Karlos Williams leads gutsy starts of Week 9

So you went through your fantasy football draft. You made a trade or two, picked up a guy off the waiver wire. But then before everything went live ... something didn't feel right. Maybe you had a player who was a game-time decision. Or there was a match up that wasn't in your favor. Whatever the reason, you decided it was time to make a bold choice. You know what they say ... No Guts, No Glory. So this column is for you. Every week here, we'll salute the outside-the-box thinking that was rewarded with big fantasy production. Fortune favors the bold, so here's to you. We sent out the call early Monday morning, and here's what you came back with. Congratulations to those of you who are looking at a Week 9 win!

Williams had missed the Bills previous three games with a concussion, but returned to the lineup on Sunday as LeSean McCoy's backup. While fantasy owners were happy to see McCoy score an early touchdown and collect 112 rush yards on the day, he left the game early with a shoulder injury. So, Karlos Williams stepped up. He only had nine carries in the game but ended up scoring two touchdowns and totaling 110 rush yards in a big win over the Dolphins. Williams has now scored at least one touchdown in every game he's played in this season. The fact that anyone started him in Week 9 though was a gutsy call since he hadn't played in a month and McCoy was the starter. Going forward, Williams should be owned in all leagues as McCoy is injury prone, and even when he's healthy, Williams will see his share of carries as a powerful change-of-pace back.

Week 9 was the "Start any other quarterback over Andrew Luck week" since the Colts faced the league's best defense in the Denver Broncos. It actually worked out decently for a few guys, including Derek Carr, and yes, even Marcus Mariota. It's tough to say that starting Carr was a gutsy move since he's been so hot of late, but the Mariota start should get some props. It was the rookie's first game back after missing two games with a knee injury. He had scored fewer than 11 fantasy points in every game since Week 3, but under new leadership, Mariota thrived and had his best fantasy game of the year. It helped that the Saints defense is one of the worst in the league. So to those owners who benched Luck for Mariota, nicely done.

We wouldn't recommend any 49ers players ahead of Week 9, but the Blaine Gabbert-led San Francisco offense surprised us all. Gabbert threw two touchdown passes in the game and both of them went to his tight end, Garrett Celek. We know Vernon Davis is probably losing his mind in Denver somewhere right now. Anyway, Celek had just 12 yards in the game but his two scores were enough to rank him in the top five among tight ends for the week. They say that your initial gut feeling is usually the right one, so the fact that this owner saw Celek first and rolled with him was a true gut move. Celek was also a popular punt play at tight end in DFS leagues, and ended up coming through in the clutch. Plus, the 49ers beat the Falcons? What kind of world are we living in?!

Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. He can't stop listening to Borns lately. Hit him up on Twitter @MattFranchise for music recommendations and fantasy advice.

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