The N’Sync Reunion Tour has Come to an End

Fantasy Football: Week 9 – Ballers, and Bums

Another hair-pulling, TV screaming at, binge drinking, frustrating, expletive-filled fantasy week is in the books, and most importantly, the N’Sync Reunion Tour (bye, bye, bye) is a wrap! Now, there are still teams with a bye on their schedule, but the six teams on bye we’ve seen the past two weeks? Nah, no more… All praises due.

Hopefully, you had enough depth/waiver wire savvy to split the gauntlet, and if you went 2-0, even better. You may have even picked up a win or two against a better opponent due to the ridiculous amount of byes, but hey, a win is a win! You’re still entitled to talk the same amount of trash as you would be on any other week, and if you lost, don’t be the “I would’ve won if I didn’t have 6 guys on bye…” guy/gal. You lost. Everyone went through the same thing.  Pipe down.

As always, Week 9 was filled with plenty of surprising performances – both good and bad – and the purpose here is to highlight the guys that stood out among the rest.  The ballers, and the bums.

Now keep in mind, these aren’t necessarily the best and worst performers at each position. Ballers are guys who weren’t necessarily expected to put up big numbers (maybe due to matchup, or past performance), and did. And the bums… Well, they had cake match-ups, and did nothing other than give us heartburn.

*Fantasy points based on the ESPN Standard Scoring System

Quarterback
Baller of the Week
Eli Manning: 22/36, 257 yds, 4 TDs, 2 INTs – 22 fantasy points

Facing a tough Philly defense (5th in fantasy points allowed to QBs), Manning had one of his best games of the season. The 2 INTs aren’t ideal, but hey, it’s Eli… That’s what he does. Having thrown 3 of his 4 TD passes in the 1st half, it looked like he was on his way to an even bigger day, but you can’t be mad at a Top-6 finish.

Honorable Mention – Check the Waiver Wire
Marcus Mariota: 27/43, 313 yds, 3 TDs, 2 INTs (3 car, 14 yds, 1 TD) – 25 fantasy points

The Chargers pass defense isn’t exactly dominant, but they rank in the bottom half of the league in points allowed to opposing QBs (13th fewest)… Mariota had his way with them. After struggling early in the season, he’s now averaging 23 fantasy points over his last 5 games, and has 3 decent matchups on deck before their Week 13 bye.

QB Waiver Watch: Tony Romo – DAL, Tyrod Taylor – BUF (Stash him if you’re a playoff contender. His schedule down the stretch is love)

Bum of the Week
Andrew Luck: 23/36, 281 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs (7 car, 15 yds) – 12 fantasy points

I mean you really can’t be mad at the guy. He went into Lambeau, completed 64% of his passes, and picked up a much needed win… That’s great… In real life. From a fantasy perspective, the matchup was too soft for Luck not to have a big day. He’s now finished with under 20 fantasy points in back-to-back games, and 5 of 9 overall.

Running Back
Baller of the Week
Frank Gore: 19 car, 60 yds, 2 TDs (2 rec 11 yds) – 19 fantasy points

Coming into this matchup, Green Bay had allowed only 2 rushing TDs on the season (not even current rushing champ leader Ezekiel Elliott was able to score on them), and Gore had only 2 rushing TDs on the season… Doubled.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Chris Ivory: 18 car, 107 yds – 8 fantasy points

If you started Ivory in a standard scoring league, you’re probably not overly impressed with his 8 points (good for the 14th best among RBs). However, you have to like that he rushed for over 100 yards in the Jags 1st game with new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Which is more than double his previous season high of 48. He fumbles too often, and Yeldon is still a threat, but he looks to be healthy and received almost half as many carries yesterday, than he had in his 5 games prior… Combined.

RB Waiver Watch: Darren Sproles – PHI, Peyton Barber – TB, Tim Hightower – NO, Paul Perkins – NYG

Bum of the Week
Charcandrick West: 13 car, 39 yds (3 rec, 35 yds) – 6 fantasy points

I expected a big day from West, and the Chiefs offense… They put up 231 total yards. Total yards. As in for the entire team. Luckily for them, the Jags are terrible, because they had no business winning this game.

Wide Receiver
Baller of the Week
Golden Tate: 11 rec, 79 yds, 1 TD – 13 fantasy points

The Lions had several players deserving of game balls in their pivotal division win at Minnesota on Sunday, but none more deserving than Golden Tate. Facing a Vikings defense which had allowed the 2nd fewest points to opposing WRs, Tate was golden. Catching 11 passes (on 12 targets) including a 28 yard TD to win the game in OT.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Mike Wallace: 4 rec, 124 yds, 1 TD – 18 fantasy points

I doubt he’ll have another 95 yard TD pass this season, but he’s now gone over 100 yards receiving in 2 straight games, and since Mornhinweg took over at offensive coordinator, he’s yet to put up less than 97 yards receiving… Oh, and they play Cleveland next week.

WR Waiver Watch: Michael Thomas – NO, Taylor Gabriel – ATL, Rishard Matthews – TEN

Bum of the Week
Jarvis Landry: 3 rec, 33 yds – 3 fantasy points

Matt Ryan threw for more yards Thursday night than Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Ryan Tannehill combined to throw for in this game. As a result, Jarvis Landry put up another dud. He hasn’t gone over 100 yards, or scored a TD, since Week 3 but this appeared to be a prime matchup for him to get back on track…. Then they played the game.

Tight End
Baller of the Week
Vance McDonald: 3 rec, 84 yds, 1 TD – 14 fantasy points

Yes, most of his yards came on a 65 yard TD pass, but that now gives him 2 60+ yard TDs on the season. Excluding the first 60+ yard TD game, Week 2 at Carolina where he finished with 1 catch for 75 yards and a TD, he had 7 catches for 67 yards and a TD over his 4 games played. That said, I wouldn’t put too much stock into yesterday’s performance, but impressive nonetheless.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Eric Ebron: 7 rec, 92 yds – 9 fantasy points

If someone dropped Ebron while he was out with a knee injury, do yourself a favor, and pick him up. Although the Vikings were without starting MLB Eric Kendricks, their defense is still solid, and Ebron looked physically dominant catching 7 of 8 targets for 92 yards. He now has 7 catches in back-to-back games, and appears to be one of Matthew Stafford’s favorite targets.

TE Waiver Watch: C.J. Fiedorowicz – HOU, Austin Hooper – ATL, Lance Kendricks – LA, Dominique Jones – MIA

Bum of the Week
Gary Barnidge: 3 rec, 23 yds – 2 fantasy points

After putting up 1,043 yards, 9 TDs, and finishing as the #3 fantasy TE in ’15, Barnidge has yet to find the end-zone, or reach double-digit fantasy points this season. But, if you happened to start him yesterday, against the Cowboys defense (allowing the 9th most fantasy points to opposing TEs), with a rookie QB at the helm… I wouldn’t have blamed you (I had him ranked as the #2 TE). Then, he went out and did nothing… Again. He still has value in PPR leagues (he’s 6th amongst TEs in receptions), but in standard leagues, he’s safe to drop. You’d be better off streaming week-to-week. 

Be sure to check me out on Instagram/Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter @maxingyourodds for additional fantasy advice, and betting picks. Or, shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com

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