Week 9 Fantasy Sleepers Reactions

BYE: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

Bengals vs Dolphins: Bengals RBs; Benjarvus Green-Ellis was a worthy FLEX play, running 21 times for 72 yards, but it was Giovani Bernard’s ridiculous scramble in the 4th quarter that capped off his great fantasy night (9 rushes, 79 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 25 yards). The backfield will continue to be a timeshare with both players continuing to be RB2/FLEX worthy starts, with Bernard as the back with more upside.

Otherwise, Andy Dalton reverted back to his old ways and Marvin Jones was one fluky offensive holding call away from a 50-yard TD catch. Considering how ineffective Mohamed Sanu has been this year (31 catches, 316 yards), expect Jones to start seeing more snaps and opportunities, although the Bengals passing game will be match-up dependent ROS.

Miami Dolphins + Richie Incognito = Very sad state of affairs for an already dysfunctional team.

Chiefs vs Bills: Dwayne Bowe; You’re either encouraged that Bowe was targeted 12 times and ended his day with 7 catches for 67 yards, or, you couldn’t care less. Alex Smith definitely looked limited, but again, he’s going to have to throw against Denver in Week 11 and beyond, and outside of Jamaal Charles, Bowe’s play-making abilities inevitably need to be showcased. He’s long past living up to his preseason hype, but I believe he possesses important WR3 production down the stretch.

C.J. Spiller sighting! Despite the production (12 rushes, 116 yards; 2 catches, 39 yards), Spiller is still visibly hampered by a high-ankle sprain, and that’s not an injury that goes away by running on it.

Falcons vs Panthers: Mike Tolbert; If you were desperate, Tolbert gave you 6 rushes for 24 yards and a TD. He’s always a risky RB3/low-end FLEX play, but his usage remains consistent, is unaffected by the return of Jonathan Stewart, and continues to see goal-line opportunities with Carolina’s improved play.

Vikings vs Cowboys: Cowboys D/ST; Christian Ponder continues to create turnovers, including a fumble that led to a Nick Hayden TD. If Ponder starts again on Thursday, does anyone have the cajones to play the Redskins D/ST against him on a short week?

Otherwise, given how the Cowboys barely eked out the win, I’m very concerned for Tony Romo (and some suspect play-calling by offensive coordinator Bill Callahan) next week playing against an angry Saints team at the Superdome.

Saints vs Jets: Chris Ivory; Speaking of the Saints, what a game! Geno Smith was the very definition of a game-manager (8-of-19, 115 yards) outside of a 3-yard TD run, allowing Chris Ivory to run to the tune of 18 carries for 139 yards and a TD and really expose the Saints weak run defense. Still, the Jets backfield usage remains dependent on Ivory’s health and in-game situations. If you can predict that, congratulations! You get a low-end RB2/FLEX in your line-up.

Darren Sproles’ concussion is both unfortunate and ill-timed given next week’s match-up. Still, after Dallas, he does have SF, @Atl, and @Sea, and remains worthy of your fantasy faith.

Chargers vs Redskins: Keenan Allen; Allen finished with 8 catches for 128 yards and a TD, and will be a high-end WR2 next week against Denver.

Many argue that it wasn’t “Shanahangins” that allowed Darrel Young to score 3 TDs, but as an Alfred Morris owner, I’m upset and a still little suspect.

Titans vs Rams: Chris Johnson; Turns out neither team’s defense got the memo that the opposing RB is actually good as both Johnson and Zac Stacy went OFF. I’ve been promoting CJ?K’s incredibly favorable upcoming schedule for a long time, while Stacy has the good fortune of being the focal point of a Rams offense that has no choice but to continue feeding him the ball.

Jared Co…oh, who cares.

Eagles vs Raiders: Raiders D/ST; Did you call Nick Foles having a historic day? Considering myself and every fantasy expert got it wrong, I don’t feel bad about not getting this call right.

Considering Riley Cooper’s best games have come with Foles throwing him the ball and a very promising ROS schedule (@GB, Was, Arz, Det, @Min, Chi, @Dal), you have to like him as a possible low-end WR3/4 depending on the shape of your WR corps.

Buccaneers vs Seahawks: Mike James; Apparently Seattle’s run defense is weaker than I thought, but does James’ day (158 rushing yards, 1 pass TD) make him look good or Doug Martin look bad?

Also, I blame Seattle’s offensive struggles on Darrell Bevell’s wonky play-calling near the goal-line. When Marshawn Lynch is your running back, it doesn’t take a genius (or a Lynch owner) to know you use him there.

Ravens vs Browns: Jacoby Jones/Marlon Brown; I admit, listing both Jones and Brown is hardly the way to call a fantasy sleeper, but it also shouldn’t be this hard to figure out Baltimore’s No. 2 WR (hint: it’s not Jones). Regardless, Brown continues the trend of WRs not covered by Joe Haden having productive fantasy days, finishing with 5|54|2TDs.

Ray Rice may have a breakout game in future (I expect it to be against Chicago in Week 11), but it’s not worth waiting for; Rice is shaping up to be the biggest fantasy bust of the year.

Steelers vs Patriots: Le’Veon Bell; Starting to resemble a less glamorous version of Matt Forte (16 rushes, 74 yards; 4 catches, 65 yards), with the benefit of being an all-down back with no competition. Anyone who owns Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders absolutely resents Jericho Cotchery’s existence.

Welcome back to relevancy, Patriots offense. The key to their continued success? Danny Amendola staying healthy, which is a very, very tall order.

Colts vs Texans: DeAndre Hopkins; Complete this analogy: Vincent Jackson : Andre Johnson :: Mike Glennon : ________. A comedown is inevitable for Case Keenum, but with the way the Texans defense gives up big plays and the state of the backfield, you have to like the prospects for the passing game going forward.

How much of a stud is Andrew Luck? That bomb to T.Y. Hilton was a thing of beauty, and like LeBron James, he seems to have a way of making everyone else around him better. He also has a fairly soft upcoming schedule with StL, @Ten, @Arz, and Ten, if you’re still lacking confidence by the absence of Reggie Wayne.

Bears vs Packers: Jarrett Boykin; With James Jones back in the mix, Boykin’s value dips considerably and only worth a WR4 or bench stash since the Packers offense can sustain 3 WRs. Although, if Aaron Rodgers is sidelined for a long period of time, you REALLY don’t like his value considering how much Seneca Wallace targeted Andrew Quarless. By the way, the Bills just released Matt Flynn, who somehow finds a way to remain relevant.

As a Bears fan, while I was very impressed by Josh McKown’s performance, it also makes me a little uneasy with Jay Cutler’s contract situation at the end of the year. If Marc Trestman’s offense is truly a plug-and-play system, I wonder how comfortable Chicago’s front office would be with letting Cutler walk. I’ve already lived through my fair share of sub-par QBs, I’d rather not relive the heartache.

Always remember: Start your studs, play the match-ups, and don’t be afraid to make the trade!