For those that don't make the playoffs, there are just four weeks left of fantasy football. Feel free to borrow my handkerchief to wipe away the tears.
Well, at least you could if anyone actually carried a handkerchief these days.
Apparently, after I mentioned the words Cecil Shorts last week, every single e-mail I received was about the man. I had to giggle every single time because I just couldn't believe how many rosters he was on. Well, if you have any non-Cecil Shorts related fantasy football questions (or heck, even if you have Cecil Shorts related questions, who am I kidding) please contact me.
Typically, I post these articles after the Thursday Night Football game. But for the playoff push, I figured it might be a better idea do this pre-TNF since these games have become vital for fantasy success.
Before I hit on who to play this week, let's review Week 9.
Cam Newton (Start), Eli Manning (Sit), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Sit), Doug Martin (Start), Arian Foster (Start), Ahmad Bradshaw (Sit), Miles Austin (Sit), Jordy Nelson (Sit), Stevie Johnson (Sit), Jimmy Graham (Start), Brandon Pettigrew (Sit)
Let's get the obvious out of the way. We knew that Cam Newton was going to have a good game against the league's worst defense. We knew that Arian Foster would play well against the Bills, and Ryan Fitzpatrick would likely struggle against a good Texans defense.
Just a side story, I played against someone that started Eli Manning instead of Carson Palmer and needless to say, I won by a large margin.
I wasn't sold on Eli last week, and he came through for me. He put up a whopping three points against the Steelers and just looked lost all day. I'm pretty proud of myself.
As for Doug Martin, oh my gosh. 51 fantasy points? Really? I just pray for your fantasy team that you didn't sell high after his 30-plus-point game against Minnesota and enjoyed the historic performance against Oakland.
For the receivers, all three that I told you to sit last week tallied up a combined nine points. Just to reiterate, that's nine between three players. It's wins like that that make me want to keep writing.
Denarius Moore (Start), Heath Miller (Start), Owen Daniels (Sit)
Pretty bare in the bad cupboard, always a good thing for credibility's sake. Of the three players I whiffed on, two of them were from the unpredictable tight end position.
I'm starting to think that if you don't have Rob Gronkowski on your team, I will just tell you to do whatever you please.
All of these guys finished in the middle of the pack at their respective positions. No blow ups, no huge letdowns. I'm a little bummed that my purgatory section was enormous this week, but it's better than filling up the 'Bad' section.
Now on to Week 10. The rankings have been released, the free agents have gone through, let's set your lineup, shall we?
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Lately, the Buccaneers have become the New Orleans Saints. All offense, no defense. This week, Rivers and the Chargers are the beneficiary.
Tampa has given up at least 22 points in three out of its last five games to opposing quarterbacks. This is a great matchup if you have a tough one or a bye week (namely, RGIII).
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
For whatever reason, when Fitzpatrick plays the Patriots, he always has a nice fantasy day. Even earlier this season, he put up 23 points despite tossing four interceptions.
History says that he will be good for another 20 this week, which is a great way to go if you're up in the air.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco has been ho-hum for the past month, but a home game at 1 p.m. ET against Oakland is always a nice way to get your season back on track.
Hopefully, he can get your season back on track as well.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
The Bills are dead last against opposing running backs in fantasy football. Ridley is the primary running back for the New England Patriots. The Bills play the Patriots this week.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If he improves the way he has over the past few weeks, I feel that he may break 70 points. Alright, he probably won't come close, but he's turning into Jamaal Charles from 2010.
Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
Tennessee has given up at least 140 rushing yards to opposing running backs in each of the past three weeks. That is a great sign for the former Heisman winner.
He most likely will be splitting carries heavily, but he has a ton of upside this week and should be a flex starter in every league.
Roddy White/Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons play the Saints this week. Feel safe to start both. Heck, start Harry Douglas if you have him.
Wes Welker, New England Patriots and Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers
Bills, Bucs, you know the drill.
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons and Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Both of them have had their struggles, but the tight end legends should bounce back in a huge way against New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
He may have had the most fantasy points for quarterbacks last week, but now he will take on the Ravens. We won't see a repeat.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears and Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
I can only imagine how bad the Bears offense would be without Brandon Marshall. Then I remembered I watched them last year, so yes, it was bad.
Against the Texans, Marshall should still have a decent game, but don't expect Cutler to do much of anything.
On the flip side, Schaub won't have a great game against Cutler's wrecking crew of a defense to back him up.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Nagging injury? Matchup against Pittsburgh? I think I saw someone with a similar situation in the sit section last week.
His name was Ahmad Bradshaw and he got four points. Don't count on Charles this week.
Shonn Greene, New York Jets
Adrian Peterson is the only running back to have a great game in Seattle this season. Shonn Greene is no Adrian Peterson.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
An enormous garbage touchdown saved him from having a truly terrible game. Now against a surprisingly solid Dolphins defense, I don't expect big numbers.
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints; Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos; Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
Pure matchups here. The Falcons, Panthers (oddly enough) and Steelers are all solid against WRs this season.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
I just don't see a bounce back for him the way I do Tony Gonzalez.
Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders
Settle down on him, everyone. It was one game against Tampa. He will go back to his normal four points a game now.
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