The Fantasy Wrecker – Week 9


Last weekend was crazy, with Drew Brees showing everyone his shoulder is definitely okay and star running backs going down all over the league. Let’s cover some interesting fantasy news bullet-point style:

  • Leveon Bell and Matt Forte went down with serious injuries, and if you don’t have their handcuffs (D’Angelo Williams and Jeremy Langford) by now, they’re probably already off the waiver wire. This is a perfect example of why you should always draft the backup to your star running back. Sometimes an average player can put up big numbers in the right system, just because of the volume.
  • Speaking of running backs, here are the top ten active running backs, using ESPN standard scoring: Devonta Freeman, Mark Ingram, Doug Martin, Matt Forte, Chris Ivory, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Danny Woodhead, Lamar Miller, and Todd Gurley. The average draft position of those players? 69.45, once again in ESPN leagues. Those players could drop from the top ten as the season progresses, of course, but it does suggest you can wait to draft a running back if you want.
  • Andy Dalton has more fantasy points through Week 8 than Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson. I can’t even make any jokes about his hair anymore.
  • San Francisco is sitting Colin Kaepernick and starting Blaine Gabbert. Because every week an NFL team has to do something that makes no sense. I’m not a big fan of Kaepernick, but Blaine Gabbert? I’m sorry Blaine, but even you have to be scratching your head about this decision.

Let’s get to Week 9:

Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Opponents This Week:

Eli Manning, QB, New York—Manning is on fire after last week, and he’s only struggled against the Cowboys and the Eagles, both of whom rush the quarterback well. Tampa Bay doesn’t. Expect another solid day.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia—The Cowboys have given up a lot of big games to running backs. The Eagles had two weeks to prepare for this game. It’s in primetime, and Murray has a chance to show the Cowboys they should’ve paid him. That’s plenty of reasons to start him.

Malcolm Floyd, WR, San Diego—The Chargers are flinging the ball around at a record pace, and Keenan Allen is out for the season. Someone has to catch all those passes from Philip Rivers, and Floyd is talented enough to do it.

Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Team This Week:

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis—The Colts are facing the Broncos, and I’d hesitate to start Luck against them anyway. When you add the fact that he may or may not have fractured ribs, I’d definitely start someone else if you’ve got a remotely better option.

Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland—The Steelers stifle opposing teams’ running games, Derek Carr is feeling good, and I think Pittsburgh gets a big lead in this game. All reasons to find another running back to start on Sunday.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis—The Broncos have allowed only one touchdown to wide receivers this year. Just stay away from any player facing this defense. Seriously. They are the Black Plague of fantasy football.

The Guy Who’s Wrecking My Fantasy Season This Week:

Maybe Eli reads this column? He definitely wasn’t a dumpster fire last week with six touchdown passes. I really can’t complain this week, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll let you readers let me know who’s wrecking your fantasy season. Leave a comment below and vent away.

Ben Zajdel is a contributor. You can follow him on Twitter at @bzajdel. His last name would be a great Scrabble word.

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