NFL Week 9 Optimal Flex Plays

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Week 8 in the NFL was a tricky one. We saw a lot of new, could-be-heroes in fantasy introduce themselves as well as old ones resurface. Randall Cobb turned back the clock to catch two touchdowns from his buddy Aaron Rodgers just like old times. We saw new faces as well. Was a star born in Mike White? The NFL community is loving his story as he threw for over 400 yards in his first career start, leading the Jets to victory. Chiefs running back Derrick Gore has entered the chat as a potential flex play in Week 9. This week, players like D’Andre Swift, DK Metcalf, Mike Evans and Terry McLaurin will be resting up on the bye. Lets tap in to some solid replacements to fill in for Week 9.

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
Gaskin has not been on fire at all. In fact the Dolphins have been pretty much showing us that they don’t trust their run game. The Dolphins are the sixth worst running team in the NFL as far as total yards. So why is Gaskin an optimal flex play in Week 9? Every dog has its day. I expect Gaskin to have his against a Texans defense that is the fifth-worst vs. running backs in fantasy. In the past four weeks, the Rams, Cardinals, Colts and Patriots have run all over the Texans. Does Gaskin have the same talent as most of those backs? No, but there’s a pattern and it's a good one for him. With Tua Tagovailoa playing better in 2021, this should open things up for the Dolphins' run game. Jaylen Waddle is in play here as well.

Melvin Gordon or Javonte Williams, RBs, Denver Broncos
We love Williams and would love to see that “breakout” game (the game you think will make him the workhorse in 2021), but the facts are Gordon is still a very nice player. Embrace it. Both are listed here because these two (to lesser extent of Kareem Hunt/Nick Chubb) are the epitome of how a RBBC can work and be effective for fantasy. In Week 9, the duo will face the Cowboys, who present a tough matchup as the fifth best defense against running backs in fantasy, but we must also put respect on the Broncos backfield. The Cowboys must deal with Gordon and Williams who are currently the RB15 and RB25 respectively. In the Cowboys' last two contests, Dalvin Cook and Damien Harris combined to average 4.97 YPC. While the task will be tough, the Broncos backfield is good enough to challenge the Cowboys' front seven.

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
In the same game as above you can find some value in Pollard. PointsBet has the over/under at 49.5 so we expect to see points. The Broncos are middle-of-the-road when it comes to defending running backs in fantasy. For Pollard who averages 12 touches per game, he should be able to find some room to produce fantasy points. Being the “lighting” to Ezekiel Elliott's “thunder” has its advantages as Pollard often is able to come in and provide a scat back element after Zeke beats up the defense. Pollard is uber efficient when he gets the ball, proven by his 5.76 YPC. Get Pollard in the flex if you're searching for a spark!

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Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams
When more opportunity comes for a player, you chase that opportunity. This is what you have in Jefferson. With DeSean Jackson released, Jefferson now has sole possession of the WR3 role for the Rams, who rank second in the NFL in passing yards. Jefferson has seen seven and six targets in his past two games. In Week 9 he gets a lovely matchup at home against the Titans, who are dead last against receivers in fantasy. Obviously Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are solidified in their roles, but with such a high-volume passing offense and an over/under of 53.5, Jefferson will be heavily involved. Aside from putting him in your flex this week, he’s also a worthy trade target in your redraft and/or dynasty leagues.

Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
Ok I admit, this might be cheating. There are, however, some who may feel that Carter’s performance in Week 8 was just a “Jets fluke”. In his past two games, Carter has seen a total of 23 targets and 17 receptions in the passing game; the Mike White effect. In three of his last four games he has found the endzone and is receiving the lionshare of the touches. At this point, Carter is at least more of a low-end RB2, but he most likely wasn’t drafted that way so he should always be in the flex!

Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills
The Bills' leader in receptions (yes, you read right), gets a matchup against the Jaguars who are still trying to find an identity (besides Urban Meyer). The Jags are the ninth-worst team vs. receivers in fantasy. In his past two contests, Beasley has seen 22 targets and turned those into 17 catches, 198 yards and a touchdown. He and Josh Allen seem to have found their chemistry and are back in a groove. You can fire him up confidently in Week 9 as the Bills look to roll over the young Jags team.