FANTASY PLAYS: Burning questions for Week 9 in football
A look at some key fantasy football questions going into Week 9:
WHICH UNDER THE RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR A BIG GAME THIS WEEK?
You've got options at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick starts for Tampa Bay against the Panthers, who have given up two TDs to QBs in six straight games. Fitzpatrick threw 11 TDs in his first three starts of the season and another two last week when he replaced Jameis Winston. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards and two TDs earlier this year against the Steelers and gets them again this week. Pittsburgh has improved but has allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
At running back, Houston's Lamar Miller has improved with 233 yards rushing and two TDs the past two weeks. He faces the Broncos on Sunday, who have allowed the second second most rushing yards and third most rushing TDs to RBs.
Danny Amendola has averaged eight targets and scored at least 10 points in point-per-reception leagues in each of the three games started by Miami quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Dolphins face the Jets this week, who have given up the sixth most fantasy points per game to wideouts and five touchdowns to slot receivers.
Jets tight end Chris Herndon has seven catches the past three weeks — but three touchdowns.
WHICH PLAYERS HAVE UPSIDE BASED ON THE REST OF THE SEASON?
Cleveland's Nick Chubb has a great schedule ahead if new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchen takes advantage of Chubb's skills. Four of seven games left are against teams that are top five in fantasy points allowed to running backs, making him a ripe trade target.
Dak Prescott got a big upgrade at WR when the Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper. He also has a QB friendly schedule for a good part of the rest of the fantasy football season. Prescott faces the Falcons (second in FPPG to QBs) in Week 11 and the Saints (third in FPPG to QBs) in Week 13. Then in the fantasy playoffs he gets the Colts and Buccaneers. Prescott is a good trade acquisition in two-quarterback leagues and potential streamer in one-QB formats.
WHO HAS THE MOST LONG-TERM UPSIDE AFTER THE FLURRY OF NFL TRADES?
The Broncos trading away Demaryius Thomas opens up all kinds of opportunities for rookie WR Courtland Sutton. He already led the Broncos in end zone targets, and Sutton will see an overall uptick in targets going forward. He has a favorable matchup Sunday against a Texans pass defense that has been depleted by injuries. He won't come cheap, but his long-term potential upside makes him a player to target in trades in keeper or dynasty leagues.
HOW ABOUT THOMAS?
DeAndre Hopkins is unquestionably the No. 1 receiver for the Texans. But Will Fuller, whom Thomas is replacing, was averaging a little over six targets per game. Look for Thomas to be targeted similarly with an improved chance of scoring.
HOW DOES GOLDEN TATE FARE AFTER BEING TRADED TO PHILADELPHIA?
Tight End Zach Ertz is QB Carson Wentz's favorite target. Look for Tate's per-game target average to take a slight hit. He'll still play most of his snaps from the slot, which means he'll continue to be a busy receiver. Tate already had a bye with the Lions and gets another this week because of the trade.