Gotta be honest here. I have no idea what is happening in the NFL other than my Green Bay Packers are an abomination through eight weeks. I feel like this season is a bizarro world of football. The San Francisco 49ers were running the NFC and have now lost three straight games. Will the ‘replace Brock Purdy with Sam Darnold’ chatter start during their bye week? Patrick Mahomes had never lost to the Denver Broncos until Sunday, where he laid an egg while Russell Wilson looked fantastic. Lamar Jackson looked good while only netting a dozen fantasy points, while his best WR, Zay Flowers, had five catches for less than 20 yards. Someone, please explain any of the above to me.
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Another week, another rash of injuries. This time, Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon. While routing the Packers, Cousins suffered the non-contact injury and appears to be lost for the season. This injury will prove to be a blow for all the skill players in Minnesota, and that includes Justin Jefferson, when he comes back this season. Unless the Vikings sign a veteran QB, it appears as if rookie 5th-rounder Jaren Hall (who?) will be under center. None of this is good news for the fantasy owners that currently roster Vikings players. We also saw Matthew Stafford (Rams considering IR stint), Tyrod Taylor (still in hospital as of Monday afternoon), Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder (passed concussion tests in-game; seemingly benched), Drake London, Kendrick Bourne (torn ACL; out for rest of the season), and Darren Waller all depart with injuries. Most of these names are streamers, which means we would not normally be concerned with their status. But this year is not like other years. This year is strange. Those streamers are needed more than ever, and with four teams on bye in Week 9 (49ers, Lions, Jaguars, Broncos), we need to find some help…QUICK!
Now, before you come at me with any NFL trades, please know this article was submitted a full 24 hours prior to the NFL trade deadline. I fully expect there to be at least 2-3 QBs traded at/near the deadline but cannot cover those with my early submission. I can see Ryan Tannehill and Jameis Winston on the move to cover injuries to Cousins and Stafford, and will not be shocked to see Kyler Murray dealt. Let’s see if I am clairvoyant.
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Add of the Week: Trey McBride, TE, ARI: For those who have followed this weekly column this season, you know the TE position has been awful. There are only a handful of must-start TEs, and not all of those perform each week. Yes, I am talking to you, Travis Kelce and Dallas Goedert. McBride is an excellent add, especially with Zach Ertz going to the IR prior to Week 8. The Ertz IR designation means you get McBride as a TE1 with no competition for an offense that prefers the TE and will be trailing in most games. All those factors create the perfect waiver wire storm for your fantasy team. Add McBride for 10-15% of your remaining FAAB.
Add of the Week 2.0: Taysom Hill, TE, NO: If you acquired and started Hill over the past two weeks, you love him. If you are one of the many who was bit by the Taysom Hill that disappeared a few weeks ago, you hate him. At this point, it appears as if Hill is going to be a continued piece of this Saints offense. I watched the game. His usage makes sense. In fact, it makes more sense than how he was used under the prior coaching staff. I can get behind the role Dennis Allen has created for Hill, so consider me all in until Hill puts up 1 catch for 7 yards. At that point, I will turn back into Taysom Hill hater #1.
QB: There is not a lot I can write about the QB names you are about to read. We have discussed most, if not all, of them in prior articles. Have you ever seen the acronym ‘JAG’? No, not the military acronym referring to some in the law profession, but rather the acronym that refers to meh players or ‘Just A Guy’ types. Well, my faithful readers, buckle up for your Week 9 QB JAGs. Those will just be below my fun name of the week, Taylor Heinicke, ATL. This Falcons gunslinger has three solid offensive weapons (Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts) and should be fun to watch against the overrated Vikings defense. At this point, after the Ridder benching, it is time for Arthur Smith to give Heinicke a shot to win some games. I do not trust Smith to do just that, so there will be other options listed below. Keep an eye on Arthur Smith and the current QB situation in Atlanta. If Ridder gets the nod, obviously, we pass on Heinicke. If you are feeling froggy, jump on the Will Levis bandwagon but do not expect 4 passing TDs in Week 9.
Honorable Mention/Cheaper Options:
Sam Howell, WSH
RB: I really like what I saw from Zach Charbonnet, SEA in Week 8. He looked explosive and decisive. He has good hands, and I would not be shocked to see the Seahawks backfield move toward a 60/40 or 50/50 split with Kenneth Walker III. I probably do not start Charbonnet unless injuries or the Week 9 bye has me in trouble. Charbonnet is more of a stash/hold for later and a smart handcuff for teams rostering Walker.
Honorable Mention/Cheaper Options:
RB: D’Onta Foreman/Roschon Johnson, CHI: The Sunday Night Football game did not allow the Bears to establish the run as they were down early and often. I liked what I saw from both RBs and will happily continue to roster both.
Darrell Henderson/Royce Freeman, LAR: I prefer Henderson of the two, even though Freeman found the end zone in Week 8. Temper expectations for both as their value is directly linked to the health of Matthew Stafford.
WR: Rashee Rice, KC: Clearly the best of the WR group for Kansas City and has the trust of Mahomes. In what appears to be a shoot-out from Munich against the Dolphins, I still love Rice as a FLEX start. In fact, if you have the likes of Jordan Addison, KJ Osborn, or Kendrick Bourne, you should seriously consider Rice over all three for Week 9.
Honorable Mention/Cheaper Options:
Brandin Cooks/Michael Gallup, DAL: Can the Cowboys keep up the pace at which they scored against the Rams? It is possible, so stay tuned. CeeDee Lamb should be doubled every down. If that occurs, both Cooks, with his back-t0-back 14-point PPR games, is the add over Gallup but should see more single coverage while seeing their stats ascend. These two are deep FLEX streamers at best.
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