Week 8 In Review
If you aren't familiar with my methods yet, I'll put myself on a "PASS" or "FAIL" scale which is based on flex options scoring above or below double-digit fantasy points. Above 10 points would be a PASS, and obviously below 10 would be a FAIL. I do my best to find the not-so obvious options from week to week to help you dominate your league. With that said here we go once again, let's see how I did for you last week, folks.
Alfred Blue, 12.20 Points -- PASS
Kyle Rudolph, 4.20 Points -- FAIL
Ronnie Hillman, 18.50 Points -- PASS
Rishard Matthews, 13.20 Points -- PASS
Benjamin Watson, 29.7 Points -- PASS
Thanks a lot, Kyle. You had one job and you couldn't even do it -- ugh, whatevs. Overall a very stellar week, especially for those of you who picked up Ronnie Hillman before he was "officially" named the starter, or for those of you who rolled out Ben Watson as he exploded yet again. With that said let's take a quick moment to reflect on my calls last week.
Alfred Blue, as expected, did a little bit of damage as the Arian Foster replacement -- not an earth-shattering performance, but double digits nonetheless. And on the 7th day god said, "I am sorry Kyle Rudolph, your breakout performance is just not coming in Week 8, or maybe ever."
With Peyton Manning chucking ducks into the sky on a per pass basis, the Broncos had no choice but to deploy super stud Ronnie Hillman, who produced extremely solid for his owners Sunday night. Even though Ryan Tannehill looks like a borderline cutable fantasy option doesn't mean all those around him are as well -- this was just another useable game from Rishard Matthews.
Wow, Benjamin Watson is essentially doing what "super-mega-ultra-top-secret-level 7-defcon radio silence" sleeper Josh Hill was projected to do in the preseason -- buy Watson where you can folks.
Week 9: '5 Must-Start Fantasy Sleepers'
I pride myself on making tough calls, and this week will be no exception once again. If you're looking for a reason to start Cordarrelle Patterson -- stop reading now.
5. Justin Hardy, WR ATL
It's officially time to wave your Justin Hardy flags if you've been holding on to them. After not playing a single snap for the Atlanta Falcons through the first seven weeks of the NFL season, Justin Hardy was finally given his chance in Week 8. There is no turning back now.
In his first NFL performance Justin Hardy played on 54 snaps, or as I would prefer to qualify it -- just 10 less snaps than Roddy White. Hardy was an extremely accomplished wideout at the University of East Carolina, in fact he holds the record for the most receptions in NCAA history with 387. Anyway, heading into Week 9, the Atlanta Falcons will get their crack at one of the most train-wreckish teams in the league, the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are currently ranked numbers 27 of 32 teams against the pass, yielding 280 yards per game through the air.
In addition to the yards they are allowing through the air, they are also turning just about every quarterback they face into the league's most efficient passer (69.3%) -- and this week they get Matt Ryan. If you're expecting a world beater performance from Hardy then perhaps you should temper your expectations, but if you're looking for a flex worthy outing then this could be your week.
Hardy unbelievably is currently owned in 0% of Yahoo fantasy leagues and just .5% of ESPN leagues. He's a highly talented slot receiver, who's snap count continues to rise, and gets the defensive matchup he's been dreaming up in Week 9.
4. Richard Rodgers, TE GB
There is no greater quarterback to be linked to than Aaron Rodgers (most of the time), and that is exactly what Richard Rodgers is. In Week 9 he gets the Carolina Panthers' defense on the road -- normally this would be a death sentence.
Richard has been wildly inconsistent on the year, scoring double-digits in only 3 of 7 games, this doesn't make him hands-off though. Averaging 4.7 targets per game, Rodgers is getting enough work to warrant a TD dependent flex play, but his upside is so much greater. Against a Carolina Panthers team that over the past three weeks is giving up and average of 6.6/82/.3 to opposing tight ends -- Rodgers has a decent shot to mimic this.
With arguably the most surgical quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Richard Rodgers found paydirt in the red zone. With Charles Tillman and Josh Norman locking up James Jones and Randall Cobb on the outside -- look for Richard to become his quarterback's safety valve.
Currently Richard Rodgers is owned in just 29% of Yahoo leagues and 35.7% of leagues at ESPN. He's more or less available everywhere and he's an excellent bye week fill-in for owners looking to replace: Travis Kelce, Jimmy Graham, or Eric Ebron. If you're ever going to bet on a pony in the race why not make it one directly tied to Aaron Rodgers?
3. Nelson Agholor, WR PHI
Yes, Nelson is a rookie wide receiver, coming off of injury and in a recently struggling offense -- that's still not enough for me to ignore his potential. In a Week 9 divisional matchup with the rival Dallas Cowboys on the road, Philadelphia is primed for a bounce back performance.
After missing multiple weeks due to an ankle injury, the 20th pick in the 2015 draft looks finally healthy again coming out of his bye week. In a matchup that was expected to be a shootout, things could go sideways quickly in favor of this Philadelphia team as this Tony Romo-less Cowboys offense continues to struggle to generate anything.
Drafted for his quicks and big play ability, Agholor hasn't yet flashed in the fashion that was expected of him (reminder: he's a rookie). With just one big catch on the season (45 yards) Nelson's next longest reception was just 12 yards -- but things could change this week.
On the year, the Cowboy's have surrendered deep completions of: 30, 32, 35, 44, 45, 59, and 80. This stat clearly favors Nelson and his skillset which Chip Kelly will almost certainly attempt to use. With Jordan Matthews struggling mightily with a case of the butterfingers, this first week back will be critical for Philly to get Nelson Agholor involved. For what it's worth, the last time Philadelphia faced Dallas, Nelson Agholor saw a career high in targets with 6 -- perhaps even more of the same this time around too.
Nelson Agholor is currently available in 76% of Yahoo leagues and 84.1% of ESPN ones as well. Dallas has a serious lack of offense and Philadelphia on any given week is primed to explode. So with the Jordan Matthews woes in a perpetual state of disappointment, look for this to be the week that Nelson Agholor flashes.
2. Tedd Ginn, WR CAR
Never in a billion years did I ever imagine myself advocating for the likes of Ted Ginn, but here we are. In a not-so-great matchup, in Week 9 the Carolina Panthers with take on one of the most offensively dominant teams in the NFL in the Green Bay Packers. Heads. Will. Roll.
Despite being deemed a "special teamer" by many, Ginn has flashed more than just an ability to be an open field threat. On the year Ginn has 42 targets, 16 of which have come in just the past two weeks. As Cam Newton's de facto #1 wideout option behind tight end Greg Olsen, Tedd Ginn has some week-to-week potential.
This week he will be facing the 23rd ranked defense in the NFL in the Packers, who are giving up 375.5 yards per game, 251.3 through the air (17th overall). Though Cam Newton isn't necessarily known for his passing yards or even attempts, this is the type of game that will push him to throw even more often than normal -- good news for Ginn.
In what should be a back and forth battle, look for Ginn to get between 7-10 targets, 2-3 of which should be deep shots down the field. Not only does Ginn offer the upside of a deep threat, but his per game target volume is more than flex worthy as well.
Ted Ginn is owned in just 37.3% of ESPN leagues and 38% of Yahoo ones as well. Look, Ginn is not the sexiest name in the book but his usage is certainly encouraging. In a matchup that should more than likely force Cam to chuck the pigskin a ton, Teddy Ginn should see an uptick his volume. Do your best not to be afraid to start him.
1. Jeremy Langford, RB CHI
With the not-so-surprising injury to Matt Forte which has sidelined him for a couple weeks, rookie Jeremy Langford will get his chances to carry the mail for this Chicago Bears squad. In a juicy matchup with the San Diego Chargers this Monday night there is a good chance Langford goes off.
If not because of talent, than this breakout performance will surely be due to volume. Current reports are saying that Langford's previous workload may be tripled (20+ touches). In PPR leagues he could be a major savior as the "Forte" role generally comes with 3-5 passing targets on top of a serious rushing volume. On the season the Chargers are ranked the 27th worst against the run in the NFL, allowing 124.6 yards per game on the ground. This average is a definite byproduct of the league leading eleven 20+ yard rushes allowed on the year. Langford hasn't seen a ton of work this season, averaging just 3.0 YPC on 27 total carries, but the enticing part is his two touchdowns on the year. When in doubt, volume is everything and this Chargers' defense is as leaky as they get against the run.
Langford is owned in just 29% of Yahoo leagues, which is a change of 23% in the last day. He is also available in 58.2% of ESPN leagues -- clearly he is way too available in most leagues and he should be added everywhere with these bye week's upon us. Start Langford with serious confidence as he will get an ungodly amount of work.
Good luck this week everyone.
As always you can find me on twitter @AnOutragedJew if you have sit/start questions or want steamy dating advice.
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a FREE Week 9 fantasy football league where half the teams win cash on Sunday. New users only. Join now! Note: WA residents - sorry, but you can't play!