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The Lowdown – Week 9

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 9. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

High Anxiety

I have been a steaming pile of anxiety this past week. I was nailed for two speeding tickets, an expired inspection sticker, my kid managed to break two iPad Minis, and my entertainment projects are in a sort of limbo. I’ve been sick, overworked and worrying about a ton of different stuff. You’d think I’d be able to find some solace in my fantasy team, which in my homie keeper league (the one I care about the most) is sitting atop the standings with a 7-1 record… but noooooooooooooooo (H/T John Belushi).

You see, I can’t enjoy that 7-1 record because I got hit by a tsunami of crap luck the last two weeks. Matt ForteArian Foster, and Keenan Allen (for whom I had traded a 2016 second-rounder, Victor Cruz and Kelvin Benjamin in Week 8) all got hit with serious injuries. Stefon Diggs and Brandon Marshall are all questionable for their games. I know I’m a pretty good “fantasy expert,” but how the heck am I supposed to replace six starters and still maintain my record? I managed to pick up Jeremy Langford, Pierre Garcon and Malcom Floyd on waivers, but all I’m really hoping to be able to do is hang on until playoff time. Imagine that,  a 7-1 team and I can’t even relax within my fantasy football universe.

On the bright side, my luck began to change a bit. I thought I’d have to drop a grand to replace the iPads, but I found a place that can repair them both for $200. So I got that going for me, which is nice.


Interesting Players for Week 9

If you’re interested, here is the list of the top 10 at each offensive position (along with a relative value) for this weekend’s games. Use it to gauge how two players compare. For example, if Tom Brady has an FFRS of 44 this week and Derek Carr has a 33, then you should think of Brady as being a 33% stronger play than Carr this week. Use these FFRS for standard fantasy leagues for waivers or lineup decisions; in DFS leagues use the relative nature of the FFRS to gauge dollar values between players.

Good luck! (PPR scoring is used for the FFRS rankings below)

Top 10 QB Plays:

  1. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. Was) – 24.76
  2. Philip Rivers, SDC (vs. Chi) – 20.85
  3. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. Ten) – 19.97
  4. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. TBB) – 19.68
  5. Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. Mia) – 19.65
  6. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. GBP) – 19.55
  7. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (vs. Car) – 18.90
  8. Blake Bortles, JAC (vs. NYJ) – 18.76
  9. Derek Carr, OAK (vs. Pit) – 18.40
  10. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. NOS) – 17.70

You know what brings me joy about this week’s QB list? The fact that there’s four young players on the list (Taylor, Bortles, Carr and Mariota). It’ll be interesting to see if Rivers can continue his statistical wizardry with Keenan Allen placed on IR and Antonio Gates being listed as “questionable” heading into the weekend.

Top 10 RB Plays:

  1. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. SFO) – 26.58
  2. Doug Martin, TBB (vs. NYG) – 19.18
  3. Chris Ivory, NYJ (vs. Jac) – 19.00
  4. Todd Gurley, STL (vs. Min) – 18.74
  5. DeMarco Murray, PHI (vs. Dal) – 18.41
  6. Mark Ingram, NOS (vs. Ten) – 17.97
  7. Adrian Peterson, MIN (vs. StL) – 17.24
  8. Lamar Miller, MIA (vs. Buf) – 16.51
  9. LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs. Mia) – 15.71
  10. Frank Gore, IND (vs. Den) – 15.62

Hey, look who’s a relevant runner this week: Frank Gore. Gore faces a really tough Denver defense, so all his yards will be hard-earned and painful. DeMarco Murray looks to light up his former team this week, which I figure he’ll be able to do. McCoy is only #9 on the list, probably due to his injury history this season.

Top 10 WR Plays:

  1. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. SFO) – 28.36
  2. Odell Beckham, NYG (vs. TBB) – 25.25
  3. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (vs. SDC) – 24.49
  4. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. Ind) – 23.95
  5. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. Oak) – 22.94
  6. Allen Robinson, JAC (vs. NYJ) – 22.68
  7. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. Buf) – 22.41
  8. Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. Pit) – 21.44
  9. Tavon Austin, STL (vs. Min) – 19.15
  10. Martavis Bryant, PIT (vs. Oak) – 19.09

Cooper is in the midst of a great season, certainly living up to his pre-draft hype. As Todd Gurley keeps improving, it figures that Tavon Austin will benefit from credible play-action to get deep on opposing defenses.

Top 10 TE Plays:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NEP (vs. Was) – 18.18
  2. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. NEP) – 15.80
  3. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. GBP) – 15.17
  4. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. NOS) – 13.49
  5. Ben Watson, NOS (vs. Ten) – 12.72
  6. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. Phi) – 11.84
  7. Martellus Bennett, CHI (vs. SDC) – 11.78
  8. Charles Clay, BUF (vs. Mia) – 11.76
  9. Jacob Tamme, ATL (vs. SFO) – 10.77
  10. Heath Miller, PIT (vs. Oak) – 9.84

Amazing to me how available Jordan Reed is most fantasy leagues… if the guy is playing on the field, he’s a top-5 TE just about every week. Jacob Tamme is wildly inconsistent, but if your lineup needs a boost against a more powerful opponent, Tamme might be a solution for you; he seems to post either 11 or 32 points in PPR leagues, with no in-between. Hey, remember when all the fantasy experts told you to draft Josh Hill because he was a top sleeper pick? Yeah, that’s as funny now as it was in August…

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 24-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to and watch all his various shows at The Riot.