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Fantasy Football: Budding stars on week nine waiver wire

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OAKLAND RAIDERS VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor has emerged as a dual-threat quarterback this season. With some of the top quarterbacks on bye this week, Pryor is a viable option against a struggling Philadelphia Eagles defense. Photo courtesy of MCT.

With six teams on bye this week in the NFL and with playoffs rapidly approaching, week nine could make or break your fantasy season. The waiver wire has been littered with stars this year and this week is no different. Gems are aplenty so don’t bother engaging in regretful trades. With week eight thrusting unknown names into the fantasy spotlight, here are some budding stars to pick up in your league to lead you to victory this week.

Terrelle Pryor, QB Oakland Raiders – If you disregard the fact that Pryor is a quarterback, you could make a strong case for him as a top running back in the league. Pryor is averaging 65.1 yards rushing per game and 7.4 yards per rush through six games. He is averaging 191.5 yards through the air but look for that number to skyrocket this week against the leaky and horrendous Philadelphia Eagles pass defense that ranks 31st in the league. Go grab Pryor and expect a huge day.

Montee Ball, RB Denver Broncos – Ball is back on the radar after being drafted and furiously dropped and divorced by hopeful fantasy owners. With Ronnie Hillman disappearing in the runningback depth chart and head coach John Fox recently stating that he wants to cut down on Knowshon Moreno’s workload, Ball is relevant again in fantasy land. With 12 carries, 38 yards and a touchdown in week eight, Ball seems to have vultured away Moreno’s goal line work and worked his way into the mix. Although Ball won’t be a starter in your lineup for weeks to come, he is a worthy matchup dependent flex option and will be fantasy gold if Moreno goes down with an injury, which he often does.

Andre Ellington, RB Arizona Cardinals – Ellington was thrown into the spotlight after starting runningback Rashard Mendenhall went down with a toe injury and he did not disappoint. Running for 154 yards on 15 carries, Ellington was elusive and explosive which is something the Cards’ offense is seriously lacking. The health of Mendenhall has always been an issue and with his lack of production this season, Ellington may have just cemented himself as the starter going forward. Despite being in a division with behemoths such as the the 49ers and Seahawks, Ellington will have a huge upside and will reward many fantasy owners who are in need of a workhorse runningback.

Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints – It’s hard to count on anyone in the Saints’ offense considering the way quarterback Drew Brees spreads the ball around, but Stills is still the preferred home run threat. Over the past two weeks, he has amassed 193 yards and three touchdowns and looks to finally be in sync with Brees. With wide receiver Marques Colston struggling and tight end Jimmy Graham garnering double and triple coverage, look for Stills to monopolize the targets and burn any single coverage that defensive coordinators will be silly enough to throw his way. Stills won’t be a weekly starter, but look for him to be a viable bye-week replacement against a New York Jets defense who was gashed by the aerial attack of the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals – Jones was the primary beneficiary of the Andy Dalton show against the Jets last week. In one of the best individual fantasy performances of the decade, Jones hauled in eight passes for 122 yards and four touchdowns. With Dalton topping 300 passing yards in each of his last three games, Jones remains relevant in all fantasy formats until he proves otherwise. With star receiver A.J. Green demanding all the attention from opposing defenses, look for Jones to continue his success and emerge as an every week starter. This is not a fluke, pick up Jones, start him and enjoy the fireworks.

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