We're looking into what luck can mean for a fantasy season as we try and figure out who Marvin Jones is and whether you need him on your team or not. There are still some injury concerns coming off of a bye week for many players and we'll look into who has the best & worst matchups heading into week 9.

02:32pm EST | Oct 31
Should you pick up Marvin Jones?

4 touchdowns on 8 catches for 122 yards; that’s a monster game. Especially for a wide receiver competing for catches against A.J. Green and who was only on the field for 19 snaps. He made the most of it when he was out there, but it’s hard to imagine he continues his torrid run as a top fantasy receiver. 

Teams will likely cover him more closely, which should actually increase Green’s value. Everyone remembers Eddie Royal’s performance through the first two weeks of the season right? 5 touchdowns, on only 10 catches for a total of 114 yards. After that, he went 4 games without a touchdown, finally reaching the end-zone in week 7 against the lowly Jaguars. 

Guys like Royal and Jones tend to disappear eventually. You can still pick him up if you have the space, as he may have gained the coaches trust enough to get more snaps and more targets from Dalton. With a Thursday night matchup against Miami, it’s a tough decision to start him, but at least if he’s on your team, it prevents your opponents from getting the points out of him. Grab him if you can, but the decision to start him comes down to how desperate you are and how much confidence you have in him against a defense that has only allowed one touchdown to opposing wide receivers all season. 

02:31pm EST | Oct 31
Fantasy Miracles Do Happen

Between bye weeks and injuries, I had a depleted team. Andrew Luck, Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Ben Tate & Alshon Jeffery were all on bye and I lost Reggie Wayne for the year with a torn ACL. Should I have planned ahead? Yes, but I couldn’t resist a starting running back duo of Foster & Rice, not thinking they would both be having subpar seasons. I was forced to dig deep into the waiver wire with a limited budget remaining. My pickups were as follows:
  • Kendall Hunter
  • Peyton Hillis
  • Kris Durham

Not exciting, especially since I was going with Alex Smith as my QB and ran with Willis McGahee at my flex. Other than Dez Bryant, my team was looking very poor going into week 8. 

Considering I was up against Stafford, Gore, Morris, Decker, Rudolph and the Chiefs D, I had decided the week was over and started my game plan for week 9. I watched on Sunday as my team full of backups put together a fairly solid score considering who they were: 90.3 points. Before the Minnesota and Green Bay game started, I was up on my opponent who was sitting on 84.1 points. There was no way this team could actually win? He only had Kyle Rudolph remaining and I watched, barely breathing, as Ponder would make short passes to the tight end who finished the game with 5.1 points, bringing his total to 89.2. I won by 1.1 points with a team that had no business being assembled in any fantasy league.

This is not an example of good fantasy skills at work. It shows that there is so much luck involved in winning that no matter how much planning you do, things are going to happen through the course of a season that derails those plans and can either vault your team to the top or send it spiraling to the bottom. I needed that win as I now sit in a playoff spot with a 4 – 4 record. My opponent, who no doubt thought he would win easily, dropped out of the playoffs for the time being, two games back. In Fantasy football, anything can happen, so never give up, set your lineup and just enjoy watching some football, no matter if you win your week or not. 

02:30pm EST | Oct 31
What were you thinking?

The NFC East seems to have some of the worst decision makers in the NFL right now. We could do a whole write-up on Chip Kelly’s decisions against the Giants or Shanahan’s inability to give Alfred Morris more touches when leading as he was having a great game. 

However, the entire Cowboys team wins the award this week. They had the ball under the two minute warning with Detroit only have one timeout left. Third-and-14 and you do the smart thing to run the ball and chew up the clock. If there are no penalties, you wind it down further, take a timeout and kick a field goal to increase your lead to six, forcing the Lions to need a touchdown to win. 

“Holding, #77 of the offense. That penalty is declined. Fourth down.” Clock stops.

Ok, dumb play, but a six point lead with a minute left is still OK. Just need to play smart defense and prevent deep throws. 

Jason Garrett decides to continue to send four defensive linemen instead of dropping back another safety to prevent Calvin Johnson, who already has a massive game going, from getting the ball anymore. The linemen never come close to the game ending sack they needed and Stafford finds Durham down the sideline for a big gain. Next play, Calvin Johnson makes the catch and is down at the one. Running out of time, Stafford heads to the line, acting like he is going to spike and instead does a little girly leap and cross the plane to score a touchdown and win the game on an extra point. 

See how many poor decisions needed to take place in order for the Lions to come back? Too many and the Cowboys now only sit one game ahead of the Eagles for top spot in the division. Yes, only one game ahead of the 3 – 5 Eagles. 

Hopefully none of you required the Cowboys defense to help you win your matchup. And we really hope you weren't playing against Stafford & Johnson. 

02:29pm EST | Oct 31
Week 9 Injury Concerns

Arian Foster & Ben Tate

Even after coming back from a bye week, both Foster and Tate are questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Colts. Foster is still suffering from the same hamstring issue that has bothered him most of the season and Tate has four broken ribs. The Texans may be without one or both of the backs and could leave a huge hole for fantasy owners who need either in their lineups. 

Michael Vick & Nick Foles

Vick aggravated his hamstring in week 8 and was forced to exit the game early. Kelly is fully expecting to not have Vick at his disposal and will back to Foles who will return from the concussion he suffered versus the Cowboys in week 7. 

Robert Griffin III

He left the game clinching his knee in week 8. Fortunately, it was his knee that didn’t require surgery in the offseason. He is expected to play Sunday as he should be practicing by Thursday at the latest. 

Julius Thomas

Anyone that has followed this young man’s career before this season knows it was hampered by a severe ankle injury. When you saw him go down and scream while his ankle was twisted we all feared the worst. The Broncos are on a bye, so he time to rest and it appears to not be the dreaded high ankle sprain that cuts so many seasons short. Thomas was even nice enough to fill us in himself by tweeting:

"Just left the facility MRI showed it wasn't a high ankle sprain so I won't be down long. Be back soon #CantWait"

C.J. Spiller & Stevie Johnson

The Bills could be in trouble as they host the undefeated Chiefs. Spiller is possible going to miss this week suffering from a high ankle sprain, while Johnson is doubtful due to a hip flexor strain. Johnson has been hampered by many injuries all season, so this should be no surprise to his owners as he will be questionable for Sunday. 

02:28pm EST | Oct 31
Best Matchups

Alex Smith & Dwayne Bowe @ Buffalo Bills

The Bills are ranked 27th in fantasy against opposing quarterbacks this season. Smith is playing some impressive, smart football turning the ball over only 4 times all season. He won’t put up over 300 yards, but he does what he needs to for the Chiefs to win. This week he will find plenty of space which Bowe will take advantage and put up some better numbers after a few disappointing weeks. 

DeMarco Murray VS Minnesota Vikings

The Cowboys kept Murray on the sidelines last week to give him plenty of rest. It’s a good time to return as he is up against the worst fantasy defense against the run this season. While the Cowboys are having doubts about Murray, this could be just the week to prove he can be a starting back in the league as the Vikings have given up multiple rushing touchdowns three times so far this season.  

Denarius Moore VS Philadelphia Eagles

To say you can throw on the Eagles is an understatement. They give up a lot of yards to opposing wideouts and it should be no different for Moore on Sunday. Terrelle Pryor has been impressive of late, especially with his legs, forcing the Eagles to pay more attention to him allowing Moore space to move and make plays. 

02:27pm EST | Oct 31
Worst Matchups

Marvin Jones @ Miami Dolphins

While he is on an impressive run, the Dolphins have only allowed one touchdown catch to opposing wide receivers all season. A.J. Green will be the priority for targets due to his play making ability and given that Jones is on the field for so few snaps, this could be the end of his hot streak against this stingy Miama defense. 

Fred Jackson VS Kansas City Chiefs

He’s not 100% healthy recovering from a sprained MCL and is up against the best defense in football right now. Don’t expect much from Jackson this week as he would be a risky flex play at best. 

Jake Locker @ St. Louis Rams

The Rams defense was very impressive in their week 8 loss to Seattle. They were explosive off the line shutting down the mobile Wilson fairly easy. If it wasn’t for their lack of offense, they could have easily won that game. Now they will be even angrier after that loss and Jake Locker will be the recipient of their punishment. Expect him to be hit hard and often.