Week 9 NFL Matchup Preview Part One
Be sure to check out Part Two of our Week 9 NFL Matchup Previews.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – November 3, 2016
8:25 PM EST
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Matt Ryan: Every week stud start, plus a great matchup.
RB Devonta Freeman: Coleman is out so Freeman should see a heavy workload against Tampa Bay defense that has given up the 7th most points to RBs. Easy RB1.
WR Julio Jones: Every week stud start, plus has been removed from the injury report.
TE Austin Hooper: With Jacob Tamme out, rookie Austin Hooper steps in. He was drafted highly (for a TE) and is a solid option on a high-powered offense against the 23rd ranked pass D.
QB Jameis Winston: On average, the Falcons are allowing over 300 passing yards and 2TDs a game. Certainly in line to be a QB1 this week.
RB Antone Smith/Peyton Barber: I’m avoiding at all costs. Early reports favored Smith but now the word is that Peyton Barber is the starter. Good luck.
WR Mike Evans: Every week stud start, plus a great matchup.
TE Cameron Brate: You’re hoping for a TD if you play him, as he hasn’t topped 5 catches or 67 yards in any game this season.
SUNDAY – November 6, 2016
1:00 PM EST
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
QB Ben Roethlisberger/ Landry Jones: All signs point to Big Ben playing this week. The Ravens D has been a surprise this year but when the Steelers offense gets rolling, look out. Top 10 QB if he plays. Landry not worth consideration if he is the starter.
RB Le’Veon Bell: Every week stud start.
WR Antonio Brown/Sammie Coates: Big upgrade for all receivers if Big Ben suits up. Antonio Brown is clearly an every week stud start regardless. I’d consider others over Coates depending on who I have on my bench, at best a Flex play for me.
TE Jesse James: It doesn’t sound like Ladarius Green will be back this week so James makes for an OK streamer option. Like most TE streamers, you’re hoping for a TD. He hasn’t topped 6 catches or 43 yards in any game.
QB Joe Flacco: Hard to trust Joe Flacco. Even with throwing an average of 44 passes a game this season (wow), he’s only averaging 0.7 TDs per game. Very low-end Bye week fill-in.
RB Terrance West/Kenneth Dixon: Terrance West pooped the bed in his last start before the Bye. Coach Harbaugh has said he wants to get Dixon more involved. So for me, hard to trust either as more than a low-end RB2. As of this writing the Ballers’ consensus RB ranks have TWest at #17.
WR Mike Wallace: All signs point to Steve Smith Sr. sitting out another week. This makes Mike Wallace a solid play due to sheer volume. I’ll admit I was on the Negative Nancy train at the start of the season, was hands off Wallace, and well… I missed out. He’s the WR17 in half point per catch scoring and that’s with half the guys ahead of him having played one additional game. Also, in Week 7 he had 10 catches for 120 yards.
TE Dennis Pitta: No thanks. In Week 2 he had 9 catches for 102 yards. Since then he hasn’t topped 59 yards. I suppose if you’re looking for a super safe, low floor guy in PPR, he’s your guy. No TDs yet.
Dallas Cowboys @ Cleveland Browns
QB Dak Prescott: Dak’s been rolling and the Browns rank 25th against the pass. I will say that Dak certainly (finally) showed signs of being a rookie last week, especially with that red zone INT and almost a 2nd one. Still, this matchup rocks. Just beware of them feeding Zeke near the goal line. The Browns are even worse against the run (31st).
RB Ezekiel Elliott: Every week stud start, plus a great matchup. Even with all the yards, fantasy owners may be looking for more (TDs). I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t find pay dirt twice this week.
WR Dez Bryant/Cole Beasley/Terrance Williams: One of the big post-Week 8 headlines: Dez is back! It seems like Dak learned last week that if you throw it up, Dez will go get it. Great matchup but I wouldn’t want to play Beasley anymore in a non-full point PPR format. Feel like we’re due for a random Terrance Williams TD but he’s obviously only owned in deep leagues and tough to start unless you’re quite desperate.
TE Jason Witten: I hope you have a better option. Love the player, not the fantasy player.
QB Josh McCown/Cody Kessler: If you want the case for either of these guys as a streaming option, here you go.
RB Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson Jr.: While Crowell is fading fast compared to his solid start, he was able to find the end zone against the Jets #1 ranked run DEF last week, as well as a TD the week before. The yards haven’t really been there though. His totals the last four weeks: 22, 16, 63, 29. Duke Johnson Jr. is a decent PPR option if you assume the Browns will have to play some catch up in this one.
WR Terrelle Pryor/Corey Coleman: Terrelle Pryor is questionable but returned to practice on Thursday. Corey Coleman makes his return also after going for 7 catches, 173 yards, and 2TDs in his first two starts in the NFL. I think both have the potential to finish in the WR2 conversation. The Ballers’ WR rankings have Pryor near the WR1 conversation and Coleman as a WR3.
TE Gary Barnidge: Well I think we for sure know that last year was special, a fluke if you will. Gary B. has yet to find the end zone and has topped out at 7 catches for 57 yards thus far. I’d rather roll guys out on a good offense with multiple chances to score, Austin Hooper on the Falcons for instance. The Ballers however have Maximum Barnidge up at #5 consensus in their TE ranks.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs
QB Blake Bortles: Cue the “garbage man” music drop. What else is there to say about this guy? The Chiefs are middle of the pack against the pass. For me, it’s hard to imagine he won’t throw 2 picks in this one.
RB T.J. Yeldon/Chris Ivory: Can’t trust either guy right now. Splitting carries and the Jags are averaging 51.9 yards rushing a game. Yikes.
WR Allen Robinson & Allen Hurns: If you have Allen Robinson, I still have trouble benching such an elite talent even with Bortles being Bortles. If the stars ever align again, the upside is so great. Allen Hurns is down in high-end WR3 territory for me and the Ballers as well.
TE Julius Thomas: Certainly TD dependent but so are most mid-range TEs. He’s got a TD in two games straight, on only three catches each game.
QB Nick Foles: Sweet QB battle in this game, not. Maybe you have to start him in a 2QB league but if not, I’m looking elsewhere.
RB Spencer Ware/Charcandrick West: Whoever starts, you play them and reap the rewards against the Jaguars DEF which is allowing 1.3 rushing TDs per game.
WR Jeremy Maclin/Tyreek Hill: I want no part of this unless desperate.
TE Travis Kelce: One of the few TEs I’d consider an every week start.
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Well he’s back and has been less Picks-patricky. Still 228 yards and a single TD against the Browns last week is not good.
RB Matt Forte & Bilal Powell: Well for now, the Jets seem to be back to loading Forte with carries, 25 and 30 the last two weeks. Combine that with the Dolphins DEF being 30th against the run thus far and you have easy RB1 potential. Powell is maybe a Flex play in PPR leagues if you’re desperate.
WR Brandon Marshall & Quincy Enunwa: If you have Marshall you gotta play him and just hope Fitzpatrick can be a little less terrible. Enunwa is a solid WR2 with upside.
QB Ryan Tannehill: Mike’s QB Streamer this week.
RB Jay Ajayi: Big Ajayi fan here headed into the season! The Jets do have the #1 ranked DEF against the Run and dead last against the pass. However, coming off two 200 yard games (even if it were a single 200-yard game)- how can you bench him? I won’t be shocked if he goes over 100 yards, but won’t be shocked if he doesn’t either in this tough matchup.
WR Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills & DeVante Parker: As I just mentioned, the Jets rank 32nd against the pass in yards per game. Jarvis is an every week start no matter the format but obviously bonus if it’s PPR. Stills and Parker could make decent Flex options this week.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
QB Matthew Stafford: Matthew Stafford comes into this one as the QB6 in 6 point per passing TD scoring. Still after two OK outings against WAS and HOU, I’m looking to stream if possible against the Vikings D. Even better if you can find a two-week substitute as Stafford goes on Bye next week.
RB Theo Riddick: Start em’ if you got him! Bad matchup but he’s been able to make up for lame rushing totals with receiving yards/TDs. Bonus in PPR.
WR Marvin Jones Jr. & Golden Tate: Jones has certainly cooled off from his wicked start to the season. He’s made his money with big plays and the Vikings D is 2nd against 20+ and 40+ yard passes. I’d roll Tate out in a PPR league; he has 21 catches over the last few weeks and pretty decent yardage to boot.
TE Eric Ebron: He’s back (again). In his return from injury last week, he compiled 7 catches for 79 yards. That’s more than Gary Barnidge has had all season. As I mentioned, the Vikings don’t really give up the big play so Ebron should see a handful of targets.
QB Sam Bradford: Jason’s QB Streamer this week.
RB Jerick McKinnon & Matt Asiata: I’m avoiding both (if possible). If I had to pick one to start, it’s Asiata until we see McKinnon is back and healthy. He’s had one good game this year when he was healthy anyway, otherwise never topping 45 yards rushing.
WR Stefon Diggs: Does “No Diggity” fall into the boom/bust category yet? I’d say so, and well he boomed last week for 8 catches/76 yards. Roll him out against the 19th ranked pass D! Also, Andy’s Start of the Week at WR.
TE Kyle Rudolph: Jason’s Start of the Week at TE.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
QB Carson Wentz: Great real life QB (for a rookie), but you can probably do better for fantasy.
RB Ryan Mathews & Darren Sproles: Ryan Mathews owners struggling to trust him at this point. Coach Pederson is talking up both guys but last week we saw Sproles get the majority of work. Sproles is Mike’s Start of the Week at RB. The Giants surprisingly (to me) rank 10th against the run.
WR Jordan Matthews: Mid-range WR2.
TE Zach Ertz: Since returning from injury- a high of 4 catches and 22 yards in the three games.
QB Eli Manning: Many people’s ‘Late Round QB’ during the draft has been so disappointing and the Eagles rank 5th against the pass. He does have a guy named Odell Beckham Jr. to throw to though.
RB Rashad Jennings: If you have to start Jennings, better hope he finds the end zone. When healthy, his best game was in Week 1 for 75 yards. The Eagles defense as a whole are only giving up 10.3 points per game to opposing offenses.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. & Sterling Shepard: Odell- Every week stud start. Until we see the Giants offense be consistently productive, Shepard and Cruz are down in WR3/4 territory.
TE Larry Donnell/Will Tye: Don’t bother.