The NFL is an ever changing landscape, from year to year, week to week, and even day to day. Hence, the Bruno Boys bring to you our Week 9 Edition of the Fantasy Risers and Fallers . For those of you unfamiliar with the concept behind the article, it’s rather simple. Risers and Fallers highlights those players who have seen their fantasy football value for the weekend’s upcoming games either rise (increase) or fall (decrease) .
WEEK 9 RISERS
QB Jake Delhomme (Carolina Panthers) —The good news is that Delhomme is probable and expected to play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints . The bad news is that Delhomme has a penchant for turning the ball over, something the Saints will easily exploit. Even though he’s a go for the Panthers, he shouldn’t be a go for your fantasy team despite the slight rise in his value heading into Sunday.
QB Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) —Returning from injury in Week Eight, Stafford didn’t experience any set backs with his knee and, sporting a probable listing, will be on the field once again this Sunday for Detroit. However, while he will be under center for Detroit, he shouldn’t be your fantasy team’s QB.
QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) —Rodgers has indeed played his way into a must start fantasy option, which is why his owners’ may have been in a bit of a panic mode earlier in the week when a toe injury and foot sprain kept the QB out of his team’s practices. However, alleviating his owners’ fears that he might miss Week Nine, Rodgers returned to practice on Friday. He will be in the line-up on Sunday and should light up the Bucs’ secondary.
QB Matt Hasselbeck (Seattle Seahawks) —Hasselbeck may still be dealing with a rib injury, but the QB has toughed it out so far and will continue to do so this Sunday against the Detroit Lions . The match-up makes Hasselbeck a low-end QB1 option.
RB Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) —The Panthers continue to saddle Stewart with a questionable listing; however, with his strong running of late, the Panthers’ back has shown that the Achilles injury that was bothering him earlier in the year is a thing of the past. Utilize Stewart as a RB2 play this week against a Saints’ defense that will be without Sedrick Ellis .
RB Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) —Barber’s thumb injury should no longer be a concern to his fantasy owners as the back now appears as probable on the team’s injury report. Receiving around 12 to 15 carries per game, Barber is the Cowboys’ No. 1 runner and makes for a RB2 in fantasy formats.
RB Kevin Smith (Detroit Lions) —Dealing with a shoulder injury, Smith heads into Sunday with the big “Q” next to his name; however, the back did practice Thursday and Friday and is expected to suit up Sunday against the Seahawks. Use Smith as low-end RB2 option.
RB Steve Slaton (Houston Texans) —While Ryan Moats was the hot waiver wire pick-up heading into this week, don’t count out Slaton in Week Nine. On Friday, Texans’ head coach, Gary Kubiak , reiterated that the Texans will need Slaton at his best to have a chance to beat the Colts this week. Moats is expected to be used a bit more than he was before his huge Week Eight game, but as this one will be an aerial shoot out, look for Slaton to be the team’s running back on majority of plays as his skill set is best when it comes to the passing game.
RB Laurence Maroney (New England Patriots) —Coming off of two double digit performances, Maroney will once again be the lead back for the Patriots as both Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris have been ruled out of this weekend’s game. However, we do not recommend Maroney as anything more than a flex play. With the Dolphins’ ranking sixth against the run, it is through the air that the Patriots will do their damage.
RB Reggie Bush (New Orleans Saints) —Bush could see an uptick in value this weekend, not due to an injury to Pierre Thomas or Mike Bell , but rather because of an injury to Lance Moore . With Moore out, Bush will be used as a wide out in four wide receiver sets.
RB Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles) —Westbrook may have been a no-show in Friday’s practice, but with the back medically cleared and practicing earlier in the week, it looks like the day off was simply to have him rested for Sunday’s contest with the Cowboys. Westbrook has enjoyed past success against the Cowboys and is worth of RB2 status for Week Nine.
WR Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) —In a bit of a surprise, the questionable Boldin practiced on Friday and is expected to play on Sunday. The Bruno Boys still advise Boldin’s owners to check on Sunday morning for updates to the wide receiver’s status, but as of now, it looks like Boldin will play and can be in your line-ups.
WR Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons) —White, who has caught at least one TD in each of his last four games, gave his owners a scare by sporting a questionable tag this week to go along with a couple of missed practices. White, though, was back on the field on Friday for the team’s practice and according to head coach, Mike Smith , he is expected to play on Sunday. If White’s on the field, he needs to be in your line-up.
WR Devin Hester (Chicago Bears) —With 9, 14, and 8 fantasy points over the last three weeks, Hester is really playing himself into a solid fantasy option at the wide receiver position. Those owners riding the hot hand will be pleased to know that Hester, despite a questionable tag, practiced in full on Friday and is set to go in Week Nine.
WR Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) —Megatron’s owners will be happy to hear that the wide out has been able practice this week and looked good doing so. As long as no set backs occur prior to kick off, Megatron looks to be set to go against the Seahawks, making him a WR2 play this weekend.
WR Donald Driver (Green Bay Packers) —A neck injury kept Driver out of this week’s earlier practices, but the wide out was back at it on Friday, and with a probable listing, it appears he’s ready to take on the Buccaneers, a team that’s given up 16 passing scores on the year. Employ Driver as a WR2 play.
WR Austin Collie (Indianapolis Colts) —Anthony Gonzalez’s return has been delayed as the wide out had particles removed from his knee. That means fantasy owners will be able to use Collie as a flex option for at least a few more weeks moving forward.
WR Mario Manningham (New York Giants) —Listed as questionable heading into Week Eight, Manningham missed the Giants’ match-up with the Eagles, so his owners will be happy to hear that Manningham is slated as probable for this weekend’s match-up with the Chargers. Feel free to use him as a WR3.
WRs DeSean Jackson & Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles) —Both of the Eagles’ young wide receivers are dealing with foot issues at the moment; both, though, partook fully in the team’s Friday practice. If you’re looking to roll with either Jackson or Maclin, be confident that they’ll both be on the field on Sunday Night.
TE Todd Heap (Baltimore Ravens) —While Heap hasn’t matched his 13 fantasy point performance from Week One, the Ravens’ tight end has been solidly putting up 4-6 fantasy points this season. With many owners looking for tight end help with Chris Cooley and Owen Daniels lost to injury, Heap is one of those guys worth a long look. Despite an ankle injury, he practiced fully on Friday and is probable for the Ravens match-up with the Bengals, a team he caught seven passes for 41 yards against back in week 5.
TE Greg Olsen (Chicago Bears) —With tight ends dropping like flies, fantasy owners are monitoring their tight ends closely. Olsen’s owners, though, can rest assured. While the tight end was limited earlier in the week, he was able to practice fully on Friday and will play against the Cardinals on Sunday.
TE, LB Spencer Havner (Green Bay Packers) —With many of the top tight ends banged up, why not take a look at Havner? With Jermichael Finley ruled out of this week’s action, Havner will once again assume the tight end duties near the goal-line for the Packers. He’s a boom or bust type play, but a quick six from your TE is always welcomed.
K Neil Rackers (Arizona Cardinals )—Not only will Racker’s owners be happy to hear that the kicker, listed on the injury report as probable, practiced Thursday and Friday this week, but the weather is supposed to be kicker friendly in Chicago this week. However, it should be noted that Rackers has not tallied double digits since Week One.
WEEK 9 FALLERS
RB Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts) - Brown was able to partake in the Colts’ practices on Wednesday and Thursday; however, the back was held out of Friday’s work out. Additionally, while originally not on the team’s injury report, Brown now is listed as questionable. The Colts’ back looks to have suffered a set back in regards to his shoulder injury, so be sure to monitor his status before Sunday’s game.
RBs Sammy Morris & Fred Taylor (New England Patriots) —Both Morris and Taylor have already been ruled out of Week Nine contest for the New England Patriots .
RB Willie Parker (Pittsburgh Steelers) —Bad news for “Fast Willie’s” owners as the team has stated that the back’s turf toe is still not completely healed and may not be for the rest of the season. As long as Parker is at less than 100 percent look for Rashard Mendenhall to continue to be the team’s starter.
WR Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals) —Perhaps the only fantasy owners upset to hear that Anquan Boldin is expected to go on Sunday are Breaston’s owners. With Boldin out of the line-up, Breaston was flirting heavily with WR2 status; however, now that Boldin is expected to play, he goes into Sunday with his typical WR3 designation.
WR Muhsin Muhammed (Carolina Panthers) —Not that many of you out there are relying on Muhammed, especially with Jake Delhomme struggling, but for the few of you that are, note that the Panthers’ wide receiver, while listed as questionable, is not close to being ready to get back on the field.
WR Anthony Gonzalez (Indianapolis Colts) —With the wide receiver undergoing a procedure to clean out particles in his knee, a return from Gonzalez is not expected any time soon. The wide out could be out another two-to-three weeks, which means it may be time to cut him loose.
WR Lance Moore (New Orleans Saints) —With only one outing of more than three fantasy points on the year, Moore should no longer be occupying space on fantasy rosters; however, if he is, be aware that he’s been ruled out of Week Nine action against the Panthers.
WR Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) —Rookie quarterback, Josh Freeman , will be under center Sunday for the Buccaneers already hurting Bryant’s value heading into Sunday; however, the wide out lands into the “avoid at all costs” realm as he’s, also, dealing with a knee injury and will be a game time decision against the Packers.
TE Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers) —Another one bites the dust. Add Jermichael Finley’s owners to those looking for tight end help this weekend as the Packers’ tight end has already been ruled out of Week Nine action.
TE Benjamin Watson (New England Patriots) —The matchup in Week Nine is an enticing one for Watson as the Patriots will be playing a Dolphins’ secondary that will be starting two rookie corners; however, the tight end is dealing with back issues and is listed as questionable for the contest. Check back with the Bruno Boys on Sunday to see if Watson can be used as a tight end fill in.
K John Kasay (Carolina Panthers) —Even with the best of kickers, you don’t want to toy with a questionable listing in an afternoon game. Kasay, who isn’t one of the league’s best, is in that exact situation this week due to a groin injury. Avoid him at all costs.
K Garrett Hartley (New Orleans Saints) —Not that he was expected to supplant John Carney anyways, but it is worth noting Hartley is listed as doubtful.
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