WEEK 9 of NFL action signals the halfway mark of the Fantasy Football season. Some of you may be flying high, some sitting in the middle and others cursing your team and everything fantasy with your eye’s already on 2018. The NBA season isn’t quite that far through, but we are starting to recognize what things were flashes in the pan and what trends are here to stay. Let’s dive into another week’s analysis.
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*All fantasy stats and numbers are based on ESPN format fantasy leagues.
- CURRENTLY Indiana is riding a three-game winning streak fueled by their new off-season additions. Domantas Sabonis (16.7 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 66.7 FG%) and Victor Oladipo (20.0 PPG, 2.7 3PM) are thriving over the last seven days after being traded to the Pacers in the offseason as part of the Paul George deal. It’s worth noting that they are putting up numbers without Myles Turner (concussion), but Oladipo’s line, in particular, should continue to be a fruitful one for owners.
Image from indycornrows.com
- ONE of the hottest and most added players in the first 10 days of the season Dejounte Murray (Spurs, PG/SG) has seen his production screech to a halt. The struggling rookie is shooting 32% in the past week averaging just seven points a game. First-year players often experience yo-yo like production, and Murray is still getting a ton of minutes so he may bounce back in the coming weeks. Right now though he doesn’t warrant a roster spot.
- NEW Orleans Pelicans’ big men Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins continue to be some of the most dominant fantasy players in the league. Boogie averaged an insane 29.3 points, 14 rebounds, 7.3 assists plus over three steals and three made 3’s a game ober the last seven. Davis has been just as impressive with 31 points and over 11 rebounds in his matchups last week.
MUST ADD – Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls, PF
THE Bulls were thrown under the bus for drafting Markannen last year, but it seems like they made the right choice early on. Averaging 17.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG through six games his stock is definitely rising in real basketball and in fantasy, based on his ability to shoot a good percentage from behind the arc. Add, add, add!
Other candidates: Domantas Sabonis (Pacers, PF, 58.5%) & Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets, PG, 20.6%)
Image from savonsanomat.fi
MUST DROP – Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers, SF/PF
SARIC made a run at being the Rookie of the Year last season but he is definitely a candidate suffering from sophomore blues. Part of the reason he isn’t outperforming his first-year stats is because of a lack of playing time and opportunity and unless we see otherwise Saric offers very little fantasy upside.
Other candidates: Nerlens Noel (Mavericks, C, 53.0%) & Trevor Booker (Nets, PF, 37.4%)
INJURY NEWS – Greg Monroe (Bucks, PF/C) and Markelle Fultz (76ers, PG) were the two players who suffered the biggest injuries last week that will see them both miss two to three weeks of action. Fultz has been dealing with shoulder and wrist issues since he was drafted, so much so that he changed his shooting style and Monroe is battling with a calf complaint. He isn’t the only player suffering from a calf ailment with Tristian Thompson (Cavs, PF/C) injuring his calf against the Pacers yesterday that will see him miss the rest of the month of November.
WEEK 9 BYE TEAMS: Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots
- THE Seattle/Houston game last week saw some of the highest fantasy scores of the entire year. DeAndre Hopkins (28.4, 36.4 PPR) snagged the most receiving yards out of any player this season with 224 that included a 72-yard touchdown. Both quarterbacks Russell Wilson (35.1) and Deshaun Watson (32.8) threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns to top score for quarterbacks in Week 9. In the Bills W over the Raiders LeSean McCoy (23.3, 29.3 PPR) dominated with over 150 rushing yards to be the top scoring running back of the week.
- BUFFALO versus New York kicked things off for another week of NFL action and the second half of the season. The Bills and Jets have surprised in the early season with impressive wins but New York was the impressive one on Thursday, fueled by Matt Forte’s (21.6, 25.6 PPR) two touchdown the Jets romped the Bills to the tune of a 34-21 victory.
- AFTER struggling for the three straight weeks (all Broncos losses) Denver has had enough of Trevor Siemian under center. Instead, the team will start their matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles with Brock Osweiler as QB No. 1. Osweiler hasn’t done much this year with just four pass attempts after starting 15 games for the Texans last season. We need to see how he performs for at least two or three games before investing in him.
- IT seems like Ezekiel Elliott is finally going to serve his six-game suspension after a U.S. District Judge ruled that he must begin his ban this week when Dallas hosts Kansas City. NFL lawyers have said that an appeal from Elliott has no chance of being successful meaning he will be sidelined until the Cowboys play Oakland on the 17th of December. That means that Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will become one and two on the depth chart at running back in Zeke’s absence.
Image from thegamehaus.com
- THE most active NFL trade period in recent memory saw plenty of big names change clubs. There was no name bigger than Jimmy Garoppolowho, who is now a 49er. It’s unclear when or if he will play for San Fran so monitor the news headlines about his status. Kelvin Benjamin was also on the move joining Buffalo where the former Panthers receiver will demand alot of targets. The Eagles also got in on the trade action snaring Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins. He is the clear No. 1 running back and should produce similar numbers to what he already has all year.
MUST ADD – JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers, WR
IT’S official JuJu is legit. Illustrated by his 97-yard TD last week Smith-Schuster’s place on the depth chart in Pittsburgh appears to be concrete with Martavis Bryant likely on the way out or at the very least demanding few targets. Full disclosure, the Steelers have their bye this week, but next week make him a top priority.
Other candidates: Kenyan Drake (Dolphins, RB, 42.6%) & Paul Richardson (Seahawks, WR, 39.7%)
MUST DROP – Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles, RB
WITH the acquisition of Jay Ajayi, the rest of the Philly backfield offers very little fantasy upside now. Wendell Smallwood seems to be the biggest victim of Ajayi demanding a heavy snap count therefore he should be dropped in most formats. The replacement for Ajayi in Miami Kenyan Drake could be a good replacement.
Other candidates: Willie Snead (Saints, WR, 45.5%) & Mike Gillislee (Patriots, RB, 65.9%)
INJURY NEWS – Zach Miller (Bears, TE) was the biggest injury concern last week with a gruesome leg injury where Miller dislocated his knee. That was until everyone’s new favourite rookie Deshaun Watson (Texans, QB) tore his ACL in a non contact injury at practice, ruling him out for the rest of the year. Speaking of out for the rest of the year Andrew Luck’s season is over before it even started with Indianapolis placing him on IR. Sterling Sheppard (Giants, WR), Corey Davis (Titans, WR) and Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos, WR) could all return this week and after taking a brutal hit last week Joe Flacco (Ravens, QB) has confirmed he will play.