I am convinced that Pro Bowlers from a season ago do not guarantee fantasy magic the following season. I looked at one of my rosters, with the likes of Tom Brady, Arian Foster, Miles Austin and Marques Colston, have a very mediocre Sunday, causing me a “W” in one of my leagues. Folks, it is more evident every year that you need to make smart free-agent moves and smart late round picks to stay successful.
Yes, we were all spared by the Packers having a bye week, so no one had to deal with Mr. Rodgers and company ( side note: despite not having Rodgers in my line-up this week, I still pulled out a win in our personal Camel Clutch Blog league to go to a lusty 7-1, in case anyone wanted to know ) as we watch the bye weeks come to a close, not soon enough I remind you. Perhaps finally with some players getting healthy, and the bye weeks ending your roster will look a little more like it did in August, you know, when you drafted these guys!
So week 9 still has its questions, like who will carry the ball in Cleveland, who will be healthy for San Diego, and just how ready is LaGarrette Blount and does he have enough ( ouch, pardon me now! ) punch to help his team pull out a big showdown against the Saints in New Orleans? Well here are some answers to some of the questions and more advice as I bring you my week 9 edition of “Start ‘Em/ Sit “Em, read up and enjoy!
Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Eagles: I really don’t know why, but Cutler with the Bears seems to have good luck against the Eagles. Philly is set up for a big letdown after a huge win last week over rival Dallas, and the Bears offense is starting to find their niche’. The Birds defense is much improved, but Cutler has a hot hand right now, so if you need him, use him.
Matt Cassel, Chiefs vs. Dolphins: Looking very much like the guy last year that had such great success with the Chiefs, Cassel is finding anyone with hands on his offense. He looked good this past Monday against the Chargers, and this team has lots of confidence right now. Also the Chiefs run game is becoming more reliable too, so that will open things nice for Matt here.
Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Seahawks: Yep here is Tony Romo. He went from my fantasy love to my fantasy dud quicker than Kim Kardashian went from married to single. He seems to have no time to set up, almost never goes downfield, and all his weapons are struggling. Now I know Seattle is not a big time defense, but I, like most of you, am waiting to see a better game or 2 out of Romo before I trust him again.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills vs. Jets: The Jets still have that tough defense and a good secondary. Meanwhile the Bills are getting a bit nicked up on offense. Fitz got his huge contract, and did come back with a win, but heck that was against the ‘Skins. This week’s game means a heck of a lot more to both teams involved, and even though it is on the road, Rex Ryan and his boys will be coming hard. There are better options than Fitz this week, I suggest you find it.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers at Saints: The Bucs sure don’t want a shootout, so I can’t see Freeman doing much. He still does not have a steady go to WR, and the run game gets a boost this week with Blount returning. As the Rams proved last week, the key to keeping up with the Saints is to control the clock.
Steven Jackson, Rams at Cardinals: Is he back? He sure did look like it last week, finally. Jackson has always been a talented back, but injuries and a poor team keep his stock down. Well after last week’s performance, and now coming back against a Charmin Tissue-soft Cards defense, he should be up for another big outing.
LaGarrette Blount, Buccaneers at Saints: If you tuned in last week, you watched Steven Jackson torch the Saints defense and lead the Rams to a win. Blount, who many thought would be a fantasy stud this year, is coming back from an injury, but he is still the lead guy in a beat up backfield. He should be well rested, and the Saints run defense is poor right now.
LeSean McCoy, Eagles vs. Bears: Yes, as I always say, I hate stating the obvious, but McCoy may be the best option in fantasy football this season. The Bears still have a decent front 7, but with the threat of Mike Vick being able to create on his own, it should create the usual open lanes for McCoy. I’m not so sure about the Barry Sanders comparisons we heard last Monday night, but we will hear lots from McCoy this Monday night!
Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Bengals: Yuck! This should teach all of us about the problems when you hold out of training camp. Who would have ever thought that Johnson would fail to go over 53 yards in 4 straight weeks? Backup RB Javon Ringer spoke up and said this week “CJ is still the guy, I know my role here”, as every fantasy owner should know the role with Johnson, bench him! The Bengals are tough to run against, so this is news Johnson owners can ill afford.
Ryan Torain, Redskins vs. 49ers: He has the reigns last week, and did pretty much zero. This Redskins offense is in serious trouble right now, and unless very desperate you should avoid and Washington player you have, especially Torain against a very tough 49ers run defense. This isn’t about Shanahan’s flip-flopping anymore this is about the proof in numbers.
Browns RBs vs. Texans: Madden-cursed Hillis? Banged up Hardesty, or unknown Ogbonnaya it is a total mess right now. The Browns need to find some kind of passing game to prevent defenses from loading up and teeing off against their run. The Texans run defense is not the best cure for a struggling ground game, so unless you hope to pull off some catches from the RBs here, you may want to avoid it, no matter who plays here.
A. J. Green, Bengals at Titans: Forget about Ochocinco, T.O., Housh and the rest, this is A. J.’s team now. He and fellow rookie, QB Andy Dalton have built an amazing repoir, and for it the Bengals are hot this season. The Titans have a decent defense, but the Bengals find a way to get Green some juice just about every week, and he is becoming a must-start. Who would have thought it to be possible?
Plaxico Burress, Jets at Bills: When we last saw the Jets, we saw the Burress they expected to have when they signed him this off-season. His prison time now well behind him, Burress was that end zone animal, grabbing 3 TDs against the Chargers in a big Jets win. This week the defense is Buffalo, and he will have a huge size advantage against the small corners the Bills have. We could very well see at least 2 more TDs from Plax this week, at least you hope if you own him.
Mario Manningham, Giants at Patriots: His QB is hot, the number 1 WR may be out, and the compliments are good enough for him to find space. Manningham got off to a slow start, but is coming to life, and they will need lots of him this week to keep pace with the Pats. I think it is a safe bet to say he will bring it this week.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Bears: No reason outside of the fact he just isn’t getting it done. No more long bomb TDs, very little in special teams, and Jackson seems to be nothing more that a decoy for this offense. Man, Drew Rosenhaus must be having Deja Vu here with another WR who may be playing his way out of Philly as he keeps talking money. Umm, “next question”?
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. Rams: Huh? Yep you’re seeing it. It is mostly due to the fact that QB Kevin Kolb may be out with an injury, and we all know how hard it was for Fitz to explode last year with the tandem at QB. He has a nice match-up, but he needs the QB to get him the ball. If Kolb plays, maybe you reconsider, but if not, it isn’t looking great.
Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs. Packers: Check your milk cartons, chances are he will show up under “missing”. Last year’s big holdout and suspension has led to nothing more than fizzle out of V-Jax, and for it Philip Rivers is struggling. This pass attack is a shell of what it has been in years past, so you have no reason to trust Jackson yet.
Yes we still have a few names to bring you! It is never to late for some fixing up. Here are some for week 9:
Chris Ogboyanna, RB, Browns: He may be the only healthy guy in the backfield for this team. Although they have a poor offense, he showed good hands and a decent running style so far. He could be worth a bench spot.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Cowboys: No one else is catching passes, so why not Robinson? He is finding himself open, and it may be because of who is around him, but heck it could be worth a play.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Bengals: QB Andy Dalton finds more confidence each week, and teams will have to start playing closer attention to A. J. Green, so Simpson can be finding more room to operate, and has showed the ability to play big league football.
Well here is the round up for week 9. We have some great games coming up, so know your team and the opposition. We are quickly approaching the playoffs for fantasy, so each game counts here. Good luck in week 9 everyone!
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org