Fantasy stars have been anything but reliable this year.
Ray Rice came with a hefty price tag, and to date he is averaging 2.7 yards per carry. Until Week 9, Tom Brady was a major disappointment. A.J. Green was likely the second receiver off the board in most leagues, but he suffered a four-game stretch with only 61 yards or less.
That’s a small sample size, but now more than ever it’s important to analyze trends and capitalize when superstars are in their most favorable positions.
With that in mind, below we’ll highlight a few players who had major days in Week 9 and will keep the ball rolling. These guys aren’t too obvious either, so enjoy.
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers has thrown for more than 400 yards three times this season, but he’s been inconsistent at best and a suggested matchup-based play at most.
Last week, he took advantage of a porous Washington secondary, throwing for 341 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions.
On the year, he is doing quite well for himself in a career-resurrection sense thanks to coach Mike McCoy:
NFL QB Leaders: (Completion %)
1 Philip Rivers 72.2
2 Peyton Manning 71.2
3 Matt Ryan 67.8
4 Aaron Rodgers 66.9
5 Tony Romo 66.2
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 6, 2013
Rivers must remain in any and all lineups because it won’t get much better than a Week 10 matchup with the Denver Broncos, who rank No. 30 in pass defense by allowing almost 300 yards per game.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
Andre Johnson entered Week 9 with just two games of 100-plus yards under his belt as a victim of a horrific quarterback situation.
He left Week 9 with nine receptions for 229 yards and three scores as breakout star Case Keenum’s favorite target. Chris Brown of Smart Football put it best:
One lesson Keenum clearly learned from his college coach Kevin Sumlin: Keep doing it until they stop it. And the “it” is throwing to Andre
— Smart Football (@smartfootball) November 4, 2013
Thanks to Keenum and a favorable matchup, Johnson is far from done. In Week 10, Houston travels to the desert to take on Arizona, a team that touts a top-five run defense.
The best part? Arizona’s secondary ranks No. 24 in the league. Johnson is in for a huge day.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Last week was easy to see coming.
November is simply Chris Johnson’s month, as Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean illustrated:
During his career, #Titans RB Chris Johnson averages 108.5 rushing yards per game in November
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) November 6, 2013
After no games of 100-plus yards this season, Johnson started the month off right against the NFL’s No. 28 rush defense with 150 yards and two scores.
That’s just the beginning for CJ2K, as Week 10 will give owners an even bigger output.
He has a date with Jacksonville, the NFL’s worst all-around team. The Jaguars particularly struggle to stop the run, ranking dead last with 161.8 yards allowed per game.
While Johnson has been anything but reliable, that changes here in a hurry.
Timothy Wright, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rookie Timothy Wright started as a deep sleeper, became a waiver-wire must-add and is now a consistent starter at a top-heavy position.
With rookie Mike Glennon as his quarterback once more, Wright was again consistent in Week 9 with four receptions for 58 yards and a score.
This consistency is no fluke; in two straight games, he has had four or more receptions and a score. Week 10 will see him on the same pace on Monday Night Football against the Miami Dolphins.
Miami ranks No. 22 in pass defense and, most important of all, allows the third-most fantasy points to the tight end position. Expect Wright to once again help owners at a tough position.