Heading into Week 9 Fantasy Football action, here are the top 5 sleepers discussed between Luis Tirado Jr. and Genna Preston of The Jet Press.
Oct 23, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) waves to the fans after completing a first down during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Week 9 is here and so far this fantasy football season, plenty of teams are on their bye week. IT will all come down to sleepers as they truly define the rest of the way. November is finally here and this is the time of year where teams start to really push the envelope towards a postseason berth.
Genna Preston, Contributor for The Jet Press, truly knows everything and anything when it comes to fantasy football. She’s always spot on in her predictions and since I also love fantasy football, I figured it would be great to see which players she thought would be huge sleepers this week and well, every week from here on out.
If you’d like to read her amazing work, here is her FanSided author page. Also, check out her Facebook author page as well as her Twitter account. She enjoys interacting with fellow fantasy football owners and loves to help others with their lineups.
Without further ado, here is a sit-down we had over the top five sleepers heading into Week 9 action in fantasy football.
Next: 5. A Saint entering a golden matchup
Oct 30, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) runs against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
LTJ: This week, running back Tim Hightower is facing a great matchup. His New Orleans Saints hit the road for a Week 9 game against the San Francisco 49ers. What are your thoughts about fantasy football owners making him an RB1?
GP: I definitely think Hightower is going to have a good week. I am not sure I would start him in RB1 because Mark Ingram is still in the mix, but definitely RB2 or Flex. The matchup is great. The 49ers have the worst run defense in the NFL, so both should do well.
LTJ: I completely agree. I think the Saints aren’t going to soon forget Ingram’s problem of holding onto the football. Looks like the Saints are going to steamroll the 49ers this week. Do you see the Saints splitting the reps evenly or perhaps sticking more with Hightower?
GP: The general consensus is Hightower has earned more carries thanks to everything he brings to the table. It makes sense, he outplayed Ingram. So I think Hightower will see more production. But, I think because the matchup is easy, Ingram will also do well because they won’t be forced to only use Hightower.
Next: 4. A Chief ready to step up and deliver
LTJ: I’m not completely sold that the Kansas City Chiefs trust quarterback Nick Foles completely. They’re a run-oriented offense and will more than likely launch a potent ground attack led by running back Charcandrick West. Should fantasy owners consider him an RB1 this week against the abysmal Jacksonville Jaguars?
GP: The Chiefs have a weird situation! Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin both had their best games since the beginning of the season. If that is a preview then I can expect some great things. However, the Jaguars have a good pass defense so the Chiefs will focus on their running game. West is in line for a killer week! Jamaal Charles is on injured reserve and Spencer Ware hasn’t been cleared from concussion protocol. Their only option is West. And, the Jaguars give up over 120 rushing yards per game.
LTJ: Ouch! I had so much excitement for the potential of the Jaguars this season and they truly dropped the ball. What do you predict to be West’s final stat line this week? Think he’ll have a big game?
GP: I can see him finishing the game with 130 yards and a touchdown.
Next: 3. A Brown worthy of starting
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) runs the ball during warmups before a game against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
LTJ: Now, I know the Cleveland Browns are probably going to lose yet again at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys but never say never! The Browns need to win a game or so and at the end of the day, if they lose, they’ll still have some players that are fantasy relevant. Running back Duke Johnson I have this week as a sleeper pick, thinking he’s an RB2 and should hopefully make some noise this week against the Cowboys. What do you think?
GP: I cannot agree more! His fantasy value is slowly increasing each week. His rushing and receiving abilities are what does it for owners. Last week he had more receiving yards than rushing yards. The Cowboys gave Darren Sproles over 100 yards (rushing and receiving combined). Even with Isaiah Crowell at RB1, I expect Johnson to have another great week.
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LTJ: I love how Johnson is able to really push the envelope once he gets into open space. I can see the Browns using his dual-threat skill set to great use against the Cowboys. Should fantasy football owners go more with Crowell or Johnson this week if they had to make such a decision?
GP: If I had to choose, I’d go with Crowell. But, there are six teams on a bye this week and if I didn’t have Crowell, I’d definitely go with Johnson! He has great RB2 value this week.
Next: 2. Is Jay Ajayi even worth starting against the Jets?
LTJ: Ah yes, Genna. Those beloved New York Jets of ours are hitting the road to face the Miami Dolphins. I can see running back Jay Ajayi running wild against the Jets defense, despite them being No. 1 against the run. He’s been playing pretty well the past few weeks, rushing for over 200 yards in each of his last two games. Is he a sleeper pick this week considering many expect the Jets to shut him down?
GP: I think this is the week we see Ajayi take a step back. Now the Dolphins don’t have a quarterback in Ryan Tannehill but, given the Jets poor secondary, you have to hope they will attempt a pass heavy game. It will play it safe against the best run defense and exploit their secondary. Sounds good for the Dolphins but, that also means Ajayi will lose playing time. Damien Williams has also shown he is touchdown capable. Eventually, Ajayi’s workload will decrease before he burns himself out, and it may be this week.
LTJ: I see what you mean but Tannehill is the true definition of inconsistency. I think the Dolphins will definitely try some deep passes but Ajayi is too hot to simply not give enough touches to. He had 29 reps last week and 25 the week before, I think the Dolphins will unleash Ajayi in this one for much success. What other fantasy options would you recommend as an RB2 this week besides Ajayi?
Next: 1. A Raven that might not be worth starting
Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
LTJ: Out of the many division games in Week 9, I’m super excited for the Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers. These games are always great and tend to come down to the wire. I have wide receiver Mike Wallace as a sleeper pick this week. How do you think he’ll do fantasy-wise against the Steelers defense?
GP: I am so excited for this game! And, we may see the return of Ben Roethlisberger. This game is always too close for comfort, and both teams always bring their A games. However, I just can’t trust Mike Wallace in this matchup. The Steelers are third in the league at defending the pass. Only two wide receivers have topped 90 yards against them. He couldn’t earn double-digit fantasy points against the Oakland Raiders or Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t trust him this week.
LTJ: Very bold prediction there, Genna. I think the Ravens are going to play some of their best football to date, which means putting their prime playmakers in to keep those chains moving. The Ravens need a win bad as I see Flacco airing it out to at least leave the Steel City victorious. What do you honestly see Wallace ending with against the Steelers regarding his fantasy contributions?
GP: I think Wallace will finish with 85 yards. I don’t think he will have a touchdown; he hasn’t scored since Week 3.