Week 9: Super Sleepers
I know the Browns are awful, and when teams are playing from behind they can't afford to run the ball and watch precious seconds tick off the clock. Even so, that is no excuse to overlook Jerome Harrison. Back in weeks 3 and 4 when Jamal Lewis was injured, Harrison carried the ball 45 times for 173 yards and had 10 receptions for 64 yards. When given the chance to play, Harrison has showed he can perform. In light of the recent announcement by Jamal Lewis and the fact that the Browns are in a rebuilding phase; it would not surprise me to see Harrison getting more touches as the season progresses. After all, there is no time like the present to see what Jerome could do for you in the future.
For the third consecutive week Steve Slaton lost a fumble and as a result he was pulled from the game. Replacing him in the line up was Ryan Moats. Ryan wound up playing a little more than three quarters, carrying the ball 23 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns. While I don't believe Moats' performance last week is cause for coach Kubiak to make him the starter, I do believe Moats will see more playing time. I say this under the presumption that Slaton has learned his lesson and stops fumbling the ball. If for some reason Slaton does cough up the rock this week against Indy, don't be surprised to once again see Steve watching Ryan again. In addition to running the ball well, Moats scored three touchdowns with two of them coming from inside the 5 yard line. It seems to me that Chris Brown's days are over and Moats could be the goal line back of the future. All signs point to adding Ryan to your roster this week.
If you are a Kevin Smith owner and don't have Morris on your bench, it may be time to pick him up. Last week against the Rams Smith left the game with an apparent shoulder injury. After the game Coach Schwartz said Kevin could have returned to the game if necessary. I understand not wanting to risk losing Smith for the whole season, but the fact is Morris was doing a better job running the ball, so it didn't make sense to bring Smith back. Maurice had 2 fewer carries, but ran for 18 yard more than Smith. It was obvious Maurice was the better back that day. I wouldn't expect to see a lot of production from Morris unless something happens to Smith. If that happens however, you will want Maurice on your bench as another starting option.
They don't call these guys super sleepers for nothing. Unless you follow the Rams or have been looking for a receiver, there's a chance you haven't heard of Keenan Burton. If you haven't heard of him, then now is a good time to add him to your bench (or at the very least your watch list). Burton is the Rams second receiver behind Donnie Avery. For the season, Keenan has 25 receptions for 253 yards; Not great fantasy numbers, but then again aside from Jackson, little fantasy value has come from St. Louis this season. Last week against the Lions Burton turned in his best performance of the year pulling down 5 receptions for 54 yards. I know you're probably thinking: big deal... but wait, there's more. In addition to leading the team in receptions and yards, he led the team in targets for the third time in the last four games. You're probably still thinking big deal, but wait there's more. Since week 3, no other player has been targeted more than Burton. Still thinking big deal? All right, then how about the Rams' up coming match-ups? The Rams' struggles on offense make for some very interesting games in the weeks to come. Weeks 14-16 -- fantasy playoff time -- the Rams will face Tennessee, Houston and Arizona. As of week 8, these teams rank 32nd, 23rd and 18th against the pass and have allowed a combined 39 touchdowns. I'm not going to tell you Burton is a must add, but you have to keep an on eye on him. He appears to be Bulger's number one target, and the upcoming match-ups are favorable.
Up until last week nobody paid much attention to Floyd. The four year veteran had just 9 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown on the season. In addition, Floyd was the Chargers' third receiver -- which meant he would be the fifth target in most cases behind Jackson, Gates, Chambers and Tomlinson/Sproles. That was until last week when Chris Chambers was demoted and Floyd took over the starting role opposite Jackson. To help Floyd's cause, the Chargers followed up the demotion of Chambers by releasing him on Monday. That means Malcom should be the Chargers' second receiver for the remainder of the season. While we don't expect him to play a large role for fantasy owners, we do think in the right situations he can be a starter in deep leagues or as a flex option.