Week 9 NFL Fantasy Notebook


The Steelers 

In Week 9 we saw three different headlines emerge from the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The first being DeAngelo Williams’ huge game.  Williams was the obvious pick up off of waviers last week when Le’Veon Bell went down for the rest of the year.  Those of you who took the advice of plugging and playing Williams immediately reaped a huge reward.  Williams was the top fantasy player of the week, recording 27 rushes for 170 yards, two touchdowns, and 55 yards through the receiving game.  We saw early in the year Williams was a capable runner before Bell returned from suspension, and I’d continue to expect big games from him the rest of the year.  Williams is a Top 15 back and is capable of carrying a roster as an RB 1 with the expected usage he will continue to get.

The second headline was Ben Roethlisberger going down with injury later in the game.  Big Ben has a foot sprain, and will miss a few weeks.  We’ll have to see how much time he misses, but you can’t count on him to start most likely for at least the next two weeks.  You better hope you didn’t deplete your roster of a back up quarterback counting on Big Ben’s return.  You need to establish a solid starter as you wait for Roethlisberger to come back once again.

And the third headline was super wide receiver Antonio Brown’s monster game.  Brown had 17 receptions on 23 targets, and 284 receiving yards.  He’s obviously one of the most elite options in the game at receiver, when Big Ben is healthy.  But, that’s not the case now.  And Brown doesn’t have big games when Big Ben isn’t throwing the ball to him.  My advice?  Sell high on Brown coming off that huge game and cut your ties.  You probably have lost games because Brown was such a high pick for you, and he’s been a disappointment when Big Ben isn’t playing.  Who knows if Big Ben will be healthy for your playoff run, and that’s why I’d be selling Brown.  You can get a nice, elite piece in return for Brown right now, and if you’re in the win right now mindset, Brown would be a good piece to move since he isn’t as successful when his starting quarterback isn’t available.

Andrew Luck Is Back

He was below average against the tier two defenses in the NFL, and had a lot of people including myself yelling “bust”.  Then Andrew Luck goes out in Week 9 against the Denver Broncos defense, who just shut down Aaron Rodgers, and has a great showing.  If he can do it against the Broncos, he can do it against anyone.  Not that we didn’t already know that, but it was good visual evidence that Luck still has game.

With confidence at an all time high this year for the Colts offense, I would look to start the Colts skill position guys, or if you are still looking to make moves, acquire some Colts.  Frank Gore is a guy I’ve had on my bench in a lot of leagues, but is looking more deserving of a starting spot.  If Luck can keep defenses honest, there will continue to be more room to run, and you can tell by the stat sheet with Gore’s 28 rushing attempts, that the running game is very much a part of what the Colts want to accomplish on offense.  None of the receiving options have really had big games this year for the Colts, but that could start to change.  T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are the main options in that passing attack, and with Luck showing signs of returning to his elite form, both are great fantasy options.  The owner of Hilton most likely is not going to give him up for nothing, but the owner of Moncrief most likely would be willing to make a move.  I’d acquire Moncrief and even look at picking up Coby Fleener if you need a bye week tight end.

Waiver Wire Adds

Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco 49ers

When San Francisco signed Pierre Thomas, most thought he would be receiving the majority of the touchdowns.  Or that San Francisco would use Kendall Gaskins most of the carries.  Neither of those scenarios played out, and it was Shaun Draughn who saw the majority of the touches.   Draughn received 16 rushes, while Thomas and Gaskins combined for only 11 rushes.  Draughn is obviously the guy for now, making him add worthy.

James White, RB, New England Patriots

Dion Lewis will miss the rest of the season, and James White will be replacing him as the third-down back and change of pace behind LeGarrette Bount.  White won’t be used as much as Lewis was, but will see an expanded role and is worth the pickup.

Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders

Latavius Murray left the game with signs of a concussion after a rough hit to the head.  If he misses any time, Reece looks like the next back in line for a majority of the work in the Raiders backfield.  If you have Murray, I’m a firm believer in handcuffing your studs.  Reece should be added to your lineup.  Reece could be a nice plug and play for those in need of a running back in Week 10 as well.

Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers 

Cam Newton is leading a undefeated Panthers team, and is having an MVP season.  He’s done so much with so little this year, but will need more help for this run to continue.  Who could be the outside presence the Panthers need?  Devin Funchess.  He was mentioned early in the year as a player to watch when Kelvin Benjamin went down, but has been a letdown for the early part of this season.  Funchess finally showed up in Week 8, setting career highs in catches and yards.  He scored his first touchdown on a bomb from Newton, and I think this is the start of a lot of deep looks for the former Michigan Wolverine.  Newton is still looking for that weapon on offense to concentrate his efforts on, and why not Funchess.  He’s a rookie wide receiver who was drafted high for a reason, and he could be in line for a lot of targets moving forward.  He can help the Panthers in the playoffs, and you can buy in on him early before he becomes the stud in Carolina.

Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears

Marquess Wilson is next in line after Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal, who are both banged up.  Not to mention that Matt Forte is also banged up.  He’s not owned in many leagues at all, making Wilson a deep add.  If Eddie Royal misses extended time, you will see teams focus on Jeffery, leaving Wilson open, possibly for big plays.

Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons 

Jacob Tamme has been mentioned before, and it was reconfirmed in Week 9 he’s a viable starter in fantasy at tight end.  He sees double-digit targets on a regular basis, and is the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Julio Jones.  Tamme should be a starter, pick him up if you need a tight end.

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