If you're going to make the fantasy playoffs this season you'll need some reinforcements. Week 9 is a crucial time of the year for fantasy owners. Its a heavy bye week with six teams off that includes the Eagles, Colts, Giants, Jaguars, Bengals, and Cardinals. We're digging deep so here are some recommended pickups.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
We're all wondering how Amari Cooper will fit into this Dallas offense on Monday Night Football against the Titans.
It would be a mistake to assume the offense will fundamentally change or that Prescott's 29.4 pass attempts per game will suddenly spike upward. It's still a ball control offense in which Cooper will be used across the middle and as an occasional deep threat. The real question is whether it will open the field up more for Prescott to use his legs as he's been doing more frequently. The last two games, Prescott has rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns after rushing for 121 yards and no TD over the first five games. The Titans don't present the easiest matchup, but Prescott figures to be the safe play among these streaming candidates.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It's happening guys... he's back! FitzMagic very well could be returning as the starting QB in Tampa, as Jameis Winston has proven to be, let's just say less than accurate. Winston's four picks led to a mercy benching late against Cincinnati. Fitzpatrick entered the game and promptly led the team to tie the score in an unlikely comeback, putting up 194 yards and two touchdowns in just over one-quarter of action. Nothing is official yet, but it would be shocking if the team didn't move to Fitzpatrick at least for next week's matchup with Carolina. Fantasy owners willing to take a chance, or looking for a little magic in their weekly lineups, could make another bid for Fitzpatrick this week.
Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons
The understudy to Tevin Coleman was understandably dropped in many leagues with the Falcons off. Smith now becomes a priority pickup again, as Devonta Freeman is on IR. It's not an ideal matchup to flex Smith in Week 9, as the Redskins were allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs entering last week and held Saquon Barkley to 38 rushing yards. Smith is a player to stash if you're shallow at RB or simply looking for upside on your bench.
Elijah McGuire, New York Jets
Last week for the Jets offense it was ugly taking on a tough Bears squad in Chicago. Trenton Cannon wasn't very effective managing just 22 total yards on nine touches running behind Isaiah Crowell. With Bilal Powell out of the picture and Crowell being mostly ineffective, we like Elijah McGuire. He was activated from IR on Friday and could be the favorite to take Powell's workload. McGuire is the better pass-catcher and should be targeted by PPR owners, whereas Cannon is merely one to add to your watch list until we know he'll get a share of the backfield going forward.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers
Scantling has been on fire the last few weeks. Mainly, this due to He seemed to be just Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb out with injuries. However, but he may be more than that as he ran one fewer route than Allison against the Rams. He may have turned this into a three-man rotation behind Davante Adams, but knowing he’s posted 216 yards and two touchdowns over the last three weeks, he may be the best play of the trio.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns
Higgins will return in Week 9 and it should be interesting how he will fit back into the offense. The team’s wide receiving corps has been ravaged by trades and injury and there was a late addition to the injury report this week when rookie Antonio Callaway came up with a bad ankle on Thursday. He's projected to be the number behind Jarvis Landry and with Mayfield, struggling to get quality production from other receivers, expect Higgins to be the downfield threat Baker looks for. Higgins is worth a flier for week nine and beyond.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Doyle is on bye this week, but he should not be sitting on your league's wire. Down the stretch, Doyle will have a high floor playing an offense that is going to throw. Seriously, stop reading, and grab him now if he’s available.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals
Seals-Jones ran a team-high 36 routes in Week 8, so it’s clear that new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will keep him in the receiving role, and it led to four targets, though the production was lackluster. With tight ends being so thin, Seal-Jones should benefit finally from the coaching move.
New York Jets
Leonard Williams leads the defense in total pressures generated (25), which has resulted in a near 10 percent pressure rate. Henry Anderson has also been under-rated as a pass rusher from the interior, as he's second among the line with three sacks. Anytime you're facing Brock Osweiler, there's upside for turnovers. The Jets defense should be widely available and they're a sneaky DFS play this week.