What an incredible week for fantasy football we had in week 9, it very well could’ve been the best yet. The fantasy studs performed at very high levels which made for an extremely competitive week. Unlike the past few weeks, major injuries were scarce this week with Big Ben and Dion Lewis the only injuries of note.
There were a lot of players to get excited about heading into next week – check out our top Risers and Fallers heading into week 10:
QB, Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
What a tremendous showing in his return for Marcus Mariota. The rookie shredded the Saints secondary – much like Eli Manning did last week. Mariota tossed for 4 TD passes and nearly 400 passing yards in his first game back after missing the previous two due to injury. He was the 3rd ranked fantasy QB this week and top 5 overall.
From here on out, Mariota is a fringe fantasy starter. Granted, he lit up a poor defense, but nonetheless he carried tremendous upside from week-to-week and a bench spot is definitely warranted. A possible replacement for Big Ben in deeper leagues.
RB, Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots
With Dion Lewis being placed on injured reserve, that opens the door for a guy like Brandon Bolden. Bolden saw extra snaps due to Lewis’ early exit in week 9, and he took full advantage. On his only carry he ran for a season-high 12 yards and compiled nearly 30 receiving yards on 3 catches with an 18 yard TD reception.
Another guy to look out for is James White, but I prefer Bolden. He offers a better 3rd down skillset and fits the bill better as one of those Patriots running backs who come out of nowhere to produce – much like Dion Lewis. A better option in deeper leagues, but worth a bench slot until his role is established.
RB, DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles
Better late than never. The ‘prized’ DeMarco Murray finally posted the elite fantasy performance we’ve all been waiting for – and what better team to do it against than his former Cowboys squad. He posted over 20 fantasy points for this first time this season on a high volume touches through the air and on the ground with a touchdown as well.
Despite the early struggles, you absolutely have to start DeMarco Murray from here on out. Even tough he’s not the RB1 you had hoped for, he will still give you respectable performances each week – especially now that his role seems to be defined on the Eagles offense.
TE, Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers
Yea, yea, he only caught two passes this past Sunday – but they were both for touchdowns. With the departure of Vernon Davis, that will give the majority of the snaps to Garrett Celek, especially if he continues to score TDs.
The switch to Blaine Gabbert looks to have benefitted Celek – he has emerged as the top redzone offense on the team, which is where he will get the majority of his fantasy points. It’s been a weak year for tight ends which makes Celek an enticing pickup. It’s a risk to start him because it looks like he will get his points via TDs, but perhaps it’s a risk worth taking.
TE, Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Remember Tyler Eifert’s 3 TD performance this past Thursday night? Delanie Walker doesn’t. With his 95 receiving yards and 2 TDs, Walker surpassed Eifert as the top tight end in week 9. Mariota’s return under center does wonders for Walker’s fantasy value as he is clearly Mariota’s favorite weapon.
A must start each week, Walker will have a strong finish to the season if Mariota’s health permits.
QB, Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
One week he looks like a godsend, the next he looks like he’s the waterboy. The inconsistencies alone make Tannehill unworthy of a roster spot – he can’t be trusted on a week-to-week basis.
It’s shame how the season has gone for Tannehill – he surely hasn’t lived up to my preseason top 10 QB prediction. While h has struggled, other fantasy weapons such as Lamar Miller and Jarvis Landry have flourished.
RB, Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Prior to the week, Doug Martin appeared on my Top 5 Players To Trade, and now you can see why. Martin posted his worst performance of the season and was even outperformed by teammate Charles Sims.
What it comes down to is Martin is just too inconsistent to be trusted in an RB2 role. He’ll have one great week, then come back the next and post less than 5 fantasy points. As the season goes on, I see Tampa Bay leaning moreso on Jameis Winson and fading away from Martin and the running game.
Check out other player you should look to trade right now:
WR, Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
He just set a franchise-record with 284 receiving yards, how does he find himself on the fallers list? Two words. Big Ben. With Roethlisberger set to miss the next few weeks (for the 2nd time this season), Brown’s stock doesn’t rise whatsoever, even after his huge week 9 performance.
In the set of games that Big Ben missed earlier in the season, Brown did next to nothing. While he may remain a serviceable WR1, he won’t have any performances even close to what he did this past week. He failed to establish a rapport with Landry Jones – expect that to happen again.
WR, Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
I absolutely love Stefon Diggs, but he finds himself on the fallers side of the list this week. While he remained the team’s leading receiver this past week, he hauled in only 42 receiving yards – his lowest of the season.
There is no denying the electric playmaking skills of Diggs, but if Teddy Bridgewater is unable to go in week 10 due to concussion – his fantasy value will take a big hit.
WR, DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
Finally, the long-awaited return DeSean Jackson. However, it didn’t go as planned. Jackson caught only 3 passes for 15 yards – being outgained by: Garcon, Crowder and Reed. At this point, it’s unclear how he will fit into Washington’s offense and what his role will be. Plus, his durability remains a concern.
Keep an eye on DeSean for the next couple weeks, his fantasy value is really up in the air right now. At the very least stash him on your bench and see if he can season.