Week 9: PPR Watch
Caution - The 12th most targeted receiver over the past 5 weeks, Heyward-Bey has averaged over 5 catches and 96 yards. I'm telling you, Bey is not being judged right now on the way he's been performing on the field, he's being judged against the extraordinary expectations of his draft position (and the biases of analysts who've spent the last two years using him as a punchline for every joke about Al Davis). On the field, he's on pace for over 60 catches and 1000 yards. If any other first round draft pick in their third year was making this leap forward on a mediocre passing offense, they'd be getting a lot more hype. Heyward-Bey is running better routes, showing better hands, and being more physical. Unfortunately, Champ Bailey is still pretty darn good. Despite the final stat line, he did a solid job on Calvin Johnson, and Denver's overall pass defense is so bad there will be plenty of open spaces to throw to where Bailey isn't. I'm high on Bey, but think this match-up is a trap, be careful.
Sleeper - A no brainer really, I imagine Baldwin is all over the sleeper radar after his big Monday night performance. Baldwin showed why he was a first round pick, going up and getting a 39 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter against San Diego. It would have been a highlight reel grab for any receiver in the NFL, much less a rookie in just his second start. When all was said and done, Baldwin pulled in 5 catches on 8 targets for 82 yards against a solid San Diego pass defense that allows the 6th fewest fantasy points to WRs. It's only one game and it's fair to say they may have caught San Diego by surprise, but it's also fair to say that for fantasy purposes, Baldwin just stepped ahead of Steve Breaston as the #2 in KC. The Chiefs have some momentum going, and the 6'4 Baldwin will be a handful for defenses -- particularly with Bowe getting regular double coverage. Honestly, with Kansas City playing Miami in week 3, I wouldn't just pick Baldwin up, I'd probably start him if you need a fill in.
Sleeper - Yes... Shanahan is scary. Well I'm not saying to start him, I'm just saying to pick him up. You know, stash him and see how things go. As Torain owners are well aware, Torain doesn't seem like the answer in Washington; even if he does get another start, it will be against a San Francisco defense that's eaten opposing running backs for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Torain has very little chance of getting his stat line going in the right direction, so if Helu doesn't surpass him on the depth chart this week, he almost certainly will after week 9. The best part is, if Helu can even get himself into a timeshare, he has real potential to warrant consideration as a flex starter in PPR. Over the past 3 weeks Helu is in the top 10 in RB targets, catching 7 balls for 37 yards. Not impressive numbers, but considering how rarely he's been on the field (and how few other options are available in the Redskins' passing game), Helu could end up making a fantasy impact down the stretch. You probably have someone with less upside you can drop instead. Keep Roy Helu.