Week 9 is in the books and I am hard-pressed to recall a week with as much drama and unexpected production. The New Orleans Saints lose to the New York Jets while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings almost pull off huge upsets.
A trio of receivers haul in three touchdown passes and an unheralded rookie running back puts up more than 150 yards rushing and throws a touchdown pass. Oh yeah, one of the top quarterbacks in the game suffers a collarbone injury that is certain to alter the fate of many a fantasy team.
No wonder we love this fantasy stuff as much as we do! Let’s get to it …
* likely out for multiple weeks *
Robert Griffin III
Time For Me To Fly
Matt Ryan: Ryan sans wide receiver
with a less-than-100 percent Roddy White and a struggling running game is no longer an elite quarterback. He’s tossed two touchdowns and seven interceptions the past two games and cannot be considered a must-start any longer.
Ben Roethlisberger, PITTSBURGH vs. Buffalo:
Roethlisberger had his best game of the season, tallying 400 yards and four touchdowns against New England last week. This week he faces a Buffalo pass defense that has allowed 20 passing touchdowns and is among the top-five defenses in allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Nick Foles, PHILADELPHIA at Green Bay:
This game is on the road and therein lays my confidence in Foles this week. He is completing 71 percent of his passes away from Philadelphia as well as having thrown all 13 of his touchdown passes away from home. Chicago’s backup quarterback
just hung 292 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on the Packers. I like Foles to easily surpass those numbers.
Christian Ponder, MINNESOTA vs. Washington:
In his last three games (including the week three tilt against Cleveland) Ponder is averaging 37 yards rushing per game and has scored four rushing touchdowns. The Redskins are a top-five defense in allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks and Ponder should have moderate success through the air as the Redskins have allowed 17 passing touchdowns as well as more than 290 yards per game this season.
Eli Manning, NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Oakland:
Manning should begin the stretch drive with a nice game against a Raiders secondary that was a dumpster fire last week. Facing a defense fresh off allowing seven touchdown passes and more than 400 passing yards to Philadelphia quarterback
is just what the fantasy doctor ordered for Manning.
Terrelle Pryor, OAKLAND at New York Giants:
As long as the knee injury that forced him out of the Week 9 loss is as minor as reported, Pryor is a must-start. The Giants pass defense has allowed 14 touchdown passes and is second-to-last in the league with only 10 sacks in eight games. Pryor will put up nice passing numbers along with at least the 69 rushing yards he’s averaging per game.
Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI at Baltimore:
Dalton’s always been a hot-and-cold fantasy quarterback and now faces a desperate Baltimore defense that is in a do-or-die situation. The Ravens sacked Dalton six times in their two meetings last season while holding him to a combined total of 299 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception.
E.J. Manuel, BUFFALO at Pittsburgh:
Manuel should return this week and the knee jerk reaction is to get him back in fantasy lineups against a defense that just allowed 432 yards and four touchdowns. Hold off for at least one week. He will be facing a Steelers defense that will be looking to punish someone after the embarrassing performance against New England.
(*If Manuel is held out I shouldn’t have to say it but I will. Avoid any Bills’ quarterback this week.)
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA vs. Seattle:
If there is any hope for Ryan it’s that
blew up after he was taken off the ‘Stud’ list and then listed as a ‘Bench’ option. Of course, Brady had a full complement of healthy receiving options. Ryan does not. The Seattle defense has racked up 16 sacks and six interceptions the past four games. Ryan has been sacked seven times and thrown seven interceptions in his past four games. Sit him.