Following a week in which six teams and many top draft picks were on a bye, this week doesn’t get any easier for Fantasy owners. It’s likely worse — with Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England and Washington getting the week off.
The names that you won’t be able to put in your lineup include the likes the Tom Brady, A.J. Green, David Johnson, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few. It’s a gauntlet of top players, leaving owners with slim pickings to fill out their starting rosters this weekend.
You might have to take some shots on lesser-owned players this week, so here are some boom or bust options — owned in less than 15 percent of leagues — that make for solid plays in Week 9. Some will hit and some won’t, but these players are so readily available that they are well worth the add and start with so many top options on bye.
Run with a Back Up’s Back Up
The obvious running back flying off the waiver wire this week is Charcandrick West. With his track record and the two backs ahead of him on the Chiefs’ depth chart both injured — Spencer Ware (concussion) and Jamaal Charles (knee, IR) – West is a no brainer against a Jacksonville team that looks to be vying for the number one pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
Even if Ware is cleared, West will be involved in Kansas City’s run-heavy offense led by backup quarterback Nick Foles this week. West should see 10 to 15 touches and slot in as an RB2/3 in that scenario, but if Ware is forced to sit, then West is a must- start and low-end RB1. That’s a lot of Ws and could it mean one for you with West in your lineup on Sunday.
Bank on Bradford for Big Game
Sam Bradford seems to always be one big play away from living up to the expectations of being the top pick in the NFL Draft six years ago. That happened again last week when the QB missed a wide-open Stefon Diggs deep down the middle of the field for a would-be 50-yard TD strike.
With the miss, Bradford went 23-of-37 for 228 yards and one touchdown. If he hit that pass (and that’s a big if), Bradford would have put up nearly 300 yards and two TDs. Expect a line like that this weekend against the Lions’ league-worst defense, which has given up the second-most Fantasy points to QBs so far this season.
Seahawks Wideout Worth the Add
Jermaine Kearse matched his best output of the season last week with a whopping (insert sarcasm here) 57 yards on four catches. He also matched a season-high in targets with seven, making the wideout an interesting option for Week 9.
Facing a Buffalo team that has allowed a touchdown to a number two receiver each of the past three weeks (Chris Hogan, Kenny Stills, Torrey Smith), Kearse fits perfectly into that mold. He also has Russell Wilson’s trust, as made apparent from the just-missed TD on the final play of the Seahawks’ tough loss to the Saints in Week 8. Look for Kearse to set a new high in Fantasy points this week as a WR3 or flex option with so many typical starters on bye.
Titans WR is the Wright Move
Another WR coming off arguably his best game of the season is Kendall Wright. He reeled in four of five targets for 84 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown last Thursday night in a win over the Jaguars.
When Wright has been involved in the Titans’ offense, the team has won games, and he’s racked up 14 total catches for 229 yards and two TDs in their last two wins. The former first-rounder should again be a key cog for Tennessee in what will likely be a shootout in San Diego.
With a solid matchup and two outstanding performances in the past three weeks, Wright is a boom or bust WR3 in Week 9.
Be Quick to Pick Up This Rams Receiver
Brian Quick has tallied at least 51 yards in each of the Rams last five games coming into a great matchup against the used-to-be-top Carolina Panthers defense. Through half the season, Carolina has given up the second-most Fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, making Quick a high-floor bye-week filler.
With nine targets and a team-high 92 yards in the Rams’ Week 7 game against the Giants and a bye week to rest up, Quick should put up at least 50 yards, and I’m predicting his first touchdown since Week 4. He’s owned in less than 10 percent of leagues, but has a matchup Fantasy owners can only wish for, meaning you should add him, Quick.
I say make a bold move and play these lightly owned players to get you through the many byes of Week 9.