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Five Burning Questions for Week 9 (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Lauren Carpenter | @stepmomlauren | Featured Writer
Nov 5, 2020

It’s hard to believe it’s Week 9, but we are looking at the back half of the fantasy football season somehow. Time flies. Let’s dive into five burning questions as we look ahead to this week.

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1. Is There a Running Back on Free Agency You Can Pick Up and Play This Sunday?

Obviously, everyone’s waiver wire is going to look different, but this Thursday night’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers is featuring a host of injured players. running back Aaron Jones for Green Bay is questionable and the Packers are notorious for being very cautious rushing players back from injury. Rookie running back A.J. Dillon is on the COVID-19 reserve list and running back Jamaal Williams is ruled out.

Let’s not forget about the Seattle Seahawks who are also dealing with a carousel of injured backs and Miami is now in that mix with Myles Gaskin out several weeks with an MCL sprain.

This puts fantasy managers in a pickle. It’s highly likely your waivers have already passed, but don’t forget that your league mates have to drop someone in order to make room for another player. Below is a list of players who may be available as a free agent that you can pick up. Roster percentages are based on Yahoo and will differ if you play on other platforms such as Sleeper, NFL, or ESPN but I have found they are generally similar.

  1. JaMycal Hasty (RB – SF): 46%
  2. DeeJay Dallas (RB – SEA): 28%
  3. Matt Breida (RB – MIA): 26%
  4. Wayne Gallman (RB – NYG): 22%
  5. Duke Johnson (RB – HOU): 15%
  6. Dion Lewis (RB – NYG): 4%
  7. Dexter Williams (RB – GB): 2%
  8. Tyler Ervin (RB – GB): 5%

I don’t love these options, but even a mediocre to poor performance is better than a zero.

2. What Can We Expect From Antonio Brown With The Buccaneers?

According to HC Bruce Arians, we could see anywhere from ten to 35 plays, but don’t expect 60 plays.

Ok. That’s super helpful.

This may be a situation where we need to read between the lines. Remember, he is being reunited with quarterback Tom Brady after his brief stint with the New England Patriots. Brown is even living in Brady’s house. That will undoubtedly build some rapport in itself. Brady also hooked up Brown with some of his clothes and even introduced him to a motivational speaker who Brown has been working with during the offseason to fix himself from within.

As for football, in Browns’ single game with the Patriots, he saw eight targets, four receptions, 56 yards, and a touchdown. After all, it’s Antonio Brown we are talking about here. There are some significant differences since his last outing with Brady, one being in a completely different offense than New England. He is also joining a star-studded cast in Tampa with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and Scotty Miller.

I’m not sure any of that makes much of a difference. It’s clear that Brady favors Brown and I expect the G.O.A.T. will look for his shiny new toy as long as Brown is on the field. He’s a playmaker, plain and simple. I expect Brown to have a handful of receptions and a touchdown against a weak secondary in the Saints.

3. Are Matt Breida or DeAndre Washington Worth An Add With Gaskin Out?

I know that I mentioned some running backs on free agency, but I would like to take a closer look at Miami. The Dolphins were one of those teams where we didn’t need to worry about who got the volume in the backfield, unlike the Rams or the Ravens. It was the Myles Gaskin show.

However, that is all going to change this week. Gaskin is set to miss several weeks with a sprained MCL. It should just be next man up, right? Well, it’s not that easy. Matt Breida was not spotted at practice on Wednesday and may be dealing with an injury of his own. Jordan Howard has been a healthy scratch for three weeks in a row and Patrick Laird is dealing with an ankle injury. That leaves Lynn Bowden and brand new acquisition DeAndre Washington.

This is a mess. The only player I would be willing to start, if healthy, is Breida. However, even that is speculative and only if I have no other alternative. Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will desperately need help in the run game, but it’s unclear if that will be one guy or all of them.

4. Who Will Step Up For The 49ers With George Kittle Sidelined?

For real football, the clear answer is Ross Dwelley. For fantasy… not so much. Not only is Kittle likely out for the remainder of the season, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is also going on IR. That leaves backup quarterback, Nick Mullens, at the helm.

For a replacement for Kittle (of which, there really is none with his talent), check out Washington’s Logan Thomas. He has scored a touchdown in his last two games with over 100 yards and seven receptions combined in those two games. He has 14 and 15 yards per receptions and quarterback Kyle Allen looks to him for big plays as well as to move the chains. Washington was on a bye in Week 8 and your league mates may have the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. He is rostered in only 27% of Yahoo leagues. His schedule isn’t ideal, but he is second on the team in targets and receiving yards behind Terry McLaurin.

5. Will The Packers Bounce Back On Thursday Night Football?

If there is ever a favorable matchup for a “must-win”, facing the beat-up San Francisco 49ers is it. Ok, so maybe it could be the Giants or the Jets, but you know what I mean.

For fantasy purposes, this is a game with enormous potential for the Packers in terms of passing. As I mentioned earlier, Green Bay will likely be missing their key pieces at running back in Jones, Williams, and Dillon. Relying on practice squad guys isn’t the best way to try win a football game and quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs to make a statement.

As long as Rodgers can score with his pass-catchers and their defense can hold off the 49ers run game, Green Bay should pull out a win. However, it’s TNF, and weird things happen on Thursday night football.

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Lauren Carpenter is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Lauren, check out her archive and follow her @stepmomlauren.

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