Play­ers pro­vid­ing good, bad sur­prises

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTS - By Ladd Biro Fol­low Ladd Biro at the Fan­tasy Fools blog ( fan­, on Face­book and on Twit­ter @lad­d_biro.

The emer­gence of the Saints’ run­ning game is re­ally bum­ming out those of us count­ing on Drew Brees to lead us to the Promised Land. Bal­anced of­fenses are great for Su­per Bowl runs in the real world, but an elite fan­tasy quar­ter­back is a ter­ri­ble thing to waste.

It could be worse, of course. Brees could be out al­to­gether, like Aaron Rodgers, whose de­par­ture like­wise turned Jordy Nel­son into a pun­gent slice of fan­tasy cheese.

Then there’s the great Case Keenum, who is mold­ing Adam Thie­len into a fan­tasy stud, while serv­ing up am­ple left­overs to Ste­fon Diggs. Whad­dya say we let Teddy Bridge­wa­ter heal a bit longer from the side­line, coach?

Wel­come to the fan­tasy lime­light, Jared Goff. There were an aw­ful lot of doubters out there. (They know who they are.)

You’ve been a wel­come re­lief to those of us who grabbed you — per­haps in des­per­a­tion — af­ter De­shaun Wat­son bid farewell way too early.

It wasn’t that long ago that a Car­son Wentz bye week went es­sen­tially un­no­ticed. Not any­more. Hurry back, and don’t for­get to bring Al­shon, Nel­son and Zach with you!

For one week­end, at least, fan­tasy own­ers who hedged their bets on Devonta Free­man with Tevin Cole­man will be re­warded. It’s a shame that Cole­man’s first start of the sea­son comes against the Sea­hawks; but Tampa Bay is on deck, and Free­man’s jour­ney through the con­cus­sion pro­to­col could be ex­tended.

Fi­nally, af­ter be­ing sacked eight times by Adrian Clay­born and his Atlanta team­mates Sun­day, it’s a mi­nor mir­a­cle that we’re not talk­ing about the fu­ture of the Cow­boys with­out Dak Prescott. For­get the ab­sence of Ezekiel Elliott. If they don’t get Ty­ron Smith back to pro­tect Prescott’s blind side, this of­fense will turn pos­i­tively Cleve­land-like.

Catch ’em while you can Ja­maal Wil­liams, RB, Pack­ers:

The last man stand­ing in the Green Bay back­field — af­ter Sun­day’s in­juries to Aaron Jones and Ty Mont­gomery — is the fourth-round rookie from BYU. It cur­rently ap­pears that Wil­liams will get the nod for at least one game — an un­fa­vor­able matchup with the Ravens in Week 11 — but there could be more. And a start­ing RB is a start­ing RB.

Danny Wood­head, RB, Ravens:

PPR lea­guers, in par­tic­u­lar, should not delay much longer in scoop­ing up Wood­head, who was dis­carded in most leagues af­ter his Week 1 ham­string in­jury. The ver­sa­tile back — ar­guably the most tal­ented in Bal­ti­more’s sta­ble — is hop­ing to re­turn in Week 11. He should be a solid con­trib­u­tor down the stretch, si­mul­ta­ne­ously mak­ing Ja­vo­rius Allen and Alex Collins ir­rel­e­vant dur­ing that span.

Robert Woods, WR, Rams:

With two touch­down re­cep­tions in each of the plast two games — not to men­tion 241 yards — Woods is de­mand­ing his fan­tasy due. He’s ben­e­fit­ing greatly from Goff ’s hot hand and has clearly carved out a big-play role in the NFL’s top­scor­ing of­fense.

Don’t be fooled Corey Cole­man, WR, Browns:

Cole­man is pre­par­ing to re­turn from a Week 2 hand in­jury; but de­spite Cleve­land’s des­per­ate need for a re­li­able start­ing wide­out, the oft-in­jured sec­ond-year re­ceiver is not some­one to whom you should hitch your for­tunes. The team’s QB sit­u­a­tion is so pa­thetic, no Cleve­land re­ceiver can be trusted.

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