Week 8 went out with a bit of a whimper after the action-packed drama of Week 7. Instead of the multitude of injuries and Shanahanigans, we're left to ponder what in the Wide World of Sports is going on with Chris Johnson?!? I called him CJ2.9 (YPC) last week and he actually dropped that total to just CJ2.8 with a pathetic 2.4 YPC against the lowly Colts.I've touched on him a couple times in weeks past, but he looks to be the main man to claim in competitive leagues. This week the waiver wire is bare once again, so feel free to check out my piece last week that ranked the top 200 guys in fantasy for the most in-depth analysis you could imagine.
If you're still not sure about which players you want to add/drop, you can ask me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher. I also provide updates throughout the week and instant analysis on Sunday.
Matt Cassel- I've mentoned Cassel a couple times recently and he has been picking up some steam. The Chiefs have some decent weapons for Cassel with an above-average running game and some decent receivers. The Chiefs aren't going to be the run-first offense that helped them make the playoffs last year. Cassel still isn't a top-15 QB in most formats, but there is some upside. Cassel and Dwayne Bowe were also valuable assets in the second half last year, too.
Bottom Line: Cassel is a backup for most 12-team leagues.
Carson Palmer- Carson gets a dream matchup on Sunday as he takes on the Broncos. Denver is dead last in allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks and there could be more responsibility on Carson's shoulders with McFadden not healthy. Fantasy studs Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton are on their byes this week, so Carson might be a top-15 play this week.
Bottom Line: If you neglected to keep a backup QB (not that there's anything wrong with that), Carson might be your saving grace.
Michael Bush- Darren McFadden could very well be ready to suit up on Sunday against the Denver Tim Tebows. Although Run DMC figures to be questionable and may be inactive to keep him fresh for the stretch run. If the Broncos were a threat for the AFC West crown, the Raiders might be more inclined to start an 80-to-90 percent healthy McFadden. Furthermore, the Raiders also get to kick off NFL Network's Thursday Night Football against the Chargers, so it might behoove them to sit their stud back.
Enter Bush. Bush is a more than capable back and should get a heavy dose of carries as Oakland will attempt to pound the rock on the Broncos.
Bottom Line: He has to be owned in all leagues.
Roy Helu- I aggressively put Helu at 87 in my Rest of the Season Rankings last week and to the untrained eye, it looked like it was an error. Helu didn't even get a carry on Sunday. Ugh. However, The Cornhusker led all backs in snaps in the shutout loss to the Bills on Sunday and the Skins didn't even have a chance to run the rock with only eight carries to the running backs. To be perfectly frank, the Skins are done. When teams are done, then it's time to see what their young players can do. If you're in a shallow league, I could see cutting Torain for Helu and also consider him as a buy-low player in deeper leagues.
Bottom Line: He should be owned in all leagues.
Javon Ringer- Nine times out of 10 people like me would tell you that you should never sell low on your first-round pick. Well, here we are in Week 9 and Chris Johnson is ranked outside of the top-25 backs in most formats. Whether or not you should buy or sell Johnson is an argument for another day (If you must pry, I'd say buy low), but one thing is for sure that Ringer should be picked up in most formats. Ringer also tacked on five catches (six targets) for 42yards to his 14 carries for 60 yards on the ground. Johnson doesn't seem hurt, so the upside of Ringer can't be higher than a guy like DeAngelo Williams (unless of course CJ2K gets hurt, which would catapult Ringer to low-end RB1 status). Plan Accordingly.
Bottom Line: He is worth owning in all competitive leagues.
Chris Ogbonnaya- The Browns are looking more and more like the Cavs these days. Peyton Hillis is dealing with a hammy and now Montario Hardesty could miss a couple weeks with a calf ailment. Hillis figures to get the start, but it wouldn't be a shock to think Ogbonnaya may get some snaps in the fourth quarter and yield some production in PPR on screen passes. There are four teams on a bye this week and the former Texan might become a decent flex option for this week only.
Bottom Line: The Longhorn might be worth a spot on some 14-team rosters.
Tashard Choice- It's the Redskins and they added a back. The only move fantasy owners can make is that he should be added. Stupid Shanahan.
Bottom Line: Choice should be added by all teams that need help at running back. Although I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to dance with the Fantasy Devil in the pale moonlight.
Jacob Hester- San Diego's RB situation is about as down as Ron Burgundy after he told San Diego to go eff itself. Milk was a bad choice. Mike Tolbert (hand and hamstring) missed Monday's game, Ryan Mathews hurt his groin and Curtis Brinkley suffered a concussion. Hester figures to be the best healthy option by default. There's a pretty good chance that one of the three injured backs could return, but the short week doesn't help their case. There also reports that Mike Tolbert should be ready to roll on Sunday, so don't go completely nuts over Hester.
Bottom Line: Hester is worth owning for owners in a pinch for a back this week.
Donald Brown: I would much rather own Delone Carter and neither of these guys have much upside. The Painter passed the rock 49 times on Sunday and the Colts don't have any kind of defense to even consider having a running game as a complement.
Bottom Line: He's a low-end flex play in deeper leagues with a severely capped upside.
Taiwan Jones- The Raiders probably won't be willing to give Michael Bush 30 carries on Sunday, which leaves up to eight touches for Jones. He might get some garbage-time snaps and he might crack the top 40 for backs this week.
Bottom Line: He is a Hail Mary.
Note:This week's crop at wide receiver is remarkably thin. The best advice I have is that owners shouldn't panic and cut guys like Greg Little for some receiver that had a good game.
Jonathan Baldwin- As mentioned above, the Chiefs are not really in a position to run the ball as much as they would usually like. Baldwin showed some impressive athleticism on his touchdown on Monday and caught five of his eight targets. I would cut Steve Breaston (three catches for 42 yards) in a heartbeat and Baldwin is a WR4 with upside at this time.
Bottom Line: Baldwin should be owned in 12-team competitive leagues.
Demaryius Thomas- Thomas had a hideous game on Sunday with only one catch for 10 yards on three targets. He had 10 targets in Week 7, so I would give him another week before cutting him for someone.
Bottom Line: He should remain owned in 12-team leagues.
Danario Alexander and Greg Salas- Alexander didn't suit up against the Saints after he started to really build some value in deeper leagues. The good news on Alexander is that is was his hammy not his troublesome knee issues and he could be back to full strength soon. In Alexander's absence, Greg Salas saw six targets and was able to reel in five of them for 47 yards. Alexander is the preferred option, but Salas could be a very sneaky play this week against the hapless Arizona pass D.
Bottom Line: Alexander should remain owned in 14-team leagues and Salas could be a nice start this week in PPR formats.
Old News: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Victor Cruz, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Early Doucet, and Torrey Smith.
Brent Celek- Michael Vick hasn't been going down the field nearly as much this year, which has ultimately put a dent in DeSean Jackson's value as well as his own. Celek figures to benefit for the improved run game and what could subsequently lead to more play-pass attempts into the flat. Celek has finally built some separation from Clay Harbor and is locked in as one of Vick's red-zone targets.
Bottom Line: Celek's hot month makes him a low-end TE1 in 12-team leagues.
Ed Dickson- Dickson lost all of his luster after his dud on Monday Night Football. The Jags were ranked 32nd in stopping the tight end and Dickson could only muster four receptions for 23 yards. Dickson had a nice bounce-back game with six catches ( nine targets) for 46 yards. This does come with a grain of salt since the Ravens were down 24-3 and were forced to throw the ball.
Bottom Line: Dickson is a decent bye-week option with Olsen, Pettigrew and Lewis not in action.
Old News: Jake Ballard
Chiefs D- Brandon Flowers is very good. He figures to be a formidable matchup for Brandon Marshall and Romeo Crennel would be wise to have him shadow the 6-foot-5 wideout. The Dolphins give up a lot of sacks as well, so the Chiefs are one of the best defenses to add for the week.
Raiders D- The Raiders may be doing some Tebowing after bringing down Tebow in the backfield Sunday afternoon. Oakland's D is pretty bad and it's not like they're ripping it up as a fantasy defense. They have 11 takeaways on the season and rank 18th in sacks. Nevertheless, it's Tim Tebow and he doesn't have a clue how to play quarterback in the NFL just yet.
Thanks for reading and feel free to post your comments below.