Whoa! Week 8 was full of surprising outcomes with Cincinnati dominating Tennessee, Minnesota literally running over Green Bay, and the Tua-lead Dolphins defeating the Rams. Pittsburgh cemented itself atop the AFC North after forcing Lamar Jackson to look like Mayfield and Bake some turnovers and the surging Buccaneers narrowly beat the G-Men on Monday night.
In fantasy, I reverted back to my early week trend of my starts busting and my sits being money. Jonnu Smith was non existent most of his game and Le’Veon Bell didn’t do anything with his touches. Brandon Aiyuk was at least able to get some garbage time points and eventually find the end zone. Lions RB’s were held to 61 total yards and Devante Parker had 6.8 fpts. Zeke hit my numbers almost exact with 63 rushing yards and 10 receiving yards. It was a decent week but let’s be great. Here is your Week 9 start or sit.
Time to Shine
The former Iowa Hawkeye has been a model of consistency during the six games he’s played this season. Having 4+ receptions in 5 of 6, with 35 or more yards in all 6 games aren’t necessarily numbers to celebrate, but in a game where opportunity/touches are king, he’s near the top. He leads Denver in receptions with 29 on his 43 total targets and is tied for the team lead with 2 TDs. Now 2 games in after missing time due to injury, Fant is set up for a big day against one of the NFL’s worst defenses against the TE position.
Excluding their two games against the Panthers who DO NOT target the TE, Atlanta has been absolutely horrid against the position during their other six games. The Falcons have given up 60+ yards in all 6 and a score in 5 of the 6 games. Tim Patrick may miss Week 9, leaving Fant as the team’s best red zone option to go along with him being a favorite, or Denver QB Drew Lock. Look for Noah to be heavily featured this week in a must win game for the Broncos.
Prediction: 6 rec 83 yards 1 TD: 17.3 pts
Antonio Brown is back, and once more teamed up with Tom Brady. The Bucs have dealt with injuries atop their WR depth chart all year and Brown was signed to help alleviate this problem. He is apparently in tremendous shape and ready to contribute which is needed immediately with Chris Godwin likely still out. How much Brown will play is an obvious question mark, but the importance of this game should influence his involvement.
Tampa Bay is facing the division leading Saints in Week 9. New Orleans dominated them in Week 1 when Brady and his new bunch were still developing their rapport. The Bucs and Tom have found their groove, currently ranking 2nd in the NFL in point differential. Brady has an 18-2 Td/Int ratio since that loss, and will look for revenge this week.
New Orleans has struggled mightily against opposing WR’s over the last 3 weeks allowing 190 yards & 2+ TDs in all three games. Brown has familiarity with Arians and his new/old QB allowing him to step right in to a significant role. I might be drinking too much of the kool-aid, but I expect to see Brady to Brown early in this one.
Prediction: 4 rec 52 yards 1 TD: 13.2 pts
J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS are really bad. They have been held under 13 or less points in 6 of their 7 games. Their lack of success and playing in what is basically a lost season, it’s time to turn to the youngsters. One of those youngsters is Perine, who has seen his role increase dramatically since Le’Veon was sent packing. He has 7+ carries in 3 straight games with at least 2 receptions in all three as well. I know Frank Gore is still around but La’Mical is the superior athlete. He’ll need to be deployed against this week’s opponent if there is any hope of winning.
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La’Mical and the Jets are facing bitter rival, New England in Week 9, who isn’t normally a defense to attack. This season however, the Patriots are struggling against the run and currently spiraling down the standings. During their current 4 game losing streak, the Pats have surrendered an avg. of 136.5 yards rushing. They also just allowed San Francisco and Buffalo RBs to rush for 4 & 2 TDs over the last 2 weeks. The Jets are not as good as previous opponents but the Patriots aren’t the Patriots of years past either. He is the most explosive runner for the Jets, so Perine should be heavily involved. Under the lights on Monday Night Football, look for a lot of La’Mical.
Prediction: 11 car 45 yards 1 TD, 3 rec 20 yards: 14 pts
Ride the Pine
It’s been quite a disappointing last three games for D.J. He has accumulated only 87 yards on 11 catches during this stretch and the tough times are set to continue in Week 9. He’ll be facing the Houston Texans and corner Bradley Roby, who limited Chark to 3 receptions for only 16 yards. With Gardner Minshew now out, and Jacksonville turning to Jake Luton, WHO?, there is no way you can trust D.J. this week.
Prediction: 5 rec 56 yards: 8.1 pts
It was a nice bounce back for Slayton in Week 8 with a decent line of 5 receptions for 56 yards against the Bucs. This was coming off 2 straight games of 2 receptions for less than 45 yards. One of those games was against this week’s opponent Washington, who did allow him to find the end zone, but held Daniel Jones to just 112 total passing yards. The Washington Football Team is allowing only 18.6 fpts/gm to receivers over the last 4 weeks while also keeping teams WR’s under 10 receptions in 5 of their 7 games. Both of these teams are strongest on the defensive side of the ball if their last meeting says anything, it’s that this game will be low scoring. Find another option in Week 9.
Prediction: 4 rec 54 yards: 7.4 pts
The Chargers have become Justin Herbert’s team and their offense goes as he goes. Since taking over the starting role, LA has been lighting up the scoreboard averaging 27 points/gm. The problem is almost all of these points are via the aerial attack with RB’s having only scored 1 touchdown since Week 1. The Chargers are also continuing to rotate their backfield between Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, and new jitterbug Troymaine Pope. This week, they also face an underrated opponent against opposing backfields as well.
The Raiders have been a surprisingly good team against RB’s this season, having allowed over 100 yards only once to the position. This was way back in Week 3 when Patriots backs ran for 209 yards and had 3 total touchdowns. Since then, Las Vegas has limited teams to an average of 64 rushing and around 34 receiving yards while only surrendering 2 rushing TDs. Over this stretch, the opposition is averaging only 15 fpts/gm against them. This game sets up as a potential nail biter and could quite possibly become a shootout, but it’ll be through the air where LA beats Las Vegas. The uncertainty about who’ll be the guy, most of the scoring coming from Herbert, and the Raiders defense make Chargers RB’s a tricky play.
Prediction: Nobody over 85 total yards, & possibly only one guy finding the end zone.