Well I don't know about you, but my team that I thought was unbeatable (every starter in the top ten of their respective positions) laid an egg this week and led me to my worst week of the season. I'm still not worried, and before I get into last week's advice, let's take a look at your top pickups for this week.
I answer questions through the e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/koreybeckettBR and in the comments. I'm sure you all know that by now, though.
Free Agent Pickups for Week 9
This is not exactly an ideal week for free agents since there were no major injuries or breakthrough players, but these three should be able to assist your team:
Chris Givens-St. Louis Rams WR (Owned in 2.9% of leagues)
Ryan Broyles-Detroit Rams WR (Owned in 1.0% of leagues)
Earl Bennett-Chicago Bears WR (Owned in 0.9% of leagues)
I have to be honest, I'm surprised by how many people owned Chris Givens last week. It seemed that when Amendola went down, I got multiple e-mails about him each week. I didn't even know he was in the league. Now, I'm telling you to pick him up since it seems he's making his mark.
As for Broyles, he is a very deep sleeper, a pickup for desperation. On the Bennett side, he is a good addition with Alshon Jeffrey out and can be plugged in as a flex if you are in dire need.
Here's a look back at the players I advised you pickup last week. I hope you did, since quite a few are already paying dividends.
Free Agent Recap for Week 8
Rashad Jennings: 115 total yards, fumble lost (B+)
Vick Ballard: 71 total yards, touchdown (A-)
Shane Vereen: 22 total yards, touchdown (B)
Jonathan Dwyer: 115 total yards (A-, would be A+ if the Steelers didn't pass from the Redskins 1-yard line every time)
LaRod Stephens-Howling: 38 total yards (D)
Chris Cooley: 0 yards (G, it's a letter worse than F)
Josh Gordon: 46 yards (C)
Start/Sit players from last week's article: Andrew Luck (Start), Ben Roethlisberger (Start), Cam Newton (Sit), Jonathan Dwyer (Start), Chris Johnson (Start), Steven Jackson (Sit), Mikel Leshoure (Sit), Demaryius Thomas/Eric Decker (Start), Heath Miller (Start), Greg Olsen (Sit), Larry Fitzgerald (Sit)
I'm not going to brag too much about the slam dunks from Ben Roethlisberger, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. I'm also not going to rip on Larry Fitzgerald for consecutive weeks although it does feel good to be right about him yet again.
I hope everyone listened when I said that Steven Jackson and Mikel Leshoure were to be avoided like the plague this week. Heath Miller continues to impress and Dwyer has stepped in nicely for the Steelers and should be a long-term fantasy play this year even when Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman return from injury.
But for the first time since about 2010, I was right about Chris Johnson! I can't believe it! I picked him to have a good game and he did. He usually does the exact opposite of what I say he will do so to see him have another productive week was nice, especially after we made amends in my abbreviated apology letter last week.
Now let's see how many more of you I dazzled with additional advice:
John J wrote, "Who should I start? (Pick 2) Willis McGahee, Ryan Mathews, Alfred Morris"
I wrote, "I would go with McGahee and Ryan Mathews as much as I like Morris, but the matchup is better for Mathews"
It took everything I had to say that someone should start the stud running back on my beloved Redskins, but I did it. And it paid off for John.
Heidi B wrote, "Randall Cobb or Hakeem Nicks?!!! Welker is for sure in.. Or I can play all three and take out one of my 3 RBs: Chris Johnson, Willis McGahee, or Alfred Morris... HELP!!!"
I wrote, "Hi Heidi, I think Randall Cobb is someone that you have to start this week and Chris Johnson, McGahee, and Morris I think will all have better weeks than Nicks."
At least I got to say that Morris should be played over Nicks. Nicks then had the worst week out of all of them. Therefore, I nailed it.
Charles B wrote, "Hey of my WR who would you start? Dwayne Bowe, Randall Cobb, Lance Moore, Eric Decker, Malcom Floyd or Hakeem Nicks?"
I wrote, "I would go with Cobb, Decker, and I'm undecided between Nicks or Bowe, but i would go with Nicks"
Nicks pops up again in what was basically a wash, but it's a good thing that Charles played Cobb and Decker instead of Floyd or Moore.
Start/Sit players from last week's article: Phillip Rivers (Start), Matthew Stafford (Sit), Antonio Brown/Mike Wallace (Start), Antonio Gates (Start), Jacob Tamme (Start)
Antonio, get back in the dog house, please. Also, I can't believe how poorly I missed on Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace. It seemed like such an easy pick. And where were the Denver tight ends?
I'm most sorry about Stafford. He and Titus Young were the only Lions that seemed to want to play offense this past week. If they would've followed their teammates, they would have also played poorly.
Steven W wrote, "Korey, I fell victim to the A. Hernandez injury. Need to pick up a guy."
I wrote, "I love Dreessen this week"
Seriously, Denver, where were those tight ends?
Purgatory (Neither good or bad advice)
Start/Sit players from last week's article: Michael Vick (Sit), Trent Richardson/Montario Hardesty (Sit), Randall Cobb (Start), Steve Smith (Sit), Dustin Keller (Sit)
Kyle J wrote, "I appreciate your help last week and would like to run some more lineup questions by you. I have Rice on a buy and am trying to decide between Felix Jones and Vick Ballard. Also, I have 2 flex spots and need to chose between Jones, Ballard, Gordon, Hankerson or Lloyd. I look forward to your response"
I wrote, "I would go with Jones if he can play this week. Then I would go with Gordon and Lloyd for flex spots"
Ballard had a much better game than Jones, then Gordon and Lloyd went on to redeem this pick for me.
Mzeiya W wrote, "Who would be a better start, at RB Vick Ballard, Rashad Jennings or Alfred Morris at WR Julio Jones or Dez Bryant?"
I wrote, "I have to go with my man Morris this week and Julio Jones"
I'm not sure why Julio Jones would ever be benched, but it was enough to get me another split this week.
Roberto V wrote, "Hi Korey! I'm in a tough spot. Who do you think is a better flex play in a PPR league? Joel Dreessen or Brandon Stokley?"
I wrote, "That's a tough one but I like Stokley"
I told it you was tough. You knew that coming in, Roberto. I hope you aren't mad at me.