Week 9 brings another week with six teams on a bye (Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Washington), which means fantasy owners will have gaps in their lineups. Waivers have already run for the week, and while owners may still be able to add and drop players, now the challenge is finding enough to put together a starting lineup.
Please note the five up/five down column is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status and matchup. Five up/five down is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Washington
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
On a week where quarterback is tough, some fantasy owners are looking for a bye-week fill-in. Tannehill faces the New York Jets, who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. All quarterbacks they've faced have thrown for at least 237 yards. All but one have thrown for a touchdown, and four of the eight have thrown for multiple touchdowns. While Tannehill has yet to have the breakout year fantasy owners have been hoping for, he is usable in Week 9. He has taken advantage of good matchups (Week 3: 319 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns). He's the No. 14 quarterback this week, but could finish in the top 10.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
In Week 8, Henry had 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also added four receptions for 37 yards. Some of this work was the result of DeMarco Murray leaving the game briefly with a toe/foot injury. Murray should be fine to play, however, Henry also should have a role. San Diego has given up 10 rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs. The Chargers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher, but Henry is more likely to get in the end zone than rush for 100 yards. The Titans will likely utilize both running backs, giving both fantasy value. Henry is the 26th-ranked running back this week.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers
In his return in Week 8 from a fractured shoulder, Moncrief had four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. He had nine targets, which was the most on the team. Part of the reason for this was that T.Y. Hilton was banged up for some of this game, but Moncrief does still have a role even with Hilton healthy. He's a solid WR2, and should exceed his No. 14 ranking this week. The Green Bay Packers have allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. It's likely both Hilton and Moncrief find the end zone in what should be a shootout.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Blake Bortles has been killing Allen Robinson's value this season. Robinson hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 4 and has yet to post more than 75 yards in a game. The Chiefs have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, including one each game over the past three weeks since their bye. Robinson always has a shot at finding the end zone, and it is a gamble, but he is a WR2. Robinson is ranked No. 17 for Week 9, but has a shot at finishing in the top 15.
Lance Kendricks, TE, Los Angeles Rams vs Carolina Panthers
In a week where six teams are on a bye, the tight end position gets tough. Kendricks has had 17 targets in the past two games. He's caught 12 of those passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. The Carolina Panthers allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. They've allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends in seven games. Kendricks is a cheap DFS play, and is available in more than 90 percent of leagues for fantasy owners looking for a replacement tight end for Week 9. He's ranked No. 18, but should finish in the top 15.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams shut down Eli Manning and the Giants the last time these two teams played (both were on a bye in Week 8). Prior to that game, they had allowed 10 TD passes in the previous four games, so it's hard to say which Rams defense will show up in Week 9. Newton came off of his bye and only threw for 212 yards against the Arizona Cardinals. He is still providing fantasy owners with yards on the ground, but this matchup is harder than it looks. Newton is ranked No. 8, but he could finish outside the top 10.
Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers
The word out of Indianapolis is that the Colts want to get Gore more involved. Over the past three weeks, his touches have dropped from 22 to 17 to nine. His yardage over that time period has dropped from 107 to 61 to 37. He has two TD catches over that time, but as a runner, it's hard to see Gore being effective. The Packers have only allowed two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown this season (and Devonta Freeman had one of those rushing touchdowns and the receiving one in Week 8) to RBs. Gore is the 13th-ranked running back, but should finish as a low RB2.
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans
Gordon has been a touchdown machine this year, but without the touchdowns, he'd barely be a RB2. He is averaging 3.6 yards per carry. He's been a workhorse running back, with more than 20 carries in each of the last three weeks and an additional 10 receptions in those three games as well. The Chargers had talked about not overworking Gordon before Week 8 (where he had 27 touches). Even with that workload, he has a tough matchup with the Titans in Week 9. They have only allowed three rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs and one receiving touchdowns. Gordon should finish outside of the top 10, but he's ranked at No. 5.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars did give up a touchdown to both Rishard Matthews and Kendall Wright in Week 8, Maclin has been struggling all year. He's had great matchups before and hasn't been able to do anything with them. Maclin also missed practice on Thursday, which may be cause for concern. Nick Foles will be in at quarterback, and while he did find Maclin in the end zone in Week 8, it is unlikely he will repeat that in Week 9. Maclin is the 26th-ranked wide receiver for Week 9, but he is merely a low WR3.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers
After two solid weeks (Week 6 and 7), Doyle fell back to earth in Week 8. With Dwayne Allen returning to the lineup and Donte Moncrief back as another target for Andrew Luck, Doyle's fantasy value is dropping rapidly. He's the No. 9 ranked tight end for Week 9, but he should finish outside the top 10. The Green Bay Packers have only allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends, and those were in the first two weeks of the season. Leave Doyle on the bench if possible.
Full Disclosure (Week 8):
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Ranked: 14, Finished: 5
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, Ranked: 13, Finished: 23
Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, Ranked: 26, Finished: 27
Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, Ranked: 34, Finished: 9
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, Ranked: 19, Finished: 8
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Ranked: 13, Finished: 7
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ranked: 18, Finished: 29
Jordan Howard and Ka'Deem Carey, RBs, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, Ranked: 23, 31, Finished: 1, Outside the top 50
Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, Ranked: 35, Finished: Outside the top 50
Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, Ranked: 12, Finished: 21
— 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.