Each week I will highlight players and teams who have seen their value rise or fall during the previous week. I will also try to highlight players that have favorable schedules coming up that could give them a boost in value. Remember that you always want to sell high and buy low!
-These two guys have really played well when they are on the field together. Foles has been very effective against bad teams this year. In his matchups with the Giants, Raiders, and Buccaneers, Foles has thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He could have thrown for more than seven touchdowns against the Raiders if he wasn’t pulled early in the 4th quarter. The only other game he started this year was against the Cowboys. In that game,before getting injured, Foles was playing poorly and looked like a completely different quarterback. He isn’t going to put up great numbers against above average or elite defenses, but he has shown the ability to put up great numbers against bad teams. Foles should be viewed only as a matchup quarterback, who should only be used when the Eagles are facing a weak defense.
-In the three games in which Foles has started, Cooper has averaged five catches and over 100 yards receiving, with four touchdowns. He doesn’t get a ton of targets or catches, but he shown the ability to make big plays in the Eagles spread offense. As long as Foles can stay healthy, Cooper should be able to put up WR3 worthy stats. Lower your expectations if Michael Vick gets his starting job back. Cooper is a completely different receiver when Vick is behind center (averaged 2 catches and 25 yards per game with Vick as his QB).
-Over the last 4 games, Ridley has averaged around 15 carries per game and has scored at least one touchdown in each game. The Patriot’s receiving core is starting to get healthy with Amendola and Gronkowski now on the field at the same time. Opposing teams are starting to play more nickel defenses against the Patriots, which is creating more running room for Ridley. He avoided the Belicheck doghouse after losing another fumble against the Steelers last week. His playing time could be effected with the return of Shane Vereen in week 11, so view him as a RB2 when the Patriots return from their bye in week 10.
-Spiller had his breakout game last week against the Chiefs with 116 yards rushing and 39 yards receiving. He still had less carries than Fred Jackson, but he showed his big play ability with a 62-yard run. He looked healthy and should start to earn more playing time with the Bills during the second half of the season. Spiller gets even more time to get back to full health because his team has a late bye week (week 12) this season. The Bills have a very favorable schedule (Falcons, Jaguars, and Buccaneers) during the playoff weeks for most fantasy leagues. Even though he splits time with Jackson, he is still capable of putting up RB1/RB2 numbers when healthy. If Spiller is on your roster, make sure you have him in your lineup going forward. If you don’t have Spiller, you may be able to get him at a discounted price from an owner who is sick of his health issues and lack of production so far this year.
-This may come as a shock to some of you, but Darren McFadden suffered another injury in week 9 (of course the injury happened early in the game). In his second game of extensive action, Jennings was very productive. During the two games in which McFadden was injured, Jennings has averaged over 120 total yards from scrimmage. He was even more valuable in PPR leagues because he had 15 receptions in those two games. Jennings should be a strong flex play while McFadden is out, and who knows how long that could be this time. Check your waiver wire to see if he is still available, and try to get him in your lineup while he gets the start for the Raiders.
-He has put up back-to-back single digit performances the last two weeks. Ryan has also thrown seven interceptions in his last two games, which is a sign that he is pressing and trying to force things to happen. The return of Steven Jackson hasn’t helped the Falcons improve their play on the field. Ryan and the Falcons have a tough upcoming schedule, which includes a couple outdoor games that could include cold weather. Ryan should be started against weak pass defenses, but look for another QB if the Falcons face a top-tier defense.
-The entire Packers team is going to suffer while Aaron Rodgers is out with the collarbone injury. The run game was successful against the Bears on Monday night, but teams might start to stack the box more if they aren’t worried about the passing game. Nelson is going to lose the most value because he was putting up top 5 receiver stats this season. He was locked in as the #1 option for Rodgers and was poised to put up monster stats the rest of the year. Nelson only had 4o yards receiving after Rodgers got hurt against the Bears. Regardless of who the quarterback is for the Packers, Nelson should be viewed as a WR2 and should be in all lineups. He still has value going forward, but he won’t be a player that you can depend on as a top scorer each week.
-Williams has quietly put together as pretty solid season for the Panthers. Through the first nine weeks of the season, he has the 1oth most rushing yards in the league. The main problem with Williams is his lack of use in the red zone. Carolina loves to bring in Mike Tolbert and use him or Cam Newton as their goal line specialist. Williams is also limited due to his lack of involvement in the passing game (also going to Tolbert). Only getting carries between the 20′s really caps the upside for any running back. Now that Jonathan Stewart is back, the Panthers backfield is really crowded. It is going to be tough to rely on any running back with Carolina. They all have specific roles and none of them is given enough opportunities to be relied upon as an every week starter. Williams role is going to decrease as long as Stewart stays healthy. He should be owned in all leagues, but should be viewed as a RB3/RB4.
-The Cowboys did a lot of talking about relying more on their running game and less on Tony Romo before the season. Murray has only had 2 games with more than 14 carries. It is very difficult for any running back, no matter how talented they are, to put up quality numbers with only a few carries a game (just ask Adrian Peterson). Murray hasn’t been getting much work as a receiver and has lost some playing time to his backups. He always seems to take two steps forward and then three steps back. He had strong games against the Rams and Chargers, but has been non-existent since. He had to deal with another injury and only received 4 carries against the Vikings last week. Murray should be used as a flex option/RB3 until the Cowboys show that they are serious about establishing a running game.