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Fantasy Football: Week 9 Thoughts and Free Agent Focus

Advice from a Hall of Fame Inductee

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Week 9 Thoughts

I hope this finds each of you doing very well and sitting at the top of your fantasy football league standings. I can't believe we are halfway through the NFL season. I had a couple of rough league games last night as I chose to start Michael Vick over Andrew Luck in one league and I lost by a half point. All Andrew Luck did on Sunday was throw for over 433 yards and scored over 30 points in most leagues. In another league, I lost by three points. I had Robert Griffin III, Pierre Thomas and Percy Harvin on my team. Robert Griffin III had two TDs called back because of penalties, Pierre Thomas was stopped short of the end zone at the one yard line and Percy Harvin was injured early in the game. Sometimes you just have to chalk up a loss to fate and realize the other team was destined to win that game. The life of a fantasy football manager can be so humbling at times.

Now for the good news: I won several league games this past weekend as I had Superman Doug Martin on several of my teams. All I can say is WOW! His performance was reminiscent of Michael Vick's Monday night performance in 2010 when he torched the Washington Redskins and scored well over 45 fantasy points. Doug Martin reminds me a little of Ray Rice, and Greg Schiano coached Ray Rice in college at Rutgers, so he knows a thing or two about coaching good RBs.

There were several injuries again this week. Darren Sproles will be out indefinitely with a broken hand and the New Orleans Saints didn't release this information until late last week. If you have Pierre Thomas or Mark Ingram, I would use them as a flex. It appears after last night's game the Saints will use Thomas, Ingram and Christopher Ivory in the backfield. I was hoping Pierre Thomas would see the bulk of the carries but it appears they will utilize all three RBs the rest of the way. The most notable injury this week was Darren McFadden. I had McFadden on a couple of very good teams and I had Mike Goodson as his backup on my roster as well. Both McFadden and Goodson are out with high ankle sprains. Based on McFadden's injury history and previous recoveries, I am going to estimate McFadden is out four weeks, if not longer. Both Antonio Brown and Percy Harvin have ankle injuries and I seriously doubt if we see either of them in Week 10.

Week 10 Free Agent Focus

Marcel Reece/Taiwan Jones, Oakland Raiders

With McFadden out with a high ankle sprain, it will be the Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones show in the backfield. No one knows how many carries each player will receive but it is clear that the Oakland Raiders trust Marcel Reece in the passing game. He was a WR in college and he has excellent receiving skills. Reece had 8 receptions for 95 yards and a TD against the Buccaneers. He was the featured RB once McFadden was injured. Taiwan Jones is the speed guy and this may be a running-back-by-committee between he and Reece. However, if you are in a PPR league, I am going to guess that Reece will be the third down passing back and primary goal line back until McFadden returns. Both players will be hot waiver-wire pickups.

Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals

Wells is scheduled to return to practice this week but is not eligible to play until Week 12. He will probably reclaim the starting spot over LaRod Stephens-Howling, but the main problem is the Cardinals offensive line. They have struggled much of the season with run blocking, but if you have a roster spot you might want to consider adding Wells to your lineup before Week 12. They play the St. Louis Rams in Week 12 and the New York Jets in Week 13. The schedule gets a lot tougher to finish the season but if you need depth, consider adding Wells who should reclaim the lead RB position.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers

With Antonio Brown likely out this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs, look to add Emmanuel Sanders immediately. Sanders knows the offense well and is a great receiver who finished with a TD and a 63-yard punt return on Sunday against the Giants.

Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions

I have highlighted Broyles before but if you need depth at the WR position, look to add Broyles now. He had 6 receptions for 52 yards. For the past three games, he has 12 receptions for 140 yards and two TDs. He isn't the first option in this offense but if you need a weekly flex replacement, consider adding him to your roster.

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

With Coby Fleener out, Allen had 6 receptions for 75 yards against the Miami Dolphins. He is a big receiver and has good chemistry with Andrew Luck. Fleener is out again this week and Allen has an excellent matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. If you need a TE or a bye-week replacement, look to add Dwayne Allen.

Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams

Amenmdola is set to return this week. If by chance someone left him on the waiver wire, add him immediately. He is Bradford's primary receiver and before his injury Amendola had 31 receptions for 351 yards and 2 TDs in four games. During the last part of the season, in Weeks 14-16, the Rams face the Buffalo Bills' and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' low ranked passing defense.

Defenses

The Pittsburgh Steelers play the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Not to state the obvious, but If they are sitting on your waiver wire, please add them immediately. The Kansas City Chiefs are struggling on offense, to say the least. Last week, I highlighted the Denver Broncos as a defense to own for the rest of the season. They scored a special teams TD on Sunday against the Bengals and have a favorable schedule against the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers to finish the season.

Good luck this weekend and enjoy the games. Let's bring home a fantasy football league championship!

Kimra was selected by Toyota for its inaugural Fantasy Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

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