Fantasy Football Week 9: Who to Start and Who to Sit
The final five weeks of the fantasy football regular season are among us, friends. Most of the teams have gotten through their respective bye weeks and it's time to start thinking postseason. Don't get too desperate, though. Trying to be too cute can get you knocked out of the race.
Still, if you are in some need of advice, I am happy to oblige. My phone goes off pretty frequently these days now that the season is really heating up and you can join the fun. My e-mail is email@example.com and the Facebook as usual is at http://www.facebook.com/koreybeckettBR. I'm happy to try and answer all of your questions.
It does take me a bit of time to respond to some depending on what time of the day you catch me (which for some, is at 3:30 a.m. which I didn't find surprising). Still, I will try to get to every single one.
I am, after all, a man of the people.
You know the structure by now, I answer some questions that were sent in for the week before the article was written, then I tell you some players that I prefer and ones that I don't. Then we wrap it up and open it for further questions. Here we go.
Kenny M writes, "Hello again Mr. Beckett. I have another question for you. My roster is pretty loaded and currently has me all alone in first place.. best record overall both divisions. My only concern is my RB3 / Flex play. I use Mikel Leshoure in that role usually but he seems to have a very low upside. Jonathon Dwyer is sitting out there available at the moment. Who do you think will be better as the season winds down.. Leshoure or Dwyer??"
Thank you, Kenny. Congratulations on your first place squad, cherish it as long as you can. You never know when the injury bug will infect your entire team. I've seen it 100 times.
As for this week, I do like Dwyer over Leshoure, but that is contingent on his health. If the Steelers say that he's 100 percent for the week, then you have to go with him. He has exactly 17 carries in each of his last two games and over 100 yards in each.
Leshoure on the other hand is seeing his workload dwindle each week with lower production as well. Both are risky, but Dwyer should be better even if Redman or Mendenhall come back. Notice I didn't say and.
Dwyer should still be the go-to guy down near the goal line which is more than I can say for Leshoure, which is why I like the former Yellow Jacket better in Week 9.
Kevin S writes, "Playing Fitzgerald week after week has been killing me. Do I keep him out for someone like k.wright? And what do I do with Vernon Davis? Will he come back?"
I have trashed on Larry Fitzgerald multiple times this season, and I don't even have the guy on my team. I can only imagine what his owners feel like.
Still, I can not condone the benching of Fitz for a sporadic rookie like Kendall Wright. I just can't. There will be a game or two down the stretch where the Cardinals will actually find a way to get Fitzgerald the ball for enormous games.
I just don't see an enormous game coming out of Kendall Wright this season. He hasn't gotten more than 10 points in a game (standard scoring) this season.
Will Larry Fitzgerald Bounce Back?
As for Vernon Davis, you might as well hang on to him. He's more likely to bounce back than any other tight end that's on your free agency list. That is unless you have Heath Miller still out there on the waiver wire, but I doubt it.
Lyndell M writes, "Who do you think i should start i can start 3 receivers i have dez titus young denarius moore reggie wayne and cecil shorts tough decision help!!!"
This week, I like Denarius Moore, Titus Young, and Reggie Wayne.
I do like Dez Bryant as well, but he's banged up and going against the Falcons. For that reason, I can't say that he will be a great play this week. Also, I just can't bring myself to tell anyone to play Cecil Shorts.
Maybe someday in the future, but for now, you have to admit you giggle when the announcer says, "...and there's the completion to Cecil Shorts".
AJ H writes, "I have Vick Ballard, Andrew Hawkins, Cecil Shorts, and Jermaine Gresham in the mix and I am trying to pick up Mike Thomas off the waiver-wire since he was recently traded to Detroit, where they have a depleted receiving corps. Ballard and Shorts have been pleasant surprises recently but due to the return of Donald Brown and the presence of Mercedes Lewis in the redzone could their stock be falling? Hawkins and Gresham have been solid all season and garner a look. Do you think Thomas will dent that Detroit receiving corps or should I back off of him. I can only have one and your the expert so I kindly await your decision."
Alright, maybe I spoke too soon. Play Cecil Shorts.
Mzeiya W writes, "Hi,Thanks again for the advice last week. I need help with my flex position this week. I have Rashad Jennings, Dez Bryant, Reggie Wayne and Julio Jones. I can only use two."
I can't say no to Julio Jones even though he has only been good literally every other game he's played. I touched on Dez earlier, I just don't love him this week. Not just because he's a Cowboy, either.
As for the other position, I would go with Reggie Wayne. I just can't get behind Rashard Jennings. I said it even before he replaced Jones-Drew. If MJD wasn't getting production as the starter, I highly doubt Jennings will be able to do any better.
If he goes off this week, I sincerely apologize. I just don't see it happening.
Alright, now on to the rest of you. Here is a list of people I don't hate, and then hate this week:
Michael Vick-Philadelphia Eagles/Cam Newton-Carolina Panthers
This shouldn't be a secret by now, but Vick plays the Saints and Newton plays the Redskins. Those are the two worst defenses for stopping the pass. Expect enormous games.
Josh Freeman-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In fantasy football, you have to ride the hot hand. Right now you'd be hard pressed to find a hotter hand than Josh Freeman. The last three outputs for Freeman have been monumental.
You can't bench someone that has over 22 for three weeks running.
Matt Schaub-Houston Texans
Surprisingly, Schaub ranks No. 21 in all of fantasy football for quarterbacks. He did have a nice bounce-back game against the Ravens for 18 points, and should have no trouble getting that against a poor Buffalo defense.
Doug Martin-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Just like Freeman, his teammate Martin is extremely hot. Keep riding him.
Arian Foster-Houston Texans
I know this is obvious. But if you have the means to trade away five of your players and throw in some cash to the guy in your league that has him, do it.
I'm serious. He is going to erupt this week. I'm thinking 35 points if Ben Tate is healthy.
LeSean McCoy-Philadelphia Eagles
Same with Foster. It's obvious, but get him from the guy that has him. A high price is worth paying. Even if it is just for this week. He should have 30 against the Saints.
Torrey Smith-Baltimore Ravens
Smith has been a little disappointing this year, but don't give up on him yet. He should have a fine week against the Browns.
Calvin Johnson-Detroit Lions
I am just not buying the "Bail on Megatron" hype. Yet.
Denarius Moore-Oakland Raiders
You may not know this, but Moore has a touchdown in four of his last five games.
He's quietly working his way towards a very productive season and should be a must-start this week against the Bucs.
Heath Miller-Pittsburgh Steelers
Miller has been way better than expected this year. Keep playing him.
Jimmy Graham-New Orleans Saints
Graham hasn't been as good as expected this year, but don't give up on him. He has a QB that is more than capable of getting him the ball. That's a lot more than can be said of Larry Fitzgerald.
Is the Madden Curse affecting Calvin Johnson?
Romo has heated up fantasy-wise, while Manning has cooled off a bit. I don't like either one this week mainly due to their matchups.
Manning will take on the Steelers while Romo takes on the undefeated Falcons. Pass on these guys if you have a serviceable QB on your roster.
Ryan Fitzpatrick-Buffalo Bills
Fitzpatrick has struggled against good defenses, and he has one on his schedule this week against the Texans.
Ahmad Bradshaw-New York Giants
His foot has been causing him problems, and he goes against the seventh-ranked defense against running backs (Pittsburgh). I'll pass this week.
Chris Johnson-Tennessee Titans
Yes, I have apologized to him twice. He has been good for three weeks in a row, but he plays the Bears this week. I don't like playing anyone against the Bears.
Michael Turner-Atlanta Falcons
Turner hasn't had a truly great week since Week 4 against Carolina, and I don't think Dallas will be the team to let him get back on track.
Miles Austin-Dallas Cowboys
Just like Romo, Austin has been hot. When you sit the QB, though, you sit the WR that goes with him. Atlanta is just tough. That's all there is to it.
Jordy Nelson-Green Bay Packers
The Packers aren't afraid to bench someone that's injured and let the next guy in like produce. That should be the case this week.
Stevie Johnson-Buffalo Bills
Same for Austin with Stevie Johnson. QB sits, WR sits.
Brandon Pettigrew-Detroit Lions and Owen Daniels-Houston Texans
I just don't like injured TE's at all, even if they do play. Both are listed as questionable this week and aren't elite enough to play with those nagging injures the way that Gronk and Graham are.
Well there you have it. You're official start/sit for Week 9. Again, if you have any questions, just get a hold of me. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.facebook.com/koreybeckettBR good luck everyone!
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