Ride or Die: The Fantasy Footballers Predictions for Week 9
New name, same great segment. “Ride or Die” pits The Ballers against each other with three players to meet a certain number each week. Each Baller will pick the player to “Ride” or “Die” with the stat, similar to a “prop” bet.
Each week I will be here to recap where each of the Ballers took the wheel or gave a nice tuck and roll out of the vehicle for each one. Of course, I’ll weigh in as well and we’ll keep score throughout the season so you can see how smart I really am.
As always, let me know if you’re jumping in the passenger’s seat with me or think I’m driving the crazy train here or on Twitter: @KurtKnowsBest.
“Ride or Die” Scoreboard
It’s not worth making predictions without keeping score. I’ll take my victory lap after winning the week by going 3-for-3. Some losers named Mike and Jason finished second and only got two right. Andy – aka the biggest loser – didn’t get anything right. In the big picture, Jason’s lead on the season-long total is four at the midpoint of the regular season for fantasy.
Week 9 “Ride or Die” Predictions
Antonio Gibson (WASH) vs MIN: Top-20 RB
Gibson was left for dead by most fantasy managers after the return of Brian Robinson in Week 5. However, over the last two weeks, Gibson has finished as the RB16 and RB12, scoring in both weeks through the passing game.
Andy was the first to “Ride” banking on Gibson getting into the top 20 due to the high number of teams on bye this week. Mike joined Andy to back his former champion. I’ll ride along with Mike and Andy on this one. While Gibson is seeing less work on the ground, Washington continues to find ways to get him the ball through the passing game where he’s proven to be able to make big plays.
Jason is the lone “Die” on this prediction due to the matchup, after originally being a “Ride” when the line was top-24 RB. Minnesota is the 6th most difficult schedule-adjusted matchup for fantasy RBs.
Kyle Pitts (ATL) vs LAC: 8 Fantasy Points (Half-PPR)
Fantasy managers who stuck with Pitts got a little bit of the payoff they’d been hoping for last week after he finished as the TE3. In the two weeks that Pitts has finished inside the top six, he saw at least eight targets and finished with 80 or more yards.
Jason was a quick “Die,” arguing that the odds are against Pitts hitting the eight-point threshold since he’s only done it three times through the seven games he’s played in.
The Fantasy Hitman is a “Ride” with this prediction, due to the increase in the target share Pitts has seen over the last two weeks. Andy, who is doomed to be wrong about Pitts this season no matter what stance he takes on him, is also a “Ride” due to the possible negative game script against a big Chargers’ offense. I’ll hop in the back seat to “Ride” with this one too.
Geno Smith (SEA) at Arizona: Top-12 Fantasy QB
After three straight weeks of finishing inside the top seven QBs, Geno Smith has now been outside the top 12 for three weeks in a row.
Andy was a quick “Die” on this one, thinking that Kenneth Walker III will be the beneficiary of the TDs for the Seahawks in this matchup. I’ll join Andy on this prediction. The Cardinals were actually the team that stopped Geno from extending his hot streak in Week 6 when they held him to just 12 fantasy points.
Jason and Mike are a “Ride” here. The Big Shimmy thinks Geno can take advantage of the Cardinals’ secondary that over the last six weeks has been 24th in the league against opposing QBs. Mike argues Geno and the Seahawks’ offense getting healthy will fix their nine-point offensive performance against Arizona from earlier this season.
Kurt’s Bonus Picks
Leonard Fournette (TB) vs LA Rams: Score a TD
Fournette’s fantasy day in Week 8 was saved by a TD after managing just 58 total yards against the Ravens on Thursday night. What’s most troubling for fantasy managers is that Fournette has only 17 carries over the last two weeks as a product of Tampa Bay playing from behind.
The Dump Truck’s best chance of getting in the end zone for fantasy managers may be in the passing game, where he’s scored three times compared to his two rushing TDs. The Rams have gotten progressively worse against fantasy RBs, averaging 28 points to the position over the last three weeks.
I’ll “Ride” with Fournette on this prediction.
Marcus Mariota (ATL) vs LA Chargers: Top-12 QB Finish
Fantasy managers may be surprised to learn that Mariota is currently the QB8 on the season halfway through the year. Mariota has been inside the top 10 QBs four times this season and has only had one dud against Cleveland in Week 4. In fact, the Falcons’ QB has been inside the top 10 in three of the last four weeks.
For Week 9, Atlanta takes on a Chargers’ defense that has been great against opposing fantasy QBs this season, despite their 16th ranking in points against the position. Only once this season has LA’s defense allowed a QB to finish inside the top 10.
If Mariota is going to break into the top 10 he’ll need to continue to create a baseline with the running element he brings to the offense. Every time Mariota has rushed for at least 40 yards in a game, he’s been QB10 or higher on the week.
I’ll have to “Die” on this prediction.
D.J. Moore (CAR) at Cincinnati: 6+ Receptions
The last two weeks have provided some vindication for the D.J. Moore truthers in the fantasy world. In Weeks 7 and 8, Moore saw 21 targets that turned into 13 receptions, 221 yards, and two TDs. Prior to the Panthers trading Christian McCaffrey, Moore was averaging three receptions and 34 receiving yards per game.
Cincinnati’s defense enters this matchup allowing the 10th fewest points to opposing WRs. However, the Bengals top corner, Chidobe Awuzie, has been ruled out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL on Monday night against the Browns. With the Panthers’ hot streak offensively and a Cincinnati defense that just gave up over 200 yards to just two Cleveland receivers, I’m willing to “Ride” with Moore to continue getting looks this week.