10:57 pm, October 30th, 2012
One team can create a litany of Fantasy concerns with a bye, it’s true. The New England Patriots are off, meaning Fantasy players have to replace Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski and will be without Aaron Hernandez for another week. If you have to replace any of those significant starters, or you just want to stay ahead of the opposition as we usually help you do, here are some of our top pickups for Week 9 for all formats and levels of league depth.
1.1. Cut Jay Cutler, QB, Bears
Hopefully, you have been smart enough to make this move already. Yet some Fantasy owners let him linger, hoping the pure talent can overcome the other negatives. After watching Cutler’s erratic performance against the likes of the Panthers, you now know you can find better options even for your backup/QB2 slot.
2.2. Add Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins
He is healthy again and has resumed operating as Miami’s goal-line back. Staying healthy has been a big problem for Thomas, but if he can, he will continue to get some important carries and will also share some touches with Reggie Bush outside the red zone.
3.3. Add Nick Foles, QB, Eagles
We’ve mentioned him before, and we’re going to remind you about him again. We all know about the QB controversy in Philadelphia, and considering how quickly young passers have made an impact in recent years, you have to grab Foles and at least stash him even if he doesn’t start this week. If Michael Vick can’t get it going against the Saints, he’s gotta be done.
4.4. Add Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins
Some owners will cut him this week, because he has fallen off after some earlier-season heroics. If you have to plug in a starter for Welker or another WR on bye this upcoming week, keep in mind Hartline faces the Colts, and he can give you some pretty good yardage numbers.
5.5. Add Clyde Gates, WR, Jets
New York desperately needs some playmakers to step forward, and Gates was one of very few bright lights in a loss to Miami. Gates caught seven balls for 82 yards and showed some sure hands and respectable route running abilities. Take the flier in PPR leagues.
6.6. Drop Vincent Brown, WR Chargers
If you have been stashing him in hopes of a return around this point of the season, forget it. Reports indicate he is not going to start running any time soon, and there’s no telling how effective he can be when he returns, which may not be any time soon. Clear the needed roster space.
7.7. Add Logan Paulsen, TE, Redskins
Fred Davis is done for the season, and Chris Cooley is no factor after coming off the couch to rejoin the Redskins. Paulsen has progressively been gaining more of Robert Griffin III’s confidence. He’s a big, strong target with soft hands and some fluid moves after the catch.
8.8. Hold LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers
Just for a few days. The NFL pushed the trading deadline back to Thursday, and there is a lot of talk that Blount could be dealt to one of a few teams looking for RB help. Add him if no one has him now, don’t cut him yet if you have him. He could end up with a significant role elsewhere.
9.9. Add Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
The Broncos are finding more ways to work the speedy rookie into the offensive mix, and he’s a better fit for the offense when Peyton Manning is in frantic mode. Willis McGahee is playing well, but durability has often been an issue for him and Hillman could see an expanded role at any time.
10.10. Add Lance Dunbar, RB, Cowboys
DeMarco Murray is uncertain to return in the near future, and Felix Jones has been a big bust as his handcuff. Phillip Tanner does not seem to offer much as an alternative. Dunbar has the most juke and spark of any available Dallas RB right now, and if the Cowboys are forced to start giving him the ball soon, he may run with the opportunity, no pun intended.
11.11. Drop Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins
We were hesitant to recommend this move in recent weeks, but every move is magnified as we get deeper into the schedule, and you can’t keep holding on to him when roster space can be so precious. Garcon may not return until at least after the Week 10 Washington bye, so say goodbye.