Fantasy Football 2013: Week 9 Mailbag

By Adam Pfeifer
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


Don’t look now, but we are already halfway through the 2013 season. Part of me is excited for the playoffs, while another part of me is slowly beginning to become depressed.

Still, this isn’t about me. It’s about the millions (and millions) of fantasy owners all over the world. Sorry for the wrestling reference. I’m a nerd. Anyway, fantasy fans need a win to continue making their playoff push. Let’s get to the questions.

Q: Rank these running backs ROS: Foster, Morris, Rice, Murray, Ridley?

AP: Man, is running back ugly this year or what? I mean, it’s not every year people are worried about the likes of Arian Foster and Ray Rice. But if I had to rank these guys in order for the rest of the fantasy season, it would be as follows:

1) Foster, Morris, Rice, Murray, Ridley

I think as long as he’s healthy, Foster is easily the safest option. Houston wants to run the football more than any of the other teams, Foster is the best short-yardage back in the league, which results in touchdown potential and he’s simply the best running back of this group. Morris has been good this year, averaging a healthy 5.2 yards per carry with four touchdowns, and I’m not worried about him at all. Meanwhile, I have Ridley last because of the antics of head coach Bill Belichick. Too many times have I seen Ridley benched for stupid reasons, or Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount seeing more snaps to start the game. Also, Shane Vereen is expected to return in Week 11, and considering how ugly the Patriots offense has looked, I think he plays a big role when he comes back.

Q: Terrelle Pryor or Jake Locker? (Nick Sippel)

AP: Man, I like both of these guys this week, but I have a soft spot for Pryor. I just love what he’s done since the offseason. The most improved player in football this year, Pryor essentially fully learned how to properly throw a football just a few months ago. It’s been fun to watch. Anyway, from a fantasy perspective, Pryor is a QB1 this week, for sure. We know what he can do with his legs. He opened last week’s game with a 93-yard rushing touchdown on the read-option, and is currently averaging 65 rushing yards per game. That’s more than guys like Ray Rice and Trent Richardson. As long as he continues to run (which he will), whatever he does with his arm is icing on the cake. This week, Oakland gets the lowly Eagles and their 31st-ranked pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks are scoring the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing signal callers, and this unit has also surrendered 14 touchdowns through the air so far. In Oakland, where the Raiders play much better, I think Pryor will tear this defense apart.

Q: Who has more value ROS? Shonn Greene or Donald Brown? (Nick Lowe)

AP: Hmm… which plodder is better? All kidding aside, I can see where this question is coming from. Yesterday, it was announced that Greene will look to see around 15 carries per game as the season progresses. Meanwhile, Brown has seen more snaps as of late, seeing 27.7 per contest. It’s no secret that Trent Richardson has been struggling, so Brown has seen an uptick in playing time. But if I had to pick one for the rest of the year, it would be Greene. I’m not 100 percent buying 15 carries per game, as Chris Johnson is by far the superior talent, but I am buying the very real possibility that he takes over the goal line work. Johnson was hardly used up close, and with Greene finally back in the lineup, I could definitely see him vultering a handful of scores.

Q: With Aqib Talib expected to play, would you sit Antonio Brown in favor of Keenan Allen or Josh Gordon?

AP: This may be a bit of bias here, but considering I loved Brown coming into this season (and own him in many leagues), I would still play Brown. He’s been absolutely awesome. After hauling in a ridiculous 45 balls over his last five games, Brown is on pace for a career-high and franchise record 128 catches this season. Touchdowns may be few and far between, but in a PPR league, he is fantasy gold. Pittsburgh is looking terrible, and if that continues to be the case, they’ll be throwing the ball a ton. While Talib has been one of the best cover corners in football, Pittsburgh moves Brown around so much, that I’m not sure Talib will be blanketing him. The Steelers use Brown to throw the ball, run the ball, and obviously catch the ball. I really like your other two options, but I LOVE Brown.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.



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