Fantasy Football Week 9 Sleepers: Must-Start Quarterbacks for Big Win

Michael BrumaginCorrespondent IIIOctober 30, 2012

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has tight end Marcedes Lewis in his sights.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has tight end Marcedes Lewis in his sights.Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

If you're unsure what to do with your quarterback position this week in fantasy football, look no further.

Here are three sleeper-picks and one quarterback you don't want to bench this week.


Rising Stock Must Start: Blaine Gabbert (JAX)

It would seem that the Jacksonville Jaguars are finally starting to figure out their passing offense. This past week against the Green Bay Packers, Gabbert had 49 passing attempts. He completed 27. He also added 303 yards and one touchdown.

Considering that the Packers came into the game with league-high 24 sacks, it is quite an accomplishment that Jacksonville only allowed two. 

This week Gabbert will face the Detroit Lions defense. And, while their defensive line is often feared, they are not putting up Packers-like numbers in either sacks or turnovers. Their approach has been a bit predictable.

Gabbert, meanwhile has finally found what seems to be a new reliable target: Cecil Shorts, who has come on strong the past two weeks—grabbing four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 and eight catches for 116 yards in against the Packers.

Added to a solid receiving corp that includes tight end Marcedes Lewis, running back Rashad Jennings and the talented-but-misguided Justin Blackmon, and Gabbert should have a solid outing against the Lions.



Starting Safe Play: Andrew Luck (IND)

If you weren't encouraged by the numbers that Luck put up this past weekend in his come-from-behind victory over the Tennessee Titans, perhaps you should be looking for him this week as the Indianapolis Colts take on the Miami Dolphins.

The Colts were Luck-y to have their rookie quarterback manning the helm Sunday, as he marched them downfield 80 yards for the overtime win. He racked up 26 completions for 297 yards, one touchdown and one pick against the league's fourth worst passing defense.

This week, against the Dolphins, he'll face a defense that is sixth worst in passing yards allowed per game—and they haven't even played against Tom Brady yet (which is to say, that average will probably get worse when they do).

Luck should have a strong outing—so long as he avoids throwing in Sean Smith's direction.


Deep League Safe Play: Miami Dolphins Quarterback


This past week, Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill left the game against the AFC East rival New York Jets with a hurt knee and bruised quadriceps. The MRI on his knee came back negative, but he may sit out this week to rest.

In his stead, backup Matt Moore came into the game in midway through the first quarter and did an efficient job in leading the Dolphins offense—passing for a modest 11 completions for 131 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions.

While it is still too early in the week to know for sure if Moore will be needed to carry the load in Tannehill's place, you can feel secure in knowing that if he does play he won't cost you your matchup. Last year, in 12 starts, Moore was an efficient passer, completing 193 passes for 2,330 yards and 16 touchdowns while yielding only 8 interceptions.

This week would be an ideal week to allow Tannehill to rest and recover, as the Dolphins match up against Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, while not giving up a lot of passing yards, do not force many turnovers. The Colts have only two interceptions and one fumble recovery all year.

If the Dolphins announce that Tannehill will sit out this game later in the week, pick up Moore for a safe fantasy play.

If Tannehill is cleared to play and he's available, expect an equally solid game from him as the Dolphins continue to make a push for playoff positioning.



Do Not Bench Alert: Michael Vick (PHI)

If you were worried about Vick being benched in favor of rookie Nick Foles, consider that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid's job may rest on Vick's shoulders—seeing as Reid vouched for him as his $100 million-dollar quarterback.

This is the wrong week to bench Vick—even if he does have 14 total turnovers (eight interceptions and six fumbles).

Consider that for the first time in weeks, Vick did not turn the ball over against the stout Atlanta Falcons defense. Also, the fact that he managed an efficient, if not respectable, stat line (21 completions, 191 passing yards, one touchdown and 42 rushing yards on only 7 carries).

This week, Philadelphia faces off against the New Orleans Saints, who have the third worst passing yards against average in the NFL. Making this matchup even more palatable should be the fact that the Saints have struggled to force turnovers, managing only nine (three interceptions and six fumble recoveries) in seven games—three of which came in an overtime loss against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.

Look for Vick to have a BIG game this week.



Michael Brumagin is the “Tweet of the Day” columnist for Sheridan Hoops and a sports correspondent for Bleacher Report.  You can follow him on Twitter.