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Risers and Fallers for Week 9 of Fantasy Football

Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement. The same goes for fantasy football, and managing rosters effectively is key to winning that championship.

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. Experienced fantasy players know this happens every year. In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back. These are the risers and fallers heading into Week 9 of the NFL season.

Editor's Note: New users that sign up on FantasyAces, make a $20 deposit, and enter any game will receive our full season NFL (or NBA) Premium Pass for free, a $59.99 value. Just email [email protected] with your new FantasyAces username - and boom, that's it! We will email you with your Premium pass.


Post-Week 8 Fantasy Football Risers

RISER - Jamison Crowder (WR, WAS)

On a team that features DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder has been the best receiving option for the Washington Redskins through eight games this season. The 23-year-old has caught four, or one-third, of Kirk Cousins’ touchdown passes this year, to go along with a team-leading 498 receiving yards. His targets have equaled Jackson’s at 56 each, yet he’s caught 10 more passes than the former Pro Bowler.

At this point, Crowder is available in enough leagues to be a serious waiver wire attraction. He’s been a top 15 wideout this year and should be a WR2 in most leagues. Although there are some difficult matchups against the likes of the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals ahead, keep the faith alive in Jamison Crowder. With a pass-heavy offense, he’s the top option at the moment, which should provide plenty of scoring situations.


RISER - Derek Carr (QB, OAK)

25-year-old Derek Carr was the star this past week as the Oakland Raiders remained undefeated on the road. In just his third season in the NFL, Carr set an Oakland passing record with his all-time great performance in an overtime victory against the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. He tossed four touchdowns and zero picks on 513 yards, becoming just the third quarterback in league history to pull off this feat.

While many foresaw an improvement in Carr’s play for this season, a top-five fantasy quarterback wasn’t expected by all. Next week’s divisional showdown against the Denver Broncos will be another huge test for Carr, perhaps the biggest of his career. If he can continue to provide reliable results despite the difficult schedule approaching, we might be seeing a superstar being born right before our eyes.


RISER - Terrelle Pryor Sr. (WR, CLE)

In what seems to be a weekly installment of players we’ve overlooked this season, here we are again with a sensation coming from the lowly Cleveland Browns. Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has morphed into quite the utility player in the pros. The 27-year-old has seen action at quarterback, running back, and mainly wide receiver this season, producing excellent results for the most part.

This past week against the New York Jets, he was matched up against Darrelle Revis and was still targeted 13 times, recording six catches for 101 yards and a two-point conversion. Pryor is a bright spot in the ugliness that is the Cleveland Browns and has become a player most owners must start on a weekly basis. With very enticing defensive matchups awaiting the Browns the rest of the way, look for Pryor to continue producing at successful rates.


Post-Week 8 Fantasy Football Fallers

FALLER - DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU)

Outside of three weeks, Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins has been terribly disappointing in 2016. The 24-year-old, now in his fourth professional season with Houston, is coming off a career year that saw him grab 111 passes for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. This year, however, with Brock Osweiler at the helm, Hopkins has regressed. While he still leads his team in receiving yards and touchdowns, he’s fallen outside of the top-25 wide receivers in fantasy production this year.

Halfway through the season, Hopkins is on pace for his worst season since his rookie year in 2013. The biggest reason to lose permanent trust in the Clemson product is his quarterback’s poor play. Without a consistent QB taking snaps, how exactly can Hopkins turn it around? While he should continue to see starts, with a string of weak defenses awaiting, it’ll take a dramatic turnaround from Osweiler to buy Hopkins as a WR1-type player.


FALLER - Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Remember back in September when Carson Wentz was looking like a sensation with the Philadelphia Eagles? Well, it’s November now, and after an October that saw him struggle, Wentz has landed as one of our fallers of the week. After four promising performances in the first five weeks of the season, the North Dakota product has struggled the past three weeks.

His completion percentage has hit season lows, his average yards per pass has nosedived, he’s thrown twice as many interceptions as he did in the first four games of the season, and he’s fumbled the ball five times, just losing one. Making matters worse for the Eagles as a franchise, the team has lost two of those three games. Wentz’s ownership percentage has seen a sharp decline and it’s hard not to see the justification behind it. At this point, he’s come dispensable with a number of better quarterbacks available via the waiver wire.


FALLER - Mark Ingram (RB, NO)

Former Alabama product Mark Ingram was benched during this past Sunday’s home game against the Seahawks after fumbling the ball for a second consecutive week. Following a career year in 2014, the oft-injured running back saw a decline in production last year and has again struggled in 2016, managing just one touchdown on 339 yards.

Perhaps the biggest sign of hope that he’ll be able to exceed expectations this year has been his ability to stay healthy, having played in all seven of New Orleans’ games thus far. Ingram has only managed to play in 13 games or more twice in his career, so a completely healthy year could be a major plus for him. Still, there are signs that he simply will not produce successful numbers, even if he maintains his health. After all, his 3.8 yards per carry this year are a career-low, and his backup, Tim Hightower, managed 102 yards against the dreaded Seattle Seahawks defense after Ingram was benched. The 26-year-old should tread very lightly in these upcoming weeks.


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