This is a really, really bad week for Covid in the NFL. It’s been overshadowed as we await election results, over one third of teams have reported positive cases this week. All we can hope for is false positives and to keep things moving as we have reached the halfway point of the season. Part of the reason this is coming out on Friday instead of Thursday is because I didn’t think there was a chance San Francisco and Green Bay would play on Thursday Night. It’s probably for the best, because JaMycal Hasty would have been a start and I haven’t seen him touch the ball yet.
With the NFL sort of doing everything on the fly this season, I don’t understand why this game couldn’t have been pushed back to Sunday after Kendrick Bourne’s false positive. I would have thrown a fit if I were San Francisco. But instead of ranting and raving in here, let’s dig into the starts and sits for week 9.
Keep attacking Dallas. It’s a great play every week! Pittsburgh is rolling through tough competition and this should be a show out game for the passing attack. Pittsburgh has done a great job this year keeping the pressure off of Roethlisberger’s arm. If you take out the Tennessee game, Big Ben only has one interception in the rest of the games this year so far. The weapons have definitely been a plus in the receiving game in 2020. Chase Claypool is having a great rookie year, JuJu Smith-Schuster has gotten more involved with the offense over the past couple of weeks, and Diontae Johnson has been dynamic when he can stay on the field. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben finds the end zone three or more times on Sunday.
Phillip carved himself out quite the dynamic secondary roll in this backfield. So much so, that it’s sort of a 1A/1B attack on the ground between Lindsay and Gordon. I think Lindsay is a good flex play this week against Atlanta after averaging 87 yards per game in the last three contests. One of the things they don’t tell you in driving school is that if you get a DUI, you could lose touches as a lead back in the NFL. Sorry Melvin, hopefully a lesson was learned!
The over/under in this game is sitting at 51.5 after opening at 56. I get that it’s a divisional game, and those can get kind of messy but both of these teams can score so I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends up in the 60s providing plenty of opportunities for Justin Jackson to score. Jackson is coming off of his busiest game of 2020 where he touched the ball 20 times for the first time. The Raiders give up 4.6 yards per carry and are tied for the lead in the NFL giving up 12 touchdowns on the ground so far this year. I think Justin Jackson finally finds pay dirt in this one.
As you can tell, this is a game that I am heavily targeting. The Chargers are a nice DFS stack this week if you like throwing money into the DraftKings and Fanduel well. In two out of the last three weeks, Mike has had nice fantasy days with 5/109/2 against New Orleans and 5/99/1 against Denver last week. I actually caught a lot of the Denver/L.A. game last Sunday and was thoroughly impressed with Williams’ performance. L.A. has given Herbert the reigns when they have the ball on offense and it’s been fun to watch.
Are you picking up on a theme here? I like stacks! When Pittsburgh faced a Charmin soft secondary a couple of weeks back in Tennessee, Johnson was targeted 15 times and ended up with a nice line of 9/80/2. It’s clear that Big Ben loves Diontae’s potential and DJ is explosive when he is healthy. If you haven’t frustration dropped him, this is the week.
Surprise! Another stack! We all know you can throw all over Atlanta and my other choice for a start was Jonnu Smith because if there is any way to beat the Bears through the air it’s with the tight end. But I can’t recommend starting someone who has completely disappeared from the offense. Noah Fant has not. His lowest target total this season is 5 and he has had no fewer than 7 over the past two games for Denver. Drew Lock is back and he loves him some Fant and so should you.
Ryan Tannehill faces the worst 6-2 team that I have ever seen in my life, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be stingy against the pass. Tannehill’s efficiency has been a revolution this year with multiple touchdown passes in every game but one. In order to beat the Bears, the Titans don’t have to air it out. They shouldn’t need much from Tannehill. For Tennessee to have success, it will be a big Derrick Henry game. And if the Bears win, it will likely be a tight one without garbage time opportunities.
The sit for running back came down to Ezekiel Elliott and Jonathan Taylor. If you drafted Elliott, I doubt that you have better options to start at running back, but I would expect a pretty low score. There is a better chance that you have a better option if you fell into the lure of JT though! I said in buy/sell that I have given up on JT and this is halfway an attempt to reverse jinx that. The problem is that Nyheim Hines is great in the passing game and now Jordan Wilkins is involved as well. With Jonathan Taylor banged up and facing a tough Ravens’ defense, I’d do what I can to get him out of your lineup.
I wouldn’t let the temptation of last year’s 2 td game in his only start last year take over. AB has now been away from football for over a year and it’s going to take some time to get re-acclimated. Bruce Arians has already claimed that AB will not take on a full workload in his first game back. He may see as few as 10 snaps. With Chris Godwin in line to play if he is able to catch the ball comfortably in Friday’s practice, there will simply be too many mouths to feed. Way more than there were in AB’s one start with New England last season.
It’s probably tempting to start Graham against Tennesse without much depth at the TE position around the NFL. Graham hasn’t found the end zone once in the last 3 games which is pretty much his only way to put up a respectable fantasy score. Also, Cole Kmet has recently become more involved in this offense, so if any TE were going to have a big game, I think it’s him.