Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament:
Another week, another set of losses behind the victories. Thankfully, we are playing one-week fantasy football on FanDuel as opposed to agonizing over extended injuries, and at least Ben Roethlisberger posted 334 passing yards and two touchdowns before leaving with a foot injury that will hold him out at least through the Steelers’ Week 11 bye.
Ben Roethlisberger initial diagnosis is sprained foot with projected absence at 1-to-2 weeks, per team source.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 8, 2015
With Big Ben under center at full strength, Antonio Brown (17 catches for 284 yards) was a statistical marvel and DeAngelo Williams (27 carries for 150 yards rushing, two catches for 55 yards receiving, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion) helped FanDuel players forget all about Le’Veon Bell (knee) being out for the season.
“(Williams has) delivered for us time and time again,” head coach Mike Tomlin told thePittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ron Cook.
“He’s 32, but he’s running like he’s 22,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster added.
Now, we have to weigh how those fantasy stars will produce—or lament how they will not—amid Big Ben’s latest absence.
“You can waste a lot of time focusing on the guys who aren’t available to you,” Tomlin told Cook. “We’re just focused on the guys who are and how we can put together the right mix to be successful. Injuries are as much a part of the game of football as blocking and tackling. It’s unfortunate. We don’t like it. But we embrace the challenge that comes with it. We’re not looking for excuses.”
Similarly, we keep moving forward in one-week fantasy football, too. This is the NFL Week 9 Retrospectacle, where we analyze Sunday’s studs and duds and how they line up for future plays on FanDuel.
Quote of the Week
“I joke around with it. I say, ‘I don’t know who [ticked] off the football gods, but they’re definitely letting us have it this year,” Foster told the paper. “You can lose one or two guys, but this has been off the charts. We could write a book about it.”
RB DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (37.5 FanDuel points)
His huge performance, against an Oakland Raiders run defense, which was ranked No. 2 in the NFL coming in, only moved his price to $7,600. Now, he draws the Cleveland Browns as the Steelers’ primary threat with Landry Jones at quarterback.
The Browns are dead last in the NFL against the run and D-Will’s price is squarely in the value range. With a bye to follow, expect Williams to get 30 carries for around 100 yards and a touchdown or two.
WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (37.1)—He is one to fade among the myriad wide receivers for Week 10, even if the Browns matchup is tantalizing. Brown’s $8,700 price is a tough buy with Jones at quarterback. We should expect something closer to 5-50 from Brown, making WR Martavis Bryant ($6,500) the better buy.
QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (34.58)—You might not want to roster one of his wide receivers, but Newton is enjoying a career breakthrough in his fifth season. (Few were calling Newton an NFL MVP candidate this season like we were this summer.) As long as Newton is healthy, it doesn’t matter who his targets are. Points flow in on the strength of his arm (297-3 passing) and his legs (9-57-1 rushing).
QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (33.96)—We should pity the poor Detroit Lions in Week 10. Rodgers, coming off his 77 yards passing performance against the Denver Broncos, erupted in the second half Sunday and will get biblical on the Lions back at home. We might advise loading up on him (even at his $9,200 price) and his top targets in lineups.
QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (33.34)—If you weren’t convinced Mariota is a burgeoning fantasy star, you should be now. Sure, it was just the New Orleans Saints secondary, but notice the difference in the Titans offense when Mariota is playing vs. when he is inactive. Mariota is a difference-maker and, at $7,300, a value play among FanDuel quarterbacks.
QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (32.38)—So much for the demise of Brees. Against the Washington Redskins next Sunday you have to consider this Sunday’s 387-3 production a reasonable expectation again.
RB Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (29.6)—It is becoming more and more apparent Miller is the one thing the Dolphins have going for them right now. At $7,200, there is just too much value to not play Miller in lineups against the Philadelphia Eagles. Even if they have allowed just three rushing TDs this season Miller will be one of the ways the Dolphins get in the end zone in a potential shootout.
WR Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (27.7)—He emerged as a favorite target for a revived Matt Cassel and draws a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at a mere $5,600.
QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (27.34)—He is on a near 40-touchdown pace and priced at just $7,500. You have to love his ability to carry the Raiders (301-4), particularly with the juice his wide receivers have shown this season. His matchup against the Minnesota Vikings is not great in Week 10, but he is returning home and has 11 touchdown passes in his past three.
TE Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (27.0)—He gets a healthy set of targets and receptions every week, and the emerging Mariota gets Walker chances to score, too. Walker’s 7-95-2 performance was his best of the season and his price might not remain under $6,000 much longer if Mariota keeps progressing.
WR Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (26.8)—He looks a lot better health-wise and with Tyrod Taylor back in as the Bills’ quarterback. Watkins (8-168-1) is headed for a lonely trip to Revis Island in Week 10, though.
WR Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (26.3)—His price is finally moving up to $6,400, but we have to stop seeing Crabtree as a “sorry receiver.” After his 7-102-2, he is roughly on pace for a 90-1,200-10 breakthrough. It wasn’t Crabtree’s fault in San Francisco, apparently.
RB DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (25.1)—His yards per carry is not where it needs to be, and he has to give up snaps, touches and targets to Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, but Murray is quietly still the linchpin in Chip Kelly’s running back-friendly system. The best news is a matchup against the Dolphins’ 31st-ranked run defense is up next on the schedule.
New York Jets Defense (14.0)—Can you imagine the motivation of the defensive players against their former coach, Rex Ryan, on Thursday night? That won’t be a game for FanDuel production, unless you’re looking at the defenses, which are both priced at $4,800.
K Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams (17.0)—We are going to choose to ignore the misses, particularly since the kicker formerly known as Greg the Leg is minimum priced at $4,500 and has a favorable matchup looming against the Chicago Bears on a short week. Zuerlein has to be everyone’s kicker play for Week 10, right?
RB Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (-1.0)—Your little sister would have been a better start in Week 9. Lacy is running like an overweight grandfather with cement shoes. Five carries for 10 yards and a lost fumble for a minus-1 FanDuel total. Yuck. The good news is the 30th-ranked Lions run defense is next up and Lacy is going to eventually pay us back. Hopefully he is 100 percent at his $6,000 price for Week 10.
RB Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (0.1)—We thought he had taken over as Gary Kubiak’s zone running scheme bell cow. Instead, he was a total cow with seven rushes for one measly yard. C.J. Anderson might be getting his job back.
RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3.3)—The Muscle Hamster has done some good things this season, but his 43 total yards and a fumble on Sunday is a low point. Worse news is Charles Sims (8-78) showed some juice.
WR DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (3.0)—The ‘Skins were universally bums against the New England Patriots this week. They couldn’t even engineer garbage time points. You have to love the value of D-Jack against the Saints secondary at $6,000 next week, though.
TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (6.7)—He wasn’t shut out, but four catches for 47 yards is not what you need out of the one premium play at tight end. The rolling Pats need someone to challenge them. A potentially wide-open affair at the New York Giants next Sunday should help.
K Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (3.0)—A mere three PATs. There are days like this for him since Rodgers is a touchdown machine. You shouldn’t be spending a premium on your kicker in FanDuel games anyway.
St. Louis Rams Defense (3.0)—Neither is this what you expect from a premium play at the defense position. The Rams are still the top price on the FanDuel board at $5,400, but playing them at home against the Chicago Bears makes a lot of sense in Week 10.