Let’s cut to the chase. Many a fantasy owner in 2013 has floated on the offensive juggernaut that is Peyton Manning. Unfortunately, as NFL rules dictate, Manning has to take a week off and that week is here. Good for him and his sprained ankles. Bad for fantasy owners.
Who can stop the bleeding? Probably no one. But, c’mon this was the one week you expected to possibly lose, so why not have a little fun and consider….
***Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins QB (52% owned): The Dolphins at 3-4 have disappointed but Tannehill has hung in there as a viable fantasy option. Ok, somewhat viable. In Week 9, he faces a Bengals pass defense that is solid but inconsistent. Tannehill is one of the few quarterbacks with at least one passing touchdown in every game this season.
***Jake Locker, Titans QB (49% owned): Locker had his second best fantasy week of the season (326 yards, 2 TDs) in Week 7 against the top notch secondary of San Francisco. Coming off a bye and facing the Rams, look for more of the same.
Manning owners are not alone in their Week 9 bye despair. Let us also take the violin out for Reggie Bush owners as well Some replacement options include:
***Zac Stacy, Rams RB (54% owned): Stacy appears to have dodged a bullet with a low ankle sprain following a strong 134-yard rushing performance against the Seahawks. He is not completely in the clear for Week 9 so you may want to handcuff Stacy with Daryl Richardson (45% owned) if you have space on your roster.
***Roy Helu, Redskins RB (55% owned): Sunday marked the first game in four weeks that Helu was held to under eleven fantasy points. Week 9 opponent, San Diego, is one of the tougher run defenses and has stymied Jacksonville and Indianapolis in recent weeks. But Mike Shanahan’s usage of Helu in both the pass and run games makes him an acceptable option.
***Mike Tolbert, Panthers RB (30% owned): Tolbert is a touchdown machine – four scores in his last three weeks to be exact. Carolina hosts Atlanta this week.
Moving onward to the most exciting options for Week 9, these two explosive and highly available wide receivers:
***Kenny Stills, Saints WR (11% owned): Many owners took a draft day flier on Stills, expecting him to be a frequent deep target for Drew Brees. When that didn’t happen, he was dropped. But now the Brees-Stills connection appears to be legit in the form of over 200 yards and 3 TDs for Stills over the past two games.
***Marvin Jones, Bengals WR (13% owned): Six touchdowns over the past three weeks. And to think, Jones is still just the no. 3 receiver. Clearly Jones is a favorite (ok, maybe second favorite) target of Andy Dalton and should see an increase in snaps.
And I have one tight end to recommend this week (although I do hope you have a better preexisting option).
***Dallas Clark, Ravens TE (16% owned): Clark entered his Week 8 bye coming off two straight games with a score. He has at least three catches in the last four games he has played.
***All player availability is based on FleaFlicker.com.