It's been a wild and unpredictable fantasy football season so far, with surprising stars emerging weekly and significant injuries coming just as often.
Week 8 featured a little bit of both. Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback Matt Schaub led the NFL with 460 passing yards to go with a touchdown and an interception. Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner was the latest fantasy standout to go down, suffering a shoulder injury.
With Conner, Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels all dealing with injuries, former undrafted free agent Trey Edmunds becomes an obvious Week 9 handcuff.
Edmunds is available in virtually 100 percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.
Let's dig into some other potential handcuffs, waiver-wire targets and drops for Week 9.
Add: Danny Amendola, WR, Detroit Lions
Week 9 is shaping up to be a tough week for wide receivers as guys like Julio Jones, Cooper Kupp and Michael Thomas will all be on bye. If you find yourself dealing with the bye-week blues at this position, Detroit Lions wideout Danny Amendola is worth a look.
Amendola has been a point-per-reception machine over the last two weeks, catching 16 passes for 200 yards. Consistency has been an issue for Amendola—he had just 14 receptions in the previous four games—but he could be in store for another big day in Week 9.
The Lions will face the Oakland Raiders, who have allowed 285.3 passing yards per game, third-most in the NFL.
Amendola is owned in just 10 percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.
Add: Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
Though the Green Bay Packers may soon see the return of star wide receiver Davante Adams, it's worth taking a flier on fellow wideout Allen Lazard. The 2018 undrafted free agent has emerged as a reliable player in the Packers receiving corps over the past three weeks, catching 12 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Yes, the return of Adams will likely mean a reduced role for Lazard, but it won't necessarily make him fantasy-irrelevant. Aaron Rodgers seems to trust Lazard, who led all Packers wideouts with five targets and five receptions in Week 8. That could prove to be huge moving forward.
Lazard is available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros. It's worth scooping him up to see what sort of role he holds with Adams back in the lineup.
Other Adds for Week 9
- QB Derek Carr
- RB Darrell Henderson
- WR A.J. Brown
- TE Jonnu Smith
- Cleveland Browns D/ST
Drop: Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
There was a time when Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard was a viable flex option in PPR formats. Coming into 2010, Bernard averaged 44 receptions and 898 total yards per season.
However, the rise of Joe Mixon caused Bernard to see a drop in production last season—he had 429 yards and 35 catches in 12 games—and the former North Carolina standout has completely disappeared in Zac Taylor's offense.
Despite appearing in all eight games, Bernard has just 18 receptions and 206 total yards this season. If you're still holding out hope that the Bengals will find a way to utilize Bernard, it's time to stop.
It's worth waiting until after Tuesday's trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET, just in case Cincinnati deals him to a contender who will actually use him, but otherwise Bernard can be safely dropped.
Drop: Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
It's not worth holding out hope for Kansas City Chiefs receiver Darrel Williams. He had a five-reception, 109-total-yard game in Week 3, but has been a complete afterthought in the offense since.
Even after LeSean McCoy fumbled and was sent to the sideline, the Chiefs turned to Damien Williams and gave little thought to Darrel Williams. The latter finished the game with just two carries for 10 yards.
Really, it's hard to justify hanging onto any one Chiefs back heading into Week 9. Kansas City has averaged just 83 rushing yards per game as a team, and the Minnesota Vikings have allowed just 89.4 yards per game on the ground.
Other Drops for Week 9
- QB Joe Flacco
- RB Adrian Peterson
- WR Corey Davis
- TE Noah Fant
- Detroit Lions D/ST
Handcuff: Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Speaking of handcuffs, now is a good time to get in on Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Starter Dalvin Cook is one of the best players in fantasy, but like any NFL player, he's one injury away from being sidelined.
If you're relying on Cook, Mattison is a must-add, as he is owned in just 24 percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros. Even if you don't have Cook, it's worth taking a chance on Mattison as a flex option in Week 9.
Mattison has been productive in a complementary role—he had two receptions and 64 total yards last week—and he should see that role continue against the Chiefs this week. Kansas City has allowed 145 rushing yards per game, third-most in the league.
Other Future Handcuffs
- RB Kareem Hunt
- RB Darrell Henderson
- WR Demaryius Thomas