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Fantasy Football Week 9 Deep League Sleeper: Jonathan Stewart





Carolina Panthers’ running back Jonathan Stewart is expected to play in his first game of the season on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Stewart has the potential to be a good fantasy player in Week 9, thus making him a fantasy football deep sleeper.

The Panthers placed Stewart on the PUP list prior to the start of the season. He has been rehabilitating from an ankle injury, and the Panthers might activate him from the PUP list this week. According to a AP’s Steve Reed tweet on Wednesday, Stewart declared himself ready for Sunday’s game. With Panthers starting running back DeAngelo Williams battling a quadriceps injury, this could lead to Stewart having a great game on Sunday.

Stewart has shown in the past that he can be a superb running back when the Panthers give him a lot of carries. The last time he had at least 20 carries in a game was on Dec. 19, 2010 against the Arizona Cardinals.

He had an amazing game rushing for 137 yards on 27 carries, which equated to a 5.1 yard per carry. It is quite possible that he could receive 15-20 carries on Sunday. Stewart would be completely irrelevant in fantasy leagues if Williams decides to play on Sunday. However, if Williams does not play on Sunday, then Stewart could have a great game.

Panthers’ running back Mike Tolbert is not good enough to be anything outside of a goal-line running back, so Stewart would receive a lot of carries if Williams did not play. The matchup against the Falcons’ run defense could lead to great fantasy production for the workhorse. The Falcons’ defense is ranked 22nd in the NFL against the run, which is terrible. The Falcons’ defense has given up an average of 114.1 rushing yards per game.

The Panthers should be able to run the ball a lot in the second half since they are much better than the Falcons. This would lead to Stewart gaining a lot of ‘garbage time’ yards. Stewart is only owned in 13 percent of leagues, and he could be the difference if a team in a deeper league wins this week.

Noah Weintraub is a Contributing Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoahWeintraub, join his Facebook group, or add him to your network on Google.

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Week 9 Fantasy Football Sleeper: Jake Locker





Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker has a favorable matchup on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. This matchup has the potential for Locker to produce a lot of fantasy points in Week 9.

Locker has had mixed success this season. He began the season exceeding one touchdown or 200 yards just once in his first three games. With those types of numbers, no fantasy football owner probably had him on their team. However, Locker has achieved a lot of success in his last two games.

When he played the New York Jets on Sept. 29, he threw three touchdown passes. When he played the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 20, he threw for 326 passing yards and two touchdowns.

When fantasy football owners look at the St. Louis Rams’ pass defense, they will think Locker has a terrible matchup because the Rams are ranked 12th against the pass. However, that is very misleading. There have been quarterbacks like Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys that sliced their way through the Rams’ pass defense. They both produced at least 20 fantasy points, and Romo could have produced more, but the Cowboys were winning by a lot in the second half.

Locker has good receiving options along with running back Chris Johnson. Wide receivers Kendall Wright and Nate Washington have shown that they can be reliable targets for Locker. The Titans should win Sunday’s game by at least 14 points, but that does not mean Locker cannot produce a lot of fantasy points. Locker should have fun on Sunday slicing through the Rams’ overrated pass defense.

It would not be a shock if Locker threw for at least 200 passing yards and two touchdowns. He is a free agent in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues and is most likely the best option on the waiver wire. Locker can give fantasy owners that own a quarterback like Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions an opportunity to win their Week 9 matchup.

Noah Weintraub is a Contributing Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoahWeintraub, join his Facebook group, or add him to your network on Google.

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