Matt Hicks, Staff Writer
Week 8 was a tough week, you really had to dig deep in the waiver wire. If you listened to us, you may have won your match-up by playing JuJu (WR2), Marvin Jones (WR11), Marlon Mack (RB 10), or Robby Anderson (WR5). Week 9 doesn’t get any easier. We’ve pulled together a solid group of recent breakout players, quietly consistent performers, and some great dynasty options.
I’m seriously excited to see what Jimmy G can do in San Francisco. I’ve been frustrated by the Patriots essentially holding him hostage in New England and wasting his talent. His career stats are made up primarily of 2 games during Brady’s 2016 suspension and consist of 690 yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and a QBR of 88.7 in those two games. If there’s one thing I trust in the NFL, it’s a Bill Bellicheck product. We’ve seen Brisett have mild success with the Colts, and he was Garappolo’s back-up. Don’t expect him to jump right in as a difference maker but he absolutely must be owned on all dynasty rosters now that he’s a starting Quarterback. He’s currently owned in just 0.8% of ESPN leagues.
Collins finished as RB7 in Week 8. He now has at least 10 carries in each of his last four games. Collins has also gotten more carries than Buck Allen in each of their last 3 games. Collins is taking over the lead back role in Baltimore for a good reason: he’s averaging 6 yards per carry, compared to Allen’s 4 yards per carry. Collins also has 122 more rushing yards than Allen, but has carried the ball 19 less times. Collins has serious upside but proceed with caution; he’s still in a RBBC and West could be coming back from injury soon. He’s still worth stashing and playing, based on match-ups. He’s owned in just 32% of leagues.
Both Washington and Richard were disappointed when their goal line touchdown was vultured by Olawale. Washington was more effective in the passing game, where he caught eight out of his ten targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. Washington’s ten targets equals the amount of targets that both Cooper and Crabtree received. Washington, however, pulled in 3 more receptions than either of the two premier Raiders wide receivers. Don’t back off Washington just because Lynch returns; he’s shown he can be a more dynamic option in the passing game and more consistent in the rushing game. Given the focus on Lynch, you should be able to get Washington for low (to zero) FAAB; and he could turn out to be a great long-term dynasty option. He’s available in 63.1% of leagues.
I saw a lot of Sanu questions on Twitter this week. Stop questioning him, he’s a streamable option every week. He’s been targeted at least 6 times in 5 out of the 6 games he’s played; in those games he’s scored twice and gotten at least 65 receiving yards 3 times. Sanu is the clear WR2 in Atlanta, with 12 more targets and 11 more receptions than Taylor Gabriel. Sanu is also leading all Atlanta wide receivers with 2 touchdowns. He’s available in 39% of leagues.
Russell Wilson is on fire, and he loves throwing touchdowns to Paul Richardson. Richardson has pulled in 3 touchdowns in the last two weeks, and has 5 total on the season. In Week 8 he set season highs in targets (7), receptions (6), and receiving yards (105). The Seahawks have become totally one-dimensional, leading Wilson to throw the ball at least 37 times in 5 games this season. Richardson has benefitted greatly from this, and is now leading the Seahawk wide receivers in fantasy points. Moving forward, Richardson is the clear WR2 in Seattle, and is worth claiming in the 90% of leagues he’s available in.
Lost amongst the Pryor disappointment and Doctson hype is Crowder taking over as Cousin’s favorite wide receiver. Crowder has been building a relationship with Cousins all season; getting at least 5 targets in all but 1 game this season. He’s been unable to gain significant yardage, however, and it’s held him back from being fantasy relevant. This week he finally broke out, with 123 yards on 9 receptions. Crowder now has 9 more targets than Pryor and 26 more than Doctson. Crowder also has 10 more receptions than Pryor and 20 more than Doctson. Cousin’s favorite target is available in 48% of leagues.
He’s finally fantasy relevant! The Doyle truthers have been patient, and this isn’t how they expected it to happen, but Doyle must now be rostered in all leagues. In his last 3 games Doyle has averaged 10.6 targets, 8.6 receptions (78% of targets), 71.6 yards, and has two total touchdowns. Brisett targeted Doyle 14 times in Week 8, which was twice as many targets as T.Y. Hilton received and just 1 less time than all of the Colt wide receivers combined. At such a shallow position, Doyle should have a 100% ownership, but is still available in 60.7% of leagues. Doyle becomes even more valuable when considering his long-term dynasty value; he’s going to be explosive when Luck comes back (even if that’s next season).
The Browns are on BYE this week, so this position is a bit more difficult. Tennessee is playing Baltimore, who could be playing without Joe Flacco. It seems almost certain that Mallet will throw interceptions and lead an ineffective Ravens offense. The Titans D/ST have scored at least 6 fantasy points the last 3 weeks and can stack the box against the Baltimore rush. This could be a very effective combination.
The Jags have been the most dominant D/ST in the NFL every week this season. The Jags have 10 total interceptions this season, and they’re playing Andy Dalton; who’s thrown 8 interceptions already this season. Dalton did too good last week and is due for fantasy regression. Expect him and the dysfunctional RBBC to get stalled against this tough D/ST.
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