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The Skeptic Tank: Weeks 9/10

Welcome to the Week 9 edition of the Skeptic Tank. Join me as I take a look back at Sunday’s games and review the fantasy implications of some of the more interesting performances. It’s also never too early to start thinking about your waiver wire pickups for Week 10.

I love those mayhem Allstate commercials.  Especially the Pink SUV Mayhem and the Jogger Mayhem.  But, do we really need the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen that says, ‘Demonstration only. Do not attempt’.  Are we that stupid?  Does not putting the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen really make Allstate liable should you decide to ram your car into a pole while watching a hot chick jog?  So with that in mind..‘I accept no responsibility for anything that I am about to write’.

This is what makes fantasy football so much fun to play.  Did anyone have Buffalo wide receiver Steve Johnson on their radar prior to the season?  Exactly.  Through Sunday’s game versus the Bears Johnson has compiled 41 receptions 554 yards and six touchdowns in eight games.  Which is pretty surprising given that in his first two years combined he had 10 catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns. 

Granted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a huge surprise in his own right.  But with the potential #1 pick in the NFL draft staring the Bills in the face, Johnson’s stock is on really on the rise with either Washington QB Jake Locker or Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett headed to town. 

After a two year absence from the NFL draft’s first round it shouldn’t take the Bears more than 30 seconds to pull the trigger on the best offensive lineman left on the board.  I know the Bears need a stud wide receiver to go along with franchise QB Jay Cutler, but an elite offensive lineman would not only help protect Cutler, but he would also improve the Bears’ anemic running game.

Peyton Hillis you are a beast!  184 rushing yards, two touchdowns and three catches for 36 yards against a Patriots’ defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rushing game this season.  Hillis is on pace for 1,288 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns and 60 receptions. 

Remember, when drafting your team or putting together your lineup, you need to trust your own instincts.  I’m in the first year of a 12-team ‘experts’ dynasty league and was able to pick up Hillis off the free agent pile the week before the season started.  Yup, 12 so-called ‘experts’ allowed Hillis to go undrafted.

Browns’ QB Colt McCoy has now beaten the Saints and Patriots in back-to-back games.  Although he didn’t throw a touchdown in either game, he didn’t throw an interception either.  It looks like the Browns have found their QB of the future.

Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s game versus the Jets.  Hopefully it’s not serious as the Lions are an exciting team to watch with him at QB.

Welcome to the NFL Seyi Ajirotutu.  Chargers’ rookie WR Seyi Ajirotutu got the start along side Patrick Crayton on Sunday and made the most of his opportunity as he led the Chargers with four catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns.  If you’re in a dynasty league you may want to invest in Ajirotutu as it’s beginning to look as if Philip Rivers is becoming Peyton Manning West.  It doesnt’ matter who is lined up at wide receiver or tight end, Rivers is going to get his numbers.  No Antonio Gates, no problem.  Washed up veteran Randy McMichael got the start and hauled in two touchdown passes.

Speaking of Peyton Manning, look what he’s done to Jacob Tamme?  Two starts, two touchdowns.  Tamme led all Colts’ players with 17 targets, hauling in 11 receptions for 108 yards to go along with a touchdown.  If I owned Dallas Clark in a dynasty league I would be starting to get a little worried.  Indianapolis has one of the more tight end friendly schedules going forward so there is little reason to expect Tamme to slow down.  As such, I just don’t see how Tamme goes back to being a non-factor next season when Clark returns.  It’s obvious that Peyton Manning doesn’t care who he is throwing to, so it’s quite possible that we’ve seen the last of Dallas Clark as an elite tight end.

Everyone knows that Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis loves speed.  That’s why he passed on Michael Crabtree last year and selected Darrius Heyward-Bey with the #7 pick in the 1st round.  Although he has speed Heyward-Bey caught only nine passes while being targeted 40 times in 2009.  2010 hasn’t been much kinder to Heyward-Bey as he’s caught only 19 of his 51 targets. 

But this year it appears that the Raiders may have struck gold and they didn’t have to overpay, at least not with a first round pick.  Welcome Jacoby Ford.  Ford was drafted with the #10 pick in the 4th round of this year’s draft.  Some felt that was a bit early for a guy who many considered to be strictly a return man.  But, we know Al loves speed and Ford has it.  He posted the fasted time at the combine with a 4.28-second 40-yard dash.  So, imagine how Al must have felt yesterday when Ford caught six passes for 148 yards while also returning a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.  Ford has now caught 10-of-17 targets and is in prime position to claim a starting wide receiver role.  Ford is a young wide receiver with upside who should be on your radar, if not your roster, in dynasty leagues.

Raiders’ fullback Marcel Reece is another Raider who should be on your dynasty radar.  Reece is a 6-3, 240 pound ex-wide receiver who ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash during his pro day.  He’s locked behind Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, but has shown some talent.  He makes for a nice speculative play as he’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Jim Bukowski is a staff writer for and can be reached at

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