Go Faulk Yourself
Photo Credit: BrokenSphere
It is hard to believe that we are already in the ninth week of the NFL season. In this series we have absolutely nailed it with some predictions, but we have also whiffed horribly on some. You are always taking a chance when you are picking up and starting guys that are under thirty percent owned, so there will inevitably be some ups and downs. Let’s take a look at how we did last week before we discuss the picks for this week.
More after the jump:
Quarterbacks from Week Eight
Christian Ponder (MIN): 18-28 passing, 236 yards, 1 passing touchdown, 0 interceptions = 13 fantasy points
John Beck (WAS): 22-33 passing, 208 yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 10 rushing yards = 5 fantasy points
Ponder continued to impress as a rookie quarterback and showed more flashes that fans in Minnesota can get excited about. He continues to improve and is not making the mistakes that most rookies make. If he can keep managing the game and playing mistake-free football, he isn’t a bad guy to start if you need someone in a pinch. Beck on the other hand took a major step backwards last week. Hopefully he will be able to turn it around and play well moving forward.
Running Backs from Week Eight
Roy Helu (WAS): 0 carries, 0 yards, 3 catches, 20 receiving yards = 3 fantasy points
Bernard Scott (CIN): 22 carries, 76 rushing yards, 3 catches, 1 receiving yard = 7 fantasy points
Helu played more snaps (34) than any other Redskins running back in Week Eight. What is hard to believe is the fact that he didn’t receive a single carry in the game. I get that the team was down and needed to throw the ball, but come on Shanny. You can’t tease us by giving Helu the most playing time but zero carries. Ryan Torain has been horrible and Helu’s carries should go up, but I would stay away from this situation since Mike Shannahan is as unpredictable as ever. Scott did about what you would expect against Seattle's run defense. If he could have found the endzone it would have been much better, but he had a solid outing nonetheless.
Wide Receivers from Week Eight
Jabar Gaffney (WAS): 4 catches, 40 receiving yards = 4 fantasy points
Michael Jenkins (MIN): 2 catches, 30 yards = 3 fantasy points
It was definitely a mistake picking all these guys from the Redskins.Considering how poorly John Beck played on Sunday, Gaffney did about all we could expect from him. He is going to have some good games and some bad ones, but with the QB issues in Washington we should probably all stay away from the Redskins receivers. Jenkins didn’t make any big plays downfield on Sunday, which really hurt him. If he doesn’t make a big play for a touchdown, he will be limited in fantasy. This situation is unpredictable, so it might be better to be cautious and go with another option.
Tight Ends from Week Eight
Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN): 3 catches, 37 yards = 3 fantasy points
Shiancoe didn’t find the endzone this week and that is where he has the most value as a favorite red-zone target of Christian Ponder. Things are looking up for him in the future and I am considering this nothing more than a bad week.
Now let’s take a look at who I am picking up for Week Nine!
Quarterbacks for Week Nine
Carson Palmer (OAK) 19 percent owned: As horrible as Palmer looked in relief of Kyle Boller before the bye, we have to remember that we went from sitting on the couch watching football to playing in an NFL game in less than a week. He has now had two whole weeks of preparation for this game thanks to a well-timed bye week, and I am expecting him to play very well. Denver isn’t exactly the best defensive team in the NFL and I think this will be Carson’s coming out party. Something like 250 yards and a couple of touchdowns is doable.
Tarvaris Jackson (SEA) 8 percent owned: I never thought I would be suggesting Tarvaris Jackson as a pickup, but things have changed quite a bit. After relieving Charlie Whitehurst in the second quarter of Sunday’s game, Tarvaris came in to throw for a career high 323 yards. That was after he wasn’t even sure if he was going to play. The Seahawks are not able to get anything going with the run game, and it is forcing them to throw the ball a ton. Tarvaris could easily throw for close to 300 yards again if they allow him to chuck the ball over 30 times and he can avoid the interceptions.
Running backs for Week Nine
Javon Ringer (TENN) 25 percent owned: Did anyone think we would ever be talking about a Titans running back other than Chris Johnson in a fantasy football post this year? I definitely didn’t, but the fact is that Ringer has been a better running back than Johnson. He continues to get more and more involved as the season goes on, and he actually played more snaps (33) than Johnson (30) did last week. Head coach Mike Munchak says Johnson is still the starter, but also said the flow of the game will indicate who gets more carries. A hot-hand situation would be great for Ringer and I am picking him up in all formats to see how this plays out.
Kevin Faulk (NE) 12 percent owned: He is fresh off the IR and had six rushes for 32 yards and five receptions for 20 yards in his first game back. He has always been a favorite of Bill Belichick and will always be heavily involved in the passing game. Something like 30-40 rushing yards, 40-50 receiving yards, and one total touchdown is not out of the realm of possibility for Faulk. I would pick him up and see how he is used in his second game back, but he should be heavily involved.
Wide Receivers for Week Nine
Jonathan Baldwin (KC) 22 percent owned: Baldwin had a big coming-out party on Monday night against the Chargers with five catches on eight targets, good for 82 yards and a huge touchdown. He has a great matchup on tap versus Miami and could have another big game to help build even more confidence. With his size and playmaking ability, the slot is not an ideal place for him. However, if he keeps making plays like he did on Monday night, he could eventually force a switch with Steve Breaston making him the starter opposite of Dwayne Bowe.
Early Doucet (ARI) 28 percent owned: Starting opposite of Larry Fitzgerald might be the easiest job in the NFL for a wide receiver. Routinely drawing single coverage because everyone is looking at Fitz, Doucet has shown the ability to make plays in single coverage. This has been especially true in the red-zone, where Doucet has scored in each of the last two games. He has a great matchup with the Rams this week and should be able to get open early and often.
Tight Ends for Week Nine
Jake Ballard (NYG) 29 percent owned: Since Week Four, Jake Ballard has been one of the most consistent tight ends in all of football. I am finally taking notice and you should too. Eli Manning will continue to target Ballard a lot, especially in the red zone. Something like 80 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots is what I am predicting, making him a TE1 option.
Brent Celek (PHI) 20 percent owned: Celek broke out on Sunday and he has a great matchup with the Bears who have allowed the most points to opposing tight ends this season. He already has touchdowns in the last two weeks, and has a great chance of making it three straight.
There are my pickups for Week Nine. If you have anything to say about them you can hit me up on Twitter @JessePotes or leave comments in the comment section below.