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Fantasy Football Week 9 Sneaky Starts

  • The Draft Network
  • November 5, 2021
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In just a few short days we’ll be halfway through the NFL regular season. Boy, time sure does fly. Hopefully you’re sitting in a playoff spot or are within striking distance. If so, there may be a few players that are being largely ignored that could help you win this week.

Let’s take a look at some players flying under the radar who are sneaky starts in Week 9 (please note, all players below are currently rostered in fewer than 25% of leagues):

Quarterbacks

Taysom Hill (QB - NO)

As of writing, we don’t have confirmation on who will be the Saints’ Week 9 starter. However, if Hill is medically cleared and earns the start, there’s reason to believe he could be a top-12 fantasy quarterback this week. In Hill’s four starts last season in place of Drew Brees, he averaged 21.55 FPPG, including 23.9 FPPG in two matchups against the Falcons (his opponent this week). Given Hill’s potential rushing upside against a team he’s had success against that ranks as a neutral matchup for fantasy passers this season, don’t be surprised if he puts up 20 fantasy points for you or someone else in your league.

Jordan Love (QB - GB)

The bombshell of the week (from an on-the-field standpoint) was Aaron Rodgers being ruled out of his matchup against the Chiefs due to a positive COVID test. Love, Green Bay’s quarterback in waiting, will make the start against a defense that’s allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to passers this season. We haven’t seen much of Love to properly assess where he stands as a quarterback right now, but couple the return of Davante Adams and Allen Lazard with the elite matchup and we can see Love finishing as a high-end QB2 in Week 9.

Deep Sleeper: Tyrod Taylor (QB - HOU)

Running Backs

Latavius Murray (RB - BAL)

Coming off a bye and an ankle injury, many either dropped or completely forgot about Murray. Assuming he doesn’t suffer a setback, fire up Murray as a potential flex play this week. He’s emerged as the preferred RB1-A for the Ravens in the timeshare that includes Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, and Ty’Son Williams. Murray is averaging 10.5 touches per game this season and has scored in four of his six contests this season—he even saw a little receiving work in his last two games with four combined catches.

Mark Ingram (RB - NO)

Ingram got eight touches in his first game back with the Saints last week and has a significantly easier matchup in Week 9 against the Falcons than he did against the Buccaneers in Week 8. This is a bit of a gut call, but the Saints have shown a desire in years past with Ingram and Murray to get them involved as pure rushers in order to get more creative with Alvin Kamara’s usage. The trade for Ingram signals that Sean Payton wants to get back to that style of football. Ingram’s per-touch numbers in 2021 aren’t good, but he has a much better offensive line to run behind now and more shots to get in the end zone. He’s absolutely worth a flier this week.

Deep Sleeper: D’Onta Foreman (RB - TEN)

Wide Receivers

Bryan Edwards (WR - LV)

Due to the tragic circumstances surrounding Henry Ruggs III’s poor choices this week, Ruggs’ NFL career appears to be over. His Raiders career certainly is, as the team released him on Tuesday night. Making the transition back onto the football field, there is room for an increased role for Edwards. The second-year wide receiver is averaging 4.4 targets per game this season and caught his first touchdown of the year in his last game prior to the Raiders’ bye week. He has three double-digit performances in seven games this season and those could become more frequent with an expanding role.

Tre’Quan Smith (WR - NO)

Smith is still getting back into the swing of things after making his 2021 season debut in Week 7, but looked a bit more comfortable last week than he did in primetime two weeks ago. New Orleans’ quarterback situation is still up in the air, but Smith is a big-play threat with the chance to boom any week even with a modest amount of targets—he scored 12.3 PPR points last week on just three targets. While the Falcons haven’t been as friendly to fantasy wide receivers in 2021 as they were last year, they’re not a matchup to be worried about, either. Smith could be a solid play if you’re an underdog in your matchup.

Jamal Agnew (WR - JAX)

While Agnew finally got some national attention following his 12-target game last week, he’s no one-hit-wonder. Agnew’s increased involvement in Jacksonville’s offense dates back to Week 5. It may look weird watching Trevor Lawrence force-feed the ball to a player wearing No. 39, but Agnew is essentially playing the role many (including myself) hoped would be reserved for second-year wideout Laviska Shenault. While the Bills are a brutal matchup, volume matters. Agnew is averaging 5.7 catches on 8.3 targets per game in his last three, and it’s safe to assume the Jaguars will be throwing early and often as they trail the Bills all game.

Deep Sleeper: Kendrick Bourne (WR - NE)

Tight Ends

Evan Engram (TE - NYG)

After posting back-to-back double-digit games and with the second-best matchup for fantasy tight ends on tap (vs. LV), Engram is someone worth considering this week. Sterling Shepard is expected to miss time and both Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney are banged up (Saquon Barkley, too). Engram could see a significant workload this weekend and is already averaging 5.5 targets per game this season. Good matchup plus good volume opportunity equals a good sneaky start.

Dan Arnold (TE - JAX)

Arnold has scored at least 10.4 PPR points in two of his four games with Jacksonville, averaging 6.3 targets per game (Note: Arnold got a whopping 10 targets last week). In the mix with Agnew and Marvin Jones Jr. as a top-three pass-catching option for Lawrence, Arnold should see plenty of volume as the Jaguars play a pass-happy game against the Josh Allen that isn’t on their roster.

Deep Sleeper: Tommy Sweeney (TE - BUF)

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