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Free Agent Focus

Week 9 Free Agent Focus

By DS Staff 10:00pm EDT 10/31/21


Taysom Hill, QB, Saints

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-20%

Trevor Siemian took over for Jameis Winston Sunday and was solid, completing 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and a score in the win. But Hill figures to start once he clears the concussion protocol, and NBC reported Sunday night that Hill is expected to be ready for Week 9. Remember that Hill was super productive in fantasy football last year, finishing as a top 13 QB in all 4 of his starts.

The early indication on Winston is a significant ACL injury -- and it sounds like he could be done for the season. That adds value to Hill, whose value will vary significantly by league. If you're hard up for QB help then don't be afraid to pay more for Hill than you normally would for a mid-season QB. Assuming he's ready for Week 9, Hill's 1st start would come in a high-upside matchup with Atlanta.

Carson Wentz, QB, Colts

Blind-bid recommendation: 4-8%

Wentz cost the Colts in Sunday's OT loss to the Titans with a couple of bad INTs. But he delivered for fantasy owners with 231 passing yards and 3 TDs. That’s 5 straight games of 2+ TDs for Wentz. The next 2 weeks bring plus matchups vs. the Jets and Jaguars.


Adrian Peterson, RB, Titans

Blind-bid recommendation: 25-40% in non-PPR, 20-30% in PPR

Jeremy McNichols, RB, Titans

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-30% in non-PPR, 25-35% in PPR

Derrick Henry looks likely to miss the rest of the fantasy football season with a broken foot. That leaves Tennessee's backfield to McNichols and Peterson, who was signed on Monday.

Henry leaves behind 27.4 carries and 2.5 targets per game. But don't expect Peterson and McNichols to reach 27.4 carries per game combined. Tennessee figures to shift significantly toward the pass sans Henry.

But there will still be plenty of work to go around for these 2 guys. We're betting on Peterson leading the way in carries, with McNichols taking on an expanded ball-carrying role and handling most of the pass-catching work. That'd make Peterson the more valuable asset in non-PPR leagues; McNichols in PPR.


Boston Scott, RB, Eagles

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-30%

Scott led all Eagles RBs in playing time in Sunday’s blowout win at Detroit, according to Pro Football Focus. He played 29 snaps to Kenneth Gainwell’s 20 and Jordan Howard’s 16. The trio finished basically even in carries (13 for Gainwell, 12 apiece for the other 2), but Scott ran 9 times in the 1st half to Howard’s 4 and just 1 for Gainwell. Scott also drew the group’s only target for the game. He’s at least as good a bet for touches as Gainwell while Miles Sanders is on IR -- if not better. Next week’s home date with the Chargers shapes up as another run-friendly spot.


Carlos Hyde, RB, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-15%

Hyde will take over as Jacksonville’s lead back if James Robinson’s ankle injury costs him further time. Hyde is a plodder at this point of his career and could lose some passing-down work to Dare Ogunbowale. But 15 or so touches per game would make him a low-end fantasy option. Jacksonville has a brutal Week 9 matchup vs. the Bills before more doable spots against the Colts, 49ers and Falcons.

Update: Robinson is considered "day to day" with a foot injury, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. It sounds like he's iffy for Week 9 but should at least be back for Week 10. That makes Hyde a 1-week spot starter in a bad matchup.


DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-20%

Parker returned from his shoulder and hamstring injuries Sunday to lead Miami with 8 catches and 85 yards in the loss to the Bills. Parker’s 11 targets ranked 2nd on the team and constituted a large 28% of the total. He opened the season with games of 7, 9, 7 and 9 targets, so the volume has been strong. Parker looks like a WR3 option going forward.

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Steelers

Blind-bid recommendation: 7-15%

The rookie turned in his 2nd straight 7-target game in Sunday’s win over the Browns. After posting a 7-58 line before the bye week, Freiermuth came away with 4-44-1 in Week 8. TE Eric Ebron missed this one with a hamstring injury, but Freiermuth had passed him in the pecking order anyway.

Dan Arnold, TE, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Arnold tallied 8 and 5 targets in his 2nd and 3rd games with Jacksonville before the Week 7 bye. He returned this week and led the team with 8 catches and 68 yards on 10 targets. Arnold might be working his way into the TE1 discussion.



Deep-League Options:


P.J. Walker, QB, Panthers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10% (Superflex and 2-QB leagues only)

Sam Darnold suffered a concussion in the 4th quarter of Sunday’s win over the Falcons. Walker came on for just a single pass attempt and managed just 3-of-14 passing after taking over for Darnold in the 2nd half of the loss to the Giants. He doesn’t look like a savior in any fantasy format. But Walker could be a Week 9 starter, which puts him in view for 2-QB leagues.


Jordan Howard, RB, Eagles

Blind-bid recommendation: 15-20%

Howard’s 12 carries tied Boston Scott and fell just 1 short of Kenneth Gainwell’s total in Sunday’s win over the Lions. But he also beat Gainwell 4-1 in rushing attempts in the 1st half and scored twice on the ground. Howard checked in 3rd among that trio in playing time, and he’ll likely wind up 3rd among Philly RBs in our Week 9 rankings. But he’s worth a stash this week in deeper leagues. Just keep in mind that Sunday's RB touch volume ran opposite to what we'd seen from Philly over the 1st 7 weeks. The Eagles hit the weekend averaging the fewest RB carries per game in the league.

Jaret Patterson, RB, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-15%

Patterson carried a season-high and team-high 11 times in the loss to Denver -- 3 more than Antonio Gibson and 8 more than J.D. McKissic. Patterson tallied a decent 46 yards but failed to catch his lone target. He’ll need more work than this to be a real fantasy factor. But Gibson is obviously still struggling with that stress fracture in his shin.

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

He looked re-energized in his first game back with the Saints, carrying 6 times for 27 yards and catching both of his targets for 25 yards. Ingram isn’t a standalone fantasy option behind Alvin Kamara. But a Kamara injury would turn him into a weekly starter.


Van Jefferson, WR, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

We’ll see what happens this week with WR DeSean Jackson, who’s on the trade block. But Jefferson is entrenched as the #3 WR on this high-flying Rams offense. He caught 3 of 6 balls for 88 yards against Houston. Jefferson has seen 6+ targets in 4 of Los Angeles’ last 6 games, making him a potential spot-start option in deeper leagues.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Crowder racked up 8 catches on 9 targets for 84 yards in Sunday’s surprise win over the Bengals. Crowder benefited from the Jets running 78 offensive plays and chucking it 49 times. But he also totaled 15 catches on 21 targets over his first 3 games of the season. He might be useful in deeper PPR leagues -- especially if WR Corey Davis misses more time with the injury he suffered in practice last week.


Jamal Agnew, WR, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

D.J. Chark’s season-ending injury kicked Laviska Shenault to the outside and turned Agnew into Jacksonville’s full-time slot receiver. He has now racked up 25 targets over the last 3 games, including a team-high 12 in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks. Agnew is turning into a useful piece in deeper PPR leagues.


Quez Watkins, WR, Eagles

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-8%

Watkins saw just 2 targets Sunday in a game that found Jalen Hurts attempting only 14 throws before leaving the blowout victory. But Philly lost WR Jalen Reagor to an ankle injury in the game. If he remains sidelined heading into the Week 9 clash with the Chargers, then Watkins could have some appeal in deeper leagues. His 14.1-yard average depth of target entering Week 8 led all Eagles and stood 5.4 yards deeper than Reagor’s average. That gives Watkins a better chance to generate numbers on lower target counts.


Terrace Marshall, WR, Panthers

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

Robby Anderson continued to not deliver Sunday in Atlanta, and this time the targets didn’t even come. He drew just 1 look among 25 Carolina pass attempts. Marshall missed the game with a concussion but made it back to limited participation Friday. Marshall hasn’t made much impact in real football or fantasy so far this season, but the Panthers have struggled offensively over the past month after a stronger start to the year. The rookie could be worth a stash on a deeper roster, in case he’s part of the solution. Marshall’s playing time had climbed before his Week 6 injury, including 71% and 76% snap shares in his last 2 healthy outings.


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