As we enter Week 9 of the NFL season, problems continue to exist at virtually every spot. Poor performances, changing roles and injuries continue to dot the fantasy football landscape. Which free agents have emerged that you should be looking to add to your fantasy football squad? Which fellas are going to help to put you over the top of the also rans of your league? We've got you covered in this weeks' free agent pickup piece.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
Are you interested in a way you can turn $10 into $1,000,000? It's legal, you don't have to do anything you have to hide from your significant other, and on top of that it's fun. Here's what you do.
1 – Sign up for the weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest.
2 – If you finish in the top-3 during Week 9 you get a free entry into the Week 10 Qualifier (a $25 value). You also get a shot at the weekly prizes totaling $1,000.
3 – If you win the Week 10 Qualifier then you get a free entry ($200 value) for the Week 11 Super Qualifier.
4 – If you finish in the top-20 in the Week 11 Super Qualifier you are off to Las Vegas for a chance at the $1,000,000 grand prize thanks to Fanduel.com.
You also get to take me on in the contest, so in addition to setting yourself on a path to win $1,000,000 you get to beat me down too for bragging rights. Pretty sweet, right Should be a lot of fun and you can also win cash along the way, so why wouldn't you be interested? Here's the link to play: Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest.
BYE WEEK: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, NY Giants, San Francisco
(Assuming a $100 Budget)
Jason Campbell, Browns
He's already been named the starter for the Browns for Week 9 (soup can Brandon Weeden may never start again for the Browns). Campbell threw 36 passes, a few below normal for the Browns this season, as he racked up 293 yards and two scores in Week 8. He's a competent NFL QB and there's little reason to think, barring injury or an outright implosion, that he won't be able to hold off Weeden for the rest of the season since Clevelan's braintrust has as much faith in Weeden as I do that watching the original Halloween by John Carpenter wouldn't scare the bejesus out of most. Campbell's nothing more than a low level QB2, but at least it looks like he won't kill the value of Cameron and Gordon.
FAAB BID: $10
Andy Dalton, Bengals
Dalton averaged 212 passing yards a game as a rookie. Last season that number grew to 229. This year it's swelled to 281. Moreover, he's thrown for at least three scores and 325 yards in each of his last three games. Yowzah's is right. It's impossible to believe that he'll continue to operate at anywhere near that pace, but it's also clear that he's got a shot to finish the year as a top-12 QB, even as his 4,600 yards, 32 TD pace likely slow.
FAAB BID: $25
Case Keenum, Texans
Matt Schaub's ankle sprain is an issue, but is sure seems like the Texans are intent on giving Keenum a chance no matter where the health of Schaub lies (Keenum could start for the remainder of the season). In his first start in Kansas City Case looked as sharp Freddy Krueger's fingers going for 271 yards an a score against a ferocious D. He'll get a much better matchup at home versus the Colts in Week 9, but with Tate and Foster both hurt (more on that below) the Colts will likely worry more about needing to stop the pass than the run this week which might give Case some problems.
FAAB BID: $10
C.J. Anderson, Broncos
I'm assuming that Montee Ball is still on someone's roster after at this time. If he is on waivers, he's certainly the guy to add over Anderson. Why are we talking about these two depth options in the backfield for the Broncos? Two main reasons. First, Ronnie “Fumble” Hillman was benched, didn't even dress, in Week 8. He's seemingly lost his coaches confidence. Second, the Broncos say they want to pull back on the snap count and touches a bit of Knowshon Moreno to make sure he's healthy later in the year when they will need him most (let's face it, the Broncos are legit Super Bowl contenders). Ball is the back to own as the support to Moreno with Anderson being more of a dynasty league stash or someone to take a shot on in a 16 team league.
FAAB BID: $5
Andre Ellington/Stepfan Taylor, Cardinals
I really can't see how Ellington would be available (I wrote about him in my waiver-wire column all the way back in Week 5), but after running for 154 yards and a score all those leagues where he is available will soon rectify that. Ellington led the way in Week 8 on the ground, but did you notice that Taylor had only one fewer rush (14)? The only back to own is Ellington though. Taylor simply won't touch the ball enough to be much of a stand alone option but he should see the field enough to cap the value of Ellington making it difficult for him to consistently produce like he did in Week 8 (the Cardinals still insist they want to limit Ellington to 30-35 snaps a week), especially since the team is still saying when healthy Rashard Mendenhall will still be seeing the early down work.
FAAB BID for Ellington: $35-40
FAAB BID for Taylor: $5
Ray Graham/Deji Karim/Dennis Johnson, Texans
Ben Tate is dealing with four broken ribs. Arian has a hamstring injury. Both could miss Week 9 so the Texans signed three runners in about a 24 hour period to give them options. I know I get paid to tell you what to do, but the truth is I can't recommend any of these runners as additions. There's no way to know how the ball will be divvied out it Foster and/or Tate are out for Week 9, so it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to throw money at any of the guys (best case scenario they might have a one week window because at this point it doesn't sound like Foster or Tate will be out long term, if they miss any time at all).
FAAB BID on all: $1-5
Peyton Hillis, Giants
Signed off the street, he had basically stopped training thinking his career was over, Hillis has touched the ball 46 times in two games. That's an absurdly high total. Though he's averaged 7.5 yards on his eight receptions he's gained 106 yards on 38 carries. That's 2.8 YPC which is (a) poor, (b) extremely poor, (C) embarrassing. The Giants have a Week 9 Bye so adding Hillis right now won't do you any good. Plus, Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) and Andre Brown (leg) could be back in Week 10, and David Wilson (neck) is still lurking.
FAAB BID: $5
James Starks, Packers
He ran seven times for 57 yards in his return to the lineup to reclaim the backup job from Jonathan Franklin. No one is taking Eddie Lacy's job though, not after has carried the ball at least 22 times in 4-straight games since he returned from a concussion.
FAAB BID: $5
Mike Brown, Jaguars
Brown has been on the field for more than 78 percent of the offensive snaps for a Jaguar's team that is constantly using three wideout sets late in the game to try and overcome big deficits. In those three games Brown has averaged four receptions and 71 yards a game while scoring one time. It's not likely to get much better than that though, not with target monsters Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon ahead of him in the pecking order. FAAB BID: $10 Drew Davis, Falcons Roddy White (ankle) continues to be out, and he just might miss Week 9 action as well. Everyone is paying attention to Harry Douglas in Atlanta, but this second year wideout went for five receptions, 77 yards an a score in Week 8
FAAB BID: $5-10
Marvin Jones, Bengals
Will $20-25 get you Mr. Jones on waivers? After scoring four times in Week 8 I'd say probably not. 'So Ray, why then are you listing him for more?' The reasons follow. (1) Jones isn't going to ever score four times again. Ever. He's also unlikely to ever have another three game run with six touchdowns. Ever. (2) He's only had two games with more than three catches this season. (3) Jones only played a third of the Bengals plays in Week 8. He's also played just slightly over a third of the snaps the last three weeks. It's hard to be a consistent producer when you just aren't on the field.
FAAB BID: $20-25
Rishard Matthews, Dolphins
Brandon Gibson was coming on but a torn patellar tendon in his knee will end his season (he had surgery Monday). Mathews will step into the void to become the Dolphins third wideout. Gibson averaged 4.8 receptions and 54 yards a game in his six healthy outings. Matthews shouldn't be expected to better those numbers. He may not even match them.
FAAB BID: $5-10
David Nelson, Jets
Nelson has been with the Jets for four games and he's yet to score a touchdown. However, he's seen 19 targets the last two weeks leading to 12 receptions and 160 yards. As long as Santonio Holmes (hamstring) remains sidelined, and is sound like he won't be playing in Week 9, Nelson can fill in as a low end PPR option in deeper leagues.
FAAB BID: $5-10
Kenny Stills, Saints
Still has caught at least three passes in 3-straight games including a three catch, 129 yard, two TD effort in Week 8. Don't overspend though. Through seven games he's caught a total of 13 passes and has only seen 23 targets (VJax had 22 targets in one game a few weeks back). With Lance Moore back in action, Still's doesn't figure to see a significant increase over his current workload despite the highly productive Week 8 effort.
FAAB BID: $5-10
Tiquan Underwood, Bucaneers
Mike Williams has been sent to the IR with a hamstring tear, so say hello to the new WR2 in Tampa. A moderate talent who is more well known for his Kid n' Play hairdo than his on the field exploits. In his fourth season, Underwood has caught 43 balls for 619 yards and two scores in his career. Someone besides Vincent Jackson and Tim Wright has to catch the football, but there's an exceedingly small chance that Underwood becomes anything remotely resembling a starter in fantasy football.
FAAB BID: $5-10
Scott Chandler, Bills
Chandler saw a season best 11 targets in Week 8 (his previous high was six) as he caught seven balls for 72 yards. A rather middling physical talent, Chandler is on pace for a career best 58 receptions and 682 yards but with only two scores through eight games he's also on pace to fail to match the total of six scores that he has in each of the past two seasons. Really only an option as a Bye Week fill-in or for someone who is desperate at tight end.
FAAB BID: $10
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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