While everyone is clamoring over Westworld (and for good reason…including our weekly Football Podcast!), a show with a little less fanfare, but just as intriguing of a plot, made its debut last year: The Man in the High Castle. Amazon’s alternate universe time piece won’t get the hype of Westworld, but the premise, the acting and the twists are just as dynamic. Before Season 2 debuts in December, it’s worth the binge.
Binging before December should happen every year. And no, not just through the gluttony of Thanksgiving. The weeks leading up to December are the final week of the fantasy football regular season, and now that we’re officially into November that means we’ve hit the home stretch of making your squad better. Can you recover from 2-6 to make the playoffs? Yep. In 2013 I began 2-6 and then rode Jamaal Charles greatest season to five straight wins for the 7th seed, then three more through the playoffs for the belt. I don’t see Jamaal doing that this year, as he’s visiting the three worst words in sports this week: Dr. James Andrews. But in his stead, There’s a New Chief in Westworld (the other title for this article I almost went with) that you can binge before the playoffs. Or…like last year you can ride a player into December that coincides with a certain Amazon show. From now until early December, it’s more than worth your time to stream The Man in the High
Here are the top targets to, well… target for Week 9!
- Tim Hightower, RB – NO (ESPN 1.9%, Yahoo 4%) – The man, the myth, the 2015 legend. If The Man in the High Castle is built upon an alternate universe where someone from the norm usurps power, the same thing’s playing out in New Orleans right now. Well, kinda. Tim Hightower’s not an axis of evil, and I on’t believe Mark Ingram is related to the shadows, but even Head Coach Sean Payton referenced yesterday in the post-game presser after the Saints huge home win vs. the Seahawks that Hightower has ‘definitely’ earned more playing time. Ingram’s costly fumble put him in the doghouse Sunday leading to Hightower’s out of nowhere 26/101/0 line, but this isn’t a new thing or the Saints. Last season Hightower, as I mentioned above, was one of the most owned players on Championship teams. He could easily get 15 touches going forward, or even more given the right matchup. I don’t think 26 is in the cards unless there’s an injury, but enough value lies here to give ol’ Timmay the Burn Notice.
- Charcandrick West, RB – KC (ESPN 7.3%, Yahoo 7%) – I mean, I was this close to leading with an allusion to West rather than Hightower. Similarly, Charcandrick also steps into a role without cemented volume, but enough upside, potential and history to provide a worthy burn of the waiver. Spencer Ware left concussed and Jamaal Charles visited Dr. Sports Death DJA a few days ago, leaving the door wide open for West to shine in upcoming weeks. He wasn’t spectacular on Sunday (14/42/0 rush., 2/8/0 rec.), that wasn’t with a full week’s prep as the #1, nor a full game’s snaps as the bell cow; both could be present for this week. West was solid last season spelling the injuries in Kansas City, and I see an improving Chiefs offense giving him enough grace to do some damage in the open field, where he’s best. He’s an incredible flex play with 20 touch potential, and could hold even greater value if the injuries to his counterparts are in any way sustained.
- Peyton Barber, RB – TB (ESPN 4.2%, Yahoo 7%) – Once again just want to add in here that Barber’s a great speculative RB add in Tampa. Jaquizz Rodgers, while playing admirably, isn’t a #1 RB in the NFL. Add in his injury this past weekend and the door opens a little for a diamond to lay in the Thursday rough named Peyton. The Thursday games are always tricky, but as we get more info tomorrow from practice, Barber’s ownership could spike heading into a matchup against a ‘meh’ rush defense in Atlanta.
- Kenneth Dixon, RB – BAL (ESPN 11.8%, Yahoo 12%) – Like Barber above him, here’s the mandatory Kenneth Dixon mention once more. We’re looking at a potential fantasy playoff hero right here, and he’s worthy of the deep stash if you have a spot now that the Ravens are past their BYE.
- Tyreek Hill, WR – KC (ESPN 1.5%, Yahoo 3%) – The only WR on the list this week, Hill had another dominant game in Week 8. Missing only his fourth reception (19/23) on the year, Hill took advantage of his 6 receptions by approaching 100 yards and finding the end zone. If Julio Jones put up a 5/98/1 line, you wouldn’t be mad at it. When Hill does it, you realize he’s worth the pick up. He’s a Sammie Coates-esque player that’s a boom-or-bust candidate, but when he’s on he’s solid. He drips speed, is strong for his wiry frame, and is emerging as the deep threat in Kansas City. With more volume he could emerge as a WR3 candidate. Even in KC.
- Percy Harvin, WR – BUF (ESPN 0.0%, Yahoo 1%) – HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Seriously, I’m not sure why there’s a 1% ownership rate for him, but the newly minted Buffalo Bill is none other than out-of-retirement Percy Harvey (Go Gator!). I don’t know if anything can actually one of this, but there’s a wide open road for him to come in and do something. The WR core in Buffalo is abysmal with Sammy Watkins on IR, so after a few practices and games, Harvin could be highlighted as a weapon in an offense looking for a spark. I wouldn’t spend anything crazy on him, and certainly wouldn’t burn the waiver for him, but he’s a fun, speculative add. One that could also lead to nothing but being waived two weeks later like Knile Davis. Here’s to overreactions!
Now…DROP THOSE COMMENTS! Good luck in Week 9! A few BYE week options, in case you’re trying to sneak in some bench depth, are TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, RB Robert Kelley, and WR J.J. Nelson. Beyond that, we’re creeping closer and closer to the playoffs! Last year that man named Hightower was paramount for many teams claiming the belt. Could it happen again? Get ready folks…