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Week 9: Weathering the Bye Weeks

Welcome to Week 9 of the Brew Crew Corner. I hope that everyone is safe from the hurricane and that your friends and family are ok. I am a native New Yorker and having a lot of family and friends who still live in that area. It’s sad to see the news of the destruction that has taken place. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who are affected.

While some of us recover from the storm, the rest of us are weathering the fantasy storm that is the bye weeks, injuries and inconsistencies of players. Imagine your back in August and you come away from the draft with a lineup of Michael Vick/Philip Rivers, Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, Brandon Lloyd, DeMarco Murray, Fred Jackson, David Wilson and Antonio Gates as your tight end and the Eagles defense. You would think that you were in good shape heading into the season. Eight weeks later, Vick, Rivers and Johnson are not performing up to their abilities, injuries to Jennings, Murray and Jackson have hampered your lineup and the Eagles defense is 30th in fantasy scoring with just 6.6 points per game.

It is a crap storm that has killed your fantasy season. The good thing is that the storm is clearing up. Unless you are 1-7 or 2-6 you still have some hope of making the postseason. After all, it isn’t how you start but how you finish. I have gotten into the playoffs with a 7-7 record and even seen people squeak in with a 6-8 record. In looking back at the past six years of Shark Leagues that I have participated in, the 6th seeded team has made the playoffs with as low a record as 6-6-1 and have had three teams finish at 6-7 and two teams finish at 7-6.

Teams right now that are 3-5 or 4-4 still have a chance to make a strong push for the playoffs. What you need to do is really evaluate your team and try to either make a trade or upgrade at one of the other positions. So if you have a quarterback such as Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler who is averaging 14.3 points a game, try to swing a deal with an owner with a better option for you. See if you can get a Matt Ryan or Peyton Manning for a straight-up trade. Maybe those players are off limits to trades, so try to get Andrew Luck or Cam Newton. Both quarterbacks are averaging 20.5 fantasy points which amounts to a weekly increase of six points.

Now that we are down to our last two weekends of bye weeks, we should have enough players to cover the remaining weeks and can start picking up more productive players that might help us soon. If you drop players such as Mark Ingram and Kevin Ogletree, you can pick up Vincent Brown, Danny Amendola or Beanie Wells who could return from injury and play well for the remainder of the season.

Teams off week 9: Patriots, Rams, 49ers and Jets

The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.

Doug Martin– 29 carries for 135 yards and 1 touchdown, 3 receptions for 79 yards and 1 touchdown. Martin had his best game as a pro, posting his best rushing and receiving totals of the season in one game. Of his remaining games, he doesn’t face a top tier run defense other than the Chargers in Week 10.

Rob Gronkowski– 8 receptions for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. New England tore it up in old England as Gronkowski showed the Brits what a top tight end could do. This was the best receiving game this season for Gronk and the 2nd most since last season in Week 14 when he had 160 yards and two scores against the Redskins.

Jason Witten– 18 receptions for 167 yards. Witten was PPR gold this week setting an NFL and franchise record for catches in a game by a tight end. Only thing he didn’t do was get into the end zone but fantasy owners should still be pleased with this performance. After a slow first three weeks of the season, Witten has been the 2nd best tight end in fantasy since Week 4 with 88 points which includes a bye week. Rob Gronkowski is first with 99 points over the past five weeks.

The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.

Jamaal Charles– 5 carries for 4 yards. Don’t blame Charles for this one. Blame OC Brian Daboll who doesn’t know how to use his best player. Daboll gave such a lame explanation on how Oakland played such good defense. Of course, if you run the ball 13 times then you’re not going to get much production out of it. For a player that put up 233 yards in Week 3, you need to feed this guy the ball. Owners need to be worried while Daboll is calling the plays. Tough matchups the next two weeks for Charles as they play the Chargers and Steelers.

Philip Rivers– 18-for-34 for 154 yards. Like his Week 3 performance, he was garbage this week. Luckily, I benched him before the game in my money leagues. Most owners don’t know what to do with Rivers these days. You can’t get much in a trade and there isn’t anyone on the waiver that could give you more production. If you have other options such as Carson Palmer, you’ll have to rely on them until Rivers gets back into a groove.

Victor Cruz– 2 receptions for 23 yards. Cruz was targeted eight times and had one catch knocked out of his hands that was intercepted. Despite getting just four points, he still is the No. 1 wide receiver in Shark Leagues with 155 points. Cruz has a tough matchup this week against the Steelers but should play well.

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