Every week we'll break down the movers, shakers, winners and losers in fantasy football, and keep an eye out for the players you should be eyeing for your fantasy rosters.
With any luck, by the time you read this column we'll know who our President will be come January (assuming we don't get bogged down in run-offs and legal manueverings), and in the spirit of picking a winner, it's time to us to wrap up our campaign for Week 10 and decide on the difference-makers in fantasy this week. Before we consult with the polls, let's have a recount for Week 9...
The Week 9 Debrief:
1. MFFF's picks last week = one golden pick, the rest scrap metal. Seattle WR Golden Tate lived up to his name as he racked up a nifty 2 TDs, but the rest of our picks were startlingly unproductive, starting with Jacksonville WR Cecil Shorts, whose team was never in the game. Miami RB Daniel Thomas didn't do badly if you needed a fill-in RB, but 62 total yards isn't going to set pulses racing.
2. Winners vs. Losers. With only a couple of exceptions, the good teams further separated themselves from the bad teams in league standings last week. The trend should continue in Week 10 as only two games out of 15 featuring two teams with winning records going head-to-head. Will this have an effect on your fantasy team? indications are mixed. The free-falling Vikings can still trust in RB Adrian Peterson to put up huge numbers, while the 6-3 NY Giants are winning but are MIA on offense these last three weeks (only 1 TD pass).
3. Running Back Revenge. A few short weeks ago we were trumpeting the ascendency of QBs in fantasy, but a few RBs such as Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin have had something to say about that. Fueling by Martin's eye-popping 272 total yards and 4 TDs last week, RBs are making a big move up in fantasy rankings. And don't count out underrated starters like Marshawn Lynch and Ray Rice, who face favorable schedules and likely increased workloads down the stretch.
4. Andrew Luck = Spread the fantasy wealth. MFFF should have seen this coming a few weeks back -- a smart, poised rookie QB with an offensive coordinator (Bruce Arians) who likes to chuck the ball, on a team playing inspired football for their ailing head coach Chuck Pagano. With Luck's maturation and Indianapolis emerging as a playoff contender, it's time to jump on board with the Colts' young receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery as viable fantasy targets.
1. The Comeback Kid: Seattle QB Russell Wilson
We backed him in Week 1, and his campaign ran off the rails after some miserable early performances, but with great numbers the past two weeks, the rookie QB has his offense humming. He also benefits by having 4 games down the stretch at home, where the Seahawks are virtually unbeatable.
2. The Surprise Candidate: Oakland TE Brandon Myers
The Raiders haven't been winning, but their passing attack has been putting up gargantuan numbers. Last week Myers had his best game yet, snagging 8 passes for 59 yards and 2 TDs, which comfortably vaulted him into the upper echelon of TEs for the season.
3. The Darkhorse: Pittsburgh WR Emmanuel Sanders
He's had middling stats this year, but with fellow WR Antonio Brown nursing injuries, Sanders has a chance to step up to the plate these next few weeks, as the Steelers face three mediocre pass defenses (Chiefs, Ravens, Browns) in a row.
4. The Independent: Denver TE Joel Dreessen
Like a candidate who shares some of the viewpoints of his opponents, Dreessen shares playing time and targets with TE Jacob Tamme, which makes him a risky play, but he's also been outperforming Tamme thus far, and will get favorable matchups against weak teams over the next month.
5. The Sympathy Vote: Indianapolis RB Vick Ballard
He's best remembered for his soaring, video-game-like winning TD dive against Tennessee in OT a few weeks ago, but starting RB Donald Brown continues to be gimpy, and with a short week of rest before Thursday night's game against Jacksonville, Ballard is poised to once again receive a bunch of touches. And remember, the Colts are doing it all for Coach Chuck.
6. The Long-shot: Green Bay RB James Starks
Green Bay continues to tinker with their rushing attack, with Starks getting increased carries last week in a time-share with Alex Green, but the Packers went with Starks exclusively down the stretch. If he follows up with another decent performance this week he could ensure himself starting-RB numbers moving forward.
Best Offensive Matchup of the Week:
San Diego at Tampa Bay: Don't look now, but the Bucs might have the most explosive offense in football with rejuvenated QB Josh Freeman and rookie sensation Doug Martin. Against a San Diego team that has been up and down this season, we're counting on a high scoring tally from the Bucs.
Best Defensive Matchup of the Week:
NY Jets at Seattle: The Seahawks are only vulnerable against teams with good running games -- unfortunately for the Jets, they don't have one. How long before the clarion call for Tim Tebow gets answered?
Got a specific question or need advice on fantasy football this week? Sound off in the comments section below.