Week 9 Risers & Fallers Analysis for Fantasy Football

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By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWeek 9 is the first of back-to-back weeks with heavy byes, with six teams off this week. With the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears all on bye, there will likely be plenty of fantasy firepower on your bench this week.

This weekly column examines ten fantasy football players, five guys that are on the up-and-up, or “risers,” and five guys that are struggling, or “fallers.”  You shouldn't necessarily take these ten players as start/sit sleepers or waiver wire add/drop recommendations, as the analysis here is meant to be more of a gauge for how a fantasy football player is currently trending heading into Week 9 of NFL action.

With that said, here are your Week 9 risers and fallers. Good luck with your fantasy football lineup and matchups in Week 9, RotoBallers!


Fantasy Football Risers - Stock Up

Bobby Rainey, RB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are a mess right now, but someone has to run the ball for them. Rumors of Doug Martin getting traded turned out to be just that, so he's still around. But he's now dealing with an ankle injury and is questionable to play on Sunday. In fact, early-week indications are trending toward Martin sitting on Sunday.

There seems to be a split amongst fantasy folks about whether Bobby Rainey or rookie Charles Sims will see the majority of touches with Martin potentially sidelined.  I am on the Rainey side. There's no guarantee Sims is even ready to suit up for his NFL debut, and even if he does, he's completely unproven. Rainey has always seemed to run well in Martin's absence. I'm going with Rainey if I'm picking up one of the two.


Doug Baldwin, WR - Seattle Seahawks

After two productive games since Percy Harvin's strange exit from Seattle, it's clear that Baldwin is now Russell Wilson's number one target. With 13 catches and over 180 yards the past two weeks, Baldwin can be a nice WR3/FLEX option in most leagues down the stretch, and is even more valuable in PPR formats. And with the slew of byes over the next couple of weeks, Baldwin can fill in quite nicely.


Brandon LaFell, WR - New England Patriots

The Patriots offense is rolling now, and it should continue to score points in what will be a high-scoring affair on Sunday when they host Denver. LaFell has been New England's best wide receiver since the Monday Night Football debacle in Kansas City a month ago. And with a healthy Rob Gronkowski running routes across the middle of the field, LaFell should continue to flourish on the outside.


Carson Palmer, QB - Arizona Cardinals

Palmer has been excellent since his return from his shoulder nerve issue. With at least 250 yards and two touchdowns in three straight games, Palmer is a top-10 QB right now, and with weapons like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd (last week notwithstanding), in addition to the emergence of Josh Brown as a legit third option, he should continue to put up quality numbers.


Jacksonville's Robinsons, RB/WR - Jacksonville Jaguars

Relying on anybody from the Jags offense is a risky proposition in fantasy this year. However, both Denard Robinson and Allen Robinson have shown that they can be productive, even in an offense that has no real identity. Denard has put together two straight 100-yard rushing performances, and has safely supplanted both Storm Johnson and Toby Gerhart as the starting tailback. And Allen Robinson appears to be the target of choice for rookie QB Blake Bortles, as he's scored in back-t0-back games while posting double-digit fantasy points in three straight weeks. These two guys can be solid bye-week replacements if you're in need.


Fantasy Football Fallers - Stock Down

All St. Louis Rams

What's there really to say here? The running back situation between Zac Stacy, Tre Mason and Benjamin Cunningham is as much of a running-back-by-committee as you can get, and nobody (including head coach Jeff Fisher) has any idea who will get the majority of carries in a given week. Quarterback Austin Davis is not startable unless you're in a 20-team league or a deep two-QB league. And the only viable pass-catcher around, Brian Quick, is now out for the year with a shoulder injury. Avoid everyone here at all costs.


Vincent Jackson, WR - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One catch for 13 yards this past week. Just one game all season with more than four grabs and just two touchdowns. Most of it is probably not his fault-- it's not as if Jackson has all of a sudden lost his ability to be a very good receiver. But the lack of quality QB play has significantly hampered his performance. You can try to sell him to a owner that believes in a turnaround, but you likely won't get equal value back. At this point, you just have to hold him and hope things improve.


Marshawn Lynch, RB - Seattle Seahawks

No touchdowns since Week 3, number of carries trending downward (averaging less than 15 carries/week over the past four weeks), and single-digit fantasy points in each of the past three weeks. It's not panic time yet, but a poor performance at home against Oakland this week would change my mind.


Chris Johnson, RB - New York Jets

Johnson can safely be dropped in all but the deepest of leagues. Chris Ivory has firmly taken over the lead back role in the Jets "offense" (if you can call it that), and now with Percy Harvin stealing some carries, as well as Bilal Powell in the mix, Johnson isn't seeing much action. Drop City.


Julian Edelman, WR - New England Patriots

It's kind of funny-- Edelman's production seems to be inversely proportional to how the Patriots are doing. He puts up much better games when the Patriots offense as a whole is struggling. During the Pats four-game winning streak, Edelman has not scored, and just one of the four games has seen him manage double-digit fantasy points.  He's also been responsible for several drops over the past couple of weeks. With Gronk fully back and the emergence of the aforementioned LaFell, it appears Edelman has taken a back seat in the passing attack.