Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 9
I have to say that I am very relieved that the Jets are on their bye week because I do not know if I could have endured another showing like last weeks game against Miami. While teams take their bye weeks, every fantasy team is still in action and with bye weeks, every fantasy teams owners need to make last minute changes to their lineups. This week I see some familiar faces coming back and I also feel that a couple of new players will shine brightly in week 9. If I included the Thursday night football game into my sleepers article this week, I would have definitely chosen the Chargers defense because I feel that Kansas City is the new Cleveland, but I decided that this week will be the week of the Tight Ends and I have chosen 5 different ones for you to put in your lineup this week.
The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a much needed bye week after getting their asses kicked two weeks ago against the AFC favorites, Houston Texans. While coming off of their bye week, the Ravens have the luxury of facing the Cleveland Browns, who have been playing pretty decently of late. The last time these two teams met was back on 9/27 and the Ravens won but only by 7 points. A player who was nonexistent for that game was Dennis Pitta. This week I feel that the Ravens and their clever coaching staff have prepared a new look for the rejuvenated Browns and I think Pitta will be a huge part of it. Pitta sees 7 targets a game on average and he has already found the endzone twice this season. I am expecting a big week from the usually reliable Pitta and if you have your starting Tight End on bye this week, then Pitta is a no-brainer.
Predictions for week 9: 7 receptions for 90 yards and touchdown
Not many players have been as big a disappointment this season fantasy-wise then Jermichael Finley. Last season, Finley exploded for 800 yards and 8 touchdowns as he developed into Aaron Rodgers’ favorite third down target. This year, Finley has been basically forgotten about and fantasy owners are pissed. As a matter of fact, Finley is only starting in 54% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues as of today. Rest easy Finley supporters because I have some good news for you, Finley will have his best game of the season this week and will reassure anyone who has doubted him since the season started. It is hard to find any Quarterback hotter than Aaron Rodgers right now and with Greg Jennings still out and with how accurate I was with Donald Driver last week, I think you should heed my advice with Finley. Keep in mind that Jordy Nelson is questionable as well.
Predictions for week 9: 7 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown
There was once a time where the 7 year man out of Notre Dame, Anthony Fasano, was a threat to get in the endzone on a weekly basis. This year did not start off with that type of optimism, but with back-to-back weeks with a touchdown, Fasano seems to be finding his old form. The Miami Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and Ryan Tannehill really seems to be coming into his own. There are some skeptics out there about Fasano this week because the team they are playing, the Indianapolis Colts, have allowed the least amount of fantasy points for Tight Ends in the NFL. To me, that is an arbitrary stat because it all depends on the type of offense being run against them. The Dolphins do not have a good receiving core and they will need Fasano this week if they hope to win against a hostile crown in Indy. While I do not expect Fasano to rack up a lot of yards, I do see him entering the endzone for a third straight week.
Predictions for week 9: 5 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown
Dallas Clark was once one of the favorite targets of the best QB in the NFL, Peyton Manning. He caught everything that came his way and even made his fair share of touchdowns. Clark played the first 9 years of his successful career with the Colts, but found himself wearing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey at the start to this season. As the season started, Clark found it very difficult to work himself into the Bucs offense and Josh Freeman rarely ever looked his way. Over the past two weeks, Clark has seen his targets go up and so has his yardage. He only has 1 touchdown on the season but I am expecting him to at least double that total by the end of week 9. Vincent Jackson has exploded of late and he will demand a double team on every possession which should mean more looks for Clark and Mike Williams. The Bucs are playing in Oakland this week which should be a very winnable game as long as their passing game can match their running game.
Predictions for week 9: 6 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown
I am one of those many Fantasy football owners that has not had a stable Tight End all season long, so I have consistently found myself watching that waiver wire to see who I can pick up week by week. This week I am going with Brent Celek for a couple reasons. The main reason is that the Philadelphia Eagles are facing the worst defense in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints, and Philly will have no problems moving the ball up and down the field. This is also a must win game for the Eagles as they try to stay alive in the very competitive NFC East. Like the Eagles, Celek has been extremely inconsistent this year and has driven fantasy owners crazy. His QB, Michael Vick, has been the headline of many conversations about whether or not they can win with him at quarterback. This week Vick and Celek will shut all of the critics up as they will connect on two touchdowns and win this game easily.
Predictions for week 9: 9 receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns