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“Around the Ben”: The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Horrible – Week 9

Football seems to get crazier every week, now doesn’t it folks?!?! Marvin Jones goes nuts week 8 to the tune of 4 touchdowns, Vick gets hurt (again), and this week Foles is back in the fold. Not to mention the seemingly bipolarity at quarterback every week outside of the top names, and it’s hard to know who’s next to struggle. Hopefully, this week the NFL will have more normalcy, and fantasy owners won’t be left punching walls, or having to replace phones, because they sent their’s via air-mail to the wall. This week, look for top surprises and duds thus far this season within this post.

5 Up

Russell Wilson- Starting to show signs of his old self, as he is heating up as of late. A date with the Buccaneers should only further help him rebound from a slow start to the season. The only potential downside is he lacks a true WR1 which is inhibiting his passing numbers.

Mike Tolbert- Always known as the “forgotten” RB in Carolina, Tolbert is quickly making a name for himself in the PPR game, and is proving he can move the chains on the ground. The Falcons may not be the easiest team in the world to run on, but after watching the Falcons play last week a TD from Tolbert could easily be in the cards.

Alfred Morris- Morris is the one consistent player in Washington while the rest of the offense, namely RGIII has been inconsistent this season. Morris gets to face a San Diego defense that has a stout run defense thus far. He is the goal line back & the most consistent option on the Redskins. The Chargers may not be able to keep him out of the end zone and an effective pass game could help him this week.

Kenny Stills- If he is available on your waiver wire, GO GRAB HIM NOW! Elite offense plus underwhelming WR1 plus big play potential and more trust from Drew Brees could all equate to a dynamite performance this week for Stills. Marvin Jones completely busted the Jets balls in week 8. This week could it be Stills that creates new holes in the Jets D?

Timothy Wright- This kid is raw and explosive, the only question is how often will the rookie Mike Glennon look his way? Regardless of his targets, if Wright gets his hands on the ball he can make a lot of good things happen. This guy is no fluke.

5 Down

Robert Griffin III- Breaking our balls man, breaking our balls! One week after Griffin looks like he’s back to his old self he goes out and essentially lays down to the tune of 132 pass yard, 1 TD, 2 INT, 1 fumble performance against the Broncos. He could put up top 5 QB numbers any given week, but make sure he strings together some nice starts before starting him if you have another QB option.

Michael Vick- That was ugly. Upon coming back from injury, Vick treats his owners to a whopping 30 yards and 1 pick. His replacement, Matt Barkley didn’t fare any better (158 yards, 1 INT, 1 fumble), and both will sit for Nick Foles this week. It wouldn’t surprise to see the eagles play musical chairs at QB the rest of the season if no starter grabs the starters’ gig and runs with it.

Stevan Ridley- I Never thought it’d be said, but it’s hard to trust anyone in the Patriots offense outside of Gronkowski right now, and as such Ridley is a borderline starting option. The Steelers may be old, but they can still stop the run.

Rod Streater- Well folks, we know what Streater is. He’s a 3-4 catch, 40 yard reception guy, but not much more. He may occasionally grab a score, but with Denarius Moore clearly WR1 & Pryor’s preference, it’s best to leave Streater on the bench.

Andrew Quarless- There is potential here for Quarless, but after last week’s last lackluster performance (2 grabs for 13 yards) it’s best to stash him on the bench until he establishes rapport with Mr. Discount Double-check.



Jake Locker- Locker put up 326 passing yards, and 2 TDs against the 49ers the week he came back. Now, after a bye he gets the Rams D. 350 pass yards, 3 TDs could be in the cards. Add to the fact he is a very mobile QB who runs well, and you have a QB1.


Tom Brady- DO NOT start him this week. Brady has only 1 game of 300+ pass yards in a game this season, and with question marks on health at receiver, it’s difficult for him to establish consistency with any one receiver. Hey, he still has Gronk, right? A 9 TD & 6 INT season doesn’t inspire fantasy owners to start any QB no matter the name recognition.


Jeff Tuel- His name sounds like what he is, just spelled differently: Tool. Tools are useful for workmen and Tool makes a great metal band, but not good fantasy QBs. Thad Lewis is nicked up, and with Matt Flynn the only competition, Tuel is very likely starting this week. Don’t be the one, outside of 20 team leagues where you can start 2 QBs to start this Tuel. Factor in Kansas City’s secondary ball-hawks and this could get ugly quickly for the Bills offense.



Pierre Thomas- Every time I bash him he goes out and puts up a solid performance. Every time I praise him he trips and falls on his face, or is overshadowed by another RB in the Saints run game. Let’s hope that trend doesn’t continue this week. Thomas is a valuable commodity in the pass game, giving him nice PPR value. If he can put a stranglehold on the starting RB gig he could emerge as a flex worthy option every week. The Jets defense is good against the run, but can be susceptible at times. Start with confidence this week.


Bilal Powell- 55 yards on 22 carries. That’s all you need to know about Powell the past 3 weeks. The saints defense is also good against the run this season, however, as the only true “back” in New York Powell is a very low-end option. Just don’t expect too much this week.


Mike James- The Muscle Hamster’s replacement has been very underwhelming (24 carries, 84 yards) the past 2 weeks and the numbers will continue to decline this week against the tank that is the Seattle defense.



Cordarrelle Patterson- Every week a WR goes completely nuts and causes a mad dash to the waiver wire. This week, against a underachieving Dallas secondary, it could be a big showing for Patterson. Yes, Ponder is at QB, but Patterson only needs one catch and a slight crease to break one to the house. Not saying it’s gonna happen, but Patterson is a sleeper to put up 95+ receiving yards this week. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, don’t. Just remember he is also downright lethal as a top kick return man in the NFL.


Marlon Brown- Once seemingly poised to be a threat to crack the seal for starters at WR, Brown is now taking himself off the radar. Of course, the Ravens pass game is boom/bust and Brown could always get a deep grab for a score, but Torrey Smith is more reliable and Dallas Clark get the looks in the red zone.


Justin Blackmon- This guy needs help, and needs it fast. Just slapped with an indefinite suspension by the league for violation of policy, Blackmon is on the fast track to being booted from the league. One of the most explosive receivers in the game when he’s on the field, but spends more time off than on. We wish him good luck, but it looks like a long road in front of him.



Kyle Rudolph- Ponder will lean on Rudolph as he is only in his second start since injury, and he’ll net you around 40-50 yards, but you’ll be hard pressed to get a score out of him. If Ponder and Rudolph rekindle the magic they had last season, Rudolph would become a starter-worthy TE every week. Don’t be afraid to take a flier in deeper leagues, or leagues where you need a WR/TE or flex.


Garrett Graham- Owen Daniels is out again this week, but the Colts know how to defend both the pass and the run. The Texnas have a rookie QB starting, meaning a potential for a good number of targets, but only for a very short gain and nary a score with Andre Johnson and DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins at receiver. At one point I was heralding him, now I’m urging the benching of him.


Zach Miller- Miller is a surprisingly hot pick up at TE, but with the TD roulette going around the WRs, it’s hard to predict which Seattle receiver will be relevant, much less their starting TE. Don’t jump the gun here, even for a bye week filler. The Bucs have only allowed 2 TEs to score this season, further dampening Miller’s value.



Muhammad Wilkerson (DE, DT)- This guy is the best DT in the game, and his DE eligibility makes him a starter every week on a strong Jets run D. 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception from your DT/DE should entrench him in your lineup. He had beast written all over before last season’s campaign (5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles).


Lamarr Woodley (LB)– Woodley is like those WR options that are TD or nothing: Either Woodley gets you a handful of tackles and a sack or 1.5, or he doesn’t do much. Difficult to know. Owners have started him due to the potential for sacks, but sacks is where his value is not other stats.


Tramon Williams- This guy used to be a ball-hawk and an elite defender (16 PDs last season), but now he’s just another name in the Packers secondary. He’s replaced Charles Woodson in the Packers secondary as the shutdown corner in which he has not lived up to, but he could still give us more than 4 passes defensed and 2 sacks. Start him against an elite offense and teams who are pass heavy, but otherwise keep him on the pine.

Worth the gamble:

Drew Davis WR (ATL)-  The Falcons need someone to step up opposite Harry Douglas and Davis is the lead candidate (5 catches 77 yards, TD last week).

Jason Campbell (QB)-  Josh Gordon and Greg Little are good deep threats. The Browns will look to pass early and often against an improving, but still susceptible to the big play Ravens defense.

Brandon Spikes (LB)- For those who didn’t know, Spikes is now middle linebacker for the Patriots, and he is just as capable as anyone on that defense of racking up sacks and tackles. Question is do you trust him as a starter? I own and start him in one of my leagues.

As always if you need fantasy advice hit up my Twitter handle or shoot me an email at If you really wanted, you could also message me on Facebook. I’m here for one reason, and one reason only, to help you dominate your opponent this week, unless you play me. If you have the misfortune of playing me, might as well give up now because I will WIN!

I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I'm a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

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