Week 9 Fantasy Football Last Second Decisions November 3, 2012  |  Kevin Roberts

Matthew Stafford’s week eight nearly sunk my battle ship. I had him ranked barely inside my top-20 and thought he was in for a face-plant against a stingy Seahawks defense. Instead, he made me look like an incompetent fool. If you want a movie comparison, it was like I was Batman Forever, and everyone else was The Dark Knight.

But I’ve come to realize these things happen. As I’m sure you have; and if you haven’t, you possibly will very soon.

The fact of the matter is, this is one of the craziest NFL/fantasy football seasons I’ve ever tracked closely. I can’t fully get my head around it. Whether it’s Brian Hartline at one time leading the league in receiving yardage, the Arizona Cardinals starting the season 4-0, or Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings and Steve Smith all very much in their own way being arguably fantasy busts.

However, despite my straight jacket wrapping me in real snug-like, I’m vowing to stay in the real world and rely on logic. I know Stafford defied my musings last week, but I still think in a chaotic field like fantasy sports, nothing is as reliable as your gut. Unless it leads to years and years of one and done’s in the playoffs. Then you may want to change your strategy. Or at least follow someone else’s gut.

And with that, I’m over Stafford duping me and it’s on to week nine:

Injury Tear Factory

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill has a 50/50 chance to play this week, but you have a sorry team if you’re relying on him in week nine. Word on the street suggests he’ll be very shaky if he even plays (as in the Fins could pull him early), so I’d use someone else.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (Ankle)

All Day is in no danger of missing time and really only rested a day this week because he kind of deserves it. He’s been beasting out the past couple of weeks, so use him as you normally would.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (Foot)

Bradshaw is on the injury report every week, but continues to play like a regular starter. There’s nothing to see here, kids. Be on your way.

Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints (Hand)

Holy Cow, Batman! Sproles busted his hand up and could miss multiple weeks. What we know for sure is the injury is fresh and he won’t play on MNF this week. That means Pierre Thomas is suddenly a solid RB2 play, kiddies.

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Quad)

Dwyer won’t get a crack at his third straight 100+ rushing game, I don’t think. He missed practice on Friday and doesn’t look like he’ll be able to go. Isaac Redman is his likely replacement with Mendy also still on the mend (see what I just did there?).

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Achilles)

Mendy is doubtful again and the Steelers are really just playing it safe. I’d keep him stashed if you can, as Pittsburgh will unleash him again when he’s 100%.

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts (Knee)

Brown is a bit nicked up after returning last week, but should be fine for week nine. He’s still in a time share with Vick Ballard, though, so there is quite a cap on his fantasy potential this week.

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans (Hamstring)

Tate has already been ruled out for week 9, so you can forget about him erupting as a sneaky play against a horrenous Bills run D. Arian Foster will feast, instead, while Justin Forsett might carry borderline Flex value if the stars align.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (Knee)

Megatron has missed three straight practices, but I’m not the least bit worried. Detroit is just letting it’s best Transformer rest before he comes out and has his best game of the year against Jacksonville this week. This is my hope, anyways.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (Hamstring)

Nelson is in danger of missing a second straight game with a tight hammy. I didn’t think he’d sit out last week, but clearly the injury isn’t of the casual sort. Keep an eye on him if you need him, as he’s coming down as a game-time call again this week. If he sits again, Donald Driver could provide sneaky value for the second week in a row.

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Hip)

Bryant has a sore hip, but you shouldn’t care. This dude is almost a top-five receiver over the past few weeks, and even the Falcons’ tough corners won’t stop him.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins (Foot)

Garcon is out until the sky falls, apparently. I’d still hang onto him, but we are definitely are closing in on cutting him out-right.

Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins (Groin/Hamstring)

Hartline actually has a chance to get back to his out of this world ways against the Colts this week, but he’s far from 100% and Tannehill is iffy, too. Even if he plays, he’s barely a WR3 this week.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints (Ankle)

Graham looked good last week and should be even better this week. His ankle should no longer be an issue.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers (Shoulder)

Finley is still not 100% due to a nagging shoulder injury and his snaps are way down. He could get back in the mix at anytime (especially if Nelson is out), but it’s beyond clear that he’s not reliable right now.


James Starks is a Bastard Man

Just like Dennis stole The Waitress from Charlie in It’s Always Sunny…, Starks is primed to swoop in and steal carries away from touch fiend, Alex Green. I know you thought you were done hearing about Starks and his never-ending string of sleeper nominations, but he’s still alive and well, after all. He doesn’t hold much value yet, but the fact that the folks in Green Bay are mentioning him means you can’t trust Green like usual anymore.

It’s Darren’s Fault: Mark Ingram vs. Chris Ivory

As stated above, Pierre Thomas is now awesome. Potentially. Ingram and Ivory, not so much, but there is still potential there. However, Ingram isn’t as versatile as Thomas or Ivory, so there’s a realistic chance he’s suddenly bottoms on the depth chart. I’d stay away from both guys until we find out more about how long Sproles is out and how effective Thomas is in his new role.

Making Sense of Miami’s Receivers Sans Hartline

Oh, Brian Hartline, how we love and hate thee. Mostly hate, though, considering you haven’t put up 12 receptions and 200+ yards in far too long. Also, because you may not play this week. But if Hart-throb does miss week 9, who do you use in Miami? Answer numer undo: no one. Second guess: Davone Bess. I won’t trust anyone else.

Matchup Freight Train

  • I’m riding the athletic quarterbacks this week and not looking back. RG3, Vick and Cam are going to own week 9. Write that down.
  • Calvin Johnson is due. Likely REALLY due. The Jaguars should be scared.
  • Eli Manning looked shaky last week. I know the Steelers don’t have Mr. flowy black hair back there, but I don’t trust the younger Manning this week.
  • The Panthers can’t stop the run. Neither can the Bills. Arian Foster and Alfred Morris could have dream numbers.
  • Josh Freeman may never wake up from his fairy tale, and it certainly won’t happen this week. Toss Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams in there, too. The Raiders won’t be able to contain this firepower.
  • Trent Richardson won’t run all over the Ravens, but he’ll do something close to it. Their run D is non-existent.
  • I’m not using Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Texans. Their inept performance against the Pack was flukey. Fitz is in forn a rough outing.
  • Lastly, the Eagles are facing the Saints. New Orleans can’t stop anyone, so naturally that means start D-Jax, Maclin, Celek and Shady (I already promoted Vick).

Fantasy Battleship

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I love Freeman and think he’ll carve up the Raiders, but Vick has a higher ceiling this week. The Saints are awful on defense and Vick’s back is against the wall. Look for him to have his best game of the year. Roll with Vick.

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders vs. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

McFadden has now produced two solid outings this year. Some call it promise. I call it flukey. His o-line is awful and he just isn’t running well. He faces an often tough Buccaneers run D this week, too, which scares the heck out of me. Forte, on the other hand, looks better by the week and gets a bad Titans defense this week. Both have immense potential, but I much prefer Forte this week.

Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

I like both guys this week, but I can’t see Young going nuts two weeks in a row, while Gordon could have a big day against a bad and depleted Ravens defense. Both guys are quality starts, but Gordon has been doing it for longer. I’ll take Flash (Gordon).

Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens vs. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Pitta hasn’t done jack since week three and Olsen is inconsistent as heck. Both have decent matchups this week, but I’m thinking the Redskins offer more potential here. Olsen wins by a hair this week.

That does it for our last second decisions heading into week nine. Need more help? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin.

38 Responses

  1. Norman says:

    10 Team PPR: Eli, Cruz, Marshall, Wayne, Rice, AP, DMC, Gates. Bench: Dez, Bell, Vernon, Luck, Amendola, Beanie, Hanson, Hou. In 1st place right now, looking to make 1 more trade to keep my team strong. I was thinking about trying to trade Luck, DMC &/or Amendola. What kind of trade would you recommend I go for?

  2. Roger says:

    Hi guys who should i start: Julio Jones or Denarius Moore, thanks.

  3. FYI, I am trying to reply to you guys but it’s not letting me. please hit me up on Twitter for any questions

  4. joshco77 says:

    Tony Gonzo or LeShoure as Flex? Really want to start LeShoure in this matchup, but could bomb if Bell gets the goal line work. PPR for WR/TE, not for RBs, but 10 pt rushing TD and 6 pt receiving. Crazy scoring I know. Thanks in advance!

  5. Robert says:

    Hey Kevin…anyway you play Felix Jones over Megatron this week at FLEX. Have Julio and Wayne in my WR spots?

  6. bushi says:

    WDIS: 10 team 3WR/1FLEX
    Percy Harvin, J. Jones, D. Moore, J. Maclin, R. Jennings, R. Cobb, T. Smith?

  7. sonofabeachy says:

    If Calvin Johnson is confirmed to be limited to just 3rd down duty before his game, would you start any of the following over him in +1 PPR: Stephens-Howling @ GB, Felix Jones @ ATL, or Cecil Shorts vs DET.?

    And which of those 3 would you choose if he’s ruled out completely? Thanks.

  8. biplab says:

    Chris Johnson or Mikel Leshoure in week 9? Titus Young or Cecil Shorts for Week 9?

  9. Matt says:

    Need help deciding who to start at these positions WR,Flex and Help deciding Which Defense To Start{Roster & League Format Listed Below}? For Defense I have San Fransico and there BYE is Week 9, so I need to Pick up a Defense to Start This Week, Which Defense should I Pick Up just for Week 9 out of These>(Dolphins),(Eagles),(Bengals),(Colts),(Raiders),(Chiefs),(Cardinals),(Browns),(Panthers),(Bucs)or(Bills)? Also Who From My Roster Below should I Drop so I can Add That Defense?

    {My Roster in NON PPR/10 Team/Standard Scoring League}
    QB:(Matthew Stafford)and(Joe Flacco)
    RB:(LeSean McCoy),(Jamaal Charles),
    (Alfred Morris)
    WR:(Andre Johnson),(James Jones),
    (Mike Williams),(Titus Young),
    (Denarius Moore)and(Dwayne Bowe)
    TE:(Aaron Hernandez)and(Jermaine Gresham)
    K:(Sebastian Janikowski)
    DEF:(San Fransisco)
    {My NON PPR League Format!!}
    {Have To Start}:1QB,2RB,2WR,1TE,
    1Flex(RB/WR),Kicker and DEFENSE
    6 Bench players

  10. Robert says:

    Hey Kevin, in light of the Megatron news, IF he starts, would you bench him in favor of Felix Jones (assuming he plays, of course)? Daniel Thomas if Felix is out?

  11. Tehc says:

    I have J. Dwyer in a PPR 0.5. Been offered M. Ryan and Mendy, for J. Stew and Big Ben? Should I do it?

  12. Brandon says:

    I was offered 2 trades for my Murray

    1) Decker and Dez for Murray.

    2) Julio Jones for Murray and Antonio Brown

    Which one should I accept?

    My current RBs are: Rice, Trent, Murray, J-Stew
    My current WRs are: Marshall, Denarius, Antonio Brown, Britt

    Please let me know ASAP!! Thanks.

    • I’m huge on Julio, so that’s tempting. but two wide receivers instead and not losing Brown is the better move. plus you can end up packaging these WRs in another trade. just move the ones you don’t want for the long haul for a RB who is actually healthy. that’s what I would do

    • Brandon says:

      thats where i was leaning, except if i had marshall, Julio, and Moore, i dont know when i would even start Brown, bc i def wouldnt start him over any of those 3. so he would just be sitting on my bench anyway. is that the wrong way of looking at it? sorry for all the questions bro! i appreciate the help.

    • I know what you mean. I guess it comes down to your preference when it comes to depth. I personally love having deep spots, and if that means a guy wastes a way, that’s how it goes. at the same time, I don’t like keeping around guys with injury problems – especially if they’re not healthy and someone is still willing to strike a deal. just my personal preference when it comes to those two takes.

  13. Brandon says:

    Yo Kev – Question:

    I was offered Decker and Dez for Murray. Should I accept?

    My current RBs are: Rice, Trent, Murray, J-Stew
    My current WRs are: Marshall, Denarius, Antonio Brown, Britt


    • I would do that, for sure. Murray isn’t healthy and now has a history of injuries, while Decker and Dez are both stellar WRs. this is a good move for you since Rice and Trent can start every week anyways and J-Stew isn’t bad depth.

    • Brandon says:

      Yea? My hesitation is that I feel like Marshall and Denarius are great starters in my 2 WR spots, and having the choice between Murray/JStew in the flex is great and also helps if one of my RBs gets injured.

      You still think i should make it? Ill go for it if you think its solid.

    • the only reason I’d do it is because Murray isn’t healthy and is an injury risk. if you’re worried about RB depth and don’t want to miss out on that flexibility, then don’t do it. you clearly have good WRs already.

      I personally don’t trust Murray, so I’d just get talent in return and then package some of my WRs for 1-2 RBs from someone else.

  14. Phil says:

    Pick 2 to start this week: T. Young, J. Gordon, BJGE.

    • Young and Gordon. Law Firm hasn’t topped 100 rush yds all year and has just 2 scores. once defenses adjust to him in games, he fades away real fast.

      another key stat: he’s averaging under 4 yards per carry every week but week one. a plodder with no ppr value, your only hope is he plunges in for a score. Gotta go upside, and that’s Young and Gordon.

  15. Robert says:

    Need one for FLEX and one for RB: Daniel Thomas, I. Redman, F. Jones, Andre Brown. Thanks!

  16. Cool Runnings says:

    12 Team PPR: Brees, Cruz, Dez, Martin, JStew, Jimmy Graham, Flex: J Jones, Crosby, GB D. I have Pierre Thomas on my bench. Should I start Jones over Dez (if Jordy is out?), flex Jones, or flex Pierre?
    14 Team PPR: Start Alex Green or Andre Brown as RB2?
    10 team PPR: Starting: Eli, Cruz, Marshall, Wayne, Rice, DMC, Gates, flex: AP. Should I put AP in as RB2 & flex DMC, flex AP, or flex Dez?

    • 12 team: I think both will be solid but you won’t catch me sitting Julio very often. Saints don’t run the ball all that well so you’re relying on ppr value with Thomas. I’d rather take the upside with Julio this week.

      14 team: UGH. neither of these guys are reliable. however, Green is still the actual starter for the moment and AZ has been getting carved like crazy. I doubt either do much this week, but you have to play the numbers game and roll with Green and hope he finally catches fire. Brown only really has value if Bradshaw is out, and a matchup with the Steelers is far from ideal, anyways.

      10 team: How about replace Reggie with Dez? Short of that crazy 200+ yard game against the Packers in week 5, Wayne hasn’t topped 8 rec or 100+ yds since the first game of the year. Dez, on the other hand, has 95+ yards in three of his last four games (that 4th game he was hurt against the Panthers).

      I’d stick with your RBs here and sit Wayne this week for Dez. Unless Dez can’t go, of course.

      • Cool Runnings says:

        Sorry, not Julio, James Jones, if Jordy doesn’t play then maybe start James Jones over Dez? Pierre will get some tosses his way as well as the majority of carries, with Brees & Graham starting I see a little of upside with starting Pierre, but not sure. As you can see I have a bit if a predicament! I’m not a fan of Green, but gonna start him. Mia is a beast of a D so considering not starting Wayne.

    • Okay, then put Pierre in ahead of James. that makes it totally different for me. And I still stand by Dez over Bryant. Miami D is tough.

    • Nope. Dez gets targeted more on average and he has more upside in any given week.

  17. Eric N says:

    Am I insane to consider starting Denarius Moore over McFadden in a flex spot this week? Have McCoy/Forte at RB and Harvin/Julio at WR. Also could use Torrey Smith but hes so inconsistent.

    • I think Run DMC has earned at least your Flex spot. He piled on 100+ yards last week and he’s just too talented to completely bench for an often inconsistent WR. The Bucs are tough on the run, but they did get burned by Adrian Peterson last week, and we know McFad will touch the ball a ton. I’d stick with DMC there.

      As for Torrey, just look at his reception totals the past 3 weeks. He doesn’t get enough chances to make plays in that offense right now, plus Haden should be on him.

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