Friends and Family Matters

Michael Gehlken

It's a sad time of the season for rookie quarterbacks, secondary Chiefs receivers and third-down specialist running backs.

Week 9 marks the final time of the year that six NFL teams have a bye at once, meaning that in deeper leagues, the services of usual fantasy afterthoughts will no longer be required.

As the experts in the 14-teamYahoo! Friends and Family League breathe a collective sigh of relief, we'll take a look at who some of them are starting for the first and, chances are, last time.

Of Week 8's bye substitutes, Mark Sanchez(notes) was the top scorer, putting up 25.2 points for Chris Chase's team.

Isaac Bruce(notes)
Matchup: Ten
PLUS league usage: 11-percent owned, 3-percent started
Owner: Matt Romig
Replacing: Justin Fargas(notes)

Turning 38 on Tuesday, Bruce doesn't offer much week-to-week fantasy upside at this point in his career. That said, with defenses scheming to stop the emerging Michael Crabtree(notes) and Vernon Davis(notes), the 16th-year wide out could be quietly productive this week. Bruce was targeted six times in Week 7 and eight times in Week 8. If that number keeps trending upward, Romig will take his chances.

Jacoby Jones(notes)
Matchup: @Ind
PLUS league usage: 37-percent owned, 17-percent started
Owner: Michael Salfino
Replacing: Percy Harvin(notes)

With Owen Daniels(notes) out for the year (knee), Houston will have to rely more heavily on its wide receiver corps from here on out. Kevin Walter(notes) is expected to be the greatest beneficiary, but Jones could see more action as well. The deep threat was only targeted once last week and has yet to register more than two catches in a game this season, but a deep-ball score is always a possibility.

Chris Brown
Matchup: @Ind
PLUS league usage: 3-percent owned, 1-percent started
Owner: Matt Romig
Replacing: Thomas Jones(notes)

Gary Kubiak made it clear this week that his backfield will be run by committee against the Colts. Ryan Moats(notes) will start and Steve Slaton(notes) will surely follow, making Brown the third option. Goal-line action may be the only thing that Brown owners have to cling to, and with that no lock to happen, he makes for a very risky play.

Working the Wire
The following section catalogs the transactions made in the Friends and Family League following each week of the regular season. Every owner has a $100 free agent acquisition budget for the year to be used on players clearing waivers

The move: Scott Pianowski dropped Jerome Harrison(notes) and added Ryan Moats for $45.
The logic: That Moats is headlining as the priciest waiver bid after Week 8 should surprise no one. The fourth-year back tallied 151 total yards and three touchdowns in place of Slaton and appears set to play a significant role in the Texans' backfield from this point forward. It'll take some time to see just how Pianowski makes out with this move, but it has a chance of paying major dividends.

The move: Dalton del Don dropped Eddie Royal(notes) and added Matt Hasselbeck(notes) for $10.
The logic: Hasselbeck has bounced from roster to roster in our league, and his inconsistency behind a weak offensive line has been the reason why. Hasselbeck still has the experience and weapons to take advantage of a good matchup, and he has that this week against the Lions. By making this move, del Don became the league's first manager to go broke, so he'll be coasting on Wednesday mornings from here on out.

Other adds: Seattle defense, Bernard Berrian(notes), Fred Davis(notes), Maurice Morris(notes), Dustin Keller(notes), Jeff Reed(notes), Jones, San Francisco defense, Justin Forsett(notes), Atlanta defense, Dantrell Savage(notes), Kevin Boss(notes), Brown, Olindo Mare(notes), Royal, Le'Ron McClain(notes), Bruce, Earl Bennett(notes)

Other drops: San Diego defense, Lance Moore(notes), Bryant Johnson(notes), Donald Lee(notes), Danny Ware(notes), Zach Miller, Houston defense, David Garrard(notes), Dallas defense, Chad Henne(notes), Daniels, Jay Feely(notes), Buffalo defense, Jason Hanson(notes), Davone Bess(notes), Justin Gage(notes), Julian Edelman(notes), Indianapolis defense, Kenny Britt(notes)

What to Read Next