Nearing the end of the line for the 2013 fantasy football regular season, seeking out those Week 9 sleepers is imperative to help improve playoff positioning.
At this stage of the season, losses could really hurt, even if you’ve already solidified a postseason spot. After all, seeding plays a major role and matchups are everything in the postseason.
Well, matchups for Week 9 are rather interesting and the following sleepers are here to assist en route to a potential berth in fantasy football’s second season.
Eddie Royal: WR, San Diego Chargers (at Washington Redskins)
Although Eddie Royal is just a slot man, his production for San Diego this season has been overshadowed by rookie receiver Keenan Allen and running back Danny Woodhead. Still, Royal has accounted for 285 yards on 22 receptions and leads the Bolts with six scores. Now most of his fantasy impact did come early in the season, however, Week 9 is an appealing matchup for the veteran wideout.
Traveling to our nation’s capital against the Washington Redskins, expect Royal to see a solid number of opportunities. The Redskins are terrible defensively in terms of yardage allowed, and they’ll be focusing on stopping Antonio Gates, Allen and pressuring quarterback Philip Rivers. Therefore, by seeing plenty of single coverage versus a weak pass defense, Royal should put in a solid showing.
Oakland Raiders Defense: (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
The biggest beef with Oakland’s defense is that the Raiders don’t force an abundance of turnovers. But the Silver and Black make up for that by recording sacks (21) and not allowing a slew of points. Only Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were able to crack the 30-point barrier against Oakland this season, and the Raiders are 3-1 at home so far in 2013.
Hosting the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, Dennis Allen’s defense faces an underachieving offense led by Chip Kelly. The Eagles lack explosiveness and their second-ranked ground game will get matched by Oakland’s sixth-ranked run defense. Philadelphia’s passing game also pales in comparison to some of the offenses the Raiders have already seen this year.
Martellus Bennett: TE, Chicago Bears (at Green Bay Packers)
Regardless of who is quarterbacking the Chicago Bears against Green Bay this week, it’s imperative that Martellus Bennett be a major factor. For one, Bennett is a consistently reliable target with 356 yards on 32 receptions and four scores this season. Secondly, although the Bears typically struggle at Lambeau Field, Bennett is a competitive advantage versus Green Bay’s vulnerable pass defense.
The Packers won’t suffocate the line of scrimmage and their linebackers aren’t constantly locking down in coverage. Plus against a nickel or dime back, Bennett will have the size advantage. As a result, for Chicago to remain in this contest from the opening kickoff, Bennett will need targets early and often. That should translate nicely for fantasy purposes.
Follow John on Twitter @Rozum27