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Never in a million years would I have thought we would have back-to-back weeks with a professional football game ending in a tie. Just embarrassing for two teams who are known for their offense! The week 9 DFS Sleepers and Busts for the week obviously are chosen to help you win your week, not for ties. No need for that.

We failed to see Kirk Cousins or Andy Dalton step up and try to win this game. How many London fans were waiting around saying, “Penalty Shootouts!” Pipe down soccer lovers, you witness ties all of the time.

The one person I would have died to watch this game with is the great Herm Edwards. As only Herm would say, “You play to win the game.” Yes, the game was in London, but this isn’t soccer. You play to win the game, plain and simple. Lets take a quick look back at my Week 8 DFS Sleepers and Busts options.

                                       Big Hitters



Jameis Winston 18.8 DK & FD Ryan Fitzpatrick 14.4 DK & FD
Derek Carr 39.8 DK, 35.8 FD Demaryius Thomas 12.9 DK, 10.4 FD
Darren Sproles 15.3 DK, 12.8 FD Hunter Henry 3.4 DK, 2.4 FD

                                        Solid Fades



Devontae Booker 18.4 DK, 14.9 FD Jets Defense 4 DK & FD
Andrew Luck 20.4 DK, 19.4 FD

                                    Swing and Miss



Zach Ertz 5.9 DK, 3.9 FD Melvin Gordon 22.5 DK, 17.5 FD
Jonathan Stewart 24 DK, 22.5 FD


I would just love to say bye, bye, bye to bye weeks all together, speaking for many Fantasy owners. I didn’t think you’d get an NSYNC reference thrown at you huh? Seriously though, another week has gone by and another week consists of six teams on a bye. Lots of Fantasy goodness joining the NSYNC group this weekend unfortunately. This is what makes DFS great though, being able to avoid the bye weeks. Enough with the nonsense, here is this week’s DFS Sleepers and Busts column.

Week 9 DFS Sleepers and Busts

Quarterback Sleepers

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers (5,900 DK, 7,600 FD)


All of the problems in the beginning of the season regarding the turnover issues have since gone away for Marcus Mariota. Over his last four games, he has two total turnovers. One pick and one fumble. In that span, he also has 11 total touchdowns.

You aren’t going to see Drew Brees passing yard totals from Mariota, but he makes up for it running the ball. I haven’t seen much in the last two weeks, but he has still been on some sort of run here statistically. Albeit against pretty bad defenses but hey, look who they’re facing this weekend. The Chargers allow the sixth most yards and second most completions.

One other stat I found interesting is that Mariota has a 15-3 touchdown to interception ratio on the road and his QBR is about 13 points higher as well. For a young kid, you like to see that. I also will like seeing him in my DFS lineups this weekend at that price.

Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings, vs. Detroit Lions (5,000 DK, 7,400 FD)

You are bringing up a guy who lost to Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football? Offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, surprisingly resigned, and Bradford only has two touchdowns in his last two games?! How crazy can you be? I am probably crazy, but hear me out.

He has the minimum salary on DraftKings and close to it on FanDuel. Take a look at the Detroit Lions defensive stats. They allow the ninth most yards, tied for the most touchdowns, and tied for 30th in turnovers forced. I could go on and on. Jerick McKinnon didn’t practice on Wednesday and Matt Asiata is nothing more than a fall forward running back. I expect Sam Bradford to throw the ball a ton.

Since coming into the season undefeated, they have since lost their last two games. Both losses have come on the road which could have something to do with the recent struggles. Again, for the PRICE, and if you want to punt at quarterback in a week with six teams on bye and not many options to find at running back, Bradford could be your guy.


Quarterback Busts

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos (6,300 DK, 7,700 FD)


This is way too much money for this guy going against the Broncos. You can put any quarterback going against the Broncos on this list, that is how good that secondary is. Derek Carr also has a 6-4 touchdown to interception ratio in 4 games against the Broncos and just under a 57% completion rate. I understand how great Carr and the Raiders have been this far into the season, but this defense is too elite.

If you look at his start to the season last year, it looks extremely identical to what he is doing this season. Through eight games in 2015, he had 19 touchdowns to just four interceptions. His last eight games last season, he had 13 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. That’s a major drop off in the second half. Through his first eight games of this season, he has 17 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Find me another Carr for the weekend please.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans (6,500 DK, 8,300 FD)

I have always loved Rivers as a player but just like my problem with Derek Carr, his price is way too high for me this week. The Titans rank around the middle of the pack in points allowed, interceptions forced, touchdowns allowed and fantasy points given up to quarterbacks. What I really look at are Rivers’ second half stats: 37 touchdowns to 23 interceptions in the second half dating back to 2013. I just feel like this matchup could be a trap game for Rivers owners.


Running Back Sleepers

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers (4,800 DK, 6,700 FD)

Tim Hightower was given five goal line carries within the three yard line. Want to know how many he converted? Yes, you guessed it, zero. I had him in a very important league this weekend, and if Ingram was given the ball five times in that position, he would have found a way into the end zone, no question. He is just so much better than Tim bleeping Hightower. If Ingram had a touchdown and 20 yards, I win the week… Alright, who cares about my Fantasy team.

I hear you on Tim Hightower getting more work coming from Sean Peyton’s quotes this week.

The 49ers run defenses is just dreadful. They have allowed the most rushing yards (by 146 yards), tied for third in touchdowns allowed (10) and most yard per attempt (5.1). Oh, and this is also in one less game, having seen the bye week already. That is just god awful. How I see the carries split up this week is a 60-40 split favoring Mark Ingram. Both running backs could be usable going against this awful 49ers front seven.

Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (4,400 DK, 5,600 FD)

Well, it is official. Spencer Ware has been ruled out of this game. Therefore, expect West to be one of the most owned players in DFS formats and the price is really nice.

Andy Reid has come out and said that Nick Foles will be starting this weekend over Alex Smith. With that news, I would expect to see a lot of touches to West. Last season when West was called upon, he delivered. As I have always said in DFS, I like having a running back who can catch passes for you. West has shown he can do that, having caught 20 passes in limited work last season and in the first game this season, he caught all six of his targets. The Jaguars have given up the fourth most rushing touchdowns this season and I see West plunging his way into the end zone.


Running Back Busts

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams vs. Carolina Panthers (5,800 DK, 7,600 FD)


There are lot more running backs out there in week 9 that I would prefer over Mr. Todd Gurley, especially going up against the Panthers front seven. They are tied with the Packers and Jets for yards per attempt (3.3). They have also only given up five touchdowns all season long. The Panthers defense has really come back to earth since the departure of Josh Norman. They are 2-5 not because of their run defense but due in large part to how poor they have played on the back end.

Gurley, a consensus first round pick this year hasn’t really panned out either, after having a historic rookie year. Of the qualified running backs, Gurley ranks 40th in yards per attempt at 3.0 Y/A. Coming off of a bye, it doesn’t get any easier starting with the Panthers. I would look elsewhere.

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets (6,000 DK, 7,100 FD)

With 200-plus yards the last two weeks and you got him on the busts list? Along the lines of the thinking on Todd Gurley, I see the Jets stopping what Ajayi has done the last two weeks. The Jets front seven is filthy. They give up the fourth fewest rushing yards and are tied for fourth for the fewest touchdowns allowed.

As I stated above, talking about Gurley, the Jets are tied for first in yards per attempt at 3.3 Y/A. You also don’t see Ajayi much in the passing game, having caught just eight balls all season and half of those coming in Week 1. If you take out David Johnson’s monster game against the Jets this season, the average Fantasy points from a running back would be 8.14 per game.

I think Ajayi is a good player but against this defense, teams keying on him and the price, no thank you for this week.


Wide Receiver Sleepers

Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers (5,800 DK, 6,500 FD)

I would roster him in all of my FanDuel lineups with that price. I am not shying away from him in DraftKings either, especially with this matchup. Have we talked about how bad the 49ers defense is yet? Well, they have given up the third most passing touchdowns, but are 27th in passing yards allowed. This is in only seven games, but the amount of rushing yards given up vs. passing yards has to do with opposing teams getting up on them early and running out the clock.

The Saints are always in attack mode, and I really like what I have seen out of Snead in the last few weeks. He is tied with Michael Thomas in targets over the last two weeks with 19, hauling in 15 of them. The yards or touchdowns haven’t been there but you have got to love the volume.

Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (5,600 DK, 6,600 FD)


Why do I like Wallace? Old team, target monster and the Ravens are 6-2. I always like when players are going against their old team. Wallace is also having a sneaky good year.

He ranks 20th in targets so far this season (one less game), which is great for a guy who is known as a deep threat, big play receiver. Wallace is also the perfect receiver in a Joe Flacco offense who loves to throw the ball deep down field. I see this game being a sneaky shootout game as well.


Wide Receiver Busts

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (8,900 DK, 8,700 FD)

I love watching Brown play but he may have a tough go against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are tied for 11th best in net yards gained per pass play, third in interceptions and have given up the fifth least amount of passing yards, all in seven games. Brown has not played great against the Ravens in the past either.

In 11 games against them, he only has one touchdown, and just under 60 yards per game. The most yards he has had on the road in Baltimore was in 2014 where he reached only 90 receiving yards. Reports are up in the air on Ben Roethlisberger, so check the reports on Sunday. I love Brown but you can find better options for a cheaper price.


Tight End Sleeper

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans (3,000 DK, 5,500 FD)

Welcome to the bye week, Zach Miller, Tyler Eifert, Rob Gronkowski, and Jordan Reed… The quality options fall off real quick at the tight end position in Week 9. Give me some Antonio Gates going against a suspect Titans secondary who gives up the eighth most Fantasy points to tight ends.

I may love split stats, but Gates’ numbers against the Titans are pretty great. In six total games he has scored a touchdown in all but one and never had less than 55 receiving yards. He has had a long career, is much older and has not had a game this season with more than 38 receiving yards, but he has not been forgotten in the red zone yet.

With the bye week massacre upon us, I’d roll out Gates this weekend even though I don’t like Philip Rivers in this game.


Tight End Bust

Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (3,100 DK, 5,400 FD)


On the road against the Minnesota Vikings is all you need to know here. The Vikings are also coming off of two straight loses. We should see the Vikings motivated to shut down the Lions this weekend.

The tight end position has racked up some yards on the Vikings this season but they have yet to allow a touchdown. They have allowed the 12th fewest Fantasy points to tight ends this year and they have played some of the top TEs at the position: Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen, Zach Miller and C.J. Fiedorowicz, who has come on as of late. Stay clear of Eric Ebron.


Defense Sleeper

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (2,800 DK, 4,300 FD)

Ryan Tannehill has played eight games against the Jets. He has nine touchdowns and nine picks with a 55.3% completion percentage. He hasn’t been much better this season as a whole with seven touchdowns and seven picks. Classic Tannehill numbers. Darrelle Revis may have lost a step but he could easily be thrown an easy interception his way. The Jets are a sneaky play this weekend.

Defense Bust

Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns (3,400 DK, 4,900 FD)

The price based off of matchup. I see you on that point. The Cleveland Browns haven’t been terrible offensively this season, hovering around middle of the pack in passing yards, touchdowns and total yards. They rank seventh in rushing yards which is a lot for a team who is forced to throw the ball a lot after being down multiple scores based off of game flow. They are also third in yards per attempt, which is great to see. I could see the Browns getting into the 20’s which for 3,400 on DK and 4,900 FD, its not going to get it done.

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