Boom goes the dynamite for future fantasy stars

There’s an old viral video of an aspiring student sportscaster at Ball State University stammering and stumbling through his shot at the big time. The poor kid gets lost throughout his segment, but manages to drop a moment of genius on us all during a Pacers-Nets highlight.

“Boom goes the dynamite.”

And with that, another YouTube legend was created and a new phrase entered into our lexicon.

“Boom goes the dynamite” is a good way to summarize a number of the Week 9 fantasy football performances. Nick Foles, Tom Brady, Gio Bernard, Chris Johnson, Zac Stacy, Stevan Ridley, Andre Johnson, T.Y. Hilton, Jimmy Graham and the Chiefs defense dropped bombs on leagues everywhere, carrying teams to big victories while leaving helpless opponents in their wake. Hopefully, you were on the positive end of one or more of these performances.

Win or lose, at least you’ve made it through the rigors of consecutive six team bye weeks. Going forward, fake footballers have only to navigate four team byes in Weeks 10 and 12 with only two teams on break in Week 11. Now that two-thirds of all the 2013 byes are in our rearview mirror, it’s time to start prepping for the stretch run toward the playoffs. The following players could all become integral pieces of that puzzle for you.

* Nick Foles – Foles tied the NFL record for touchdown passes in one game against the Raiders on Sunday. Nobody saw this feat coming. Not even Foles himself. But, obviously, Foles can be the ideal version of the gunslinging professional quarterback. He has the size and the arm to be a solid starter in Philly for a long time. He just lacks the consistency at this point in his career. Case in point, Foles followed his Week 6 breakout four TD performance with a stinker the next week in which he went 11/29 passing for only 80 yards and no touchdowns. I’m not saying that he’ll go into the tank again, I’m just saying that he has done it before and that inconsistent past has been a big reason Foles has been unable to hold onto the Eagles starting QB job. On his big upside alone, Foles should be owned as at least a backup in all leagues right now.

* Andre Brown – Speaking of players who should be owned in all leagues, the word out of Giants camp is that Brown is healthy and ready to step into the New York lineup as their feature back in Week 10. With the Giants fortunes looking up and their running game showing signs of life for three consecutive weeks with the likes of Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis as the primary ball carriers, Brown should be stepping into a potential Top 20 RB job in fantasy football the rest of the season. At worst, he’ll be a solid flex option in all leagues. Somehow, Brown remains available in 30% of even the most competitive leagues. By the time kickoff rolls around next Sunday that number should be down to nothing.

* Rashad Jennings – Here we go again with Jennings. Darren McFadden is injured again and much will be expected from Jennings, especially after his 176-yard performance coming off the bench against the Eagles. If you’re a Run DMC owner, Jennings is a must-add player. If not, I can’t enthusiastically endorse the addition of Jennings to your team unless you’re in a very deep league. We’ve seen this show before. Last season, Jennings let down fantasy footballers when he couldn’t establish himself as a productive player while filling in for Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville and, earlier this season, Jennings couldn’t separate himself from Marcel Reece while McFadden was nursing his initial hamstring injury. If you add Jennings, make sure to temper your expectations and hope for the best. The matchup versus NYG in Week 10 is enticing.

* Riley Cooper – When your QB is tossing seven touchdown passes, you’ve got a pretty good shot at a useful fantasy football day. Cooper capitalized on Nick Foles’ success by going over 100 yards and reeling in three touchdowns himself. Much like Marvin Jones last week, there have been signs that Cooper could become an addable player for weeks. Over his past four games, Cooper is averaging four catches for 90 yards and one TD. With Foles’ attacking downfield passing style, Cooper should be a big play option for the Eagles as they chase a potential NFC East championship and a good option as a reserve WR in most leagues.

* Emmanuel Sanders – Owners had high hopes for Sanders entering the season, but he struggled along with the rest of his team out of the gate. The Steelers apparently prioritized Sanders during their bye week and we’ve seen him become a useful fantasy player ever since. Sanders has 263 yards receiving and two touchdowns in his past four games and should be owned over such players as Dwayne Bowe, Julian Edelman and Nate Washington over the remainder of 2013.

* Aaron Dobson – Tom Brady looks like he is back after a classic performance in Sunday’s blowout victory over the Steelers. With the reliably spectacular Rob Gronkowski in the Patriots lineup again and Danny Amendola at least temporarily healthy, Dobson is emerging as a big downfield threat in New England. In the past two games, Dobson has been targeted 14 times and has turned those targets into nine catches, 190 yards and three touchdowns. Those are not numbers to sneeze at. With so many fantasy teams struggling through injury or underachivement at the WR position, Dobson has the talent and opportunity to emerge as a very nice bailout plan.

If you’re streaming defensive units each week, the Titans and Steelers are my favorite options as they draw home games with Jacksonville and Buffalo, respectively.

Finally, there are three tight ends still out there in a large percentage of leagues — Jordan Reed, Coby Fleener, Tim Wright — who should be owned across the board. Each of these players has a very good opportunity to be a Top 12 player at TE down the stretch.

Follow me on Twitter (@FantasyBuddha).

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