If a freak accident occurred and I happened to, say, fall off my roof, then I would still be expected to return to work as soon as I could walk. In this theoretical situation, I am not quite sure how I ended up on the roof but work with me here. Working behind a desk/computer for the most part just requires mental capacity.
Football players, on the other hand, have a much higher required health level to make it through an entire, hard hitting game. You won’t find me walking on any roofs anytime soon, so the odds of my ridiculous scenario occurring are slim to none. Football players put themselves in scenarios far riskier on every damn play in an NFL game. It’s no wonder that we’ve come to week 9 and are having problems getting active players into our lineup.
Players such as Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb, Julio Jones and Doug Martin have suffered injuries that will cost them at least this week (and much more for some of them). Other players just suffer from the dreaded questionable tag. Either way, fielding a full lineup has become more difficult. For this reason, we need to be damn near perfect in catching healthy players when their value is on the rise. We also need to be getting rid of withering players when their value has expired.
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I hope the injury bug hasn’t struck your team. Whether it has or hasn’t, pay close attention to the information I’m about to provide you with. Here are some players whose values have changed significantly since this time last week. Remember I try my best not to be so obvious with the players I choose.
Andy Dalton – Somehow, someway Dalton now has back-to-back-to-back 3+ TD games. The emergence of Marvin Jones has certainly helped Dalton spread the ball around and make the offense a whole lot less predictable. With the receiving core having a Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffrey feel to it, I actually really like Dalton going forward. Also, emerging rookie Tyler Eifert is getting better by the week. Considering all the weapons Dalton has at his disposal, I wouldn’t be shocked if he continued to be a low-end QB1 for the rest of the season. Don’t forget he finished as QB12 last season.
Alfred Morris – Remember when Roy Helu was emerging as the lead back after his 3 TD performance? Turns out that must have just been a game plan invoked fluke performance. Morris received 17 carries for 93 yards and a TD in week 8 as compared to Helu’s 6 total touches. As long as the Redskins don’t get down big, Morris will have a big role in the offense just about every week. If they do happen to be getting killed, Helu will see an increase in action. The Redskins do have a pretty terrible defense, so if you own Morris, you must just sit and hope they stay competitive every week.
Dexter McCluster – This speedy, formerly under-utilized slot receiver has led his team in receiving in back-to-back weeks. Finally, he caught his first touchdown (a 28 yarder), and actually ended up leading his team in targets. It’s been a long time coming for McCluster to find a consistent role in the Chiefs’ offensive. He is one of the most explosive players in football and Kansas City’s offense is the exact opposite. For a team that links to dink and dunk, McCluster’s speed is a game changer. I think Reid has found a weapon he likes and will continue to go to him in the immediate future. I wouldn’t consider him a WR3 just yet, but with another solid week he will be in the conversation.
Timothy Wright – Since he’s emerged as the starting TE, he’s kind of seemed like Mike Glennon’s safety blanket. Now that Mike Williams has been put on IR, I’m positive he is Glennon’s go-to guy in a bad spot. Obviously, Vincent Jackson is his #1 WR, but you can’t throw to him on every passing play (although Glennon sometimes tries). Wright is way more valuable in PPR leagues, but the Williams news gives me confidence in him as TE2. If you are hurting with injuries or bye week blues, you could do much worse than this Tampa Bay tight end.
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Robert Griffin III – What’s the scariest part about owning RGIII or any of the rushing quarterbacks? If you answered the possibility of injury, then you are correct! Last week, Griffin had one of those weeks cut short by injury. Unfortunately, he injured the same knee that he injured (torn ACL) in last season’s playoffs. Griffin has been semi-disappointing while he’s progressed from that injury, so this set back makes it even worse. If you took a shot on drafting Griffin as a top 5 upside top QB, well, it’s not going to happen. If you have him you probably have to keep starting him, but I’d look to move his name value before your league’s trade deadline. I want/need a reliable fantasy quarterback.
Willis McGahee – Willis is a volume type runner. Lately, he hasn’t gotten the volume he needs to be successful. His carries in the last three weeks are 10, 11, 9. Now today he missed practice to rest his sore knees. For a player averaging 2.9 YPC, I can’t advocate starting him on any given week with those workloads. If he’s not getting around the 26 carries that he was given in week 5, then he is borderline useless.
DeSean Jackson – Well, Michael Vick is hurt yet again. Nick Foles is prepared to start this weekend. Sadly, Foles is actually an upgrade from Matt Barkley. Jackson clearly has the best chemistry with Vick and Vick’s strong arm fits best with Jackson’s skill set. It’s now been two weeks since he scored his last TD, and the poor QB play from Foles doesn’t have me excited about the future. Unless we see a great improvement from Foles, I am downgrading Jackson for the rest of the season. He is still a boom-or-bust type WR2, but I can’t consider him a WR1 in this situation.
Rob Gronkowski – From a 17 target, 100+ yard game to a 2 catch, 27 yard performance. The NFL truly is a week-to-week type league. In no way am I telling you to bench or trade Gronk, but rather to realize he is not fully healthy and Tom Brady has been playing terribly. To be fair, he did have a 40 yard TD negated by a penalty further proving you need to play him every week. Just don’t pencil him in for 20+ fantasy points on every given week because the situation isn’t as great as it was last season…………not yet.