Ramon Mejia, Kaleel Weatherly and Mitchell Westall, staff writers
A.J. Green (CIN, WR) – Green has been the model of inconsistency this season, surpassing 100 yards in just two games. Green posted just 53 receiving yards this week, which is good enough for just over five points in standard scoring leagues.
Gary Barnidge (CLE, TE) – Barnidge’s sub-par performance in last Thursday’s game against Cincinnati can be traced to one source: Johnny Manziel. In two combined games started by Manziel, Barnidge had 52 receiving yards and no touchdowns. He only scored 3.5 points this week with Johnny Football at the helm. If you own Barnidge, be sure to monitor the quarterback situation in Cleveland and be prepared to find another tight end.
Doug Martin (TB, RB) – By giving us the ability to say “I told you so” to our fantasy friends, Doug Martin has made us happy people this year. We had a hunch that the Muscle Hamster would have a much better season this year, but this week he only posted 42 total yards and lost a fumble, scoring just 2.2 points despite being considered a number one back this season.
Week 9 Surprise Performances
Marcus Mariota (TEN, QB) – After being sidelined for two weeks due to a knee injury, Mariota exploded back onto the scene in Sunday’s game against the Saints. Finishing the day with 28 completions for 371 yards and four touchdowns and rushing once for five yards, Mariota’s performance reiterated why he was the second overall selection in this year’s draft and a case for Rookie of the Year.
As bye weeks continue, Mariota is worth taking a look at this week, but keep in mind he will have a tough matchup against the Panthers, arguably one of league’s best defenses. Consider other streaming options for this week; Mariota is merely a last resort type starter. Progressing into the latter part of the season, however, Mariota could certainly be worth a stash on your bench, as his knee should continue to heal.
Delanie Walker (TEN, TE) – Sunday was a strong day for the Titan’s, as Walker’s offensive resurgence seemed to coincide with Mariota’s return. With seven receptions for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Walker paid dividends to owners who stuck with him and put him in their starting lineup on Sunday.
Walker is now ranked eighth in fantasy points per game among tight ends, but he faces a tough matchup this week against the Panthers’ defense. Still, the Panthers have been doing an average job in defending the tight end position, allowing 10.2 yards per reception this season. Walker is a player to pick up off the waiver wire if he’s available in your league. If you’ve been stashing him on your bench, the time to start him is now.
Sammy Watkins (BUF, WR) – Have a day, Mr. Watkins! Following a season riddled with injuries, Watkins’s performances in both reality and fantasy have been sub-par. To say Watkins hasn’t met expectations would be an understatement, as he has been drafted to be a WR2 for most fantasy owners. Still, his injuries have been a huge stumbling block for his playmaking abilities. Coming off an ankle injury that had him sidelined for two weeks, the bye week could not have come at a more opportune time for Watkins.
With an added week to rest his ankle, Watkins was able to suit up against the Dolphins on Sunday, hauling in eight receptions on a team-high 12 targets for 188 yards and one touchdown. Not only did Watkins record a team-high 12 targets, he also accounted for over 90 percent of the Bills’ passing offense. Most owners may not be able to sit Watkins unless they have depth at the wide receiver position. If you choose to play Watkins this week, temper your expectations.
Still, Watkins should be fully recovered from his injury in upcoming week, so he will be a viable WR2 option for the remainder of the season.
Potential Fantasy Studs for Week 10
Kenny Britt (STL, WR) vs. the Chicago Bears’ defense – Okay, that’s enough laughter for one day. Kenny Britt will have a phenomenal game this week. That’s not blasphemy, but it is a surprising statement, to say the least. While Britt is not that strong of a player, he could have a huge day against the Bears’ passing defense. This defense ranks fifth in the NFL in passing yards, but Britt had a solid day in Week 9 against a Minnesota Vikings’ defense with the sixth best passing defense.
Last week, Britt had three receptions for 87 yards and registered 8.70 points in fantasy leagues. That is not great, but it is for Britt, who seems to be one of those players who likes to shock fans occasionally. Look for him to post at least 15.00 points this week.
Blake Bortles (JAX, QB) vs. the Baltimore Ravens’ defense – John Harbaugh, get ready to release all of your defensive backs after this game since they are not expected to put up a strong fight against Blake Bortles. Bortles has been playing pretty well this year, and his receivers are stepping up their plays. Last week against the Jets, Bortles posted 22.44 fantasy points. This week he will be going against a Ravens’ defense that ranks twenty-fourth against the pass and do not seem capable of covering any receiver in the league. Look for Bortles to post up to 25.00 fantasy points this week.
Lamar Miller (MIA, RB) vs. the Philadelphia Eagles’ rush defense – The Eagles’ rush defense ranks nineteenth in the league. They simply cannot stop the run. Things will not get any better for them this week because they will be facing Lamar Miller, who posted 26.10 fantasy points after last week’s game against the Bills. Look for Miller to post at least 25.00 fantasy points after this week’s game. Chip Kelly may be strong when it comes to offense, but his defense makes watching paint dry seem as fun as watching “Spamalot” on Broadway.
All statistics and facts were compiled with the help from espn.com, Yahoo Sports, Nfl.com, and ESPN Fantasy Football Now.