Six teams were on a bye week in Week 9. And as the injuries continue to mount, it’s time to find some relief. Last week’s ‘5 Up’ had Philip Rivers (24 pts), Stefon Diggs (21 pts), and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who got hurt in the 1st series which allowed Geno Smith to have a solid day with 19 points. The ‘5 Down’ included the disappointing outputs of Amari Cooper (9 pts), Jason Witten (3 pts), Doug Martin (8 pts), and Andrew Luck who hasn’t played yet, but supposedly will be playing with fractured ribs (makes sense, he has looked anxious in the pocket).
A reminder, this article presents two different groups. The first five are not about studs that will produce, but rather, players that are expected to exceed their normal level of production. The second five are solid players who won’t live up to the “stud” status or continue the hot steak they are currently on for that particular week. Let’s dive in!
1) Derek Carr (QB) Oakland Raiders – I’ll be the first to admit I picked Derek Carr to have a less-than-stellar game against the New York Jets. He proved me wrong and made me a full-on believer. I liked what he was doing throughout the season, but he proved that he could be an elite talent at quarterback in fantasy football for years. He threw for 333 yards and 4 TDs against a very good Jets secondary. Next week, he plays a Steelers team that has been hot and cold so far this season in the secondary. He can make another statement this week by beating another playoff contending team.
2) Willie Snead (WR) New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees is proving he still has it and Snead has been a beneficiary of this hot streak. Snead is quietly putting up numbers and has become a reliable weapon for Brees. If he’s available in your league, he’d make a great waiver wire selection to make up for all the bye weeks and injuries at wide receiver this week.
3) Jameis Winston (QB) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Looking for a desperation pickup at quarterback. I didn’t select Winston because Brees just went off on the Giants, but because Winston has played well in his last two games. He has had a QBR of at least 88 in each of the last two games. I think he plays well against the Giants and continues this mini-hot streak.
4) Duke Johnson Jr. (RB) Cleveland Browns – Johnson is another player that has quietly been putting up good numbers and should have another solid game against the Bengals next week. The Bengals could be up early against the Browns which means more time for Johnson Jr. on the field instead of Crowell and Turbin. He has been a versatile weapon for the Browns and should see plenty of touches next week.
5) Heath Miller (TE) Pittsburgh Steelers – Making a full circle on all positions here, Miller should have a solid game next week against the Raiders. The Raiders have struggled mightily against tight ends this season, Roethlisberger is back, and Miller is coming off his best game of the season.