Sink or Swim: Week 9 Edition

By Sal Leto (@letosal)

Yup it’s week nine. This makes me sad too. The season is more than halfway over but how? Can't say it hasn’t been an interesting season. The injuries, suspensions and now the most active trade deadline we’ve ever seen. Josh Gordon is back… again.  Zeke is gone… again. Let’s search those familiar faces in new places and all available (with another six teams on bye) for our sinkers and swimmers.

Quarterbacks

Swim

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Jared Goff @ New York Giants

A few weeks back I mentioned how the cracks were starting to show with the Giants and leadership.  The conduct with Dominique Rogers-Cromartie led to a suspension. Now it’s Janoris Jenkins who’s suspended for this week at least. The Giants are fourth worst in points per game given up to QBs and over the last five weeks (four games) are flat out the worst. In the last four they have given up three passing TDs and 300+ passing yards three times. Goff cooled down after eight TDs and one interception in the first four weeks but this is a “swim” situation coming out of the bye week.

Sink

Andy Dalton @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Not the first time I’ve had a player as a swim one week and a sink the next. But here’s where he belongs. The Jaguars continue to be stout against the pass and give up under seven points per week on average to QBs. Thirteen is the highest point total anyone has put up on them this year and I don’t expect Andy to break the trend. He’s a matchup play QB this year and this is the wrong matchup.

Running Backs

Swim

Adrian Peterson @ San Francisco 49ers

I was looking for a way to avoid putting him here but I can’t. It’s just too good of a matchup.  Some might be scared off by Carson Palmer not playing and the Cardinals abandoning the run the last game. Listen to me very carefully: the San Francisco 49ers are TERRIBLE at defending running backs. They are the worst after eight games.  They are the worst over the last five games.  They are the worst over the last three games. That about covers it. Nearly 200 total yards per game to running backs and a league worst ten total touchdowns to the position as well. I expect the Cardinals to lean on AP with Stanton getting his first start of the season.

Lamar Miller vs. Indianapolis Colts

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Miller is often overlooked. He comes into the week averaging the eleventh most points per game. There’s been a lot of talk that he’s losing touches or going to be overtaken by the rookie. Guess what? He averages 76.25% of his team’s snaps. Last week he was in the game for 87.3% of snaps while D’Onta Foreman had one snap.  Yes, one snap.  Not one percent of snaps. Not one carry. One snap. He has fallen behind Alfred Blue. Get Miller in for this matchup against the league’s third worst running back defense and enjoy the two way threat he gives you.

Sink

Jay Ajayi vs. Denver Broncos

No, I can’t really explain what happened when Orleans Darkwa put up 117 on this defense. I can tell you they have snuffed out everyone else though. The Broncos have allowed one total touchdown to a running back in seven games. They’ve also given up 625 total yards to running backs in seven games. Ajayi has a new home and people think all he needed was a change of scenery.  Well, I’d wait and check out next week's scenery.

C.J. Anderson @ Philadelphia Eagles

Let’s go across the line to the opposing running back. Outside of Week six, Anderson has had a pretty solid yards per carry average. It’s really when the Broncos limit his touches that we, as fantasy owners, get pissed. Anderson faces a run defense almost as stout as Denver this week in the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, they have given up fewer yards on the ground in one more game. Just 348 rushing yards to running backs under 50 a game. They’ve been more generous with touchdowns but overall this could be a tricky week with Brock Osweiler taking over under center.

Wide Receivers

Swim

Marvin Jones @ Green Bay Packers

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With back to back big games, and double digit targets in each, Jones is pushing to be in your lineup on a weekly basis. I’d float him out there again this week against the Packers who are giving up 34+ PPR points each week to wide receivers. Tate will be another week healthy but take a look at some secondary wideouts who have had success against the Pack this year. Mohamed Sanu (13.5), Kendall Wright (15.1), Cole Beasley (18.3), Ted Ginn Jr (21.1) and Brandon Coleman (11.1).

Davante Adams vs. Detroit Lions

I have had people ask me if they should drop Adams. I don’t get it. He has five touchdowns this season and has proven he is a touchdown threat. He caught Hundley's first TD pass in the Minnesota game after Rodgers left. If someone’s selling cheap, I’d buy. I personally think he will be the highest scoring Packer wide receiver the rest of the season. He had three touchdowns vs the Lions in 2016 and has scored in three of his last four games against them. Detroit is a bottom seven defense against the position and you should feel comfortable with Adams this week.

Sink

Marqise Lee vs Cincinnati Bengals

Missing practice again this week with continued knee issues Lee will probably suit up but you don’t want to use him. Aside from rookie Dede Westbrook being healthy and ready to steal some targets he faces a very stiff Bengals defense. They’ve relinquished the fewest receptions to wide receivers and the second fewest yards. Even in a light week of availability you should look elsewhere.

Titans Wide Receivers vs. Baltimore Ravens

In eight games no receiver has had a 100 yard game when facing the Ravens and that includes Antonio Brown (7.4 Fantasy Points). Can you even think of a Tennessee wide receiver who’s had a big game this year? As a team, the Titans have two touchdowns from wide receivers. Nothing to see here.

Tight Ends

Swim

Find a New York Team and Start a Tight End against Them

The Giants have given up at least one touchdown to tight ends in every game this year so Tyler Higbee is a sneaky play. Meanwhile, the Jets find themselves keeping pace giving up five touchdowns over their last four games to tight ends making Nick O’Leary worth a look as a bye week fill in.

Sink

Cameron Brate/OJ Howard @ New Orleans Saints

A week ago the Saints gave up one reception for nine yards to tight ends.  Over the last five games no tight end has gone over 29 yards. My pod mates Kevin and Steve can battle over which one is the TE to own in Tampa all they want but I’ll pass on both this week.