Instant reactions from Week 9
Nick Foles and Tom Brady unexpectedly led the way at quarterback in Fantasy in Week 9. Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his immediate thoughts on what he saw on Sunday.
Nick Foles was nothing short of amazing Sunday in Week 9 at Oakland. He shocked the NFL and Fantasy world by his performance against the Raiders.
The last time we saw Foles was Week 7 against Dallas when he passed for 2.8 yards per attempt, completed 38 percent of his passes and finished with five Fantasy points before leaving with a concussion. He certainly improved on that performance against Oakland.
Foles returned as the starter in place of Michael Vick (hamstring) and was 22 of 28 passing for 406 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He threw three touchdowns to Riley Cooper and one each to DeSean Jackson , Zach Ertz , Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy . He also had three carries for 14 yards, and he finished with 59 Fantasy points.
Foles will easily remain the starter for the Eagles for the rest of the season even when Vick is healthy, and he should be picked up where available. He is currently owned in just 40 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. The Eagles play at Green Bay in Week 10, and even though that's a difficult matchup you can buy into Foles as a starting option. He has at least 35 Fantasy points in two of three starts, and apparently the Cowboys game was the exception and not the norm.
Cooper (22 percent) is worth adding in all leagues since he has a great rapport with Foles. In Foles' other previous big game in Week 6 at Tampa Bay, Cooper had four catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Along with his three touchdowns against the Raiders, Cooper also had five catches for 139 yards.
Ertz (3 percent) and Celek (27 percent) are still low-end Fantasy options, but Ertz has more upside. He has more targets than Celek of late, and it's clear the Eagles are trying to feature their rookie tight end in a prominent role.
• Injuries of note: Terrelle Pryor (knee), Darren McFadden (hamstring) Darren Sproles (concussion), Kyle Rudolph (foot), Jeremy Kerley (elbow), Robert Woods (knee), Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), Greg Little (shoulder)
While Foles was lighting things up in Oakland, Pryor was an afterthought, which was frustrating for me since he was the Start of the Week. Pryor finished 22 of 41 passing for 288 yards and two interceptions and 10 carries for 94 yards before leaving with a knee injury. Pryor said his knee was OK, but it's worth keeping an eye on heading into Week 10 at the Giants.
Here we go again with McFadden. He injured his hamstring in the first half against the Eagles and finished with five carries for 12 yards and one catch for 3 yards. Rashad Jennings stepped in for McFadden and was awesome with 15 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown and seven catches for 74 yards. If McFadden is out for Week 10 at the Giants then Jennings (12 percent) will be someone to add off the waiver wire.
Sproles' miserable season continues as he was forced from the game at the Jets in the first quarter. He finished with one catch for 2 yards, and he has now gone four games in a row with single digits in Fantasy points and two in a row with no points. Plan on Sproles being out for Week 10 against Dallas depending on how he does with the concussion protocol.
Rudolph scored a touchdown at Dallas and finished with two catches for 35 yards. But on the touchdown catch in the third quarter he injured his foot, and he will likely be questionable for Week 10 against Washington, especially since the game is Thursday night.
Goodwin scored for the second time in the past four games with two catches for 64 yards against the Chiefs, but he left in the fourth quarter. Even if he's OK in Week 10 at Pittsburgh he'll have minimal Fantasy value. The same goes for Woods, who was injured in the third quarter after he had four catches for 44 yards.
Kerley had one catch for 1 yard before leaving in the second quarter against the Saints. The Jets are off in Week 10, so Kerley will have two weeks to get healthy. He's a low-end Fantasy option when healthy.
Little had a tremendous game against Baltimore with seven catches for 122 yards on nine targets before leaving in the fourth quarter. The Browns have a bye in Week 10, so hopefully Little will be OK in Week 11. He's also a low-end Fantasy option in all leagues when healthy.
Also, keep an eye on Giovani Bernard (ribs) after he was hurt Thursday night at Miami. Bernard is expected to play in Week 10 at Baltimore.
• Patriots look like the Patriots again: We finally saw the real Tom Brady in Week 9 against the Steelers, and it's too bad New England is on a bye in Week 10 because we hope this continues. I think it will.
Brady was 23 of 33 passing for 432 yards and four touchdowns, and he should continue to play at a high level for the rest of the season with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola healthy and the emergence of Aaron Dobson . Gronkowski had nine catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, Amendola had four catches for 122 yards and a touchdown and Dobson had five catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Brady and Gronkowski are must-start Fantasy options for the rest of the season, and Amendola looks like he will be fine going forward. Consider him at least a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues. Dobson (45 percent) is worth adding in all leagues, and he now has three touchdowns in his past two games.
• Welcome back Chris Johnson : We've been saying it for weeks to buy low on Johnson heading into Tennessee's bye in Week 8 because of his upcoming schedule. Well, Johnson did better than expected coming out of the bye against the Rams with 23 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 20 yards.
There should be no more questions about Johnson's status since he's a must-start Fantasy option the rest of the way. And to remind you again, here's his schedule to close the season: Jacksonville in Week 10, Indianapolis in Week 11, at Oakland in Week 12, at Indianapolis in Week 13, at Denver in Week 14, Arizona in Week 15, at Jacksonville in Week 16 and Houston in Week 17. There should be plenty more big games to come.
As for Shonn Greene , he also did well with nine carries for 38 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 28 yards. With all those favorable matchups, Greene can be a potential flex option in deeper leagues.
• Is C.J. Spiller back? Spiller returned from his one game absence from an ankle injury and looked like the running back we hoped to see all season against the Chiefs. He had 12 carries for 116 yards and two catches for 39 yards.
His ankle still isn't 100 percent, but we hope Spiller can build off this performance heading into Week 10 at Pittsburgh. That's a tough matchup, and Fred Jackson will remain a factor since he had 16 carries for 77 yards and one catch for 22 yards. But the best of Spiller should be yet to come.
• Darrel Young is the new Roy Helu : For the second time in three games we got another example of why Fantasy owners hate Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. Instead of Alfred Morris getting multiple touchdowns, Young scored three times against the Chargers. In Week 7, Roy Helu had three touchdowns against Chicago.
Morris was still good against San Diego with 25 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown, but he could have been amazing. As for Young, don't buy into him becoming Fantasy relevant. He had one Fantasy point for the season prior to Week 9.
The problem for the Redskins when it comes to Fantasy owners is Robert Griffin III . He struggled again with 10 Fantasy points against the Chargers and now has less than 20 points in five of his past six games. He's a risky starting option in a favorable matchup at Minnesota in Week 10.
• Chris Ivory dominates former team: I liked Ivory heading into Week 9 against the Saints because New Orleans had struggled against the run, and he was facing his former team. Ivory was brilliant with 18 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown.
He now has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. The Jets have a bye in Week 10, but Ivory faces the Bills in Week 11. He is worth starting against the Bills in that matchup.
• Mike James looks legit: James had one of the best performances in Week 9 at Seattle with 28 carries for 158 yards, two catches for 8 yards and a 2-yard passing touchdown to tight end Tom Crabtree . Yes, he threw a jump pass at the goal line. With Doug Martin (shoulder) out indefinitely, James showed in this game that he can be counted on as a potential starting option.
He has a tough matchup in Week 10 against Miami on Monday night, but he could definitely be a flex option if needed. James had 14 carries for 45 yards and three catches for 8 yards in his first start for Martin in Week 8 against Carolina, but he improved dramatically against a tough Seahawks defense, which is encouraging for his Fantasy value moving forward.
• Waiver Wire preview: Here is a preview of the players we will highlight in Playing the Waiver Wire on Tuesday.
Quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger , Steelers (67 percent), Nick Foles , Eagles (40 percent), Jason Campbell , Browns (19 percent), Mike Glennon , Buccaneers (14 percent), Christian Ponder , Vikings (9 percent)
Running backs: Mike James , Buccaneers (76 percent), Chris Ivory , Jets (68 percent), Andre Brown , Giants (65 percent), Shonn Greene , Titans (21 percent), Rashad Jennings , Raiders (12 percent), Brian Leonard , Buccaneers (3 percent), Darrel Young , Redskins (0 percent)
Wide receivers: Eddie Royal , Chargers (68 percent), Aaron Dobson , Patriots (45 percent), Marlon Brown , Ravens (34 percent), Riley Cooper , Eagles (22 percent), Mike Brown , Jaguars (22 percent), Rod Streater , Raiders (13 percent), Doug Baldwin , Seahawks (12 percent), Jerricho Cotchery , Steelers (7 percent), Greg Little , Browns (6 percent), Davone Bess , Browns (3 percent), Marquise Goodwin , Bills (1 percent), Robert Meachem , Saints (1 percent), Jermaine Kearse , Seahawks (1 percent), Tiquan Underwood , Buccaneers (1 percent), Dwayne Harris , Cowboys (0 percent)
Tight ends: Jared Cook , Rams (61 percent), Timothy Wright , Buccaneers (34 percent), Brent Celek , Eagles (27 percent), Zach Ertz , Eagles (3 percent)
• Start 'Em/Sit 'Em star: Keenan Allen returned from the bye week and remained a standout Fantasy option. He was a Top 10 Fantasy receiver with eight catches for 128 yards and a touchdown, and he should remain a must-start Fantasy option in all leagues for the rest of the season.
• Start 'Em/Sit 'Em flop: Aside from saying to sit Foles and Brady, I also had Roethlisberger as a sit for his best game of the season. He finished as a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback with 28 of 48 passing for 400 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, and we hope he can build off this performance. He faces Buffalo in Week 10 at home in a favorable matchup and can be considered a starter in all leagues.