A week where we saw an undefeated be beaten by the Colts (yes, THOSE Colts) and also some more major injuries, we are getting closer and closer to fantasy football playoffs times and knowing who to have and not to have is important. That is what I do, I tell you who to have on your benches, who to play, and who to drop as well. With some injuries at quarterback and running back, there will be some players who need to be stashed or even better, grabbed and potentially be worth playing. In the past three games, Derek Carr has thrown 11 touchdowns to only one interception and is quickly turning around compared to what he did in his rookie season last year. With a solid run game and two good wide receivers to throw to in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. He has thrown for at least three touchdowns in the past three games as well and thrown no lower than 289 passing yards in those games as well. He is quickly proving to be match-up proof and does not show any signs of slowing down as the season progresses. For owners who may have lost Ben Roethlisberger (again) may need a quarterback on the waiver wire to pick up the slack and there may be no better option right now than Derek Carr as he continues to rack up fantasy points like crazy. And with Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, and Eli Manning still having bye weeks coming up over the next two weeks, Carr could be the perfect plug-and-play quarterback.
Eddie Lacy only gained 10 yards on five rushes with a fumble this past weekend and he could not look any worse than he is right now. Someone is clearly going on with Lacy that is preventing him from playing at the high level we are used to seeing him at, but his back-up/complement has performed well for the most part. James Starks ran for 39 yards on ten carries for an uninspiring 3.9 yards per carry but this was also against a tough Carolina defense and also gained 83 yards on six catches for a touchdown as well. Starks is the better running option and receiving option of the two right now. This isn’t to say this will be always be the case, but Lacy has not done much to prove he deserve a workhorse’s load of work. Starks needs to be owned in all leagues and stashed as a high-upside RB3 going forward that has a juicy matchup against Detroit next weekend.
After missing the past three games and a bye week with a concussion, Karlos Williams came back in a big way and ran for over 100 yards on only nine carries while rushing for a touchdown as well. He has now gotten either a rushing or receiving touchdown in all five games he has been in this season and also has five rushing touchdowns in those five games as well. LeSean McCoy left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury but said he could’ve come back in. McCoy will need to go for an MRI as of this writing, and while he assures that he will play this Thursday, it is on a short week and Williams has been mightily impressive. Even if McCoy is good to go on Thursday, the Bills may choose to keep McCoy out on a short week or give Williams more work Thursday while keeping McCoy fresh for the stretch of the season coming up. Williams needs to be owned in all regardless of the situation with McCoy and viewed as a mid-tier RB2 if he is the lead back on Thursday and high-upside RB3 going forward when McCoy is healthy.
Dion Lewis left Sunday’s game against the Redskins with a knee injury that of this writing has not been diagnosed but his ACL is “loose” which never is good news. Best case scenario would be a sprain of the ligament, which would probably be a multi-week injury but better than a torn ACL, which would be a season-ender. In his place, Brandon Bolden took over as the multi-functional and back-up running back to LeGarrette Blount and received all of the targets to running backs. He received four targets for three receptions and 27 yards to add on to a touchdown as well. If Lewis is indeed out for the season, he can be dropped and Bolden could have as high as mid-tier RB3 value in PPR leagues as the lead receiving back in New England. He wouldn’t be worth starting out of the gate necessarily, but he is a good stash that could get more work as the season progresses depending on how well he were to do in that role.
Dorial Green-Beckham saw the most targets he had seen all season with 10 after interim head coach Mike Mularkey said that DGB would get more looks in the passing game. He caught five of those 10 targets for 77 yards. He by far saw the most targets of any wide receiver in Tennessee on Sunday (Harry Douglas had five and Justin Hunter had four), and even with Kendall Wright potentially being back in week 10, DGB is definitely worth grabbing in most leagues and stashing on your benches as he continues to build rapport with Marcus Mariota and get more looks in the offense. Arguably their most talented wide receiver coupled with a decent but uninspiring run game, Green-Beckham could soon be a focal point in the offense. But for the time being, stash him as a high-upside, low-end WR3.
Speaking of the Titans, Antonio Andrews proved to be the lead back that the Titans promised he would be. He had 19 carries along with one reception as well. Combined, he had 20 touches for over 100 yards from scrimmage. While he did not get a touchdown, the volume and yardage totals are encouraging going forward for the Titans, as they could get an even more efficient run game if/when Marcus Mariota starts scrambling more. Dexter McCluster did receive eight carries but only garnered 19 yards and was a pure change of pace back. Andrews will continue to receive lead back carries but David Cobb is worth monitoring as he is expected to be activated for next weekend. Consider Andrews a mid-tier RB3 for week 10 at least, but look to grab David Cobb as well if possible as he would be the most talented running back by far in the Titans backfield and could overtake the starting job.
Despite DeMarco Murray being paid and treated like the best running back in Philadelphia, Ryan Mathews may have something to say about best running back for the Eagles (at least in terms of offensive scheme). He has now scored one touchdown in the three of the past four games and continues to look better for the Eagles than Murray for the most part while only being given back-up running back carries. He has also surpassed 60 yards rushing in three of the past four games as well. While he is still a backup, Murray consistently seems to be dealing with small nicks and bruises and it could be a matter of time before his usage from last season combined with this one plus the fact that Mathews has just played at a high level as well. Stash Mathews as a low-end RB3 with a lot of upside right now.
And lastly, because I can’t leave out the tight end position, let’s talk about Jacob Tamme. Over the past two weeks, Tamme has reeled 16 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown. Considering he has received 22 targets over that span as well, it is easy to see Tamme is the #2/#3 (at worst) option in the passing game and should continue to see consistent looks as the season progresses. They are on bye week 10, but Tamme is worth a stash as a high-end TE2 with a lot of upside in an Atlanta offense that still is dangerous to deal with. He could be a worthy FLEX option or even worth slotting in your TE spot as we get closer to fantasy playoffs and the home stretch.
Well, that’ll do it for me this week. Be sure to tip your waitress, fellas.
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