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With six teams on bye this week, plus a slew of injuries, life as a fantasy football owner can get pretty crazy, especially in the midst of the playoff hunt. Time is running out to turn that .500 record around and make a late surge into a higher playoff seed to, hopefully, clinch a first-round bye.
In fantasy, sometimes the best recipe for success is to just keep it simple. There’s no need to check the weather forecast for your kicker’s matchup this weekend, nor is it important to check to see if JuJu Smith-Schuster is in a good mood and ready to put up points because his bike was found.
News flash: The bike was found, he played well, but now he’s on a bye week.
Without further ado, here are Week 9’s Top 10 players for each position. For full stats projections for each player, click here.
Week 9 Quarterbacks
1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Projected: 22.83 points)
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Projected: 21.60 points)
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Projected: 20.06 points)
4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Projected: 19.68 points)
5. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Projected: 19.13 points)
6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Projected: 18.46 points)
7. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (Projected: 17.88 points)
8. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (Projected: 17.37 points)
9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Projected: 16.60 points)
10. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Projected: 16.31 points)
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Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson is not playing like a rookie, and he showcased why the Texans have so much faith in him this past week in a dazzling display against the Seattle Seahawks.
He has cemented himself as a must-start play every week, and he’s even projected to be the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy in Week 9. That’s not too bad for a guy playing in college football at Clemson this time last year.
Another player who could have a big week is Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who could have a sneaky good week against the Miami Dolphins, who just conceded 40 points to a mediocre Baltimore Ravens offense this past week.
Week 9 Wide Receivers
1. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (Projected: 15.39 points)
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Projected: 13.28 points)
3. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (Projected: 10.46 points)
4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Projected: 11.87 points)
5. A.J Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Projected: 10.50 points)
6. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (Projected: 10.41 points)
7. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Projected: 10.32 points)
8. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (Projected: 9.81 points)
9. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (Projected: 9.31 points)
10. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Projected: 9.03 points)
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While Will Fuller has been the breakout receiver for the Houston Texans since he’s returned from injury, catching seven touchdowns on 11 receptions, the No. 1 wideout in Houston is still DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins isn’t a touchdown-dependent receiver, which is good news for fantasy owners. His consistent production week in, week out, puts him No. 1 in the wide receiver rankings in Week 9.
There are plenty of receivers to choose from in fantasy this week to replace the likes of Antonio Brown, who is on a bye.
While it’s doubtful any of the above players are hanging around the waiver wire, the chance to trade low on the likes of Demaryius Thomas or Doug Baldwin is still possible.
Week 9 Running Backs
1. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs (Projected: 15.71 points)
2. Todd Gurley II, Los Angeles Rams (Projected: 14.97 points)
3. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars (Projected: 14.56 points)
4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (Projected: 13.46 points)
5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (Projected: 12.51 points)
6. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (Projected: 11.00 points)
7. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans (Projected: 10.64 points)
8. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (Projected: 10.43 points)
9. Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens (Projected: 10.41 points)
10. Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals (Projected 10.15 points)
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At the moment, as of early Tuesday morning, the No. 1 projected running back in fantasy football for Week 9 is Kareem Hunt. Le’Veon Bell is on a bye week, and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, we think, is suspended again.
However, as we have all seen over the past few weeks, that means nothing.
It would almost be a shock if Elliott didn’t return to the field this weekend, where he would be in the conversation for running back of the week with a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. But for the sake of everyone involved, let’s just play along and pretend he’ll stay suspended, shall we?
Expect big things from Hunt as he continues to dazzle in his rookie season and keep an eye on how Adrian Peterson performs. This week will be a true test for the former MVP to show if he still has enough left in the tank for fantasy owners to play him.
Week 9 Tight Ends
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (Projected: 9.85 points)
2. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (Projected: 9.53 points)
3. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (Projected: 9.22 points)
4. Evan Engram, New York Giants (Projected: 8.21 points)
5. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (Projected: 7.99 points)
6. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (Projected: 6.89 points)
7. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Projected: 6.69 points)
8. Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders (Projected: 6.46 points)
9. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (6.29 points)
10. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (Projected: 5.75 points)
With the Patriots on a bye this week, Travis Kelce moves into the No. 1 spot for tight ends. But flying under the radar as potential No. 1 tight ends this week are Jared Cook and Vernon Davis.
Cook has come on the last couple of weeks and seems to be one of Derek Carr’s favorite targets throwing over the middle.
As for Davis, he could get an uptick in targets if Jordan Reed (questionable with a hamstring injury) is unable to suit up. Keep an eye on Davis this week if Reed can’t play.
Week 9 Defenses
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Projected: 9.02 points)
2. Seattle Seahawks (Projected: 8.20 points)
3. Buffalo Bills (Projected: 8.10 points)
4. Denver Broncos (Projected: 7.80 points)
5. Houston Texans (Projected: 7.80 points)
6. Baltimore Ravens (Projected: 7.15 points)
7. New York Giants (Projected: 7.08 points)
8. Philadelphia Eagles (Projected: 6.87 points)
9. Arizona Cardinals (Projected: 6.83 points)
10. Dallas Cowboys (Projected: 6.55 points)
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I never thought I’d see the day when the Jacksonville Jaguars, more commonly referred to as the “Sacksonville” Jaguars, would be the projected No. 1 defense in fantasy.
But here we are.
The Jaguars pbad rush is no joke, racking up an incredible 33 sacks this season, including two games where the defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 10 times.
Another team that could cause opposing quarterbacks headaches is the Texans defense, even without the services of J.J. Watt.
The Colts offensive line is dreadful once again, and the Texans could blitz all day long against a team that will be forced to play catch-up to keep pace with Houston’s explosive offense.
Week 9 Kickers
1. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (Projected: 10.64 points)
2. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (Projected: 10.03 points)
3. Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans (Projected: 9.80 points)
4. Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints (Projected: 9.61 points)
5. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams (Projected: 9.42 points)
6. Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans (Projected: 9.26 points)
7. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (Projected: 9.10 points)
8. Blair Walsh, Seattle Seahawks (Projected: 8.44 points)
9. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers (Projected: 8.40 points)
10. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons (Projected: 8.10 points)
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We’ll keep this one shot and sweet because we all know that in fantasy, kickers are a crapshoot—except for Ravens kicker Justin Tucker; he’s as automatic as they come.
When choosing a kicker to start, always look for consistent ones. Besides Tucker, someone like Ryan Succop would be a solid addition, especially now that his bye week is out of the way.
Another under-the-radar kicker to look at would be Texans rookie Ka’imi Fairbairn, who has already had his bye week and is 11-of-11 on field goals this season.
All stats and projections are courtesy of Yahoo Sports.