When the end of September rolls around there is always so much excitement in the world of sports. MLB playoffs are right around the corner, the NBA preseason is just days away from commencing and — most importantly — the NFL is back! That kind of thrill makes me want to do a Cam Newton front flip and scream in honor of America.
Perhaps the only thing that many would find even more exciting than the NFL season itself is the fact that fantasy football is also back! Thank goodness we all have something to compete in amongst ourselves, because simply watching our teams just isn’t enough anymore. This is especially true for someone like myself who experiences much more success on the fantasy end, as opposed to watching my Eagles sadly stoop to 0-2. As much as I can lament my superbowl-less team, that isn’t why you are all here. Let’s get down to some fantasy, which, despite the name, is very real to us fans.
Sit and Start
DeAngelo Williams, RB Pitt
If you’re a fan of those hard-nosed vets like I am, surely you were excited to see ex-Panther DeAngelo Williams have so much success in Le’Veon Bell’s absence. Unfortunately for DW, this may mean the last time we ever see him get 20 carries, or even 10 for that matter. Bell’s return will strip a significant portion of touches from Williams and, in return, will give Bell a majority of the team’s workload in the backfield. Hopefully, those of you who drafted Williams on your team did not pick him up to be a starting back. Rather, he provides a ton of potential as a backup or even a part-time flex. The man had 204 rush yards and three TD’s in just two games.
Matthew Stafford, QB Det
Since 2011, many fantasy owners think of Stafford as a god, when really he is just a guy who’s asked to throw downfield and land the ball somewhere for Calvin Johnson to miraculously make a catch. Although he does put up fantasy numbers, he is not an elite QB and he is very susceptible to even an average pass defense. The Denver Broncos’ secondary and fiesty pass rush he will be facing is far from average. They haven’t allowed a single touchdown pass this year. That being said, Stafford’s matchup does not favor him whatsoever. Bottom line: start your backup this week or go find Cousins, Mariota or Winston on the wire.
Arian Foster, RB Hou
So you didn’t hear this from me, but Arian is apparently going Kobe on his injury and shattering his recovery records. Let’s just hope he has an easier transition than Kobe did at his ripe old age. Word is that he will suit up this week against Tampa Bay, which has been torn up by the run game so far this season. I would keep an eye on him ’til Sunday morning, but if he is ready, he could be the boost you need this week.
Hot Off the Wire
Michael Crabtree, WR Oak (37 percent owned on ESPN platform)
Even a “sorry receiver like Michael Crabtree” has potential to be reborn in a league like this. This is surely possible on a team where he can share the spotlight with a young rookie looking to make a name, and a QB who is determined to be the best of this new young crew of passers in the past couple drafts. Unfortunately for Amari Cooper, he is their number one option, which means he will be on Joe Haden Island this week when they head to Cleveland. Expect Crabtree to be on Derek Carr’s radar all game long. He is likely available in your league.
Matt Jones, RB Was (16.4 percent owned)
If you haven’t heard of him already, this rookie back has emerged onto the scene after rushing for 123 yards and two TD’s on 20 carries against a solid Rams defense. Even with Mr. Consistency, Alfred Morris, in front of him there is no way that he will not see the ball this week when they take on the Giants. Morris is still getting his touches, too, so no real loss in value, but it seems there may be a bit more sharing moving forward. This week will be the real stability test for Jones.
Ronnie Hillman, RB Den (49.7 percent owned)
Hillman has potential to be a great back but it is more so the struggles of CJ Anderson that will draw Ronnie’s name this week. The Broncos play in the motor city this week, and it will be a perfect time to test out Hillman’s wheels and see if he is the guy they would like to move forward with. This is your guy if you’re too impatient for CJ, Demarco Murray, or Jeremy Hill to start doing their jobs.
Thanks for stopping by the island this week! Make sure to follow me and the Nexus on twitter @TheRealMoebus and @thenexus_sports! Please feel free to come to me with any questions you have.
A version of this article appeared on page 10 of September 24, 2015’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.