Is It Legit? Week 9: Settling Down

Dean Abramson looks to see if five of the Week 9 breakout performers are fantasy season-savers.

Is It Legit? Week 9


Halfway through the season and things are finally settling down. Funny enough, things are playing out almost exactly like many predicted prior to the start of the season. The Rams and Saints have proved to be the best two teams in the NFC, and quite possibly the entire league. The Patriots and Chiefs are becoming what everyone expected them to be: absolute wrecking balls. The Panthers have become what many thought the Vikings would have, and the Chargers and Texans have emerged to take the place vacated by the tragic Jaguars. Along with these emerging teams, there were quite a few players that dominated Week 9 who could save your fantasy season.


Duke Johnson Jr. (Running Back, Cleveland Browns)


Duke Johnson Jr. is an insanely talented receiver out of the backfield. Unfortunately, former coaches Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, were somehow entirely unaware of this? Through 8 weeks under Jackson, Duke Johnson never had more than 4 receptions in a game. He had 6 in the first half and finished the game as the team’s leading receiver with 9 receptions for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns. Most importantly, the players loved it! Those of you who thought Johnson might make an impact after Carlos Hyde was traded, it took a while, but you are finally right. Johnson is a must play in PPR leagues.


Maurice Harris  (Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins)


In a game where the R-words offense looked abysmal, Maurice Harris was the lone bright spot. He led the team with 10 receptions for 124 yards (1/3 of Alex Smith‘s completions). Prior to yesterday, Harris had only amassed 11 receptions in the 4 games he played in Washington. His catch rate is in the top 20 of wide receivers (72.4%), showing that he and Smith are consistently on the same page. Harris is definitely worth a pick up to see what he can produce moving forward; if you are in a PPR and need a wide receiver to help you down the stretch, he might just save you.


Adam Humphries (Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


The good news for Adam Humphries is that the Buccaneers defense is a dumpster fire. They have only held opponents under 30 points twice this year. The Bucs are forced to throw the ball A LOT, and the last two games Humphries has shown he should be getting the ball more. He just surpassed DeSean Jackson as the team’s 2nd most targeted receiver, and he also has the highest catch rate of any wide receiver on the team. Humphries should be added in any PPR league, in non-PPR leagues, hold off as he caught his first two touchdowns of the season yesterday


Jeff Heuerman (Tight End, Denver Broncos)


Joining Maurice Harris this week on “Who is This Guy?”, is the Broncos tight end, Jeff Heuerman. I watch football every week, and I have never seen him on the field, and he was drafted by the Broncos in 2015! With starting tight end, Jake Butt, out for the remainder of the season, Heuerman is quickly becoming a key cog in the Broncos’ offense. He set his career high in targets, receptions, and yards (leading his team in all 3) with 10 receptions on 11 targets (1 drop) for 83 yards and a score. I don’t think he should be picked up and played immediately, but if you are like many and don’t have many options at the tight end position, why not?


Josh Gordon (Wide Receiver, New England Patriots)


The absolute steal of the year. Amari Cooper for a 1st. Golden Tate for a 3rd. Demaryius Thomas for a 4th. And Josh Gordon for a 5th. There were skeptics when this trade initially went through, however there was never a doubt in my mind he would work out for the Patriots; my only reason: they desperately needed it to. Yesterday, he had 5 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown. Over the past 4 weeks, he is second on the team to Julian Edelman in receptions, but leads the team in yards by a longshot. Tom Brady trusts him as much as anyone right now and continuously throws jump balls to him. Although he hasn’t looked fantastic phyiscally, Gordon is once again a top 15 fantasy receiver. Iif he could just get in shape, he would easily be in the top 10.

(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

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