It’s Week 9 of the NFL season and that means we’re past the halfway point. Time flies when you’re having fun.
It is also time to take a look at this week’s fantasy football waiver wire as there’s still a number of teams enjoying their bye weeks as well as a host of injured players.
Jason Campbell (Cleveland Browns): For the second week, Campbell will again getting the starting nod against the Baltimore Ravens. Last week against the Kansas Chiefs in a pass-heavy game, he went 22 of 36 passes, 293 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. For now, he appears as a better alternative than quarterback Brandon Weeden.
If your quarterback is having his bye week (see Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants), Campbell could be a solid pick up for this week.
Terrelle Pryor (Oakland Raiders): Pryor has been flying under the radar for the last few weeks on the waiver wire but after last week’s 93-yard touchdown run, fantasy players may be reconsidering; however, the rest of Pryor’s game last week wasn’t too impressive against the Pittsburgh Steelers: 88 passing yards, zero touchdowns, two picks and 13 rushing yards (sans the touchdown run). Pryor’s next three games include some good matchups: the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants and the Houston Texans.
Darrius Heyward-Bey (Indianapolis Colts): With Reggie Wayne out for the rest of the season, it’s the “next man up” mantra for this team and that’s Heyward-Bey. Coach Chuck Pagano has said the team won’t pick up a receiver by the tradeline (which was true) and this means the five-year veteran will need to step up.
To-date, Heyward-Bey, has 18 catches (34 targets), 190 yards and one touchdown (from Week 7). He also had a season-high number of targets in the Denver game but also has three games in 2013 with 11 or less receiving yards.
Will we see Heyward-Bey turn around his season beginning in Week 9?
Marvin Jones (Cincinnati Bengals): Jones was a beast last week with his four receiving touchdowns (122 receiving yards). In the last three weeks, he’s had 15 receptions with six touchdowns. His targets by quarterback Andy Dalton has been rising and should continue.
This week the Bengals will take on the Miami Dolphins and last week against the New England Patriots, their defense gave up 60 yards to rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson.
Kenny Stills (New Orleans Saints): Stills has been the beneficiary of good play by his quarterback Drew Brees. In Week 6, Stills had three receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown against the New England Patriots and in the following week against the Buffalo Bills, he had three catches, 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Brees spreads the wealth around and has talented tight end Jimmy Graham but he’s battling a partially torn plantar fascia. This could result in more targets to Stills.
Andre Ellington (Arizona Cardinals): With Rashard Mendenhall out against the Falcons last week, Ellington stepped up and had 15 carries for 154 yards,finding success with his 5’9” body going up the middle. As for Mendenhall returning for Week 9, there’s been no word yet but look for Ellington to get some sort of action move forward.
Zac Stacy (St. Louis Rams): Stacy has stepped as the Rams top rusher this season and has put up some good numbers against tough teams. This week versus the Seattle Seahawks, he had 26 carries for 134 yards. For the last four games, he’s had more than 75 all-purpose yards and will now face some easier matchups in the next few weeks.
Look for Stacy’s numbers to rise.
Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts): The trade deadline has come and gone and the Colts did not add to its wide receiver stable. In addition to Heyward-Bey stepping up, look for Fleener to do so as well in Wayne’s absence.
His production has already been on the rise as during the last few games, Fleener has connected with quarterback Andrew Luck. Over the last four weeks, he has a pair of touchdowns with five or more targets in three of the games.
This week the Colts play the imploding Houston Texans and it could bode well for Fleener and Luck to connect.
In last week’s game against the Steelers, the Raiders defense snagged 11 fantasy points (per ESPN standard scoring). Previously they have dominated the Washington Redskins and the San Diego Chargers on their home field and will look to continue this on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Just as the Raiders’ defense is No. 5 in the league for total yards, the Eagles have given up the fifth-highest fantasy points to opposing defenses. While Eagles quarterbacks Nick Foles and Matt Barkley are sharing reps, should Barkley got the starting nod, the Raiders defense will have a feast with sacks and turnovers.
This should be another good week for the Raiders defense.