Fantasy football pick 9

Fantasy football: Last-minute pickups for Week 9, including Jaylen Samuels, Chris Conley

Field Yates, Mike Clay and Stephania Bell agree that while Will Fuller is out, Kenny Stills deserves to be in fantasy managers’ flex or WR3 spot. (1:14)

Each week of the NFL campaign, we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye on identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.

Do you need replacement options for injured players or those on byes this week? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.

NOTE: A player from Thursday night’s 49ers-Cardinals game (Jimmy Garoppolo) has been removed from this column since its initial publish, and roster percentages have been updated as well.

Quarterback

Fantasy Insights From IBM Watson

Gardner Minshew offers the third-highest floor among quarterbacks this week (trailing only Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson).

Jamaal Williams profiles as a top-10 running back in terms of least downside to lose based on his projection this week against the Chargers.

Coming off of the big Week 8, David Montgomery has a 23% chance to boom again and go over 14.2 fantasy points.

Curtis Samuel owns a top-10 ceiling among receivers this weekend (24.9 fantasy points).

Dallas Goedert ranks third among all TEs in terms of upside to gain relative to his projection.

Sticking with Bay Area signal-callers, we find Carr enjoys the second-lowest pressure rate in the NFL at just 12.3%, far below the league average of 24.6% of dropbacks, again per Next Gen Stats. The Lions, meanwhile, have ceded 21.1 fantasy points per game to enemy arms this season, setting up Carr with a nice matchup from a consistently clean pocket this week.

Running back

With Kenyan Drake dealt to the desert to help Arizona’s injury-riddled backfield, Walton assumes a larger role as the Dolphins’ lead back going forward. Kalen Ballage has struggled as both a rusher and receiver this season, with Walton poised to consume roughly 15 touches on a weekly basis. Such usage merits attention, even on a struggling offense such as Miami’s. This week, Walton nets a matchup with a Jets defense surrendering 27.4 fantasy points per game to backfields in ESPN PPR formats, seventh most in the league.

Editor’s Picks

Best, worst matchups at all fantasy football positions for Week 9

Fantasy football Week 17 rankings

With James Conner suffering a shoulder injury on Monday night against Miami, Samuels could be in line for a significant role against Indianapolis in Week 9. While Samuels wasn’t even active in Week 8 with a knee ailment, he practiced in full this past week, evidence there is momentum for him being active against a Colts defense allowing just 21.1 fantasy points per game to backfields. While the matchup isn’t ideal, the market for streamable tailbacks is quite shallow, so I’d take on flex shares of Samuels amid this robust bye week given his potential to surface as a meaningful playmaker in the passing game for Pittsburgh.

Wide receiver

Only Corey Davis enjoyed a higher depth of Titans targets than Brown in Week 8, while it was the rising rookie who secured a touchdown of the two. In Week 7, Brown set a career high in market share (percentage of total targets he consumed) of the Tennessee passing game, signaling there is real potential for rewarding chemistry between him and Ryan Tannehill in this matchup with a Panthers secondary allowing 38.9 fantasy points per game to receivers, seventh most in the league.

So that we’re using a sample of Gardner Minshew’s starts this season, from Week 2 on we find Conley leading the Jaguars in air yards per target (15.75) and subsequently yards per reception (22.1). Getting the ball downfield can prove difficult when J.J. Watt is collapsing the pocket, but the league leader in initial pressures is now out for the season, leaving Houston without an elite pass rush. This could spell more vertical work for Conley against a Houston secondary allowing the third-most yards (192.6) per game to receivers.

Tight end

Maybe this is the week we see Herndon make his debut. Last season saw Herndon establish a rewarding rapport with Sam Darnold, which could prove valuable if precedent plays out on the field in Miami this week. The Dolphins have yielded 57.8 yards per game and 12.6 yards per reception to tight ends on the season, both well above league-average allowance rates.

Defense/special teams

Brandon Allen last started in a meaningful game in early January 2016 for Arkansas. With Joe Flacco sidelined with a neck injury, Allen is due to make his NFL debut against the Browns. Cleveland claims the league’s second-best pressure rate (31.9% of opposing dropbacks) and the fifth-highest sack rate. Pressure plus a green quarterback is often a great equation for fantasy fun on the defensive side of the ball.

The Bucs can score via the air with two elite wideouts in tow, but Tampa still sports the league’s fifth-highest turnover rate (21.2% of drives) while allowing pressure on 33.9% of dropbacks, the fourth-highest rate in the league. Still widely available ahead of this choice matchup, the Seattle D/ST is in a strong spot to return value.

Individual defensive players

Defensive line

Kyle Phillips, New York Jets (13.7% rostered; at Dolphins)

Phillips has compiled 19 tackles during his past three games and brings real potential for sack production facing a Miami team that is allowing pressure on more than a third of dropbacks on the season. For those in shallower formats, Jacksonville rookie Josh Allen is a strong candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and in part thanks to producing five sacks in the past four outings.

Linebacker

Rashaan Evans, Tennessee Titans (14.8% rostered; at Panthers)

With at least 10 tackles in four of his past five appearances and 32 total tackles during the past three outings, Evans is a high-floor option facing a Carolina team that will feature tons of touches for Christian McCaffrey.

Defensive back

Amassing 15 tackles during his past two games, there is potential for Simmons to reach double-digit tackles in a game that could keep the Denver defense on the field throughout the contest if Brandon Allen can’t protect the ball or extend drives in his first career start.

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