Week 9 of the fantasy football season brought more of the intrigues that we all love. There were injuries. There were out of nowhere performances (both good and bad). To help you to navigate the muddy waters of uncertainty here is the Week 10 free agent pickup piece so you can glean some piece of mind as to whether or not you should heavily target a player or pass on him and let another take the plunge.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
Take on Ray Flowers. Show me that you've got more football knowledge than the arrogant one.
Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest. Pick your one week squad based on salary cap levels for players. Finish in the top-15 in Week 10 and you will at least double your $10 investment (all top-20 finishers will receive at least $20). Win the battle and you're looking at a $250 windfall. Simple as that. You interested?
(Assuming a $100 Budget)
Jason Campbell, Browns
In Week 8 Campbell completed 22 passes for 293 yards, two scores and no interceptions. In Week 9, despite being beat up physically (his ribs are bruised), Campbell completed 23 passes for 262 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Campbell is a solid QB2 option in an offense that throws the ball at least 35 times each week. He's not going to be any better than the past two weeks, and is likely to regress a bit, but solid is as solid does. Cleveland does have a Bye in Week 10 however.
FAAB BID: $10-15
Nick Foles, Eagles
Perfect. 158.3. That's what the NFL's QB Rating system had to say about Foles Week 9 effort against the Raiders. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards. Wow. He didn't toss an interception. Wow II. He threw an NFL record seven touchdowns. WOW III. Foles was a disaster in his October 20th start, but the other three times that's he's thrown 25 passes in a game he’s been stupendous throwing for 13 scores an not a single interception. Michael Vick could be out for weeks with a recurrence of his hamstring issue, and it's certainly debatable if the aging/injury prone lefty will get back under center at any point this season. Foles might have a tough time being a consistent week-to-week QB1 but it's certainly possible the rest of the way.
FAAB BID: $20-25
Case Keenum, Texans
In last week's column I suggested adding Keenum for $10. The price likely went up after his nationally televised Sunday Night Football game effort against the Colts. He threw for three scores and 350 yards as he looked great against the Colts as he relentlessly targeted Andre Johnson. Sorry Matt Schaub, you ain't getting your job back any time soon. Keenum is a QB2 option despite his Week 9 effort, but one that is certainly trending up.
FAAB BID: $15-20
Donald Brown, Colts
Colts' OC Pep Hamilton came out last week and said the following. "I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Trent Richardson out in space. I have to do a better job coming up with schemes that not only give our offensive line a chance to be successful, but of course create holes for Trent and create schemes that compliment his wealth of talent.” So how did Pep implement his plan in Week 9? He gave TRich the ball eight times on the ground and twice in the air leading to 53 yards. What am I missing here? In one of the more vexing moves in recent years, the Colts dealt a first round draft pick to add Richardson. They've proceeded to use him as if he was a 7th round draft choice. On the other hand, Donald Brown is averaging 6.3 yards a carry this season. So Brown is getting all the work then? Nope. He's had only one game this season with more than seven carries. I still believe in Richardson. I don't know if the Colts do though, so adding Brown... well, I get it.
FAAB BID: $5-10
Chris Ivory, Jets
When the Jets are ahead or tied, it's gonna be the Ivory show. When they fall behind Bilal Powell will be brought in to work with the hurry up offense. The Jets' backfield is a difficult situation to navigate since you have to decide before the game what will happen in the game. In Week 7 it was 34 carries for 104 yards. In Week 8 the result was six carries for 11 yards for Ivory. In Week 9 he carried the ball 18 times for 139 yards an a score. Prepared to be happy or sad, joyous or in the pit of despair. Don't say I didn't warn you.
FAAB BID: $15-20
Rashad Jennings/Marcel Reece, Raiders
Darren McFadden is back on the sidelines with that pesky hamstring issue and I personally don't give a flip what the reports suggest – I find it very difficult to trust him for the rest of the 2013 season. Jennings stepped up in his absence and ran for 102 yards an a score on 15 carries and he also added a whopping seven receptions for 74 yards in the passing attack. Jennings has failed before when called on to be the lead dog do to injury (think last season when MJD went down in Jacksonville), but he does average 4.7 YPC for his career and he can certainly catch the football. My only concern is that Reece might steal goaline work and enough carries/receptions that the chances for Jennings' Week 9 effort to be repeated at any point this season is an extreme longshot.
FAAB BID for Jennings: $15-20
FAAB BID for Reece: $5
Darrel Young, Redskins
Three touchdowns in Week 9 will get anyone's attention. Take it in, bask in it's glory, and then move on. Young basically ran the same play three times against the Chargers and it worked every time. The fullback had one rushing score in his previous 52 NFL games. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
FAAB BID: $0
Three returning players...
Andre Brown, Giants
The Giants are running out guys like Hillis, Jacobs and Cox. Yikes. David Wilson's neck will be tested further this week but it's possible that his season could be over. That leaves an obvious opening for the returning Andre Brown in the Giants backfield. Clearly the most talented player available out of the group for the club, Brown should step right in as the goaline back. He's also got the chops to work the early downs as well. Hillis/Jacobs are moderate talents at best so Brown should have no problem passing them up in short order on the depth chart. At this point it's likely more about how much work he will be able to handle in his first game back from the broken leg.
FAAB BID: $20-25
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
Mike Tolbert will get goaline work. DeAngelo Williams will get work all over the field. Cam Newton will get goaline work. Obviously it's a muddled situation at best. Toss in JStew and oh boy, what a mess. Stewart is arguably the most talented runner the Panthers have, OK he is the most talented, but injuries have dogged the 26 year old. In his first game back after offseason work on his wheels, Stewart looked sharp running nine times for 43 yards and caught three balls for another 22. It's hard to know about the workload, and that depresses Stewart's value substnatially (it does the same for DWill and Tolbert as well). A difficult matchup with the Niners in Week 10 doesn't help either.
FAAB BID: $10-15
Shane Vereen, Patriots
Week 9 reminded everyone just how good the Patriots offense can be. With Gronkowski/Amendola back to catch passes and Brady's hand seemingly on the mend, it's scary to think how good the offense could become when Vereen returns to game action in Week 11. In a breakout Week 1 effort, Vereen ran for 101 yards and caught seven balls for 58 yards. Stevan Ridley is rolling on the ground with six scores in his last four games, and he'll handle all the goaline and first/second down work. But when the Patriots want to push the pace, or in obvious passing situations, we're going to see a lot of Vereen. He's likely to be a weekly RB2 in PPR setups.
FAAB BID: $25-30
Cole Beasley, Cowboys
Beasley stepped up in Week 9 as Terrance Williams took a step back (two receptions, 33 yards) . Beasley tied his season best with six receptions and he went for a season best 68 yards. That gives him two efforts of 6-50 in three weeks. However, he's also scored only one time as the 'Boys slot receiver, is no better than the fourth option in the passing attack, and just doesn't have any upside (his Week 9 effort is about all anyone could expect). Only a real option in deep leagues.
FAAB BID: $3-5
Mike Brown, Jaguars
Hello #2 wideout in Jacksonville. With Justin Blackmon done for the year, and the Jaguars likely to be behind in pretty much every game the rest of the way, Brown seems likely a borderline must add. Cecil Shorts and Blackmon routinely saw 20-25 targets per week so Brown has a chance to step right into a role that could net him double-digit targets on a weekly basis.
FAAB BID: $10-15
Riley Cooper, Eagles
Look, I get it. The guy scored three times in Week 9. You're probably going to go after him heavily whether I tell you not to or not. Some facts to consider though. (1) One of his scores in Week 9 was on busted coverage. I could have scored on that play. (2) He caught two balls for 13 yards in Week 8. (3) He's had three games out of eight that he's caught more than two balls. (4) He's had three games with more than 29 yards. Just trying to keep things real.
FAAB BID: $5-10
Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers
Three scores in Week 9 for Cotchery has got him on everyone's radar. Still, keeping it real Part II. Cotchery is averaging 3.6 catches a game this season. He caught all of 33 passes the last three years (he didn't appear in a game in 2012). That means he's averaging 1.77 receptions over his last 35 NFL games. I'm not suggesting you should ignore the 17 targets he's received the last two weeks, just trying to put things into perspective. Also the impending return of Markus Wheaton, undoubtedly a more talented player than Cotchery, isn't going to help the vet.
FAAB BID: $5-8
Greg Little, Browns
Little had the best game of his career in Week 9 hauling in seven balls for 122 yards. Unfortunately he sprained his shoulder which will dampen his outlook moving forward. There's also the fact that he's averaging about three receptions a game and less than 35 yards an outing this season. There's not much to see here.
FAAB BID: $5
Robert Meachem, Saints
With the news that Marques Colston would miss the game in Week 9 everyone, an I mean literally everyone, was starting Kenny Stills. I warned everyone to play Lance Moore instead. What happened? Stills caught three balls for 35 yards while Moore literally doubled him up with six catches for 70 yards. In fact, it wasn't Stills but Meachem who stepped up in the long game to catch four balls for 93 yards. Don't buy it. Colston was out. Darren Sproles played only a couple of plays before leaving with a concussion. Jimmy Graham wasn't on the field for a full compliment of snaps. Meachem has all of seven receptions this season and h caught only 14 passes last season in 15 games with the Chargers. Move on.
FAAB BID: $1-3
Zach Ertz, Eagles
Ertz continues to lose some looks to Brent Celek, and it's probably not likely that Foles is going to be throwing seven scores in a game ever again. What that means is you might want to take with a grain of salt the five catch, 42 yard, one score effort of Ertz in Week 9. That effort was his first with more than three receptions this season, it was also the second most yards he's had in a game, and the score was his first of the season. He's nothing other than a low end TE2.
FAAB BID: $1-3
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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