Chris Ivory and 4 Other Sneaky Fantasy Football Plays in Week 9
Not fantasy football sleepers, but those really under-the-radar plays can make a significant impact each week.
Jackie Battle of the San Diego Chargers was a solid example of that earlier in the season, and Chris Ivory is one of those few players for Week 9. Mainly, because according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Now that will definitely hurt the New Orleans Saints offense. However, Ivory has proven to be a reliable contributor before, and he should have another opportunity to show what he can do on Monday night. To that end, let's see who joins Ivory for the sneaky fantasy starts this week.
Chris Ivory: RB, Saints (vs. Eagles)
It's obviously difficult to imagine that Chris Ivory will totally take over this game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
And it's not so much because the Eagles have been impressively consistent in 2012, but more so because Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram will be playing. Still, a three-headed running back monster is an appealing part of the New Orleans Saints offense.
For one, it creates a broad dynamic regarding formations and particular game situations. Despite not receiving a carry yet this season, Ivory has played a crucial role for the Big Easy since 2010.
During that time period, he has gained 716 rushing yards and scored five times.
Although he had a reduced role in 2011, Ivory still managed 4.7 yards-per-rush and gained 70 yards in the postseason. The flex option is the only legitimate fantasy spot for Ivory, but because of his size and power he provides NOLA with a short-yardage advantage.
Against a tough Eagles front seven, a strong goal-line runner will be even more vital.
Titus Young: WR, Lions (at Jaguars)
The Jacksonville Jaguars' best shot at slowing the Detroit Lions down is by totally blanketing receiver Calvin Johnson.
Well, because Jacksonville ranks No. 23 against the pass and has recorded a measly seven sacks in 2012, Matthew Stafford will have all day to survey his reads. And that includes Titus Young, who has caught 26 balls for 304 yards and three touchdowns so far.
He's never going to see double coverage and has recently proven to be more consistent versus man-to-man. After all, Young has been responsible for 181 receiving yards on 15 catches the past two games.
That production, though, has gone rather unnoticed because of Johnson and the Lions being a 3-4 team. Therefore, anticipate another solid outing from the young receiver against one incredibly suspect defense.
Fred Jackson: RB, Bills (at Texans)
Much attention, and rightfully so, goes toward C.J. Spiller when trying to stop the Buffalo Bills' ground game.
Having compiled 523 rushing yards, five touchdowns and a 7.3 per-carry-average, Spiller has dominated between the tackles. Unfortunately, that makes any impact from Fred Jackson go significantly overlooked.
Since he has amassed only 197 yards and scored just once on the ground to this point, many won't be expecting the 31-year-old Jackson to contribute much in Week 9. This is especially true since the Bills are playing the Houston Texans who are insanely well-versed against the run and pass.
However, Jackson is a dual-threat capable of slamming up the gut and making defenders miss in the open field. His 134 receiving yards are also important to consider because Jackson should be utilized plenty on screens and checkdowns this week.
Considering Houston's stellar pass defense and pass rush, Ryan Fitzpatrick won't find many lanes downfield and he won't have much time in the pocket. So, checking down to Jackson can result in nice yards after the catch. Much like Ivory, though, he is only a flex option at best since he is lining up against a tough defense.
Greg Little: WR, Browns (vs. Ravens)
The Baltimore Ravens are uncharacteristically ranked No. 24 against the pass, allowing 257.1 passing yards per game.
In addition, the Ravens have yet to really control the line of scrimmage this season and have lacked a consistent pass rush, even when healthy. Plus, the last time the Cleveland Browns played the Ravens, they saw their rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden burn Baltimore for 320 yards.
Greg Little has since displayed some improvement regarding dependability, and the surge of Josh Gordon only presents a stronger passing threat to Baltimore. Then again, Gordon does lead Cleveland in yards, touchdowns and first downs among receivers.
So, the Ravens will likely gear any Cover 1 or 3 looks toward Gordon and leave Little man-to-man.
Possessing nice size and leaping ability, Little can enjoy a nice day versus Ed Reed and Co. Provided Weeden gets even average protection, Little's athleticism will make plays downfield which is also imperative for a Browns upset.
Russell Wilson: QB, Seahawks (vs. Vikings)
The one flaw that has gradually become clear for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012 is the pass defense.
From a similar perspective, the same can be acknowledged regarding the Seattle Seahawks' passing offense. That said, the appeal of Russell Wilson this week is not only that Seattle is hosting Minnesota, but the Vikings rush defense was exposed by Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Well, the Seahawks present an even stronger rushing attack with Marshawn Lynch. In turn, the Vikings must stack the box to isolate Lynch though that strategy does not always work for defenses.
Nonetheless, it is Minnesota's best chance to prevent Seattle from fielding a balanced attack. Still, that sets up play-action pass for Wilson who can launch the rock all over. His mobility alone will also extend plays, and the Seahawks defense is much better at forcing turnovers to provide additional possessions.
With just four picks on the season and allowing a 62.8 completion percentage to this point, the Vikings' coverage still has a lot to prove in 2012.
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