Ohhhhhh man. Another week and another 6 teams on bye. That makes 20% of players gone. So it’s kinda like Tehol’s weekly Writer’s League lineup.
Luckily my one really bad team was the only one hit with terrible byes last week, but this week… Man… Lots of tough cookies. Guru is already talking smack because my 8-0 boys have James Starks at RB Eddie Royal in there in my flex. Spoiler alert! Neither are recommendations below. Slim Pickens on the wire. Plus ally of the JB world Justin Blackmon went on a Jessie Pinkman bender. It’s all coming to an end. But I must maintain the faith, visualize a redonkulous upset, and hope my path to perfection stays true.
Looking back to last week’s picks, behold the power of Andre Ellington! Knew a big game was a-comin’. Then, man, talk about the roughest injury to me all year with Brandon Gibson getting hurt early in the 1st quarter after scoring last Sunday’s first TD. Looked like he had a huge game a-comin’ too, but then blew out his knee for the season. Still calling that a win since he got the TD. But after those wins, three pretty brutal losses with Michael Vick getting hurt again (shocker), Roy Helu not getting junk time love, and Rueben Randle decided to dress up for Halloween as a ghost a little early. For my bench calls, Blackmon was held in check and that probably didn’t help his psyche. Just let him score once, SF, you’re enabling him now! Then Jordan Cameron wasn’t huge but still gives me a loss, then 3 more bad ones with Harry Douglas, Lamar Miller, and Darren McFadden all having surprise big games. Depressing. Where’s the blue ice?! Here’s who I like in week 9 and their % started in ESPN and Yahoo, respectively (NOTE – these are not always recommendations for 1-for-1 swaps, just guys I like who are understarted and guys I hate overstarted):
Myles White (0.0%, 0%) He’s probably only a handcuff for James Jones owners (like me!), but if Jones is out Monday night (which is looking more-and-more like the case), I have a sneaking suspicion that White has a nice PPR game. The Packers constantly have 3 WRs producing, and with no TE, White will get targets yet again coming off a 5 for 35 game. Available in virtually all leagues, he’s perfect if you have Jones then can slip him in, or if you’re really deep and need a guy who will play.
Marlon Brown (2.5%, 4%) The Browns have been pretty good against the pass the year, and that obviously all starts with Joe Haden, who will be blanketing Torrey Smith all game. Haden is already laying down the smack, and if he ever needed to bring his A+ game rather than just the A game, it’ll be this Sunday. Brown is consistently getting looks even if it is very ho-hum, but I have a feeling on this one playing opposite Smith. Nice deep league fill-in.
Josh McCown (1.2%, 7%) Random anecdote – I was looking at QBs start % on ESPN and Donovan McNabb is started in 0.1 of ESPN leagues. Wow. Anyway – McCown I think has been over looked this week as a bye week fill-in in deep 1 QB or any 2 QB leagues and I see him having a really serviceable game. Hey, it still counts if a dump off to Matt Forte goes for 50 yards! Tall targets in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett will make any QB thrust into a starting role feel comfortable. And if you need him like I do in one league, I’m actually feeling pretty comfortable too.
Terrelle Pryor (40%, 18.8%) Pryor’s actually been a really consistent fantasy QB despite some inconsistent real life play, and in a matchup against one of the league’s worst D’s coming into Oakland, this should be another solid game for an underrated fantasy play. Like him more than both QBs listed as benches below.
Le’Veon Bell (30.3%, 66%) As I mentioned in this week’s DraftKings picks, despite an offensive line that that is falling apart faster than space stations in Gravity, the Patriots can’t stop the run between the tackles and that’s right where Tomlin wants it, if you know what I mean. In a tough week of byes, there’s virtually no scenario where Bell should be on a team’s bench.
SON OF A BENCH
Tom Brady (68.4%, 57%) Bye weeks are rocking a lot of good options, but while Brady is playing… he ain’t a good option. His struggles are well documented and blogged about, and while I tend to stick with the fantasy “studs”, I’d play both Pryor, and yes, even McCown over him. Avoiding at all costs.
Matt Ryan (63.5%, 68%) Same avoidance to Ryan, as the Shermanator goes against my really tough Panthers D today. The Panthers are giving up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs, and if their D is on like it was against the Giants last month, they won’t stop comin’ at ya. Again, rather Pryor and McCown.
Fred Jackson (62.4%, 72%) Listen, FJax has been a godsend and a stalwart on two of my teams, but in one I’m actually benching him for Ryan Mathews. Ugh, I don’t love the move, but I definitely don’t like FJax this week. C.J. Spiller is coming back, and while that means little to noting to FJax’s fantasy value, it’s all about a tough matchup against the Chiefs. I’m still rolling Jackson out there say over the two deep WRs I listed above for a flex, but like Bell more, like Mathews more, and that should give you an idea of how down I am on him.
Vincent Jackson (82.7%, 90%) I’m doubling up on the Jacksons this week and hoping to get a VJax call right this time! Like his twin FJax, I’m not benching him over my deep league play WRs above, but I do think this is a really bad game and you should weigh your options. Richard Sherman is going to be all over him, and the Seahawks will be ready to bounce back after surviving a scare to the Rams. Don’t think they let the scrub Bucs get even close.
Danny Amendola (48.2%, 52%) People love to love Amendola… and I get the love. So much love! Maybe I’m just in a loving mood because I’m picking up an hour of sleep this morning! But despite feeling warm and fuzzy inside, I’m not big on Amendola’s prospects to even get through an NFL game. He’s the Michael Vick of fantasy WRs. Half the time he gets hurt during the game, and the other half he’s terrible anyway. Ok, so maybe I’m jaded about Vick. I’d look to other options.
If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin - and remember I’m going to be a little slower getting to them but I’ll get to everything well before kickoff! Good luck in week 9!