The usual fraternity of fantasy football greatness showed up to the mixer that is the 2013 NFL season and breathed life into it like we all knew they would. Right from that start of Week 1 up until present day Week 8, Guys like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Calvin Johnson Jr., and Adrian Peterson haven’t disappointed fantasy owners.
But the beauty of it all is there are still some lesser-known players starting to get their groove on as well. These college freshmen stumbled into their own small house with cheaply made furniture, flipped on some strobe lights and rolled out a keg of Keystone Light to start a party of their own.
In Week 7, Jarrett Boykin and Mike James joined the ranks of fantasy relevance. In yesterday’s games, we saw two relatively unknowns burst onto the scene and into the discussion for top waiver pickups for Week 9. They both play different positions, but they’re pickups of equal caliber and should be added to all fantasy teams.
Editor’s note: To receive a few bonus waiver wire suggestions, check out our facebook page at the end of the article.
Marvin Jones WR Cincinnati Bengals (owned in 18% of leagues)
Week 8 stats against N.Y. Jets: 8 receptions for 122 yards and four touchdowns.
Calvin Johnson who? I know Jones is no Johnson, but his performance still managed to slightly overshadow one of the best showcases of receiving in more than two decades. Johnson’s 329 yards were unprecedented, but Jones scored the ever-so-valuable touchdown four times against a decent Jets secondary. Granted, all his touchdowns came inside the red zone, but this big-bodied receiver shielded countless defenders effortlessly. It’s also his first multi-touchdown game of the season and it comes as no surprise since Jones found the end zone in both games prior to his Sunday evisceration. He’s got a favorable matchup against a struggling Dolphins team trying to squash a four-game losing streak in Week 9. It’s also on a Thursday night, and those games tend to favor the offense.
Mike James RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers (owned in 53% of Yahoo! leagues)
Week 8 stats against Carolina: 10 carries for 39 yards, four catches for 25 yards
He didn’t come away from his start with a slew of gold, but James averaged 3.9 yards per carry against one of the toughest run defenses in the league last Thursday. His four catches also prove he’s versatile and a worthy PPR candidate. The Buccaneers haven’t given the word on Doug Martin’s status yet, so expect James to continue gaining the experience the Buccaneers coaching staff clearly wants to give him. He’s got another difficult matchup against Seattle this Sunday, a team ranked just behind Carolina against the run. But his versatility makes him worthy of a start in 14-to-16 team leagues.
Jacob Tamme TE Denver Broncos (owned in 1% of leagues)
Week 8 stats against Washington: did not play
Starting tight end Julius Thomas left the game against with an ankle injury and based on his history of ankle problems, could be line to miss some time. Even if it turns out to be nothing and Thomas is back after the bye, Tamme is worth grabbing for his past red zone chemistry with Peyton Manning back when the two were teammates in Indy. Even if Tamme isn’t supremely gifted athletically doesn’t lend itself to consistent production, we thought the same of Thomas after he went off in Denver’s season opener against Baltimore. All Thomas did after that was tie Wes Welker for most touchdowns on the team with eight heading into Week 8. This is a gamble play for sure, but if you have a high waiver priority and are comfortable with whiffing on a potentially lucrative pickup, go for it by all means.
Andre Ellington, RB Arizona Cardinals (owned in 53% of leagues)
Week 8 stats against Atlanta: 15 carries for 154 yards, one touchdown
A solid fantasy option for weeks, Ellington illustrated exactly what he’s capable of when cemented as the team’s feature back instead of Rashad Mendenhall. If Mendenhall remains out (he didn’t practice all of last week) expect Ellington to see even more touches after his latest dominant performance. He has a great chance to repeat these kinds of numbers too since the Cardinals get a Brian Cushing-less Houston Texan team on Nov. 10 following their bye week. Mendenhall may be back by then, but Ellington’s numbers today should keep him as the No. 1 guy.
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