Week 9 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Review: Blount Force Trauma
Week 8 was the kind of week that makes you wish you hadn't shaved your neighbor's cat when you were seven, because the universe has a funny way of making you pay for your crimes.
Week 8 was, simply, the kind of week that makes you hate playing fantasy football.
Maybe it was the full moon looming unseen high above the football games played on Sunday. Maybe it was just the general craziness that accompanies Halloween every year.
Whatever it was, it made for a wild and wacky Week 8 of fantasy football.
In order to get a little perspective, consider that the average draft round of the top three scoring fantasy quarterbacks on Sunday of Week 8 was Round 12. Yes, Jason Campbell, Matthew Stafford, and David Garrard were the top preforming quarterbacks of Week 8.
So let's take a look around the league at some of the top performers from Week 8 and see if they are worth adding to your fantasy football roster.
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Matthew Stafford, DET
In case you missed it, Stafford was highlighted in last week's waiver wire column.
But I hope you didn't miss it because Stafford's services will be in much higher demand entering Week 9.
Four touchdowns and 212 yards is a pretty solid showing after missing the last six games due to a shoulder injury.
You should expect more of the same going forward, as the Lions offense is simply stocked with weapons, and Stafford clearly knows how to use them.
Looking ahead, Stafford has one of the easiest fantasy schedules for quarterbacks.
Available in 70 percent of fantasy football leagues, Stafford will no doubt be a top addition for teams struggling at the quarterback position.
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Josh Freeman, TB
Freeman has been the model of consistent fantasy quarterback production in his second season.
Freeman has posted double digit fantasy points every single week, except in Week 3 facing Pittsburgh, and has not thrown an interception in his last three starts.
Freeman is available in 75 percent of fantasy football leagues, and while he probably isn't going to put up huge numbers any given week, you can pretty much count on 200 yards and a touchdown.
You could do a lot worse if the quarterback position is dragging down your fantasy squad.
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David Garrard, QB
Frustrating is the only word that comes to mind when someone mentions the name David Garrard.
At best, Garrard is horribly inconsistent having posted double digit fantasy points four times this year while posting single digits in his other three outings.
In Week 8 against a Cowboys defense that decided they would be better served simply not showing up, Garrard tossed four touchdowns, racked up 260 passing yards, and then ran in a touchdown for good measure.
Garrard is owned in only 26 percent of fantasy football leagues, but is on a bye in Week 9, so he will be of no immediate help to owners.
Sunday was the first time in his career that Garrard had ever totaled five touchdowns, so you shouldn't expect a repeat performance in the near future.
Garrard is worth a look in deeper leagues, but should remain waiver wire fodder in typical leagues.
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Sam Bradford, STL
Entering Week 8, Bradford had thrown three touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last two starts for the St. Louis Rams, and increased his total for his last three starts to five touchdowns and zero interceptions on Sunday.
Bradford is already playing at a high level, regardless of his rookie status. If the Rams could keep a wide receiver healthy for more than a few weeks at at time, Bradford would have much higher upside for the rest of 2010.
While Bradford is available in 70 percent of leagues, he does have a bye in Week 9 but should be considered by owners having to employ a quarterback by committee due to injury or other circumstances.
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LeGarrette Blount, TB
Well, imagine that. Blount got the lion's share of the carries, and produced 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Over the last two weeks, Blount has 192 yards and two touchdowns.
Not too shabby for an undrafted rookie free agent running back.
Unless Blount starts punching his teammates during practice, he should keep a pretty firm grip on the starting job. Blount is available in 80 percent of fantasy football leagues and is a must add in standard scoring formats.
Hopefully you picked up Blount last week after reading my Week 7 waiver wire column when he was available in 99 percent of leagues. If not, and you have an early waiver wire priority for Week 9, merry Christmas.
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Danny Woodhead, NE
Woodhead might be the best 12 year old boy playing in the NFL right now.
Ok, so maybe he just looks like a Boy Scout. But it doesn't matter how old he looks when he is putting up 58 combined yards and scoring touchdowns.
Granted, you can't count on a touchdown every week, but Woodhead has touched the ball at least 11 times every game over the last three weeks, and touches equal opportunity. You can't ask for more than that.
Of course Woodhead presents the additional bonus of being listed as both a wide receiver and a running back on Yahoo! and ESPN fantasy football websites, meaning that you can plug him in at either position to fill a bye week hole if needed.
Woodhead is available in 69 percent of fantasy football leagues, and should be rostered in every 12 team points per reception league, and under strong consideration in 10 team leagues.
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Keiland Williams, WAS
The only surprising part about RB Ryan Torain leaving Sunday's contest against the Detroit Lions with an injury was the fact that it took six weeks for Torain to be knocked out of a game at all.
The Washington Redskins have a bye in Week 9, so looking at adding RB Keiland Williams to your squad at all requires a little forward thinking.
Williams did have a productive outing in Week 8 totaling 53 yards and a touchdown. So if Torain misses some time with his hamstring injury, Williams is a capable fill in for owners willing to stash him early.
Available in 99 percent of leagues, Williams is by no means a must add for fantasy owners, but worth keeping an eye on as we learn more about Torain's recovery process.
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Reggie Bush, NO
There was some thought prior to Week 8 that Bush may return to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, and although he was medically cleared to participate in practice, Bush sat out Week 8, instead eying a return in Week 9.
Bush is available in 30 percent of fantasy football leagues, so glance at your waiver wire and see if an impatient owner dropped him during the past week.
With the likelihood of RB Pierre Thomas not returning this season increasing with every passing week, Bush could be the savior of many fantasy owners down the stretch once he regains his fitness.
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Mike Williams, TB
During the first few weeks of the season, I failed to include Williams in my waiver wire articles under the assumption that he was owned in a majority of fantasy football leagues.
It appears that my assumptions were incorrect.
As of today, Williams is available in 46 percent of leagues and should be a top priority for owners in leagues of all sizes and scoring formats.
Since 1960, only four rookie wide receivers have posted at least 1000 yards and nine touchdowns, and Williams is on pace for the same. Of course there are no guarantees he reaches those plateaus, but the emergence of RB LeGarrette Blount will certainly help the cause.
Williams should be added to your squad if not done so already, and started every week if you must start three wide receivers. It really is that simple.
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Nate Washington, TEN
The fantasy football gods giveth, and the fantasy football gods taketh away.
One week after finding the end zone three times, WR Kenny Britt promptly injured his hamstring in the first quarter on Sunday without providing any points to fantasy owners before heading to the locker room.
In Britt's absence, Washington stepped up catching four balls for 117 yards and a touchdown, topping 100 receiving yards for the first time all season.
The Titans have a bye in Week 9, so don't rush to your waiver wire to add Washington who is available in 65 percent of leagues.
But keep an eye on the news trickling out about Britt in the days ahead, as head coach Jeff Fisher did say after the game that Britt "would miss an extended period of time."
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Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK
The thought of Heyward-Bey ever becoming a viable fantasy football option seemed to fade from the mind fantasy general managers around Week 4, and with good reason. Heyward-Bey had been dealing with injury, illness, and worst of all QB Jason Campbell.
Of course, that was all prior to Week 8 in which Heyward-Bey caught five balls for 105 yards and a touchdown, and then added 30 yards on the ground for good measure.
It seems that the Oakland Raiders have transformed in to an offensive powerhouse, so if you're looking for players in which to invest, you might as well take a shot on a player in a high-powered offense.
Heyward-Bey is available in 99 percent of leagues, and that shouldn't be surprising given his sparse production thus far.
But Heyward-Bey is making strides as a legitimate receiver, so if you have a rather deep bench in your league he is worth taking a flier on hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.
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Brandon Pettigrew, DET
Pettigrew only caught two passes in Week 8, but one of them was for a touchdown, bringing his total to two touchdowns in the last three games.
The Lion offense is humming, and Pettigrew will be more involved going forward. Pettigrew is available in 88 percent of fantasy football leagues, and should fill in nicely for owners facing bye week conundrums over the next couple of weeks.