FANTASY PLAYS: West, Smith, Henry and other Week 9 pickups
Week 9 is another difficult one for fantasy owners with the Bears, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Redskins and Texans on their bye. Since you'll likely be delving a bit deeper into the depth charts, keep in mind that another eight teams still have their break coming up; four in Week 10 and another four in Week 11.
If your roster is in good shape for this week, it doesn't hurt to think ahead. Here are some players to consider adding in Week 9:
SAM BRADFORD (QB, Vikings)
If you're looking for a bye week substitute or streaming candidate at quarterback then Bradford is a solid choice. The Detroit Lions have allowed an average of 25.7 fantasy points per game to the quarterback position, third most in the NFL.
CHARCANDRICK WEST (RB, Chiefs)
Spencer Ware is in the league's concussion protocol and Jamaal Charles is obviously not healthy. That leaves West to handle the primary running back duties. Ware owners should consider adding him for insurance but others should look elsewhere.
ANTONE SMITH (RB, Buccaneers)
If Jacquizz Rodgers is out and Doug Martin still isn't ready to play, then Smith will likely be the primary back instead of Peyton Barber. Since the game is on Thursday and the matchup is good, Smith may be worth a flier if your fantasy team is thin at running back.
DERRICK HENRY (RB, Titans)
DeMarco Murray has an injured toe that is being ''monitored'' this week. If Murray is limited or cannot play against the Chargers, Henry could see a significant bump in touches. The Chargers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs, so Henry would be a nice play if he gets 20 or more touches.
ROB KELLEY (RB, Redskins)
Kelley rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries and scored a TD in Week 8, and he may have stolen the starting running back job from Matt Jones in the process. Washington's schedule is tough after the bye but they have some very favorable matchups during the fantasy playoff weeks, making Kelley a good long-term addition if you have the roster space.
TIM HIGHTOWER (RB, Saints)
Mark Ingram has fallen out of favor with Saints head coach Sean Payton. Meanwhile, Hightower stole the show this past week with 26 carries for 102 yards. At the very least, Hightower has earned a notable spot in the running back committee that the Saints are likely to use going forward. That makes Hightower useful in good matchups like this week at San Francisco.
C. J. PROSISE (RB, Seahawks)
Prosise was on the field as often as Christine Michael this past week, and he's proven to be much better in the passing game than his counterpart. Thomas Rawls has already been ruled out for Week 9, so Prosise could again see plenty of action. At the very least, he should have some value in point-per-reception leagues.
JAMISON CROWDER (WR, Redskins)
Crowder's been targeted heavily the last two games and was rewarded with over 100 receiving yards in both. The Redskins are on a bye this week, but Crowder should be rostered in all leagues as a favorite target of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
QUINCY ENUNWA (WR, Jets)
Enunwa has trouble staying healthy but he's healthy now and playing well. He led the Jets in targets and receiving yards in the Week 8 win against the Browns. He's worth adding for the Week 9 matchup against the Dolphins, who have allowed eight touchdowns to wide receivers this season.
J.J. NELSON (WR, Cardinals)
It appears that Nelson has displaced Michael Floyd in the Cardinals' three wide receiver sets after receiving 19 targets over the last two games. Carson Palmer likes Nelson's speed and ability to get separation downfield. Given some of the favorable matchups after the Week 9 bye, Nelson is a terrific speculative addition in PPR leagues.
ERIC EBRON (TE, Lions)
Ebron finally returned from the injury list and picked up right where he left off. Look for him to become a favorite of Matt Stafford's in the red zone. If he was released on waivers in your league, pick him for use in some very favorable matchups later in the season.
CAMERON BRATE (TE, Buccaneers)
Brate seems to do best when quarterback Jameis Winston has more than 30 pass attempts. The Bucs play the Falcons in Week 9, a team that's allowed five touchdowns to tight ends this season. There are more favorable matchups ahead so Brate is worth adding if you have a need at tight end.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com