Just hours before the start of Week 9 (for most teams, anyways) I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, Wide Receiver
Eric Edhold (via Twitter):
Sources tell @ProFootballWkly that Lions WR Calvin Johnson is gametime decision. If he plays, could be relegated to 3rd down situations.
It’s unbelievable to think about sitting Johnson in any format, but he is banged up and has struggled when in the lineup (one TD all year long). Obviously, fantasy owners are going to have to monitor the morning news, but consider Johnson a risky option depending on who else you own.
In three wide receiver formats, you really need to be loaded in order to consider sitting him. However, in two wide receiver formats he could potentially sit if you have healthy alternatives. It really depends on the morning news and your alternatives, but sitting Johnson is a realistic option this week.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, Wide Receiver
According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today (click here for the article):
The good news for Nicks is both injuries are improving. He estimated he was about “65, 70%” healthy when he played against the San Francisco 49ers last month after sitting out three consecutive games. Nicks’ lack of explosiveness was evident that day. He managed virtually no separation from the Niners’ talented defensive backs, though he used his outstanding ball skills to still make three catches, including a 26-yarder. Heading into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Nicks says he’s now ‘pushing 90, 95’ percent of top form.
Nicks has obviously been highly disappointing this season, with 26 receptions for 380 yards and one TD. However, as more attention is given to Victor Cruz, it really is only a matter of time before Nicks has a breakout performance. While the Steelers are not giving up a lot of passing yards, they have allowed 11 passing TD, and his potential is too much to have on your bench. Consider him worth using in all formats.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns, Running Back
Does anyone really need a reason to play Richardson at this point? Listed as probable, there is no reason to even consider sitting him down. In his first meeting with the Ravens this season, he posted 104 total yards (47 rushing, 57 receiving) and one TD. Plus, that was against a Ravens’ defense that included Ray Lewis, who is now out of action.
Richardson proved he was healthy last week (122 rushing yards and one TD against the Chargers), and is a must use option in all formats.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers, Wide Receiver
He’s listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, but he appears primed to be a true game time decision. According to Jay Glazer (via Twitter):
How’s jordy nelson looking for Sunday?>much better shape than he was in this time last wk but still iffy.
The Packers play at 1:00 PM EST, so fantasy owners will know prior to setting their lineup. Taking on the Arizona Cardinals, it’s hard to consider him a must play given the other options in Green Bay. However, his upside is high, and it is also nearly impossible to sit him down. Monitor the morning news, but unless you are loaded with other options, a dressed Nelson will likely be worth using in most formats.
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers, Running Back
With both Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer listed as doubtful, Redman suddenly looks like a much better option to fantasy owners. However, it is hard to count on him, considering he is averaging a meager 2.5 yards per carry this season. The Steelers could easily try to simply throw the ball more, putting increased potential value in players like Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller. Consider Redman more of a flex option.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins, Quarterback
Listed as questionable with a knee injury, there appears to be a good chance he plays this week against the Colts. According to Ed Werder (via Twitter):
Dolphins believe QB Ryan Tannehill is better than 50-50 to play against Colts but he will be a game-time decision.
With a 1:00 PM EST start time we will know early enough for those owners in two-quarterback formats. In shallow formats, however, he’s not really a considerable option anyways.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints, Running Back
According to Mike Triplett (via Twitter):
With #Saints RB Darren Sproles out Monday, Pierre Thomas should see biggest increase in touches/production. … Ingram, Ivory a little too.
Thomas takes on an Eagles defense allowing 110.4 rushing yards per game, so there is some potential, but it is hard to predict exactly what the Saints are going to do. They have always primarily been a passing team, so I wouldn’t look towards Thomas as a savior. He’s a flex option at this point.
Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins, Wide Receiver
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (click here for the post), "WR Brian Hartline is also listed as questionable with a groin/hamstring injury. He was limited in practice today but also expects to play, barring complications."
His potential value is at least partially based on if Ryan Tannehill plays. That said, against a Colts team that has allowed 13 receiving touchdowns, it is worth considering him as a WR3.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: