Five fantasy football moves you need to make for Week 9 – Washington Post

Having the rather insane job I have — talking about fake football six shows per week — means social media obligations, and I do notice patterns. People regularly ask me to predict unpredictable things (“Will the Dolphins throw more to Anthony Fasano this week?”), they tell me I’m stupid (“I will never forgive you for not foreseeing Samkon Gado”) and they ask me about the weather. This weekend was the NFL’s first seaboard-wide bad-weather situation for 2017, and suddenly every fantasy football owner was April Ludgate.

First of all: I don’t know. I can’t tell you exactly how rain will affect an NFL game, or your fantasy football players. And second of all: for my own teams, I don’t tend to panic over rain or even snow. Only 30-plus mile-per-hour winds get my lineup-finger twitching. If you have a choice between players who are comparable, it’s fine to use rain as a tiebreaker. But even if there’s data analysis that says on average bad-weather games tend to feature less scoring, the bleak reality of fantasy is we can’t know how your specific player will be affected. It’s a small sample size, but take Sunday’s games. It rained in Dallas/Washington, San Francisco/Philadelphia, Atlanta/Jets and Oakland/Buffalo. Three of those games went “over” the Vegas totals, and 49ers/Eagles came in two points shy. Yes, if you started Dak Prescott, the temptation might be to blame weather. So how did Jamison Crowder post his biggest day of the year? Matt Ryan fumbled away a snap four separate times, but Robby Anderson went bananas. Correlation isn’t causation.

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I’m not throwing up my hands and saying, “Well, some rainy-game teams scored points last week, so never worry about weather, ever!” I just think it’s a difficult straight line to draw. If you’re more sensitive to the notion that elements will influence your fantasy players, I guess go ahead and bench Dez Bryant for Brandon Coleman and see how that works out. For me, as I said, everything but high wind is merely a lineup tiebreaker.

Let’s look at five moves to make in preparation for Week 9:

Must-Add: Alex Collins, RB, BAL

I’m not sold on Collins as a special player.  Every time Nantz and Romo gushed “Look at his speed!” Thursday night against the Dolphins, all I saw was a running back who didn’t have to slow down while running through huge creases. While the Dolphins defensive line was racing to get the quarterback, Collins would simply take a handoff and find laughably little resistance. We’ve been trying to intuit what the Ravens backfield “means” all season, and until last week folks had been pestering me for not valuing Buck Allen more. Collins is a game-flow-dependent banger who I don’t think has been granted elite quickness by Riverdance-training. But RB replacements are hard to find in fantasy. If there’s a chance that Baltimore changes its backfield approach and gives Collins 40-plus snaps per game, you should add him.

Trade For: Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant, DAL

Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal of his six-game suspension appears to be hitting its home stretch. It looks like he may be done until Week 15, barring a last-minute stay that legal experts don’t think is likely. That will lead to hundreds of hours’ worth of speculation on whether you should acquire Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden, and frankly both of them are addable, in case one of them catches fire. But as good as the Cowboys’ offensive line is, Elliott is a transcendent talent and I don’t believe either of the veterans behind him will produce as well. In fact, I’d expect to see Dallas become more of a passing team: Prescott is a preternaturally calm QB who hasn’t yet come across an NFL situation he couldn’t master, and Bryant is a star. It’s asking a lot to get these guys for reasonable prices in a fantasy trade right now, but in some leagues the Cowboys passing game may still be undervalued.

Trade Away: Will Fuller, WR, HOU

I’m not saying you have to ditch him no matter what. If you can’t get a sweetheart offer for Fuller — who has seven TDs on 13 catches — just ride him until he stops this crazy act. But it’s a locked-down fact that he won’t produce like this all year. It’s not debatable. He’s not catching 23 TDs. See if you can package Fuller with your third running back and grab Antonio Brown on his bye week. I promise that if Brown stays healthy, somehow he will muddle through and find a way to outpace the Texans’ No. 2 receiver the rest of the way.

Must-Drop: Martavis Bryant, PIT

I guess it’s hard to say that every Bryant owner must drop him, but if you need a roster spot it’s probably time. In last week’s column, I told you to bench Bryant and add JuJu Smith-Schuster, and JuJu responded with a 97-yard touchdown Sunday night plus six other grabs. In his first seven games, JJSS had been primarily a slot receiver; against the Lions, he had five catches for 55 yards lined up outside. I like that. The Steelers are off this week, and maybe Bryant finds a way to regain his coaches’ trust, but even at 20 years old, Smith-Schuster just seems like a more mature, reliable dude.

Speculate On: Seahawks Players

Seattle acquired a new starting left tackle, Duane Brown, who alienated the Texans both by holding out of the season’s first six games for a bigger contract and for becoming one of the faces of the player-protest against Bob McNair’s insensitive comments. Plugging in a new lineman isn’t a simple process: there’s new terminology, new line-mates, new audibles … so I can’t guarantee that Brown instantly makes all Seahawks skill players better. But he’s good, and it gives the entire offense more upside, even if we can’t be sure they’ll realize that upside. As such, I’m okay stashing Thomas Rawls, who’s been dropped in most leagues but who played 36 snaps Sunday while no other Seattle RB topped 15. I’d also be fine trying Paul Richardson or Tyler Lockett, who are widely available.

Read more on the NFL:

The Eagles’ trade for Jay Ajayi makes NFC’s top team even better

Ezekiel Elliott loses latest court battle, clearing way for NFL to enforce suspension

New England Patriots agree to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to 49ers

The saga of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s stolen bike lives on in a touchdown celebration

In trading for Duane Brown, the Seahawks have upped the ante in the NFC

Five fantasy football moves you need to make for Week 9 – Washington Post

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