Feeling a bit sick? Is it the second week of bye week hell getting you down? Is it the vast amount of Halloween candy (or “treats”) that you consumed? Maybe it’s both? Maybe you’re an Ezekiel Elliott owner. Ouch. No matter what the reason for your nausea, I’m here with the Week 9 rankings to hopefully make you feel better… or if not, the GIFs might be able to help instead.
Watching my niece and nephew dive into their candy haul Halloween night, I thought about you guys when it comes to Fantasy Football. Actually, it even relates to the surprising trade of Jimmy Garoppolo. Many thought the Patriots would get more in return, especially after the offseason rumors. Similarly, I watched my niece and nephew talk about trading candy, but both were so focused on the amount of candy instead of the quality that they overlooked getting maximum value.
The Patriots are the masterminds of the NFL, but when it comes to trades, it appears they overplay their hand often. Look at Garoppolo and even Jamie Collins recently. Both players could have returned more if the Patriots had traded them sooner – at least that what the reported talks point to each time. Waiting until they were in their contract seasons lessened the return each time. The same goes for the kids. Instead of realizing that the other was more focused on the amount instead of the quality, neither wanted to trade much or maximize their candy quality.
Everyone knows a regular-sized Reese’s peanut butter cup is top of the Halloween candy chain. One of the kids should have offered the other two bite-sized Milky Ways and a snack-sized Skittles (what are there like seven Skittles in those anyway?) for a Reese’s PB Cup and maximized their haul. Instead, they nit-picked over whose pile was bigger. Heck, one of them should have offered every single Smarties, generic chocolate, Whoppers and Gobstoppers for one regular-sized Snickers and Twix! Stop giving out crap candy people!
With the second half of the season here and bye weeks whittling down, don’t focus on your “haul.” Yes, depth is important… to a degree. However, once the bye weeks are over, no one is going to want to trade for your fringe starters. With six teams on a bye this week and four more the next two weeks, owners need those RB3s and WR4s (maybe even WR5s) to fill out a quality lineup. Once all of their players are done with byes, your depth matters little to your competition. So, focus on the “bigger” pieces and don’t overplay your hand similar to the Patriots and my niece and nephew. Be aggressive over the next two weeks and make some trades happen. The strength of your starting lineup for the playoff run should be your main focus now.
TL;DR version – too much Halloween candy and byes make us sick; maximize your candy and Fantasy Football roster
As a reminder, if you missed this week’s Waiver Wire piece, click over to find help at every position, including Week 9 quarterback streamers.
Week 9 QB Sleepers
Matthew Stafford, DET – It appeared as though Stafford would be a terrific late-round quarterback value. Unfortunately, Stafford has his lowest completion percentage since 2014, which is the kind of season he’s on pace for yardage wise. Fortunately, his TD:INT mark is better at 27:9 compared to 22:12, but the 19.5 FPPG is a drop from 22.1 and 20.4 the past two years when he finished as QB7 and QB9. Fortunately, the Packers defense is a favorable matchup and Stafford had 732 yards and five touchdowns in the two games against them last year.
Week 9 RB Sleepers
Adrian Peterson and Andre Ellington, ARI – This is all about the matchup. Peterson looked like a beast in his first Cardinals game then fell off in a big way before the bye. Andre Ellington ghosted us in that last game as well (yes, I am playing up the Halloween terms).
Fortunately, even with Wendell Smallwood looking like a zombie last week (okay, I’ll stop now), the 49ers still allow the most FPPG and the most receiving yards and touchdowns to running backs. Peterson is the better bet, especially if the Cardinals can get the game in control for the second half, but Ellington has PPR appeal in the second straight bye week hell.
Derrick Henry, TEN – If you want to beat the Ravens defense, you run the ball, you don’t pass it. With this pick, we’re also aiming to predict game flow. The Titans opened as a 5.5 favorite, fifth highest of the week and honestly a bit lower than I expected given Joe Flacco’s uncertainty (concussion). If the Titans are in control in the second half, Henry could have his third big game of the season… or at least another solid one similar to the Seahawks game.
Devontae Booker, DEN – This is digging deep, but we have six teams on bye, and the matchup gives us some hope. The Eagles dominate opposing running backs… that is… between the tackles. It’s exceptionally tough to run against the Eagles, however, pass-catching running backs have found the end zone in three straight games and Andre Ellington had nine catches and 65 yards in the game before that run. If the Broncos are going to have success with their running backs, they would be wise to use Booker even more than last week when he led the backs with three targets and three receptions.
Week 9 WR Sleepers
Ted Ginn, NO – Here’s another “despite” a previous result example. Despite Cam Newton not taking advantage of the matchup last week, the Buccaneers still allow the third most FPPG to receivers and are one of just three teams to have given up 100-plus receptions already. And remember, the Bucs already had their bye in Week 1. The Buccaneers particularly struggle against slot and big-play receivers. Ginn is a Top 30 receiver this week. The matchup will work this time.
Allen Hurns, JAX – The matchup isn’t that great on paper, but Hurns has a certain skill that helps him here. Hurns can get deep and has the big-play ability to potential get behind the Bengals corners. Yes, that makes Hurns boom or bust, but you can’t expect much more from a sleeper… or Hurns, honestly. It’s Hurns’ deep-play skill that makes him the more intriguing play over teammate Marqise Lee in Week 9.
John Brown, ARI – Drew Stanton’s numbers are stomach turning, but it’s not a death curse for Brown… maybe. As we have seen when healthy this year, Brown is a great receiver and the most-complete weapon for the passing game. The downside is that Brown was non-existent in the game before the bye when Carson Palmer left to injury. Brown was a bit quiet in the first meeting with just 47 yards, but he saw seven targets. Jaron Brown had 12 in that game and turned them into eight receptions for 105 yards. John Brown had just returned from injury in that game, and the 49ers continue to struggle defensively. As with Hurns, this is a boom or bust play for those needy during the heavy bye week.
Week 9 TE Sleepers
Tyler Higbee, LAR – In case you haven’t noticed (or didn’t read the Waiver column), the Giants look foolish against tight ends. It’s quite amusing really.
They have allowed eight touchdowns and eight TE1 performances in just seven games, and now Janoris Jenkins is suspended, as the team continues to spiral out of control. Jenkins has little to do with the tight end position specifically, but his loss will have a ripple effect for the pass defense. If you want another option, keep tabs on Delanie Walker. If he missed Week 9, rookie Jonnu Smith is a rather talented pass catcher and would become a deep league flier.
Fantasy Football Week 9 Rankings | Week 9 Flex Rankings
Fantasy Football Week 9 Projections: QBs
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Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Mike McCarn