Fantasy football in Week 9 is coming to a close, and yet again, we have a week with a few big surprises. While this week hasn’t been as exciting as recent weeks, there were still things that many fantasy owners and NFL fans alike were shocked about.
To start off, how about the Cleveland Browns? It’s possibly time to stop underrating this team. They’ve absolutely beat the crap out of their last two opponents who are past Super Bowl attendees. Peyton Hillis continues to run with a full head of steam, carrying the ball 29 times for 184 yards. On top of those numbers he had two touchdowns, and added 36 yards on three receptions. The guy is a monster, as Cleveland took a 3-0 lead and expanded it into a 34-14 victory.
How about Michael Vick and the Eagles taking it to the Colts? Vick threw for 218 yards, and ran for another 74 throwing for a touchdown and passing for one in a 26-24 victory over Peyton Manning’s Colts team who is suffering injury after injury.
The Giants exploded on Sunday as Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns and 290 yards. The Giants didn’t give up a touchdown until the fourth quarter en route to a 41-7 win over Pete Carroll’s struggling Seattle Seahawks.
But in fantasy, we want to know about some players that surprised us. Let’s take a look at the top 10 surprises from Sunday, and some potential waiver wire guys to grab.
10. Javarris James, RB, Indianapolis Colts
James barely makes this list as, both, Joseph Addai and Mike Hart went down with injuries, forcing James (the fourth string running back) into a role. He had two goal line carries for two touchdowns, despite just rushing for 12 yards on four total carries. His value is still very limited as he’s on a passing offense and is technically behind Donald Brown.
Jacob Tamme has been a blessing for owners in dire need of a tight end. He could be a bit higher on this list, but we’re not too surprised that he’s doing this after his Week 8 performance. Tamme was targeted 17 times, catching 11 passes for 108 yards, including a touchdown. Those are some excellent numbers for a tight end, and Tamme should be started regardless.
8. Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Brett Favre doing well is usually not a surprise, but we’re surprised that he finally pulled out a reasonable game this year. He threw for 446 yards and two touchdowns in a nail biting win over a bad Arizona defense. Favre still threw two interceptions, but rewarded fantasy owners with at least 21 points in the air.
7. Nate Burleson, WR, Detroit Lions
Burleson is a guy many people have been a bit leery of just because he’s not the most consistent guy, but Matthew Stafford found Burleson seven times for 113 yards and a touchdown. This is Burleson’s third score in four contests, and he rewarded many Flex spots with around 17 points.
6. James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
Jones was one of my sleepers for Week 9, and he didn’t disappoint. In a route of the Dallas Cowboys, Jones caught eight passes for 123 yards and caught himself a touchdown as bonus. With Donald Driver out and the Packers struggling to find a reasonable tight end Jones was forced into an increased role. Jones helped risky fantasy owners to 18 points in this matchup.
5. Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
It’s not that Sanchez isn’t very good or anything that makes him higher on this list. It’s the fact that the guy struggles to get over 200 yards passing in a game, let alone 336. Sanchez did throw an interception, but he made up for it with a passing and rushing touchdown. Sanchez recorded 21 fantasy points at the very least for his owners.
4. Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Cutler gets on this list because we’re proud of him for finally producing without throwing an interception. Cutler only threw for 188 yards, but he had two touchdowns to add to that. Cutler also converted on a two point conversion and had 39 yards rushing.
3. Randy McMichael, TE, San Diego Chargers
With Antonio Gates a game time decision, many were unsure whether or not to play him. With an hour and a half to go, it was announced that Gates would be inactive. Gates owners that rushed to get Randy McMichael were rewarded with two touchdowns on just two catches. McMichael has always been a sure handed tight end, despite his age. Two catches for 23 yards, and two touchdowns was good for 14 fantasy points, which isn’t too shabby considering he’s a backup tight end to the best in the league.
2. Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland Raiders
Ford will most likely be everybody’s favorite pickup this week, after he nearly single-handedly beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Ford made two crucial late catches to set up Sebastian Janikowski field goals. His catch of 29 yards in traffic set up the tying field goal, and then he beat Brandon Flowers deep for a 47 yard catch to set up the game winner. Ford didn’t score any touchdowns, but he recorded six catches for 148 yards, and had a 94 yard return touchdown.
1. Seyi Ajirotutu, WR, San Diego Chargers
Tutu is a rookie from Fresno State who absolutely broke out in San Diego’s game against the Texans. Tutu opened with a 55 yard touchdown catch, and followed it up with three more catches, another touchdown, and ended with 111 yards on just four receptions. He had 48 yards receiving in Week 8, so we knew he could catch a bit, but when Gates went down, it opened up the door for Tutu to explode. This just goes to show that anybody can be a solid play with Philip Rivers throwing the ball.