What We Learned in Fantasy Football from Week 9

By alexreside

I saw an actual fantasy football fantasy this week. A friend of mine (who will rename anonymous under the pseudonym “Dusty Mills”) put up 184 points in a standard ESPN league. This was an incredible feat and if you have a bottle of champagne in arm’s reach of where you are sitting, please pop one in his honor. If you know of anyone who had a better week than him, let me know in the comment section below. I really hope there is someone better, because he is walking around thinking he is the king of fantasy football right now.

New York Jets at Detroit Lions

The Sanchize was playing up to the level of his nickname on Sunday. He had 336 yards and a TD, plus he led a 4th quarter comeback to tie and send the game into OT. They won in OT, but I don’t think they would have if Matt Stafford could have stayed healthy.  I don’t know how Stafford doesn’t get protected better. He is clearly the most important player on the Lions and is even fantasy valuable in a game where he doesn’t play the whole game. He had a pair of TDs to his favorite TE Brandon Pettigrew and the other to Nate Burleson, who stepped up huge in this game with 133 yards.

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens

Well, the news broke mid-week that Chad Pennington will now start for the Dolphins.  I don’t think it really matters. Pennington would have done the same, but the real star on this offense was Ronnie Brown. He had a nice 12-yard scamper into the endzone right after Ravens backup RB Willis McGahee had a 32 yard TD of his own. Even though McGahee had the TD, Ray Rice had a monster game with 180 total yards. The key to finding the Ravens’ fantasy values lies in Ray Rice. They are still a run-first team, but they can score any way they want to. They have a top-notch WR corps that will now have Donte’ Stallworth. If I know John Harbaugh, which I don’t, he will let Flacco show off his arm strength and he’ll bomb it to Stallworth at least once a game. If it works this week then I bet 20 dollars that ESPN’s fantasy page will say “Stall-Worth.” I guarantee it.

New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns

This was a shocker to some, but the Patriots are on a downslide. First, Gisele will leave Tom Brady for Peyton Hillis, then Tom Brady’s long hair will leave him for Brown’s offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s head (he was the first bald coach for the Browns that I could find). Either way, I think it’s obvious that the loss of Randy Moss has been huge for the Patriots. The one bright spot is Aaron Hernandez, who had 5 receptions for 48 yards and 2 TDS. Also, if you were paying attention, Wes Welker may have become fantasy relevant again by kicking an extra point for the injured Stephen Gostkowski.

I have to talk about the phenomenal Peyton Hillis. I remember way back when he was terrible on the Broncos. Who would have guessed that he would be a must-start player in all leagues. Well he is, and this last week, he had 184 yards rushing and 36 receiving, not to mention his 2 TDs. He is easily the best fantasy pickup this year. Remember when everyone was drafting Jerome Harrison in the 3rd round? Ouch.

San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans

This is the story of two players putting the team on their back.

Let me just list the receivers that Philip Rivers was throwing to this weekend: Patrick Crayton, Kris Wilson, Randy McMichael, Jacob Hester and Seyi Ajirotutu. Ever heard of these guys? What? You haven’t heard of Randy McMichael?  He had a “Classic McMichael” outing with 2 TDs and 23 yards. Although he may not be well known enough to have a catch phrase he will be a huge fantasy pick up while Antonio Gates is out. The big numbers came from Seyi Ajirotutu. While I have no idea how to pronounce it, I do know how to pronounce his stats: 111 yards and 2 TDs. These stats are almost good enough to make me learn his name, but Malcom Floyd will be back soon and that’s a name I can pronounce. Although that absent “L” could be trickly.

As far as the Texans go, Arian Foster is the only person that is consistent. He had the most rushing yards and receiving yards, a combined total of 197.  He’s putting the team on his back and that’s what I like about him.

Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills

Well, unfortunately there is very little fantasy value to come from this game, unless you really started Earl Bennett or Roscoe Parrish. If you did own Roscoe Parrish, then you probably already know that he will be on IR due to his broken wrist. Now it’s time for Lee Evans to step up and be one of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s go-to guys.

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings

I guess Brad Childress keeps his job for another week. All thanks to Brett Favre, who threw a career high 446 yards and 2 TDs and Adrian Peterson, who had 81 rush yards and TD. AP went all day with an additional 36 yards and TD in the receiving game.  Where has this been all season? I have no idea.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

This was a very exciting NFC matchup, and the Falcons came out victorious, but not after giving up a few TD passes. Mike Williams is clearly the best rookie WR at this point in the season, with 5 TDs and 559 yards. Here’s to hoping that he gets to that magical 1,000 yard mark.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

There is absolutely nothing good to say about the Panthers. The most fantasy points you could have gotten this week from any Panthers player was 4. Terrible.

The Saints had a similar problem. The two most valuable players were Brees, who had 2 TDs and 253 yards, and the defense who had a pick 6 and only allowed 3 points.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks

Wow, this game was a real nail-biter, huh? New York was a heavy favorite, but it was tough to see such dominance coming. The game was out of hand after a 21-point first quarter by the New York Football Giants. The contest had some interesting fantasy impact, too. First off, nobody on Seattle is really worth owning anymore. Especially if Matt Hasselbeck doesn’t play. That team is just bad, period. I don’t even like Mike Williams anymore. He’s had a couple of good games but a lot of just pure stinkers, too.

For the Giants, there were a lot of fantasy implications. First off, Eli Manning has found a new favorite target in Hakeem Nicks. Week in and week out, the younger Manning targets that dude, especially in the end zone. This is a bonafide stud connection a la Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. It’s no longer in the development stages—it’s here. Nicks’ 13 targets, 6 catches, 128 yards and TD Sunday prove that.

Ahmad Bradshaw got some goal line carries! Finally! But, he had the worst rushing total of the season with just 57 yards on 19 carries, a 3.0 average. Unfortunately, this was a mirage. He may get more goal-line touches, but that job still belongs to Brandon Jacobs on a regular basis. However, Bradshaw should be good for a much better yard-per-carry average and more total yards each week. So, he’s got that going for him.

Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles

Welp, Indy’s kinda scuffling a little bit, eh? They normally are undefeated at this point in the season still. Philly is a good team, though, especially with Michael Vick under center. He elevates everybody around him, except of course for Brent Celek. Celek is a no-show every time Vick plays. But DeSean Jackson is awesome, as usual, and LeSean McCoy seems to have better games playing behind Vick.

The Colts are still the Colts. They pass the ball three times as much as they run it, and when they do run it, it’s ineffective, regardless of whether it’s Donald Brown, Joseph Addai, Mike Hart or Javarris James. But, the passing game, well you could just substitute anybody in there in any spot and they’d immediately be fantasy relevant. Just take Jacob Tamme’s game, subbing in for an injured Dallas Clark. 11 catches for 108 yards and a TD, sound like Clark’s typical game to anybody else?

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

The big story of this game was Oakland receiver Jacoby Ford, who likely became one of the top pickups of the week, as my colleague Scott Rogers suggested. Ford exploded for 148 yards on six catches and tossed in a return TD as well. He looked finally like a legit receiving threat for Oakland. Don’t get too caught up in it, but it’s worth taking a flyer on, that’s for sure.

Here at RantSports Fantasy, we’ve been clamoring for the Chiefs to give Jamaal Charles more touches. Just itching for it to happen. But yet, it never does. Coming off a game in which he had more than 230 total yards, Charles was given just 10 rushes to Thomas Jones’ 19. But, in just over half the carries, JC had 53 yards while Jones had just 32 (a 1.7 average for the aging veteran). Disappointing.

In the passing game, while Matt Cassel still doesn’t look like much, Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki are certainly great options for him, especially in the end zone, though Moeaki’s TD was called back.

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

Dez for Prez! Seriously, the Cowboys have become so hapless that the only player worth even owning on their team is Dez Bryant, who has 21 catches for 255 yards and 4 TDs in the past four games. Oh, and he has a return TD in that span as well. Nobody else is even worth a look on America’s team. Nope, not even Miles Austin.

On the other sideline, EVERYBODY on the Green Bay Packers were worth owning and starting, even if just for one game. Aaron Rodgers had his best overall game of the season with 3 pass TDs and 41 yards rushing. Brandon Jackson even found the endzone—twice. So did Greg Jennings. But the real story was James Jones, who filled in admirably for the injured Donald Driver, just as I predicted he would.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Man, Terrell Owens is unstoppable! He is matchup-proof. This looks like the TO of old. I don’t know what else to say about him. Thank God I didn’t put him down as a guy to sit, like my other two colleagues did.

But where is Chad Ochocinco? And Cedric Benson has been largely absent all year. Yeah, he scored, but he had just 54 yards rushing on 18 carries and hasn’t had a big game all year. TO is the only one holding down the fort in Cincy.

Rashard Mendenhall is making quite a name for himself this year, rewarding all those owners who took a chance with him, even though he was pretty unproven coming into this year. He had another very solid game. Mike “3 catches a game max” finally caught some balls that weren’t deep bombs, turning in 5 total receptions for 110 yards and a TD.

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