NFL Week 9 was packed with nail-biters, come from behind victories and overtime thrillers. 3 games went to overtime this week and the team that trailed late ended up winning all of them (Vikings, Jets and Raiders). Several players solidified their status as fantasy football studs while others failed to produce yet again.
The Vikings seemed to be toast, down 14 points in the 2nd half against the Arizona Cardinals. It took a career-high 446 yards passing from old man Favre and some stellar rushing/receiving from AP to bring the Vikings back to life in the 4th quarter and ultimately for the W in overtime. It was a win the Vikings desperately needed, but everyone can see the writing on the wall. Childress’ days are numbered in Minnesota and it’s going to take a serious win streak to save him.
The Bears squeaked out a win vs the worst team in the league in Week 9’s battle of the suck. While most football fans would rather watch paint dry or get a root canal than watch this abortion of a football game, as a Chicago resident I’m forced to partake. The Bills offense is absolutely miserable with 0 running game whatsoever and a QB that just flings the ball around the field reckless abandon. The Bears at 5-3 are by far the softest team with a winning record in the NFL. I wish there was some way both teams could have lost this game.
In Week 9’s mega upset, the Cleveland Browns put a beating on the New England Patriots to the tune of 34-14. Nostradamus wouldn’t have seen this one coming, although the Browns have been playing well lately and New England no longer has critically acclaimed food critic Randy Moss on their roster. Peyton Hillis has been an absolute stud this season, averaging 4.8 yards per carry with 873 total yards and 8 TDs. He’s spreading the love, scoring a TD in every game but 1 (vs PIT) on his way to a very productive fantasy season. If you got him on your squad, ride the Hillis train until the wheels fall off.
Elsewhere around the league, San Diego won a tough road game in Houston on the shoulders of Philip Rivers. Gates was out with injury but Randy McMichael channeled his St Louis “Greatest Show on Turf” days and filled in admirably grabbing 2 TD receptions. While Arian Foster had yet another monster game (crown him as the #1 overall fantasy pick next year), it wasn’t enough as P Riv went off for 4 TDs. I’m making it official- the guy is an elite QB. In the NFL fantasy hierarchy of QBs right now, I see it:
1 Peyton Manning
2. Philip Rivers
3. Michael Vick
4. Aaron Rodgers
5. Drew Brees
Most of you will agree with 4 of my top 5, but you may be questioning Michael Vick at #3. Stats don’t lie. Take a look at the average game performance for QBs. It doesn’t matter if your league awards 4 points or 6 for passing TDs, Vick is the #1 overall QB in fantasy sports right now per game. The guy is going to get absolutely PAID when his contract is up, as he has looked very good in every game he’s played more than 2 quarters. Ron Mexico may murder dogs and have a prescription for Valtrex in his gym bag, but the guy can play football. His speed is unmatched at his position and his arm strength is top 5. Vick is legit.
Shout-out to the Giants for putting an absolute beating on Seattle. Eli continues to be the most impressive QB with an extra chromosome as the G Men took a 41-0 lead in to the 4th quarter for a 41-7 victory. This one was over in the 1st when the Giants scored a pair of TDs in 15 seconds. Brother Peyton wasn’t as fortunate as the Colts lost a close one to the Eagles. The Eagles have the most versatile offensive weapon in Vick and the Colts are simply too banged up to compete at their highest level. Austin Collie came back from injury Week 9 only to be decapitated and carted off the field. While early reports stated he died of dysentery, it turns out he’s actually day to day with a concussion and is expected to bounce back quickly.
Dallas got smacked by Green Bay and it’s happy trails for Wade Phillips. Good luck getting an NFL job anytime soon, I suggest a nice retirement home. Monday Night Football was not a must-see this week as Big Ben prevailed in a mediocre matchup.
Enough of the W/L talk, on to Week 9 studs and duds. As previously discussed, Peyton Hillis and Arian Foster were awesome this week. AP had 2 TDs and continues to be a reliable first round RB and Michael Turner decided to show up with 107 yards 2 TDs. TO blew up Monday night for 141 yards and 2 TDs as his surprisingly productive season continues (everyone keeps thinking the guy is gonna fall off, but he puts up decent numbers year after year). Waiver-wire fodder Seyi Ajirotutu (Who???) and Jacoby Ford came out of nowhere with huge games with Seyi grabbing 2 TDs on 107 yards receiving and 148 yards 1 TD for Ford. P Riv, Vick and Aaron Rodgers were the top QBs this week along with Favre’s 446 yard 2 TD 2 INT performance.
Get out your Kevlar suit and metal detectors as there were plenty of grenades this week. Jonathan Stewart for the 2nd week in a row disappointed fantasy owners after getting knocked out of the game early with a head injury. Carolina’s whole team is a cluster-bomb, as you can’t count on anyone to put up any amount of significant fantasy points. Matt Schaub’s fantasy appeal continues to suffer due to Foster’s emergence as a fantasy superstar as he only managed 266 yards 1 TD 1 INT in Week 9. Big Ben has his 2nd disappointing week in a row with 163 yards 1 TD 1 INT Monday night. Andre Johnson’s 41 yards grants him landmine status along with fellow highly touted WRs Brandon Marshall (30 yards) and Anquan Boldin (28 yards). All 3 guys are on my fantasy squad, and needless to say I lost this week even with Peyton Hillis’ monster game. Rounding out our players who should have stayed in the locker room are Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker and LeGarrette Blount (so hot and cold!!!).
That’s a wrap for Week 9. Going into Week 10, your fantasy team should be just about set for the year. The only players you’re looking to add from here on out are injury replacements or rookies/young players hopeless teams are starting to give a look. Hook’s Must Adds, Must Drops, and other players to keep an eye on going into Week 10 are pretty thin.
Must Add: Javarris James (RB IND)
Must Drop: Any hope of the Cowboys having a productive season
Keep an Eye on: Seyi Ajirotutu (WR SD), Jacoby Ford (WR OAK)