“What goes up must come down,” is what the band Chicago taught me. Whether it be the the stock you just purchased, your personal fitness level around age 20 or the value of your fantasy football players, the saying is true. Now, more than ever, properly valuing your players can literally be the difference of you winning or losing significant amounts of money (assuming you are a degenerate like the rest of us).
We are now entering week 10, which is probably the most important stretch of the fantasy football season. Hopefully if you added waiver guys such as Joseph Fauria or Dexter McCluster, you immediately sold high on them. On the same note, hopefully you realized early enough that Julius Thomas and Giovanni Bernard looked great and bought into them. By now, we have a great gauge on the players who started the season in the starting lineup. These days, the tough ones to value are players like Mike Brown and Marquise Goodwin who are just filling in for injured/suspended alternatives. Those are the guys I’m looking to properly value in this week’s piece, so sit back, relax and enjoy the literature.
Here are some players whose values have changed significantly since this time last week. Remember, as always, I try my best not to be so obvious with the players I choose……but at this point it’s difficult not to be.
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Nick Foles – It’s hard to not use Foles as my QB with in the value up section for this week. He was as good as dead in fantasy circles only to shock the world with seven touchdown passes. Oakland’s passing defense wasn’t exactly in shambles considering they had allowed 403 yards passing and one passing TD in the previous two games. Foles will be an underdog to even throw for 5 passing TD in another game this season, but surely has won the starting QB job for the foreseeable future. He gets the very average Packers’ secondary this week so roll him out there once again.
Rashad Jennings – Wait, Darren McFadden is hurt again? I don’t believe it! I swore this would be the season he stayed healthy! Haha, just kidding, those words have never been spoken before. Sorry, I’m just being a dick. Anyways, after McFadden went down, Jennings had a helluva game: 15 carries for 102 yds and TD along with 7 REC for 74 yards. Have a day, kid! We already know DMC did not practice on Wednesday leading me to believe he will not play on Sunday. The team tends to be cautious with their starting, injury prone tailback. Jennings should be a safe bet to receive the start Sunday with the chance of getting 2 or more in the near future.
Andre Johnson – Why did it take Houston quarterbacks so long to figure out that Andre is beast all over the field, especially in the red zone? He’s 6’3, 230 lbs and has some of the best ball skills in football. Now that Case Keenum recognizes him as a beast, he should produce as a beast from here on out. Legitimate WR1 the rest of the way…period.
Mike Brown – If you expected anything more out of Justin Blackmon, then you probably had unreasonable expectations. Clearly he has an addiction to something although I’m still trying to figure out exactly what substance it is. Either way, Mike Brown immediately becomes pick up worthy in all 12+ team leagues. Even with Blackmon in town the last three weeks, Brown has recorded at least 3 REC and 43 yards. In that stretch, one game was 5 REC, 120 YDS and another was 3 REC for 43 YDS and a TD. We all know the Jaguars are garbage time heroes and always play from behind. This guy is just the next man up in a fantasy friendly passing game. His name may not be “sexy,” but the production will be there from here on out.
Rishard Matthews – You may have never heard of this guy before this article so remember where you heard this name first. Matthews has been getting some looks since Brandon Gibson went down to season ending injury. He has 10 targets in the last two games. According to rotowire, however, he has zero end zone targets in that span. I have watched nearly every Dolphins snap and I believe that statistic to be untrue. With my own two eyes, I saw him receive at least 2 targets in the end zone during that stretch. Either way, I believe Tannehill starts relying on him consistently. I admit he’s better suited for PPR leagues due to his weak yardage outputs so far, but he’s someone to keep an eye on. Don’t be surprised if he emerges as the #2 WR over Hartline at some point, or at least as the red zone target. I think he has a good chance of scoring this week at Tampa. If he does, remember where you heard the name.
Zach Ertz – The obvious guy’s value to announce as up would be Riley Cooper after his monster week. Let me assure you, it is. I wanted to touch on someone under the radar however in Ertz. Two tight end sets can be frustrating but Foles has been way more inclined to use his large weapons than Vick. Ertz is the more talented player so I think that wins out. It has lately: Ertz has 9 targets to Celek’s 7 in the last two weeks. He also has 6 REC for 47 YDS and a TD to Celek’s 5 REC for 44 YDS and a TD. I’m not saying he’s a stud by any means, but if you need a injury or bye week replacement in a deeper league in the short term, he could be your man. Also, keep an eye to see if he can win a larger majority of the snaps in the upcoming weeks.
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Jake Locker – Just when we all had Locker pegged as an every week start, he lets us down. Week 9 ended a streak of at least 299 passing yards and 2 TD or 3 total TD for three consecutive weeks. Locker doesn’t exactly have the world’s greatest weapons and the run game looks like it’s about to get going. While it was no holiday to own Locker this week, he does get Jacksonville next week. If you started him this week without bye issues, then you might as well start him next week. If he doesn’t produce against the Jaguars then you officially can’t trust him.
Ray Rice – This just isn’t his year. In 0.5 PPR leagues, Rice ranks 33rd among all backs in fantasy points. In 8 games, he has 3 total TD, all of which have come via the rushing variety. Having a history as a PPR stud, he still has 27 REC in half a season. I just don’t see the explosiveness anymore. If I own him, I am looking to sell for what I can get. Someone like Le’Veon Bell or Stevan Ridley would be a gift right now in some sort of 1 for 1 deal. Ray is just about a middle of the road RB2 for the rest of the season in my estimation.
Torrey Smith – Just like Rice, Smith too is a member of the overall disappointing Ravens offense. Over the course of the last three games, Smith has just 18 targets or 6 per game. That is fine but isn’t exactly elite for fantasy purposes. He also only has 9 receptions in that span (3 per week) and no touchdowns. C’mon man. Marlon Brown seems to take the red zone looks, and as I predicted before the season, Smith just isn’t a reliable WR1 in fantasy (or for his own team).
Jordy Nelson/James Jones/Jarrett Boykin/Andrew Quarless – I think you should be able to connect the dots here: the loss of Aaron Rodgers hurts all of his receivers’ value. The combination of Seneca Wallace and Matt Flynn won’t be enough to sustain consistent value for any of them. Kick them all down a few notches as maybe the best one (Jordy Nelson) is only a mid tier WR2 for the moment…..if that high. Aaron, please come back soon.