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Week 9 Free Agent Focus

By Alex Korff | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT


Gardner Minshew, QB, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 4-8%

The rookie bounced back from a couple of rough outings to rack up 279 yards and 3 scores in Sunday's win over the Jets. Minshew added 28 yards on the ground and is now averaging 27.9 rushing yards across 7 starts.

He’ll be a Week 9 spot-start option in a plus matchup against the Texans, who have allowed 4 straight opponents to top 270 passing yards and throw 3+ TD passes. Things got even worse for Houston on Sunday, when DE J.J. Watt suffered a season-ending pectoral tear.

A Week 10 bye and then iffy road matchups at Indy and Tennessee limit Minshew's value.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers

Blind-bid recommendation: 4-8%

San Francisco’s run-heavy offense caps his upside, but Garoppolo has tossed multiple scores in 3 of 7 games this season.

He’ll be a lower-end spot-start option in Week 9 against a Cardinals defense that entered this week ranked 28th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs — before giving up 373 yards and 3 TDs to Drew Brees.

Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-20%

He’ll step in as the #2 RB in San Francisco’s voluminous and dominant running game on Thursday night against the Cardinals if Matt Breida’s ankle keeps him out. Mostert has averaged a big 5.7 yards per carry this season, including his 9-carry, 60-yard outing in Sunday's win over the Panthers.


Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

Don’t be fooled by Henderson out-carrying Todd Gurley 11 to 10 in Sunday's win over the Bengals. The rookie saw 7 fourth-quarter carries with the game out of reach. And Malcolm Brown has a chance to return after a Week 9 bye.

But Henderson’s still worth stashing as a big-play threat on one of the league’s top offenses. It’s becoming quite clear that we’re not going to see the 2018 version of Gurley, either.

Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-12%

Penny saw his first action since Week 5, taking 8 carries for 55 yards in the win over Atlanta. Chris Carson isn’t going anywhere as the lead back, but multiple reports have called Penny a trade chip ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. He’d be a lock for elevated value on a new team, making the 23-year-old a fine wait-and-see stash.

Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Smith capitalized on Delanie Walker’s absence Sunday, posting a 6-78-1 line on a team-high 7 targets. We’ll see when Walker is able to return from his ankle injury — but Tennessee might be ready to keep starting the more explosive and much younger Smith.

Note that the Titans face 2 negative TE matchups the next couple of weeks (Panthers, Chiefs) before a Week 11 bye.


Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles

Blind-bid recommendation: 4-7%

He caught Carson Wentz’s only TD in Sunday's win in Buffalo. Goedert finished with just 3 catches for 22 yards, but his 5 targets ranked 2nd on the team on a day when Wentz threw it just 24 times.

Goedert has now tallied 17 targets over the past 3 games and has played 69+% of Philly's offensive snaps in 4 of the past 5. That's enough to make him a spot-start option going forward.


Noah Fant, TE, Broncos

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

In Denver’s 1st game without WR Emmanuel Sanders, Fant led the team with 8 targets. He turned those into just 5 catches for 26 scoreless yards — but we can’t be too picky at TE. Fant might be a nice volume bet going forward.


Jets D/ST

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

This defense didn't have a good Sunday, allowing 29 points in a loss at Jacksonville. But a Week 8 trip to Miami just might provide healing powers.

The Jets hit Week 7 as the 10th-best defense in the league according to Football Outsiders' overall DVOA. The Dolphins, meanwhile, head into Monday night's clash with Pittsburgh as still the best scoring matchup by far for team defenses -- adding 94% to opponent scoring.



Deep-League Options:

Tra Carson, RB, Lions

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

It wasn’t Ty Johnson. Or J.D. McKissic. Or even Paul Perkins. It was Carson who led the Lions with 12 carries in Sunday's win over the Giants. They went for just 34 yards — and Carson wasn’t targeted in the passing game.

The Lions backfield is looking like 1 to avoid if possible going forward, especially if they add another piece at the trade deadline. But Carson is worth a look if you’re desperate.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

Thomas led the Jets with 5 catches Sunday and ranked 2nd on the team with 63 yards and 5 targets.

Thomas has now seen 27 targets over the past 4 weeks and will be a deep-league option in next week’s plus matchup against the Dolphins -- perhaps beyond if the Jets offense can improve.

Chris Conley, WR, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Conley followed up a 3-83 line last week with a 4-103-1 in Sunday's win over the Jets. Conley has totaled 15 targets over the past 2 games and could continue to play an expanded role with WR Dede Westbrook struggling through shoulder and neck injuries.

Week 9 brings a plus matchup against a bad and banged-up Texans secondary.


Josh Reynolds, WR, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

Brandin Cooks departed early in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati with the 3rd documented concussion of his career. Reynolds stepped into the #3 role to snag 3 of 8 targets for 73 yards and 1 score. Cooper Kupp stole the show with 220 yards, but Reynolds’ deep-ball TD provided another highlight.

Feel free to ignore him if have limited bench space; L.A. goes on bye in Week 9. But Reynolds could be a spot-start option for Week 10 (at Pittsburgh) if Cooks remains out.

Darius Slayton, WR, Giants

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

Slayton caught just 2 balls in Sunday's loss to Detroit — but they both went for TDs. The 1st from 22 yards and the 2nd from 28. Slayton’s 5 targets ranked 4th among Giants, behind Golden Tate (10), Saquon Barkley (10) and Evan Engram (7). The rookie has seen 5+ targets in 4 of 6 games, though, and brought big-play pop with 16.7 yards per catch.


Alex Korff Author Image
Alex Korff, Product Manager
Alex is an engineer by trade and focuses a lot on the game theory and the “value” of players. He spends most of his time in spreadsheets and building new fantasy football tools.
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