NFL Week 9 Fantasy Mailbag

The second half of the fantasy season starts tonight with an AFC North rivalry matchup between the Bengals and the Browns. It’s likely been a serious waiver wire week for you with bye weeks and injuries to Le’Veon Bell, Matt Forte, Keenan Allen, Steve Smith Sr., and the entire Niners backfield all included. Let’s take a look at the best top waiver wire picks from this season. Coincidentally, a few will be featured in tonight’s game on NFL Network.

Quarterback – Andy Dalton, CIN

15 TD / 4 INT, 1,992 pass yards, 2 rushing TDs

Dalton TD

Any reason to recount that A-Dalt touchdown, I’ll take it.

In the first handful of weeks, people waited for Andy Dalton to fall apart and he didn’t. There was also a stretch of 4 games with potentially tough passing matchups (Baltimore, Kansas City, Seattle and Buffalo), and Dalton averaged 319.5 yards and 2.25 touchdowns against them. Having AJ Green and Marvin Jones healthy and Tyler Eifert playing to his potential are huge factors for that and why his success should sustain.

RB – Dion Lewis, NE

229 rush yards, 2 TDs / 32 catches, 349 receiving yards, 2 TDs

Dion TD

When you’re a running back in Bill Belichick’s system and you get on his good side, your numbers are going to benefit greatly from it. Dion Lewis was expected to be Shane Vereen’s replacement, but he’s he’s Shane Vereening better than Shane Vereen could (if that makes sense). In the 6 games Lewis has played, he has had more with double-digit touches than Marshawn Lynch, has scored touchdowns than Adrian Peterson, and more 100+ total yard games than Frank Gore and Justin Forsett.

WR – Allen Robinson, JAX

34 catches, 586 yards, 6 TDs

A-Rob TD

As Blake Bortles’s stock has risen, so has A-Rob’s. You can’t really sit him when he’s averaged 5.5 catches, 93 yards and 1 TD over the last 6 games. Robinson also leads all receivers in receptions of 20+ yards with 14.

TE – Gary Barnidge, CLE

40 catches, 567 yards, 6 TDs

Barnidging

Oh you didn’t draft Gronk? No worries because Gary Barnidge was available for EVERYONE after the first 3 weeks of the season. 30 years old and playing better than the rest of the tight ends in the league, Barnidge has scored touchdowns or caught for over 100 yards in every game since Week 3.

Mail Time!

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QB – That’s a really nice problem to have. While Philip Rivers is going to continue throwing it more than anyone with crazy high volume, but Ben Roethlisberger has the better matchup with better weapons to throw to as well. The Raiders are allowing 312 pass yards per game, 2nd most in the league.

WR – I’m not as jealous as this group as I was your QBs. I feel the most comfortable about Eric Decker against the Jaguars. Ryan Fitzpatrick being a little banged up means he’ll go to his possession option more which is Decker, and he has scored in 5 of his last 6 games. Then I go with Stefon Diggs despite facing a tough Rams defense. Diggs has earned the starting spot as the Vikings downfield playmaker. Not only do I hate Hilton’s matchup and quarterback (at the moment), the MRI he had on his foot and missing some practice doesn’t give me much optimism.

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Time for the “Reverse Rivers”…which isn’t as suggestive as you think, ya sicko!

Philip Rivers is going to throw a ton on Monday Night Football with the San Diego run game being weak and the Bears only giving up 2 rushing touchdowns all weekend. He’ll be without Allen, but he has to chuck it out of necessity. In games that Rivers has thrown at least 37 passes, he averages 381 yards and 2.4 touchdowns. The gameplan for the Bengals tonight should be very run oriented anyway as the Browns are giving up more rush yards than anyone in the league.

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Does Los Angeles count since they’ll be receiving the Rams soon?

I really wanted to pull the Lee Corso “Not so fast, my friend!” but I can’t, in my heart of hearts. Tavon Austin is the one decent option if your league counts return yards and you need a spots start out of someone. Austin has 6 total touchdowns with 2 coming on the rush, and 141 yards running too.

But Todd Gurley is the only viable option out of St. Louis and in a big big way…

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WR – Neither option is great and they are both going against incredible pass defenses, but I lean toward James Jones simply for the Aaron Rodgers factor.

QB – Big Ben for the reasons I listed above.

…and Todd Gurley is the realness. He’s the best running back in the league right now and if he stays healthy, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend! 

Go Home Bills Fans…You’re Drunk. The Drunkest In The League, Actually.

“Year One” of the Rex Ryan era has driven Buffalo Bills fans to drinking.

That’s not a joke. With data from smartphone breathalyzer app BACtrack, cross-referenced with Twitter’s fan allegiance map, Bills fans are leading the league in average Blood Alcohol Content.

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BAC levels among NFL fans were gathered and examined from games starting in the pre-season through October 26th. Atop the list on game day were Bills fans with an average 0.076 BAC. Tied for 2nd behind Buffalo are Detroit Lions fans (0.069) and Philadelphia Eagles fans…with batteries in their pockets, waiting to be thrown.

Drinking the least on game day are Cincinnati Bengals fans (0.015) and Tennessee Titans fans (0.021). However, left off the list are Raiders, Jaguars, Jets, Rams and Buccaneers fans due to insufficient data. Curious Bears fans can see they are ranked 11th with a BAC of 0.054.

The study was conducted to find out if an NFL team’s record was had an impact on their fan base’s drinking habits. That correlation was unfound with the 1 win Titans being the “case in point.” Drinking levels were proven to increase with 2/3 the NFL audience as BAC averages rise from the pre-season to the regular season.

It should be noted that BACtrack Consumption Reports are released in order to provide insight to the drinking habits around the country so consumers can consider the effects of alcohol…

…or you end up like Dizzy Bat Guy below.

Dizzy Bat

For more, follow along on Facebook and Twitter

Hall of Fame Poll: Pete Rose or Barry Bonds?

All-Star Games are weird, aren’t they?

One minute you’re in disbelief that an exhibition decides home field advantage for the World Series, and the next you’re awestruck by the greatest pitcher of all-time throwing a perfect first pitch to the greatest catcher of all-time…

Sandy Koufax can really sling it at 79, can’t he?

Mike Trout led the game off with a home run for the American League and became the first player to win back-to-back All-Star MVPs as they went on to win 6-3 over the National League…There were two other greats who got some attention before the game, and neither seems to be getting into the Hall of Fame anytime soon.

Pete Rose was not only handling pre and postgame duties on-air for Fox Sports, but he was also named as one of the Reds‘ Franchise Four winners. Rose walked onto the field to a standing ovation, which felt odd considering he was banned from baseball.

Earlier in the day, Barry Bonds was taking selfies before All-Star festivities with his Godfather, Willie Mays…who was sleeping.

(Just a little creepy there, Barry)

One is the all-time hits leader. The other is the all-time home runs leader. Both are polarizing figures to the game, but who belongs in the Hall of Fame first?

Follow for more on Facebook and Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.