Scott Engel is in his 12th year as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time nominee. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis at The Game Day and lineup rankings on RotoBaller.com.
In Week 9, four teams are on bye weeks. The San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Denver Broncos are all off. Lineup decisions now become seemingly more challenging without key performers from the 49ers, Lions, Broncos, and Jaguars rosters.
We help you set optimal lineups with some streaming recommendations, while also supplying additional waiver wire insights. Fantasy football leagues differ in approaches to picking up free agents, so I provide detailed tips throughout this week's article.
Analysis leans to Points Per Reception (PPR formats), and players are listed in order of starting lineup and waiver preference order.
Darrell Henderson Jr.
The Rams RB rejoined the team in Week 7 and has quickly provided respectable fantasy production after not being in action throughout the preseason and the first six weeks of the regular season. Henderson rushed for 61 yards and a TD in his 2023 debut, and he totaled 85 scrimmage yards in Week 8. The Packers rank 27th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to RBs. Henderson's production can improve as he continues to work back into his best playing form. Utilize him as an RB2 or flex option in Week 9.
Moss has remained a significant factor in the Indianapolis offense, even while Jonathan Taylor has worked back into the mix. While Taylor played on 61 percent of the snaps in Week 8, Moss still made the most of his touches. He rushed for 66 yards and a TD on 11 carries against New Orleans. If you need a bye week or injury fill-in this week, slot Moss into the lineup again.
Carolina allows the most FFPG to RBs among NFC teams. The Panthers have also allowed 11 rushing TDs to the position, tied for the most in the NFL. Both Colts RBs are viable starts in Week 9, and Moss could see more volume if Indianapolis plays with a comfortable lead in the second half.
"Lombardi Lenny" is back, and he has hooked on with one of the league's best offenses. As with Henderson, Fournette may be able to work into the Buffalo offense in a short time period, and he will likely be an impactful fantasy player. The 28-year-old should be a goal-line finisher for a top NFL offense while catching some passes out of the backfield. He can complement James Cook, who should continue to deliver the same type of RB2/flex production.
Fournette will at least be worthy of flex consideration as soon as he gets back into a regular flow of reps. He will be a top priority RB pickup this week, and if your league uses a Free Agent Budget for waiver acquisitions, it might take over 40 percent of your dollars to land the new Bills RB., although bid ranges can vary heavily in different leagues. Be sure to review bid amounts from recent weeks to get a firm handle on how much to spend on Fournette.
The waiver wire is thin at RB, and Charbonnet is available in 51 percent of Sleeper fantasy football leagues. As highlighted in the Numbers of Note for Week 8 feature here on Seahawks.com, Charbonnet averaged 10.6 yards per carry in the win over Cleveland. The impressive rookie finished with 64 scrimmage yards on seven touches. He played on a season-high 59 percent of the snaps.
Charbonnet is versatile and has shown he can battle through tackles and also make defenders miss. Add him now before his production possibly rises even more. If you roster Kenneth Walker III, Charbonnet is an essential add to lock up the Seahawks backfield for fantasy purposes.
I have featured the Jets WR more than once in this space recently, as he has been delivering quality fantasy returns despite the No. 29 rank of the Jets' offense. Wilson reached 100 receiving yards for the first time in Week 8, and he had 90 receiving yards in Week 7. He has 15 receptions on 25 targets in the last two games. The Chargers rank 30th in FFPG allowed to WRs. If you are facing a tight lineup decision involving Wilson, keep him active for Week 9. He should be viewed as a solid fantasy WR2 option right now.
The big-play rookie totaled 31 scrimmage yards in his return from missing a game because of a concussion in Week 8. Expect a better performance from Dell in Week 9. He has averaged 15.5 yards per reception this season, and the Texans are attempting to find more ways to utilize him as a playmaker. He had a season-high three rushing attempts in Week 8. The Buccaneers rank 24th in FFPG allowed to WRs over the past four weeks. Start Dell as a WR3 or flex option this week.
In Week 8, Washington's 2022 first-round draft pick came through with his best performance of the season, catching eight of 10 targets for 101 yards and a TD. Dotson has been targeted 18 times over the past two games and may continue to re-emerge as an upside fantasy play. The Commanders have been gunning the ball often lately, as Sam Howell has 94 attempts in his past two games. If you don't have major needs at QB or TE, then Dotson should be a second priority pickup after Fournette.
Dallas acquired the six-time 1,000-yard WR in the offseason to further bolster their pass-catching crew. As Cooks gets more comfortable with the Cowboys, he can firmly take on the role as a top complement for CeeDee Lamb. The proven veteran has caught TD passes in consecutive games, and his fantasy output might only improve in the weeks ahead as he settles into the Dallas passing game.
Quarterbacks And Tight Ends
As a rookie, Stroud has frequently displayed much promise. He should bounce back from a 140-yard, no-TD performance in Week 8. Prior to last week, he had thrown two TD passes in four of his five previous games. Tampa Bay ranks 30th in FFPG allowed to QBs over the past four weeks. With WRs Nico Collins and Dell as his prime targets, Stroud should provide a good fantasy floor for Week 9.
The Tennessee QB shined as the top rookie performer of Week 8, tossing four TD passes against a usually sturdy Atlanta pass defense in his first NFL start. Levis instantly established a strong rapport with longtime star WR DeAndre Hopkins, who caught three of the scoring passes. After the stellar outing, Levis was named the starter for Week 9.
Those who are dealing with QB injuries or other concerns at the position will have to make the former Kentucky standout a prime priority on waivers. In superflex leagues, where you can start a second QB, Free Agent Bids could climb very high. Approximately 25 percent of the budget in a one-QB league might be enough to acquire Levis, but you may have to spend more than half of that number to get him in a superflex league. You should know bid ranges in your own league well enough after eight weeks, so my recommendations are only a benchmark that should be deviated from when needed.
This week, Sam LaPorta, George Kittle, and Evan Engram are on bye weeks, presenting more challenges at the thinnest position in fantasy football. The most versatile weapon in the league is a good streaming option against a Chicago defense that ranks 28th in points per game allowed (27.3). In Week 8, Hill, who qualifies as a fantasy TE on most league platforms, rushed for 63 yards and two TDs, and he was targeted a total of 13 times as a receiver in his previous two games. He is available on waivers in 87 percent of leagues, so check your free agent list.
After busting out to catch 10 of 14 targets and a TD in Week 8, McBride is the guy to target on waivers for fantasy players who have been dealing with unreliability at the position. There will be a heavy push to land McBride on free agency. In leagues with Free Agent Budgets, you might have to part with 35 percent or more of your dollars.
In leagues with standard waiver runs, always put a bid in no matter what the priority is for your team, as some other players in your league may prioritize other positions or not enter waiver claims at all. Don't assume you won't acquire a player based on claim order if positioned in the top few spots after the first position. Discussing a trade with the fantasy player in line for the first pickup can also be explored as an option that is not generally considered.
Week 9 Defensive Streamers: Atlanta Falcons (vs. Minnesota), New York Giants (vs. Las Vegas), Houston Texans (vs. Tampa Bay).
Kickers To Add: Brandon McManus, Dustin Hopkins, Matt Gay.
For more fantasy football analysis from Scott Engel, visit The Game Day during the 2023 fantasy football season.