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I would say fantasy football is a lot like chess, but then I would have to understand chess first. Yes, I do understand the player moves, and even managed to chalk up a few victories on the computer (on the level that’s about five below novice). But knowing how to play and being a master at the game are two very different things. The part of chess that does relate to fantasy football, though, is staying ahead of your opponent. In chess, you want to be at least three moves ahead of your opponent, the same goes for our beloved game of fantasy.
Now that the calendar has flipped to November, it’s time to start plotting ahead of your opponents. November often brings with it trade deadlines for fantasy football leagues. No, it’s probably not happening tomorrow, but soon enough. Players that have glaring weaknesses will try frantically to make moves before the clock strikes midnight, but the seasoned owner is already contriving his plans.
It’s always better to be ahead of the rush. You have less competing offers and have a better chance at avoiding the cutoff. Many of you are likely feeling good about your roster, not noticing many gaping holes in your lineup. If that is the case, I’m sure you can identify holes in your competition without much thought. Position yourself now, so you can then take advantage of the rush later. I’m sure just about all of you can pick up a bargaining chip that could pay dividends whether it’s a few days or a few weeks out.
Until then, here’s the good, bad, and plenty of everything else for Week 9.
Week 9 BUYS
I love seeing Steven Jackson in a St. Louis Rams jersey every week, but I got to admit, part of me thought it’d be cool to see him in green and yellow to finish out the season and probably his career. Not that I wanted to see him shipped off by any means, but it would’ve definitely been better for his fantasy value and great to see a warrior like him finally get to compete in the big arena (aka the postseason). It obviously didn’t happen, and the rest of me (the mostly sane part) is glad it didn’t. Now I get to continue to watch him put fear into the eyes of opposing secondaries (the few times our offensive line creates holes for him) on a weekly basis.
Titus Young could make a difference for your team the rest of the way. Is every week going to be 100 yards and multiple touchdowns? Of course it is. If he did it once, he can easily do it again, right? Maybe not. But teams are clearly focusing all their attention on limiting Calvin Johnson, so Young will rarely, if ever, face double coverage. He has the wheels to make plays, but also maybe a few loose ones upstairs. If he keeps his mind right, he could be one of those adds that comes through in spades.
Matchups I like this week
Week 9 HOLDS
Matthew Stafford bounced back in a big way last week against Seattle, putting up his highest point total for the season and the highest of all players in Week 8 (based on standard scoring). If he keeps it going this week against Jacksonville, who is middle of the road, then it might be time to call off the hit man.
Doug Martin’s performance last week was definitely a surprise. Not that there were a ton of people doubting his ability, he was a first-round draft choice this year, but putting up more than 30 points against a Minnesota defense that had previously done well against the run, clearly exceeded expectations. The bad news is, Martin just lost his best offensive lineman for the rest of the season with Carl Nicks being placed on Injured Reserve. I don’t think Martin drops off the face of the fantasy earth, especially against an Oakland defense this week that is generous to running backs, but it will be something to keep an eye on moving forward (particularly as we near trade deadlines).
Tough Matchups for Studs this week:
Week 9 SELLS
Alex Smith. Smith is on a bye this week, so you’re not playing him anyways, but he is worth mentioning after he just toasted the Arizona defense for 27 points. Do you remember his point totals for the previous two weeks? Two points against the New York Giants and 10 points against Seattle. That has been Smith’s season in a nutshell (I prefer pistachios by the way). He puts up a big week surrounded by duds. When the San Francisco 49ers come back from vacation, they face St. Louis and Chicago, both with great defenses against the pass.
Matchups to Avoid this week
Until the next go-round.
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