Week 9 is here and it’s the peak of this bye season. Heavy point contributors from Denver, San Francisco, and Detroit as well as the roster fillers from NYG, Arizona and Jacksonville are all taking the week off. Such is a week that leaves some otherwise-formidable franchises vulnerable to be upset. With 12 teams packed in a two game differentials, the playoff picture at this point is as muddy as it gets. We’ll probably see some separation of clear and turbid after this crucial week. Brace yourselves, gents. The final leg of the regular season starts now.
(1) Polk High Panthers (7-1) vs (12) BldgDW3LL1NGTh1nk1ng (3-5)
This week, it's the Chico Boys' turn to challenge the Panthers.
Bundy is in good shape for the playoff spot with a healthy two game advantage over the rest of the pack. The whole picture is still fairly speculative for the bye spot, but the Mighty Panthers are certainly in the driver's seat. Once-feared Atlanta duo is having trouble being re-heated after their bye (combined for 12.7 pts in week 8), but who needs QB-TE double titration when your receiver records over 300 yards receiving and a TD. Megatron was at full blast, and AJ did his share again as he’s clearly out of slump now, especially with Dalton playing so well. The rest of the team is pretty average, especially the backfield. With Megatron on bye this week, Bundy desperately needs AJ to have even a bigger game plus somebody else to step up. The Mighty Ones seem a bit vulnerable here.
The Chico Boys bit another dust last week from the Mustards and are now in near-desperation mode. The boys are playing well, but they just can't grub that W. Romo-Dez are as reliable as ever, and both running backs DeAngelo and Bolden got to the endzone in absence of Rice. But the Philosophers clearly missed Finley's production out of the tight end spot. PSAS Expansion 2013 created a thin talent pool that is hurting teams with major injuries mid-season; the Philosophers are no exception. This week America's Team's QB/WR face Team America of PSAS in PHP. With Rice back and the Cowboys facing pitiful Vikings defense, the Chico Boys have a good chance of an upset in this must-win game.
Ring Di Alaaaaarm!!!
(2) TakingTigerMountain (5-3) vs (9) AEthernauts (3-5)
This match showcases the battle of NFC south double titration/counter titration, with Brees-Graham squaring off against Cam-Smith-Colston axis.
The Mountain manhandled the Sand People and chased the Bantha tails off the Kyber Pass in a Toyota Blowout fashion. The streak is still intact for Brees-Graham connection, and Danielsan’s Dojo is looking to spend a good Halloween behind shower curtains. Second place in standing and scoring, the Mountain control their own destiny for the coveted first-round bye of the playoffs. Terrence Williams playing well beyond expectations is compensation for the rest of the receivers and backfield performing at so-so levels. Regardless, this is Brees-Graham’s team and the duo should be able to handle the Jets defense this week with little difficulty. They are 10+ pts underdog in prediction, but prediction shmojections, this is their game to lose.
The Big Sky is falling rapidly. The past week was tough because of the recalculation loss in week 7. In the Thursday game Cam did his part and scored 28+ pts to try to reverse the course and set the tone. The rest of the group didn’t follow him. Ever-reliable LynchMob was uncharacteristically quiet in a week that the Travelers could probably use his help. The dancing guy out of Motown, filling in for TE Bennett during Chi-town bye, was out of town and left a big goose-egg on the score sheet. Colston’s repeated lack of production is a concern here. This is a good week to have a bounce-back performance by him. With the Sky facing Brees and co, the Space Travelers need the counter-titration effect to pull off this upset.
(t-3) ThePelicanBrief (5-3) vs (13) The Goslings (4-4)
Both teams are coming off a win and look to extend the streak in a crucial week 9 matchup.
The Legal Thrillers knocked out the Bloodz in week 8 despite Brady failing to crack double digits yet again. His stock is falling rapidly and has a sell recommendation by many experts. Master Sun is a bit more patient than that, but the lack of production is a huge issue in a result-centric world such as fantasy football. The Grishamites have contemplated benching him in the past, and this may be the week that it finally happens. Ellington benefitted hugely from Mendenhall’s absence and sealed the win for the Brief. They still don’t lack questions and concerns this week with weekly pts generators Welker and Vernon both on bye as well as surging Ellington, whose touches are expected to increase after he returns from bye. For this week, it looks like the Thrillers are banking on the Titans leading the way with Locker and CJ?K. The expectation here, I must say, is not that high.
The Goslings cruised passed the stylez with ease. Geno scored in negatives and Cumberland didn’t fare much better either in a bye-fillin stint. The baby birds are happy to have Luck back. Nelson is a clear A-Rodg favorite now and will continue to put up numbers, and Bell is a stud that gets yardages, TDs or both. Shady McCoy has slowed down significantly in the last couple of weeks as no one really talks about Chip Kelley’s O any more, which the birds can’t afford at this stage of the season. Luck, McCoy and Nelson need to carry this team on their back for the rest of the season.
(t-3) Tusken Raiders (5-3) vs (10) GrossmanSachs (3-5)
Two teams that can’t quite get their things going try for a bounce-back win after their respective losses in week 8.
The Sand People were slaughtered by Luke Skywalker while etching the tribe's name on Toyota billboard in TigerMountain. The problem was multifold in week 8, from RGIII low-balling to bye-week fill-in Sydney Rice getting knocked out of the game early to lay a fat goose egg. While some other fill-ins played admirably like Monte Ball getting to the endzone, the regular D-Jax and Charles as well as RGIII underperforming is a bigger concern. They are happy to have Hopkins and Woodhead back in Tatoooine, but unless the aforementioned trinity performs at elite levels, the Raiders are going to have a tough time making the playoff in this muggy PSAS climate.
The unfortunate season for the g0db4nkz continued with their loss to the Mustard Yellow. At 3-5, they are officially in desperation mode. Granted, the loss in week 8 came against the league-leading Panthers, but at some point you’ve got to stop making excuses and come away with that W. Good news is AP got to the endzone and got some points. RunDMC is proving a good option as long as he’s healthy, but Gio and his timeshare is still not dependable. Commish is happy to have Gates and Jeffery back, especially Gates at TE position where last week the bankerz only produced 13 yards reception. Week 9 is still a tough week for the bankerz with Manning and the Broncos on bye; the bankerz are banking on Tannehill’s Thursday night showdown against surging Cincy D. This is a talented group that can beat any team on any given week that will be dangerous in the playoffs, only if they can get there.
(5) Dijonnaise All-Stars (5-3) vs (6) SanFranciscoFerries (4-4)
The surging Ferries face the expansion darling Colonel Mustard.
Poupon Grey came away with yet another win in week 8 and is, for now, with the in-crowd at 5-3. A-Rodg showed no ill-effect from losing his top receivers to injury, and Tolbert got his vulture quota. Two IDPs plus the team D and the kicker scored in double digits to lift the Yellow passed the Chico Boys. Problem is, save for Rodgers, none of those are dependable scoring options that Colonel can count on week in and week out. The ones he should be able to count on (Fitz and Cruz though they’ve had their shares of ups and downs this season) are part of the week 9 mass exodus bye crew and are unavailable this week. Seems that Colonel needs to make some roster moves just to fill up the starting lineup; shedding backup QB and IDP on bye is a good start, unless the time-travelling spy for the Mustards has foreseen an injury to A-Rodg. Or you can cut loose your stars if you want *wink *wink. Colonel Mustard maybe learning the hard way this week the fine details of fantasy football that are intrinsic to a successful season, such as not carrying two TEs that have the same bye. With the playoff picture as muddy as ever, this is not the week for school, though, and the Yellow are in for a tough battle against super-hot Ferries.
The Boatmen of the Bay are the hottest team of the league now with four game winning streak after they beat another sizzler team in Trichs in week 8. They also had the highest scoring output of week 8 and their confidence must be at sky-high right now. Of course they lost four in a row to open the season so it’s no time to celebrate or relax yet; they just got back to .500. In the win over the Trichs everyone did their part except for Gronk, who’s most anticipated return to the field is quickly turning into the most disappointing one, dragging Brady’s stock along with his. He’s probably still shaking off some of the dirt on his shovel from when he dig up the hole to bury the body … oh wait that’s the wrong dude. Both Bush and Moreno are on bye, but they have the luxury to bring Alfred Morris in from the bench and there shouldn’t be any problem. Phillip Rivers is probably going to get the starting gig back, and with the Chargers facing the Skins and their bad secondary he’s due for a big game. This is a formidable team that has the talent to go deep into the playoffs, but first they must handle Poupon Grey this week. Sun Tzu doesn’t see much problem in them doing that here.
(t-7) Trichotillomaniacs (4-4) vs (11) HomeSpunNeckBloodz (4-4)
In this battle of .500, two teams square off to fight for the push for the playoffs.
The Hair Pullers got a tough loss in week 8 despite having the third highest scoring of the week with 130+pts. The 49er trio combined for over 50 pts to lead the way, and both Ridley and Stacey put up respectable numbers in helping the Trichs become the highest scoring team for the season despite the loss. The Far East Broncos weren’t lucky enough to be chosen as the endzone targets, which was probably the only beef here. But that was week 8; this is week 9. For several months now, General Far East has been counting down to the arrival of this week. He had known that, of all weeks this is the one to challenge his mental and physical toughness. With six players (Kap, Gore, Anquan, Decker, Julius, and MJD) on bye occupying the entire length of his bench, the starting lineup for the General is more reminiscent of one from 2012 this week in terms of quality. The General went out and used much of the cash that he had stashed away from the Casino games to acquire some fill-in pieces. He decided to part ways with oft-injured Vick and picked up Terrell Pryor. He’s riding another AFC West borderline player in McCluster for the flex spot and hopes his targets remain high in KC. The big question mark is Zac Stacy, who’s slated to be RB2 behind Ridley and is suffering from ankle sprain. With no room to spare on the bench, the General is rolling the dice here and hoping the STL rookie will take the field on Sunday.
The Spinnerz lowballed big-time in week 8; they would have lost to everyone but the stylez, and even the stylez they barely would have beaten by a tiny margin. When you’ve got two RBs (and an IDP) that don’t take the field, that’s the result. Mr Eighty-Seven continues to dress up as Mr Zero, and the window of opportunity here is closing with the Jints on bye this week and then Andre Brown and possibly David Wilson returning after the bye. The Green Knight is keeping rather quiet in a week that he needs to make some roster moves; they don’t have a QB with Palmer on bye. At least, he’ll have Forte and Andre Johnson back to boost the offense. This is a good week to play the Trichs, but the Spinnerz may be lacking the firepower to take advantage.
(t-7) Phat Girlz (4-4) vs (14) Pr1m0rdi4lLyfestylz® (0-8)
Monique’s turn for a stylz treatment.
The zig-zag trend for the Girlz continued in week 8 with a convincing win over heartbroken AEthernauts. Monique is increasingly leaning on Stafford and Sean Lee to lead the way. Miller’s resurgence and Denver defense abusing RGIII helped the cause. As for the rest of skill players, there are some concerns, starting with Sproles, who caught some passes out of the backfield for zero net gain and didn’t register a carry. D-Bowe is a lost cause now, although his matchup against Buffalo looks tasty here. This week, Stafford is on bye, but Monique isn’t really sweating. She had Dalton stashed away, who’s quickly emerging as a legitimate weekly fantasy starting QB and can easily fill the hole here. Monique has other bye-related holes to fill, with Denver (Prater and team defense), SF (Bowman), NYG (JPP) and Jax (Posluszny and Shorts) all on bye. Usually this is a decision time for which of them to cut, as the math here doesn’t really add up. Luckily they are facing the Stylez, so they can afford to leave several IDP slots open and keep D-Bowe on the lineup this week. Huge break for the girlz.
For other teams the Master look at mostly three things for this review; the previous week’s outcome, the coming week’s lineup and individual matchups, and remaining schedules. Master is no longer giving the Stylez the same respect. He just salivates over some of the talents that could flourish in other *systems*.