Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 9

After a rather slow start, Alex Smith has a favorable schedule on the horizon. Which other players should you be looking to add in preparation for the coming weeks?

This weekly article series will attempt to help you in two ways. First, we are going to be examining players who may not be the hot waiver pickups of the week. This will save your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) or waiver priority for when you need it most. Second, we will be diving into stats and trends that point to players improving their fantasy scores next week, not this current week. The goal is to sift through the rough to find those diamonds who emerge every single year, except you won't be sweating over whether or not you claimed them on waivers, because you will already own them. At least that's the goal.

Here's the fifth transparency report of the season. Before Week 7, I told you to grab these guys for a Week 8 start. Here's how they did:

PlayerPositional RankingHalf-PPR Points
Marlon Mack327.9
C.J. Uzomah390.0
Christian Kirk2311.7
Anthony Miller2211.9
Patriots D/ST120.0

Outside of C.J. Uzomah -- who did not catch any of his four targets in Week 8 -- this week went very well! Marlon Mack could be a league-winning type of pick-up if his pace continues. Both Christian Kirk and Anthony Miller provided solid WR2 days if you started them. And, of course, the Patriots D/ST was a smash play against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. They were the top D/ST of the week, and hopefully you stashed them a week early!

Now, on to next week! Here are some guys who may not be startable for Week 9 but could be valuable the following week and beyond. So, if you have space, add them now or hope that they fall through waivers after this week.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

Yahoo ownership: 26%

Giovani Bernard has been sidelined since Week 4 with a knee injury. And much of his fantasy relevance so far this season was due to his teammate Joe Mixon sustaining his own knee injury early in the season. Mixon has been doing fairly well this season, but his pass-catching has left something to be desired. He hasn't topped more than 22 yards receiving since Week 1.

Different lead running backs have come and gone from the Cincinnati Bengals over the years, and Bernard has still never dropped below a 16-game pace of 42 receptions and 389 yards receiving.

The Bengals are on bye in Week 9, so he's likely still out on most waiver wires at the moment. In Week 10, the Bengals will be facing off with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been dealing with running backs well, so this might seem like an odd choice. However, A.J. Green was recently spotted in a walking boot following their Week 8 game. Green has previously injured his toe, which kept him sidelined for about a month. I expect Bernard to be healthy following the bye, and his pass-catching chops could be a key to the game plan against the impressive Saints, especially if Green is to miss any time.

Tre'Quan Smith, WR, Saints

Yahoo ownership: 27%

Speaking of the New Orleans Saints, people are going to want exposure in this game. Tre'Quan Smith represents a low-owned way to do that. Since Ted Ginn Jr. went to the injured reserve list after Week 4, the Saints have been looking between Smith and Cameron Meredith to fill in the gap. Those who invested in Meredith have ultimately been disappointed, as he's only accumulated 5 receptions for 71 yards -- except all of this was in Week 5. In the last two weeks, Meredith has not even seen a target. Smith has been the go-to receiver in the wake of Ginn's departure so far. In his last three games, he's caught 9 of his 13 targets for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. It's clear at this point that Smith is the number-two wide receiver on the Saints offense.

In Week 10, the Saints will be going up against the aforementioned Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed the most points to the wide receiver position so far this season. Opponents have scored 28 or more points in five out of eight Bengals games this season. I expect the Bengals -- who have given up over 1,600 yards to wide receivers -- to continue giving up chunk yards to Saints receivers. Michael Thomas will demand a large share, but there should be plenty to go around for Smith to deliver a decent day.

Alex Smith, QB, Redskins

Yahoo ownership: 43%

Alex Smith hasn't been spectacular so far this season. He hasn't been terrible either, but he's kinda just been... Alex Smith. When kept in a clean pocket, Smith is the 14th-best quarterback in terms of quarterback rating, at 108.2. Outside of 2017, Smith has never been an exciting option but offers a few quality streaming matchups each year. The Washington Redskins have been dealing with some wide receiver injuries so far this season as well, which certainly affects the passing attack. It's also part of the reason I told you to grab Josh Doctson in last week's edition of this article.

Both this week and next week are plus matchups for Smith and the Redskins, which is part of the reason why you need to grab him now. This week, he will be playing the hobbled Atlanta Falcons, and next week he gets the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both of these teams are bottom-three in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season.

Both Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson didn't practice this Wednesday, so starting Smith this week is slightly more risky. Next week presents another great match-up and he should have more of his receiving weapons at his disposal. Notable quarterbacks on bye next week are Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson, so start figuring out your backup plan now.

DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins

Yahoo ownership: 28%

Has the breakout finally arrived for DeVante Parker?! Probably not, but that doesn't mean we can't leverage him for a few weeks this season. Parker showed out in Week 8, catching six out of nine targets for a massive 134 yards. However, the reason we can't get too excited is because Kenny Stills was out with a groin injury. With that being said, Stills has been somewhat disappointing this season -- he's only had 16 receptions for 281 yards so far. Parker showed that he's capable of being a deep threat on this team.

Going forward, it's going to require good matchups to even think about starting Parker. For Week 9, the Miami Dolphins will be facing off with the New York Jets which will be a solid spot for him, especially if Stills sits again. People will likely be clamoring to grab Parker after next week's game, so grabbing him for free now will be a smart move.

In Week 10, the Dolphins play the Packers in Green Bay. The Packers have already allowed 12 touchdowns to wide receivers and just traded Pro Bowl safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins. The Packers will be likely be heavy favorites in this game, so either Ryan Tannehill or Brock Osweiler will be throwing the ball often to play catch-up.

Chargers D/ST

Yahoo ownership: 49%

In Week 10, the Los Angeles Chargers D/ST will play the troubled Oakland Raiders. The Chargers have been playing without star defensive end Joey Bosa, who is recovering from a bone bruise on his foot, but there are already early signs that he might play in Week 9. The Raiders recently lost Amari Cooper in a trade to the Dallas Cowboys, which leaves elderly Jordy Nelson and walking bad decision Martavis Bryant to be the top passing options going forward. Not to mention, Marshawn Lynch went to injured reserve with a core muscle injury.

It's unlikely the Raiders see their best offensive days over the remainder of the year. The Chargers D/ST -- which has had 11 turnovers in 8 games -- will be coming off their Week 9 bye ready to trounce the Raiders in front of the Oakland fans.