Bold fantasy predictions: Surprise performances on tap in Week 9

·3-min read

Every week, our Yahoo fantasy football crew will reveal their boldest predictions for the action ahead. It’s time to get bold for Week 9!

Kadarius Toney goes off

Dalton Del Don: With Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley all looking unlikely to play this week, Toney should see a bunch of targets in a fast-paced matchup. Toney is also battling a thumb injury but is expected to be fine and has impressed while ranking top-15 in yards per route run as a rookie. The Raiders’ pass defense has played well this season, but given the expected volume combined with talent, Toney has serious fantasy upside this week.

Derek Carr connects with Bryan Edwards

Matt Harmon: Bryan Edwards commands eight-plus targets and finds the end zone. There’s now an opening in Las Vegas’ vertical passing game. Edwards was already first on the team in routes run but will have to take on more of the target burden as the team’s primary outside receiver. Most of his work has already come downfield as noted by his hefty 15.9 average depth of target and has been Derek Carr’s preferred target in the contested catch game. This week’s matchup against the Giants isn’t too intimidating and frankly, this prediction is more about Carr. He’s just not getting the credit he deserves as a “rising tide for all boats” guy this season. A legit talent, Edwards now stands to benefit.

Darren Waller delivers 100+ yards and a TD

Jennifer Eakins: Waller hasn't necessarily lived up to his high draft spot so far in 2021, as he sits TE6 in half-PPR points per contest. The Raider TE has been dealing with an ankle injury but is now fresh after two weeks of rest and is set up for a banner day in New York against a defense that sits in the middle of the pack against opposing TEs. The 29-year old was already seeing a hearty 24.1% target share which is tops in the Vegas offense, and Waller could actually experience an uptick in usage with Henry Ruggs no longer a part of the team. After a lackluster start to the season, this is the week we see the Darren Waller we drafted as TE2 overall.

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 17:  Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on from the field while warming up against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on October 17, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Raiders tight end Darren Waller hasn't delivered the numbers to justify his lofty draft status, but that should start to change in Week 9. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Albert Okwuegbunam a top-12 TE option

Liz Loza: Let's go Albert O! With Noah Fant on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Okwuegbunam figures to be featured in Week 9. Denver's No. 2 tight end converted all three of his looks while Fant drew four in Jerry Jeudy's return last Sunday versus Washington. As 10-point underdogs in what's expected to be a relatively high-scoring game (49.5 O/U), Okwuegbunam figures to flirt with 6+ targets as the Cowboys focus their defensive efforts on Courtland Sutton and Jeudy. Look for him to find the end zone on five catches for 48 yards.

[Play in Yahoo's Week 9 Million Dollar Baller DFS contest]

Van Jefferson delivers monster game

Scott Pianowski: Van Jefferson has me excited in LA; his breakout year made DeSean Jackson expendable. Jefferson’s averaging 16.3 yards per catch this year and 10.1 yards per target, outstanding numbers. And he’s received a playable 13 targets the last two games, despite tweaking his ankle late in the Houston blowout (the Rams, reasonably, held him out for garbage time). Let’s give Jefferson another touchdown, and his first 100-yard game, Sunday night against Tennessee.

Brandin Cooks finishes as a top-5 WR

Troy King: Order up! Brandin Cooks should be open 24/7 on Sunday since he is facing the 31st-ranked Miami Dolphins’ passing defense. Cooks is averaging an appetizing 29.2 percent target share, which is ranks sixth overall among receivers. Not to mention he is also top five in receptions per game (6.4) and top-15 in receiving yards per contest (73.1). In short, Cooks is going to fillet, grill, and skewer the Dolphins’ secondary.

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