Week 9: Fantasy Football Deep Sleepers
Foles starts in place of the injured Alex Smith at home against the Jaguars. For the season, the Jaguars pass defense ranks No. 13 in DVOA. They don't put pressure on the quarterback with 13 sacks and they haven't been as good lately, especially with the inept offense failing to maintain drives early in games. Foles played well in relief of Smith last week and he's familiar with the Andy Reid system. Foles went 16-for-22 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Unlike Smith, Foles took more shots downfield. It's a small sample, but Foles averaged 10.1 yards per pass attempt.
The passing numbers are ugly. The 49ers aren't a good offense, but Kaepernick has a high floor every week due to the rushing numbers and since they run so many plays, it provides more opportunities to get points. Against the Bills in Week 6, Kaepernick rushed for 66 yards on eight carries and had nine carries for 84 yards against the Buccaneers the following week. Kaepernick is still awful as a passer, but if he comes close to the rushing numbers he posted in his first two starts, he doesn't need to do much in the air against the Saints. He went 13-for-29 for 187 yards with a touchdown against the Bills and 16-for-34 for 143 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Saints have allowed nine passing touchdowns and 286.7 yards passing per game. The Saints are near the bottom of the league with three interceptions and 10 sacks.
It's still unclear if Carlos Hyde will play due to a sprained AC joint. Hyde didn't sound confident saying he hoped he could play Sunday. He has been practicing without contact this week. Harris would likely lead a committee if Hyde is out or if Hyde plays and isn't successful, Harris could see more snaps. Harris had 11 carries for 39 yards and two catches for 18 yards in Week 7 when Hyde sat out. With six teams on bye, many are digging deep and left with few options. The 49ers play at a high pace and run a lot of plays and the Saints are vulnerable on the ground. They have allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs, including 11 touchdowns.
The Seahawks are incorporating Prosise more into the offense and it was evident last week as he played 43 percent of the snaps, while Christine Michael played 52 percent. Prosise returned from a hand injury in Week 7 and played 16 snaps with two catches for 17 yards. Last week, Prosise had four carries for 23 yards and four catches for 80 yards. The passing game is struggling with Russell Wilson battling injuries, so the Seahawks could run the ball more and throw short passes, which will help Prosise. The Bills have allowed nine rushing touchdowns and Prosise could reach double-digit touches this week.
There's certainly risk with Hill, but that's why he's a deep sleeper. He would get a bigger boost if Jeremy Maclin is out. Hill is explosive and has scored four touchdowns. Hill had five catches for 98 yards with a touchdown last week against the Colts. He had six targets, which was one short of his season-high of seven in Week 4. Hill has scored in three of his last four games. The problem is the lack of snaps. Hill played 21 of 74 snaps last week. If Spencer Ware sits due to a concussion, that leaves Charcandrick West and the recently signed Bishop Sankey in the backfield. That could open up more time for Hill, who could get a few carries, too.
Quietly, Kendricks is having a solid season. With six teams on bye and Hunter Henry potentially going to miss Week 9 and Jack Doyle's stock getting hurt with the potential return of Dwayne Allen, some teams are scrambling for a tight end. Kendricks is likely on the waiver wire especially since the Rams are coming off a bye. Kendricks has 17 targets over the last two games. Against the Lions in Week 6, a team that gets destroyed by tight ends, he had eight targets and caught five passes for 34 yards with a touchdown. Against the Giants in Week 7, Kendricks was targeted nine times and caught seven passes for 55 yards. Kendricks has 40 targets in seven games, that's an average of almost six per game. He has at least ten points in PPR formats in four of seven games.