Fantasy Reactions: Week 9 Still-in-Progress Report

Chris FarmerCorrespondent INovember 8, 2009

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - JULY 31:  Wide reciever Lance Long #19 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a reception under pressure from cornerback Jameel Dowling #43 during the evening team training camp at Northern Arizona University on July 31, 2009 in Flagstaff, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

So the Fantasy uncertainty that hung over the Houston Texans this week has given way to some clarity.

Some had Kevin Walter pegged as the recipient of Owen Daniels' touches, but let it be known that one guy who continually gets overlooked may have gotten at least two of those touches. Jacoby Jones has quietly had a solid year to date, and ended the day with a season high four catches for 67 yards.

TE Joel Dreessen only had two catches, answering the question of whether his production would greatly increase (and the answer is no). To be fair, Kevin Walter had 5 catches for 67 yards, his second best outing this year.

While Ryan Moats did indeed start and receive the majority of the carries with 16, he only averaged 2.4 yards per attempt. Still, he made your fantasy gamble digestible with a receiving TD.

One more word of caution though for next week—Moats fumbled. Trust me, the coaching staff noticed.

Chris Chambers was let go by the Chargers and picked up by the Chiefs this week, and celebrated the change of uniform with two TD. While that will make him one of the waiver wire darlings this week, the player that popped out at me from the Chiefs game is WR Lance Long .

As a Cardinals fan I had been pulling for this undrafted player to make the Cards' squad for two years. He did make it this year but was waived after a week or two.

Kansas City head coach Todd Haley was familiar with him from his days as Arizona offensive coordinator, and picked him up. Long had a team-high 11 targets, eight catches, and 74 yards.

Lets give some props to the Arizona rushing game. It's not so much that they didn't have the talent to run the ball effectively, it's that they didn't try. They were the last-ranked rushing team coming in due partly because they attempted less times than any other team. Today's 31 carries for 182 yards for a 5.9 average as a team demonstrates their upside.

One more thing. To say I am tired of hearing about Tim Hightower being a less effective runner than Beanie Wells is an understatement. I finally can admit that Wells clearly has more burst, and more natural ability.

Yet as I have always said, if Hightower doesn't get hit in the backfield, he is a smash-mouth downhill runner that punishes opponents. Last year and this off-season I had to hear over and over and over how Hightower wasn't capable of being an every down back because of his 2.8 YPC average.

Well guess what? In a game where both he and Wells ran very well, Hightower averaged 5.1 YPC to Wells' 5.5.

It seems like almost every week, I check in on Ray Rice in the 3rd or early 4th quarter and his points are average at best. Then by the end of the game he has given me a nice point total. I don't have any stats in front of me to verify this, just seems like he is devastating in the late stages of the game.

Regardless of when he does it, he is rapidly becoming a Top five RB. In a game where the Ravens only had the ball for a third of the game, Rice caught a team-high eight balls and 87 yards on eight looks and carried the ball a team-high 12 times for 48 and a TD. Meanwhile Willis McGahee has been phased out and did not receive a carry.

To put it another way, he caught eight of the 18 receptions and ran 12 of the 17 times.

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