The midseason gauntlet continues in Week 9 with six teams on bye weeks, a few new injuries, and several players on new teams after a more-active-than-usual NFL trade deadline. Depending on your place in the standings, the remainder of the regular season will be a balance of planning to “win now” vs planning for the postseason. Whichever situation you find yourself in each week, we will be here to keep your rosters stocked with the best players available. For now, let’s go win Week 9!
Week 9 Byes: 49ers, Broncos, Browns, Cowboys, Giants, Steelers
Article Overview/ How to Use:
- Analysis: Highlight a variety of RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered on ESPN and/or Yahoo) who I feel could produce fantasy value, either that specific week as a replacement in your lineup or as a bench/ stash option.
- Ranking RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered) in order. Please note that the players who are highlighted in the article are not always my top-ranked streamers. These rankings & notes could be useful for teams in deeper leagues or as a means to fill out your “Watch List”.
- List of Impact Backups or players who would gain significant fantasy value if the starter was inactive. These names would make excellent stash candidates, but likely not worthwhile streamers due to lack of usage as the backup.
- Although base rankings tend to skew toward 12-team, half-PPR leagues, I will provide clarifications if a player is best used in a specific scenario or league type.
- Recap the performances of the previous week’s highlighted players.
* Any players marked with an asterisk below have been featured in previous articles this season. If anyone discussed below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 11/02/22.
Isiah Pacheco (RB, Kansas City Chiefs)
Although I would not recommend taking the word of NFL coaches as fact, hearing Andy Reid openly discuss his desire to get the rookie Pacheco “more than 10 reps” on a regular basis was enough to perk my ears up. He is not currently at the level of being trusted in lineups, but I feel he should be rostered in 12-team leagues or larger as someone whose role is expected to grow in the second half of the season. The Chiefs are already past their bye week, so if this usage continues, Pacheco could find his way into RB3/RB4 status for deeper leagues. He has been a non-factor in the passing game with just two total targets so far, but his rushing efficiency (4.9 yards per carry) plus the high-powered KC offense (league-leading 4.3 red zone scoring attempts per game) are enough to move him up the rankings.
Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB, Miami Dolphins)
Wilson will reunite with his former offensive coordinator (now head coach) Mike McDaniel after a trade to Miami, which should help him get up to speed more quickly than most players on a new team midseason. Although he is expected to maintain a secondary role for the Dolphins behind Raheem Mostert, he has produced efficiently with his opportunities at 5.1 yards per tote (11th-best in the NFL among active RBs). I would be remiss not to mention Mostert’s injury history; possibly part of the reason for bringing a productive and familiar face on board to lighten his workload. Having two fresh, productive RBs for the stretch run seems to be the plan for Miami, making Wilson a solid backup with some standalone value of his own.
RB Streamers (ranked): Tyler Allgeier* (63% ESPN, 64% Yahoo), Kenyan Drake*, Khalil Herbert* (56% ESPN, 74% Yahoo), Latavius Murray*, Darrell Henderson Jr (66% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Brian Robinson Jr* (61% ESPN, % Yahoo), Caleb Huntley, Jeff Wilson Jr*, Isiah Pacheco*, Dontrell Hilliard*, Rachaad White, Justice Hill, Rex Burkhead, Alexander Mattison, Samaje Perine*, Jaylen Warren*, Sony Michel, Gus Edwards (monitor hamstring; RB3/Flex if Active– 48% ESPN, 64% Yahoo), Deon Jackson (now a solid stash candidate; RB2 if Taylor is out), Chuba Hubbard* (monitor ankle– stash), Nyheim Hines* (54% ESPN, 69% Yahoo), Jerick McKinnon, Chase Edmonds, James Cook, Matt Breida, J.D. McKissic, DeeJay Dallas, Kenneth Gainwell, Brandon Bolden, JaMycal Hasty.
Allen Robinson II (WR, Los Angeles Rams)
For all the grief Robinson caught after a slow start to the season, it is worth recognizing that his production has improved each of the last two weeks (combined 10 catches/ 13 targets/ 117 receiving yards/ one TD). This is also his first year with the Rams and the offense as a whole has not looked stellar, so I feel some slack should be given. Cooper Kupp (ankle) exited late last week and although I expect him to tough it out to play in Week 9, Robinson’s involvement should hold steady at last week’s season-high seven targets (potentially more, depending on how much Kupp is limited). Start him as a low-end WR3 in deeper leagues (stash in 12-teamers as we monitor consistency).
K.J. Osborn (WR, Minnesota Vikings)
Osborn’s opportunities beyond Week 9 may rely on Adam Thielen‘s (bruised knee) status and how fast trade acquisition T.J. Hockenson gets up to speed. In the short-term, however, he should find himself in a solid spot in Week 9 against Washington’s vulnerable pass coverage (eighth-worst vs opposing WRs). Osborn snagged his second touchdown of the season last week and will look to improve on lackluster receiving yardage totals thus far if he is indeed filtered more targets. Irv Smith Jr was also injured last week and has since been placed on IR, so monitor Thielen’s status to determine whether Osborn is more WR3/Flex or WR4.
WR Streamers (ranked): Garrett Wilson (74% ESPN, 55% Yahoo), Romeo Doubs*, Joshua Palmer*, Allen Robinson II* (62% ESPN, 66% Yahoo), Devin Duvernay*, Darnell Mooney (73% ESPN, 56% Yahoo), Rondale Moore* (57% ESPN, 64% Yahoo), Terrace Marshall, K.J. Osborn*, Mack Hollins, Alec Pierce*, Zay Jones*, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, DeAndre Carter, Isaiah McKenzie*, Parris Campbell, Josh Reynolds*, Olamide Zaccheaus, Hunter Renfrow (61% ESPN, 55% Yahoo), Robert Woods* (60% ESPN, 55% Yahoo), Tyquan Thornton, Van Jefferson* (stash – injury return), Marquise Goodwin, Kadarius Toney (stash), Chase Claypool (stash – 73% ESPN, 66% Yahoo), Corey Davis (monitor status), Jahan Dotson (monitor status – stash), Michael Gallup* (bye), George Pickens* (bye), Wan’Dale Robinson* (bye), Donovan Peoples-Jones (bye), Darius Slayton (bye), Noah Brown* (bye).
Hayden Hurst (TE, Cincinnati Bengals)
With the caveat that his ceiling is limited due to the other offensive weapons in Cincinnati, Hurst has provided modest but reliable production of just over four catches, five targets, and 33.5 receiving yards per game. The absence of Ja’Marr Chase does open up more targets for the next few weeks, though Hurst was right around his season averages without Chase in Week 8 (four catches/ four targets/ 42 yards). The weekly tiebreaker with separating the fringe TE1/TE2 range is often touchdowns; while those are hard to predict, we can still look at usage near the end zone, where Hurst is seventh in the NFL among TEs with seven red targets. He is a low-end TE1 this week against the Panthers.
TE Streamers (ranked): Robert Tonyan, Taysom Hill (59% ESPN, 74% Yahoo), Hayden Hurst* (59% ESPN, 67% Yahoo), Evan Engram, Mike Gesicki* (70% ESPN, 57% Yahoo), Dawson Knox (62% ESPN, 66% Yahoo), Tyler Conklin*, Cade Otton, Isaiah Likely, .Noah Fant, Juwan Johnson, Logan Thomas, Jordan Akins, Cole Kmet, Hunter Henry, Will Dissly, Greg Dulcich (bye – stash).
Impact Backups/ Injury Stashes
Although this article’s primary focus is to rank and discuss RB/WR/TEs who are fantasy-relevant and 65%-rostered or less, I also believe it is extremely important to plan ahead by stocking your roster with contingency options if/when adversity strikes. Not many things in the fantasy sports universe are worse than having a successful regular season undone by gut-wrenching injury luck. That said, below is my list of Top Impact Backups and Injury Stashes, in order, regardless of position.
Top Impact Backups: Alexander Mattison, Khalil Herbert, Kadarius Toney (lots of raw talent, but may take some time to acclimate to the Chiefs’ offense), Chuba Hubbard (likely “1B” to D’Onta Foreman “1A”), Nyheim Hines* (54% ESPN, 69% Yahoo), Deon Jackson, Rachaad White, Isiah Pacheco*, Samaje Perine, Jaylen Warren*, Jeff Wilson Jr, Kyren Williams, Dontrell Hilliard*, Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, Matt Breida, JaMycal Hasty.
Graduated (add if available): D’Onta Foreman* (76% ESPN, 83% Yahoo), Khalil Herbert* (56% ESPN, 74% Yahoo), Michael Carter (84% ESPN, 87% Yahoo), Eno Benjamin (71% ESPN, 71% Yahoo).
Top Injury Stashes: Rashod Bateman (monitor foot recovery– 73% ESPN, 66% Yahoo), Gus Edwards (short-term absence, if any), Kyren Williams (likely to factor into Rams RB mix, returns from injury this week), Treylon Burks (talented rookie may have been on the verge of a breakout pre-injury), David Njoku (69% ESPN, 71% Yahoo), Jameson Williams (talented rookie who will now have less competition for targets in Detroit), Elijah Mitchell.
Accountability is everything, so here is a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
D’Onta Foreman/ Chuba Hubbard (RB, Carolina Panthers): Hubbard (ankle) was ruled out late last week after not logging any practice time, leaving Foreman to dominate with 26 carries for 118 yards and three touchdowns. I feel that Foreman has earned the “1A” role in this backfield moving forward if nothing else; he is a fringe RB1/RB2 sans-Hubbard and still a Flex (at worst) even with Hubbard in the mix.
Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, New York Giants): A week after he led the Giants’ receiving corps in targets, Robinson caught just two of three looks for just 15 yards. The rookie will use the G-Men’s Week 9 bye to recover and regroup. It is understandable if you have to drop him for roster space, but he is not an outright drop either; I expect there to be better days ahead.
Van Jefferson (WR, Los Angeles Rams): Jefferson did not see any targets in his 2022 debut for the Rams offense, but played over half of the offensive snaps and did not experience any setbacks. He remains more in “stash” vs “start” territory for now until we see it come together on the field.
Mike Gesicki (TE, Miami Dolphins): Gesicki brought in three-of-four targets for 38 yards and a score. I am not sure you can take much away from this performance other than that Gesicki remains in the giant cluster of fringe TE1/TE2s whose fantasy production relies mostly on touchdowns to crack the weekly top 10.
Make sure to check out our weekly priority waiver wire adds article and waiver wire podcast for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday; it is a great way to get a head start on acquiring players often discussed in this article. Good luck in Week 9!
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)