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Winning the Wire and Surviving the Bye: Week 9 Fantasy Sleepers

Mike Tolbert (nflrush.com)

Six more teams are on the bye this Week 9, so you’ll have to wait a week for Calvin Johnson to return from the stratosphere.  Joining the Lions this bye week are the Broncos, Cardinals, Jaguars, Giants and 49ers.  This week is unique, as many of the best options on your wire may be players that were drafted, but are now returning from injury such as Andre Brown, Shane Vereen, and  Michael Crabtree.  It’s impossible to write a Week 9 column like this and not include Marvin Jones.  Those who took the plunge on Jones last week were rewarded with four touchdowns.

LAST WEEK

Carson Palmer was serviceable in the desert and Geno Smith was not good at all in Cincinnati.  Mike James was the Bucs’ starter, but their entire offense struggled to get much going.  I would hold on to James for a few weeks, he faces a difficult task going to Seattle this week.  Roy Helu was not good in Denver, scoring two fantasy points despite playing more than Alfred Morris.  I apologize for Aldrick Robinson, but desperation in the title in a waiver column does not inspire great confidence.  Marvin Jones has scored in 3 straight while Kendall Wright looks to reconnect with Jake Locker this week.  Zach Miller and Jordan Reed disappointed, but I would definitely hang on to Reed as well as the New Orleans DST.

QUARTERBACKS

Jake Locker (TEN @ STL)  Locker should be fully healthy and a threat to run and throw on St. Louis.  He’s worth an add if you have a bench spot due to his upcoming favorable schedule even if you don’t start him against the Rams whose defense was impressive last night.

Terrelle Pryor (PHI @ OAK)  Pryor matched Bo Jackson’s record setting run from 93 yards last week, then did virtually nothing against a stout Pittsburgh DST.  I like Pryor this week against the Eagles for two scores and don’t count out Nick Foles as an emergency option if he’s cleared to start.

RUNNING BACKS

Mike Tolbert (ATL @ CAR)  All arrows are pointing up for Tolbert who has put up 4 TDs in his last three games.  Tolbert plays on passing downs and is the goal line back making him valuable in all formats.   I don’t see Jonathan Stewart taking away too many of his touches.

PPR Deep Sleeper

Dennis Johnson (IND @ HOU)  The Texans are looking at playing Indy on Sunday Night without Arian Foster or Ben Tate.  Enter three new RBs including Arkansas alum Dennis Johnson.  He is a short, stout player (5’7”, 193) that can pass protect, catch out of the backfield and has the best burst of the likely active Texan RBs.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Marvin Jones picked up where Douglas and Boykin left off the previous week and you already have him added, so we’ll move on.  Jones has another great chance to score this week Thursday night against Miami.

Darrius Heyward-Bey (IND @ HOU)  Heyward-Bey has a great opportunity to step in as the No. 2 wideout in a quality Indianapolis offense.  He’s been inconsistent throughout his career, but he will get chances especially if the Colt running game stays stagnant.

TIGHT ENDS

Tim Wright (TB @ SEA)  Wright was quiet last week after his breakout performance, but his target count will go up with Mike Williams done for the season.  Wright is also eligible at two positions in some leagues (TE, WR).

Joel Dreesen (Denver)  For Julius Thomas insurance purposes only this Bronco Bye Week.

Any other tight end is a dart throw or already owned in most leagues.  I like picking up Jared Cook as a backup if someone dropped him since his targets have gone up and Clemens looks for him often.  The Cincinnati tight ends, also likely gone, should be good as long as Andy Dalton keeps channeling 2007 Tom Brady.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Green Bay has a great matchup at home against Chicago if you’re in a shallow league.

New Orleans is a defense I would roll out again if they’re available; they face the Jets.

About Kevin O'Keefe - @KevinOKeefe14

I am an attorney practicing in New Hampshire.  Previously I practiced in Florida, and have a Massachusetts license I have never used.  I am contributing with fantasy football pieces now and hope to expand my contributions in the future.   I attended college at the University of New Hampshire and was captain of the tennis team.  I graduated law school in 2007.    I love to surf, hike, and travel all over especially to Central America. I started playing fantasy sports in 8th grade when my friend and I would mail in our newspaper fantasy baseball salary cap league.  I play fantasy football, hockey, baseball and NASCAR.  I am happy to expand my current audience of fantasy advice recipients beyond my friends and family.  If you have lineup or draft questions, find me on Twitter @KevinOKeefe14.

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