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Free Agent Focus

Week 9 Free Agent Focus

By DS Staff 11:07am EDT 11/1/22


Justin Fields, QB, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-15%

Fields threw for 151 yards and 2 TDs and ran for 60 yards and another score in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. That was enough to land him 5th among fantasy QBs for the week. It’s his 2nd straight top-6 finish and 4th straight among the top 12. And it’s not a fluke.

The Bears have altered their offense after a terrible start to the season. Most notably for Fields: they’re working in more designed runs. He got 4 and 5 in the 1st 2 games of the year but then totaled just 4 over the next 4 contests. The past 2 games, however, have seen 7 and 4 designed runs for the QB. He delivered 55 and 22 yards on those plays in those games. Fields totaled 17 yards on designed runs over the first 6 contests.

Fields gets a neutral Week 9 matchup vs. Miami before positive draws against the Lions and Falcons. His team sits as a 5-point underdog vs. Miami right now. That kind of game flow would only put the ball in the QB’s hands more.

If you’re in need at QB, Fields looks like a short-term fix. He also gets the 2nd Lions meeting in Week 17, championship week for most fantasy leagues. Be aware, though, that he also gets a Week 14 bye and then tough matchups with the Eagles and Bills.


Latavius Murray, RB, Broncos

Blind-bid recommendation: 25-35%

Murray for some reason remains available in about two-thirds of ESPN fantasy leagues. Denver’s backfield, as expected, became a 2-man show on Sunday morning, with Mike Boone on IR. Murray led in carries (14) and rushing yards (46). He added 13 yards on his 1 reception. Melvin Gordon led the receiving work, and both got goal-line scores.

The Broncos have a Week 9 bye, but Murray will return from that as an RB3 or flex option. Denver gets the toughest draw of Week 10 for RB scoring (Tennessee) but then gets a decent RB schedule beyond that.


Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill, RBs, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-25%

RB Gus Edwards was knocked out of Thursday night’s game in Tampa with a hamstring injury. He hasn’t been ruled out for Monday night’s game against the Saints, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the looming Week 10 bye helps Baltimore decide to sit him.

With RB J.K. Dobbins on IR, Edwards’ absence would leave Baltimore’s backfield to Drake and Hill. Drake out-carried Hill 7 to 4 and out-targeted him 4 to 0 on Thursday night. That makes Drake the preferred fantasy option in Week 9, but Hill is also worth stashing.


Nyheim Hines, RB, Bills

Blind-bid recommendation: 15-20%

Landing in Buffalo might not necessarily boost Hines' opportunities. But leaving a Jonathan Taylor-led backfield for one with Devin Singletary as the incumbent at least opens the possibility that Hines could lead his backfield in touches the rest of the way.

The Bills have clearly been looking to upgrade at receiving back, and Tuesday's trade says they believe Hines is at least a better version of rookie James Cook right now. And the vet beats Singletary pretty easily on explosiveness.

Hines might remain limited to the point that we don't want to start him in most fantasy formats. But the chance that he reaches Michael Carter-level usage in 1 of the league's top offenses makes him worth a stash where available.


Deon Jackson, RB, Colts

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

Jackson looks like the #2 RB now in Indianapolis, behind a starter playing through an ankle sprain -- which Taylor tweaked again in Sunday's loss to Washington. We'll see whether Zack Moss can alter that depth chart, but nothing he did in Buffalo says he's a good bet to push past anyone.

We have already seen 2 productive PPR weeks from Jackson when pressed into duty earlier this season: 13.1 PPR points at Denver in Week 5 and 28.1 vs. Jacksonville the following game.


Kyren Williams, RB, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

We have yet to see an offensive snap from the rookie, but there have been reports since summer of HC Sean McVay planning a meaningful role. While he’s been out, Cam Akers moved out to find his own apartment, and Darrell Henderson has shared custody of the remaining touches with unexciting, undrafted rookie Ronnie Rivers.

Barring a RB trade before today’s deadline, there’s clearly room for Williams to take on as much as the Rams are willing to give him.

The 5th-round pick tested disappointingly ahead of the NFL Draft, but that followed 2 highly productive seasons as Notre Dame’s workhorse. Williams averaged 5.1 yards per rush for his college career, topping 200 carries in each of his 2 starting seasons. He added 77 receptions over that span, with 8.7 yards per catch for his career.

We’ll see how he fits into L.A.’s backfield. But the time to buy in is now, before everyone gets that reveal.


Jaylen Warren, RB, Steelers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-15%

The idea that Warren is about to steal significant playing time from Najee Harris is probably getting too much attention right now. The Steelers drafted Harris in Round 1 just a year ago and got a nice, workhorse rookie season from him. We’re not betting on them shoving him aside for an undrafted rookie who has flashed while running 3.6 times per game.

Warren will have trouble gaining fantasy relevance as long as Harris is on the field. But if the starter goes down, Warren could turn that flash into team-helping upside. He ranks 13th among all RBs in Pro Football Focus’ elusive rating this year. He also sits way ahead of Harris in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA and DYAR (but hasn’t carried enough to qualify for the rankings).

Warren sits rostered in just 3% of ESPN leagues. He should be stashed in most leagues of 12+ teams and carries a more tantalizing ceiling than that WR you’ve been waiting on to break through.


Rondale Moore, WR, Cardinals

Blind-bid recommendation: 12-18%

Moore toppled the Vikings in 2021 with 7 catches, 114 yards and 1 score. He found similar success against them on Sunday, turning 8 targets into 7 catches, 92 yards and 1 TD.

Moore’s big play was a 38-yard catch-and-run TD that displayed his open-field elusiveness. On the day, he ran 52 routes — just 1 behind DeAndre Hopkins. If that type of usage continues — particularly out of the slot — Moore should continue finding PPR success.

Week 9 turns up a fine home matchup with Seattle. Longer-term, note that Marquise Brown (foot) is reportedly not close to returning.


Devin Duvernay, WR, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-10%

Duvernay saw just 4 targets (10.5% share) in Thursday night’s win over the Bucs. But he caught all 4 for 31 yards – and ran twice for 33 yards and a score. He ran a route on 71% of QB Lamar Jackson’s dropbacks.

There’s room for that role to grow now that Rashod Bateman will miss several weeks with his foot injury. Next up is a road matchup with the Saints, one that might be played without Mark Andrews (knee, shoulder).


Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-8%

DPJ continued to maximize opportunities in Monday’s win over Cincinnati. On 4 targets, he posted 81 yards. He’s now hit 50+ yards in 5 straight.

The 23-year-old is benefiting from better-than-expected play from Jacoby Brissett. But the real draw here is the looming return of Deshaun Watson in Week 13. From then on, Cleveland’s schedule looks favorable with matchups against Houston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, New Orleans and Washington.

Just note that DPJ is a long-term stash, opposed to an immediate asset, since Cleveland enters a Week 9 bye.


Greg Dulcich, TE, Broncos

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

A 4-87 line in London gives Dulcich 11+ PPR points in each of his first 3 NFL games. League-wide, his 32 routes ranked top-8 at the position for Week 8. There’s clearly no issue with his ability to get on the field.

Frankly, he’s getting close to every-week starter territory at TE.

Dulich has a Week 9 bye but returns to plus matchups vs. the Titans and Raiders.


Isaiah Likely, TE, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

Stepping in for TE Mark Andrews, who exited early in the 2nd quarter of Thursday night’s game with a shoulder injury, Likely snagged 6 of 7 targets for 77 yards and a score. He’d been quiet behind Andrews over the season’s first 7 games – but remember that he had an excellent preseason, catching 12 balls for 144 yards and 1 TD in 2 games.

The rookie will be a Week 9 spot-start option if Andrews sits. Just note that the matchup is tough vs. a Saints defense that ranks 1st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.


Foster Moreau, TE, Raiders

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Moreau might not be usable by Sunday’s visit to Jacksonville, if Darren Waller is ready to go. But if that nagging hamstring keeps Waller out again, then Moreau will belong in plenty of fantasy lineups.

He led all Raiders with 9 targets in Sunday’s shutout loss at New Orleans, catching 6 of them for 31 yards. Second-half garbage time didn’t hurt, but Moreau hit halftime as the team leader in targets, receptions and receiving yards.

Week 9 turns up a Jacksonville matchup that projects as close.


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