Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 9
NFL Week 9 is here and so is another slate full of injuries and uncertainties for your fantasy football lineups.
Here are the news and injuries you need to know about that could impact your fantasy football team for Week 9.
- Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky is week-to-week
- Colts WR Michael Pittman is expected to practice Friday
- Washington TE Logan Thomas (ankle) practiced in full on Thursday
- Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (finger) was “limited” in Thursday’s practice
- Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring) was “limited” in Thursday’s practice
- Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake (ankle) was sidelined on Thursday
- Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde (hamstring) remained sidelined on Thursday
- Seahawks RB Chris Carson (foot) remained sidelined on Thursday
- Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (knee, illness) did not practice on Thursday, a downgrade from earlier in the week
- Broncos WR Tim Patrick (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday and Thursday’s practices
- Titans WR Adam Humphries (concussion) has remained out of practice with a concussion
- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (groin) remained sidelined for Thursday’s practice
- Ravens RB Mark Ingram (ankle) did not practice Thursday
The following is a recap of the players from my Fantasy Football Sleepers article last week, you can read that here.
Fantasy Sleepers Week 8: Full-Disclosure
|Player||Position||PPR Rank||PPR Points|
QB Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 9
ESPN Start-Percentage: 22.1
While Cam Newton started the year hot, he’s fizzled in recent weeks. He was a QB1 in three of his first four games of the year, including two straight QB6 or better outcomes in the first two games of the season, but in his past two games since Week 6, Newton has not finished better than the QB16.
Newton will get back on track on Sunday against the Jets. While he is working with a skeleton crew at receiver and tight end — newton’s top wideouts are Jakobi Meyers, Bamiere Byrd, and N’Keal Harry — a matchup with the jets is just what the doctor has ordered to get the versatile signal-caller some positive momentum.
The Jets are allowing the seventh-most FPPG to QBs (21.4) this season. They have also surrendered at least 61 rushing yards or a touchdown in there games facing mobile quarterbacks (Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen). The jets have yielded at least 19 fantasy points to the enemy QB in 5-of-8 games.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 5.8
In last week’s roller-coaster win over the Chargers, Drew Lock finally popped and showcased what Denver believes they have seen I’m him all along. Leading up to last week’s QB7 finfish (20.8) in which he threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns with once interpretation, Lock finished worse than the QB22 in each of his previous 2020 appearances (including injury games).
Lock will have a chance to compile back-to-back QB1 outcomes for the first time in his career in a prime matchup in Atlanta with the Falcons. Atlanta’s defense is allowing the second-most FPPG (26.1) to challenge QBs. They are also surrendering league-highs 2,990 passing yards and touchdowns through the air (20).
While we know Lock will not have stud wideout Courtland Sutton, who is on the injured reserve list, there is a shot that he will get Tim Patrick back on Sunday. Patrick has practiced I’m a limited capacity this week. Lock can also lean on Daesean Hamilton, who blew up last week and Jerry Jeudy, who is beginning to come into his own in his rookie year as well as Noah Fant and his stable of versatile backs.
There is enough firepower around Lock to have another big outing in Week 9.
RB Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 9
ESPN Start-Percentage: 33.2
There isn’t much on the patios offense that I like, but Damien Harris fits the bill. In two of his four appearances this season, Harris has carried the ball 16 times and went for at least 100 yards. Harris carried the ball last week 16 times for 102 yards and a TD, finishing the week as the RB10 with 16.2 points. He will look to make it two straight RB1 outcomes in a terrific matchup with the Jets.
New York’s defense is yielding the 11th most FPPG (21.3) to RBs. They have also allowed eight different backs to accumulate at least 10m PPR points against them in eight games. With Harris coming off of the best game of his career, he should once again be the primary ball carrier for the Patriots on Sunday. And in this premium matchup, he should once again deliver for his fantasy managers.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 15.4
Mark Ingram missed last week’s loss to Pittsburgh with an ankle injury and has yet to resume practicing. It looks like he is trending toward a second straight inactive designation. With Ingram out, both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards delivered in a dire matchup. While Edwards totaled 87 yards and a touchdown on 16 touches (all carries), Dobbins ended the game with 121 total yards on 16 touches (one reception) without a score. Edwards finished as the RB14 while Dobbins finished as the RB19.
Although both Dobbins and Edwards will get touches, I like the rookie more because of his pass-catching skillset, which raises his floor in PPR. Thins won’t get any easier for either back, however, as the Ravens get the Colts in Indy.
The Colts’ defense is surrendering the third-fewest FPPG (14.4) to RBs and is even more stingy with Darius Leonard on the field and healthy. While the Colts only allowed one TD to a running back in their first four games, they have given up four scores to enemy backs in the past three games.
Dobbins is a pure opportunity play for me this week assuming Ingram is out.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 13.0
My guy J.D. McKissic has emerged into a quality PPR play in 2020. In his past five games since Week 3, McKissic has returned at least 7.1 PPR points, including double-digit point outings in two of his past three games. He’s also seen at least five targets in 4-of-7 games this season and at least six in three of his past four.
While McKissic flopped in his last game against Dallas preceding Washington’s Week 8 bye, he finished as the PPR RB12 back in Week 6 against this same Giants team he will face-off against on Sunday. In that game against New York, McKissic recorded 84 total yards on 14 touches including six receptions, all season highs but in the reception category.
The Giants are allowing the 15th most FPPG (18.5). They are also allowing the eighth-most receptions (47), the third-most receiving yards (403), and the second-most TDs (3) to running backs in the passing game.
WR Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 9
ESPN Start-Percentage: 35.0
Antonio Brown is one of the most polarizing names in the NFL. However, in his 2020 debut, the potential future Hall of Fame wideout is, in fact, a sleeper. Many don’t know how to go about employing Brown on Sunday night with a multitude of variables — will Chirs Godwin play? Will AB be rusty? Will Bruce Arians award him enough looks to be productive?
If Godwin is active, I don’t think it will affect Brown. We have seen that when Godwin is up and healthy, he is Tom Brady’s choice pass-catcher. The odd man out, in that scenario, would be Mike Evans, who had previously faded when Godwin was in the lineup.
I am sure Brown will have to shake the rust off, but from what we know and what we see him post on social media, he is a workout warrior. He is also said to be residing with Brady. The goat will keep Brown in check.
The wild card is if Arians will use Brown enough. This one I would roll the dice on and say yes. They did not sign him to collect dust — cc Leonard Fournette.
In Brown’s lone 2019 appearance with Brady and the Patriots, they forced him the football. He went for a 4/56/1 line on eight targets. He also had a five-yard rush. I foresee a similar plan of usage for Brown on Sunday night.
Brown will face a Saints defense allowing the ninth-most FPPG (27.8) to WRs. And with Marshon Lattimore expected to lock-up Evans, Brown will get the leftovers in the New Orleans defensive backfield.
He will deliver.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 29.8
Cole Beasley has been a low-end PPR stud in 2020. outside of last week in which he flopped, Beasley put up six straight games with at least 11.3 PPR points from Weeks 2-7. Beasley will look to get back on track in a prime matchup facing a Seattle defense that is one of the worst units in the NFL.
The Seahawks defense is allowing the most FPPG (36.1) to WRs. They have also given up at least 10 PPR points to 17 different wideouts in eight games. Beasley has seen at least six targets in 6-of-8 games this season. Barring a significant turnaround from the Seattle secondary, he is poised for his seventh game with double-digit PPR points in nine tries.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 13.5
Despite Christian Kirk’s recent influx of fantasy production, managers are still not respecting him. He is only being started in 13.5% of leagues at ESPN. Kirk has finished with at least 10.8 PPR points in each of his past four games since Week 4, including back-to-back WR1 outcomes (22.6, 20.7) in the two games preceding Arizona’s Week 8 bye.
In that four-game time span, Kirk has accumulated at least 75 receiving yards or a TD in every outing with five combined scores, four of which, coming in his past two matchups. Kirk has seen at least five targets in three out of four of those games as well.
Kirk will look to keep his four-game streak with PPR points in the double digits alive with a favorable Sunday matchup with the Dolphins at home. While the Miami defense is one of, if not, the best in the NFL, they do give up production. Miami’s defense is yielding the 11th most FPPG (25.3) this season. They’ve also allowed 11 different wideouts to score at least 10 PPR points against them in eight games.
TE Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 9
ESPN Start-Percentage: 7.7
Aside from Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas is the second-most reliable pass-catcher on the Redskins outside of Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic at running back. Thomas is third on the team in targets (21) behind McKissic (25) and McLaurin (43). The converted college quarterback is also second in receptions (40), yards (208), and No. 1 in receiving scores (3).
Thomas will look to take his momentum into a favorable Week 9 bout with the Giants, whose defense is 21st in fantasy points allowed to enemy TEs (6.8). While the Giants defense was stingy to the tight end position earlier in the year — they did not allow more than 49 yards or a TD through the first five games to a single tight end — they have broken down since. In each of the past three games, New York’s defense has allowed 95 yards or a TD to the opposition’s top-scoring tight end. They all went for double-digit PPR points as a result.
In their last meeting back in Week 6, Thomas recorded a 3/34/1 line on four targets.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 5.4
I am not in love with the matchup against the Ravens or the crowded Indy tight end room, but I am all-in on Burton on Sunday. While Jack Doyle has scored in each of his past two games, so has Burton. In fact, Burton has scored three times while Doyle has scored twice. Burton has also out-targeted Doyle 9-to-6, had more receptions 7-to-5 and more yards as well 67-to-47. And then there is Mo Alie-Cox who put up a 3/37/0 line on four targets in his Week 8 return from a hamstring injury.
Despite the crowd, they play in the right offense. The Philip Rivers-led Colts are in the top end of the league in featuring multiple tight ends in the passing game. Though since being activated from IR back in Week 4, Burton has been the hot-hand, finish as a TE1 in each of the past two games. And while he had scored in each of the past two, Doyle has fallen just show of double-digit PPR points in those outings (9.9, 9.8).
The Ravens have a tough defense, but can be exploited by the pass-catching tight end. Baltimore’s defense is allowing the 13th most FPPG (8.9). They have allowed a TE to score in 4-of-7 games this season, including in each of their past two as well.
While you can start both Burton and Doyle this week, I trust the former’s opportunity more.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 9
Anthony Cervino is a lifelong NFL enthusiast, especially of the Dallas Cowboys. He has been infatuated with the game since childhood and was introduced to fantasy football as a young teen. Back then, the league commissioner typed out the weekly newsletter and used the Daily News to tally scores. In a statistic-driven game of fantasy football, Anthony believes that sometimes you have to rely on that good ole gut instinct. Anthony resides in New Jersey where he lives with his wife, son and a pomeranian that is named Roman (after Tony Romo). When Anthony is not immersed in the NFL or fantasy football related activities, he enjoys bodybuilding and spending time with his family. Anthony is committed to giving you his best analysis and most accurate statistics to help you win championships. Don’t hesitate to tweet Anthony @therealnflguru about anything NFL or fantasy-related topics. He will always respond in a timely fashion.