Well, we made it. We are halfway through the 2021 fantasy football season. Whether you’re waiting on the return of the league’s most anticipated player, or you’re scrambling to find a way to win without the most dominant one after last week’s injury, there’s still a lot of football left to be played. So where can value be found amongst some of the lesser, sought-after fantasy football players? Here’s a rundown of the key players in the top four skill positions that will play above their value in fantasy football in Week 9.
Fantasy Football Week 9 Value Players
Quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have had an incredibly disappointing season thus far in 2021. After a brief stint on injured reserve early in the year though, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has provided some quiet fantasy relevance that hasn’t been taken enough advantage of by most fantasy managers.
Since his return in Week 6, the second-year signal caller has averaged 21 fantasy points per game in which he totaled seven touchdowns (six passing, one rushing). With none of those three games ending in a victory, Tagovailoa has been forced to make plays to keep the Dolphins alive in these matchups. Miami has an enticing bout with the similarly woeful Houston Texans on deck, who have allowed the seventh most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Some may worry about a positive game script for Miami, which would lean towards a heavier rushing attack for the offense; but in matchups versus the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, Tagovailoa threw the ball over 40 times. Also, with the anticipated return of Houston quarterback Tyrod Taylor on Sunday, this game could be a tight one after all. Expect another solid low-end QB1 performance for Tagovailoa this week.
Tua Tagovailoa was out 3 games w/ a rib injury & since returning Week 6 has completed 86 of 126 passes (68.3% ) for 825 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs & a 88.9 QBR. In that span, Tagovailoa’s 86 completions are the most in the NFL. His 825 yards are 5th & his 6 passing TDs are tied for 7th
— Jason Sarney (@Jason_Sarney) November 2, 2021
Other Value Quarterbacks for Week 9: Tyrod Taylor; Ryan Tannehill; Jordan Love
Running Back: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs has been an interesting fantasy asset this year. To start, he has only played in five games this season. He missed two games due to injury (along with leaving early in another), and the Las Vegas Raiders had a bye last week.
Despite all of this, and the up and down usage of Kenyan Drake in the Las Vegas backfield as well, Jacobs is still RB27 on the year in half-PPR scoring formats. Averaging 13.7 fantasy points per game puts Jacobs as a mid-tier RB2 each week, with potential upside as the lead rusher on a surprisingly balanced and successful Raiders offense. This week, Jacobs gets the New York Giants, who are allowing a little over 120 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs, in a potential positive game-script matchup for the Raiders. Jacobs is a solid RB2 play this week.
— Fantasy Elite (@FantasyElit3) November 4, 2021
Other Value Running Backs for Week 9: Damien Harris; Boston Scott; Jeremy McNichols
Wide Receiver: Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
Brandin Cooks has to be one of the least talked about wide receivers in fantasy football. Playing with his fourth NFL team in the Houston Texans, Cooks may be one of the only bright spots on an organization destined for mediocrity at best in 2021 after their unfortunate off-season.
Even though Cooks has provided up and down weeks of fantasy output so far this season (mostly due to lack of quarterback experience), he still ranks seventh in the league in targets (70), and fourth in receptions (51). Cooks is commanding a 29.2% target share which accounts for sixth best in the league as well, as the opportunities continue to present themselves for the clear-cut preferred passing option on this offense.
As mentioned earlier, veteran Tyrod Taylor returns at quarterback this week potentially creating a more consistent production base for Cooks moving forward. With this return coming against a Miami Dolphins defense who ranks dead last in passing yards allowed, this couldn’t have played out at a better time for fantasy managers struggling to find a wide receiver for their lineups they can count on this week. Lock the league’s WR19 on the season in as a high-end WR2 this week as he sets to see a friendly boost in his top-tier production.
QB Tyrod Taylor to WR Brandin Cooks during Thursday’s practice. pic.twitter.com/kulO0WiJ9g
— Drew Dougherty (@DoughertyDrew) November 4, 2021
Other Value Wide Receivers for Week 9: Hunter Renfrow; Jamal Agnew; Van Jefferson
Tight End: Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pat Freiermuth has been a great rookie addition for the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. Initially limited in the offense, he has been more integrated as of late due to an injury to fellow tight end Eric Ebron.
In his past two games, Freiermuth has accumulated 11 catches, on 14 targets, for 102 yards and a red zone score and he appears to be a preferred target of signal caller Ben Roethlisberger down inside the 20 yard line. Between having lost JuJu Smith-Schuster for the season, and Ebron’s status in doubt next week versus the Chicago Bears, Freiermuth could be a nice option. Even with the Bears being one of the better teams in limiting fantasy points to the tight end position, Freiermuth’s target share and red zone looks the past few weeks should be enough to start him as a fringe-TE1 when taking into account bye weeks and injuries to the already thin position.
Ladies and gentlemen: Your NFL Catch of the Day from none other than Pat Freiermuth 😱 pic.twitter.com/cm2IgsUcix
— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 31, 2021
Other Value Tight Ends for Week 9: Dan Arnold; Tyler Conklin; Evan Engram
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