Week 9 Fantasy Football Matchups

Giving you a funny twist on every fantasy-related player in Week 9.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

Giants -2.5; O/U 43

Eagles – The Eagles lost a tough game Sunday night when Carson Wentz struggled against the Cowboys defense. Now going on the road to face the Giants, Wentz could have similar difficulties against a defense that’s given up the fifth least points to fantasy QBs. The running back situation is an absolute mess in Philly. There’s something to be said about small fiery guys from Philly though. Darren Sproles has emerged as the guy after getting 20 touches last game and has become an integral part of the offense. Ryan Mathews has seen his value go way down after only five touches last week. What salvaged his day was finding the end zone, but he cannot be trusted going forward. Give me a Geno’s cheese steak and Wawa meatball hoagie to provide more joy than Mathews in the backfield. Jordan Matthews surprisingly reestablished himself with a 11-65-1 stat line on 14 targets. It looks like he’s back on the map and a reliable play this week.

Giants – Eli Manning sucks, and he’s really starting to diminish the value of his star receivers. The Eagles have a good defense and have kept opponents in check, sans the last game with Dallas. Both Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz have taken giant steps back from the beginning of the season and are very tough to start. With all the teams on bye though, there are very limited options. Odell Beckham Jr has been extremely up and down this year. His ceiling is still sky high, but his floor has dropped considerably compared to last year. The Eagles won’t be the easiest option for Odell to torch, but if anyone can do it, it’s him — as long as Eli can get him the ball. The reemergence of Rashad Jennings should help to balance out the run/pass game. He hasn’t been getting a lot of touches, but he’s been working back from injury. Jennings has been touchdown dependent the past two weeks.

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

Vikings -6; O/U 41

Lions – The MNF game for Minnesota looked like a mirage as they were destroyed by the Bears. Matthew Stafford will face a pissed off Vikings defense in Minnesota, making this a VERY tough spot to play him. The matchup might not be the best, but the return of Theo Riddick has been great for owners of the RB. He’s operating as pretty much the sole back and has been a target hog especially in the receiving game. If Stafford struggles to move the ball, Riddick could be a security blanket for numerous dump offs. Minnesota has locked down opposing receivers, which lowers the ceilings for Marvin Jones and Golden Tate. Jones was the star early in the season, but Tate has since turned the tides into what many expected this off-season as being the #1 guy. Eric Ebron returned last week and looked like his old self. He looks like he can be a consistent producer going forward if he stays healthy.

Vikings – Ragnar Lothbrok is turning in his grave right now. Sam Bradford and the Vikings offense looked HORRIBLE last week. Luckily for him, he gets the inept Lions pass defense for a nice rebound. The only reason you should be starting Bradford is that you are being killed from Bye Week Hell and there are no other options on the market. Jerick McKinnon missed last week’s game, leaving touchdown vulture Matt Asiata as the lead back. Asiata struggled in his role and probably wants to go back to just being a goal line thief. After scoring against the Bears, Stefon Diggs should be a good bet to find pay dirt again. His spike in targets was a good sight to see. Kyle Rudolph has the best matchup though, as Detroit has become known for their inability to defend the tight end. Rudolph has been solid this season, and should perform very well this Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

No line due to Ben Roethlisberger’s status

Steelers – When I say the name Ben Roethliseberger, what comes to mind? For me, it’s brave. After a torn meniscus just a couple weeks ago, Ben will be returning to the field for Week 9. As you would expect, Antonio Brown gets a huge boost in value, especially against a vulnerable Ravens secondary. Sammie Coates also serves as a flex play during Bye Week Hell if you really need somebody. The chance to take down a divisional rival is big, so I would expect Roethlisberger to come out slinging here. Le’Veon Bell is one of the only positional players to score double digit fantasy points in every game. His usage in the passing game all but cements his odds at doing this every week. He’s so patient and elusive in the running game, it’s amazing to watch. He’ll get his, don’t you worry.

Ravens – After coming out scorching hot to begin the season, Baltimore has gone so cold that only Edgar Allen Poe would be proud. Joe Flacco has taken a turn for the worse in his ever going “Is Joe Flacco elite?” conversation. Nobody with a brain can be saying “yes” right now. Where Baltimore can capitalize though is with the running game. Terrance West will have the benefit of facing the 32nd ranked run defense to fantasy RBs (spoiler: there’s 32 teams in the league). The receivers though have a tougher challenge facing Pittsburgh’s 6th ranked pass defense. Steve Smith Sr. is still recovering from an ankle injury, so the guy you should be targeting is once again Mike Wallace. Despite the Steelers being able to hammer down opposing WR’s, they are a lot more susceptible to tight ends which works well in Dennis Pitta‘s favor. He’s seen double digit targets in back-to-back games.

Dallas Cowboys @ Cleveland Browns

Cowboys -7; O/U 49

Cowboys – The Browns are a dumpster fire, so any offense that gets to face Cleveland is in for a very big day. Ezekiel Elliott should be able to crab walk through this Browns defense, even if they start the freelancing Jamie Collins (Sr.) at linebacker (sick brag to his new teammates that he’s had sex). The return last week of Dez Bryant was huge as he made his presence felt immediately. Bryant gave Dak Prescott a sure fire WR1, and the two should feast on the Browns secondary. Cole Beasley takes a slight dip in value with Bryant’s return, but still offers use in PPR leagues.

Browns – While the return of Dez was nice for Dallas, the return of Josh McCown was even more important for Cleveland. Unfortunately for McCown and owners who have their skill-position players, they’re going full rebuild and starting Cody Kessler over a healthy McCown. Terrelle PryorCorey Coleman and especially Gary Barnidge take hits here. Isaiah Crowell rounded back into form nicely last game and reinforced our belief that Hue Jackson is good for running backs. With Kessler at the helm, the Browns will continue to be fantasy irrelevant.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs -9; O/U 44

Jaguars – This is a very bad spot for the Jaguars offense. The Chiefs have a good defense that always plays better at home in Arrowhead. Plus, Blake Bortles has been playing terribly unless it’s in garbage time when he’s down 20+. He’s all but murdered the first round talent of Allen Robinson, while Allen Hurns has been a flex play at best. Jacksonville has no running game, rendering TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory as emergency plays during Bye Week Hell. It’s tough to see what was a promising preseason offense turn out to be utter shit.

Chiefs – In pretty shocking news, the Chiefs were led last week by Nick Foles who surprisingly looked rather good. He was able to spread the ball around and bring value to Chiefs receivers. The biggest benefactor was Travis Kelce who turned in a monster day from the TE spot. With starter Alex Smith ruled out for this one, Foles will be under center once again — much to the chagrin of Kelce. Jeremy Maclin also performed well, getting double digit targets while finding the end zone. He should also benefit against a weaker Jaguars secondary. The bad news for Kansas City comes from running back Spencer Ware who was diagnosed with a concussion. Ware was bound to take just about every carry with Jamaal Charles heading to the IR, but now dealing with a concussion will likely keep him out Week 9. If he cannot go, then it will be all Charcandrick West, who was an elite RB last year when featured in the offense. Tyreke Hill offers some deeper league WR help after scoring in three of his last four games. The speedy receiver has a knack for finding the end zone.

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins

Dolphins -3.5; O/U 44

Jets – With Ryan Fitzpatrick back under center, the Jets have turned their focus to Matt Forte on offense. He’s been getting a lot of touches and has certainly produced when being fed often. Facing the Dolphins run defense should only continue Forte’s splurge of success. Miami averages over 100+ rushing yards allowed to opposing running backs. While Forte has flourished recently, the same cannot be said for Jets receivers. We are all waiting for Brandon Marshall to have a 2015 like game where he puts up 20+ points. Quincy Enunwa had a nice game last week where he saw 11 targets and scored a touchdown. Miami has been susceptible to the passing game, so this could be a spot where the Jets finally have a potent aerial attack.

Dolphins – All eyes will be on Jay Ajayi as he looks to rush for 200-plus yards in his third consecutive game. As we know, the Jets have a good run defense that should give fits to Ajayi. David Johnson of the Cardinals did run all over the Jets previously; however, so there’s a chance for Ajayi to do the same. The Jets have struggled with their secondary, which would make for a nice spot for Ryan Tannehill. He’s been quiet in the passing game lately so it would be a great spot for a breakout. Jarvis Landry finds himself in a nice spot working out of the slot, while both DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills are streamable options. Their possibility of the deep ball is very much in play here.

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers

Saints -4.5; O/U 52.5

Saints – Last week against a tough Chiefs defense on the road, Drew Brees managed to put up respectable numbers by his standards. It gets a little easier for him now against the 49ers who aren’t exactly known to have a strong defense. If anything, they are known for having a terrible run defense. This would be great news for Mark Ingram, but the former Heisman trophy winner fumbled last game and was benched in favor of Tim Hightower. Whoever is the recipient of the Saints carries is in line for a big day against this defense. The signs point towards Ingram, but if he happens to fumble yet again, it’s likely a short leash for him. Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas have been excellent this year as Brees’ top two options. Third guy in the rotation Willie Snead has seen his value and production drop off drastically with Thomas’ emergence and chemistry with Brees. You know what to expect from Brees and his receivers. As for Coby Fleener you don’t really know what to expect, as he’s gone awfully cold as of late. This could be a good spot to come out of hiding after having his tires pumped all preseason.

49ers – Fan favorite Colin Kaepernick has been anything short of spectacular since becoming the starting QB. If there’s a window of opportunity for Kaep to Kaepitalize (lol, get it) then it’s at its widest. Torrey Smith and Jeremy Kerley become streamable in a week where fantasy owners have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to find anything to plug in their lineups. Carlos Hyde would be in a very nice spot if he’s good enough to return. He’s fallen victim to the proverbial good-bad-good-bad week pattern and his last game was bad with an injury so if anything makes sense in this world then Hyde is due. Christ, the Cubs just won the friggen World Series. How much can really make sense now? Should Hyde not be able to go (it’s starting to look this way) then the 49ers would use a committee approach (yuck) using the trio of DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn (double yuck).

Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Rams

Panthers -3; O/U 44.5

Panthers – “Superstar” Cam Newton has been bitching to the league about non-calls about as much as fantasy owners have been bitching about his production as of late. You could say owners of SuperCam are about as pleased as Newton is with the officials. Aside from that, the Rams have been sneaky good against the pass. They’ve limited only one 300-yard passer so far this season and should tighten up at home. Newton still has his legs to do damage though, but he could be hesitant to run more with all the hits he’s taken. Jonathan Stewart has rushed for two touchdowns in back to back games, so you have to love the usage he’s been getting especially in the red zone. It’s a tough spot for Kelvin Benjamin with the tight defense mentioned above. You aren’t benching Kelvin, but it’s more likely to have temperatures in the Celsius/Fahrenheit ranges.

Rams – Not gonna lie, it took me 10 minutes to realize I had St. Louis still written down for the Rams before changing it. Sorry for having my most potent Rams memory be when they were in St. Louis and had their hearts ripped out by our Lord and Savior Tom Brady in the Super Bowl in what was easily a #Top5 day of my life. Anyways, the Rams have the luxury of facing the really bad Panthers secondary. Case Keenum should never be a starter for your fantasy team, but his “weapons” could be of service. Receivers Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin are exceptional streaming plays this week, as Carolina has given up the fourth most points to fantasy receivers. Todd Gurley has been mediocre this season. He hasn’t put up eye popping first round numbers like those who drafted him expected. Instead, he’s quietly been good for roughly 10 points a week. He could have a tough time against Kuechly and the Panthers run defense Sunday. The Panthers definitely have a better run defense than their pass defense.

Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers

Chargers -4.5; O/U 47.5

Titans – Marcus Mariota must be an ass man, because he’s been eating up all that cake being thrown his way. The former Heisman winner has really turned it on as of late, throwing for multiple touchdowns in four straight games. He’s found his confidence and is making the Titans offense legit. He should have no problem continuing that success in San Diego aka the most beautiful city in the United States (so I’ve heard). Stud DeMarco Murray is dealing with a foot injury from last game but should be fine this Sunday. Murray has been the workhorse similar to his last season in Dallas and has cemented his RB1 status. The potential issue here is if the Titans decide to limit his carries and start involving other Exotic Smashmouth partner Derrick Henry in the game plan. We all want to see it, just let it happen. Delanie Walker is a good bet for another great game this week, while Rishard Matthews has made his presence felt in the fantasy realm. Feel comfortable using Titans players this week.

Chargers – Philip Rivers has been okay for owners this year. Nothing spectacular, but not terrible. Right smack in the middle of ‘okay’. At home against Tennessee should help push him from good to great games. Travis Benjamin previously suffered a PCL sprain,  but he’s got in a limited practice and should be all set for Sunday. Tyrell Williams could be the biggest benefactor from Benjamin’s injury if he can’t fully go or perform to his highest standards. Hunter Henry missed practice again Thursday, meaning one would expect him to miss Sunday’s game. That guy you might have heard of Antonio Gates becomes a GREAT play this week. Melvin Gordon has continued to be rode into the ground which greatly helps his owners. The Titans have performed well against running backs, so Gordon could be in for a tougher day than he’s accustomed to thus far.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders

Raiders -1; O/U 43.5

Broncos – Denver is going to get all it can handle against a red hot and super confident Raiders team. The good news for the Broncos is that the Raiders defense isn’t very good, so Trevor Siemian could have streaming value. The loss of CJ Anderson has risen the stock of Devontae Booker to RB1 status, and Booker should post his second consecutive good game for fantasy owners. Receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both have solid matchups this week and could put up very good numbers.

Raiders – Derek Carr is RED HOT right now after throwing for 513 yards and 4 touchdowns with no picks. He’s cementing his status as a QB1 and is really entering the MVP conversation. Of course, he’s coming off this spectacular performance and now welcomes the Broncos defense to the Bay Area. If Carr can put up numbers against Denver, he can truly be considered elite as a fantasy QB. I just don’t know if it will happen. It’s very tough to play Latavius Murray in this game, he should be only used out of necessity. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree both draw the worst possible scenario that could be with the Broncos secondary. They have the skill to produce against this blanket coverage, but the ceilings and floors are way lower than normal.

Buffalo Bills @ Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks -7; O/U 43.5

Bills – The Ryan brothers are in for some serious trouble in the prime time game up in Seattle. On the road against the Seahawks is probably the last place I would want to be in a nationally televised game, and that’s where Tyrod Taylor finds himself this Monday. He’s going to have a very rough time getting anything done with all the injuries his offense has suffered. The Seattle defense is just going to be so overwhelming, there’s no Buffalo player worth starting fantasy wise. A fully healthy LeSean McCoy would obviously be a must play, but he’s still dealing with hamstring problems despite his recent reports saying he “feels great“. I’m not buying it, and I’m not expecting much from him on Monday. The rent-a-receivers of Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin bring little to no value against the Legion of Boom. Just stay away from this offense entirely. It’s not going to be pretty.

Seahawks – The Seattle offense has really been something else. After looking so promising last year with their fine display in the passing game, lots of people expected Russell Wilson to put in a very good fantasy year. Instead, he’s looked downright awful and has given countless headaches to owners who used a high pick on him. Even against easy matchups like New Orleans, Wilson still can’t get it done. People blame the offensive line for these issues, and that could be the case. But you still have to expect and hold Wilson accountable to be someone adequate this year. Christine Michael also put up a dud against the Saints last week in what should have been his easiest matchup to date. You still have to expect him to have a decent day, but it seems as if his ceiling continues to be lowered with the expanding role of CJ Prosise. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have disappointed as well. Lockett’s return should hopefully give Wilson the deep threat he was missing and could be the key to opening up this offense. I’m not buying it though. To continue my rant of underachievers, Jimmy Graham looked like he was a great bounce back candidate from last years stink fest. He had a couple good games, but now he’s back to being an average tight end and not the godzilla like monster we all know he’s capable of being. The whole situation is just frustrating for an offense that we all know can be very good. Here’s to hoping they figure it out Monday night.



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