Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 9 fantasy football moves to make now

An exciting story-line from Week 8 is the remarkable play of the 2014 rookie wide receiver class. I called this before the season, and this is going to be true in a landslide - we are watching the greatest rookie wide receiver class in "fantasy history" and it sure does look like the greatest receiver class ever at this pace. Sammy Watkins (Buffalo), Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina), Brandin Cooks (New Orleans) and Allen Robinson (Jacksonville) are all in the Top 25 among receivers this season, and several more rookie receivers made their mark this week. 

First up, and I mentioned him as a player to add last week, Donte Moncrief (Indianapolis) clearly made the most of his opportunity this week with Reggie Wayne out. Moncrief is likely your top waiver claim this week if he is still available after racking up 113 yards and a score on 7 receptions. Moncrief led the Colts in targets as well (12). Bear in mind that Reggie Wayne will be back soon, but Moncrief is too big of a play-maker for the Colts to not get on the field. Moncrief reminds me of Dez Bryant and Moncrief is a true “physical specimen”. For you Combine fans, Moncrief ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash this year (3rd-best among receivers), he also finished 3rd in the Vertical Jump among receivers (with a 39.5" jump) and Moncrief had the best Broad Jump of anyone at the Combine (an impressive 11'0"). 

The next rookie receiver, former Clemson and now Pittsburgh Steeler receiver Martavis Bryant looked mighty impressive Sunday catching two touchdowns, and he has three scores over the last two weeks. Bryant was considered raw coming out of college (he had just 34 receptions last year) but he is making a solid contribution with 12 targets over the last two weeks. Bryant gives Ben Roethlisberger something none of the team's other receivers can offer - size. Bryant may be a little hit or miss on any given week but he is clear-cut must add. 

Rounding up the rookie call-out, Arizona's John Brown is also a must add too if he's available. Brown has seen 6+ targets in four of his past five games and he should be more consistent as the season wears on (assuming Carson Palmer can stay healthy).

I mentioned Jonas Gray (New England) last week and he in fact looks to have locked down the power back role for New England with Stevan Ridely out for the season. Although Gray had 86 yards this week, he's still more of a low-end option at the end of the day who won't add to this total in the passing game. 

No Reggie Bush this week, no problem. Theo Riddick (Detroit) stepped in and collected 8 receptions. Bush will likely be back however after the Lions' Week 9 BYE week although Riddick still is worth adding in deeper leagues. 

In somewhat of a surprise move, Bernard Pierce was a healthy scratch this week as the Ravens fired up Lorenzo Taliaferro instead. Taliaferro got the call around the end-zone and delivered two scores. Especially in touchdown-heavy scoring formats, Taliaferro is worth adding. 

In St. Louis, Brian Quick will be out for the season leaving Kenny Britt to slide into the team’s #1 receiver role and Stedman Bailey will likely start on the other side. Bailey had his moments last year as a rookie and can add some depth as a potential flex. I mentioned Tavon Austin last week. Austin is still the top Rams' fantasy receiver to own. 

Take a look and make sure no one has cut tight end Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota). He should be back soon, maybe this week. 

Last - and anything but least - add running back Charles Sims (Tampa Bay). Sims is set to be reactivated from Injured Reserve this week. Doug Martin has under-whelmed and with a 1-6 record it is time for the Buccaneers to starting turning to the future. Sims draws Matt Forte comparisons and Sims in particular is an exceptional receiving running back (Sims averaged 10.4 yards per catch in college, an exceptionally high number for a running back, and on 142 receptions in college). 

Other fantasy notes 
It's pretty amazing - Ahmad Bradshaw (Indianapolis) is on pace for a cool 16 TDs. Bradshaw returns to face his former team the N.Y. Giants on Monday Night Football this coming week. 

Geno Smith has been benched (after yet three more interceptions - in the first quarter). Michael Vick (35) will make his first start as a Jet although at Arrowhead doesn't sound too inviting. 

Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh) simply didn't get enough love on fantasy draft day. Brown is currently the No. 1 fantasy receiver, and in a runaway. 

Mark Ingram (New Orleans) was finally unleashed this week with a career-best 24 carries and he responded with a lethal career-best 172 yards rushing. Perhaps head coach Sean Payton will finally let the former Heisman Trophy winner be a franchise back for the Saints. Ingram is in the final year of his contract and playing for a big payday down the stretch.