Fantasy Football: Week 9 sleepers, daily advice, mailbag – CBSSports.com

Week 9 Rankings: Standard | PPR

We had three sleepers listed in this week’s Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em who already played Thursday night, and each of them had varying degrees of success. They were
Antone Smith
,
Mohamed Sanu
and
Austin Hooper
.

As you probably already know by now, Smith struggled and got hurt, Sanu was good but not great and Hooper played well. We hope more of the players listed here end up like Hooper and not Smith.

Week 9 is tricky with six teams on bye (Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, New England and Houston) and the usual allotment of injuries. You might be relying on players you least expected at this point in the season, but opportunity and matchups could force your hand.

With that in mind, here are several players to consider for Week 9. If they play as we expect, you could end up winning your Fantasy matchup.

For all of your must-start options go here for the Week 9 Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em.

Editor’s Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.

Quarterbacks

I have a bet with my colleague Dave Richard that Kaepernick will be better than
Matthew Stafford
this week because the Lions are playing at Minnesota. It’s risky, but Kaepernick is in the better situation at home against the Saints, especially coming off a bye. You can read more about Stafford in Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em, but Kaepernick get a Saints defense that has allowed five of seven quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points this year. Now, I’m not expecting Kaepernick to be great, but he could easily duplicate his performance in Week 6 when he had 19 Fantasy points at Buffalo. He has run for at least 66 yards in each of the past two games, and if he stays in that range and throws for around 200 yards and one touchdown, he should be useful for Fantasy owners this week. He’s a low-end starter in one-quarterback leagues and a must-start option in two-quarterback formats.

Fitzpatrick is due for a good game since he hasn’t scored more than 16 Fantasy points in a standard league in his past six outings. The Dolphins have actually been better than expected against opposing quarterback with only three guys scoring at least 20 Fantasy points, although two have happened in the past three games against
Marcus Mariota
and
Tyrod Taylor
. I’m excited about
Brandon Marshall
and
Quincy Enunwa
this week, and Fitzpatrick passed for 277 yards and four touchdowns in his last meeting with Miami in Week 12 last year, which was good for 37 Fantasy points. I doubt he does that well, but he should be considered a good No. 2 quarterback in two-quarterback leagues.

Siemian has not been a good Fantasy quarterback this year, with only one game with more than 15 points in a standard league. But on a week when
Tom Brady
,
Andy Dalton
,
Kirk Cousins
and
Carson Palmer
are on a bye, you might be stuck in a two-quarterback league. It makes sense to look at the matchup this week, and Oakland has been bad against most quarterbacks all season. Five of eight quarterbacks have scored at least 22 Fantasy points, including
Jameis Winston
last week. We don’t expect Siemian to do that well, but his projected stats of around 18 points is well within reach. He’s a good option to take a flier on this week, and hopefully he delivers behind strong production from
Demaryius Thomas
and
Emmanuel Sanders
.

Running backs

We don’t know how the Saints plan to use
Mark Ingram
and Hightower this week, but the hope is both get enough work to be successful for Fantasy owners. And the matchup is perfect for that to happen. The 49ers allow the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs, and eight have scored double digits in points in a standard league, with 10 touchdowns allowed. In the past two games, two Bills running backs (
LeSean McCoy
and
Mike Gillislee
) and two Buccaneers (
Jacquizz Rodgers
and
Peyton Barber
) scored at least 12 Fantasy points, so hopefully the same thing happens this week. If we had to pick one of the Saints running backs it would be Ingram, but Hightower can still be considered a low-end starting option or flex in this matchup.

Riddick is listed here because on paper the matchup looks tough against the Vikings, but we still like him enough in standard leagues to consider him a starter. He’s been great in his past two games against Philadelphia and Houston with at least 80 total yards and a touchdown in each outing, and he’s combined for 14 receptions in those matchups. The Vikings have allowed four running backs to catch least four passes this year, and Riddick has five games in a row with at least 10 carries. His floor should be around 70 total yards, and he’ll also catch at least four passes, which he’s done in all six games. Don’t be afraid to use him even against Minnesota’s tough defense on the road.

The Eagles say they are sticking with
Ryan Mathews
as their lead guy, but the numbers don’t bear that out. In Week 8 at Dallas, Sproles played 62 snaps compared to eight for Mathews. And Sproles did well with that workload with 15 carries for 86 yards and five catches for 17 yards on seven targets. We’ll see if the Eagles continue to lean on Sproles, but it will be hard to run on the Giants, who have allowed just three running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. There have been four running backs to catch at least four passes against the Giants, and Sproles has three games this year with at least four catches. Given the players off this week, Sproles slots in as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy running back in the majority of leagues.

It appears like
DeMarco Murray
(toe) will be fine this week, but the Titans have indicated Henry will continue to get more work after his performance in Week 8 against Jacksonville with 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 37 yards. We don’t expect a similar situation to unfold this week as happened against the Jaguars with the Titans sitting on a lead, but Henry can still be successful as a flex option despite minimal touches. The Chargers have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this season, and three teams (Indianapolis, New Orleans and Denver) had multiple running backs score in the same game. Murray is locked in as a must-start running back in all leagues, but Henry could be a flex, especially if the Titans give him more work after his production in Week 8.

Coach Pete Carroll said Prosise will get more work moving forward, and he should continue to be a complementary option to
Christine Michael
this week. He played well in Week 8 at New Orleans with four carries for 23 yards and four catches for 80 yards, although part of his production was a 43-yard reception on a trick play from receiver
Tanner McEvoy
. He should continue to play on passing downs for the
Seattle Seahawks
, and he’s worth using as a flex option in PPR leagues this week. We’ll see what happens with him moving forward once
Thomas Rawls
(leg) is healthy, but it appears like the Seahawks want to keep him involved if you’re looking to speculate on him for a bench spot.

We hope
Carlos Hyde
(shoulder) is able to play this week, but if he’s out, Harris will lead a committee backfield with
Shaun Draughn
and
Mike Davis
. Hyde was out in Week 7 against Tampa Bay, and Harris had 11 carries for 39 yards and two catches for 18 yards. Davis had seven carries for 21 yards and a touchdown, and Draughn had one carry for 16 yards and five catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. We expect Harris to get the most touches of that trio if Hyde sits, and he would be considered a flex option in the majority of leagues against the Saints, who have allowed 13 touchdowns to running backs and nine to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league.

Wide receivers

We expected Diggs to play well in Week 8 at Chicago, and he delivered with eight catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. The targets were a season high for him, and we hope
Sam Bradford
continues to lean on him in an excellent matchup. The Lions have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven receivers have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. We’ll find out if Lions cornerback Darrius Slay (hamstring) is able to play this week, which will help Detroit’s secondary, but Diggs had six catches for 108 yards and a touchdown on nine targets against the Lions in one meeting last year. He should be considered a low-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues this week.

Britt has been fairly consistent this season with at least 75 yards or a touchdown in four of his past six games, and this is a good matchup for him since the weakness of this Panthers defense is their secondary. Already this season, eight receivers have scored double digits in Fantasy points against Carolina with nine touchdowns allowed. A receiver has scored against the Panthers in four games in a row, and Britt is the only Los Angeles receiver to trust in this matchup, ahead of
Tavon Austin
and
Brian Quick
. It’s always going to be risky to trust a Rams receiver with
Case Keenum
starting at quarterback, but we hope Keenum can help Britt deliver this week as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.

Take a look at Williams’ game logs of late. In his past four games he had two outings with at least five catches for 117 yards and two games with a combined four catches for 32 yards. The two good games were against Oakland in Week 5 (five catches for 117 yards and a touchdown) and Atlanta in Week 7 (seven catches for 140 yards), and the two bad games came against Denver. As you’re well aware, most receivers struggle against the Broncos, so we hope Williams continue to thrive against everyone else, including this week against the Titans. He’s playing through a knee injury, as is fellow San Diego receiver
Travis Benjamin
, but we still consider Williams a low-end No. 2 receiver in the majority of leagues this week. The Titans have allowed eight receivers to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league with eight touchdowns allowed.


Steve Smith
(ankle) is expected to return this week after a two-game absence, which will lower the ceiling for Wallace. But we still like his chances this week as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in a matchup against the Steelers, which is the first team he played for. He faced the Steelers once in 2013 when he was with the Dolphins but managed just two catches for 19 yards, but we expect this revenge game to be better for him. He had at least nine Fantasy points in the two games Smith was out, but he also scored 16 Fantasy points in each of the first two games of the season when Smith was active. He also has at least nine targets in four games in a row, and
Joe Flacco
should continue to lean on him even with Smith back in action.

Stills has the chance to help Fantasy owners in seasonal and daily leagues this week with his matchup against the Jets. Big-play receivers have been a problem for the Jets this season with guys like
Marquise Goodwin
and
Sammie Coates
each going over 100 receiving yards with a touchdown, and in total the Jets have allowed 10 touchdowns to receivers and 10 to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Stills has two touchdowns in his past four games of at least 66 yards, and he’s scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past six games. He’s worth using as a Hail Mary play in all formats, and we consider him a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in seasonal leagues.

Tight ends

The Cowboys have only allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year, but the only quality tight ends they’ve faced are
Jordan Reed
and
Zach Miller
. Reed had five catches for 70 yards, and Miller had eight catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Barnidge has yet to score this season, but he’s catching Dallas at the right time with two players in the secondary out with
Morris Claiborne
(groin) and
Barry Church
(arm). In PPR leagues, Barnidge has been solid with at least five catches in four of his past six games, and he has topped 55 receiving yards in five of those outings. We hope
Cody Kessler
leans on Barnidge this week, and he should be considered a low-end No. 1 tight end in standard leagues, with his value higher in PPR.

Like Barnidge, Pitta is good in PPR leagues with at least six catches in four of seven games. But this week he should be helpful in all formats given the matchup with the Steelers and
Crockett Gillmore
(thigh) being out. That should lead to more red-zone chances for Pitta against the Steelers, who have allowed a tight end to score at least eight Fantasy points in three of their past four games. The nice thing you know about Pitta is he won’t be a complete dud with at least eight targets in five of his past six games, so Flacco will do what he can to make him successful this week. He’s a good streaming option in all leagues.

DFS Advice for Week 9

Here’s my FanDuel lineup for Week 9

  • QB:
    Aaron Rodgers
    ($9,100) vs. IND
  • RB:
    Ezekiel Elliott
    ($9,200) at CLE
  • RB:
    Charcandrick West
    ($5,600) vs. JAC
  • WR:
    Antonio Brown
    ($8,700) at BAL
  • WR:
    Davante Adams
    ($7,100) vs. IND
  • WR:
    Donte Moncrief
    ($6,100) at GB
  • TE:
    Kyle Rudolph
    ($5,000) vs. DET
  • K: Will Lutz ($4,500) at SF
  • DST: Dolphins ($4,700) vs. NYJ

Here’s my DraftKings lineup for Week 9

  • QB:
    Dak Prescott
    ($6,100) at CLE
  • RB:
    Melvin Gordon
    ($6,300) vs. TEN
  • RB: Charcandrick West ($4,400) vs. JAC
  • WR:
    Dez Bryant
    ($7,400) at CLE
  • WR: Donte Moncrief ($5,800) at GB
  • WR:
    Ty Montgomery
    ($5,800) vs. IND
  • TE:
    Antonio Gates
    ($3,000) vs. TEN
  • FLEX:
    Le’Veon Bell
    ($7,700) at BAL
  • DST: Panthers ($3,400) at LAR

West is going to be a popular player in all daily lineups because of his opportunity and price, but using him gives you upside and flexibility with your roster. With my FanDuel lineup, I stacked Rodgers and Adams, and hopefully that rapport continues in a tremendous matchup against the Colts at home. I also spent big money on Elliott and Brown, and both should be worth it, especially with Brown getting
Ben Roethlisberger
(knee) back. Moncrief should play well against the Packers with the Colts likely chasing points, and I love Rudolph this week with his matchup against Detroit.

On DraftKings, I once again used West and Moncrief, and this time I stacked the Cowboys with Prescott and Bryant. That combo was great in Week 8 against the Eagles, but this is a better matchup in Week 9 against the
Cleveland Browns
. Gordon should continue to run well against the Titans, and I spent big money on Bell, who always has the chance for a monster game, even against the Ravens. Montgomery is coming back from last week’s illness and should continue to get plenty of touches against the Colts, and Gates benefits with
Hunter Henry
(knee) being out this week against Tennessee.

#fantasymail

It’s tricky because clearly you would want DeAngelo Williams if Bell got hurt, but you also get to maximize your roster by adding Starks, who could be the leading rusher for the Packers when healthy. If you don’t need Starks, I would just sit on Williams because if he were to start for the Steelers after a Bell injury, he would be better than Starks as the starter for the Packers. But if you need help in your backfield now, make the move to add Starks because he should return from his knee injury in Week 10.

This is a great question because both running backs should be excellent in their respective backfields. And both will miss at least one game down the stretch with Spencer Ware out this week with the concussion, and Devontae Booker has his bye in Week 11. It’s close, but I’m going with Booker. We don’t know how long Ware will be out with his concussion, and there’s the chance that West does well as his replacement and makes this is a timeshare. Booker, even though he’s dealing with a shoulder injury, should get the majority of work for the Broncos for the rest of the season. That gives him the edge.

There are two guys who could emerge this week with increased opportunities who fit this category with Paul Perkins for the Giants and Kenneth Dixon for the Ravens. We hope both get the chance for extended workloads in the near future, and they both could easily be starters in 2017. Prosise is another one who could be a PPR option, and I’d still put Jerick McKinnon in this category since the Vikings might not bring back Adrian Peterson next year.

I’m going with Andy Dalton here, although it could be close with Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning. But Dalton got Tyler Eifert back in Week 7, and that should help his receiving corps. Cousins has a tough schedule ahead, and his offensive line will be hurting with Trent Williams suspended for the next four games. Manning could be great with a nice schedule, but he’s been inconsistent so far, which makes him risky compared to Dalton.

Coleman was great in Week 2 against Baltimore with two touchdowns, but then he broke his hand in practice the following week. We hope he can pick up where he left off, but we’ll see how he does now that Terrelle Pryor has taken over as the No. 1 receiver in Cleveland. I’m not sure Coleman can be a consistent No. 2 Fantasy receiver, but he’s definitely a No. 3 option with upside. When the matchup is right, and if he proves the hand injury isn’t an issue, you can have weeks where you start him in all leagues.

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