O.J. Howard will be in the news this week one way or another — either he’ll get traded or he’ll be questionable heading into Week 9. His injury, along with those to Delanie Walker and Chris Herndon, all impact our Week 9 fantasy TE rankings because Cameron Brate, Jonnu Smith, and even Ryan Griffin could be sleepers if those starters remain out. Both Brate and Smith might even be better options than their starters if that pair get to start, so these situations could impact waiver wire pickups, too.
For updates on banged-up RBs James Conner, David Johnson/Chase Edmonds, and Derrius Guice, click here; for more on injured WRs Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, DeSean Jackson, and more, go here. Follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy for more news and updates.
WEEK 9 NON-PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Will O.J. Howard play Week 9?
Assuming Howard doesn’t get traded, he’ll be trying to recover from a hamstring injury that held him out of Thursday and Friday practices last week before missing Week 8. The Buccaneers play in Seattle on Sunday in the late-afternoon slot.
Cameron Brate was targeted six times in Howard’s absence — that’s more than Howard had been targeted in any game this season. Brate is a worthy fantasy starter against a Seattle defense that struggles against tight ends if Howard is out again. If Howard is back, he’ll be a back-end starter himself.
WEEK 9: Waiver wire | FAAB planner | Trade values | Snap counts
Delanie Walker injury update
Jonnu Smith caught six-of-seven targets for 78 yards and a touchdown with Walker inactive in Week 8. Walker’s dealt with an ankle injury for much of the season, but Week 8 was the first time it held him out of a full game.
This is a better fantasy situation if Walker is just out and Smith remains the starter. Against the Panthers in Week 9, you can start Smith if Walker is out. If both are active, it’s more of an unknown whether Walker regains his usual usage or not.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
When will Chris Herndon be back?
Herndon (hamstring) still hasn’t played since returning from his suspension. He was listed as doubtful early last week before being downgraded to out. The Jets play at Miami in Week 9, a great matchup if Herndon can make it back.
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Ryan Griffin caught two touchdowns in Week 8 and continues to start in Herndon’s place. Even against the Dolphins, we wouldn’t advise relying on Griffin unless you’re absolutely desperate. If Herndon looks like he’ll be back in time, he’s a worthwhile start against winless Miami.