NFL Fantasy Week 9: Game by Game Analysis
It is week 9 already? This season has flown by and now we start the heavier BYE weeks. 6 teams are on a BYE this week, so there are only 13 games.
In the 15 games last week, I picked 15 breakout players, 15 busts, 15 super sleepers and 30 Lottery Tickets.
Let's review how I did in Week 8:
8 Breakouts correct (52% correct for the season)
10 Busts correct (59.5% correct for the season)
7 Lottery Tickets correct (30% correct for the season)
8 Sleepers (38% correct for the season)
Good Call of the week: Miami DST – “Watch for Miami to score a defensive or special team touchdown this week.” Miami only allowed 13 points and had 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 4 sacks, 2 touchdowns and a blocked field goal.
Bad Call Of The Week: Jeremy Maclin – “Arizona will make another receiver beat them this week, his ceiling is likely around 60 yards.” Maclin had only 54 yards… on one of his two touchdowns. Maclin totaled 187 yards and 2 touchdowns, so… I was a little off on this one.
Just in case you have forgotten or are new to this... here are my definitions:
Breakout Potential: This is the player that has the most upside in this match-up. It may be a top player that will shine a little brighter than expected or a player that isn't necessarily a must start that will exceed expectations.
Bust Watch: The player with the most to downside and the most to lose. Will likely underperform this week.
Super Sleeper: This is a player that is likely buried on someone's bench or a free agent that has the opportunity to surprise with a decent fantasy game.
Lottery Tickets: Feeling Lucky? Want to start a player that the league may laugh at you when you start, but will bow to you when you are right... try one of these players. WARNING: They are called Lottery Tickets for a reason, most won't pan out... so choose wisely... or play it safe and just stash one of these guys on your bench so you can lament later in the week, "AHH!! I ALMOST STARTED HIM!"
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
- Breakout Potential: Cam Newton – Drew Brees and his offense should have no problem putting up big numbers against Carolina. However, Newton should have similar success against a Saints’ defense that has been anything but spectacular.
- Bust Watch: DeAngelo Williams – He may be back from injury and New Orleans is bad against the run, expect him to take a couple weeks to get back towards anywhere you could consider starting him.
- Super Sleeper: Kenny Stills – Over the last two weeks, Stills has 9 catches, 160 yards and a touchdown. He is making the most of his targets and he will likely get 5 or 6 more targets Thursday night.
- Lottery Tickets: Jonathan Stewart, Travaris Cadet
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns
- Breakout Potential: Cleveland DST – Playing at home with a chance to get to 5-3, they will come to play and Mike Glennon hasn’t been able to lead a consistent offense.
- Bust Watch: Andrew Hawkins – 12 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks. This could be his let down week.
- Super Sleeper: Travis Benjamin – If the focus shifts to Hawkins, Benjamin could see some targets.
- Lottery Tickets: Jim Dray, Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
- Breakout Potential: Andy Dalton – Jacksonville + AJ Green return = very, very good things.
- Bust Watch: Allen Robinson – This game should be a wake-up call to Cincinnati’s defense, Robinson will be covered.
- Super Sleeper: Clay Harbor – Could find a way to get a touchdown in this game.
- Lottery Tickets: Jermaine Gresham, Cecil Shorts III
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
- Breakout Potential: Dez Bryant – The Cardinals’ defense allowed Jeremy Maclin to blow up last week (just like I said he wouldn’t… whoops!) Bryant is a better receiver than Maclin is.
- Bust Watch: John Brown – He is still the number 3 wide receiver and not quite ready to overtake Michael Floyd or Larry Fitzgerald.
- Super Sleeper: Carson Palmer – Colt McCoy threw for 299 yards against their defense… Colt McCoy, to stick with stating the obvious… Palmer is a better quarterback than McCoy.
- Lottery Tickets: John Carlson, Cole Beasley
Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans
- Breakout Potential: DeAndre Hopkins – He is the number 1 receiver in Houston now and Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking his way more recently. Look for another 100 yard game with a touchdown.
- Bust Watch: Jeremy Maclin – If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again. Houston will allow some passing yards, but last week’s performance should get Maclin covered by more than one player for most of the game.
- Super Sleeper: Ryan Fitzpatrick – This game could be higher scoring than you would expect, which means that Fitzpatrick would have sneaky value.
- Lottery Tickets: Alfred Blue, Zach Ertz
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs
- Breakout Potential: Alex Smith – Kyle Orton had success against The Jets’ defense last week, so expect Smith to have a real nice day against New York.
- Bust Watch: Michael Vick – He may have a decent game, but he isn’t the dynamic runner he used to be and he still turned the ball over 3 times last week.
- Super Sleeper: Eric Decker – With the attention Harvin will get, look for Vick to make Decker his favorite target.
- Lottery Tickets: De’Anthony Thomas, Chris Johnson
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
- Breakout Potential: Lamar Miller – Hillman ran all over San Diego last week and Miller could have the same type of success this week.
- Bust Watch: Antonio Gates – Miami’s defense has been playing strong and has played better against the tight end position since their BYE week.
- Super Sleeper: Eddie Royal – Guessing he finds the end zone this week… but it’s Eddie Royal, so all you can do is guess.
- Lottery Tickets: Ryan Tannehill, Ronnie Brown
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings
- Breakout Potential: Alfred Morris – He showed us all last week that he does in fact remember where the end zone is, look for him to build on that success here.
- Bust Watch: Pierre Garcon – I would expect about 3 catches for 55 yards from him, if you start him hope one of those is for a touchdown.
- Super Sleeper: Washington DST – Minnesota didn’t move the ball very well last week against Tampa Bay, Washington played strongly against Dallas on Monday night.
- Lottery Tickets: Matt Asiata, Roy Helu Jr.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers
- Breakout Potential: Vernon Davis – Coming off the BYE, he should be healthier and ready to finally breakout this season.
- Bust Watch: Austin Davis – Losing Brian Quick hurt and the inconsistent, unknown running game isn’t helping Davis at all either.
- Super Sleeper: Carlos Hyde – San Francisco is using him more and should look to transition from Frank Gore to him in the coming weeks.
- Lottery Tickets: Benny Cunningham, Steve Johnson
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
- Breakout Potential: Julius Thomas – 50 yards over the last two games, with Darrel Revis matched up against Emmanuel Sanders or Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas should get easier coverages.
- Bust Watch: Tom Brady – He has been playing excellent lately, but just as the rumors of his demise being exaggerated, so is the idea that he is on a statistical level close to Peyton Manning.
- Super Sleeper: Julian Edelman – He has been quiet the last few weeks and with Denver likely to focus on Rob Gronkowski and Brandon LaFell, Brady will go back to Edelman.
- Lottery Tickets: Timothy Wright, C.J. Anderson
Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks
- Breakout Potential: Russell Wilson – Wilson is carrying this team through its adversity, he will run and pass all over Oakland.
- Bust Watch: Doug Baldwin – He is just not a reliable number 1 receiver and you can’t rely on him for anything more than 60 yards.
- Super Sleeper: David Carr – Don’t forget, Carr earned the starting position with his play against Seattle, and he did it against most of The Seahawks’ starters too.
- Lottery Tickets: Denarius Moore, Ricardo Lockette
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Breakout Potential: Steve Smith Sr – He has been held in check the last few weeks, but this 35 year old went for 71 yards when they played in Week 2. Smith should surpass 100 yards and haul in a touchdown this week.
- Bust Watch: Lorenzo Taliaferro – He is coming off a 2 touchdown performance and has been added in numerous leagues, but don’t expect 18 points off of 7 touches every week.
- Super Sleeper: Heath Miller – He could find the end zone again this week.
- Lottery Tickets: Markus Wheaton, Crockett Gillmore
Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants
- Breakout Potential: Eli Manning – Remember his last night game? Manning and Larry Donnell had themselves quite a game. Coming off of the BYE, Manning should make fantasy owners very happy this week.
- Bust Watch: Ahmad Bradshaw – Trent Richardson is likely back this week and if Bradshaw doesn’t score a touchdown, his production is below average.
- Super Sleeper: Hakeem Nicks – Nicks playing against his former team, he should be ready to play for this game and Andrew Luck will likely make it a point to get him into the end zone.
- Lottery Tickets: Preston Parker, Coby Fleener