Week Nine Sleepers

Conlin Postma @ConlinFF

Just when we had an idea about who the starters were heading into Week Eight, we were all wrong. The Saints had their QB, Drew Brees return, forcing Teddy Bridgewater back to the bench. Everyone predicted Lions back, Ty Johnson, to start, but it was Tra Carson who got the start. Finally, backups and recent starters such as Ryan Tannehill, Royce Freeman, Gardner Minshew, and Jonnu Smith are all making splashes. Due to their recent performances, they will start to gain more playing time and/or remain starters.

Last week’s Week Eight Sleepers was not a good look for me. Minnesota relied more on the running game than Kirk Cousins, hurting both Olabisi Johnson and Kyle Rudolph‘s Fantasy production. As stated above, Ty Johnson surprisingly wasn’t the starter for Detroit, but still outscored Tra Carson. Then we have Kenny Stills, who had his usual hit-or-miss game and it was a miss.

I’m not making excuses at all; I stand by my Sleepers every single week. I’m just telling everyone a little bit about why some of my picks didn’t live up to expectations. Below are my Week Eight Sleepers and their finishes.

A breakdown of why I’m picking these Week Nine Sleeper are because of not only fantastic matchups but a couple other reasons. All these players have been successful the last couple weeks and due to recent transactions and injuries, they are primed for bigger weeks.

This week, there are well-known teams on their bye weeks: Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, and New Orleans Saints.


Gardner Minshew, vs Houston Texans

Back-to-back productive weeks for Minshew makes him a sleeper for Week Nine. This might be one of his last starts and he’ll be sure to make this one count against a poor Texans defense. On average, Houston allows 293.4 passing yards and 2.3 TD’s per game. Minshew himself has been on a tear the last four weeks. He has thrown for under 255 yards just once and has three games with a score, two of which are multiple score games. Minshew won’t have to deal with a strong pass rush due to J.J. Watt being out for the year. His previous performances have shown us that he has a top-five ceiling and against this Houston defense, his floor is top 10.

Ryan Tannehill, @ Carolina Panthers

Since the former Dolphins QB has taken over for Marcus Mariota, he has not looked back. In his last two starts, he has a combined 505 passing yards and five passing TD’s. Another positive about this matchup is that the Panthers have been susceptible to the pass. In two of their last three games, Carolina has allowed a 374 and 400 passing yard game. Tannehill has a great supporting cast of Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries, Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith, Dion Lewis, and Derrick Henry. Due to all those weapons and an opposing defense that has struggled recently, Ryan Tannehill has the capability of finishing inside the top 12.

Running Backs

Mark Walton, vs New York Jets

With Kenyan Drake being shipped out to Arizona, this gives the green light for Walton to take over full starting duties. It wasn’t the best starting debut, but his touches are what makes him a sleeper. Walton finished the Monday Night game with 14 touches (11 carries and three receptions on six targets) for a total of 54 yards. His 11 carries were eight more than backup, Kalen Ballage, had. In a week where Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon, Devonta Freeman, Alvin Kamara, and Latavius Murray are all on byes, Walton could be a suitable replacement. A matchup against the Jets who don’t have Leonard Williams anymore is prime for Walton to finish in the top 20.

Jamaal Williams, vs Los Angeles Chargers

It doesn’t matter the week anymore, Williams is must start, but this week he is a strong candidate to finish top five. The Chicago Bears ran the ball up and down the field against the Chargers and that makes his ceiling higher than most weeks. Dating back to Week Two, there has been only one fully played game in which he didn’t reach the endzone. On top of that, he also has a three-game receiving TD streak. From Week Five to Week Eight, there have been three different backs to rush over 100 yards and reach the endzone at least once against the Chargers. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams can finish in the top 10, but Williams has the chance to outscore Jones and be a true RB1.

Wide Receivers

D.K. Metcalf. vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Due to Will Dissly suffering a torn Achilles, Metcalf is now the new red zone and goal-line receiving target. He scored a season-high two TD’s and this week against Tampa Bay, he can do it again. On the season, the Buccaneers have surrendered nine TD’s to WR’s and there have been seven different receivers to surpass 80 yards. In six out of eight games, the former Ole Miss Rebel has seen five or more targets and, on the season, he is second on the Seahawks with 45 targets. He is a strong WR3, but his upside is as a top 15 wideout.

Danny Amendola, @ Oakland Raiders

I feel as though many people are overlooking Amendola, he’s been overshadowed by both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. In Week Seven, Marvin Jones finished as WR1 (10/93/4), but Amendola was WR 14 (8/105/0) and his performance was overlooked. In Week Eight, Golladay overshadowed Amendola, Kenny finished as WR3 (6/123/2), while Danny was WR19 (8/95/0). The last two weeks, Amendola has amassed 19 targets, reeling in 16 of them for 200 yards, but has failed to reach the endzone. In PPR leagues he is a strong WR3 or a low-end WR2 and if he reaches the endzone he can finish in the top 12.

Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, @Carolina Panthers

Due to veteran, Delanie Walker suffering an ankle injury, Jonnu has made the most of his opportunity. Without Walker, he has caught nine passes for 142 yards while reaching the endzone once. Last week, he was TE3 and the week before he was TE13. Those are both indicative of his floor and ceiling for this week. In their last three games, the Panthers allow an average of 75 receiving yards to TEs. In a struggling position, Smith is a breath of fresh air and if Walker is inactive again, Jonnu is a strong top 10 candidate.

Dallas Goedert, vs Chicago Bears

Coming into the season, people were talking about Goedert taking over for teammate Zach Ertz. The last few weeks that has been true. Goedert has 12 catches, 139 receiving yards, and two TDs compared to Ertz’s eight catches, 112 receiving yards, and failure to reach the endzone. It is just a small sample size, but Goedert has been more dominate than Ertz these last few games. Since Week Five, Chicago has given up six catches and 69 yards to TEs. If the South Dakota State alumni can score again, he is a lock to finish in the top 12.

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