Our Week 9 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 9 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Dalton hasn’t been great this year, but in a week that features a ton of byes, he’s a near must-start. A.J. Green should be back, and he’s still got Mohammed Sanu, Gio Bernard, and Jeremy Hill as solid weapons. The Jaguars are near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories and should put up little resistance in what should be a solid fantasy springboard for the Bengals.
Giovani Bernard is still the alpha dog in Cincy, but this week owners in a desperate bye week situation should consider Hill. I think the Bengals probably win this by quite a bit, and the game flow suggests that Hill will be employed in a clock-killing role during the fourth quarter. Even if he isn’t, Hill profiles to get some change-of-pace and goal line work. He’s a decent start as an RB3 in deeper leagues for sure and standard leagues if you have nothing else.
In a week with so many elite backs on bye, Shoelace is a virtual must-start. Many would look at the Cincinnati matchup and see a red flag, but the Bengals defense has been shredded by everyone and their grandmother in 2014 – They are no longer a matchup to fear. Robinson clearly showed last week he’s the man in Jacksonville, and he’s a good bet for 80+ total yards and a TD this weekend.
Taliaferro shredded the Ravens last week at the goal line, scoring two TDs on a total of 27 yards rushing. While it looks like Justin Forsett is the main RB in the Baltimore time-share, it is also equally clear that the Ravens prefer Taliaferro at the goal line. The Steelers give up plenty of yards on the ground, and it the Ravens can keep Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell from going tactical nuclear, there should be more than one shot for Taliaferro to punch one in. I like him as a RB3 with upside in what could be a high scoring affair.
It’s taken a couple of weeks, but it’s clear that Bryant has surpassed Markus Wheaton as the #2 WR on the Steelers. He’s their best option in the red zone, and the idea of him running opposite Antonio Brown (who dominates defensive attention) in the Steelers pass-happy offense is enough to make fantasy owners take notice. The Ravens are strong against the run but suspect against the pass, and I believe this is the week Bryant breaks out at home.
Baldwin is now the man in Seattle, and with 30+ points over the past two weeks; he’s a legit WR1 for Week 9. The Seahawks are taking on the Raiders at home and I don’t think there’s any chance the Raiders contain Wilson, Lynch, and Baldwin for more than three quarters. This game might be over quickly, but not before Dougy B gets his. Play him with confidence.
Fine Brandon. It’s enough. I get it. And I’m finally in on you. With so many great WRs on bye this week, I LOVE LaFell. He’s in New England, against Denver in what should be an absolute shootout. He’s earned the trust of Tom Brady and might be the Pats only deep / big play threat besides Rob Gronkowski. I think the Broncos are able to stop the Pats rushing attack, and Brady throws 40+ times here in an effort to keep pace with Peyton Manning. LaFell will definitely get his and is a great start this week.
I’m sort of obsessed with Kelce and his potential. Head Coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs have yet to really turn him loose. Due to this lack of usage, Kelce is still available in quite a few leagues. He’s scored fairly well despite limited snaps, and I believe the training wheels come off this week. The Jets are terrible against opposing TEs, but excellent against opposing RBs. This suggests Jamaal Charles will have less room to operate than normal, and Kelce will be a bigger part of the game plan. Travis has strong TE1 upside for Week 9.
I really liked the way the Redskins D/ST played in Dallas on Monday night. They limited Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams and made Dallas earn every one of their 17 points. While the Vikings have some explosive playmakers, they have far less weapons than the Cowboys and a QB that takes a ton of sacks and turns the ball over. I like the ‘Skins defense as a sneaky play for Week 9, building on their success in Week 8.
This isn’t a clear show of support for the Indianapolis defense – they simply aren’t all that good, as shown by the Steelers on Sunday. But I do believe that Vontae Davis and company can contain underwhelming backup RB Andre Williams, Eli Manning, and de-facto WR1 Rueben Randle. The Colts are going to score frequently against a suspect Giants defense, and I think the lead will make the Colts D more aggressive, and ultimately more successful. Despite getting shredded in Week 8, I like the Colts as a sneaky D / ST play for Week 9.