This week for the first time all season, fantasy owners will be forced to juggle six teams coming off of byes and six teams going on byes. That makes for another active waiver wire, as owners pick up players with great matchups to replace their stars resting on bye weeks. In Week 9, owners of players such as Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Jordy Nelson and Julio Jones, may have smartly started one-week mercenaries with good matchups like Brian Hoyer, Denard Robinson and Jarvis Landry.
Unfortunately, many of the good fantasy matchups this week (whoever plays the Jaguars, Raiders and Jets) consist of teams loaded with fantasy stars. So finding an unowned gem in those matchups might prove difficult.
With that said, there are a ton of quarterbacks available this week for those looking to replace Andrew Luck, Tom Brady or Philip Rivers. The three owners of those players will be battling for the fantasy services of Mark Sanchez, Kyle Orton or Derek Carr. More importantly, owners of Arian Foster (groin) will have to cross their fingers in hopes Alfred Blue is passed over by owners needing players for Week 10, since Houston is on a bye this week.
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III starred immediately upon entering the NFL, but the third quarterback taken in the 2012 draft, Ryan Tannehill, has come into his own this season. All his talents were on display in the Dolphins’ 37-0 drubbing of the Chargers on Sunday.
Last week, Drew Brees threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns. He was not the top-scoring quarterback in standard-scoring leagues.
Kyle Orton racked up 238 yards and four touchdowns. He may have been the highest-scoring quarterback who went to Purdue, but he was not the highest scoring quarterback overall.
Andrew Luck cracked 400 yards and threw for three scores. There have been seasons, even recent ones, where that would have been the best quarterback performance of the year. 2014 is not one of those seasons.
Tom Brady carved up the Bears, amassing 354 yards and five touchdowns. Surely that had to be the highest-scoring fantasy game from a quarterback, right? Wrong.
The honor belonged to Ben Roethlisberger, who bested Luck and the Colts by throwing for a career-high 522 yards and six touchdowns. Week 9 of the 2014 season marked the first time that four quarterbacks – Roethlisberger and Luck, along with Aaron Rodgers and Nick Foles – threw for 400 yards in the same week. It was also the greatest explosion of fantasy points to date this year.
What brand of fireworks are in store for fantasy owners this week? Find out in our stat projections for Week 9.
After a quadruple-play of NFL games from 9 a.m. ET until midnight Sunday, many of us were able to watch more live football in one day than we had ever watched before. Scouting for this week's waiver wire has never been easier. Luckily, there were tons of points being scored this week, with six games totaling over 50 points and two teams topping the mark by themselves.
Unfortunately, we get Bye-mageddon II in Week 9, as six teams take the weekend off, so don’t get used to all of those high fantasy scores you saw on your league’s scoreboard this week. You’ll see some mediocre quarterbacks with good matchups, goal-line running backs and low-volume wide receivers work their way into fantasy lineups in Week 9.
It’s safe to say that the second quarter of Tom Brady’s season was just a tad better than his first. His first four games of the season launched 1,000 columns pontificating on the end of the Brady era. He threw for just 791 yards, 5.7 yards per attempt and four touchdowns against two interceptions as the Patriots limped to a 2-2 start. The entire New England offense has turned it around in the last four weeks, and Brady has been right at the center of it all. He has thrown for 1,268 yards, 8.8 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions, most recently dominating the Bears. The Patriots have won those four games by a combined score of 158-87, and are once again a favorite in the AFC.
In fantasy football, I like to think that injuries lead to opportunities. As bad as things seem when your first round pick gets hurt, there’s often a comparable player ripe for the taking.
The bigger challenge is deciding which train to ride for the long term -- the sidelined starter, or his seemingly capable replacements. So, let's evaluate five starting running backs scheduled to return to the field soon and their current stand-ins, and determine who will be the starter going forward.
As the second half of the fantasy season begins, it’s time to start taking stock of what we know, what we thought we knew and what we still don’t know.
We know the Colts, Broncos and Saints are still elite offenses, and we know the defenses of the Seahawks and 49ers are good, but not as great as we thought. We know the defenses in Detroit and Indianapolis should be feared, while the defenses in Denver and Dallas should be respected. We thought we knew Montee Ball and Cordarrelle Patterson would have breakout sophomore campaigns. We don’t know how injuries to Calvin Johnson’s ankle and A.J. Green’s toe will affect their fantasy value going forward, or whether DeMarco Murray can sustain his NFL-record pace of 427 carries this season (though we’re pretty sure he can’t).
Week 8 offers another two-team bye week, but ahead of two six-team bye weeks in Weeks 9 and 10, now is a great time to pick up some fantasy futures without much competition.
Another interesting note: Two games this weekend feature a pair of offenses known for giving up a ton of points to fantasy defense/special teams units. All four DSTs from the Vikings-Buccaneers matchup and the Bills-Jets game could be good enough to start in your league this week, and the Bills defense is likely the only unit of those four that’s already owned. The matchup game could lead to some additional activity on the Week 8 wire.