Standout performers of week 8: Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Matt Forte, Theo Riddick, Jordan Howard, Jonathan Stewart, Amari Cooper, Jamison Crowder, Dez Bryant, Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed.
Bye weeks in week 9: Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans; New England Patriots, Washington Redskins.
Quarterbacks I Love for Week 9
What’s that phrase that I repeat all the time in these articles? Oh yeah, start your guys against Cleveland. It should basically be common knowledge by now. Prescott has been a pretty consistent performer this season, and has surprisingly guided the Dallas Cowboys to a 6-1 record, which sits atop the NFC East. Prescott is a fringe QB1 week to week and should benefit immensely with the return of Dez Bryant.
What’s not to love about a matchup against a very susceptible Atlanta defense, in which two solid offenses pitted against each other are bound to put up numerous points? Winston and the Bucs will rely heavily on the passing game, with the loss of their starting running back and two backups. Expect a multi TD game from Winston, and a huge game from star wide receiver Mike Evans.
Quarterbacks I Hate for Week 9
Carr is a popular name mentioned when the conversation of most surprising player of 2016 is brought up. His name is even in the MVP race talk. Unfortunately, he is unstartable to me this week because of the nightmarish matchup. The Denver Broncos are easily one of the scariest defenses, specifically their secondary. Denver allows 7.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and has a total of 8 interceptions. That’s all you really need to know to leave Carr on the bench this week.
Stafford has slowly been declining in recent weeks. He does not look like he is in his first half of the season form. In the past 2 weeks, Stafford has had below 7 points at halftime in both contests. He has relied on garbage time to put up a decent stat line. It won’t get any easier for Stafford, as he faces a formidable Vikings defense this week. Things could brighten up after his week 10 bye week though, with favorable matchups against the Jaguars, Saints and Bears.
Running Backs I Love for Week 9
For the first time this season, Freeman had the sole possession of running back duties last week. Other Falcons running back Tevin Coleman usually takes the field for red zone opportunities and passing downs. In his absence last week, Freeman found the end zone twice. With the possibility of Coleman missing his second straight game, Freeman will inherit the bulk of the carries and receptions out of the backfield. Freeman finds himself a good matchup against Tampa Bay, who have let up either a 100 yard game, or a multi-touchdown game to opposing backs 3 times in the last 4 weeks.
The Seahawks must be really happy seeing how Michael has performed this season, after their supposed starting running back Thomas Rawls went down with an injury. Michael has taken over and produced pretty solid numbers, with 6 touchdowns and a yards per carry average of 5.1. He has also proven to be a worthy fantasy asset. Michael’s opposition this week has been struggling against the run as of late. The Bills have let up a touchdown a game to opposing backfields in their last 3 games, and even allowed Jay Ajayi to tally over 200 yards on the ground! Look for Michael to have a solid outing in Monday night’s tilt.
Running Backs I Hate for Week 9
Ajayi has exploded out of the woodwork in the past 2 games. He’s tallied over 400 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns in the last 2 games he played. These numbers are absolutely incredible and he probably has came in handy to those who needed a filler for bye weeks, or got unlucky with injuries. The bad news, those stats are are almost impossible to maintain. The odds of him having another 200 yard multi score game are miniscule. People need to slow their role on the Ajayi hype train. If you received a solid trade where you had to give up Ajayi, I would do it immediately. Take advantage of his value being where it is, because it’s the highest it is going to get. In reality, Ajayi isn’t anything special, and his fantasy numbers will soon fall back to earth.
Murray’s fantasy numbers are very touchdown dependent this season. In fact, he hasn’t even surpassed 60 yards rushing in a game in 2016. He has not been the workhorse back for the Raiders that most believed he would be. They use him very sparingly, as he has only gotten over 10 carries in a game twice this year. He faces a stout Broncos defense this week, and it is hard seeing him producing a solid outing unless he gets a few goal line plunges.
Wide Receivers I Love for Week 9
Bryant returned from his long awaited absence with a bang this past Sunday. He caught 4 passes for 113 yards on a whopping 14 targets and had an incredible touchdown catch over multiple defenders. The star receiver returned to his old form and should continue to put up solid WR1 numbers through the home stretch of the fantasy season. He faces the Cleveland Browns this week, and everyone knows to start your guys against them. The Browns have been vulnerable to receivers in recent weeks, letting up 15 points to Quincy Enunwa, 19 points to Kendall Wright, and 22 points to AJ Green in the past 3 weeks.
I have a gut feeling that this is more of a Sanders week than a Demaryius Thomas week. Sanders is due for a big game, his last double digit fantasy points performance came 6 weeks ago. He’ll get a great opportunity against a weak Oakland defense that allows the fourth most receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.
Wide Receivers I Hate for Week 9
Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree
Refer back to Derek Carr. The Denver secondary is very talented and it will be hard for both of these receivers to perform well. Denver has only allowed 94.8 yards per game to opposing receivers, the lowest in the league. Try and stay away from this matchup and look for other options.
I think there’s some sort of trend here, as Marvin Jones appears on the hate list for the third straight week. He simply just isn’t that good. He’s nothing but a boom or bust deep threat in my opinion, though he carries slightly higher value in PPR formats. Last week, the Lions welcomed back two key offensive players that were dealing with injuries. Starting running back Theo Riddick and stud tight end Eric Ebron came back with a bang in the passing game, totaling 15 catches on 21 targets combined. Jones will continue to lose looks to them, and is nothing more than a low end WR2 at this point.
Tight Ends I Love for Week 9
Rudolph wasn’t a commonly drafted player in fantasy leagues this year. Part of this reason was because of Minnesota’s prior quarterback situation. Before Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season ending injury, he was the team’s starting quarterback, and wasn’t known to be much of a thrower. Vikings receivers didn’t really benefit much from a fantasy standpoint with Bridgewater manning the position. Sam Bradford filled the void at QB, and Rudolph quickly became his favorite target. Rudolph has the best matchup possible for a tight end this week. He plays the Detroit Lions, who have allowed 19 passing touchdowns, which ties them for the most in the league with the Cleveland Browns.
Tight Ends I Hate for Week 9
Kelce had a great week 8 performance, reeling in his most receptions in a game this season while topping his previous most yards in a game in 2016 as well. He plays the Jaguars this week, and while their defense isn’t that good, they’re surprisingly solid at limiting tight ends. They allow an average of 38.7 yards per game to opposing tight ends, which isn’t promising for Kelce this week.
by Nick Rufo