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Fantasy Football Week 9: Knowshon Moreno and Sneaky Flex Plays to Consider

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 11:  Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos at Cowboys Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2011

While the flex position can very much work to the advantage of a deep fantasy team, it tends to be an albatross for some owners. Not everyone is able to get a great third running back or wide receiver in the draft, meaning the flex turns into a bit of a revolving door.

If your flex position is a bit unsettled, don't worry, because there are plenty of useful options on the waiver wire or on your bench. Here are three sneaky flex plays that should turn in solid performances in Week 9.

David Nelson - Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson was a hot pickup early in the season, as he seemed to be one of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's favorite targets, and while he has cooled a bit, his production has begun to pick back up in recent games.

Nelson is second on the team in catches (31), targets (43) and receiving yardage (366), and is clearly trusted by Fitzpatrick, as he is looked for often in third-down situations and in the red zone. While Nelson has just two touchdowns, his big frame makes him a matchup problem near the goal line. He also has four or more catches in five games this season, making him a solid PPR option.

A date with the New York Jets may not seem ideal for Nelson this week, but with No. 1 receiver Stevie Johnson likely to be blanketed by the stingy Darrelle Revis, Nelson may be Fitzpatrick's go-to guy on Sunday. He isn't a big-play receiver, so I wouldn't expect over-the-top numbers, but seven or eight catches and a score is within reach.

Jabar Gaffney - Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins wide receiver Jabar Gaffney has never been the flashiest player, and he never will be, but he has always been extremely reliable. That is a trait that will come in handy both for the Redskins and your fantasy team over the next month or so.

No. 1 receiver Santana Moss is out for a while with a hand injury, so Gaffney is now the 'Skins' top option at receiver. Quarterback John Beck isn't an ideal person to be throwing him the ball, but most of Gaffney's best work is done on intermediate routes, and that is something Beck can certainly handle.

Gaffney has had at least 54 yards in every game, but one this season, and he is usually good for four or five catches, although production figures to increase a bit in the weeks to follow.

Gaffney will have an underrated matchup on Sunday in the San Francisco 49ers. While the Niners have been good defensively, that has mostly been against the run. They have been a bit vulnerable in the passing game. Seeing as Beck's options are few and far between, Gaffney should be solid on Sunday.

Knowshon Moreno - Denver Broncos

There were fairly high expectations for Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno entering the season, as the run-first John Fox took over as head coach. While Fox has made sure the Broncos have run the ball more this season, the main beneficiary has been veteran Willis McGahee.

McGahee missed last week's game after hand surgery, and while he returned to practice on Wednesday, it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit out another contest. Moreno wasn't spectacular last week, but he did gain 69 yards for a 4.9-yard average against a stiff Detroit Lions defense last week.

Had Denver not been playing from way behind all game long, Moreno may have had a breakout fantasy performance. He'll have another chance this week, as he faces what should be an easier opponent in the Oakland Raiders. The running game is extremely important in order to take pressure off quarterback Tim Tebow, and expect Moreno to get plenty of touches, provided McGahee sits Sunday out.

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