dominating carries is all but over besides a few cases. You still have Gurley, Elliot, Bell, McCoy and Fournette but outside of those names it’s a fool’s hope for a consistent 15 carries a game. Many teams are taking the 2-3 running back technique and as it grows the opportunities get fewer and fewer to be a sure thing RB1.
The most recent move into this 2-3 RB backfield is of course the new Philadelphia squad. You see similar fantasy problems in Baltimore, New England, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington, Minnesota, Denver, Tennessee and Detroit…..to name a few. Does this cause a shift in future fantasy league draft and soon to be trades? The answer should be an obvious, yes. Key running backs are clearly the most coveted spot on rosters and in most fantasy leagues the person with the 2-3 best running backs is most likely winning. When it comes to that position having an elite guy can win your league, BUT there is once again light in the darkness that is the new NFL backfield problem. There is a mass of middle tier running backs out on the waiver wire and at the bottom of rosters being looked over. While this “middle tier mass” may cause an immediate problem for your weekly RB1/2 spots, it also provides the opportunity you will need in the coming weeks filled with more injuries.
Week 9 Leaders Recap:
Tyrod Taylor, BUF QB – 29/40 attempts, 285 passing yards, 2 TD, 6 rush, 35 yards and 1 TD
Jay Cutler, MIA QB – 34/42 attempts, 311 passing yards and 3 TD
Jared Goff, LAR QB – 14/22 attempts, 311 passing yards and 4 TD
Alvin Kamara, NO RB – 10 rush, 68 yards, 1 TD, 6 rec, 84 yards, 1 TD and 7 targets
Corey Clement, PHI RB – 12 rush, 51 yards, 2 TD, 1 rec, 15 yards and 1 TD
Matt Forte, NYJ RB – 14 rush, 77 yards 2 TD, 4 rec, 19 yards and 4 targets
TY Hilton, IND WR – 5 rec, 175 yards, 2 TD and 9 targets
Marvin Jones Jr., DET WR – 7 rec, 107 yards, 2 TD and 11 targets
Robert Woods, LAR WR - 4 rec, 70 yards, 2 TD and 5 targets
Julius Thomas, MIA TE – 6 rec, 84 yards, 1 TD and 8 targets
Travis Kelce, KC TE – 7 rec, 73 yards, 1 TD and 9 targets
Jared Cook, OAK TE – 8 rec, 126 yards and 9 targets
Put Me in Coach: Waiver Wire
Marquise Goodwin, SF WR - Goodwin is the guy now in San Francisco with Garcon going down for the season with a neck injury. Goodwin is FAST and although the 49ers don’t have a gunslinger at QB, he will get his chance to produce. He should see 5 targets a game and be a major part of the offense moving forward. 9% owned.
Robert Woods, LAR WR - Woods continues to thrive in his role with the Rams this year and honestly it pains me that I keep having him on this list. Add him! Sammy Watkins continues to demand coverage for his speed and big play ability leaving Woods open to snag 4-5 catches a game and finally see the end zone last week. In PPR leagues Woods should be rostered and even started most weeks after leading the team in receptions for 4 straight weeks. 26% Owned.
Terrance Williams, DAL WR - As soon as Dez Bryant went down it was clear that the cowboys needed another tall receiver to go to. Dak found Williams multiple times (9) and helped him to produce over 140 yards in the victory. If Dez is hurt for any period of time then Williams becomes a must own for next week against the Falcons. 7% owned.
Thomas Rawls, SEA RB - Oh what a year it has been, Rawls is now a reasonable back to own after the injury to Lacy. He had a decent last game and held a majority/lead of the possible snaps. Throughout his career Rawls has been able to have success, and depending on your situation he is worth a roster spot. 15% owned.
Deonte Thompson, BUF WR - It is hard for me to include Thompson on this list but the fact that he has produced over a 175 yards in 3 weeks is impressive. The emergence of Kelvin Benjamin in the offense should sway this a good amount, but it will be interesting to watch moving forward. Only worth a spot in deeper leagues. 1% owned.
Charles Clay, BUF TE - Clay is still the bills leading receiver on the year despite injury. Although the addition of Kelvin Benjamin could mean lower targets he still should be a key part of the red zone plays and a safety net for Tyrod to toss it to. Clay is worth a stash on any team and possibly a start this week if healthy. 20% owned.
Zay Jones, BUF WR - Zay is having a rough go of it in his rookie campaign. Only 16 rec for 168 yards and 1 td on 44 targets!!! But, let’s take lemons and make lemonade. The last 2 weeks Zay has 12 targets and 9 rec for 85 yards and his only td on the season. Jones is finally trending up and forming some flashes many hoped when they drafted as a late flyer. Hopefully he forms into the #2 WR behind Kelvin in the future. 10% owned.
Danny Woodhead, BAL RB - Over the last 2 seasons Woodhead hasn’t been able to play through 2 entire games. However, his one full games last year he went for over 20 pts in PPR, and in a portion of one drive this year had 4 points. IF HEALTHY Woodhead is absolute fantasy GOLD in PPR formats. It’s just a big question of keeping him on the field. 24% owned
Damien Williams, MIA RB - Williams produced a good game last week and looked great in the open filled avoiding tackles. His quick feet could prove useful with short dump off passes from whatever QB is running the Dolphins offense. The coaching staff says they will continue to split touches between Williams and Drake giving both fantasy relevance for the time. 23% owned.
Benjamin Watson, BAL TE - This week against Tennessee Watson had a monstrous 10 targets but just 7 rec for 41 yards. His season totals are 38 rec 261 yards and 2 TDs. His average yards per reception is very low, but he is serviceable in PPR with such a limited selection at TE. We are interested to see what Woodhead’s return will mean for Watson’s production going forward. 17% owned
Malcom Brown, LAR RB - Brown clearly isn't a fantasy player that you will deploy with much confidence if you ever decide to roster him, but his production when he plays is definitely worth merit and if Gurley ever goes down with injury it is clear who the Rams would fall on. With the run game being crucial to their scheme Brown would immediately be fantasy relevant and certain weeks may even produce flex numbers if they have a high enough lead. 1% owned.
Week 10 Tiered Rankings
QB: Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Tyrod Taylor, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Dak Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger
RB: LeSean McCoy, Jordan Howard, Alvin Kamara, Le’veon Bell, Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliot*
WR: Antonio Brown, AJ Green, Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Doug Baldwin, DeAndre Hopkins, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Dez Bryant*
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Evan Engram, Jimmy Graham, Jack Doyle, Delanie Walker, Jason Witten, Cameron Brate
QB: Josh McCown, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Drew Brees
RB: Aaron Jones, Duke Johnson Jr., Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Jerick McKinnon, Chris Thompson, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman*, Tevin Coleman, Carlos Hyde,
WR: Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Demaryius Thomas, Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks, Desean Jackson, Jarvis Landry, Marvin Jones Jr., Robby Anderson, Devin Funchess
TE: Hunter Henry, Charles Clay*, Kyle Rudolph, ASJ, Tyler Kroft, AJ Derby, Vernon Davis, Jordan Reed*, Austin Hooper
QB: Marcus Mariota, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Blake Bortles, Jacoby Brissett, Tom Savage, Case Keenum
RB: Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Demarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Isaiah Crowell, Joe Mixon, Thomas Rawls, Frank Gore, Orleans Darkwa, James White, Kenyan Drake
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, TY Hilton, Kelvin Benjamin, Emmanuel Sanders, Cooper Kupp, Devante Parker, Mohamed Sanu, Robert Woods, Jordy Nelson, Danny Amendola, Sammy Watkins, Marqise Lee, Davante Adams, Tyler Lockett, JuJu Smith-Schuster,
TE: David Njoku, Ed Dickson, Julius Thomas, Eric Ebron, Martellus Bennett, OJ howard, Coby Fleener, Jesse James
Roster Booster: Players worth trading for with feasible value
LeSean McCoy, BUF RB - Sure he had a rough outing this past weekend, but Shady is one of the few true workhorse backs left in the league. You know he will get his 15+ touches a game. He is a huge part of the offense and is one of the few cases it’s worth selling the farm for the cow when resources at the RB1 position are depleted.
Kareem Hunt, KC RB - Worth jumping on right now while some are down on him. Worse case scenario he’s the best RB2 in the league ROS. We know he’s
“struggled” but he’s about to come off the bye week against the Giants who have been gashed by RB’s all season and then KC has a very forgiving schedule against running backs to end the season. Make an attempt at him while moral is low.
Christian McCaffrey, CAR RB - While the passing attack in Carolina isn’t pretty after the Benjamin exit, there is some promise for McCaffery. Newton will continue to look his way as a second option even when Olsen returns. It may be tough to get McCaffery with his current value, but with the schedule and potential each game to produce on the ground and in the air leave him as a bright spot on this team.
Jeremy Maclin, BAL WR - Baltimore is slowly figuring out an offense that has struggled this season and Maclin looks to be in a prime spot to start producing weekly with an easy schedule moving forward. The Ravens will continue to pass the ball a lot in order to keep up with others team and the heavy targets should make Maclin a clear WR2/3 moving forward.
Sterling Shepard, NYG WR - Once again the schedule should strongly favor good showings from Shepard moving forward and with the loss of Odel and Brandon Marshall he is clearly the #1 option downfield. Even if the touchdowns aren’t there every week Shepard should have WR2 appeal moving forward in PPR leagues.
Cooper Kupp, LAR WR - Kupp is the clear red zone target for the Rams and number two in the league in the category. Every week we see Jared Goff try to connect with him for a touchdown. The past few weeks we have seen good coverage, dropped balls and ugly pass attempts hinder the touchdown, but the fact that it is there every week is extremely promising. Mix that in with an offense that scores a lot and often to make him very appealing weekly.
Doug Baldwin, SEA WR - Baldwin leads the team in targets by 20 attempts to Graham and is 30 ahead of the next WR ( Tyler Lockett ). The offense is clicking more every week and Baldwin’s increased involvement that last few weeks has surely played a part. He will keep getting this high target share and should see constant looks in the red zone. With one of the few elite QBs left in the league throwing to him and a fairly easy schedule Baldwin should be a target on everyone’s trade radar.
Hasta La Vista: Time to trade these guys
TY Hilton, IND WR - Hilton had another one of his “boom” weeks and it may be the best time to sell him for value. There is no way to sustain this production moving forward with the lack of weapons on offense.
AJ Green, CIN WR - Green doesn’t have a kind schedule moving forward and Andy Dalton has proven to be below par for even his standards behind the terrible offensive line in Cincinnati. He still brings stats and name value to the trade table and should get you enough in return from someone that is running low on elite WR.
Marshawn Lynch, OAK RB - Lynch put together a relevant fantasy game thanks to two TDs and even looked like his old self on one of them. However, we know this to be an illusion and a repetition this season probably won’t happen. Bet your cards against Marshawn finishing this season as a lead back and trade him away after a good game that will surely be followed by a few duds.
Adrian Peterson, ARI RB - Arizona has arguably the hardest run schedule moving forward considering the offense line. Adrian has shown flashes of the glory days and inspired most of his owners. The schedule doesn’t look pretty moving forward and this many carries can’t turn out well for an aging body. It’s time to cash in further on AP with a trade.
Joe Mixon, CIN RB - It is ugly in Cincinnati folks and you have surely seen it. The offensive line is terrible, the team is trying to play catch up weekly. On top of that, the coaching staff won’t let Mixon get into a rhythm. Mix that with a season that will continue to be tough and you are faced with an RB3/flex play ROS. Package him up with something pretty let him go.
Jordan Reed, WAS TE - Health. That is the number one thing that frustrates every Jordan Reed owner for the last few seasons. The talent is there and when healthy the usage is too, but it is just so rare to see 100% from Reed anymore. Almost every time he touches the field something else acts up. Injury frustration and lack of weekly start confidence can ruin your season. Trade the virus now even if the reward can be sweet.
Keep an eye on me: padding or potential
Rex Burkhead, NE RB - The potential is obvious with the head coach and QB that are leading this offense. Burkhead has shown that when he plays he is used and if anything were to happy to any player on the roster his usage goes up by a larger margin than the other Patriots.
Dontrelle Inman, CHI WR - If Mitchell Trubisky can ever figure out his passing offensive game then Inman becomes fantasy relevant quick. He should be the most productive receiver on the team now and is for sure the most athletic. They hope is that he works into the offense in the next few weeks.
Marquise Goodwin, SF WR - Goodwin could instantly start filling in on your roster with Pierre Garcon going down for the season. The 49ers need someone to be the focus of the passing offense and Goodwin should step in nicely in PPR leagues.
Charcandrick West, KC RB - We have seen small sparks off potential plays out of West with the passing game and if Hunt were to go down for any reason he instantly becomes a weekly flex play.
Mike Williams, LAC WR - Although the passes for the Chargers go to many mouths they are desperately looking for that go to number #2 receiver behind Keenan Allen and hope they found it in the rookie. He will see more targets as the year goes on and could move into a decent role in the next few weeks.
Dede Westbrook*, JAX WR - Just like with Williams, the Jags are looking for another go to receiver with Allen Robinson down for the season. Lee and Hurns have filled in for now but there rumblings about Dede can’t be ignored.
Mike Tolbert, BUF RB - An easy fill in if LeSean were to go down in Buffalo (happens often). Tolbert has proven to be a capable back that can work with Tyrod if McCoy were to be lost for any period of time and could be deployed in all formats.
Devontae Booker, DEN RB - In week 9 CJ Anderson only out touched Booker by 1 and it looks like the Broncos could be trying to see what they have in Booker as a change of pace back. He continues to look good catching passes out of the backfield and could move into a more significant role with or without an Anderson injury.
Weekly Take-Two: 1 Stud & 1 Sleeper to beat the over/under
Mike: Ben Roethlisberger / Case Keenum
Devin: Jared Goff / Jacoby Brissett
Running Back -
Mike: Carlos Hyde / Orleans Darkwa
Devin: Jordan Howard / Tevin Coleman
Mike: Antonio Brown / DeSean Jackson
Devin: Golden Tate / JuJu Smith-Schuster
Mike: Evan Engram / Kyle Rudolph
Devin: Cameron Brate / Charles clay
Hopefully this weeks post helps with your fantasy questions, concerns and problems. If you would like to know any other information regarding players just message or comment! Also, keep in mind that every week we are looking for new categories and different angles to tackle in our posts. Please make sure to keep sending us what you want to read.
Good luck this week!