You’re going to need to hit on a few sleepers to get these important W’s down the stretch. With injuries tearing up the league and six teams on bye in Week 9, finding undervalued players is necessary to sustain success in any fantasy football format, whether it’s a year-long league or an NFL DFS contest. The waiver wire is still producing some solid options, and this week, guys like Courtland Sutton and Ryan Fitzpatrick could help desperate fantasy owners with key start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
Last week was not a great one for our sleeper candidates. We got some solid performances out of Jalen Richard and the Redskins defense, but we also had some major whiffs. Raheem Mostert and Kenjon Barner each had just two carries despite seemingly being in high-volume situations, and at receiver, Jordy Nelson and Tre’Quan Smith didn’t do much either. This week, we’ll aim for a bounce-back performance with our picks.
Week 9 Rankings:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Our sleeper picks are meant to help you make difficult start/sit decisions, but don’t bench one of your better players just to start a potential breakout guy. If you do, you’ll probably end up on our “How You’ll Lose” list for Week 9. Sleepers are better than busts, but don’t put all of your eggs in the sleeper basket on a whim. Make an educated decision based off what type of talent you have on your roster.
With that said, here are our top sleeper picks for NFL Week 9. Try to include some of these guys in all formats, especially DFS.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Week 9 fantasy sleepers: Running backs
Aaron Jones, Packers @ Patriots (Jacob Camenker). With Ty Montgomery gone, there is now an opening for more pass-catching work in the Green Bay backfield. Jones has been more dynamic that Jamaal Williams, so he should get the first crack at catching more passes. Considering that Jones is averaging 6.2 yards per carry, he could be a sneaky-good play in a middling matchup with the Patriots.
Isaiah Crowell, Jets @ Dolphins (Vinnie Iyer). He will see his touches add up to a lot more this week against a reeling run defense.
Frank Gore, Dolphins @ Jets (Matt Lutovsky). Gore continues to lead the Dolphins in carries (or at least split evenly with Kenyan Drake), and the Jets continue to struggle against backs, allowing three rushing TDs the past two weeks. Drake scored against the Jets in Week 2 while Gore was held in check, but with more carries, Gore could easily have the better game this week.
Full Week 9 RB rankings
WEEK 9 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
Week 9 fantasy football sleepers: Quarterbacks
Alex Smith, Redskins vs. Falcons (Camenker). Smith hasn’t exactly been lighting it up this year, but he gets to take on a Falcons defense that allows the second-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to quarterbacks. The Falcons have allowed at least three passing TDs in five of seven games this season, and they just let Eli Manning throw for almost 400 yards. Smith could have his best outing of the season, and if he can grab multiple TDs, that will make him one of the week’s strongest streamers.
Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Steelers (Iyer). He’ll come through with the old 250 and two with help from Michael Crabtree and his tight ends.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buccaneers @ Panthers (Lutovsky). He’s going to turn it over, but Fitzpatrick is also going to produce for fantasy owners. Carolina has allowed multiple touchdown passes in every game since Week 1 (even to Eli Manning!), and while they’ve given up only one huge game (Matt Ryan in Week 2), a high floor and a high ceiling look to be in place for Fitzpatrick, especially when you factor in Carolina’s struggles vs. TEs (see below).
Full Week 9 QB rankings
MORE WEEK 9 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup Builder
Week 9 fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Courtland Sutton, Broncos vs. Texans (Camenker). In the wake of the Demaryius Thomas trade, Sutton is the new No. 2 receiver for the Broncos. He has at least 58 yards or a TD in the past four games, and that was as the third option in the passing attack. If he absorbs more targets, he could have another big outing.
Tre’Quan Smith, Saints vs. Rams (Iyer). He has a much better shot to make big plays back at home against a favorable matchup on the fast track.
Willie Snead, Ravens vs. Steelers (Lutovsky). Snead is averaging 6.7 targets per game, yet he’s only scored one TD and is yet to top 60 yards in a game. Against the Steelers, who allow the fifth-most FPPG to WRs, Snead has a great chance to break out.
Full Week 9 WR rankings
Week 9 fantasy football sleepers: Tight ends
Ben Watson, Saints vs. Rams (Camenker). The Rams can be beaten by strong offensive attacks, as evidenced by the Packers last week. Watson could catch a TD this week, so we like him as a sleeper.
Hayden Hurst, Ravens vs. Steelers (Iyer). They want to get him more involved, and there’s a fair chance he finds the end zone again.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers @ Panthers (Lutovsky). Carolina has been torched by tight ends all year, even allowing TDs to secondary TEs (Vernon Davis, Dallas Goedert, Hayden Hurst) in the past three weeks. Brate and O.J. Howard can both produce this week.
Full Week 9 TE rankings
WEEK 9 DFS GPP LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
Week 9 fantasy sleepers: Defenses
Oakland Raiders @ 49ers (Camenker). Usually I take the home defense on Thursday night, but I like the road team this week. With Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and C.J. Beathard all beat up, the 49ers offense could be in dire straits. That’s enough for me to consider the Raiders this week.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Titans (Iyer). They’ll turn from sleeper to stud as the prime-time home bump raises their typically low big-play quotient to add to the sacks.
Full Week 9 D/ST rankings
Miami Dolphins @ Jets (Lutovsky). This is a classic bounce-back spot for the Dolphins, who were torched last Thursday by the Texans. The Jets have turned it over multiple times in all but two games, and they’ve scored 17 points or fewer in five of eight games. When these teams faced off in New York in Week 2, Miami had three sacks and three takeaways while limiting the Jets to 12 points.
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