AFC East Week 9 Preview: Fantasy Relevant Players

 

Dolphins vs Bengals played Thursday

Bills vs Chiefs

Fred Jackson: Running back C.J. Spiller continues to be a non-threat to Jackson’s playing time so it will be all Jackson against a very good Chiefs team in week nine. Jackson is averaging 15 carries a game and has scored five touchdowns in four of his last five starts. Jackson rushing yards haven’t been huge averaging just 50 yards per game and he hasn’t rushed for 100 yards yet this season. Although Jackson is the only somewhat usable back in the Bills backfield this week he does have to deal with a very solid Chiefs defense so temper expectations.

Stevie Johnson: Johnson has been the only reliable pass catcher for the Bills and last week against the Saints turned 11 targets into seven receptions for 72 yards and one receiving touchdown. After being inactive week six with a back injury he’s received a healthy 24 targets over the last two games. The issues for Johnson this week revolve around the play of quarterback Thad Lewis, who did not practice Thursday dealing with an injury and the flu, and has been sporadic at best and Johnson is dealing with a hip flexor injury that has limited him in practice all week. If he plays he could be worth a flex play if you need him so keep a close eye on his situation this week.
Patriots vs Steelers

Tom Brady: The way Tom Terrific has been playing it was a bit difficult to include him in this article. But I’m giving him a pass based on the loss of his main weapons for a good part of the first half of the season and, although not verified, news that he’s dealing with a hand injury of some kind. Whatever the issues are its obvious Brady is struggling and hasn’t been the usual fantasy stalwart we’re used to seeing. Last week he went 13 of 22 passes for 116 yards and only one passing touchdown against the Dolphins and has only thrown nine total touchdowns this season and has only gone over 300 passing yards one time. He does have tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Danny Amendola back but the Steelers have only allowed five passing touchdowns all season so he is a risk.

Steven Ridley: The Steelers aren’t as stout against the ground game as they are against the pass so one of the three Patriots running backs, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Ridley should have a good day. The problem is trying to figure out which one the dart will land on when Belichick is deciding. Last week Blount had 11 carries to Ridley’s 14 and Bolden got a red zone carry converting it for a touchdown which does limit Ridley, but my money is on Ridley this week to get the lion’s share of carries and doing the most with what he gets. Ridley didn’t even see a carry till the second quarter for reasons unbeknownst to us and still rushed for 79 yards and one touchdown. Hopefully he’ll get on a roll this week so get him in your lineup.

Rob Gronkowski: I most likely can’t tell you anything that hasn’t been reported already so I’ll keep this short. Last week Gronkowski tweaked his hamstring and only had two receptions on six targets for 27 yards which helps no one and is very un-Gronkowski like numbers. The Patriots as a whole are struggling offensively so as big a name as he’s been in fantasy until this offense gets straightened out and Gronkowski gets 100% healthy you should limit expectations going forward. To add to this outlook the Steelers have only given up one touchdown to the tight end position this season. I would start him if I had him but at this point I don’t have to like it. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

Jets vs Saints

Geno Smith: This is not the week to use Smith in my humble opinion. The Saints are surprisingly good against the pass allowing only one passing score per game on average. We’re not talking about a powerful pass offense in the Jets to begin with so…well, you know what to do.
Chris Ivory/Bilal Powell: Ivory rushed for a putrid 11 yards on six carries last week against the Bengals after rushing for 104 yards on 34 carries (34 carries!) in week seven against the Patriots, and Powell could only manage 19 rushing yards on ten carries last week. The Saints have a surging defense and have been as solid against the run as they have been against the pass. All these guys are high risk, low reward plays.

Jeremy Kerley: I don’t see a ton of upside here with Kerley against the Saints. In week five Kerley had five receptions for 68 yards and one receiving touchdown followed by a two reception 19 yard game against the Steelers, then in week seven went for 97 receiving yards completing eight of ten targets and another score. Last week he had three receptions for 27 yards against the Bengals. If there is anything positive to grasp on to this week where Kerley is concerned there is a weekly on/off trend with him and this is an on week. Yea I know it’s not much but it’s really all we have.

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