Nine weeks into the fantasy football season, we have a good idea of who the studs are and who the duds are from our drafts. There have been some disappointments and plenty of surprises, and working the waiver wire is an integral part of fantasy success.
To help you in this endeavor, here are five sleepers that you should add this week.
Quarterback: Case Keenum vs. Arizona Cardinals
Owned in 2 percent of ESPN leagues, 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues
One of those aforementioned surprises was the meltdown of Matt Schaub as a starting quarterback. The Houston Texans settled on Case Keenum as their starter for the last two games, and the undrafted rookie has rewarded their faith.
This week, he draws an Arizona Cardinals defense that has been terrible against the pass. According to FFToolbox.com, the Cardinals have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks with an average of 21.7 points per game.
Keenum was brilliant against the Colts on Sunday night, and he will continue his great play against the weak Arizona defense.
Running Back: Mike James vs. Miami Dolphins
Owned in 11 percent of ESPN leagues, 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues
With Doug Martin out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, Mike James has taken over the role as the lead back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He didn’t look great in his first two starts, but he ran wild against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9, racking up 158 yards on the ground.
Greg Schiano said Doug Martin will eventually need surgery, but leaves door open for return http://t.co/jPGAzaFrIY— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 1, 2013
His reward? The most favorable fantasy matchup for running backs this season: the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins have been unable to stop the run all year. In their last two games alone, they’ve given up 315 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
They’ve also been very susceptible to receivers out of the backfield, and while that isn’t James' forte, he is more than capable of making plays in the passing game.
James is poised to have a big game against a soft Dolphins front, and he should rack up a ton of yardage. Moving forward, the uncertainty surrounding Doug Martin’s return means that James is the starter for the near future, which makes him an even more valuable waiver-wire gem.
Wide Receiver: Riley Cooper vs. Green Bay Packers
Owned in 9 percent of ESPN leagues, 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues
|Not Nick Foles||6||10||106||1|
Although head coach Chip Kelly has yet to commit to Foles as his starter against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10, according to Anwar S. Richardson of Yahoo! Sports, there's a very good chance he ultimately gets the nod after tossing seven touchdowns in Week 9.
It would be unreasonable to expect Cooper to catch another three touchdowns, but Foles has been looking his way and finding him down the field.
In a game where Green Bay will put up a lot of points, the Eagles will have to throw the ball a lot, and that bodes well for Cooper’s stat line.
Wide Receiver: Percy Harvin
Owned in 39 percent of ESPN leagues, 74 percent of Yahoo! leagues
This is a pickup you should make if you have an extra roster spot. Percy Harvin’s status is still up in the air, although he’s listed as day to day right now:
Carroll said that WR Percy Harvin will "run hard today" but his status still remains day to day.— Liz Mathews 710 ESPN (@Liz_Mathews) November 4, 2013
Even if he doesn’t play this weekend, your chance of picking him up decreases with every day that passes.
With Sidney Rice out for the year with a torn ACL, Harvin’s return is that much more important for the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s sure to be heavily involved in the offense. He’s a dynamic playmaker who could be a PPR machine, so he’s worth stashing on your roster if you have the space.
Tight End: Garrett Graham vs. Arizona Cardinals
Owned in 17 percent of ESPN leagues, 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues
This pickup is a risky play because he probably won’t pick up a ton of yardage. That said, the matchup is outstanding, and Keenum has been looking his way in his two starts.
The Cardinals are the worst fantasy defense against tight ends by a large margin, giving up 17.7 points per game according to FFToolbox.com. They’ve given up 62 receptions for 813 yards and 10 TDs to opposing tight ends, so Garrett Graham’s chances of finding the end zone and padding his stat line are pretty good.