Fielding an ideal Fantasy Football lineup in Week 9 seems to be a major challenge. Six teams are on a bye, including the New England Patriots, who boast some of the best Fantasy players at any positions. The availability of some other key performers is uncertain, making the task of even building an adequate lineup a seemingly daunting one.
David Johnson, the leading Fantasy running back on NFL.com (157.20 points) is on a bye, as is Patriots TD machine LeGarrette Blount, who has scored in seven of eight games this year. Top 15 NFLcom RBs Lamar Miller and Jeremy Hill are also out this week. A very notable replacement for all four or any other RB you must sub for is Seahawks rookie C.J. Prosise, who burst onto the scene at New Orleans last week. The exciting first-year player caught four passes for 80 yards and totaled 103 yards from scrimmage, including a 43-yard catch. Seahawks fans and savvy Fantasy players were awaiting Prosise's first impact performance, as he is versatile and capable of big plays. Now that he is clearly in the mix offensively, he makes a fine PPR plug-in for Week 9. Russell Wilson may also look to him as a safety valve on flat and shorter routes as well. Prosise was drafted because his unique skill set gives the Seahawks offense a new and dynamic element. Take advantage if you need Fantasy RB help this week.
The Seahawks' opponent this week, the Buffalo Bills, allow 19.03 Fantasy Points Per Game on NFL.com to opposing running backs, so Christine Michael should be locked in as a starter and won't be one of your running back concerns this week if you own him. But if you own another idle or questionable player along with Michael at the other RB spot, or are simply looking for another replacement, don't hesitate to use Tim Hightower, who faces the 49ers' defense, ranked last in the league against the run. In the same game, DuJuan Harris could be useful against a Saints defense that allows 26.00 FFPG to opposing RBs on NFL.com, second only to the Niners. Derrick Henry may see an increased workload this week and the Chargers allow 22.78 FFPG to the position. If you own Terrance West, maintain confidence in him against a Steelers defense that yields 24.89 FFPG to opposing RBs.
At quarterback this week, Fantasy owners will most notably be without Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton. Buffalo allows only 14.53 FFPG to opposing passers, but you can still use Russell Wilson as a starter in leagues that employ two starting quarterbacks. If you need to consider another option in a single QB format, Colin Kaepernick is a nifty Week 9 choice. The Saints allow 18.13 FFPG to opposing QBs, and Kaepernick has a pretty good statistical floor because of his rushing skills. If he throws more than one TD pass or runs in a score, you could be in for a nice statistical outing if you start him. The Panthers allow 20.23 FFPG to the position, third most on NFL.com, so Case Keenum is a respectable single week option. Cleveland allows 20.44 FFPG to passers, making Dak Prescott a top streamer for Week 9, and maybe the safest one of all when you consider he is 11th best on NFL.com among QBs with 133.42 points.
A.J. Green, second among WRs with 107.60 points is off this week, as is Larry Fitzgerald and Alshon Jeffery. The Panthers defense allows 28.17 FFPG to the position, most on the site, and Kenny Britt has emerged as a quality WR3 option in PPR leagues. The Jets allow the second most points to the position at 27.78 per game, and have been vulnerable to big-play receivers, making Kenny Stills a great choice if you are searching deeper for wideout help. The Ravens allow 27.19 FFPG to the position, third-most on NFL.com, and Sammie Coates is a definite WR3 option while Darrius Heyward-Bey is now a starter
for the Steelers and should get consideration if you play in a larger league. Torrey Smith is a viable deep league starter who may work well with Kaepernick against the Saints, who allow 24.26 FFPG to wideouts. Among the Seahawks WRs, Doug Baldwin is a WR3 play against the Bills, who surrender 24.15 FFPG to the position. Pete Carroll has also indicated we should watch for improved play from Tyler Lockett, so add him now if you have some extra roster room and he could pay off for your Fantasy playoff run.
The Bills allow only 5.40 FFPG to the tight end position, but Jimmy Graham remains a must-start regardless of opposition. Wilson will continue to look for Graham on key passing downs and will present matchup problems in the red zone. Some owners will be without Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert because of byes. St. Louis' Lance Kendricks is a very good streamer, as the Panthers allow 12.21 FFPG to the position, second-most on NFL.com. Cleveland allows 11.73 FFPG to TEs, most among AFC teams, so utilize the services of Jason Witten if you can. Dennis Pitta is also a respectable PPR starter against the Steelers.
Those in need of kicker help may find Philadelphia's Caleb Sturgis on the free agent list, and he is fifth overall with 73.00 points. New Orleans' Will Lutz, who has 31 points in his last three games, may also be available. The underrated Chargers defense is a fine start against the Titans, and the Rams' defensive line is looking better and can be used against Carolina.
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The Seahawks and the Bills have played each other 12 times throughout their history. Seattle is currently leading the series 7-5. The two teams will face off again this Monday Night during Week 9 at CenturyLink Field.