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2011 Fantasy Football: 5 Players to Add for Week 9

This week's edition of The Weekly League isn't The Weekly League, at all, but rather an experiment in nerd-centric fantasy analysis.

Fantasy Notes for Week Nine
There are a lot of sites with a lot of fantasy football experts on them -- and, likely, many of those experts are good at what they do. What follows merely represents an attempt to apply some of the concepts central to Advanced NFL Stats -- especially, for example, our emphasis on separating repeatable skills from those acts which are more the product of variance -- to the world of fantasy football.

Below I've listed one player at each of the main fantasy positions who's (a) owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues and (b) likely to have some fantasy value this weekend. Don't hesitate either to ask questions or simply harass me in the comments.

Indy's Curtis Painter (11% owned) and Kansas City's Matt Cassel (44%) both play at home against teams (Atlanta and Miami, respectively) with poor defensive ratings per GWP -- and the pair have identical net yards per pass averages, too (at 6.0). If Painter has an edge it's that there's a non-zero possibility that he could add production via the rush. Last week he ran for 79 yards on seven attempts. That's merely one data point, yes, but rushing yards are more valuable in most fantasy formats, which makes it a data point of interest.

Running Back
Oakland fullback Marcel Reece (0% owned!) returns from injury the very same week that teammate and talented Scotsman Darren McFadden is forced to sit out with a foot injury. While Michael Bush will likely get the bulk of the carries, Reece is likely to get some share of the load and also to serve as the primary pass catcher out of the backfield. The starting debut of quarterback Carson Palmer is also likely to affect Oakland's play-calling in a run-heavy direction.

Wide Receiver
Kansas City's Dexter McCluster (26% owned) hasn't been particularly productive either as a receiver or a rusher this season; however, he (a) has received some rushing attempts and some passing targets and also (b) qualifies at wide receiver (in Yahoo, at least). Also, the Chiefs face a 29th-ranked Miami defense.

Tight End
Giant tight end Jake Ballard (30% owned) saw seven targets last week, has seen 12 over the last two games, and faces a New England team with the 28th-ranked defense (per GWP) and second-worst net yards per pass allowed (7.5). Also, it turns out that Eli Manning (second-overall 6.9 AYPA) is having an excellent season thus far.

Oakland (35% owned) plays at home against a Denver team that's very unlikely to excel with Tim Tebow at quarterback. With Carson Palmer starting for Oakland and new to the offense, this game is likely to produce a lot in the way of punts.

A glossary of all unfamiliar terms can be found here.


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