Fantasy Football: Week 9 Moving Up, Moving Down
- DeAngelo Williams , Panthers – It’s time to emphasize that Williams and the Panthers running game has now officially found the groove that it had in 2008. Over the past four weeks, Williams has put up an incredible 93 fantasy points, courtesy of 548 rushing yards, 82 receiving yards and five touchdowns. It’s time to sell the farm for Williams who is crushing whatever defense he faces.
- Joseph Addai , Colts – Of all of the running backs out there that you might be able to get in a trade, Addai makes the most sense. He’s no longer regarded as a top-five fantasy back and rookie first-round pick Donald Brown will be returning from injury shortly so there are arguments to be made that his prospects are headed downward. However, he’s playing in the most explosive offense in the league and has managed to hit double digit fantasy points in seven of eight weeks. Bit of a hunch here, but he’s a guy I would take a chance on.
- Ladell Betts , Redskins – It’s been three years since Betts had his big season back in 2006 (1,154 yards on the ground to go with 445 receiving yards) but he played well in the lead role this week with Clinton Portis out with a concussion, notching 70 yards and a TD on 15 carries to go along with a reception that went for 23 yards. The Redskins offense has been junk and the schedule isn’t favourable but if you’re desperate, Betts is the guy. He is definitely this week’s top pick on the waiver wire.
- LeSean McCoy , Eagles – Didn’t do a whole lot with 19 touches three weeks ago (67 yards) but over the past two weeks, McCoy has 31 touches for 207 total yards and a touchdown. And, as you’ll read below, Brian Westbrook is beginning to look like the date who keeps promising to show but never does.
- Steve Breaston , Cardinals – With Anquan Boldin out, Breaston put up 66 yards and a touchdown on four catches and had a nifty 25-yard run as a nice little bonus. In six of seven games this year, he’s put up 57 or more yards and is a low-end WR2 when Boldin is out, which happens often.
- Anquan Boldin , Cardinals – He wasn’t happy to sit out this week but his fantasy owners (including yours truly) were likely elated since it seemed like he was destined to be a five for 50 guy the rest of the way without some rehab time. Chalk this one up to short term pain for long term gain.
- Laurence Maroney , Patriots – Hard to get too excited about a guy who has been such a tease but Maroney does have double digit fantasy points in his past three games, as well as a touchdown in each game. Note to self—next week, pretend you didn’t actually just write that.
- Chris Chambers , Chiefs – Here’s a great example of one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Released by the Chargers, Chambers was quickly snapped up by the Chiefs and responded in a big way against the Jags with three receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns. It’s not going to happen every week but the bottom line is that the Chiefs are desperate for some speed at wide receiver and Chambers brings that to the table. Plus, he’s clearly more talented than any other receiver they have, excluding Dwayne Bowe of course.
- Laveranues Coles , Bengals – Coles was more or less useless for the first five weeks of the season but over the past three games, he’s had 12 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns. With Chris Henry out for the year, his targets will go up so the nine opportunities he had this week seem promising.
- Clinton Portis , Redskins – Got his bell rung this week against the Falcons and, with his head aching for two days after the game, it seems like he will be out for at least two weeks and maybe more. Basically, contingency plans are in order if you don’t have Ladell Betts as his handcuff. With fantasy trade deadlines approaching, move quickly.
- Kevin Smith , Lions – 15 touches for 76 yards this week, which isn’t horrible, but he hasn’t scored in four weeks. Plus, Maurice Morris siphoned off six touches this week, which doesn’t seem like a lot but part of the allure with Smith was that he was The Guy in Detroit and now he’s just mostly The Guy playing on a horrible teams that doesn’t score much.
- Brian Westbrook , Eagles – First it was the ankle, then it was a concussion and now it’s the ankle again. At this point, hoping that you’re going to ride Westbrook to glory seems as far-fetched as the tooth fairy.
- Joe Flacco , Ravens – The good news is that the schedule has some favourable matchups down the stretch. The bad news is that it’s still not a great schedule and the Ravens passing game has gone south for three of the past four weeks with Flacco unable to get more than 200 yards passing three times. Basically, he just doesn’t seem like a guy you want to use on a weekly basis.
- Larry Johnson , formerly of the Chiefs – Interestingly, the legendary Johnson has exactly two 1,000 yards seasons to his credit, back in 2005 and 2006. Granted, they were great seasons but the Chiefs gave up on him this week after two-and-a-half years of mediocrity which included a paltry 2.7 yards per carry this year and no touchdowns. There are teams that need help at running back (Redskins, Patriots, Texans, Eagles) so I wouldn’t dump him yet but if you have to, go ahead.
- Ryan Moats , Texans – Like I told you last week , there’s a reason he’s been in the league several years and not earned any playing time. This week, he proved it. Sure, he got a touchdown but he also fumbled and managed to eke out 38 yards on 16 carries. His touchdown came on a pass. Oh yeah, the Texans are chewing on whether they should sign a washed up Larry Johnson.
- Steve Slaton and Chris Brown , Texans – See above and no, I don’t care that Slaton also scored a touchdown.
- Matt Ryan , Falcons – Don’t look now but the anointed one has become a bit of a turnover machine over the past five weeks with nine interceptions and a fumble. The eight touchdown passes over the same stretch are reasonably decent but the three sub-200-yard passing games not so much.
- Jamaal Charles , Chiefs – I wasn’t excited with his prospects last week and he had to split carries with the immortal Kolby Smith so I’m definitely not excited by him this week.
- Chris Henry , Bengals – Well, he’s out for the year so he’s definitely in the Moving Down category. Not much else to say on that.
- Michael Vick , Eagles (Bills?) – Tony Dungy seems to think the Bills are the front runners to land Vick and if it’s true, unload him from your dynasty squad now. Buffalo is the place quarterbacks go to die. We’ll call it the Doug Flutie Curse. Since Flutie, they’ve gone through Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, Kelly Holcombe and Trent Edwards . If the Bills think a quarterback is good, well, he’s not.
Not Sold Yet
- Jay Cutler , Bears – Cutler had a nice fantasy game this week with 369 passing yards and three touchdown passes. However, it’s not every week that the Bears are going to be behind by 21 points early in the contest. Presumably, head coach Lovie Smith is a smart enough guy to realize that the Bears need better balance in the offensive game plan and that will ultimately lead to fewer turnovers from Cutler, who has lost the ball 13 times this year (12 picks and a fumble).
- Greg Olsen , Bears – Five receptions for 71 yards and three touchdowns is nice and likely won a lot of matchups this week for fantasy teams but see above. Say it with me now, “sell high.”
- Matt Cassel , Chiefs – Had his second-most productive week of the season with 262 yards and two touchdowns plus the Chiefs added Chambers at wide receiver. So, I guess what I’m saying is that the passing attack might be coming around finally but the rest of the schedule isn’t great so I’m not too excited.
- Julius Jones , Seahawks – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I don’t like Jones but, I will begrudgingly admit that he may be useful at home against teams that are struggling on defense. So, consider him for Week 12 against the Rams and Week 15 against the Bucs. Other than that, you are playing with fire and you will be burned. Who knew I had such a maternal instinct?
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