An unpredictable year in fantasy football continued during Week 9 as superstars struggled, low-profile players shined, and the NFL community was reminded of just how difficult it is to build a contender. As Week 10 rolls around, owners continue to search for answers.
There's no way to give a definitive answer to which players will shine, but by studying trends and tendencies, weekly stars can emerge. Unfortunately, not every player is as obvious a find as owners may like.
Here are the sleepers who you don't need to search any further to find.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Position: Wide Receiver
Owned: 41.6 percent
2013 Season Statistics
7 GP; 34 REC, 527 YDS, 3 TD
A case could be made that the best-kept secret in the NFL is San Diego Chargers rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen. The third-round draft choice out of the University of California is currently torching opposing defenses with consistency after receiving minimal use during the first two weeks of the season.
The secret's now out, and you need to get this young man in your starting lineup on a weekly basis.
Over the course of his past five games, Allen has 31 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns. During Week 9, he tore the Washington Redskins apart for eight receptions, 128 yards and a score on 11 targets.
That latter number is the key moving forward.
Allen has received no less than six targets in each of his past five games, topping nine in three of them. Philip Rivers clearly trusts Allen, and it's not too hard to see why.
Allen has been Rivers' long-awaited replacement to Vincent Jackson, thriving both on short routes and on deep balls. He can go up and get passes at 6'2" and 211 pounds but is also comfortable running intermediate routes and using his power to work his way into the end zone.
Wide receiver is a risky position, but in San Diego's pass-happy offense, Allen is the No. 1 receiver. Start him.
Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Position: Running Back
Owned: 64.3 percent
2013 Season Statistics
7 GP; 103 ATT, 475 YDS, 2 TD; 13 REC, 17 TGTS, 91 YDS, 1 TD
Entering the 2013 regular season, one of the most common questions among fantasy football owners was, will Daryl Richardson or Isaiah Pead step up for the St. Louis Rams at running back? After Week 9, the answer has been surprising: neither.
Zac Stacy has emerged as the Rams' feature back.
The rookie running back has 475 rushing yards and three total touchdowns through seven games. I should clarify that Stacy had run the ball just one time for a grand total of four yards through two weeks of the season.
Over the course of his past five games, Stacy has two 100-yard rushing performances and four games with at least 75 yards on the ground. The only time he didn't reach the 75-yard plateau, he picked up 87 from scrimmage with a receiving touchdown.
Sign Stacy, put him in your starting lineup and don't take him out unless he's on bye.
Stacy ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries against the Tennessee Titans during Week 9, also catching six balls for 51 yards. One week prior, he ran for 134 yards on 26 carries against the Seattle Seahawks.
In Week 10, Stacy and the Rams will go up against the Indianapolis Colts. Indy may be 6-2, but it also has the No. 28 run defense in the NFL.
Timothy Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Position: Tight End
Owned: 0.9 percent
2013 Season Statistics
8 GP; 24 REC, 259 YDS, 2 TD
If you're looking at his season total, undrafted rookie tight end Timothy Wright hasn't done much to impress. The former Rutgers Scarlet Knights star is averaging three receptions per game, but that's a very deceiving number to follow.
Over the past four weeks, Wright has become a vital member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense.
Wright caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown during Week 9, performing well against the Seattle Seahawks. It was the fourth time in five weeks that he had at least four receptions and the second time in as many games that he had a touchdown catch.
Plain and simple, you need to get Wright on your roster and into your starting lineup.
Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon hasn't played extraordinary football, but he's playing better than he's receiving credit for. He seems to trust Wright both in the red zone and on average dropbacks, which makes Wright an attractive option moving forward.
The fact that he plays tight end creates inevitable risk, as he could be asked to block just as easily as he could be tasked with breaking out for a reception. With four productive games in five weeks, however, Wright has become a gem in point-per-reception leagues.
Standard league owners should be wary, but if you're in a PPR format, you need to start Wright moving forward.
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