It is officially November now, or as I like to call it, the Christmas season! As far as I am concerned, anything post-November 1st is fair game for Christmas decorations, music, or general merriment! The spooky season is now in the rearview mirror, and I must say, I was not a fan of a few of the tricks it played! Injuries are piling up, and we have more backup quarterbacks starting than actual starters. We continue to plow through and pave our way to dynasty greatness, and I have perused the rankings to bring some gems for your squads in Week 9.
Before we jump into it, let’s have a quick look back at last week’s article and see how things fared.
Week 8 Hits
Josh Downs, WR IND
Downs did what Downs does (say that five times fast!). He put in another great performance for your dynasty squads everywhere. Downs had seven receptions on nine targets for 72 yards without a touchdown. It’s good enough for 14.2 PPR points or WR29 on the week. You have to at least consider Downs every week at this point.
Kendrick Bourne, WR NE
It is with a heavy heart that I add Mr. Bourne to the hits list this week. He managed to haul in three of his four targets for 36 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with a season-ending knee injury. His final gift to us this year was 12.6 PPR points. You deserved better Kendrick!
Drake London, WR ATL
Drake got beat up in this game as well. He also had to deal with Arthur Smith’s shenanigans as well, when Desmond Ridder was benched in favor of Taylor Heinecke. He still managed to just squeak over the 10 PPR points requirement. Ending the game with five receptions on seven targets for 55 yards was good enough for 10.5 PPR points in Week 8. London is considered day-to-day with a groin injury, so we must see how things progress before slotting him into our lineups in week 9.
Week 8 Misses
George Pickens, WR PIT
This one was a bit of a head-scratcher and no mistake. Pickens scored a touchdown and still had less than ten PPR points. Sigh! With only a single reception of 22 yards to his name, he finished on 9.2 PPR points—a disappointing result after the last few weeks of improved momentum. Kenny Pickett had to leave the game with a rib injury, so I am sure that did not help.
Dameon Pierce, RB HOU
This one annoys me. This is the second time this year I have included Pierce in the article, and he has scored a touchdown only to have it taken back off him by suspect officiating. On both occasions, the actual touchdown is then scored by another Texan! It is a clear conspiracy against the article, and I won’t stand for it!
In all seriousness, Pierce was fairly efficient on his carries; he did not get the volume. He only received 12 rush attempts and no targets. If he can’t get it done against the Panthers’ run defense, I am not sure how you can trust Pierce in your lineups at the minute.
After a rollercoaster of emotions, the yearly tally now sits at 24 hits and 19 misses. A 56% hit rate means we are closing in on the 60% mark. One step at a time!
As a reminder, I am using the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) as my guidelines each week. I will be picking wide receivers and running backs outside their top 24 to discuss. I will give a couple I like and maybe one or two I don’t and brief reasonings as to why. Hopefully, these studs give you more than 10 PPR points and will all end up in next week’s “hits” section!
Amari Cooper, WR CLE (WR27) ⬆️
Cooper has been incredibly consistent this year, especially considering he has been spending weeks of it being thrown to by PJ Walker. Even if it is Walker again this week, I think Cooper should be fine against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are in the bottom five against fantasy wide receivers in several key metrics. It may be volume over efficiency as long as Walker is at the helm, but if you are stuck, Cooper should get you some solid returns.
Rashee Rice, WR KC (WR34) ⬆️
Rice has been quietly beginning to step up in the Chiefs receiving corp. He has been very efficient with his opportunities over the last several weeks. Rice has managed to break double-digit fantasy points in four consecutive games, even including the disastrous performance last week against the Denver Broncos.
This week against the high-flying Dolphins, I think Rice might be a sneaky good play. It’s no secret Tyreek Hill knows a lot of the tricks up the proverbial sleeves of Andy Reid and the Chiefs offense. They may need to try and get Rice more involved and not just expect Travis Kelce to bail them out. Either way, it should be a high-scoring affair, and when you are stuck on a start-sit decision, sometimes it is nice to sway towards the game that should have more touchdowns in it.
Tyler Lockett, WR SEA (WR29) ⬆️
Lockett is dealing with a mild hamstring strain currently. He missed a couple of practices last week before practicing fully on Friday and then balling out on Sunday. Having missed again this week, there is a concern, but if he can put in a decent practice on Friday, it should be wheels up. If he is healthy enough to play against Baltimore, I would take the chance and put him out there. Lockett has great chemistry with Geno Smith and has been seeing consistent targets.
Marquis Brown, WR ARI (WR36) ⬇️
I am a big fan of Brown; I think discretion is the better part of valor this week. It seems as though rookie Clayton Tune will be leading the charge, and it is against the formidable Cleveland Browns defense, no less. The term “like lambs to the slaughter” does come to mind, but I will reserve judgment till after the weekend. The Browns are one of the worst matchups for fantasy wide receivers, and that is against any quarterback, not just rookie quarterbacks with their first-ever start.
Darrell Henderson, RB LAR (RB30) ⬆️
As Bon Jovi once sang, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Here we are in the year of our Lord 2023. Henderson is once again a Los Angeles Ram, and we are once again considering him for our starting lineups. What a time to be alive.
Henderson has been signed to the active roster by the team in preparation for this week’s matchup against the Green Bay Packers. He has led the backfield the last two weeks, and that should look to continue in Week 9. Notably, he is also getting some targets, which helps massively for PPR leagues. The Packers’ run defense is a gift to the desperate fantasy manager, and I would risk throwing Mr Henderson into the lineup this weekend.
Emari Demercado, RB ARI (RB26) ⬇️
I have already waxed lyrical about my concerns for Clayton Tune and the Arizona Cardinals this week. To not belabor the point, I will add that Demercado is a rookie dealing with a toe injury. It is a huge ask for Demercado to be in any way fantasy-relevant against the juggernaut Browns defense when he is not at full health and has a first-time starter leading the charge. I would not put him into my lineups this weekend.
There you have the Week 9 offerings. Apologies for the double dip on the Arizona Cardinals, but given their respective rankings, I think many people will be considering starting them, so I wanted to give ample warning. I hope you all make great decisions and win important victories over league rivals this week!
If you want to chat fantasy football, you can always find me on X / Twitter @FFEvanlution. You can also check out my year-round dynasty fantasy football podcast (@DynastyDebates) on all major podcast listening platforms!