Updated Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings, Sleepers, Contrarian DFS Picks
Someone recently asked me what happened to my longer weekly intros. It's simple. No one has any time. The world is in an immediate gratification state, and readers just wanted the sleepers and rankings… cut out the fluff.
I guess I should take the inquiry as a compliment. I simply felt most of my readers weren't that interested in my life lessons, real world examples and connections to Fantasy Football, etc. They just want the fun, accurate rankings and of course, GIFs!
Maybe I'll drop one or two meatier intros this year, although, work is consuming nearly 90 hours a week during the football season with all of the writing, video and radio (hey, listen!).
In fact, I might be one of those people without time for the fluff too. So… time to deal up the Week 9 Fantasy Football rankings and sleepers... heck, you probably aren't even reading this!
As a reminder, if you missed this week's Waiver Wire and Quarterback Streamers piece, click over to find help at every position, including quarterback streamers.
Week 9 QB Sleepers
Colin Kaepernick, SF – Despite not reaching 190 passing yards in either start, Kaepernick's rushing ability helped him notch a QB15 rank in both games. Kaepernick has 66 and 84 rushing yards in his two starts, and he hasn't even run for a score yet. Think about it; if Kaep rushes for 80 yards or just 20 and a score, that's two free touchdowns. He's thrown one in each game, which all adds up to Kaepernick averaging three touchdowns per start, and he faces a Saints defense ranking among the worst against the pass and run.
Week 9 RB Sleepers
Tim Hightower and Mark Ingram, NO – Obviously, Ingram is a big risk after last week, but Sean Payton is at least saying the right things, and by right things, I am referring to Ingram "still having a key role." This could be the first time in years that the Saints utilize a timeshare, which would give both running backs value. The 49ers are the only team in the NFL with over 1,100 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns allowed. Hightower and Ingram carry risk but also carry RB2 value with potential for more.
Antone Smith, TB – Revenge game!
No, I kid. But Smith is the more explosive option for the Buccaneers. We can expect Peyton Barber to see the early down work, but as with Jacquizz Rodgers before him, Smith could easily succeed as more than just a change-of-pace option. What helps Smith even more is the fact that the Falcons have allowed the second most receiving touchdowns and yards to running backs.
Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon, BAL – As with the Saints, the Ravens backfield is dicey, especially with John Harbaugh talking up Dixon during their bye. The Steelers started the season strong against the run, but over the last four weeks, only the 49ers are allowing more FPPG to running backs. In addition, the Steelers have allowed the fourth most rushing touchdowns and third most receiving yards to opposing RBs. The upside is here, but so is the risk.
Week 9 WR Sleepers
Sammie Coates, PIT – Obviously contingent on Ben Roethlisberger being at quarterback, Coates is finally living up to the preseason hype some of us poured over him. Even if Landry Jones is under center, there is still big-play ability with Coates, but the best news is that Darrius Heyward-Bey is the team's No. 3 receiver. Yes, not only has Markus Wheaton fallen behind DHB, it's clear that the team values Coates' ability as their No. 2 across from Antonio Brown. Oh, and the Ravens give up the third most FPPG to receivers with a league high 13 touchdowns allowed.
Brian Quick, LA – No one is more forgiving to opposing receivers than the Panthers. In fact, they helped Carson Palmer rebound last week with 363 passing yards and three touchdowns – both season highs. Kenny Britt is a strong play this week, especially with six teams on a bye, but don't overlook Quick. Not only is he WR40 on the year, but Quick also has double-digit PPR points in four of his last five games and 8.1 in the other.
Dontrelle Inman, SD – Travis Benjamin is going for a second opinion on his knee, and how many times have second opinions come back with good news? More often than not, it comes back with a Jamaal Charles level of disappointment.
Even if Benjamin plays, he's behind Inman and Tyrell Williams in snaps over the last few weeks. Part of that could be due to the knee issue, but no matter the cause, Benjamin isn't the second best option in San Diego anymore, it's Inman. The Titans have given up 588 yards and five touchdowns to receivers over their last three games, and that include the Browns and Jaguars. If you need receiver help, Inman is a sneaky play in Week 9.
Week 9 TE Sleepers
Jason Witten, DAL – Very few teams haven't dominated the Browns at the tight end position: Eagles (Zach Ertz a disappointment… if you bought in), Dolphins (who?), Bengals (Tyler Eifert limited return) and Jets (who part deux?). The Ravens, Redskins, Patriots and Titans combined for 442 yards and six touchdowns in the other four games. Tight end is thin this week, putting Witten in the TE1 discussion.
Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings | Week 9 Flex Rankings
Week 9 Blind Spot Players
In case you're new to this, the Fantasy Blind Spot refers to players that you want to target in tournaments, such as the Millionaire Maker, etc… contrarian players if you will. They usually have one of the following characteristics:
1) have been performing well but haven't had a breakout game or big enough numbers to get Fantasy players talking, and/or
2) are in a price range of other more popular option, and/or
3) have frustrated with disappointing performances but have a great matchup to finally break through
DraftKings Week 9 Sleepers
Case Keenum $5000 – The Panthers defense has been atrocious this year, especially against the pass. Remember Week 6? Keenum threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns against a similarly poor Lions defense. Both teams have allowed over 2,100 passing yards already, but the Panthers already had their bye! And no team allows more Fantasy points and yards to receivers.
Devontae Booker $6400 – Recency bias folks. Booker was an obvious play last week given his dirt-cheap price, but he tweaked his shoulder and didn't have the huge game many wanted. That will send some searching elsewhere, but you should stand pat. The Raiders defense allows the 10th most FPPG to running backs, and they have given up six rushing touchdowns and four games of 125-plus rushing yards. Booker doesn’t share many touches, and as long as he's healthy, Booker is primed for a Top 10 week.
Christine Michael $6700 – People will be scared off by C.J. Prosise's involvement last week and the assumption that the Bills defense is a poor matchup. Even with just 10 carries, Michael still found the end zone against the Saints, and the Bills defense has allowed the third most rushing touchdowns (nine) this year. Bet you didn't see that coming.
Prosise is a threat to Michael's touches, but the Bills present Michael with a great scoring opportunity and are allowing nearly 4.0 yards per carry. The price and risk will make Michael low owned, and that's why he's a contrarian play this week.
Randall Cobb $6600 – Cobb didn’t play last week but sounds ready for Week 9. If Cobb is on the field, he's a great option at just $6600 with the Colts allowing the 10th most receiving yards per game. Even without Cobb and Ty Montgomery last week, Aaron Rodgers still threw for four touchdowns, and you know he's going to be pass-happy again this week. Cobb has a high ceiling and low price; scoop him up.
Jarvis Landry $7100 – Not only has Landry disappointed owners this year with only one big game, but he's priced alongside Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson and Kelvin Benjamin. Drop further and you get to Cobb, which means many will likely pay up to reach the safer plays or pay down to go with players such as Cobb and Doug Baldwin. This week is a potential breakout week for Landry with the Jets pass defense struggling all year. In fact, Landry managed a 13/165/1 line against the Jets in Week 12 last year.
Antonio Gates $3000 – So Hunter Henry isn't much of a thing anymore. Gates hasn't been productive in receptions or yards, but the touchdowns have come in three of his six games. The good news is that the Titans present a matchup for Gates to register some solid yards too, as they have allowed the fourth most to tight ends this season. With Travis Benjamin banged up as well, Gates is returning to a focal point for Philip Rivers, and a touchdown alone with have Gates at 2x value.
FanDuel Week 9 Sleepers
Cam Newton $8100 – The quarterback landscape is fairly nasty this week on FanDuel. You could try to get cute with Nick Foles, etc., but don't try to drag me into that madness.
Colin Kaepernick is an intriguing play, but Newton has his own value. Few will spend the money to roster Newton, but last week was his worst game of the season at 12.78 points and he has three games with 22-plus, including the opener against the Broncos. The Rams recently gave up four touchdowns to Matthew Stafford. We all know Newton always carries that kind of potential.
Carlos Hyde $7000 – Many will be scared off by his health, and it's understandable. But if Hyde plays this week, he's hard to ignore at a reasonable price. The only team worse than the Saints against the run are… well… his team, the 49ers. Do you recall what Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman did to the Saints? Well, Hyde should see the majority of touches if he's healthy, and Hyde has six touchdowns in the span of four games. He has two quiet showings against the Panthers and Bills, but this is the Saints and a great opportunity for Hyde to come up big.
Derrick Henry $5900 – It's rather risky buying a backup running back, but if you're looking for the boom/bust potential, there are few running backs that bring more boom… figuratively and literally. DeMarco Murray has a slight toe issue, and if the Titans decide to cut back on his workload this week to make sure he's healthy, Henry is in line for a huge day. The Chargers have given up 12 rushing touchdowns already, and Hyde was already a decent bet to score on limited touches. If he's sees the ball 15 times, Henry has Top 10 potential.
Kenny Britt $6000 – No, I'm not a Rams fan, I just can't believe that Britt is still underrated. He has double-digit points in four games with 29.1 against the Lions in Week 6. Somehow, he's down among the Allen Hurns and DeVante Parkers of the world, even though no one has allowed more points to receivers than the Panthers have. Not only have they given up 1,410 receiving yards and nine touchdowns already, they have eight of those touchdowns coming in their last four games.
Michael Thomas $5800 – As with Booker, owners expected a bit more from Thomas last week, but don’t jump off the bandwagon. Thomas is the new Marques Colston for the Saints, and he's been the most consistent option since Week 3. Look for Thomas to find his way back into the end zone, as while the 49ers are decent against the pass, they can't stop Drew Brees and all of his pieces. In addition, the 49ers have been weak against teams' No. 1 options, and Thomas is making the case to be that for the Saints.
Jason Witten $5200 – Kyle Rudolph is going to be highly owned with a matchup against the Lions, and he should be. If you're looking for a pivot though, drop down to Witten who is $100 less than Jack Doyle is and priced the same as Gary Barnidge and Dennis Pitta. Everyone in this group is a flier play, but the Browns are nearly as bad at stopping tight ends as the Lions (as in, they don't). The Browns have actually given up more yards to tight ends and just two less touchdowns (six). Witten found the end zone last week, and he has a chance to make it back-to-back games and provide 2x value.
Main Image Credit: Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire
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