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Week 9 at a glance

Fear not fellow fantasy owners, this is the last week with six teams on a bye. Fortunately, out of the six teams on a bye, four of them are the Bills, Browns, Raiders and Rams so there is not a lot of fantasy value that will be on the shelf this week. Granted, Adrian Peterson and his Vikings cohorts are one of the teams on a bye, but things could be much worse as most of your quality bench players should be startable this week.

Injury updates

–Calvin Johnson–The Lions beat writer, John Niyo, is reporting that Megatron is “expected back” for this Sunday’s game at Seattle. Of course, this was the report at this time last week, and all Johnson owners know how that turned out. Unfortunately, this will be another game-time decision so stay close to your computers on Sunday morning.

–Kevin Boss and Mario Manningham–Rotoworld.com is reporting that both players are expected to practice today (11/4), however, it appears that Kevin Boss (ankle) has a better chance than Manningham (shoulder) of suiting up Sunday against the Chargers. Given that most owners only carry one TE on the roster, Boss owners might want to get a waiver claim in. If you have Manningham, you should already have suitable replacements on the roster but looking at a player like Malcom Floyd (see below) could be beneficial.

–Aaron Rodgers–Despite his offensive lines’ best efforts, Rodgers should be healthy enough to take on a beleagured Tampa Bay defense this Sunday. Feel safe plugging him in the line, but just make sure he puts in a full practice on Friday. Green Bay has good matchups for the next four weeks, but then runs into a rough schedule in December which includes games against Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and on the road at Chicago.

–Willie Parker–The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the artist formerly know as Fast Willie is expected to play in week 9. Unfortunately, Mendenhall has already surplanted him as the starting RB and the dependable Mewelde Moore will also get some touches going forward. Willie Parker’s fantasy value is nominal outside of an injury to Mendenhall.

–Brian Westbrook–Reports are coming out today that Westbrook has been medically cleared to return to game actions. Therefore, he should be suiting up for Sunday’s divisional battle against the Cowboys. The Cowboys defense has improved of late and rookie LeSean McCoy will see an increased number of touches, therefore, Westbrook’s fantasy value might be hampered this week (assuming he plays). Obviously, it’s tough to sit a player of Westbrook’s calibre, but don’t expect too much and don’t be afraid to bench him if you have a qaulity play coming off your bench.

Positional battles

–Steve Slaton vs. Ryan Moats–Contrary to reports, the rush of waiver requests for Moats did not crash servers across the country. How suprising was Moats’ breakout game? Even Slaton told a recent ESPN Radio podcast that his handcuff would be Chris Brown (no, not that Chris Brown). Expect Moats to see an increased workload, but Slaton is still the man in Houston and he hopefully has learned how to protect the football. However, Chris Brown will still be vulturing the occassional goal line carry. However, outside of their week 10 bye, the Texans have some favorable matchups so points can be aplenty going forward.

–Julius Jones vs. Justin Forsett–After Edgerrin James was showing the door this week, rookie RB Justin Forsett has moved into the backup role to Jones. Given that Forsett was already see the field before, his workload should increase but isn’t much of a fantasy option unless Jones is benched or injured. Unfortunately, Seattle has fallen behind in so many games that the running game is normally abandoned at halftime. However, Seattle’s upcoming schedule is favorable and Forsett might be worth a roster spot (especially in PPR leagues).

–Kevin Jones vs. Maurice Morris–Lions coach Jim Schwartz stated this week that Kevin Jones will continue to be starter and get the “lion’s” share of the work (pun intended). If you own Jones, picking up Morris might be worthwhile as long as you don’t have to drop anyone worthwhile. Outside of that, don’t bother with Morris as he won’t produce much in any event other than a Jones injury.

Waiver Wire Work

As mentioned before, the bye week hit is minimal this week given that the talent (or general lack thereof) will be playing 18 (or the hard 8) this Sunday. Given the release of Chris Chambers in San Diego, a look at the 6’5″ Malcom Floyd might be worth your time. Granted, a #2 WR that shares an offense with a stud TE normally doesn’t produce great numbers, but you can do worse given his weekly matchups. From a defensive standpoint, don’t be afraid to grab Seattle (at home vs. Detroit) or Jacksonville (at home vs. KC). Unless you get points from special team’s TDs in your league (which boost units with great kick/punt returners), picking up and dropping defensive units based on matchup is a good move.

Good luck as always this weekend and I hope your push for the fantasy playoffs is a successful venture. Be sure to catch my Friday article where we rank the flex plays for week 10 after the injury news is a bit clearer. Thank you for your time!

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