Week 9 could be a tricky one for fantasy managers, as the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers are all on bye.
This means that fantasy staples like Nick Chubb, Dak Prescott, Courtland Sutton, Saquon Barkley, Pat Freiermuth and Christian McCaffrey will all be unavailable.
Additionally, injuries will be a factor in Week 9.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the top options for each key fantasy position—quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end—and dive into some late-week waiver-wire targets.
All rankings and picks are based on point-per-reception (PPR) scoring.
There aren’t any notable quarterback injuries worth mentioning this week—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is on the injury report but is expected to play. However, with Prescott, Daniel Jones and Russell Wilson on bye, some managers may still need fill-ins.
It’s worth checking to see if Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is available, as he’s rostered in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues and 42 percent of ESPN leagues. The Ohio State product has started to come on in recent weeks as a dual-threat signal-caller. In Week 8, he tallied 151 passing yards, two touchdowns, 60 rushing yards and a rushing score.
Fields will face a Miami Dolphins defense that added Bradley Chubb at the trade deadline but ranks 22nd in points allowed.
Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota could also be worth an add as a dual threat against a Los Angeles Chargers defense ranked dead-last in yards per rush (5.7) allowed.
Mariota is rostered in 32 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
The most notable absence this week will be that of Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (ankle). Other backs ruled out include J.D. McKissic of the Washington Commanders and Chuba Hubbard of the Carolina Panthers.
Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards has not practiced this week with a hamstring injury. If Edwards can’t go, managers should scoop up backup Kenyan Drake, who is rostered in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues and 31 percent of ESPN leagues.
Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson looks to be a game-time decision, which gives teammate Caleb Huntley some risk-reward value against a bad Chargers defense. Even if Patterson plays, he probably won’t carry the full workload.
Last week, Huntley carried the ball 16 times for 91 yards, though he did have a fumble. The 24-year-old is rostered in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues and 28 percent of ESPN leagues. Teammate and rookie runner Tyler Allgeier is also worth checking in on after last week’s three-reception, 85-yard, one-touchdown outing.
Allgeier is rostered in 69 percent of ESPN leagues and 68 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Isiah Pacheco could be an option in deeper leagues. He hasn’t seen a big workload this season, but he did start over Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Week 7. He carried eight times for 43 yards.
Pacheco is rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues and 25 percent of ESPN leagues.