Fantasy Football Advice for Week 9
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Every Tuesday during the NFL season, WhatIfSports.com will release its fantasy projections for the upcoming week. The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically-based player rankings. In addition to our computer forecasts, WhatIfSports.com will also offer a "creative" perspective at its fantasy football coverage in a weekly feature called "Fantasy Fever." Enjoy.
QB: Josh Freeman, Buccaneers. Freeman's been remarkably efficient in Tampa Bay's first seven games, throwing eight touchdowns and just three picks. The Buccaneers take on the Falcons this week, a team that's giving up 260.3 passing yards a game. Throw in the fact that the game will be indoors and Freeman should light up fantasy scoreboards. (Although don't confuse this Freeman endorsement as a ticket for the Buccaneer Playoff Train. Call me skeptical, but I don't believe wins against Cleveland, Carolina, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Arizona automatically equates a team as a playoff contender.
RB: Matt Forte, Bears. Considering the Bills are giving up a league-leading 188.7 yards on the ground this season, I think the Bears back is a safe play this week.
WR: Terrell Owens, Bengals. In his last four games, Owens has snagged 31 balls for 477 yards and four touchdowns, emerging as Carson Palmer's favorite target. Cincinnati will more than likely be behind Pittsburgh early in this week's matchup, correlating to more opportunities through the air for Owens.
TE: John Carlson, Seahawks. The Seattle tight-end appears to be back in form after an early-season slump. Last week in a losing effort against Oakland, Carlson hauled in three catches for 47 yards. Although the Giant defense is one of the best in the league against the pass, Carlson should see some action as the New York LB corps can be exploited.
DEF: New Orleans Saints. New Orleans travels to lowly Carolina, a team averaging just 12.1 points per game in 2010. DeAngelo Williams is doubtful for the Panthers, further heightening the prospects of the Saints' D.
QB: Mark Sanchez, Jets. The Manchise has submitted two straight subpar performances, summoning nightmarish apparitions of the signal caller's forgetful 2009 season. The Lions shouldn't pose too much of a threat to Sanchez. However, Detroit is abysmal against the run (surrendering 130.4 yards), meaning the combo of Tomlinson and Greene should being seeing extended touches this week, leaving Sanchez out in the proverbial fantasy cold.
RB: Darren McFadden, Raiders. After two disappointing seasons, the former Razorback is finally justifying his 4th overall selection. The Raider running back has 668 yards and four touchdowns on just 122 attempts in 2010, with 20 receptions, 217 yards and two more scores in the passing game. But the Raiders face Kansas City this week, and the Chiefs are yielding just 96.4 yards on the ground. McFadden is better left on the bench.
WR: DeSean Jackson, Eagles. Jackson's status is still up in the air for this week's matchup against the Colts. Jackson is quarterback Michael Vick's favorite target, but keep him on the sideline until the wideout's "Doubtful" status is removed.
TE: Heath Miller, Steelers. The Pittsburgh tight-end is having a down year, garnering just 17 receptions for 222 yards and one touchdown. Miller's low production was initially attributed to the absence of Ben Roethlisberger. However, in the three games that Big Ben has been back at the helm, Miller's only accumulated eight catches.
DEF: Green Bay Packers. Since the Packer defense shutout the Jets on the road last weekend, one would surmise a similar result for the Green Bay unit at home this week against the Jon Kitna-led Cowboys. But, despite their record, Dallas remains a threat on the offensive side of the ball, as the Cowboys average the 4th most yards in the league with 381.3 per contest. Keep Green Bay at, uh, bay this week.
Fantasy Flashback Performance: In 2007, Tom Brady and the Patriots were on a historic quest to humiliate and eliminate every team that had the misfortune of landing on their schedule. Through the team's first thirteen games, Brady had totaled 45 passing touchdowns, well on his way to breaking Peyton Manning's record of 49 scores in 2004. Going into a game against the 3-10 Jets, many pigskin pundits believed Brady could tie Manning's mark against New York. However, Mother Nature had other plans, as rain and wind rendered the passing game obsolete. Brady finished with 140 yards, one interception and no TDs. Why is this relevant? The game took place in Week 15, which correlates to the playoffs on the fantasy schedule, meaning teams that rode Brady's brilliance to fantasy triumph were now S.O.L. That, my friends, is irony at its finest.
Nice GrabWatson's available in most leagues.
Waiver Wire Watch: While most will be stampeding for the services of Colts TE Jacob Tamme, another impactful available tight-end will be largely ignored. Benjamin Watson has 30 receptions through seven games, a solid number considering Watson racked up just one catch in Cleveland's last outing. Owned in just 31% of leagues, Watson will be exponentially more valuable if Colt McCoy remains the starter for the Browns, as the rookie QB has a penchant for checking down in coverage.
This Week in Kevin Walter: K-Walt was ignored by quarterback Matt Schaub. Again. In a related note, the Texans were slaughtered by the Colts. Coincidence? I think not.
Walter's 2010 stats:22 receptions, 266 yards, 3 touchdowns.
Walter's 2010 CBC (Cornerback Body Count) : 6
Rookie Review: Ndamukong Suh, Lions. Sunday's win against Washington proved to be a coming out party for Suh, as the rookie collected two sacks and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown. The DT out of Nebraska has been a beast this season, posting seven sacks and 27 tackles through Detroit's first seven games. Some have already projected Suh as a Pro Bowler this season, almost unheard of in the NFL for a rookie, and damn near unfathomable for a Detroit Lion.
Gatorade Shower Goes To: Peyton Manning. The man transformed Jacob Tamme into this week's hottest fantasy commodity. Enough said.
Personal Foul On: Randy Moss. And not for lashing out at Minnesota's game plan or coach Brad Childress. Reports surfaced that Moss ripped into a local caterer in the Viking locker room, referring to the meal as dog food. Hopefully Moss is blackballed on waivers and never to be heard from again.
Varsity Blues Quote of the Week:
Lance: I was lying in bed last night and I drifted off to sleep and I had this dream. We were beating Bingville 14 to 3. When I woke up I was kinda sad. But I realized it was just a dream, 'cause I know we're gonna beat them alot worse than that!
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