Week 9 Waiver Wire: Rising Stars That Will Prove Long-Term Value
There should be some players floating around on the Week 9 fantasy football wire that offer not only immediate value, but have the makings of being viable long-term options as well.
One breakout performance can cause desperate owners to get carried away and take anyone available who took the NFL by storm this past week.
Be it an easy schedule, a lack of other viable options on the rising star's team or whatever the case may be, at least one likely waiver wire player from each offensive position is bound to have a productive remainder of the 2013 season.
Read on to find out which wild cards have a promising outlook even beyond the next slate of games.
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders
Hesitating on Pryor is understandable after he threw for a mere 88 yards and two interceptions in Week 8, but he also ripped off a sensational 93-yard touchdown run.
Terrelle Pryor takes it from scrimmage for a 93-yard TD! The longest run by a QB in NFL History! MUST-SEE: http://t.co/qAHuVUIVt5— NFL (@nfl) October 28, 2013
The 3-4 Raiders may be in last place in the AFC West, but they have all the makings of mounting a second-half surge—as does Pryor.
What was good about Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers is that Pryor took only two sacks after suffering 10 versus the Kansas City Chiefs in the previous contest. As the offensive line shores up and Pryor has a consistently cleaner pocket, his passing will improve.
Week 9's opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, yield an average of 302.3 passing yards per contest. If ever there was a game where Pryor would thrive through the air, it's now.
With Nick Foles at quarterback, Eagles coach Chip Kelly will continue to field criticism for a sputtering offense in facing an underrated Oakland defensive unit that should stymie Philly's rushing attack.
That will give Pryor and Co. plenty of time on the gridiron to put points on the board.
As for his long-term value? Pryor and the Raiders face zero teams with a current winning record until a Week 15 rematch with the Chiefs at home.
Projected Week 9 Numbers: 15-of-25 for 250 yards passing, 2 TDs; 10 carries, 55 yards, TD
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
The rookie out of Vanderbilt had flashed promise all year, but Monday night was the site of his breakout performance, where he ran for 134 yards on 26 carries against a tough Seattle defense.
Stacy is yielding more value than top-10 pick Tavon Austin with his physical, decisive running style at 5'8" and a thick 224 pounds. Unfortunately, he suffered a low ankle sprain that kept him out of the pivotal final series in the Rams' 14-9 loss:
Low-ankle sprain for Rams RB Zac Stacy. Good news for the kid, who played well last night.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 29, 2013
Which player is the best fantasy option for the remainder of 2013?
Still, it's evident that Stacy is worth a fantasy look for the remainder of the year. Even without competent quarterback play from Kellen Clemens, Stacy was still able to thrive against one of the best defenses in the league.
With a combination of a low center of gravity and power, along with an offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer who traditionally relies on the ground-and-pound, the ceiling for Stacy is rather high.
Against the 24th-ranked Tennessee Titans rush defense in Week 9, assuming Stacy is healthy enough to go, he should enjoy another solid performance.
If the ankle does sideline Stacy for this week, there is no one else to turn to in St. Louis that has the size or the substance to shoulder a workhorse-type load in the backfield.
Projected Week 9 Numbers: 20 carries, 105 yards, 2 TDs; 3 receptions, 20 yards
Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks
At just 5'10" and 202 pounds, Tate plays bigger than his size, is dangerous after the catch and has a combination of sensational ball skills and strong hands.
Compounding problems is the grave reality of injuries, which struck the Seahawks after Monday's NFC West victory in St. Louis. Wide receiver Sidney Rice was declared out for the year after being diagnosed with a torn ACL:
WR Sidney Rice has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 29, 2013
In the meantime, Tate serves as the next best target for Wilson. The pair connected on five out of seven passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns on Monday, including this 80-yarder:
As long as Tate doesn't taunt opposing defenders moving forward, he will stay on the field and likely maintain his status as the Seahawks' leading receiver for the rest of 2013.
The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their No. 19 pass defense come to CenturyLink Field in Week 9, so Tate should continue to be a go-to guy regardless of Harvin's status.
Projected Week 9 Numbers: 6 receptions, 75 yards, TD
Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts
At least the Colts had the luxury of a bye week after a rousing win over the Denver Broncos to figure out how to make up for the loss of star receiver Reggie Wayne for the season.
A presumed bigger part of the game plan should be Fleener, a second-round pick who hasn't quite lived up to his billing to date.
Playing in such a similar offense as he did at Stanford under his college offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, though, should yield better results moving forward.
Former roommate Andrew Luck has proved himself as a franchise stud of a quarterback, but now is Fleener's time to help the signal-caller out more.
How important is Reggie Wayne?: Wayne has 9 third-down catches for 1st downs this year. Coby Fleener has 4, T.Y. Hilton has 4 and DHB has 3.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) October 23, 2013
Fleener caught all five passes thrown his way for 37 yards and a touchdown in Week 7. Against the Houston Texans' No. 1 pass defense on Sunday in Reliant Stadium, expect an ineffective running game to force Luck to go to the air often.
Other than T.Y. Hilton, Luck has few other options, and his innate chemistry with Fleener should see the tight end have a steady progression as the rest of the season unfolds.
If Indianapolis is meant to be a viable Super Bowl contender, it is up to Fleener to emerge as one of the top pass-catchers. He has all the tools to do so and should start on that path in Houston.
Projected Week 9 Numbers: 8 receptions, 60 yards, TD
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