Welcome everybody to this week’s edition of Deep Impact! Before jumping into the football let me begin this by saying: Cubs? Cubs. Cubs! You don’t need to be a diehard baseball fan to appreciate how amazing that Game 7 was, even if you take away the history of each franchise. And when you add in breaking the 108-year drought? Man, just thinking about all those 90-year-olds in Chicago-area nursing homes who had the sweetest, most joyous celebratory sex of their lives that night, it makes me want to vomit. But, you know, in a happy and heartwarming way. Anyways, back to the regularly scheduled fantasy football. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is our weekly dive into the free agent pool scrounging for players less than 10% owned for deep leaguers desperate for Week 9 starts. In keeping with my weekly tradition, I will break my own defined threshold because I am a rebel who cannot be constrained by the rules of society. Unless there are any real consequences for breaking the rules, in which case I tend to just be a good boy and fall in line.
DuJuan Harris (RB, San Francisco 49ers, 1% owned) – Carlos Hyde is back at practice this week but only wearing a non-contact jersey while he recovers from a shoulder injury. For any readers who only pay attention to the numbers part of fantasy football and don’t bother to watch the games themselves: being a running back involves quite a bit of contact. I doubt they’ll start him on Sunday without at least seeing if he can take a few hits in practice. Reports out of San Fran are saying that Harris has leapfrogged Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn on the depth chart and is in line to get the more of the work if Hyde is unable to go. The term “leapfrogged” is probably a little too strong here, as it implies that the Davis/Draughn duo set a bar high enough that it actually had to be leapt over. How about this: Harris has casually strolled over them on the depth chart? Let’s go with that. I would expect to see Harris get the early down work and 15 or so touches, while Draughn remains as the third-down back and borderline PPR play. Against a weak Saints defense, pay close attention to this situation leading up to game time. Whoever winds up getting the carries is in line for a very useful stat line.
C.J. Prosise (RB, Seattle Seahawks, 11% owned) – Prosise finally got his chance to shine in Week 8, taking 43% of the snaps (up from 25% the week before), and took advantage with over 100 yards on only eight touches (four carries, four receptions). Meanwhile, Christine Michael’s snap share decreased from 73% to 52%. This is still Michael’s job (for now), but Carroll has said that Prosise will be more involved the rest of the season. If there are three things Carroll has demonstrated he doesn’t believe in since being the Seahawks coach, it’s these: jet fuel can melt steel beams, men have walked on the moon, and Christine Michael is an every-down back. As such, Prosise will get more and more chances, and Carroll will continue watching as many grainy YouTube videos as possible. If I were you, I’d grab Prosise anywhere he’s available, and wouldn’t believe NASA’s lies, man.
Jeff Janis (WR, Green Bay Packers, 1% owned) – This one is more geared at Randall Cobb owners: don’t be caught off guard like we were last week. There’s nothing worse than the hungover Sunday scroll through Twitter that results in a mad dash to the waiver wire because one of your key guys is a surprise scratch. The Cobb news was even worse last week because it didn’t break until after the 1 PM games had already kicked off, meaning there were only a few games with players even able to be added. Well, this week is another 4:25 PM start for the Packers, and with Cobb being limited in practice this week, there’s still a decent chance he’s out. If so, Janis is a playable option who grabbed four balls for 30 yards and a touchdown and, perhaps more importantly, was on the field for 94% of the team’s snaps in Cobb’s absence.
Dorial Green-Beckham (WR, Philadelphia Eagles, 5% owned) – With Nelson Agholor in the doghouse and Josh Huff probably on his way to the jailhouse, DGB has stepped up as the Eagles de facto #2 receiver. Last week he had a season high nine targets, a usage level that I would expect to keep up the rest of the season. Sure, he dropped a couple of those targets, but that’s to be expected from an Eagles receiver. What he didn’t do in the past week was rant to the media about how he doesn’t want to hear about his drops, or speed around the city under the influence with an unlicensed 9mm loaded with hollow-tip bullets. For this team, that’s good enough to solidify a spot on the depth chart. Agholor still outsnapped him by a healthy margin (91% to 64%) in Week 8, but only saw four targets as he struggled to get separation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team get DGB more involved than Agholor down the stretch, and this could be your last week to pick him up before he becomes a hot commodity on next week’s waiver wire.
Zach Ertz (TE, Philadelphia Eagles, 57% owned) – Let’s move on to the “Drop” section, or as it should be renamed, the “Prime Bounce Back Candidate” section. Last week, I said owners should cut bait on Jordan Howard, and he responded with his most impressive performance of the season. This week, the guy you can cut bait on (or can you?) is Ertz, who has been a colossal disappointment. He hasn’t had more than four targets, four catches, or 40 yards since Week 1 and hasn’t scored at all. If he’s your starter and there’s only scraps left on the wire, I guess you’re stuck with him (and probably stuck towards the bottom of your standings), but if you’ve been stashing him in hopes that he’d emerge as a top-flight option at the position when he got healthy and developed a rapport with Carson Wentz, well, better luck next year. With all that being said, I’m really excited to see him put up his career-best performance this week.