We are entering the home stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Injuries once again rule the fantasy world with stars such as Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas set to return. On the other side, Kenny Golladay and George Kittle could miss some time. While the return of McCaffrey and Thomas crushes the fantasy value of players like Mike Davis and Tre’Quan Smith, Jordan Reed and Marvin Jones Jr. should see a nice boost in fantasy value with Kittle and Golladay out.
With so many moving part, let’s dive in to this long list of potential additions for your fantasy roster this week.
Drew Lock, QB, DEN
It is not a great week to need quarterback help, but if you are truly desperate, I am high on Drew Lock for this week. He faces a Falcons defense that has struggled a lot this year. Atlanta is still allowing the second most points to opposing quarterbacks, but this defense has not been quite as porous since Dan Quinn got fired. Lock is coming off his best game of the season and finally seems to be healthy. He also has Jerry Jeudy, DaeSean Hamilton, Noah Fant and KJ Hamler to throw to, plus a good running back tandem. I don’t love playing Lock this week, but if you are dealing with bye weeks or injuries, he is my favorite widely-available option for Week 9.
Damien Harris, RB, NE
Harris has appeared on this list a few times. He seems to be settling in as the top option in this Patriots backfield. Now, there is a risk that comes with every New England running back that he will suddenly disappear from the gameplan. It has been that way for years. He is a better option in standard leagues with just two catches this season. Coming off his best game yet, he finished with 100-plus yards and a touchdown, he is worth adding to your bench as a potential flex play going forward.
Tyler Ervin/Dexter Williams, RBs, GB
Jamal Williams and A.J. Dillon are on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Aaron Jones is a long shot to play on Thursday with a calf injury. Someone has to carry the ball for the Packers, right? Special teams star Tyler Ervin and practice squad rookie Dexter Williams are the only two running backs left for Green Bay. Neither is a proven commodity. Ervin has 10 total touches this season. Williams has never even registered a carry. Based on sheer volume alone, they both could be flex options if you are dealing with bye weeks or struggling to find a replacement for Mike Davis. They definitely would not be my first choice against a talented 49ers front seven, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Zack Moss, RB, BUF
Moss has ramped up each of the past two weeks since returning from injury. Week 8 was his best game yet with 81 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He is still splitting snaps with Devin Singletary, but Buffalo has seemed determined to establish the run in recent weeks. If that trend continues and Moss can resume his role as a pass catcher, he should have some value. Depth is hard to come by at running back, so it is never a bad idea to add more.
Matt Breida/Jordan Howard, RBs, MIA
It was a bit of a surprise, but Myles Gaskin will be out for three weeks with a knee injury. That opens the door for Breida and Howard to see extended action against the Cardinals. Neither one has been overly productive this season. Howard is purely a goal line back and Breida has been ineffective. Still, with Gaskin out and a rookie quarterback making his second start, Miami will likely given them opportunities. I’m not super high on either, but the potential volume makes them intriguing.
Allen Lazard, WR, GB
Welcome back from the IR Allen Lazard. Green Bay is on a short week, so he might not be heavily involved in Week 9, but Lazard is definitely a player worth stashing. He put up 50 fantasy points over his first three games. Just for some context, his 17.3 points per game average is better than Tyler Boyd’s and just trails Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen. That is the type of player we are talking about here. Perhaps you aren’t ready to start against the 49ers, but you better believe you will be when he plays the Jaguars in Week 10.
Mike Williams, WR, LAC
If you are playing Mike Williams roulette, you likely aren’t doing very well. After a huge performance against the Saints in Week 5, he was a popular add. Many excitedly started him against the Jaguars following the bye week only for him to post a woeful one-catch, four-yard stat line. With people moving on from him after looking like a flash in the pan, Williams naturally put five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown in Week 8. He is a tricky player to navigate right now, but his upside in any given week makes him worth having on your roster.
Darnell Mooney, WR, CHI
The rookie from Tulane has carved out a role for himself in this Bears offense. Since Week 3, Mooney has earned at least five targets in every game. His production has been a bit more hit-and-miss, but he draws a favorable matchup with the Titans secondary this week. Coming off his best game of the season, I think you could consider making Mooney a flex play in Week 9. There is definitely some risk here given Nick Foles’ inconsistent play, but I like Mooney’s upside.
Danny Amendola/Marvin Jones Jr./Marvin Hall, WRs, DET
Kenny Golladay will be out for Week 9’s matchup with the Vikings. Minnesota is allowing the third most points to opposing receivers in fantasy. That opens the door for Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola to have meaningful roles in the offense against a favorable matchup. If you are in a standard league, grab Jones, who is a red zone threat that can score a lot of touchdowns. Amendola is probably a better fit in PPR settings given his style of play. The wildcard here is Marvin Hall, who emerged as Detroit’s big-play threat after Golladay exited. He had four catches for 113 yards against the Colts. If you are looking for a boom-or-bust option, I would target Hall.
Kendrick Bourne, WR, SF
I might actually give 49ers receivers a boost with Jimmy Garoppolo out. Nick Mullens looked comfortable in relief and Bourne benefited. With George Kittle out as well, Bourne figures to star again. He racked up 59 yards in garbage time, which is significant because that is when Mullens took over at quarterback. He and Brandon Aiyuk are the clear top two options in this passing game heading into Thursday’s matchup with the Packers. (Editor’s note: Bourne has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Thursday’s game against Green Bay. Trent Taylor and James Richie seem set to start at receiver.)
Jordan Reed/Ross Dwelley, TEs, SF
George Kittle is out for the next eight weeks, so these two are more than just one-week fill ins. Reed had a huge two-touchdown game when Kittle was out in Week 2. Unfortunately, he got hurt the following week. He is expected return from IR in time to face the Packers, but he may be a bit rusty. Dwelley is not much of a pass catcher, but if Reed is unable to go for any reason, he should see enough volume to warrant consideration. I would prioritize Reed over Dwelley, but both could be valuable in deeper leagues.
Trey Burton, TE, IND
It is dangerous to chase touchdowns in fantasy football. Rarely is a reliable metric to predict player’s performances. However, Burton has scored in back-to-back games and is seeing a lot of attention in the red zone. He actually has a rushing touchdown in each of his past two games. Burton is part of a fairly crowded tight end room with Mo Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle both healthy now. Burton is still the clear leader though and could be an interesting depth option or starter in deeper leagues.