Week 8 came and went with some decent wide receiver return. Brandon Lloyd is officially a stud with another fantastic performance (169 yards). There was also some sighting from the undead, which is fitting since it was Halloween weekend, as Mike Sims-Walker (153), Steve Breaston (147), and Darius Heyward-Bey (105) registered blimps on the fantasy radar. Cincy and New Orleans were both disappointing in the passing game while Calvin Johnson continues being Calvin Johnson.
We are half way through the NFL season and there are two more weeks of byes left. Week 9 is the last of the big bye weeks with six teams on bye including Denver, Tennessee, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington, and Jacksonville. That’s going to leave you without the above mentioned stud Brandon Lloyd and also Danny Amendola, Kenny Britt, Michael Crabtree, Santana Moss, and Mike Sims-Walker. Not too devastating of a week but if you are affected then you’ll need to pay attention.
Last week was a good week for me as I crushed my ESPN leagues (9-2) and did so-so in my Fanball leagues. Enough of the small talk, here are the top ten 2010 fantasy football keepers and sleepers for wide receivers:
1) Steve Johnson – OK I’ve changed my tune. Lee Evans is nothing more than a fancy show piece that stretches the field. Ryan Fitzpatrick obviously likes Steve Johnson and this is the WR on Buffalo you want to target and keep. Writing that was a lot harder than I thought it would be… But the Bills aren’t that bad, just their defense. I’m picking Buffalo over Chicago for one of two upsets this week.
2) Steve Smith (NYG) – Now for my other upset. Seattle will beat the G-Men. Aside from that I think you should hang onto Steve Smith. Eli Manning is mediocre and likes to pretend he is his brother Peyton; therefore he will try some ridiculous passes that get intercepted (then look at the receiver like it was his fault). With the Giants and the under talented Eli throwing the ball so much it is bound to produce good games for both Smith and Nicks. I’d hold onto him, if for nothing else than the frailty of Hakeem Nicks.
3) Steve Smith (CAR) – There’s not much going on for the Panthers these days but Steve Smith is going to get the ball. I’d say Smith is a top 20 WR in PPR leagues right now. That probably doesn’t translate too much to points in a non-PPR league very well. But Smith is a legitimate WR1 and will see plenty of chances especially against the Saints who should force the Panthers to throw to catch up.
4) Larry Fitzgerald – Poor, poor, poor Larry. Perhaps the best receiver in the game but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his stats. The QB situation is a mess but whoever throws the ball will at least attempt to hit Fitzgerald. Minnesota’s secondary isn’t the greatest so I think we should see a score and some modest yards. I wouldn’t trade him just yet, especially if the gun slinging Anderson stays QB.
5) Chad OchoCinco – Sure Owens and 85 play nice together in front of the camera but I bet Chad is pissed his stats are second to Owens, by a large margin. Palmer has to live with 85 after this year so I think the ball starts to get passed around a little bit. The Steelers have a great defense but I think Palmer airs it out to keep the Bengals in the game. P.S. I’m not as down on Carson Palmer as the rest of the fantasy world is, in fact I like him better than Mr. Pouty Face Eli Manning.
1) Mike Williams – I think Josh Freeman unloads on the Atlanta Falcons just like Cincy did when they played them. However, Atlanta will win but Mike Williams will put up numbers very close to Roddy White’s. Williams is a playmaker and his value only goes up as Benn develops opposite of him to relieve pressure. Decent yards, two TDs (one coming off a long bomb). Should be a fun game to watch.
2) Johnny Knox – This guy is a legitimate long ball threat and Cutler will hit both him and Olsen often during their matchup with the Bills. Speaking of fun games to watch, I think Buffalo take s Chicago to task and wins the game in a shootout with Cutler ending a last minute drive by throwing an interception. Knox gets over 100 yards and no score.
3) Jordy Nelson – I know it’s like a fantasy requirement to put James Jones in some sleeper article somewhere. Too bad, I think Nelson is the better receiver and with Driver out, he gets some nice looks. He’s hasn’t had a TD yet this season but that changes as they get caught up in a high scoring game with the listless Dallas Cowboys.
4) Percy Harvin – There has been much in predicting Harvin’s career is over now that Moss has been run out of town. There won’t be anyone to stretch the field or insult caterers. Harvin will be doomed except that Brett Favre has no one else to throw to. Harvin will be the best receiver on the field as Minnesota trounces the Cardinals thanks to defense and Adrian Peterson. Easily over 100 yards.
5) Santonio Holmes. This is more of a hunch than anything but I think Detroit is going to play smash mouth football with the Jets and that Sanchez will be tasked again to throw for a victory, he won’t succeed but he will hit Holmes on a TD and some nice yardage. I’m going to love this game as the Jets realize it wasn’t just bad luck that had them losing to Green Bay last week.
That’s the week 9 wide receivers you need to know. Good matchups win these tough bye weeks so choose wisely when replacing a player that is out. As always thanks for reading and feel free to leave some feedback, read my other articles, or visit www.babybluemonkey.com.