If there’s one piece of advice that I can give you for Week 9, it’s this: Be economical with your waiver wire pick ups.
By this point in the season, every move is crucial. And when thinking about who you’re going to add, make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions, like “is this player going to help me win a matchup?”
If you can’t answer that with a definitive yes, don’t add them. It’s that simple.
Anyways, let’s read through this week’s fantasy football mailbag.
“Do you think DeMarco Murray will hold up come playoff time? I have a few offers for him and was wondering if it might be time to trade him.” – Chase C.
DeMarco Murray is having a season for the ages.
His eight-straight 100-yard rushing games to begin a season is an NFL record, and he’s on pace to eclipse the 2,000 yard plateau if he keeps this up.
If being the operative word.
Murray’s remarkable season is coming at a price. Through the Cowboys’ first eight games, DeMarco Murray has rushed the ball 206 times and accounted for 232 total touches. That is not a typo. If this pace continues, he’ll become only the sixth player in NFL history to carry the ball over 400 times in a single season—and the first since Larry Johnson in 2006.
I don’t care what anyone says, the human body isn’t capable of this type of punishment. And this is especially true for a player like DeMarco Murray who burdens an injury history that’s caused him to miss time in each of his first three NFL seasons.
I’m advising folks to sell DeMarco Murray, but obviously you’ll want to sell him high. At the end of the day, this is a guy who’s doing remarkable things with the ball in his hands right now. I just worry that the wheels are going to fall between now and the end of the season.
“Torrey Smith was a dud last week. Should I be expecting him to do better this week, or should I bench him and give someone else a shot?” -Nick K.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, Torrey Smith was a dud.
After scoring touchdowns in two consecutive games, Smith laid the goose egg in Week 8. However, a concussion suffered in the third quarter went relatively unnoticed, aiding in Smith’s woeful day.
With that said, the NFL’s concussion protocol is strict. Even if Torrey Smith is given the OK to play this week, his inconsistency this season doesn’t leave his owners with a satisfied feeling in their stomach. I would refrain from playing Torrey Smith in your lineup if you don’t have to. There are plenty of upside options further down the board without as low of a floor.
“I’m in a ten-man league with Mohamed Sanu and Cordarrelle Patterson both available in the waiver wire, who’s the right pick up here?” – Peter H.
Even with A.J. Green primed to return to game action this week I think that Mohamed Sanu is the right play.
Sanu has proven over the past three weeks that he holds high-end WR2 upside, and he likely won’t drop below a flex.
Green isn’t going to be 100 percent healthy the entire season and Sanu is a dynamic playmaker on offense, using his multi-faceted skill set to throw off (literally) opposing defenses. I’m going to keep rolling with Mohamed Sanu until I see two or three weeks of drastic drop off.
“I’m in a PPR scoring league, do you think Martavis Bryant will keep up his success for the Steelers and have potential as a WR2 or Flex?” -Dave S.
As long as Ben Roethlisberger is throwing the football, Martavis Bryant will have success.
Ben doesn’t even need to throw for 500-plus yards, he just needs to throw. Part of what will make Bryant successful the rest of the season is the way the Antonio Brown commands the attention of the defense.
If you’ve noticed, all of Bryant’s touchdowns this season have come against single coverage on the outside. That means, and you know this as good as any being a former quarterback, as Brown draws the attention of the safety across the middle, Bryant beats his man on the outside for the easy catch. This has become the bread and butter of the Steelers passing game and as long as it continues, you can expect Martavis Bryant to keep scoring regular fantasy points.
I mean, it only took him two weeks to pass Markus Wheaton in terms of fantasy relevance on the Steelers.
“Is Charles Sims worth an add in Tampa Bay for the rest of the year?” -Charles G.
Absolutely. And you can consider this the ultimate fade on Doug Martin if you want, but the fact that the Buccaneers offense has openly said they want to get Sims as involved as possible before the guy is even cleared to play says something to me.
See, Tampa Bay’s offense isn’t going anywhere with Doug Martin running the football, and it’s certainly not going to start producing with Bobby Rainey at the helm. Charles Sims is a guy with Matt Forte-like aspects to his game, using his deceptive elusiveness and pass-catching abilities to open up defenses.
It may take him a week or two to get acclimated to the NFL speed, but this guy will be a valuable asset on someone’s playoff roster—hopefully it’s yours.
“Is Ben Tate a better flex option this week and for the rest of the year over a guy like Shane Vereen?” – Alex K.
The Cleveland Browns love to run the football, so you’d assume that their lead back (Tate) would be a great option for your playoff run, right? I would have answered this question differently two weeks ago, but it seems as though the Browns loss of center Alex Mack is proving more vital than we originally imagined.
In a matchup primed to showcase Tate coming off an injury, the Browns’ running back only mustered 26 yards on 15 carries against the league’s second-worst run defense. Now, he had a late touchdown that salvaged his day somewhat, but that’s not something we really want to rely on so long as he’s the No. 1 back on his own team.
You can expect Shane Vereen to get the necessary touches from Tom Brady to maintain his fantasy relevance, even if you’re not in a PPR league. If you are, he’s just that much more valuable.
“I really want to pull the trigger on Odell Beckham Jr. but it’s so tough with a small sample size. Should I roll with OBJ or go with Pierre Garcon or Frank Gore in my flex instead?” – Brian A.
I’m weary of all three of these guys, but not in the same way (if that makes any sense).
Frank Gore is either going to score two touchdowns or run for 24 yards on 14 carries against St. Louis. There’s absolutely no in between with Gore anymore. And with the way the 49ers handled the Rams a few weeks ago, expect this to be another Colin Kaepernick show.
As for Pierre Garcon, are we really expecting Colt McCoy to toss for 300 yards again? That is if McCoy even starts. If not, are we trusting Robert Griffin III to hop back in the saddle and produce well enough that his receivers have a ton of value? I’m going to side with caution and say no. There’s just no evidence telling me that RGIII can come out and dice up Minnesota’s defense.
Odell Beckham Jr. is still very raw, and we really don’t know what we have in him just yet. But one thing I do know is that his teammate, Rueben Randle, is not good. OBJ is going to get looks, and I think he’ll show up nicely on Monday Night Football. I continually say that when you have a stable of mediocre options, go with the one who presents the most upside. This week, that’s Odell Beckham Jr.