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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week Nine

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

Another Tuesday means another chance to pick up the hottest free agent sitting out there on your waiver wire. As the fantasy football season draws closer to the finish line, every move fantasy owners make become more magnified and every player that is added to a fantasy roster means more to that owner. There are a limited number of roster spots and fantasy owners can't take chances stashing players that aren't getting the job done. There's only room for players that produce and deciding which players that may be is one of the more difficult aspects of fantasy football. It's time to take a look at this week's waiver wire do's and don't's.

Keepers

Brandon LaFell- Wide Receiver- New England Patriots- This has been coming the last few weeks and any fantasy owner that has kept a close eye on not only Brandon LaFell but the Patriots offense knew this was going to happen sooner rather than later. Brandon LaFell had his coming out party in week eight versus the Bears to the tune of 11 receptions (on 11 targets) for 124 yards and a touchdown. Week eight marked LaFell's third double digit touchdown game this season and in his last five games has played on over 80 percent of the Patriots offensive snaps. In those five games, LaFell also has three touchdowns so obviously the uptick in production has done wonders for LaFell's fantasy value. He is now averaging double digit fantasy points on the season and seems to be a trustworthy start for fantasy owners going forward.

Martavus Bryant- Wide Receiver- Pittsburgh Steelers- Having just wrote about him in my last edition of Keeper, Sleepers and Jeepers as a "sleeper" candidate, it appears Martavus Bryant could be the real deal. After a week seven game that quickly put him on fantasy radars, Bryant's week eight was even more productive with five catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Originally thought of as a red zone option, Big Ben looked to Bryant downfield as well as Bryant did have a 40 yard reception in there as well. He adds an element to the Steelers passing game that will make him worthy of being on most fantasy rosters.

Charles Sims- Running Back- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- With trade rumors running rampant regarding Doug Martin and third round pick Charles Sims healthy enough to make his debut in week nine, fantasy owners may want to jump on Sims before he has any value in the fantasy game. While it is possible that Charles Sims doesn't live up to the hype, he will be the starting tail back for a team that is all but officially out of the playoff hunt. He was known for being a good pass catching back at West Virginia and could provide late season value for fantasy owners either looking for a running back or just looking to bolster their roster. Charles Sims may end up being that player added to fantasy rosters late in the season that is on a lot of championship teams in a few weeks. It may pay for fantasy owners to be proactive on Sims before he becomes a hot waiver wire add.

Donte Moncrief- Wide Receiver- Indianapolis Colts- With Reggie Wayne missing week eight, Donte Moncrief stepped up in a big way providing seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. He posted over 17 fantasy points in week eight and will continue to be fantasy relevant in the absence of Reggie Wayne. Moncrief has 23 targets on the season and fantasy owners should expect that to increase as the season goes on.

Sleepers

John Brown- Wide Receiver- Arizona Cardinals- While Brown has been on the fantasy radar most of the season, owners were waiting for him to have that big game that we all knew was coming at some point. Well, week eight was that big game. Brown saw a season and career high of 10 targets as he hauled in five of them for 119 yards and score. Brown scored almost 18 fantasy points in week eight which is enough to make him a high priority on the waiver wire this week. With a healthy Carson Palmer back in the fold, fantasy owners can expect Brown to continue to see a healthy dose of targets moving forward.

Kenny Stills- Wide Receiver-New Orleans Saints- While Stills has made a name for himself the last two weeks, it's still difficult to trust him since he isn't seeing steady targets tossed his way. In the six games that he's played in this season, he has 24 targets (four per game) and hasn't seen more than five targets in a game yet. The next few games may give fantasy owners a better understanding on how the Saints plan to use Stills but for now, he is on the "sleepers" list until he proves he can produce steady numbers for fantasy owners.

Lorenzo Taliaferro- Running Back- Baltimore Ravens- I feel like I've been playing this game with Taliaferro all season long. Just when he looks like he could break out, he gets out touched by Justin Forsett or even Bernard Pierce. Taliaferro's two touchdown game in week eight may have been more a product of Pierce being a healthy scratch than Taliaferro finally ready to become the starting running back for the Ravens but until it becomes clear what his role will be, it's hard to trust a running back each week that may or may not get enough touches to warrant putting into your starting lineup.

Jeepers

Michael Vick- Quarterback- New York Jets- Unless fantasy owners are desperate for a quarterback this late in the season or your starting quarterback is on a bye, there really is no reason to pick up Vick on waivers. If you're hoping to recapture the Magic that Vick provided a few years back off of the waiver wire, you may want to think again. While Vick did lead the Jets to 17 points off of the bench in week eight, he really doesn't hold any value at all for fantasy purposes and probably won't do much for a fantasy team in week nine.

Jonas Gray- Running Back-New England Patriots- While Jonas Gray did have a good game in week eight with 17 carries for 86 yards and had a few touches inside the ten yard line, it's difficult for fantasy owners to trust New England running backs not named Shane Vereen. Fantasy owners will need more time to see what role Jonas Gray will play for the Patriots before they can decide whether or not he's worthy of a roster spot.