Fantasy Football Week 9 Sleepers: Tre'Quan Smith, Marquez Valdes-Scantling headed for big week

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Brady. Rodgers. Brees. Mullens.

What?

One of those things is not like the other — most weeks. But we could be talking about Nick Mullens as the best story of Week 9 given his performance Thursday night against Oakland. And that's in Fantasy and reality.

Mullens, in his first ever NFL start for the injured C.J. Beathard (wrist), was exceptional against the Raiders with 262 passing yards and three touchdowns, while completing 73 percent of his passes. He scored 28 Fantasy points, and he set a high bar for every other quarterback in Week 9.

That includes the high-profile matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Drew Brees is also in a big game against Jared Goff. And Cam Newton and Patrick Mahomes, among others, also have the chance to play well.

But they're all chasing Mullens. Isn't the NFL fun?

I wish Mullens was listed as a sleeper in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em, but I didn't see this performance coming. I do, however, have confidence in the sleepers listed here, and hopefully they will help you win in Week 9.

Quarterbacks
21.0 projected points
Alex Smith Washington Redskins QB
Smith hasn't scored 20 Fantasy points since Week 3, but you're playing him this week because of the matchup against the Falcons. Atlanta allows an average of 28.6 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and every quarterback since Week 2 has scored at least 21 points against this defense. Smith is a great streaming option for Week 9.
18.8 projected points
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Prescott has scored at least 21 Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and this will be his first outing with Amari Cooper. I'm expecting the Cowboys to feature Cooper on Monday night, and that should give Prescott the opportunity for another quality performance. He's also making plays with his legs of late with at least nine Fantasy points based on his rushing totals alone in his last two games. He's a good streaming option this week.
15.8 projected points
Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens QB
Flacco is averaging 22.3 Fantasy points at home in three games this season against Buffalo, Denver and New Orleans. He scored 26 Fantasy points at Pittsburgh in Week 4, and the Steelers allow an average of 26.7 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks for the season. Flacco is a good option in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues whenever he's playing at home.
Running backs
8.8 projected points
Devontae Booker Denver Broncos RB
With Royce Freeman (ankle) out in Week 8 at Kansas City, Booker had a solid performance with nine carries for 78 yards, as well as four catches for 23 yards in tandem with Phillip Lindsay. If Freeman remains out, then use Booker as at least a flex option, especially in PPR. Lindsay will remain a must-start option against the Texans, who have allowed a running back to score or gain at least 80 total yards in seven of eight games this season.
11.2 projected points
Dion Lewis Tennessee Titans RB
Lewis had one of his best games of the season in Week 7 at the Chargers, and he should stay hot coming off Tennessee's bye week. Against Los Angeles, Lewis had 21 PPR points, and he now has at least six catches in two of his past four games. Hopefully that continues, and Lewis is worth using as at least a flex against Dallas. The Cowboys have struggled with pass catching running backs, and four — Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alfred Blue and Kapri Bibbs — have scored at least 10 PPR points with just their reception totals alone. That bodes well for Lewis this week.
8.9 projected points
Frank Gore Miami Dolphins RB
Kenyan Drake is starting to come alive as a Fantasy option in recent weeks, but Gore continues to lead the Dolphins in carries. In the past five games, Gore has 60 carries to 40 for Drake, and Gore is averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He only had nine carries for 28 yards in Week 2 at the Jets, along with one catch for 19 yards. But if he's getting 12-15 touches against the Jets then he's worth using as a flex option this week. The Jets have allowed a running back to score or gain at least 80 total yards in seven games in a row.
4.9 projected points
Jamaal Williams Green Bay Packers RB
I like Aaron Jones the best out of Green Bay's backfield for this week and moving forward, but don't be surprised if Williams also plays well at New England. With Ty Montgomery traded to Baltimore, there are about seven touches per week available for Jones and Williams, and Williams should see more time on passing downs. That could be valuable against the Patriots, who have really struggled with pass catching running backs, including Nyheim Hines, Kareem Hunt, Tarik Cohen and LeSean McCoy in the past four games. All four of those guys had at least 11 PPR points with just their receiving totals alone. Williams is worth using as a flex in PPR in Week 9.
Wide receivers
10.0 projected points
DJ Moore Carolina Panthers WR
Moore and Devin Funchess are worth starting this week with their matchup against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay allows the third-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Moore is coming off his best game of the season in Week 8 against Baltimore with five catches for 90 yards, as well as 39 rushing yards. Moore and Funchess could both finish as top-20 receivers in all leagues.
8.4 projected points
DeVante Parker Miami Dolphins WR
Parker will benefit if Kenny Stills (groin) and Albert Wilson (hip) are out again this week, and Parker was great in Week 8 at Houston with six catches for 134 yards on nine targets. The Jets have allowed 11 receivers to score or gain at least 100 receiving yards, and Parker has two touchdowns in his past four meetings with the Jets in his career.
11.1 projected points
Tre'Quan Smith New Orleans Saints WR
The last time Smith played at home was Week 5 against Washington, and he had three catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns on three targets. He's struggled the past two games at Baltimore and at Minnesota with a combined six catches for 62 yards on 10 targets, but this game should be high-scoring with the Rams, who have allowed 10 receivers to either score or gain 100 receiving yards this season.
10.9 projected points
Tyler Lockett Seattle Seahawks WR
It feels like it's hard to trust Lockett because he's been touchdown dependent with minimal targets, catches and yards. But at some point, we're going to see Russell Wilson open up the offense, and hopefully Lockett will continue to benefit. He's scored in all but one game this season, and he has four games this year with at least 14 PPR points. I'm using him as at least a No. 3 receiver in most leagues until he starts proving me wrong on a consistent basis.
6.1 projected points
Marquez Valdes-Scantling Green Bay Packers WR
Even with Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb playing in Week 8 at the Rams, it was Valdes-Scantling who played the most snaps at receiver behind Davante Adams. Valdes-Scantling finished with two catches for 45 yards and a touchdown on five targets, and he's now scored at least 12 PPR points in three games in a row. We'll see how the Packers continue to use Valdes-Scantling along with Allison and Cobb, but he's worth a flier as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in deeper leagues at New England. There should be a lot of points in this game, and Valdes-Scantling could benefit, especially with Allison suffering a groin injury in practice this week.
Tight ends
9.9 projected points
Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers TE
In Week 4 against the Ravens, McDonald had five catches for 62 yards on five targets. The Ravens come into this game having allowed a tight end to score in back-to-back weeks, with Benjamin Watson in Week 7 and Olsen in Week 8.
10.6 projected points
Chris Herndon New York Jets TE
Herndon has scored a touchdown in three games in a row coming into Week 9, and the Dolphins have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the past three games with Trey Burton, Michael Roberts (twice) and Jordan Thomas (twice). Herndon is one of my favorite streaming options at any position this week.
6.3 projected points
Ed Dickson Seattle Seahawks TE
Dickson made his 2018 season debut in Week 8 at Detroit after being out for the start of the year with a quad injury, and he had two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown on two targets. He should continue to increase his workload moving forward, and this week he faces a Chargers defense that has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in three of their past four games.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 9? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

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

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