Week 9 Fantasy Football Projections: Top Streaming Options for Notable Injuries

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 15:Running Back Alex Collins #34 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at M&T Bank Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Filling your lineup could be difficult in a week with six teams on bye, especially when injuries limit your options.

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was one of the biggest injuries of the week, with head coach Jay Gruden already predicting he will miss Week 9, per John Keim of ESPN. With Zach Miller and Delanie Walker also dealing with injuries, filling the tight end slot is harder than ever.

Meanwhile, big names like Chris Hogan, Duke Johnson and Joe Flacco also left their Week 8 games early and should be monitored in the coming week.

There are always replacements, though, even if some appear like long shots initially. Here is a look at a few streaming options who could be available in your fantasy league for Week 9.



Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (47 percent owned)

Although people were ready to write off Jared Goff after a poor rookie season, he has played extremely well this year while leading the Rams to a 5-2 record.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times described the turnaround:

Sam Farmer @LATimesfarmer

Has any NFL player done more than Jared Goff this season to redefine himself?

Even though he hasn't lit up the stat sheet each week, the coaching staff trusts him with 35.3 passing attempts per game. This will lead to big numbers eventually—and potentially this week against a struggling Giants defense.

While the unit was once considered one of the best in the league, it has allowed over 300 passing yards in three of the past four games. Opponents have 14 passing touchdowns with just three interceptions against the Giants this season, and Goff could be the next quarterback to produce big numbers.


Josh McCown, New York Jets (25 percent owned)

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The Jets were supposed to be tanking this season, and Josh McCown was thought to be the captain of the sinking ship. However, the veteran has played surprisingly well despite few established players in his midst.

He has been especially valuable on fantasy teams over the past month with at least two passing touchdowns in each of the last four games. He ended Week 7 with three passing touchdowns and a rushing score.

While the Bills are a bit of a tough matchup, they have allowed over 300 passing yards to quarterbacks in each of their last three games. McCown could remain a bit of a risk, but you might as well ride this hot streak if you need help at the position.


Running Backs

Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens (34 percent owned)

This is a good pickup for this week or possibly much longer based on how well he played in Week 8.

Alex Collins rushed for 113 yards on 18 carries against the Dolphins on Thursday, apparently finally wrestling the starting job away from Javorius Allen and the injured Terrance West.

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun noted the changing role:

Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiecsun

Harbaugh said he expects Alex Collins to get more and more opportunities going forward.

He hasn't gotten into the end zone yet this year, but Collins is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and could be headed for a big second half to the season.


Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (47 percent owned)

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Although he followed up his 117-yard effort in Week 6 with just 35 rushing yards in Week 7, the entire Giants offense was shut down against the Seattle Seahawks.

The bye should help the offense improve a little, as will an easier matchup in a Rams defense that has been inconsistent this season. The unit has especially struggled against the run and has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

One of the biggest concerns could be the presence of Wayne Gallman, who earned one more snap than Darkwa in the Giants backfield last game. Still, Darkwa had nine rushing attempts compared to just five for the rookie. While Gallman will continue to have a role, Darkwa remains the top option in this backfield.

With fill-in running backs tough to find, he at least has a chance to pick up significant yards with a chance at touchdowns.


Wide Receivers

Robby Anderson, New York Jets (28 percent owned)

As previously discussed, McCown has been productive fantasy-wise with the team often looking to come from behind. Robby Anderson has been the biggest beneficiary in the receiving corps after seemingly becoming one of McCown's favorite targets.

The second-year player had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, bringing him to 215 yards and two scores on 23 targets in the past three weeks. 

While tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running back Matt Forte have been extremely involved in the passing game, Anderson has had more targets and receptions than all other Jets receivers in the last three games.

He could be ready for more on Thursday night.


Paul Richardson, Seattle Seahawks (31 percent owned)

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 29: Wide receiver Paul Richardson #10 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Houston Texans at CenturyLink Field on October 29, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greu
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seahawks passing attack came alive on Sunday, allowing both Paul Richardson (six catches, 105 yards, two touchdowns) and Tyler Lockett (six catches, 121 yards) to have huge days.

Richardson was especially impressive in the victory:

Matt Harmon @MattHarmon_BYB

All of Paul Richardson's catches are at least an 8.5 out of 10 on the "degree of difficulty" scale.

While Lockett has made big plays, he still has zero touchdowns on the year while Richardson has scored five times.

He also led all Seahawks receivers with 56 snaps, compared to 49 from Doug Baldwin and 39 from Lockett, per Pro Football Reference.

If Redskins cornerback Josh Norman matches up against Baldwin, Richardson could be free for some more long touchdowns.


Tight Ends

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals (47 percent owned)

The Jaguars have some of the best cornerbacks in the NFL at this stage, but if there is one way to move the ball in the air against this defense, it is at tight end. Jacksonville ranks 16th in points allowed at the position, which is decent, considering the squad is the best in the league against the pass.

This is good news for Tyler Kroft, who is already developing into a reliable weapon in the Bengals offense.

The 25-year-old has caught at least four passes in four straight games and has three touchdowns in that span. At a position that has only a handful of reliable contributors week to week, this is enough to make him a TE1 for at least Week 9. 


Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (12 percent owned)

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

If Reed misses time, Vernon Davis will be asked to step up to help the Redskins offense. In the midst of a resurgent year, this works out just fine for the former first-round pick.

Davis enters the week with 17 catches for 312 yards, giving him an NFL-best 18.4 yards per catch. He has topped 50 receiving yards in four of the last five games—something Reed has done just once this year.

Even coming off a disappointing performance against the Cowboys, Davis is one of the few reliable pass-catchers remaining in the offense outside of running back Chris Thompson. There will be plenty of fantasy owners desperate for tight end help this week, and Davis could be the salvation needed.


Defense/Special Teams

Arizona Cardinals (36 percent owned) 

The 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots on Monday night, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, and there are many who believe this could be a perfect situation:

Michael Giardi @MikeGiardi

Source close to Garoppolo says "this is a match made in heaven. These two (Shanahan & Garoppolo) are going to love each other."

Of course, it will be difficult for him to learn a new playbook and get onto the field in just six days. The 49ers will most likely keep C.J. Beathard under center for at least another week.

The reality is that it doesn't matter much who plays quarterback right now because the rest of the team is loaded with problems. The offensive line has allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL this season and will be even worse without left tackle Joe Staley, who has a fractured orbital bone, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports.

Fantasy defense is mostly about the matchup, and this is a juicy matchup for the Cardinals coming off a bye.


Tennessee Titans (14 percent owned)

Ron Schwane/Associated Press

After allowing 31.5 points per game in the first four weeks of the season, the Titans have allowed just 15.7 points over the last three games. The opponents have had a lot to do with this change, but in comes the Ravens offense that could be without starting quarterback Joe Flacco.

Although head coach John Harbaugh said that Flacco is likely to play in Week 9, per Zrebiec, nothing is guaranteed with concussions.

The Titans could dominate the overmatched Ryan Mallett if Flacco sits, but even if he plays, the Ravens have few scary offensive weapons outside of Collins. The starting quarterback has six touchdowns and eight interceptions this year, providing an opportunity for a quality fantasy day for whichever team is facing him.


All scoring info, points-against info and ownership stats courtesy of Yahoo standard leagues. 


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