For a lot of fantasy owners, now is the time to either look towards the playoffs, or go into damage control and try to salvage your season while you can. Both decisions are important, but for now, let’s talk about some players who have great Week 9 matchups, and those players who should be left on the bench.
It hasn’t been a great year for Josh Allen, but it hasn’t been a total year to forget, especially because the Bills still find themselves at 5-2, and in second place in the AFC East. We’ve seen in a lot of games this year Allen flashing his upside with his arm strength and rushing abilities. However, we’ve also seen games where he fumbles the ball multiple times, and games where he’ll throw multiple picks. Well, what version of Allen are we going to see this week? Against Washington, I think we’re going to see a great version of Allen. This is a Washington defense that ranks 24th in passing success rate allowed, and 27th in rushing success rate allowed, which could see Allen utilizing his legs. He’s a great streaming option for those that need it, and he should have no issues finishing in the top-10 and above at the position, barring another turnover-heavy performance.
After an offseason full of Matt Patricia saying how run-heavy the Lions were going to be this season, Matthew Stafford quitely ranks as the #10 QB in fantasy. Watching the 2019 Detroit Lions has been a very wild experience, not going to lie. Last week, I wrote up Stafford as a recommended start against the Giants, and he turned a good performance, thank goodness, for 342 passing yards, 3 TD’s, and 1 INT. I think he’ll be able to continue his success this week against the Raiders. While he will be on the road, this is a Raiders defense he can beat, one that ranks 29th in pass defense DVOA, and 30th in explosive passing rate allowed.
One of the stories of the season has been Gardner Minshew’s rise in Jacksonville after the injury to Nick Foles. And while Foles might be coming back soon, Minshew can still offer his fantasy services when the matchup is a good one. Well, this is one of those this week, as he’ll face off against a Texans defense that ranks 23rd in pass defense DVOA allowed. Our projections love him this week, as he’s the #10 projected QB on Sunday.
Baker and the rest of the Cleveland Browns passing game has struggled these past few weeks, and it’s likely to continue in another tough matchup against Denver on the road. This is a Broncos defense that has gotten better and better over the past weeks, and ranks 5th in pass defense DVOA. Mayfield should continue to be on most benches.
After a few weeks of stagnant production from the rookie, Jones exploded last week against the Lions, passing for 322 yards and 4 TD’s. It may be a sign of things to come with a healthy offense, but it’ll be a difficult matchup this go-around against the Cowboys, who rank 15th in pass success rate. He’s a midrange option this week, but there are better options elsewhere (see above).
With T.Y. Hilton out this week with a calf injury, and the fact that it’s already a tough matchup against the Steelers on the road, who rank 10th in pass defense DVOA, Brissett isn’t a must-start this week, as I would say his ceiling is lowered.
It hasn’t been a season to remember for Bell, as he’s struggled to produce in New York, and almost all of us thought he would be moved at the dealine. Due to the events of this past week, I think Bell is a great start this week thanks to this, and the great matchup. He’s got a point to prove against a defense that should let him prove it, a defense that ranks 30th in rushing success rate allowed. Start him up with confidence.
Peterson hasn’t had a super productive season thus far, it hasn’t been for a lack of trying, with the veteran tallying double-digit carries in every game this season but one. This is a good matchup for AP against the Bills, a defense that ranks 28th in pass defense DVOA. With the rookie Dwanye Haskins starting this week, Peterson will likely get another good workload.
With the injury to James Conner, Jaylen Samuels steps into a starting role for Pittsburgh against the Colts. At home, Samuels is bound to have a nice workload, and with an easy matchup against the Colts, who rank 29th in rush defense DVOA. Samuels should have top-12 upside this week.
Michel has been very TD-or-bust this season, and I don’t think it’s going to continue, especially not this week. It’ll be a true test for the New England offense this week on the road in Baltimore. Especially with the return of Rex Burkhead into the lineup, Michel isn’t a consistent starter this week.
As we saw last week, just because the opportunity is there, doesn’t mean the success will follow. It was a tough week for Johnson last Sunday, as he failed to do anything against the Giants, rushing for 27 yards and 2 TD’s. It’s another tough matchup for the back, as he’ll face a Raiders defense that ranks 9th in rush defense DVOA. I wouldn’t recommend starting him this week.
It’s another tough matchup for Cohen and this passing attack on the road in Philadelphia, and I don’t think he should be started in most leagues, as evidenced by the fact that our projections system have him as the 42nd projected running back.
Even with the late breaking news yesterday about the arrival of Josh Gordon, Lockett is still the #1 man in Seattle right now, and has an excellent matchup this week at home against Tampa Bay. This game could end up turning into a shootout, and against a Bucs defense that ranks 26th in pass defense DVOA but 1st in rush defense DVOA, Russell Wilson should be throwing the ball plenty of times, and that benefits Lockett greatly. As our #3 projected wideout this Sunday, Lockett should be in line for a huge day.
It’s another fantastic matchup this week for Chark, who has had a wonderful season, as he now ranks as the #5 wideout in fantasy. In a game that should see both offenses get super aggressive throughout the whole day, Chark should take advantage of a defense that ranks 23rd in pass defense DVOA. Start him up with confidence.
After three straight games of 100+ yards, Godwin fell back to earth a little bit last week against the Titans. However, Godwin is still a must-start fantasy receiver this week, and with a pretty decent matchup against the Seahawks, in which Jameis and this passing offense should be very aggressive throughout, Godwin has Top-10 upside, maybe even higher.
Scarry Terry hasn’t been as scary these past few weeks, and I don’t see him having a great day this Sunday either against the Bills. It’s a tough matchup against a tough secondary that ranks 3rd in passing success rate allowed. Projected outside our top-20, McLaurin isn’t a solid option this week unless you need the help at WR.
He should be coming back to full health this week, especially with an extra week of rest thanks to their bye, but Brown isn’t a starting option just yet, especially not this week. This is a tough matchup for Brown against New England, and while the Pats will be getting a true test against this Ravens offense and Lamar, I don’t have the confidence to say that Brown should be in people’s starting lineups. He can be left on the bench for now.
While he still is the best receiver in Philadelphia, Jeffery’s whole season has been very up and down, as much as the rest of the team is too. It’s another tough matchup for Jeffery against his old team, but a team that has done a good job of shutting down opposing wideouts all season. He’s a low-end WR3, to be started only if you don’t have any other options.
Goedert’s value has raised considerably recently after catching two TD’s in the past two games, and being just as involved in the Philly passing attack as his teammate Zach Ertz. The one weak-spot in the Bears pass defense is their ability to cover TE’s, and Goedert is a very solid starting option at the position this week.
Hockenson has been nowhere near his Week 1 self after his blowup game earlier this season, but he’s worth the risk this week as a streaming option thanks to his matchup. He’ll face a Raiders defense that is coming off a game in which they allowed Darren Fells to catch 2 TD’s. If you need help at the position, Hockenson is a great plug-in-play.
It’s been a season to forget for Rudolph, who is coming off his first game of more than 40 receiving yards all season. Even if he could get more looks if Adam Thielen is out, Rudolph doesn’t have any appeal in re-draft leagues for the rest of the season, nor this week.
Kickers and D/ST
Brett Maher (@ NYG) – Razzball Projection: #2 K
The Cowboys should be moving the ball with ease on Sunday, and Maher should have plenty of XP and FG opportunities.
Justin Tucker (vs. BAL) – Razzball Projection: #21 K
With a tough matchup against New England, Tucker might not get enough opportunities this week to hit paydirt.
The Chargers defense hasn’t been great all season, and they should continue to struggle against a Packers offense that seems like it’s clicking now under Matt LaFleur. And even though the game says it’s being played in Los Angeles… is it really a home game ever for the Chargers?
Good luck to everyone in Week 9, and I will be back on Thursday for another edition of Ambulance Chasers!
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