Early Week 9 Fantasy Football pickups: Prep for more byes

With six teams on bye, Week 8 was full of ghastly ghouls and goblins as some stars boomed, others busted. A few mythical beasts also rose to the occasion forcing owners to take notice.

What leviathans should you target off waivers for Week 9, where again six teams (Bears, Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots and Steelers) will be on bye? Here are the top early choices:

Jay Cutler, QB, Miami Dolphins – 10% owned

Yes, Cutler didn’t see action on Thursday in a blowout loss to Baltimore, but he’s worth consideration in an expected return in Week 9. Why? He draws a wretched Oakland secondary that’s surrendered close to 8.0 yards per attempt to QBs on the season.If DeVante Parker returns, Cutty could amass 250-plus yards with multiple scores.

Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots – 7%

One week it’s James White. Another Mike Gillisslee. In Week 7 it was Dion Lewis. Naturally, Bill Beelzechick  turned to Burkhead on Sunday. Healthy and spry, the multidimensional rusher spearheaded the Pats backfield tallying a season-high in snaps, touches (11) and total yards (83). Post bye it’s anyone’s best guess who will get the bulk of the action against Denver, but Burkhead is worth a bench stash as you plan ahead for the second half of the season.

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts – 44%

Talked up by the “expert” community for weeks, the talented rookie finally delivered a useful line. Maybe, just maybe, Chuck Pagano has seen the light. He didn’t electrify in the yards per touch department, but his 14 touches and TD, scored on a reception, were positive developments. Though matched against a Houston defense that’s largely contained the run, Mack is still a very employable FLEX, at a minimum, in Week 9.