Bring in the Backups: Bench Players You Can Start in Week 9 Fantasy Football

Stuart Easton
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

This week, there are four teams on bye, all of which will have an impact on the fantasy landscape. We lose two of the best fantasy defenses to attack in the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as two of the best fantasy offenses to use in the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams.

For anyone affected by those losing those options, here are three bench players who could give you just as much fantasy production.

1. Gardener Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Started in 44 Percent of ESPN Leagues)

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

This Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars play the Houston Texans at their home away from home - Wembley Stadium in London. Although this is a rematch of the Week 2 13-12 Texans win, a lot has changed over the last seven weeks that makes Minshew a great start. First and foremost, Houston will likely be playing this game without three members of its secondary - Lonnie Johnson Jr., Bradley Roby, and Tashaun Gipson. Secondly, Minshew has evolved into not just a backup playing well, but a legitimate NFL starter. Over his last four weeks he's thrown for 1079 yards and six TDs despite only having 179 yards against the Saints. And finally, in a matchup against Deshaun Watson this game could easily turn into a back-and-forth shoot out that allows Minshew to pile up the stats. No matter how you slice it, this Week looks like a great spot to put Minshew in your starting lineup.

2. Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Started in 24 Percent of ESPN Leagues)

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The stream of backup running back plays continues. First we had Chase Edmonds, then Latavius Murray, and now Jaylen Samuels. Officially, James Conner is listed as doubtful, and he is yet to practice this week. Additionally, third-string running back Benny Snell is doubtful for Sunday as well. If Conner and Snell are out, Samuels would likely be the only back the Steelers would trust with touches. In a game against the Colts that has just a 1-point spread, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, that could mean plenty of action for the second-year back.

3. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks (Started in 45 Percent of ESPN Leagues)

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Last week, Metcalf put up perhaps the least impressive two-touchdown performance you'll ever see. His final line was three catches for 13 yards and those two TDs. The main reason for that, however, was that the Seahawks barely threw the ball in the second half. With a massive lead on the Falcons, Russell Wilson attempted just five passes in the second half as the Seahawks decided to ride their running backs. This week against Tampa Bay, however, that might not be a possibility. The Bucs have the league's best run defense (allowing 68.6 rushing yards per game) while hemorrhaging yards through the air. Given that this game has the highest total on the week according to FanDuel Sportsbook, we can expect Seattle to have a more pass-heavy approach than they did in Week 8. If that's the case, Metcalf could repeat his two touchdowns, but is likely to rack up more catches and yards to go with them.

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Stuart Easton is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Stuart Easton also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username stueast13. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.