This Week’s Top Team: No Patriots, No Colts – I’m leaving that game out of this week’s Fantasy RunDown… Too much hype, I don’t think I can type the words Brady and Manning after seeing them so damn much all week long.
QB: Matt Hasselbeck vs. Cleveland: This may be a push, but here’s my reasoning, not even the terrible Browns defense will make life easier on Shaunna Alexander, but I know the Hawks will put up 4 touchdowns at least in this game. If Shaun’s not getting them, then maybe Matt will. With Deion Branch, Marcus Pollard, and DJ Hackett back this week, Matt will have no shortage of targets.
RB: Clinton Portis vs. N.Y. Jets: I don’t ever think Clinton is a safe play, but his upside this week could be big going up against New York. Since I’m leaving the “undefeateds” out of this week’s section, I’m taking a few more chances. The Jets have a terrible rush defense, and Washington imposes their rushing will on every opponent besides the One. I’ll take Clinton to have his best game of the season against the Jets.
RB: Frank Gore vs. Atlanta: Yeah, I know, Frank is all over the fantasy world as the biggest bust of the first half, but I don’t think it’s his fault. He’s ran pretty well, just hasn’t been in enough games to get the touches he needs to put up huge numbers. I think this weeks’ game against an Atlanta defense that just cut their top run stuffer is a good place to start. Run Frank, Run.
WR: Lee Evans vs. Cincinnati: Lee is a risky business type pick, but he also has 3 or 4 games a year where he goes bonkers on his unsuspecting opponents. The Bengals are a good defense to take advantage of, and I think JP Losman back at the helm will help Evans do his damage.
WR: Terrell Owens vs. Philadelphia: TO has a huge mouth, and I’m rooting for Brian Westbrook to crack him in his fat teeth, but I think Owens will have his best game yet against his former team.
TE: Antonio Gates vs. Minnesota: The run game won’t be on fire, because there’s not team better at shutting down the run than the Vikings. But that secondary is out to lunch, and Gates will put up big numbers at TE, what’s new?
K: Josh Brown vs. Cleveland: I’m saving my butt here, I know Kickers have been killing me all season, so I’m taking the kicker for my quarterback’s team. That way, if Matt sucks it up and doesn’t put up TDs, one of my guys will be scoring.
D: Chargers vs. Minnesota: Look at that offense in Minnesota, all they can do is run. If you can’t take advantage of the Chargers’ mediocre secondary, they will kill you quick. The Vikings can’t and the Chargers will.
LUCKY’S Week 9 SLEEPERS
Kellen Clemmens: Buffalo’s defense has played way better than I expected, but I think Clemmens will come out and show his head coach why the change should have been made weeks ago. He’ll have a nice day with at least 2 touchdowns.
Phillip Rivers: Rivers has been up and down this season, against the Vikings I expect this youngster to be on the up swing. He’s one of my top plays for Week 9 – go with him.
Earnest Graham: He’ll get lots of looks against the Cardinals, and while I think Arizona is better against the run this season, the Bucs have a good enough coaching staff to make their game plan work, and thus Graham is a nice option if you need one.
Kevin Jones: I don’t like Detroit’s offensive line all that much, but Jones is explosive, and he runs tough enough to put it to that suspect defensive front in Denver. The Lions have been running a lot more lately, that’s good for Jones and his owners.
Rudi Johnson: Rudi’s back, and while he has a little bit of the Shaunna Alexander puss-foot-itas, I think he’ll be back to running hard when he gets the chance to show why he’s the right man for the job when Cinci plays Buffalo this weekend. Also, Buffalo’s defense isn’t all that good against the run.
Deion Branch: Branch is a good and consistent player, and he gets to come back against the Cleveland Browns, the defense that allows more yards per game than any other unit in the league. I think Branch is a nice option if he plays.
Chris Chambers: The guy already caught one touchdown pass last week in his first game, and this week should give him more chances to impress his new teammates. Everyone and their mother seems to torch the Vikings secondary, I think LT’s presence will have the Vikings making Rivers, Chambers, Gates, and Jackson beat them. I think they will.
Tony Scheffler: The big cat is still on the free agent lists in most leagues, and he’s about to go on a second half touchdown spree that will make Gates and Gonzalez look over their shoulders. When he puts up 6 scores in the next 9 games, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Titans DST: I’m once again not too impressed with the Panthers, and David Carr starting this week doesn’t do much to make me think things will be any different. This should be a close one, but lots of mistakes will have passes up for grabs.
LUCKY’S Week 9 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)
Brett Favre: It doesn’t seem like a good season to go against the Favre, but I don’t think this Green Bay God will have a very good game against the Chiefs. Kansas City has had 2 weeks to look at this game, and they have a solid defensive core that can pressure Brett and take advantage of any Brett-like mistakes. My gut says sit the old man this week.
LaDainian Tomlinson: I can’t believe I’m saying this, and I’m not going to actually sit him, but I think LT could have a bad game against Minnesota. I know the Vikings have to have an off week some week, and this could be the week, but I think that front 7 is excited at their chance to stop the king. That’s my advice, but I completely understand if you ignore it, like I’m doing.
Reggie Bush: If I’m saying sit LT, I might as well go and tell you to sit Bush as well. Reggie hasn’t shown me much this season, and the Jaguars are definitely stout against the run. Even with Quinn Gray in at QB for the Jags, I think they have a very good chance of upsetting the Saints in New Orleans, and their ability to shut down the run is a big reason why.
Roy Williams: This guy is a stud, but he doesn’t get the ball enough in Detroit, and I think the two super stars at corner for the Broncos will be up and ready to put last week’s loss behind them, you know, the one where Greg Jennings and James Jones ran right by Bly and Champ for two long touchdowns. Roy steps in against Denver on a bad week.
James Jones: I know this guy is a huge pick-up this week for fantasy owners everywhere, but I wouldn’t start him this week. Rookies are up and down to say the least, and KC’s defense will be ready. Driver will be more involved this week, and that takes away from the younger guys for the Pack.