At this point in the 2016 NFL season, injuries are taking a toll on teams across the league. The cornerback position is no exception. In fact, the No. 1 player at the cornerback spot will be taking one of Week 9’s biggest games off.
“What’s going on right now [is that] he has good days and bad days,” Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s going to get an injection today (Friday) — he may have already had it as we’re speaking — and we’re letting it calm down over the weekend. But he’s doing good. So we feel good moving forward.”
“We’ve just got to do the right thing,” Kubiak said, “and with the injection that he’s getting today, the smart thing is to give him a good weekend of rest and see where we’re at when we come back.”
With Talib on the shelf, it will fall to third-year pro Bradley Roby to start opposite Chris Harris. The former Ohio State star, who was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week in Week 8, certainly isn’t short on confidence. As James Palmer of NFL.com wrote, Roby doesn’t think the Broncos will be at any disadvantage against Oakland’s potent passing attack.
“I think I’m one of the best athletes in the world, Roby said. “I’m a guy that came in and I got here off athletic ability,” Roby said. “Now I am cultivating that whole side of it to add that onto my athletic ability. I’m a pro now.”
Another thing Roby won’t have shortage of Sunday is opportunities to produce against the Raiders, who rank eighth in fantasy points allowed to cornerbacks so far this season. And it’s awfully hard not to like a juicy IDP matchup in primetime.
If you can’t get your hands on Roby this week, here are a few other streaming options at the cornerback position in Week 9.
Tramaine Brock, San Francisco 49ers (vs. NO)
A couple of weeks ago, Nicholas McGee of FanSided opined that the best move the 49ers could make in the secondary would be to sit their most veteran cover man. “Brock is the 49ers’ most experienced corner,” he wrote. “But what has become apparent, particularly with the recent emergence of rookie Rashard Robinson, is that he is their fourth best player at the position. Indeed, while Robinson has come in and excelled across his first two starts, Brock has endured a nightmare year, giving up big plays and touchdowns on a frighteningly regular basis.”
However, that opinion is hardly unanimous. As a matter of fact, Brock’s was PFF’s highest-graded defensive player in their Week 7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In that game, Brock racked up six solo tackles and a pass defensed in an afternoon spent covering Mike Evans. It’s no stretch to project a similar or even better line for Brock against the pass-happy Saints, especially with Robinson sitting the game out with an injured knee.
Nolan Carroll, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
Mark Eckel of NJ.com listed Sunday’s matchup between the Eagles secondary and the Giants’ wideouts as a key factor in their NFC East showdown. “The Eagles are going to have to double Odell Beckham (40 catches, 630 yards), likely with either cornerback Nolan Carroll or Leodis McKelvin, and a safety (Malcolm Jenkins) over the top,” Eckel said. “That means rookie Sterling Shepard (31 for 334) outside will draw single coverage and Victor Cruz (24 for 331) in the slot could be a major challenge for rookie Jalen Mills, if that’s who the Eagles choose to play slot corner.”
It’s Carroll – and not McKelvin – who has had the better statistical production this season, although neither has done a whole lot. And it was Carroll – and not McKelvin – who spent most of last week’s loss to Dallas getting burned by Dez Bryant. He’ll probably have help against Beckham, but it stands to reason it’s also Carroll who fantasy owners want against a Giants team giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to cornerbacks in 2016.
Byron Maxwell, Miami Dolphins (vs. NYJ)
Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall won’t be sending Maxwell a Christmas card. “I played against him last year and he just held every single play,” Marshall said. “Every single play he held. That was tough. I owe him one. I don’t know him, but I don’t like him. I’m being honest with you. I never had a conversation with this guy. I think he’s probably a really nice guy. He seems like a really nice guy. He doesn’t say much on the field, but he holds every single play. I don’t like it.”
In that meeting last year for a guy who got held every play Marshall did OK, reeling in 10 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. More importantly to IDP owners, Maxwell had a solid day of his own, making eight stops for the Eagles in a seven-point win. For his part, Maxwell told Zach Braziller of The New York Post he’s ready for the rematch. “I might be doing something right now, huh?” Maxwell said of Marshall’s complaints, inferring that he’s in the wideout’s head. “I’m going to play my game.”