Fantasy Football Week 9: Marshawn Lynch, Sammy Watkins are two of Jamey Eisenberg's favorite sleepers this week

There were four players listed as sleepers in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em who already played well in Thursday's game between the Bills and Jets. That's a great way to start Week 9.

Josh McCown (18 Fantasy points), Matt Forte (20 points in standard leagues), Robby Anderson (10 points) and Bilal Powell (seven points) all performed well, and hopefully all the players listed here will follow suit. And there are plenty of Fantasy owners looking for sleepers this week.

Every Deshaun Watson owner is looking for a quarterback after he suffered a torn ACL in practice Thursday. If you don't have a capable replacement option already on your roster, maybe one of the quarterbacks mentioned here can help for a week.

And while it's great news for the Ezekiel Elliott owners that he's able to play in Week 9, there are several people who don't have Elliott that added Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden or even Rod Smith to use them this week. You can't do that now.

We have options for you at running back, receiver and tight end to consider, and remember there are six teams on a bye (New England, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Cleveland, Chicago and the Chargers). There's also the usual allotment of injuries to monitor as well.

As always, we have daily lineups for you to consider on FanDuel and DraftKings. If Thursday night is any indication, this should be a good week for a lot of Fantasy options and their positive production.

Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.

Quarterbacks
16.4 projected points
Jacoby Brissett Indianapolis Colts QB
Is Brissett now the best quarterback in this game? It seems like it with Watson now out, and Brissett has a great matchup with Houston. The Texans were lit up by Russell Wilson in Week 8 for 43 Fantasy points, and the Houston defense is decimated by injuries. Brissett just scored 19 Fantasy points at Cincinnati and has the chance for a solid encore this week. He's a good starting option in two-quarterback leagues.
16.0 projected points
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Rams coach Sean McVay knows the Giants defense well after facing them last year when he was the Redskins offensive coordinator. He helped Kirk Cousins average 18 Fantasy points in two games against a Giants defense that was better last year than this season, and has cornerback Janoris Jenkins (suspension) on the sidelines. Goff has scored at least 20 Fantasy points in three of his past five games and is a great starting option in two-quarterback leagues this week.
15.1 projected points
Jay Cutler Miami Dolphins QB
Cutler is returning this week against the Raiders after sitting out Week 8 with injured ribs. And he has a solid matchup against Oakland, which is without cornerback David Amerson (foot/shoulder). Cutler also gets back receiver DeVante Parker, who has missed the past three games with an ankle injury. Prior to getting hurt, Cutler had consecutive outings with multiple touchdowns against the Falcons and Jets, and he might be asked to carry the offense now with Jay Ajayi traded to the Eagles. Cutler is worth a look in two-quarterback leagues.
13.7 projected points
Tom Savage Houston Texans QB
We know Savage isn't Watson. And Savage hasn't proven to be a good quarterback. But he's in a good situation now that Watson is out for the year, and Savage gets to use those two standout receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. If you're the Watson owner, you might be stuck looking for a quarterback in Week 9, and Savage gets a great matchup against the Colts. Indianapolis is allowing an average of 21.8 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and Savage could be a good desperation play, especially in two-quarterback leagues.
Running backs
9.7 projected points
Marlon Mack Indianapolis Colts RB
Just give Mack the ball. Mack has three games this season with at least 10 touches in a game, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in each one, including Week 8 at Cincinnati. He had a season-best 14 touches in that game, and he has seven catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in the past two weeks. He's worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy running back this week, and I like Mack better than Frank Gore in this matchup.
8.1 projected points
Kenyan Drake Miami Dolphins RB
The expectation with the Dolphins running backs this week now that Ajayi is gone is a committee with Drake and Damien Williams . Drake should be the lead running back, but Williams will also play a role, especially in the passing game, and should be considered a sleeper as well. Drake isn't a must-start running back, but he could be a flex option against a Raiders defense that has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in six games in a row. I like Williams slightly better in PPR.
7.6 projected points
Marshawn Lynch Oakland Raiders RB
Lynch has the chance for one of his better games of the season this week against the Dolphins, but he's just a low-end No. 2 running back/flex option in most leagues. He hasn't had more than 13 touches in any game since Week 1, but the Raiders should lean on Lynch like the Ravens did with Alex Collins last week as a physical runner to wear down Miami's defense. And Lynch could get extra work after Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington both fumbled last week. Lynch also should have fresh legs after sitting out last week's game with a suspension.
6.6 projected points
Orleans Darkwa New York Giants RB
The Rams run defense isn't as bad as the stats suggest, but they had allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs prior to Week 9's bye. And Darkwa has scored 12 Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past three games. The hope for the Giants this week would be a better offense with Sterling Shepard returning after a two-game absence from an ankle injury, and Darkwa should have the chance for 15-plus touches. He's at least a flex option in most leagues in Week 9.
4.2 projected points
Devontae Booker Denver Broncos RB
Booker is part of a crowded backfield with C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, but he continues to get work each week. And in his past three games, he has 10 catches for 114 yards on 13 targets. He's also scored at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past three games. We've seen the Broncos lean on Booker when they're trailing, and that will likely happen this week at Philadelphia. And the Eagles have allowed the most receptions to opposing running backs this year (52), which should help Booker in the passing game. He's worth using as a flex option in PPR leagues. Booker is also a good stash candidate since his ownership is just 19 percent on CBS Sports heading into Week 9.
Wide receivers
9.0 projected points
Paul Richardson Seattle Seahawks WR
He's scored three touchdowns in the past two games, and he's making plenty of splash plays with Russell Wilson, who is carrying the Seahawks offense right now with the lack of a running game. I wouldn't call Richardson a must-start Fantasy option in this matchup against the Redskins, but he should be considered a No. 3 receiver in most leagues. In his past two games, Richardson has nine targets for eight catches, 166 yards and three touchdowns. We'd love to see more targets for him, which would make his value rise even more.
7.8 projected points
DeVante Parker Miami Dolphins WR
Parker is expected to return this week after being out the past three games with an ankle injury. He's worth using as at least a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, as he scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in two of three games before getting hurt in Week 5. The Raiders have allowed three touchdowns to receivers in their past two games and have a banged up secondary for this matchup, especially with Amerson out. Let's hope Parker's breakout campaign starts now that he's healthy again.
7.0 projected points
Sterling Shepard New York Giants WR
Shepard is expected to play this week after sitting out the past two games with an ankle injury. And he should be the Giants' No. 1 receiver for the rest of the season with Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshalll out. He's probably better in PPR leagues than standard formats, as he has three games this year with at least five catches. Look for Eli Manning to lean on Shepard quite a bit, even in this tough matchup with the Rams.
6.6 projected points
Sammy Watkins Los Angeles Rams WR
With Jenkins out for the Giants, and with the Rams coming off a bye, this should be a week where Watkins is heavily featured in the game plan. It's hard to trust him given his performance so far this year with only one game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and he hasn't had more than seven targets in any game. But he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver given the matchup, and I love his value in daily leagues as you'll see below.
5.6 projected points
Ryan Grant Washington Redskins WR
The Redskins are expected to be without tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring) this week at Seattle, which leaves Kirk Cousins searching for reliable weapons. Maybe this is the week for Josh Doctson or Terrelle Pryor to step up, but it's hard to trust outside receivers against the Seahawks. Most likely, Cousins will lean on Chris Thompson, Vernon Davis and Grant. It's a Hail Mary play to start Grant in any Fantasy league because he has yet to top 40 yards in a game since Week 1, and his season high is 61 yards in the season opener. He has two touchdowns on the season, but seven Fantasy points in a standard league is his best total. Still, I like Grant as a sleeper in PPR leagues this week, and he just had five catches for 38 yards on seven targets in Week 8 against Dallas. To put his targets in perspective, only four times this year has Cousins targeted a receiver at least seven times in a game, which speaks to how much this receiving corps has struggled, but also shows you Grant is someone Cousins trusts. I'm OK with Grant as a No. 3 receiver in deep PPR leagues this week.
Tight ends
6.8 projected points
Vernon Davis Washington Redskins TE
Jordan Reed (hamstring) is out this week at Seattle, which means Davis has the chance to be a No. 1 Fantasy tight end. The last time Reed was out this season was Week 3 against Oakland, and Davis had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He's been fairly consistent even with Reed on the field with at least 60 receiving yards or a touchdown in four of his past five games. It's a tough matchup against Seattle, although safety Earl Thomas (hamstring) could be out for the Seahawks. That's good news for Davis, who is worth starting in all leagues.
5.2 Projected points
Jared Cook Oakland Raiders TE
Cook only has two big games this season, which were Week 3 at Washington and Week 7 against Kansas City, and he scored 10 Fantasy points in a standard league in both of those outings. But he has at least five targets in 7-of-8 games, and he has five games with at least four catches. He has a good matchup in Week 9 at Miami, and the Dolphins have allowed a tight end to score in each of the past two games. Cook should be considered a top-10 tight end this week.
2.7 Projected points
Tyler Higbee Los Angeles Rams TE
This is all about the matchup with the Giants, and Higbee is worth starting in deeper leagues, as well as using in daily formats. You can even consider No. 2 tight end Gerald Everett a sleeper as well. The Giants have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, and a tight end has scored against the Giants in every game this year. Higbee has yet to score this year, but the track record against the Giants is worth buying into. I'm using Higbee in a couple of leagues a replacement for Hunter Henry, who is on a bye.

Week 9 DFS advice

Here's one of my FanDuel lineups for Week 9

Winston is trending in the right direction with his shoulder injury after taking part in practice more this week, and I'll stack him with Evans in a game that should be high scoring at New Orleans. Three quarterbacks have scored multiple touchdowns against the Saints (Sam Bradford, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford), while four others have struggled (Cam Newton, Jay Cutler, Brett Hundley and Mitchell Trubisky). I expect Winston to play well now that he's healthy.

Elliott is an easy choice now that he's active, and the Chiefs are a great matchup for him at home. And you can read above why I expect Mack and Shepard to play well this week, especially at their respective prices.

Slot receivers have had success against the Redskins more than outside guys, which is why I expect Baldwin to have a big game. He's also due since he has just two touchdowns on the year.

And I like Doyle at tight end this week given the matchup with the Texans. Houston has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in the past two games.

Here's one of my DraftKings lineups for Week 9

I love the matchup for the Saints against the Buccaneers at home, and that should mean great things for Brees, as well as Ginn. You can also stack Michael Thomas ($7,200) or Alvin Kamara ($6,300 if you want to do something different at RB, WR or FLEX.

Gurley has a nice matchup against the Giants, and he should continue to be a factor in the passing game, with at least three catches in 5-of-7 games this year. And Peterson should have fresh legs coming off his bye, and he gets to face a 49ers defense that has been miserable against the run. Look for Peterson to carry the Cardinals offense with Carson Palmer (broken arm) out.

Bryant gets to face a Chiefs defense that has allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Watkins should benefit with Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (suspension) out. I like Watkins as a high-upside play, and he could be a contrarian option since he's been a disappointing Fantasy receiver through the early part of the year.

At tight end, I'm expecting Graham to stay hot against the Redskins, who have struggled to defend tight ends all year. Graham just had two touchdowns in Week 8 against Houston. And Hilton has a favorable matchup against the Texans, who were just torched by the Seahawks' trio of receivers in Paul Richardson, Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin.

Hilton, like Watkins, is a bounce-back candidate this week.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories