Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 9[the_ad id=”63198″]Like in week eight, there is another SIX teams on bye this week. And with the fantasy season more than half-way done, owners will need to make sure they have the right players in their line-up if they want any chance at the playoffs. With that, here are ten fantasy football sleepers in week nine.
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QB | Los Angeles Rams (vs. Panthers)
I cannot believe I am doing this (forgive me), but Keenum may actually be fantasy relevant this weekend. He is going up against the Panthers, who have given up the most fantasy points per game to fantasy quarterbacks over the past three weeks (34.7) including 828 yards (414 per game) and seven touchdowns to them over the previous two games. And Keenum is only one game removed from a 321 yard, three touchdown performance against the Lions. Keenum isn’t a sexy pick ever, but he does have a great match-up. And for owners that are missing Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton or even Kirk Cousins this weekend could use a “shot-in-the-dark” type player this week. And that’s where Keenum comes in.
RB | New Orleans Saints (vs. 49ers)
Hightower took advantage of Mark Ingram’s early game fumble this past weekend to the tune of 102 yards on 26 carries. While he isn’t the starter going forward, head coach Sean Payton said Hightower has “definitely” earned more play time following this performance. And going up against the 49ers, who have given 471 yards rushing and five touchdowns over the past TWO games, Hightower may have a shot at another terrific week. The 49ers have been absolutely dreadful against the run this season and Hightower could definitely see eight to 10 carries this weekend, which may be all he’d need to have a great fantasy day. He’s a solid plug-and-play this weekend with this match-up.
RB | Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Jaguars)[the_ad id=”66786″]With Jamaal Charles placed on injured reserve and Spencer Ware dealing with a concussion, we could see West as the lead back this weekend for the Chiefs. He did well this past week going for 52 yards on 14 carries against the Colts. This weekend, he gets the Jaguars, who have given up 355 yards and five touchdowns to opposing running backs over the past three games. They have given up two touchdowns in each of the past two games (Latavius Murray had two and DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry had one each) as well. West has been mostly relegated to change-of-pace work but could have a significant role this weekend if Ware can’t play. He’s a great play this weekend depending on Ware’s status.
RB | Baltimore Ravens (vs. Steelers)
While Dixon has not seen much work since being his debut in week five (nine total touches), coach John Harbaugh said that he wants to get Dixon more involved going forward. That could start as early as this weekend as the Ravens face the Steelers. Pittsburgh has given up five rushing touchdowns over the past two weeks to go along with 346 yards, so they have been beaten up in the run game lately. Terrance West is coming off his worst game of the season with 10 rushing yards on eight attempts and was phased out of the game when the team abandoned the run. Dixon has a chance to shine this weekend and show he deserves more reps and has a great match-up to show off in. He could go off this weekend.
WR | Cleveland Browns (vs. Cowboys)
Coleman is slated to return this week after missing the previous six games due to a broken hand. There are some concerned whether Coleman will be able to come back to his break-out ways with a newly healed hand, but he seems poised to return with a bang. He was coming off a five reception, 104 yard and two touchdown performance before going down with injury. Coleman will slot right back as one of the team’s primary play-makers opposite Terrelle Pryor. The Browns face the Cowboys this weekend, who have given up 421 yards and two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past two games. They will also be without starting cornerback Morris Claiborne as he deals with a groin injury. Coleman has a great match-up to return to and could go right back to tearing up the league this weekend.
WR | Baltimore Ravens (vs. Steelers)
In a match-up that has #RevengeGame written all over it, Wallace will face his former team this weekend. While the Steelers have not given up a lot of points to opposing wide receivers recently, Wallace may be force-fed enough targets that he could have a big game anyway. He has 43 targets, 25 receptions and 324 receiving yards over the past four games and has functioned as the team’s number one wide receiver with Steve Smith Sr. still dealing with an ankle injury. Smith Sr. doesn’t appear as if he will be returning this weekend, so Wallace could have another day with 10+ targets. Don’t be surprised if he has a big day despite the tough match-up.
WR | San Diego Chargers (vs. Titans)
Inman is coming off one of his best games of the season, with four receptions and 72 yards on seven targets against the Broncos. The Chargers get the Titans this weekend, who have given up 588 yards and five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past three games. Both Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams are dealing with knee injuries and while they have been able to play through them, both have been operating at less than 100% lately. Inman could pick up the slack against a soft Titans secondary that just gave up 15 receptions, 173 yards and two touchdowns to the Jaguars wide receivers last weekend. He’s an excellent bet for a high-floor type of game.
TE | Los Angeles Rams (vs. Panthers)[the_ad id=”58837″]Kendricks is coming off the best two-game slate he has had all season, with 17 targets, 12 receptions, 89 yards and a touchdown during that span. He faces the Panthers this weekend, who have given up 129 yards and two touchdowns to opposing tight ends over the past two games. Like his team Case Keenum, Kendricks too have has a great match-up in fantasy football this weekend. And with owners missing Rob Gronkowski, Tyler Eifert, Jordan Reed and Zach Miller, Kendricks is a great sneaky play this weekend.
TE |Detroit Lions (vs. Vikings)
In his first game back after missing the previous three, Ebron had the most targets, receptions and yards he had all season. It’s safe to say that the team is confident in throwing him back right into the mix and that he has a role despite Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Theo Riddick all being main parts of the offense. He is going up against the Vikings, who just gave up seven receptions and 88 yards to Zach Miller in week eight. Ebron likely won’t see 10 targets again, but he could easily see six to eight of them with four to five receptions and 50 yards. He’s a great play this weekend with so many stud tight ends out on bye.[the_ad id=”65749″]
Thanks for Reading!
Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Gridiron Experts. He has previously written for sites such as ESPN, SBNation, FFToday & Inside The Pylon. He also was the co-host for the highly-rated fantasy football podcast Overtime Ireland for several years. You can find him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL