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The Pug’s Kennel: Week 9: Multiple Gems!

Week 9 Features Many Fantasy Stars Taking A Breather This Week, So Who Should You Start In Their Stead? Who Should You Avoid? The Pug Has You Covered!

With injuries and bye weeks aplenty this week be sure to use the extra waiver wire gems this week to add some firepower to your team as we prepare to enter the home stretch of the fantasy football season! Specific lineup questions or contemplating a trade? Just ask!

Must Start

Mohamed Sanu- WR- Atlanta Falcons- What a clutch catch last week for the game winner. Sanu has been the number two receiver that the Falcons have been searching for this season. This week the Falcons face the Bucs secondary that just gave up 513 yards to Derek Carr and the Raiders pass attack and turn around on a short week to face the high octane Falcons. Look for the Bucs to do everything they can to shut down Julio Jones (good luck), and leave a little daylight for Sanu to make some big plays.

Kyle Rudolph- TE- Minnesota Vikings- A new offensive coordinator is with the Vikings after the surprise step down by Norv Turner today, which might change things up in Minnesota. The Lions are giving up more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than any other team in the league. With the Vikings having protection issues the last two weeks, and the Lions giving up eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends, look for the Vikes to utilize Rudolph to take the heat off Sam Bradford and new OC Pat Shurmer.

Terrance West- RB- Baltimore Ravens-  West is coming off the worst start of his career where he had just ten yards on eight carries against the punishing New York Jets rush defense. He should bounce back this week against the Steelers. There has been whispers of Kenneth Dixion cutting into his carries for weeks now, but Dixon has yet to do so. The Ravens and Steelers like to play smash mouth football against each other, and as long as this isn’t the week that West’s carries take a hit, he should be productive for the Ravens, and your team of course.

High Risk, High Reward

Jay Ajayi- RB- Miami Dolphins- After back to back weeks of winning AFC Player of the Week before the bye, Ajayi has been the toast of the fantasy world. Curb your enthusiasm this week, as if there is one thing the Jets are good at, it’s stopping the run. The Jets pass defense has been so bad this year it hides the fact that the Jets are #1 against the run. The Jets will game plan to make Ryan Tanehill beat them through the air. However it isn’t the easiest move to bench a player coming off back to back 200 yard games, so putting him in the ‘avoid ‘ category is out of the question. Just be weary, and if you have quality running backs, consider another option.

Jameis Winston- QB- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Winston has been inconsistent this year from a fantasy point of view making him a high risk, high reward candidate. He faces a Falcons defense that allows the second most points in the league to opposing quarterbacks, and couple that with the Falcons high powered offense, and Winston should be in line for a big stat day to keep the Bucs in this game.

Derek Carr- QB- Oakland Raiders- Carr has been fantastic this year and is in the thick of the MVP conversation. He is also coming off a game where he threw for over 500 yards. This week the Raiders play the Broncos though, whose defense is slightly better than the Bucs (sarcasm, it’s a lot better ). With how well Carr has played and is protecting the ball, the Pug isn’t suggesting you bench him, but don’t expect him to come close to last weeks game.

Players To Avoid

Todd Gurley- RB- Los Angeles Rams- Gurley has been largely disappointing from a fantasy perspective, especially considering he was rated as an early first round pick. He is averaging a mere three yards per carry and has only found the endzone three times this year. The Panthers have a surprisingly good run defense despite their record, and opposing backs have only found the endzone four times against them, and that includes receiving touchdowns as well. Avoid Gurley this week as the weak passing game will continue to add to Gurley’s second year struggles.

Marvin Jones- WR- Detroit Lions- The Vikings defense gave up way more points against the Chicago Bears last week than anyone thought, and they only gave up 20. Look for their defense to be hungry at Marvin Jones’ expense. The Vikings are one of two teams that haven’t allowed 1,000 yards to opposing receivers yet this year. Jones has been productive, but this week with Xavier Rhodes covering him, he should be in for a long day.

Julius Thomas- TE- Jacksonville Jaguars- Thomas hasn’t exactly been productive this season. In fact, he hasn’t even hit the 20 reception mark yet. He does have three touchdowns on the season, but the Chiefs have only allowed one touchdown all season to opposing tight ends, so stay away from Thomas this week.

Waiver Wire Gem(s) of the Week

Charcandrick West- RB- Kansas City Chiefs- With news of Jamaal Charles hitting the IR, and Spencer Ware in the concussion protocol, West is a must nab for this week. Even if Ware clears the protocol heading into the game against the Jags, West will see his fair share of carries, and should produce against the Jags.

Tyrell Williams- WR- San Diego Chargers- Williams has taken over the #2 receiver role in San Diego and is producing well as of late. Rough week last week against a tough Denver D, but should bounce back against Tennessee’s 20th ranked pass defense. Grab him if you need WR help or a bye week fill in.

Tim Hightower- RB- New Orleans Saints- Mark Ingram once again fumbled this past Sunday and this time it was returned for a touchdown. Sean Payton in response benched Ingram, and Hightower had a good game in his stead, gaining 102 yards on the ground against a tough Seahawks defense. Ingram has more than likely lost his feature back role, and look for Hightower to be a bigger part of the offense going forward. Hightower should be more of a stash RB until his role is established.

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