Welcome to week nine of the NFL season. I hope your fantasy teams are full of rainbows and pots-o-gold!
First, I’ll give you some guys worth targeting on your waiver wire and then some good starts and sits for this week.
(The percentages following the players are how heavily they are owned on Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football. I try to stay under 50% owned for the column if I can.)
The New York Jets, San Francisco, New England and St. Louis are all on a bye this week, so plan accordingly.
Carson Palmer (47%) – Palmer continues to put up near starting quality numbers. His 277 yards passing per game ranks 10th in the league and now that Denarius Moore is on track, I feel even better about him. Oh, and he has one of the easiest schedules to finish out the season.
Jonathan Dwyer (46%) – Dwyer has rushed for 100 yards in two consecutive weeks. Rashad Mendenhall hasn’t done that in, well, he’s never done that. Mendenhall may have lost the starting job to Dwyer, so make sure you own him.
Daryl Richardson (37%) – The Rams backfield has become a bit of a timeshare, so Richardson is worth owning due to his big play ability and increasing workload and on the off chance that Steven Jackson is traded before the deadline.
Joique Bell (10%) – Mikel LeShoure is still the main back in Detroit, but Bell is worth owning in points-per-receptions leagues, especially if you need a bye-week filler.
Titus Young Sr. (40%) – Young Sr. just had his best game as a pro and it happened to coincide with Nate Burleson getting put on injured reserve. With Calvin Johnson drawing attention away, Young shouldn’t have any trouble getting productive targets.
Danny Amendola (58%) – He’s over my 50% threshold, but he should be owned in 100% of leagues. Nobody has come close to replacing him in the offense, so he should pick right back up where he left off, which is catching bunches and bunches of passes.
Cecil Shorts (9%): Mr. Shorts continues to get the job done, but now he’s actually getting targets, with 22 over the last two weeks. His chances of being consistent in the Jaguars offense are slim, but if he were to keep getting these kinds of target numbers, it would be hard to keep him from being productive.
Dustin Keller (47%): In the last two weeks, Keller has finished in the top 10 in fantasy for tight ends.
Brandon Myers (21%): Myers is sixth in receiving yards per game for tight ends. His problem, and it’s a big one, is he hasn’t scored a touchdown. He’s not going to go all Gronkowski on the NFL anytime soon, but a touchdown should be in order.
Check out some nice and not so nice match-ups in this week’s sit or start.
Michael Vick (at New Orleans) – If you play the Saints, the chances of you having a big game are 99.9%, or something thereabouts. Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns against them. Philip Rivers, who just passed for something like negative yards against the Browns, had 354 yards and to touchdowns. As long as Vick is still the starter, you play him.
Cam Newton (at Washington) – Cam Newton has been on the skids of late, but this week he faces one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Washington hasn’t kept one quarterback under 20 fantasy points, and that includes Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman, and Christian Ponder.
Trent Richardson (vs. Baltimore) – Richardson proved last week that his rib injury is behind him as he rushed for 122 yards against a good Chargers run defense. This week he faces the Baltimore Ravens, which sound much more menacing than they are. In the last three weeks they are giving up 5.2 yards per carry and 133 rushing yards per game.
Reggie Bush (at Indianapolis) – Bush hasn’t been doing much of late, but the Colts run defense has been one of the worst in the league this season. They are giving up a healthy 122 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry to running backs.
Desean Jackson (at New Orleans) – This of course goes back to the “play anyone with a pulse against the Sainte” policy, but I especially like Jackson this week in the dome and fast track. His skills fit this game well and a long touchdown is in the making.
Denarius Moore (vs. Tampa Bay) – Moore is quietly moving into the top tier of fantasy receivers and this week gets the Tampa bay Buccaneers, who are giving up 227 receiving yards per game to wide receivers.
Greg Olsen (at Washington) – Washington leads the league in fantasy points given up per game to tight ends. That’s good news for Olsen, Newton’s number two target.
Jermaine Gresham (vs. Denver) – The Broncos have given up six touchdowns to tight ends and there’s a good chance that Bengals will need to pass the ball often while trying to catch up to Peyton Manning.
Christian Ponder (at Seattle) – Seattle at home is death to opposing quarterbacks. They have the seventh best fantasy defense against quarterbacks and have faced some of the best in the business. Add to that, Ponder has not been playing especially well the last two games, and you have trouble.
Tony Romo (at Atlanta) – The Falcons have allowed seven touchdown passes all season, and only once have they allowed over one in a game. Tony Romo has been turning the ball over to the other team more than throwing touchdowns this season, so I’d be wary.
Chris Johnson (vs. Chicago) – Chris Johnson had a huge game against the Buffalo Bills, the worst run defense in the league, and then had an okay game against the Indianapolis Colts, one of the worst run defenses in the league. Now he gets the best run defenses in the league. The Bears are giving up a league best 62 rushing yards to running backs, 3.5 yards per carry and only one touchdown.
Donald Brown/Vick Ballard (vs. Miami) – The Dolphins run defense has given up two touchdowns all season and the highest total against them by one back was 79 yards rushing. Oh, and both of those were from Arian Foster in week one.
Stevie Johnson (at Houston) – Johnathan Joseph had been getting beat one on one, but shut sown Torrey Smith before the bye. Joseph had been hurting, so the extra bye-week time most likely helped him get closer to 100% and closer to dominating Stevie Johnson.
Kenny Britt (vs. Chicago) – Kenny Britt’s knee is acting up again and he’s just not on the same page as the offense. Add that to Chicago’s dominant defense and you have a recipe for disaster.
Kyle Rudolph (at Seattle) – The Seahawks have stifled passing games all season, especially at home. Rudolph has been in a slump with Adrian Peterson and the defense both playing well. I’d sit him until he starts getting more looks again.
Jermichael Finley (vs. Arizona) – The Cardinals have given up 24 receptions all season to tight ends.