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Fantasy Insider: Week 9

James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.

The big news this week had to be the Titans announcing that they would effectively limit the most explosive player in the game (Chris Johnson) by splitting his carries with Javon Ringer. I understand that CJ2K has gotten off to a slow start and his fantasy value is teetering on RB2 status, but the guy is a threat to break a long run at any moment and the Titans are almost giving up on him.

Maybe their thinking is he would still be somewhat fresh in the second half if his carries were split with Ringer, but that also does the opposite by limiting the chances he has to break a big one. There is some upside here, but the risk of killing his value is also there. Beware and be aware when it comes to CJ2K.

Then there is Carson Palmer signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh … eeeerrrr … the Raiders signing him. Look, the chances of these two turning back the clock and making something out of nothing is about the same chance I have of running out of the tunnel at Paul Brown Stadium on gameday rocking a Bengals uni! Leave them both on the waiver wire.

Byes: Panthers, Lions, Jaguars, Vikings


Tony Romo: Romo is what he is, an above average QB who seems to crumble under pressure. However, playing the Seahawks can make an average QB look like a Pro Bowl candidate. That means Romo should end the day having Cowboys fans thinking they just went back in time and watched Troy Aikman play pitch-n-catch with Michael Irvin, Alvin Harper and Jay Novacek.

Matt Cassel: Cassel has strung together a solid four-game stretch, with his only blunder coming against the Raiders in a rivalry game a few weeks back. That being said, this week he draws a Dolphins defense that is allowing the third-most fantasy points to QBs at 23.9 PPG. With Jonathan Baldwin stepping his game up in the slot, and Dwayne Bowe coming around, I look for Cassel to put up some low-end QB1 numbers this week.

Michael Bush: Darren McFadden is almost certain to miss this week's game, so that means Bush will be the lead back for the Raiders when they face the dreadful Broncos. Tim Tebow should be bad enough that the Raiders will be up early and fantasy owners will get a heavy dose of Bush and the running game.

Brandon Jacobs: Ahmad Bradshaw has a cracked bone in his foot, but there are no shortage of conflicting reports as to how bad it is exactly. No matter what Bradshaw says in public, I don't see any way he plays this weekend and that makes Jacobs a top 15 RB against the Patriots defense.

Dwayne Bowe: Bowe went through a stretch this season in which he was catching TDs and putting up 100-yard games on a regular basis. However, he hasn't scored in the last two games and some owners are starting to get worried. Well, worry no more because the Chiefs play the Dolphins this week and that scoreless streak is sure to come to an end against a weak secondary.

Jeremy Maclin: Maclin doesn't get all the publicity he should because he is overshadowed by DeSean Jackson, but that hasn't stopped fantasy owners from taking him seriously. Maclin is actually a top-10 fantasy WR heading into Week 9, and I see him as a possible WR1 this week against the Bears secondary. Play him with confidence until you hear otherwise.

Fred Davis: This is a bit of a risky call, but I think Davis can still put up numbers against the stout 49ers defense this weekend. The Niners are allowing the 13th-most fantasy points to TEs this season (8.4) and the defense isn't pitching shutouts, so he should be the lone wolf for the Redskins in this one.

Atlanta Falcons Defense: The Falcons are available on most waiver wires and this week they have a sweet matchup with the struggling Colts. The Colts can't move the ball without Peyton Manning and he could very well be the first player in NFL history to win the MVP award without taking a single snap in that season. This is more a knock on the Colts than it is praise for the Falcons defense.


Tim Tebow: The world went crazy with Tim Tebow and the new "Tebowing," but his hype is underserved. He is sporting a woeful 47.1 completion percentage while throwing for just 166.5 YPG. While that doesn't matter in fantasy terms, it is indicative of his ability to produce stats and stats are the lifeblood of fantasy football. Tebow is the poster child for the difference in perception and reality.

Joe Flacco: Flacco and the Ravens match up with the Steelers this week, and they are allowing just 14.7 fantasy PPG to QBs this season. Over the past four weeks Flacco has thrown for 778 yards, but just a lone TD to go with his three INTs. This should be a defensive game, which means offense will suffer.

Chris Johnson: That is right, CJ2K has finally made it to the Sit 'em list and he could finish the season there. As I laid out earlier, the Titans are going to give Ringer a share of Johnson's carries, which makes you wonder why they paid CJ2K all that money. We are watching one of the NFL's most explosive players rot at the docks.

Washington Redskins backfield: Yes, the entire backfield should not be played. Beyond the fact that Torain has managed just 31 yards on 20 carries (1.55 YPC) since Week 4, the Redskins play the 49ers and their top-ranked defense this weekend. I have cut all ties with Torain and I suggest you do, too.

Eric Decker: If you have Tebow tossing you the pigskin, you can pretty much kiss your fantasy value goodbye! There really isn't any long statistical analysis that is needed here, just the fact that Tebow is under center is enough to bench Decker.

Andre Johnson: There really isn't any word on whether or not Johnson will play this weekend, but there is a chance. Given the chance, I feel the need to tell you to sit him if he does start since the Browns are allowing the fewest fantasy points to WRs this season at just 13.5 PPG. Since this might be his first week back, you have to wonder at what percentage of health he is to start with. He could have a big game, but the smart money says he won't.

Ben Watson: Yahoo has Watson projected as the No. 12 TE this week, which means he is projecting out as a low-end TE1. He hasn't racked up more than 64 yards receiving in a game this season and his two touchdowns were back in Weeks 1 and 4. Watson isn't worth owning, let alone starting.

San Diego Chargers Defense: The Chargers defense is owned in about half the fantasy leagues out there, but this week they draw the Packers and their Super Bowl-caliber offense. Truth be told, I wouldn't want to put a single defense in the NFL up against the Packers right now as they are playing absolutely out of their minds. Stay far away from the Chargers defense this weekend.


Q: Alright James, here we go again. So, I have three defenses and unfortunately the Texans got a third of the points that the Bengals and Lions got. You win some and you lose some. Fortunately, the Bengals won and so did I, so no harm, no foul. The question of the week does revolve around my defenses again - Bengals vs. Titans or Texans vs. Browns. I'm leaning towards Texans again though because I feel like the Browns are less dangerous than the Titans. As for RB, I have RunDMC, Jackie Battle, Reggie Bush and Cedric Benson for two slots. If McFadden plays, he will be RB1. What to do about the other position? Advice?
--Jay Sharritt, CDR, E Co, 53rd Signal Battalion

A: The Browns are certainly less of a threat than the Titans are. I hate that the Titans are going to split carries between CJ2K and Ringer, but that also means you have two semi-fresh RBs at all times. The Bengals are a very good defense, but if Johnson is fresh in the third and fourth quarters, big things could happen against a tiring defense.

I'd go with the Texans this week as they are the smart money. The Browns team is dinged up from top to bottom, so they are going to struggle to move the ball.

With McFadden, nobody is expecting him to play as of right now, so you can't count on him. I think I'd run with Benson and Battle at RB. The Titans and Chiefs give up the seventh- and eighth-most fantasy points to RBs respectively (21.9 and 21.7 PPG), but you really can't trust Reggie Bush because the Dolphins have nothing else to scare defenses with and they can stack eight in the box. Whereas the Dolphins give up a ton of points to WRs (25.3 PPG) and the Chiefs could get up early and run in the second half.

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