|QB 1||Elite Starting Option||WR 1||Elite Starting Option||RB 1||Elite Starting Option||TE1||Strong Starting Option|
|High End QB 2||Great for SF/Sleeper QB1||WR 2||Strong Starting Option||RB 2||Strong Starting Option||Low End TE 1||Good Starting Option|
|Mid/Low QB 2||Decent/Sleeper for SuperFlex||WR 3||Good WR3/Strong Flex Option||High End RB 3||Good Starting Option/ Flex Play||High End TE 2||Decent Starting Option|
|QB 3||Risky Superflex Play/Sit||WR 4||Shakey Flex Option||Mid/Low RB 3||Flex Play/ 1B Option||Low end TE 2||Desperate Option|
|WR 5||Desperate Flex Play/Deep Sleeper||RB 4||Back ups with upside/favorable matchup|
Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 9:30 am @Frankfurt Stadium
- Weather – Rainy day but Indoors?
- What Vegas is saying – Line (KC -1.5) & Over/Under 50.5
Identifying the Game Script
Willkommen in Deutschland! The Dolphins and the Chiefs are heading to Germany to play their week nine game. The last time these two teams played was back in 2020. The Chiefs would win a shootout 33-27 on the road in Miami. The Dolphins won an excellent divisional over the Patriots. The Chiefs lose on the road to a divisional opponent for the first time in Mahomes career. The Chiefs will look to bounce back on offense against a Dolphins defense that has been kind to opposing good offenses. The Dolphins will look to find a way to produce, as they have failed to do so vs. teams over 500. The Chiefs have a good defense, so Miami will look to beat the odds.
|GP||Comp %||Comp||Att||Yds||TDs||Ru At||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Sacks||Int||FL||2Pt||6 PP TD||4 PP TD|
Tua Tagovailoa finished week eight with one of his boom games. Tua would finish with 300 yards and three passing touchdowns against the Patriots. We know that Tua has been a much better quarterback at home than on the road this year. You can see from the table above that Tua finds a way to throw touchdowns when playing at Hardrock Stadium. This game is neither home nor away, as they play in Germany. Tua won’t have to worry about playing in the Chief’s harsh stadium atmosphere. The Chiefs have been a good team vs. fantasy quarterbacks, as they allow the fifth-fewest points per game. In two of the last three away games, the Chiefs allowed a QB1 against their tough defense. This past week, Wilson didn’t finish as a QB1 but managed QB14 on the day with three touchdowns. In a natural situation, you must go with Tua and trust this offense will have the fire to produce on the field. Tua should finish as QB1 in week nine.
Patrick Mahomes had one of his worst games in week eight. He finished the fantasy week with under six fantasy points. We know Mahomes will bounce back, as it is not even a question. His matchup against the Dolphins is a good one. When the Dolphins have played elite quarterbacks, they have been able to produce QB1 performances. Now the Dolphins’ star corners are back with Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey; It may not be a walk in the park. Mahomes, in most situations, has been able consistently to give elite production. You have to go back to him in week nine as a QB1.
For the Dolphins backfield, they will look to rebound after a mediocre week eight performance. Rasheem Mostert didn’t do much, but another touchdown gave him over ten fantasy points last week. They have been working with Jeff Wilson and Salvon Ahmed as a two-person committee, with those two splitting one-half of the backfield. The Chiefs are a good run defense, as they have allowed just one rushing touchdown over the last six games. They have allowed only two running backs over 60 yards in this season. The good news is that it has come in the previous two weeks, so perhaps that run defense is starting to break down. On a natural site, I’m returning to Mostert as an RB1 again. He has proven to handle most of the workload and, somehow, finds himself in the endzone. Wilson started getting more work as Ahmed’s snap count fell last week. That should continue in week nine, allowing Wilson to be in that RB4 range that would likely need a touchdown to be fantasy-relevant.
The Chiefs backfield under Isiah Pacheco has been great for fantasy this year. He has his first game under ten fantasy points since week two. The whole offense for the Chiefs played poorly besides Pacheco. He had eight carries for 40 yards. Why not give him the ball more!!? The Dolphins have been pretty good against running backs this year. Outside of week one, they have allowed two backs over 50 rushing yards. They have allowed a rushing touchdown in five of the eight games they played. Pacheco hopes he continues to see his passing value in the offense, as it has given him another level of fantasy production. Pacheco should get north of 15 touches and finish as a high-end RB2.
For the Dolphins pass catchers, it’s still all about Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The combination of Chase Claypool, Cedrick Wilson, and Braxton Berrios has not been all that consistent. River Cracraft is returning, so it will push someone out of the rotation. For the matchup situation for Hill and Waddle, it won’t be that easy. The Chiefs have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to receivers this year. Since week three, they have allowed just one receiver over 70 yards. They have allowed a touchdown in six of eight games, which is promising for the duo. This will be Hill’s first time playing the Chiefs since being traded in the 2022 offseason. Hill needs to be a WR1 in week nine.
Jaylen Waddle is a little tricky since his production has been more inconsistent this year. He does have three of the last four games with double-digit fantasy points. Waddle should be a solid high-end WR2 in this matchup. The Chiefs could heavily focus on Hill, allowing Waddle to see more one-on-one matchups. He needs to hold on to the ball since he had two drops last week. The tight end position may be the Chiefs softest defensive coverage, but the Dolphins tight ends don’t hold value. Durham Smythe has three catches over the last four weeks. Smythe is dealing with an injury, and if they can’t go, it would be Julian Hill. Both would be outside the top 24 tight ends.
For the Chiefs pass catches, Rashee Rice is starting to emerge as an option for Patrick Mahomes. The rookie receiver has seen his playing time increase each of the last three weeks. He leads all receivers in snaps in week eight. His targets aren’t WR2 numbers entirely, as he averages about five per game. He has seen 50 receiving yards in three straight games. This would be a prime opportunity to progress in a decent matchup. As I said, Miami’s two cornerbacks are back and playing, so it will be a bit tougher. Rice has shown great hands at catching the ball and yards after the catch ability. Rice is a WR3 in this matchup. Unfortunately, I can’t argue for other Chiefs receivers in this matchup. Justin Watson and MSV are splitting time as the teams’ deep threat. Mecole Hardman is eating into Skyy Moore and Kadrious Toney’s playing time. They would all be outside the top 60 receivers.
For the true top pass catcher, Travis Kelce, it is a fantastic game. The Dolphins are in the bottom ten against tight ends. When they face off against an elite tight end this season, they have been unable to stop them with three games over 50 yards. Kelce still managed 50 yards in a down week. We can only hope that Taylor Swift will appear in Germany since we’ve seen the numbers this year with her there for Kelce. Kelce should continue to be a TE1 in week nine.
Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Weather -Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (ATL -3.5) & Over/Under 37.5
Identifying the Game Script
These two teams haven’t faced off since the 2020 season. The Falcons would win in a blowout on the road 40-23 over the Vikings. The Falcons are coming off a surprising loss to the Titans as they try to figure out their quarterback situation moving forward. The Vikings won their matchup over the Packers but lost Kirk Cousins for the season due to an injury. The Vikings must find life without Kirk Cousins in a not-so-easy matchup. The Vikings may run the ball more, but the Falcons have a great run defense. The Falcons are entrusting their backup quarterback to take over against a team with a good matchup on the air. It’s veteran vs rookie in week nine, so this could be a wildcard game.
Jaren Hall is a former fifth-round pick from the 2023 draft from BYU. Hall was a very accurate quarterback coming out of the draft. He has good athleticism to move on the run and make plays with his feet. He reminds me of a Zach Wilson type of player. His issues weren’t the same as he dealt with injuries and size for the position. He is getting his first career start against the Falcons. The Falcons just allowed another rookie quarterback in his first game to throw for four touchdowns. The Falcons were on the road for that game, but this time, they will be home. They have kept all but one quarterback under 250 passing yards. Their recent issue has been the touchdowns, as they have given up two games in the past three games with three-plus touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. I don’t expect Hall to come out like Will Levis did last week. He would still be a QB3 in week nine and outside the top 24.
Taylor Heinicke is the starting quarterback in week nine instead of Desmond Ridder. Heinicke is looking for a prime opportunity to auction to start the rest of the season. Last season with the Commanders, Heinicke had five of nine games with at least two passing touchdowns. Heinicke is a scrappy quarterback but can be more efficient than Ridder. The Vikings have been a little better recently against fantasy quarterbacks, with just two passing touchdowns in three games. They have allowed decent passing yardage to their opponents. Heinicke can come in and give low-end QB2 numbers, as he will sling the ball more than Ridder would. Heinicke also has a little rushing floor, as the Vikings have allowed three quarterbacks over 30 yards.
For the Vikings backfield, we could see an increase in running plays with Jaren Hall at quarterback. We know the Kevin O’Connell offense is a passing one, but can Hall be trusted doing that? The Vikings will need to get more creative with their running backs. We continue to have headaches with this backfield, as Alexander Mattison has been awful this year. If it wasn’t for two receiving touchdowns, he might have only one game over ten fantasy points. Cam Akers joined the team a month ago and got the team’s first rushing touchdown. Akers hasn’t done well with increased touches these last two weeks, averaging 2.5 YPC. Last week, Mattison started the game with the first five carries, then Cam Akers was in for a bit and just so happened to be there for that touchdown. In the second half, it was all Alexander Mattison.
The matchup these running backs have isn’t that great, as the Falcons allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game. They have allowed five running backs over 60 yards and their first 100-yard rusher in week eight. The Falcons haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown all season, and they play the team that can’t see the find rushing touchdowns this year. Alexander Mattison should continue to see the first crack at the carries. Hall may run more than Cousins did so that it could limit Mattison’s passing value. Mattison is a mid-range RB3 at best and a risky feeling flex play. Akers could see an uptake of work, but we just saw his snap count drop in week eight. Akers is hard to trust, and it is better as an RB4. He would need to see an increase in playing time or another touchdown in week nine.
For the Falcons backfield, we got back to what we wanted, and that was Bijan Robinson playing 70% of the offensive snaps. The Vikings are a tougher matchup as they rank in the top ten. Outside of two games, they don’t let many running backs over 60 rushing yards. They don’t allow many rushing touchdowns, with just three in eight games. If the Falcons stay on course in week nine, then Bijan Robinson should be a low-end RB1. Hopefully, with the switch to Heinicke, Robinson can get better-looking targets. Tyler Allgeier went back to his role with eight carries. Allgeier will be a running back with eight to 12 carries for 40 to 50 yards. Allgeier is an RB4 in week nine.
For the Vikings pass catchers, it’s a clear downgrade from Cousins to Hall. Hall is a player you can work with on play-action or on the run to get down the field. He was a very accurate passer coming out of college. He doesn’t have a big arm, but he can do enough with time. The Falcons were a team that just let old man DeAndre Hopkins 100 yards and three touchdowns. Over the last three weeks, the Falcon’s secondary has given up six receiving touchdowns. In that span, they have allowed four receivers over 60 yards. Jordan Addison should be okay, but his upside could be limited. Addison’s game has been the touchdowns this season, with seven already. Addison is a WR3 in week nine.
KJ Osborn had a big fantasy week in week eight. Two of the four attempts Hall threw did go to Osborn. Osborn has been as average as the fantasy world can get in 2023. This was his first game over 50 receiving yards. There may be a connection with Hall that we can use in week nine. Hall could look to the veteran to make plays for him. He is a borderline WR4 in week nine. For the tight end position, TJ Hockenson will likely be a safe blanket for Hall. The Falcons have allowed five separate tight ends over 40 yards. Hockenson has been a focal point while Justin Jefferson is out. Hockenson should remain a TE1 in week nine despite the change at quarterback.
For the Falcons pass catchers, we could see an increase in production. Unfortunately, the Falcons’s WR 1, Drake London, will miss this game. The Vikings have allowed the fifth most fantasy points this season to wide receivers. They have allowed seven touchdowns to receivers this year. They have allowed 13 receivers over 50 yards in eight games. This secondary has been better the last three weeks. That leaves the offense to Van Jefferson, Mac Hollins, KhaDarel Hodge, and Scotty Miller. You could make a case for Jefferson as a WR5, but that is really about it in terms of trust level. Hodge did see all this work after London left, and it was three for 75 yards. I’d avoid this receiving group in week nine.
For the tight end position, it’s an okay matchup for Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith. Both tight ends have returned to earth as they have been under seven fantasy points the last two weeks. Pitts plays less than Smith but has seen more targets in the previous two weeks. The absence of Drake London will give both tight ends more targets in week nine. Pitts had been lining up outside more often so his role could increase. Pitts would likely be more of a low-end TE1 in week nine. Jonnu Smith should see more work as well. I would rank him as a high-end TE2. It could be all tight ends for the Falcons in week nine.
Arizona Cardinals vs Cleveland Browns
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @ Cleveland Browns Stadium
- Weather – Sunny Day
- What Vegas is saying – Line (CLE -10.0) & Over/Under 38.5
Identifying the Game Script
The Cardinals and the Browns would last play in the 2021 season. The Cardinals would win in a blowout fashion, 37-14, over the Browns. The Browns haven’t beaten the Cardinals since 2003. The Cardinals would lose again to the Ravens as the Cardinals now look to make a change at quarterback. The Browns, on the road, would lose a close one to the Seahawks. The Cardinals have made a switch at quarterback to potential rookie Clayton Tune or starter Kyler Murray. The Browns have an excellent opportunity to do well against the Cardinals weak defense. I expect the Browns backfield to have a field day against the Cardinals.
Clayton Tune gets the start in week nine, as the Cardinals have traded away Joshua Dobbs. Kyler Murray is still a week away from returning to the field. Tune was a player who I liked as a later-round pick who was a decent prospect. He was accurate and had the footwork/IQ to play at the NFL level. There were concerns like deep ball throws and pressure that made him a lower-tier prospect. Of course, you give him a matchup against one of the better teams vs. fantasy quarterbacks this year. The Browns have allowed the fewest passing yards on the season. In the last two weeks, we’ve seen a different Browns secondary, as they have allowed at least 250 passing yards and two touchdowns. I will rely on the Browns at home to stop the rookie quarterback. Tune should be outside the top 24 quarterbacks in week nine.
Deshaun Watson has practiced this week, and he will play Sunday. Watson has a decent matchup against the Cardinals. The Cardinals have been a decent matchup for a quarterback this season. We’ve seen recently that opposing backfields have put up big fantasy productions while the quarterbacks do very little. If Watson plays, he would be a mid-range QB2 in this matchup. His shoulder injury concerns me in a matchup where they can lean on the run.
The Cardinals backfield will be without Emari Demercado, who is injured. Keaontay Ingram will get another shot at the starting job. The Browns have been beaten on the ground in the last two weeks. In the previous two games, they have allowed four rushes over 50 yards. Their run defense bends but doesn’t break this year. Suppose Ingram will see the bulk of the workload unless the team turns to Tony Jones, who got called back up from the practice squad. I expect the Cardinals to run the ball more with the rookie quarterback in the backfield. Ingram has been an inefficient runner over his career. He would be a low-end RB3 in week nine.
The Browns backfield was a three-person committee in week eight. In the early downs, we saw Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong handle most of the work. In the second half, Jerome Ford saw most of the work with Hunt sprinkled in. Ford looked to be the pass-catcher for the team, with Hunt playing the short-yardage role. The Cardinals allow the third most fantasy points per game to running backs. They have allowed an 80-yard rusher in six straight games now. Ford is the team’s primary running back. Ford will likely be splitting the groundwork while being the primary pass catcher. If Ford starts, he is an RB2 with an upside. Kareem Hunt has been a touchdown machine with four touchdowns in three games. I assume he will remain in that role with Ford playing. Hunt is an RB3 in week nine.
For the Cardinals pass catchers, the same narrative can be said about the Browns secondary vs. receivers. They have allowed four receivers over 60 yards and given four receiving touchdowns. The Browns were on the road the last two weeks, so going home, they should return to being a shutdown unit. Hollywood Brown got back to his 12 fantasy point range in week eight. Brown should see a significant target share from the rookie quarterback and still finish as a low-end WR3. For Michael Wilson, he had a slightly better game in week eight. Wilson has been a downfield threat, and Tune has struggled with his deep ball in college. Wilson would likely be a low-end WR5.
Trey McBride blew up in his first game without Zach Ertz. He had ten receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. Let’s not forget that McBride was the top-rated tight end of the 2022 class, so he has the talent. The Browns do allow the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends. They only allowed Mark Andrews to see over 35 receiving yards this season. They have played some decent tight ends but shut them all down. It’s hard not to start McBride after such a big game. I’d place McBride as a low-end TE1, as he dominated against a fantastic defense that was good against tight ends last week.
For the Browns pass catchers, it will depend on whether Deshaun Watson plays. The matchup is easy as the Cardinals rank in the bottom ten vs. receivers. The Cardinals have allowed a 140-yard receiver in three of the last five games. They also have given up six receiving touchdowns in the previous four games. Amari Cooper played better with Walker in week eight, but Watson is the one we want for him. Cooper would be more trusted as a high-end WR3 with Watson. Elijah Moore has been a big disappointment this season, with not a single game over ten fantasy points. The quarterback doesn’t matter, as he is still a WR5. Donovan Peoples-Jones was traded, so it would be interesting to see if a guy like Cedric Tillman steps up.
For the tight end position, David Njoku can be thrown in as a disappointing fantasy asset. In week eight, he finally got a spark with 77 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals have been a top-ten unit, but mainly because of the minimal touchdowns given up. When they have played the better tight ends, we saw at least 40 yards from four of them. Njoku is a mid-range TE2 level for week nine.
Los Angeles Rams vs Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Rams vs Green Bay Packers
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @ Lambeau Field
- Weather – Cloudy
- What Vegas is saying – Line (GB -3.0) & Over/Under 38.5
Identifying the Game Script
These two teams played each other last season. The Packers would win at home 24-12 over the Rams. The Packers have won nine of the previous ten games vs. the Rams. The Rams would lose badly to the Cowboys. The Packers would lose a divisional game to the Vikings. The Rams are still in limbo with their starting quarterback, but this could be a game to rely on their backfield. The Packers have a poor run defense. The Packers offense has been very inconsistent, but they have a tough matchup against the Rams as well. This could be a very low-scoring game in week nine.
The Rams quarterback situation is in the air with Matthew Stafford’s injury. Stafford suffered that hand injury last Sunday. Stafford may be a game-time decision, and head coach Sean McVay said it is the type of injury that could go until game-time. Stafford has not looked so great this year in fantasy. He has been under 20 fantasy points in seven of eight games this year. The Packers have been a decent team against fantasy quarterbacks. They have allowed just one quarterback to throw over 240 yards and for more than one passing touchdown. Stafford’s injury could limit how he throws the ball down the field. Even with two elite WR1s on the team, Stafford still plays average at best in fantasy football. I think the Packers will give him trouble. He is, at best, a low-end QB2 in week nine. If Stafford misses, then Brett Rypien would get the start. The last time Rypien got a start was in Denver last year. He threw for 197 yards and one touchdown with a pick. He also had 41 rushing yards. Rypien would fall into the same position as Stafford but likely not help his receivers as much.
Jordan Love has regressed in recent weeks. To start the season, he averaged 218 passing yards and two touchdowns per game. In the last four weeks, he is averaging 209 passing yards with one passing touchdown and almost two turnovers per game. Love’s matchup with the Rams is average at best. They went the first seven games, allowing just four passing touchdowns, and in week eight, they allowed Dak Prescott 300 yards and four passing touchdowns. Love’s play has not been great for fantasy. Love is like a mid-range QB2 in week nine. He would likely need to score a rushing touchdown to have his fantasy day be great. The Rams have allowed four rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks this season.
The Rams could lean on the run game with Matthew Stafford out Sunday. They have a good matchup against the Packers to do so. The Packers have been a bottom-ten run defense in 2023. They have allowed a rusher to go over 70 yards in four of eight games this year. They have allowed running backs to cross the endzone six times this year. Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman have split the work in the offense for the last two weeks. Freeman handles more early down work, while Henderson is more of the pass catcher. Henderson has had more fantasy points, with at least ten points in both games. I would rank Henderson as a low-end RB2, as his passing work will get him there. Freeman is more of a borderline RB3 who could have some good runs but would likely need that touchdown to make his day in week nine. Both running backs could be safe plays for lineups.
For the Packers, the backfield has not been that impressive this season. Aaron Jones has dealt with injuries and looks limited on the field. AJ Dillion has been inefficient with his time as the starter. The Rams defense is decent against the run this year. They have only allowed one rusher over 70 yards but five in that 50 to 69-yard range. It seems like this backfield will be a split workload for them. Aaron Jones hasn’t done much in his return from his injuries. He has been under ten fantasy points in the last two games. The team could be keeping Jones limited to avoid risk since he is running well and has seen ten targets in the previous two games. Jones to be is a high-end RB3 that you can flex, but it’s risky. AJ Dillion took advantage of easier matchups in the last few weeks, but we can’t rely on his getting five receptions for 40 yards in most games. AJ Dillion is an RB4 who will likely need a touchdown to have a decent fantasy day.
For the Rams pass catchers, there will be a downgrade at quarterback, no matter who is playing. The Packers secondary is tough as they rank in the top ten vs. receivers, but recently, they have not played so well. In the last two weeks, they have allowed four receivers over 60 yards with two receiving touchdowns. Overall, they have allowed the fourth fewest yards to receivers on the season. We know the Rams have Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua at their disposal. Kupp has had 17 targets but has combined for eight fantasy points in the last two games. I think Kupp should still be fine, but as more of a low-end WR1, he needs to bounce back in week nine.
Puka Nacua has had two of the last three games under ten fantasy points. Whoever plays quarterback will force the ball to Kupp, leaving Nacua without that big upside play. He should see his targets, but they may not be very good quality. He should be a mid-range WR2. Tutu Atwell will continue to be a low-end WR5 who could break a big play. For the tight end position, Tyler Higbee had his best game since week four of the season. The Packers have allowed four tight ends over 40 yards this year. If Higbee can see the targets, he could have a decent game, but those targets have been inconsistent this year. Higbee is a mid-range TE2 in week nine.
For the Packers pass catchers, it almost feels like a four-way committee with someone doing the best each week. The Rams, on paper, show as a top-ten matchup, but in the last few weeks, they haven’t been. They have allowed 100-yard receivers in three of the previous four games. After not giving up a touchdown since week one, they allowed four touchdowns to a receiver in week eight. I’d want to turn Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed into high-end WR4s, but this could be the week Christian Watson blows up. That’s why the Packers receivers are so confusing for fantasy. This looks like a game where Watson should be able to break a big play. Love is a concern for Watson’s upside. He is a high-end WR4 that has a significant upside.
Romeo Doubs is leading this team in red zone targets this year. His production in the last few weeks has come only in touchdowns. Doubs should be a WR4 that will likely be touchdown-dependent to save his fantasy day. Jayden Reed had the receiving game of his career with four catches for 83 yards. I’m interested in seeing him progress as the season goes on. In his matchup, I rank him as a low-end WR 4. For the tight end position, Luke Musgrave has a great opportunity to be successful. The Rams allow the third most fantasy points per game to tight ends. In four of the last five weeks, the Rams have allowed four tight ends over 40 yards and four touchdowns. Musgrave has seen his targets drop over the previous few weeks but is also dealing with an injury. Musgrave should be a high-end TE2 with some upside if he can get his targets back up.
Washington Commanders vs New England Patriots
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @Gillette Stadium
- Weather – Cloudy
- What Vegas is saying – Line (NE -2.5) & Over/Under 40.5
Identifying the Game Script
The Commanders haven’t played the Patriots since the 2019 season. The Patriots would win big on the road, 33-7. The Commander is coming off another shootout loss to the Eagles. The Patriots would lose on the road for the second time this year to the Dolphins. The Patriots offense has not been one to brag about, but they have a fantastic matchup in the passing game they can use to help them win. The Commanders offense is very hot and cold, and we’d seen when they faced decent opponents they fell to the waste side. I could see this game going either way on Sunday.
Sam Howell has been tough to judge for fantasy lineups after scoring 6 points in week seven; he lit it up for 39 in week eight. The Patriots are a decent matchup for quarterbacks. Howell is the type of quarterback a defense can pressure, allowing bad throws and plays. In the last two weeks, the Patriots have allowed 260 or more passing yards and two touchdowns. Granted, those were two divisional opponents they faced. Howell may come off as a little messy for fantasy, but he is producing for us. He has 24 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. Howell is producing whether or not the Commanders can win football games. Howell is a borderline QB1. Does he come with risk? The answer is yes, but his upside in fantasy is worth a QB1 status.
Mac Jones has thrown for two passing touchdowns in back-to-back games. He has almost as many passing touchdowns in the last two weeks as in the first six weeks of the season. Jones continues to lose his passing options with Kendrick Bourne done for the year. The Commanders allow the second most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this year. In the last five games, the lowest opposing quarterback has thrown for 270 yards. In that span, they have allowed 14 passing touchdowns to fantasy quarterbacks. Jones hasn’t been an option we’ve wanted to play in fantasy, but due to the quarterback landscape, he is a high-end QB2. The matchup is so good that even Jones can’t mess this one up. Right?
The Commanders backfield has struggled the last few weeks. To be honest, the run game hasn’t been all that good. Brian Robinson has only gotten over 60 yards twice this year. Antonio Gibson is not being used much. Robinson’s saving grace has come with his touchdowns this season. The Patriots aren’t a bad matchup, but it’s not a great one, either. They have only allowed three rushers over 60 yards in eight games. They have allowed six rushing touchdowns on the season. This doesn’t seem like a game that the Commanders will be behind. We’ve seen when the Commanders are behind or in a shootout, they give up on the running game. Robinson is a borderline RB2 in this matchup but will likely need a touchdown to save his day, which is possible. Antonio Gibson has had a few low-end RB3 fame in the last four games. The Patriots have allowed a good amount of passing volume to running backs so that Gibson could have some value. Gibson is still probably a mid-range RB4, as the Commander could be ahead and not need his services as much.
The Patriots backfield will get a boost against the Commanders, who traded away two elite players on their defensive line. Neither Rhamondre Stevenson nor Zeke Elliott were very effective against the Dolphins last week. This seems to be a matchup that the backfield could produce. The Commanders have allowed an 80-yard rusher in six straight games. The lowest opposing rusher this year was 57 yards. Rhamondre could be asked to do more in the passing game, as the Patriots could be down to the bare minimum at receiver. Stevenson has seen 16 targets over the last three weeks, so they must use him. Stevenson is a solid mid-range RB2 in week nine. He should be able to do enough that you can trust him in lineups. Zeke Elliott ran well on limited touches, but his workload has question marks. He could have a role in a more favorable game that you could potentially flex/borderline RB3, but likely, you only use him if you are struggling with running back.
For the Commanders pass catchers, we saw a fantastic game in week eight. While this matchup won’t be a walk in the park, it is a favorable game. The Patriots have allowed at least one receiving touchdown in seven of eight games this season. They allowed their first 100-yard receivers up in the week to the Dolphins. Terry Mclaurin has found his connection with Howell, as he has three straight games with double-digit fantasy points. While he is still looking for his first 100-yard games, it could be coming soon. McLaurin has proven to be a solid WR2 for this matchup, and his target share should remain high in week nine.
Jahan Dotson finally had a game worth discussing, finishing with over 20 fantasy points. It could be that Curtis Samuel was hurt, so the targets are heading his way more now. He has had 18 targets in the last two weeks. Curtis Samuel will miss week nine, so Dotson should be in for increased targets. Dotson jumps into high-end WR4 in week nine. Jamison Crowder filled in nicely for Samuel when he got hurt last week, but it was tough to trust the veteran receiver. For the tight end position, Logan Thomas has been the borderline TE1 guy all season. The Patriots are a decent matchup for tight ends as they have allowed three over 70 receiving yards. Thomas is coming off two decent games that he should be able to produce here. He is a low-end TE1 in week nine.
For the Patriots pass catchers, they have been destroyed by injuries this year. Kendrick Bourne is out for the season, and Davante Parker will miss week nine. So, the starting three for the Patriots pass catchers will be Juju Smith-Schuster, rookie Demario Douglas, and former first-round pick Jalen Reagor. This matchup with the Commanders is very favorable in week nine. They allow the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. The Commanders have allowed six 100-yard games to opposing wide receivers. Opposing teams have done well and thrown touchdowns to their wide receivers with eight touchdowns. Demario Douglas is the top trusted wide receiver, having seen at least 13 targets in the last two weeks. He has been the only one outside of Kendrick Bourne who has been somewhat productive. He is getting the opportunity to be the WR1 or WR2 for the team. Douglas could see upwards of seven targets and finish at least as a high-end WR4.
Juju Smith-Schuster has been a complete disaster in New England. Juju has played in six games this year and has under 100 total receiving yards. It wasn’t until Kendrick Bourne got hurt that Juju even saw the field against the Miami Dolphins last week. Juju could see an increase in targets, but it’s still hard to trust that he will come in out of nowhere and produce. He is a borderline WR5 with some upside, but I can’t trust him in the starting lineup. Jalen Reagor is interesting, but he is still outside the top 60 guys.
For the tight position, it comes down to Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki likely taking an increase in snakes in week nine. For all we know, it could be Pharrell Brown who makes the most significant impact. The Commanders have been a team that has allowed good fantasy production to a tight end recently. They have allowed a receiving touchdown to tight ends in three of the last four games. They also have allowed tight ends to gain over 35 yards in the previous four weeks. Due to the receivers being hurt at the tight end, they have a prime opportunity to be successful. Neither Henry nor Gesicki has been all that impressive this season, but they have some sleeper appeal in week nine. They are both low-end TEs against the Commanders.
Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (NO -8.0) & Over/Under 41.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time the Bears and the Saints faced off was in 2021. The Saints would win at home 21-9 over the Bears. The Saints have won seven straight games over the Bears. The Bears are coming off an SNF loss to the Chargers. The Saints would pick up a win in a shootout game over the Colts. The Saints offense has a great chance to produce in week nine; the Bears defense is average at best. While the Bears got a nice piece during the trade deadline, their defense is still mediocre. The Bears will have trouble as the Saints defense is excellent this year. This game could be one-sided as the Saints over the Bears at home.
Tyson Bagent continues to get a chance to start with Justin Fields out with his hand injury. Bagent has thrown for more yards in each game he has played. He is going on the road again in a tough environment in New Orleans. Bagent has not been much of a fantasy asset in his starts. The issue is his inexperience playing high-level football. It has shown with four turnovers in these games. The Saints are a top-ten unit against fantasy quarterbacks this season. They still haven’t allowed a passer over 260 passing yards this season. They have given up two plus passing touchdowns in two of the last three games this season. Bagent is still learning and progressing, but on the road, it will be tough for him. Bagent is, at best, a borderline QB2. It’s primarily because of all the other backup rookie quarterbacks getting their shots this week.
Derek Carr had his best game of the season in week eight. He has had at least 18 fantasy points in four straight games. He was finally able to get over the 20-point range. The Bears are a favorable defense for Carr. The Bears allow the fifth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. In five of the eight games that the Bears played in, they have given up at least two passing touchdowns. Carr has been throwing for 300 yards in three straight games. Carr should be able to get to that level in week nine. Carr is a QB1 in week nine.
The Bears backfield ran all three running backs on their roster, which was confusing. The matchup with the Saints will be difficult, as they rank in the top ten vs. fantasy running backs. They were pretty good most of the season, as they didn’t allow a rusher over 65 yards. In week eight, they allowed two of them to the Colts backfield. They also have given up three rushing touchdowns in the last two weeks after giving up none in the first six weeks. For D’Onta Foreman, we saw that when the Bears fall behind quickly, Foreman doesn’t get his work in the offense. We saw that he got 16 carries when they were leading, but last week, he had nine carries in a losing fashion. The Saints can get off to a quick start, forcing the Bears to throw the ball more. He should be an RB3, but it may be a floor play where he can get around eight to nine points.
For Roschon Johnson, in his first game back, he out-snapped Foreman in offensive snaps. While he didn’t see much work on the ground, he did see four targets in that game. I expect Johnson to play more than Foreman in a matchup in which the Bears will be down early. Johnson is a low-end RB3 with some upside potential. The Bears must start using their rookie running back and let him take on the work.
For the Saints backfield, Alvin Kamara continues to dominate fantasy football since returning in week four. He has gone over 20 fantasy points in back-to-back games. This matchup against the Baers is a favorable one for the backfield. The Bear run defense is a better unit, as they have only allowed two rushers over 60 yards. They have not allowed a rushing touchdown in five straight games. The passing game is where the Bears struggle, as they have allowed eight plus receptions to backs in three of the last five games. Kamara is the guy in New Orleans, even though he saw a big decrease in snaps in week eight. He should continue to run as an RB1 in fantasy. It’s tough to consider Jamaal Williams in lineups because he will split the backup job with Kendre Miller. Williams would likely be a low-end RB4 at best.
For the Bears pass catchers, DJ Moore stands at the top. Moore is the only one that is consistently producing fantasy points this season. Moore’s upside has been capped with Tyson Bagent at quarterback, but he is still getting at least 50 yards a game on at least four receptions. The Saints secondary can be beaten as opposing wide receivers have had good games against them. They have allowed, in the last three games, a receiving touchdown and a wide receiver over 70 yards. In week nine, I still trust that DJ Moore can be a low-end WR2 as he consistently sees at least 7-plus targets in each game with the rookie quarterback. The only other wide receiver worth mentioning is Darnell Mooney, who has seen 40 yards in two of the last three games. He is, at best, a WR5 that probably isn’t worth starting.
For the tight end position, the Saints have typically been very good against tight ends, but in recent weeks, they have allowed production. They have allowed at least 33 yards or more to the previous three opposing tight ends. They also have allowed a receiving touchdown to a tight end in the last three games. Cole Kmet, before week eight, looks like he was left for dead with the rookie quarterback starting games. In week eight, though, he put up ten receptions for 79 yards. Kmet has always been a little inconsistent with his production. He has shown the ability to have big games involving touchdowns or failing to finish with zero points. If Kmet can continue to see a high target share in week nine, then he will likely be a borderline TE1.
For the Saints pass catchers, things are looking up as Derek Carr recovers from his shoulder injury. This matchup with the Bears secondary isn’t as favorable as many may think. The Bears have only allowed three wide receivers over 60 yards this year and just one wide receiver over 70 yards. They have given up five straight games with a receiving touchdown to opposing wide receivers. Chris Olave has felt like a disappointment for fantasy this year, but he is on pace for over 1000 receiving yards. The biggest issue is that Olave has just one receiving touchdown on the season. He still has 9-plus targets in the last three games, and his upside is worth starting even in a so-so matchup. Olave is a borderline WR1 due to his massive upside.
Michael Thomas continues to be a Mr. Consistent wide receiver all season. Thomas can get you five receptions for 60 yards in most games. Thomas should be considered a solid low-end WR3. He is a flex option with a solid floor but no consistent upside. Rashid Shaheed has 15-plus fantasy points in two of the last three games. He is the team’s deep threat that only needs one target to have a big blowup game. Shaheed is a borderline WR3 who is a boom/bust option for your fantasy lineup in week nine.
For the tight imposition, Juwan Johnson returned to the starting lineup. His return was overshadowed by Taysom Hill’s third straight game over ten fantasy points. The Bears have allowed 40 yards to a tight end in three of the last four games. Until Johnston starts to see some production, he is outside my top 24. Taysom Hill, on the other hand, is a high-end TE2 who has been consistent with his production as of late. Hill is a high-end TE2 in week nine.
Seattle Seahawks vs Baltimore Ravens
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @ M&T Bank Stadium
- Weather – Sunny
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BAL -6.0) & Over/Under 44.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these two bird teams played each other was back in 2019. The Ravens would win 30-16 over the Seahawks. The Ravens are coming off a solid win over the Cardinals. The Seahawks would have a strong win over a tough Browns team. The Ravens will look to take advantage of Seattle’s average secondary as the Ravens offense continues to thrive. Seattle’s offense has been a disappointment, and if they plan on beating the Ravens, they have to expose their one weakness on the ground. The Raven’s weak spot has been the run defense, and Seattle has two outstanding running backs. This game does look like it might be a lower-scoring game due to both defenses being overall good.
Geno Smith continues to disappoint in fantasy. He has been under 20 fantasy points in all but one game this year. He gets to go up against the Ravens in week nine, which is not great for him. The Ravens allow the fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Only one quarterback has gotten over 240 passing yards against the Ravens, and it was Jared Goff’s garbage time. They have allowed just six passing touchdowns in the season. Smith has not been great this season, and the turnovers have brought down his fantasy points. Smith is a lower-end QB2 in week nine.
Lamar Jackson has faded in recent weeks for fantasy. In three of the last four games, Jackson has been under 20 fantasy points. Jackson is still an elite option, as he can go off for 30-plus fantasy points in any game. Seattle is a better pass defense as of recently. They have kept quarterbacks under 250 passing yards and three total touchdowns over the last four games. I think Jackson gets back to his running ways. They have allowed two mobile quarterbacks over 40 rushing yards. Jackson should be fine in this matchup, with his rushing fueling his fantasy points. Jackson is a QB1 in week nine.
Ken Walker has his worst game since week one, falling under ten fantasy points. He was dealing with a calf injury, and it was clear he wasn’t 100%. He played the fewest offensive snaps than Zach Charbonnet. They both ran well on limited carries, but neither could score. The Ravens are a middle-of-the-road run defense in 2023. They have allowed a 70-yard rusher in three straight games. The Seahawks have been leaning on their run game all year due to the passing game regressing. Ken Walker was able to practice all week, so he should be good to go in this matchup. He is a low-end RB1. Charbonnet is more of an RB4 since he doesn’t get enough work with Walker healthy. He would need a touchdown or receiving work to help his fantasy production.
For the Ravens backfield, Gus Edwards has led the way the last two weeks. In the previous two games, Edwards has a combined 238 total all-purpose yards and four total touchdowns. He has been on fire in fantasy, but the matchup against Seattle is slightly tough. Seattle has barely allowed one rusher over 60 yards this year. After getting destroyed in the early part of the season with rushing touchdowns, Seattle has only allowed one rushing touchdown in the prior four games. Edwards has always been a running back who will carry the ball 14 times and get 60 yards. He doesn’t have much of a receiving upside in his game to fully trust him. Edwards should be a low-end RB2 that will give you a solid floor, but I don’t expect much upside in this game against Seattle. Justice Hill has looked very good in limited opportunities in this offense. Unfortunately, he isn’t getting the ball enough to trust completely, but as an RB4, he should be. He likely will need a touchdown or more work in the receiving game to be fantasy-relevant.
For the Seattle pass catchers, this is going to be a tough matchup. The Ravens allow the second few fantasy points per game to wide receivers. They have only given up four receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season. They can be slightly more generous with yardage, as five wide receivers have over 70 yards against them. DK Metcalf has been dealing with injuries for the last month but has produced enough that you should trust him even in a tough matchup. The Ravens have allowed bigger, bodied wide receivers to produce against them this season. Geno Smith continues to look for Metcalf as he leads his team in targets. He should be a high-end WR2 in week nine.
Tyler Lockett has been decent in the last few weeks, as he has 80 yards in two of the previous three games. Lockett has been a very boom/bust this year regarding his fantasy production. Well, I don’t expect Locket to blow the doors off this week. He should still be good enough to be a WR3/flex play in starting lineups. While it’s been great to see Jaxon Smith-Njigba has some decent fantasy production. It’s tough to trust him, as he has gotten two touchdowns to make his fantasy day. JSN is still only averaging five targets per game and only producing short yardage with those targets. He is a low-end WR4, which is a riskier flex option if you plan on playing him in week nine. While the Ravens got beat by Trey McBride, they are still one of the better teams against tight ends. The Seattle tight ends are not worth starting, as it is a three-person rotation, and no one seems to be standing out enough to trust.
For the Ravens pass catchers, Zay Flowers is the only wide receiver who is worth mainly trusting. Seattle’s secondary has recently improved in the early part of the season, as they were just destroyed by opposing wide receivers. In the prior four weeks, Seattle has only allowed two wide receivers over 60 yards and only given up one receiving touchdown in that span. The Seattle secondary isn’t the cakewalk it used to be this year. Flowers has been solid but not great for fantasy lineups. Most weeks, he’s averaging between nine and 12 fantasy points, which best is a WR3 value. Players like Odell Beckham Jr and Rashaad Bateman have underperformed this year and will probably be outside the top 60 wide receivers in week nine.
For the tight end position, Mark Andrews has been fantastic as a TE1 this season. Seattle has been pretty good against wide receivers this year, but the elite tight ends who play them have been able to produce. While Mark Andrews doesn’t see Travis Kelce’s type of target share, he is finding ways to produce with what he has been giving. He always seems to find the touchdown. Andrew is a TE1 in week nine.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Houston Texans
Details of the Script
- Sunday -1:00 pm @ NRG Stadium
- Weather – Indoors
- What Vegas is saying – Line (HOU -3.0) & Over/Under 39.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time the Bucs and the Texans played each other was back in 2019. The Texans would win 23-20 over the Bucs. The Bucs are coming off a TNF loss to the Bills. The Texans would lose a surprising game to the Panthers. The Texans offense will look to take advantage of an average Buccaneers secondary and get back on track with their passing attack. The Buccaneers offense has been solid this year, but they have a tough matchup against the Texans secondary, so they may need to rely on the run game to drive the ball down the field. This game looks to be an exciting and higher-scoring game.
Baker Mayfield is coming off a solid outing where he finished with 23 fantasy points. The matchup against the Texans will not be easy. At the same time, they have given up some big yardage this year, especially with two of the last three games over 300 passing yards. They only have allowed five passing touchdowns with not a single quarterback with two touchdown passes. Mayfield should be able to throw up the yards, but I can’t feel confident that Mayfield can break the one-touchdown limit the Texans have. Mayfield on the road would likely be a low-end QB2 in week nine.
CJ Stroud came off the bye and gave us a stinker. Stroud has been under 20 fantasy points in three straight games. He isn’t throwing for big yards or throwing multiple touchdown passes together. The Bucs have been up and down this season against the fantasy quarterbacks. In five of seven games this year, the Bucs have allowed two-plus touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. They also have given up four passers over 300 passing yards. I think Stroud can rebound in this game in week nine. The Texans tried to get the run game going and failed. Stroud should be back seeing over 30 pass attempts once again. He should be able to throw the ball well vs. the Buc secondary and as a QB1.
For the Bucs backfield, this is still Rachaad White’s to own. He had one of his better games on the season, where he got seven receptions for 70 yards against the Bills. Unfortunately, the Bills got ahead, and the run game slowly disappeared, but White managed to average five YPC on nine carries. The Texans run defense has tightened up a bit in recent weeks. Early on, teams would get rushing touchdowns left and right. In the last four weeks, the Texans haven’t given up a rushing touchdown. The Texans allow yardage in two of the previous four running backs over 65 yards. The Texans have allowed some production in the passing game, so White could still thrive as a pass catcher. White should still be able to command the workload in this backfield and finish as a mid-range RB2. Chase Edmond returned after being out the last four weeks. He looks like the new number two. He still can’t be trusted. Keep your eyes on him, but he is likely a borderline RB4.
For the Texans backfield, Dameon Pierce is out for week nine. That would put Devin Singletary as the lead guy for the Texans. Singletary was already looking like he was starting to split the workload with Pierce the prior two weeks. He would see over 40% of the offense snaps and gain at least 40 yards in back-to-back games. The Bucs, unfortunately, are an excellent run defense. They allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. They are one of two teams that have not allowed a rushing touchdown this season. Outside of one game in week three, they have kept all running backs under 70 yards rushing. Singletary should see the bulk of the work and likely finish as a high-end RB3 at best. I assume Mike Boone would see the passing-down work, but I cannot trust his value in this matchup. He would be outside my top 50 running backs.
For the Bucs pass catchers, it has only been Mike Evans and Chirs Godwin producing. The Texans are a tough secondary as they allow the 3rd fewest fantasy points per game vs. receivers. They have allowed just two receiving touchdowns this season. They have allowed six receivers over 60 yards in recent weeks. Evans has done very well this season, especially with the last two weeks over ten fantasy points. Evans should be a mid-range WR2 as he sees the big target share in the offense. Chirs Godwin has been almost consistent, but his upside has been minimal. He got his first touchdown of the year in week eight. He provides more of a floor play as a high-end WR3. For Cade Otton, the Texans have allowed five tight ends over 45 yards. Otton has had minimal fantasy production this year but six targets in back-to-back games. He may be worth a low-end TE2 value.
The Texans pass catchers must bounce back off a bad week eight. It is an excellent matchup to do so, as the Bucs are a bottom-ten unit. They have allowed seven receivers over 70 yards this year. They have given up a decent amount of touchdowns to the position as well. Nico Collins has gone back and forth all season with good and bad games. This would be a good Collins game based on his numbers this year. Collins should be a high-end WR2 in week eight. Bob Woods is out for week nine, so Tank Dell should be in the starting lineup. Dell came back from injury with a poor game. Tank Dell is a better WR4 in week eight. Dell doesn’t produce when Collins does, which should be Collins’s game. Noah Brown is an interesting deep sleeper but still not trusted as a starting option.
For the tight end position, Dalton Schultz is looking to bounce back after a poor week. The Bucs don’t allow big production to tight ends, but they have allowed seven tight ends over 30 yards. The Bucs also have given up just one touchdown to the position. Schultz needs to get back to that seven-target range to put up good fantasy production. He could finish as a TE1.
Indianapolis Colts vs Carolina Panthers
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:05 pm @ Bank of America Stadium
- Weather – Sunny
- What Vegas is saying – Line (IND -2.5) & Over/Under 43.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time the Colts and Panthers faced off was back in 2019. The Colts would win big, 38-6, over the Panthers. The Colts are coming off a tough loss to the Saints. The Panthers got a surprise win over the Texans. The Colts will look to take advantage of the Panthers poor run defense with their dynamic duo in the backfield. The Panthers have a terrific matchup, as the Colts can’t seem to stop anyone on the ground or in the air. This has the making of a high-scoring game for week eight.
Gardner Minshew has been inconsistent since taking over the starting job this year. Minshew has shown he can produce high fantasy numbers but also cause turnovers. Panthers, off the bye, shut down rookie CJ Stroud. In the two games before the bye week, they allowed two QB1 performances. They gave up 500 passing yards and six passing touchdowns. Minshew will continue to sling the ball with high risk but high reward. If we look at all the matchups for week nine, Minshew has a significant upside that most lower-tier quarterbacks don’t have. Minshew should be able to get over 250 passing yards and throw up a few touchdowns. In a decent matchup, Minshew is a low-end QB1 in fantasy.
Bryce Young hasn’t been a reliable fantasy option as a rookie, with one game over 20 fantasy points. He doesn’t have a game over 250 passing yards with six passing touchdowns on the year. He doesn’t have weapons outside 31-year-old Adam Thielen to rely on in the offense. The matchup with the Colts is a favorable one for Young. The Colts allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. They have allowed two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in six of eight games this season. The Panthers should have a more effective run game, allowing the passing game to attack. Based on how week nine is going, Young jumps into the high QB2 range. He should be a safe play in Superflex leagues over a 1QB league.
For the Colts backfield, we’ve seen the touches be a 50/50 split. Jonathan Taylor and Zach Moss may not play the same snaps, but they are part of this offense. The matchup is favorable as the Panthers allow the second most fantasy points per game to running backs. They have given up a touchdown in three of the last four games. In four of seven games, the Panthers have given up a 90-yard rusher or more. Jonathan Taylor is starting to regain his form with 75 yards in back-to-back games. He is the clear passing down back in the offense. Taylor may go off this week for over 100 yards and should finish as an RB1. Zach Moss is losing his role but still seeing high touches with 11 in week eight. Moss is a solid high RB3, but I’m concerned that Taylor will run away with the job at some point.
For the Panthers backfield, they had a change in week eight, going with Chuba Hubbard as their main guy over Miles Sanders. Both were very ineffective in week eight. Hubbard saw the clear lead role over Sanders. We may see a closer split in week eight. The Colts allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to running backs. They have allowed a rushing touchdown in five straight games this year. They don’t let big yardage with just three running backs over 60 yards. Hubbard should get another crack at the job and should have a much better day. I have Hubbard as a low-end RB2 in week eight. Sanders is a high-end RB4, but he has the opportunity to win his job back during the game.
For the Colts pass catchers, it comes down to Josh Downs and Michael Pittman. The Panthers have a solid pass defense this year. They have allowed three receivers over the last four weeks to produce 70 yards. They have dealt with injuries in the secondary, so I believe they can be beaten. Josh Downs has ten fantasy points in four straight games with Minshew. If he gets the targets, he should be a WR3 in week nine. Michael Pittman has seen 14 fantasy points in three consecutive games. While Pittman is getting saved by his touchdowns, he is still producing for us in fantasy. Pittman is a low-end WR2 in fantasy. Alec Pierce and the Colt’s tight ends are not ones to trust as they are not consistent for fantasy.
For the Panthers, Adam Thielen continues to have a revival season. He has double-digit fantasy points in six straight games now. The Colts are a beatable secondary, as they have allowed a 140-yard receiver in three of the last five games. Thielen saw double-digit targets in four of the previous five games. Thielen is playing as a WR1 in week nine. The only other pass catcher I’d consider is Jonathan Mingo, as he had a quiet, solid game, going four for 62 yards off a bye week. Mingo is a low-end WR5, as he could have his breakout game here. The tight ends and DJ Chark are inconsistent and not worth being in lineups.
New York Giants vs Las Vegas Raiders
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:25 pm @ Allegiants Stadium
- Weather -Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (LV -2.0) & Over/Under 37.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these two teams faced off was back in 2021. The Giants would win a close one, 23-16, over the Raiders. The Giants are coming off one of the worst games ever watched as they lost to the Jets. The Raiders got embarrassed on MNF as their offense couldn’t get anything going. The Giants need to attack the Raiders run defense, as they have been very poor this year. The same can be said for the Giants, as we’ve seen running backs produce this year. This could be a low-scoring game in week eight, especially with two poor quarterbacks.
Daniel Jones is expected to make his return on Sunday against the Raiders. Jones doesn’t bring a sign for relief at the quarterback position since he was under ten fantasy points in four of five games. He couldn’t handle the pressure that was getting to him with a banged-up offensive line, and he was causing way too many turnovers. His only saving grace was three games over 40 rushing yards. The Raiders started the season as a unit that passes attacks could beat, but they have tightened up in the last five weeks. In four of the previous five games, the Raiders have kept passers under 200 passing yards. In that span, they have allowed only three passing touchdowns. I’m not expecting much from Jones in his first game back. He would be, at best, a mid-range QB2 if he can find his rushing floor. There is also a chance that Tommy Devito plays, which I would want no part of.
Aidan O’Connell is getting the keys to the Raiders new regime in week nine. In his last start, O’Connell struggled as it was sack city for that Chargers defense. In the game, O’Connell relieved Brian Hoyer; he looked much better. He had a high completion rate and threw his first career touchdown. On paper, the Giants show as a top-ten unit against fantasy quarterbacks. The Giants defense has had some ups and downs, and they traded away a star on the defensive line. The Giants have allowed 240 passing yards in three of the last four games. I’m not expecting O’Connell to light up the world, but I could see 240 yards and a touchdown in his day. O’Connell can finish as a low-end QB2 that you can play in Superflex leagues.
For the Giants backfield, it’s all about Saquon Barkley, who has had 81 carries in the last three weeks. He also has 25 targets. The Raiders allow the fifth most fantasy points per game to running backs. They have allowed six rushing touchdowns in the last four weeks. They have allowed three running backs in the previous two weeks over 70 yards. Barkley is an elite running back who has the backfield to himself. There is no question that Barkley isn’t an RB1.
For the Raiders backfield, it is very similar as Josh Jacobs leads it. While Jacobs is still running a 3.1 YPC, he put up double-digit fantasy points in three of the last four games. The Giants are not a great run defense, as they have allowed seven rushing backs over 65 yards. At the same time, the Giants have been better the last two weeks. The Raiders are rocking a rookie quarterback, so Jacobs will have his workload increase and finish as a low-end RB1.
For the Giants pass catchers, it’s a dart throw who can help produce in fantasy. The Raiders are a top-ten unit against fantasy receivers. They haven’t allowed a touchdown to a receiver in over a month. They do give up decent yards, but overall, they are tough. If I had to pick a few names, it would be Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson, but they would only be WR5 in week nine. It would be hard to trust them. Daniel Bellinger should get the start for Darren Waller, who is hurt. The Raiders are a decent matchup, as they have allowed three tight ends over 40 yards and three touchdowns. Bellinger showed flashes as a rookie to be the guy here, and now he’ll get a shot in a decent matchup. Bellinger is a mid-range TE2.
For the Raider’s pass-catchers, Davante Adams should get feed targets from rookie Aidan O’Connell. Adams needs a bounce-back to get here, as he has been under ten fantasy points for four straight weeks. The Giants have allowed a 90-yard receiver or more in four consecutive games. Adams should bounce back as a WR1 in this matchup. Jakobi Meyers was doing great this year with Jimmy G, but his production could drop with the rookie. He should be a high-end WR3 in this matchup. For the tight end position, they have allowed four tight ends over 50 yards but only one touchdown. Michael Mayer has faded since the mini-breakout game three weeks ago. He drops back down to a mid-range TE2 until we can see some consistent production from him.
Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:25 pm @ Lincoln Financial Field
- Weather – Clear Afternoon
- What Vegas is saying – Line (PHI -3.0) & Over/Under 46.5
Identifying the Game Script
We have our only divisional game of the weekend. In the previous five games, these teams averaged 62 total points per game. The Eagles have lost four of the last five games to the Cowboys. They would split the previous season as each home team would win. The Cowboys are coming off another big defensive performance, crushing the Rams. The Eagles would win a shootout with the Commanders. The Cowboys offense needs to take advantage of the Eagles poor secondary, as they have allowed many passing stats to their opponents. The Eagles have it tough on offense, but if they can get the run game working, they have a good chance. This should be a close game that will be a crazy battle in week nine.
Dak Prescott is coming off his best game of the season with 36 fantasy points in week eight. Over the last two outings, Prescott has come alive in the passing game with 574 yards and five passing touchdowns. Prescott, over his career vs. the Eagles, has put up 250 passing and two touchdowns per game over 11 career games. Last year, Prescott only played the Eagles once, and he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles secondary was torched last week by Sam Howell. On the season, they allow the third most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Prescott hasn’t been that great on the road this year. He is averaging 200 passing yards and less than one passing touchdown. I would place Prescott as a low-end QB1, as he should be able to give us solid quarterback numbers in this game against a favorable opponent.
Jalen Hurts is playing at a high level, and his passing stats are rising in recent weeks. Hurts is showing off his dual-threat ability in the air and his legs. Hurts do have a tough matchup in week nine. The Cowboys have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. They haven’t allowed a passer over 260 passing yards, and two quarterbacks have gone over one passing touchdown. Hurts, in four career games against the Cowboys, has averaged 200 passing yards and one passing touchdown. He has never run in a rushing touchdown against the Cowboys in three years. This Eagles offense seems unstoppable this season, even against a tough matchup. I would still rank Hurts as a QB1 and let his talent do the talking.
For the Cowboys backfield, Tony Pollard feels like a disappointment in fantasy. He has been under ten fantasy points in three of the last four games. It’s not all Pollard’s fault, even though he is running at a 3.9 YPC this season. The Cowboys find a way to put games out of reach early, so Pollard has sat out many fourth quarters this year. That shouldn’t be the case in week nine. The matchup is challenging as the Eagles allow the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. The Eagles have not allowed a rusher over 60 yards this year, with just two rushing touchdowns this season. In two games last year, Pollard had 63 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. I can’t rank Pollard as an RB1. A safe play will be 40 yards with a couple of catches. Pollard is a mid-range RB2 in week nine.
For the Eagles backfield, D’Andre Swift continues to pull away from the backfield with offensive snaps. He has double-digit fantasy points in six of the last seven games. The matchup against the Cowboys is decent. They have allowed only two running backs over 60 yards but have given up a rushing touchdown in three of the last four games. They also gave up decent production in the passing game. If Swift can get back to six targets in this game, he should be able to finish as a RB1. He is running very well, and I don’t see any issues. Kenny Gainwell is, at best, a low-end RB4 but would need to see a touchdown or receptions to make his day.
For the Cowboys pass catchers, CeeDee Lamb showed how dominant he can be as he went off in week eight. For the Cowboys, they will have to go against the Eagles, who allow the second most fantasy points per game to receivers. They have allowed 13 receivers this year over 60 yards. They also allowed 11 receiving touchdowns this year, with three just last week. CeeDee Lamb has only averaged 65 yards and half a touchdown per game over six career starts. Last year, he was better against the Eagles, with 90 yards and a touchdown in each game. Lamb has double-digit targets in back-to-back games, and when he sees those high targets, he produces. I’m trusting Lamb will finish as WR1 in week nine.
The duo of Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup is a wasteland for fantasy. Brandin Cooks has played better the last two weeks with ten-plus fantasy points. He is still only seeing four targets per game. Due to the excellent matchup, he is, at best, a low-end WR4. Michael Gallup has been under 30 yards in three straight games and hasn’t scored yet this season. Gallup has seen his targets fluctuate this year, but it’s hard to trust him. He is a high-end WR5 with a bit of upside in a favorable game. Jake Ferguson had a nice bounce-back game off the bye with 12 fantasy points. The Eagles have allowed four tight ends over 40 yards and have given up four touchdowns. We know Prescott’s love for his tight ends, so he should be good in this matchup. Ferguson is a low-end TE1 in week nine.
For the Eagles pass catchers, AJ Brown is on a historic run with 125 yards in six straight games. He also has five touchdowns over the last five weeks. The Cowboys are a tough secondary, as they allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to receivers. They have allowed three receivers over 60 yards and haven’t given up a 100-yard game to a receiver. AJ Brown’s 100-yard streak could be in trouble. Last year, Brown had 170 over two games vs. the Cowboys. Brown has been playing too well to move away, even in a tough matchup. Brown is a WR1 in week nine.
DeVonta Smith had a nice bounce-back game with 19 fantasy points in week nine. Smith has been under ten fantasy points in four of the last six games. It seems Brown will be elite while Smith and Dallas Goedert rotate as the second option. I will continue to rank Smith as a mid-range WR2 since there is upside but a lack of consistent production in his game. Dallas Goedert is a decent matchup against the Cowboys. They have allowed a touchdown and 40 yards in three of the last four games. For a tight end, Goedert’s upside is always worth a TE1 play, but know he is a little boom/bust based on how this team runs.
Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals
Details of the Script
- SNF -8:20 pm @ Paycor Stadium
- Weather – Clear Night
- What Vegas is saying – Line (CIN -2.5) & Over/Under 50.5
Identifying the Game Script
e last time these two teams almost played was in week 17 of last year. The game was stopped after the first five minutes due to a terrifying injury. The Bills are coming off a hard-fought win over the Bucs last TNF. The Bengals would get a surprising win over the 49ers. The Bills will look to get the run game going, as the Bengals run defense has been poor this year. Look for the Bills to use their young tight end against the worst team vs. tight ends. The Bengals get an injury-plagued Bills defense that has allowed opposing offenses to succeed. Look for this game to be a high-scoring one in week nine.
Josh Allen is coming off yet another fantastic fantasy performance despite dealing with a shoulder injury. Allen has a league-high 17 passing touchdowns and is getting a rushing touchdown in almost every game. The Bengals are a beatable secondary that fantasy quarterbacks can succeed. They have allowed back-to-back 300 passing-yard games to Geno Smith and Brock Purdy. The Bengals haven’t allowed many passing touchdowns, but Allen will be fine. This game should be a battle that ends up in a high-scoring game. Allen should be able to get close to 300 passing yards and at least two passing touchdowns. He is a QB1 in week nine.
Joe Burrow looks back and is ready to dominate the rest of the season. Burrow came off a bye and produced over 30 fantasy points. Burrow will face the Bills, who, on paper, allow the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. In recent weeks, due to injuries to their secondary, quarterbacks have started to have great games. They have allowed the last two quarterbacks over 230 passing yards and two touchdowns. Those quarterbacks were Mac Jones and Baker Mayfield. Joe Burrow, with his team fully healthy, should be able to compete in this high-scoring battle. Burrow is a QB1 in week nine.
For the Bills backfield, James Cook continues to be the lead guy as he pulled away from Latavius Murray in offensive snaps. Cooks has been regressing as of late in terms of his fantasy production. He has three of the last four games under ten points. He has been a solid rusher, but he still does not have a red zone role, which is hurting his value. Over the last three weeks, the Bengals have kept running backs under 65 rushing yards. They have given a rushing touchdown in five of the seven games they played. Cook should continue to average around 15 carries in this game. Cook will likely need a touchdown or a big play in the passing game to reach the RB1 level. Cooks should be a solid RB2 in week nine.
Latavius Murray continues to see the goal line work in the offense but hasn’t run a touchdown since week three. He has not done well with his opportunities, and you see him regressing. Murray is a borderline RB4 in week nine. Leonard Fournette just signed with the team, but I don’t think he’ll have an impact in week nine.
For the Bengals backfield, Joe Mixon had a surprise game in week eight against a tough opponent. He rushed for 87 yards and scored a touchdown. Mixon should have a good matchup against the Bills in week nine. They have four of seven games with a 90-yard rusher this year. In the last two weeks, the run-stopping has been better, but they allowed the running backs to have value in the passing game. They have allowed at least four receptions for over 40 yards in three of the last four games. Mixon has his backfield to himself, and it should stay that way in week nine. Mixon has shown he can produce in the run or pass, so in some way, Mixon will have a good week. He is a high-end RB2 in week nine.
For the Bills pass catchers, they have been great for us in fantasy this year. Diggs has been a WR1. Gabe Davis plays like we know he could as a low-end WR2 most weeks. Now Khalil Shakir stepped up with a big game last week. The Bengals are a beatable team in the air, as they have allowed eight receivers over 60 yards this year. In the previous two weeks, they have given up a 90-yard receiver. While the touchdowns have been minimal, with only four, this Bills offense can beat the odds. Stefan Diggs is seeing double-digit fantasy points in every game this year. He should have no issue getting a WR1 finished once again in week nine.
Gabe Davis is coming in from his best fantasy game of the season with 87 yards and a touchdown. Davis has been that boom/bust receiver we thought he would be, but his upside is doing much better than last year. I have Davis, a borderline WR2 who only needs one big play for a good fantasy day. Khalil Shakir is coming off six receptions for 92 yards. Shakir got over 60% of the offensive snaps in week eight. I still have Shakir as a borderline WR5. He could be a deep sleeper guy, but with players who haven’t shown it yet, I want to see it again first. Dalton Kincaid, as the starter, had a big fantasy game in week eight. He had seven targets in back-to-back games with ten plus fantasy points. The Bengals allow the most fantasy points per game to the tight end position. Kincaid is a high-end TE1 in week nine.
For the Bengals pass catchers, Ja’Marr Chase has been the only consistent option in fantasy this year. They get a matchup against the Bills that has been more favorable as of late. The Bills have been hit with injuries in that secondary. Chase should have no issue being a WR 1 with four of the last five games with 12-plus targets. Tee Higgins is looking healthier with a decent game in week eight. Higgins is only going to get better as the season goes on. In a matchup that has shootout potential, Higgins is a nice low-end WR2 who has a significant upside. Tyler Boyd has had touchdowns in back-to-back games. Boyd has been an inconsistent receiver in fantasy, but in this matchup, Boyd has WR4 value. Proceed with caution, though, since Boyd is very boom/bust in fantasy. The Bills have been good against fantasy tight ends, and Irv Smith has not done anything this season. He is outside the top 24 tight ends for week nine.