There are some key players on bye this week and it could make it difficult for some teams to set a great starting lineup. More injuries will pop up and there will be some game-time decisions. The Bengals, Falcons, Rams and Saints are off in Week 9, so here are some sneaky starts for the week.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Carr has played well the last two games and has top receiver Tyrell Williams back. While Carr hasn't had many great games, he's provided a steady floor. He is coming off his best game of the season, passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns in Houston. Carr has five touchdowns and one interception over the last two games. The Lions have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and allow 302.6 passing yards per game. The Lions-Raiders has an over/under of 50.5.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets
Darnold has one good game this season and it was his first one coming back from mono against the Cowboys. While Darnold threw three interceptions last week against the Jaguars, he passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Every starting quarterback they have faced has thrown at least two touchdowns.
Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles
If you like the revenge narrative, that helps Howard. It's also a good matchup. The Bears have struggled to defend the run recently with the loss of Akiem Hicks and the Eagles have run the ball more. Howard had a season-high 23 carries last week for 96 yards and a touchdown. The Bears allowed Josh Jacobs to run for 123 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns in Week 5 and Latavius Murray rushed for 119 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns in Week 7.
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
While the game script favored more passing last week with the Bills playing from behind, Singletary played more snaps than Frank Gore. Singletary played 40 snaps, while Gore played 17. Singletary only had three carries for 19 yards, but caught four passes for 30 yards with a touchdown. The Redskins have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs, and 50 receptions in eight games.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers
Samuels won't be as sneaky if James Conner is out. Conner injured his shoulder last week and didn't practice Wednesday, plus Benny Snell has a knee injury. Samuels practiced last week, but was inactive in Week 8 and is good to go this week after missing time following a knee procedure. Samuels has 11 receptions in his last two games and will see touches even if Conner plays.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
The Eagles are one of the best teams at defending the run. David Montgomery is coming off an excellent game and will still get touches, but the Eagles struggle against running backs catching passes out of the backfield, which could mean a bigger role for Cohen. The Eagles have allowed 41 receptions to running backs and five have caught at least four passes in a game.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets
It has been a frustrating season for Anderson, due to both the absence of Sam Darnold for several games and matchups against some of the league’s top cornerbacks. That won't be a problem this week against the Dolphins, who will be without their best cornerback Xavien Howard. The Dolphins have allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers in the last three games and 13 overall.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions
Amendola has been a big part of the offense the last two weeks and it could be due to the lack of a good running game with Kerryon Johnson injured. Amendola has 19 targets over the last two games and caught 16 passes for 205 yards. The Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Metcalf came through last week in a good matchup with two touchdowns. He gets another great opponent this week against the Buccaneers, who allow the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. They have allowed nine touchdowns to the position.
Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins
Parker has at least eight points in PPR formats in five straight games and has hit double-digits in four consecutive games. He has 32 targets over the last five games and scored in three of them. The Jets allowed three touchdowns to Jaguars wide receivers last week and the secondary is a weakness.
Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars
Conley gets an even bigger boost if Dede Westbrook is out. Conley has become more involved in the offense with seven targets in each of the last two games. He had four receptions for 103 yards with a touchdown last week and three catches for 83 yards the week before. The Texans allow the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers and have allowed nine touchdowns to receivers over the last four games.
Chris Herndon, New York Jets
Herndon got in some limited practices last week with a hamstring injury and is expected to make his season debut this week. The Dolphins are a bad defense and Sam Darnold showed a good rapport with Herndon last season. The Dolphins have allowed one touchdown to a tight end, but they have faced hardly any good tight ends.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles run a lot of two-tight end sets and Goedert has been on the field a lot. In four of the last five games, Goedert has played at least 69% of the snaps. He played a season-high 75% of the snaps last week. Over the last five games, Goedert has caught 15 passes for 166 yards and scored three touchdowns with 23 targets. He has scored in two straight games and three of the last five.
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
Hockenson had his best game of the season in his NFL debut with six catches for 131 yards on nine targets with a touchdown in Week 1 against the Cardinals. He hasn't topped 32 yards or more than four receptions since then. If there's any week for Hockenson to produce, it's this one against the Raiders, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends, and allowed six touchdowns. They have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in the last two games.
Looking for an edge? Check out the Fantasy Assistant from FullTime Fantasy. Sync with your league, and this premium tool offers personalized waiver advice, team analysis, projections, optimal lineups and trade suggestions. Lose Saquon Barkley this week? Fantasy Assistant can automatically help you pick the best replacement. Join now for a free seven-day trial. Use promo code sifantasy for 30% off your first month or year.