While Week 9 wasn't quite as injury filled as Week 8, it still was tough for fantasy owners. Ben Roethlisberger went down (again), although he did put in almost a full game for his owners before leaving. Dion Lewis tore his ACL and is done for the season, adding to the list of running backs that are down and out.
The waiver wire won't be as active as it was following Week 8, but with four teams on bye in Week 10, fantasy owners are going to need to put together a roster that likely looks quite different than it did in Week 1. Let's look at some questions coming out of Week 9.
Who's next up at pass-catching running back for New England?
Other than LeGarrette Blount, is there a New England running back to own? Blount has been the between-the-tackles back and Dion Lewis has been used in the passing game. However, Blount has put together five solid games out of seven that he's played this season (and two clunkers — Week 2, his first game back and Week 7 vs. the New York Jets). When he's had at least 13 carries, he's had at least 74 yards, which is good enough for solid RB2 numbers. He has five touchdowns on the year, but only two receptions. With Tom Brady throwing the ball at least 30 times a game (except for one week), New England is a passing team.
James White is the likely fill-in for Lewis, although he hasn't shown that he can be a solid fill-in for fantasy owners. He was a healthy scratch for Week 9, but he did play when Brandon Bolden was out in Week 7 (three receptions for 26 yards). Bolden took over a bit in Week 9, with three receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown. But the reality is: this is the Patriots backfield. Besides Blount, neither White nor Bolden is worth rostering unless you are truly desperate. The Pats won't tip their hand at which back will get the carries, and it will just be frustrating for fantasy owners.
Is Dorial Green-Beckham going to have fantasy value?
All season, fantasy owners have been waiting for the Dorial Green-Beckham breakout game. The closest thing we saw to that was Week 9. With Kendall Wright injured, DGB finally got an opportunity to play and he looked good. He ended the day with five receptions for 77 yards, although he did have 10 targets.
It's unclear what his role will once Wright returns, but until he is back, consider DGB a WR3 with upside. Sure, he had three of games with zero receptions, but he also has two touchdowns on the year. Before Week 9, he had seven receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns. It's not impressive by any means, but the Titans ought to see what they have in the rookie. They've gone back and forth by saying that he needs to get more involved to he needs to learn more of the playbook, but it appears with the changes in the coaching staff, that DGB will be a part of the Titans’ passing game moving forward.
With so many injuries and unknowns, DGB is worth a wavier add this week and a start if Wright is out again in Week 10. The Titans play Carolina in Week 10, which is a tough matchup, but Marcus Mariota has to throw it to someone other than tight end Delanie Walker.
Is Derek Carr a borderline QB1?
Don't look now, but Carr is 10th in total fantasy points among quarterbacks through nine weeks. Sure, some of that is because of injuries and bye weeks, but he's had double-digit fantasy points in every game he's played since Week 1 (where he got injured). Oakland's offense has been scoffed at in previous years in terms of fantasy, but between Carr and Amari Cooper, there is fantasy value to be found here.
In the past three games, Carr has thrown at least three touchdowns for at least 289 yards in each with a total of just one interception. He faces the Vikings next week, and is a clear QB1. He's had at least one touchdown in every game except Week 1, and he's even made Michael Crabtree fantasy relevant again. After Minnesota, the Raiders play the Lions, Titans and Chiefs before facing Denver in Week 14. It's a pretty good schedule until the beginning of the fantasy playoffs (Week 15 and 16 is Green Bay and San Diego). If he is still available in your league (still is in about a third of leagues), pick him up.
Other burning questions:
Can Antonio Brown (17 rec., 284 yds.) owners REALLY complain about the lack of a TD in Week 9?
Will Karlos Williams score a touchdown in every game he plays?
Is either Denver running back going to have fantasy value this year?
When can you start Shane Vereen?
Is Andy Dalton really that good?
Is Lamar Miller really that good?
How is Cam Newton being so successful (and can you imagine if Kelvin Benjamin was there)?
Is Eddie Lacy going to be passed on the depth chart by James Starks?
How happy are Todd Gurley owners?
Do you want to own any Washington running back?
Will Eric Decker continue to score a touchdown a game in Week 10?
Is Allen Robinson matchup-proof?
Why can't Mike Evans catch the ball?
I thought T.Y. Hilton was hurt and not likely to play?
How are fantasy owners that held on to Dez Bryant feeling now?
Do you ever feel good about starting Jay Cutler?
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.