Dig in. And dominate.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings: The rookie out of Maryland has wowed for four consecutive weeks, but was limited in practice this week with a hamstring injury. He’s already faced a tough pass defense in Denver, and now faces a stingy St. Louis defense. So long as he’s on the field, owners must go with the hot hand until he plays his way out of the lineup.
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers: The Tampa Bay wideout said he injured his groin and oblique muscles in the team’s Week 8 upset of Atlanta, but he’s not listed on the injury report leading up to the weekend matchup vs. the New York Giants.
Matt Forte, RB, Bears: While Chicago Coach John Fox is playing down the medial collateral ligament injury to Forte, the general consensus is that the Bears’ lead tailback will miss a couple of weeks. Jeremy Langford is the hottest waiver wire pickup of the week and his first opportunity to carry the workload will come against San Diego, currently 27th against the run.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: Andrew Luck and Indianapolis were already going to have their hands full facing the Denver defense, ranked No. 1 in the league against the pass, and now face the prospect of matching up against the Broncos’ secondary without their top wideout. Hilton (foot) will be a game-time decision, which could be tough on owners since it’s a late start on Sunday afternoon.
Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers: San Francisco is unlikely to have the former Ohio State running back when they square off against a much-improved Atlanta defense coming off a poor outing. He missed Thursday’s practice and may miss his second straight game. I would be hesitant to play Hyde even if he’s active, wanting to see a good outing before relying on him.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets: The wideout returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday, and the expectation is that he’ll play in what should be a solid matchup against Jacksonville, which has allowed the eight-most passing yards per game this season.
Willie Snead, WR, Saints: Despite a banged-up knee, the wideout returned to practice Thursday and doesn’t appear to be in any danger of sitting out this weekend. He’s coming off his biggest game of the season and is a WR2/WR3/Flex play given the way Drew Brees is throwing the ball.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos: As an owner of Anderson in one league, the bitterness has built up after weeks of providing his owners nothing – not even a single score. Anderson finally produced a 100-yard performance and a touchdown in Week 8. Perhaps the Broncos worked out the kinks in their offense during their bye because Denver looked solid against a tough Green Bay defense. Now, can Anderson provide owners with another solid outing? The opponent this week is the Indianapolis Colts, who rank 28th against the run. No doubt Anderson could end up reverting back to his Week 1-7 form, but we’re optimistic in Week 9.
Malcom Floyd – Steve Johnson, WRs, Chargers: Two weeks ago we advocated for Floyd in a tasty matchup against the Raiders only to see Johnson have the better game. A week ago, we advocated for Johnson only to see Floyd turn in the finer performance. With the season-ending injury to Keenan Allen and a matchup against the Bears’ secondary, we’re going to cover our bases and push for both players this week. Floyd is coming off his best fantasy total of the season (92 yards and two touchdowns).
Justin Hunter, WR, Titans: Normally, given Hunter’s anemic production this season thus far, we would relegate this type of player to the lottery bin, but with Kendall Wright ruled out with a sprained MCL, a glorious matchup against the Saints’ secondary awaits Hunter and the Tennessee receiving corps. With Marcus Mariota set to return, Hunter has a lot of upside in Week 9.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars: With the inconsistency of running backs this fantasy season, owners might not have the luxury of sitting Yeldon. While he’s tallied double digits the past three weeks, the Jets haven’t surrendered a rushing touchdown since Week 3. New York did give up 113 yards to Latavius Murray in its Week 8 loss, but he’s only one of two tailbacks to gain more than 57 yards this season against the Jets. Temper your expectations if you’re going with Yeldon in the lineup.
Lottery tickets that could pay off
Justin Hardy, WR, Falcons: The rookie wideout may have only hauled in two receptions in Week 8, but he impressed teammate Julio Jones. With Leonard Hankerson potentially out again for Atlanta, and Roddy White no longer fantasy relevant, Hardy could see a good amount of playing time in Sunday’s game vs. San Francisco. Hardy played 54 snaps last weekend and the Falcons’ offense should have a field day against the 49ers, who enter Week 9 ranked 27th against the pass.
Jeremy Langford, RB, Bears: We mentioned Langford above because of the MCL injury to Forte. While Langford has a chance to have some long-term value, if you’re just worried about Week 9, then feel confident playing him because as previously noted, it’s just too good of a matchup to pass up on. In Week 8 action, Langford rushed the ball 12 times for 46 yards; we’re guessing he receives twice as many touches in Week 9.