Week 9 NFL Matchup Preview Part Two

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Be sure to check out Part One of our Week 9 NFL Matchup Previews.

Sunday, November 6, 2016
4:05 PM EST

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams

PANTHERS
QB Cam Newton: Cam Newton got back into his running ways last week, but did not find the end zone through the air or on the ground. This week, he travels across the country to face a tough Rams defense that has allowed the 11th least fantasy points to opposing QBs. While his ceiling may be capped against a tough defense, the fact that six teams are on bye makes him a must start.

RB Jonathan Stewart: The veteran RB has two rushing TDs in each of past two games, but the Rams defense has allowed the 9th least rushing yards per game and just 6 TDs thus far. While the hot streak may cool off this week, he’s a must start considering the state of the RB position.

WR Kelvin Benjamin: The only real option for Cam Newton at the WR position, he will continue to produce at a high-end WR level based on his target opportunity.

TE Greg Olsen: Olsen is coming off a bad game and has a tough matchup, but he’s getting such a huge volume of targets, he can’t be benched.

RAMS
QB Case Keenum: In a week with six teams on a bye, Keenum actually becomes a streaming option at home against a Panthers defense allowing over 285 yards and 2 TDs per game.

RB Todd Gurley: The involvement in the passing game has made Todd Gurley a solid, if unspectacular, RB2 most weeks. He’s still a startable player, even in a terrible matchup with the Panthers, who are limiting opposing RBs to just 80 yards per game and have allowed just 5 rushing TDs thus far.

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WR Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin: The Panthers have been beaten deep on multiple occasions and are allowing the 3rd most points per game to opposing WRs. Kenny Britt is a WR2 while Tavon Austin is a flex option.

TE Lance Kendricks: The Rams TE has quietly been a solid fantasy TE this year. He has 6+ targets in 4 of 7 games, and at least 7 targets in 3 of his past 4 games. He’s exceeded 5 receptions in those past 3 games. Meanwhile, the Panthers are allowing the 4th most points to opposing TEs on the season. He’s a solid TE start for Week 9.

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New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

SAINTS
QB Drew Brees: Drew Brees is a must-start stud QB.

RB Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower: That big “WHHHHAAAA?” sound everyone heard last Sunday was the collective frustration exalted by all the Mark Ingram owners when they found out that Ingram was not injured, but replaced by Tim Hightower. While Hightower had the volume, he wasn’t very efficient with his touches and couldn’t push in multiple red zone carries. This week, the Saints get a dream matchup against the league’s worst run defense, yet here we all stand wondering who we should start and if we can trust Ingram. The answer is: I have no clue. I believe it was a bit of a “motivational” ploy to get Ingram fired up. I’m still starting Ingram as an RB2. In the bye week apocalypse that is Week 9, do you really have any other choice? Hightower did earn some additional touches and the matchup makes him a flex play in a pinch. Based on the matchup, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both RBs finish with borderline RB1 points.

WR Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead: When you’re a WR on a Drew Brees offense, you’re capable of putting up WR2 numbers most weeks. Each of the Saints brings the upside of a WR1 game if Brees finds a matchup to exploit. Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas are high-end WR2s, while Willie Snead is more of a flex play.

TE Coby Fleener: Coby Fleener has been loved, hated, loved and then hated again by fantasy owners. While his snaps decreased recently, he goes on the road against a 49ers defense allowing the 12th most points to opposing TEs. He’s a decent start due to all the bye week issues.

49ERS
QB Colin Kaepernick: The Saints defense is an interesting dichotomy for fantasy football. On one hand, they are allowing over 285 passing yards per game (4th most in the NFL), yet have allowed just 9 passing TDs in 7 games (5th least). The bye weeks bring tough decisions, like streaming Colin Kaepernick. He may make up for the lack of passing TDs in the rushing department, but there may be better streaming options. Approach this one with caution.

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RB Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, Shaun Draughn: As of this writing, Carlos Hyde is practicing in a “non-contact” jersey. He’s in a highly volatile position with a late kick-off in a short slate week. His uncertainty makes all the San Francisco RBs a desperation flex play only. If you have to start one, it might be DuJuan Harris.

WR Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley: While the matchup is friendly from a yardage perspective, the lack of passing TDs against the Saints limits both players to desperation flex options to cover the bye week.

TE Vance McDonald: The Saints have allowed the 12th least fantasy points to opposing TEs and McDonald just has not been involved enough to recommend starting him. There are much better options, even with all the bye weeks.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016
4:25 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers

COLTS
QB Andrew Luck: The Packers secondary is in shambles, yet they are mid-pack in the NFL is passing yards and TDs allowed through the air. This very well could end up as a shootout between two exciting QBs. He’s a great start this week.

RB Frank Gore: While Frank Gore is really the only RB in town, the Packers defense has shut down almost everyone this year. He’s a low-end RB2 due to volume and the lack of options at the RB position.

WR T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief: T.Y. Hilton torpedoed a lot of teams and DFS lineups last week. He was limited at practice early in the week, but fully practiced Thursday. He should be playing and has WR1 upside this week.  Meanwhile his running mate Donte Moncrief returned from his Week 2 injury and immediately caught another TD from Andrew Luck. His red zone usage makes him a must-start WR2.

TE Jack Doyle: Just when we all got on board the Doyle Express, he derailed in week 8. The Packers matchup is good, making Doyle a solid streaming TE for Week 9.

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PACKERS
QB Aaron Rodgers: Aaron Rodgers versus a Colts defense allowing almost 300 yards and 2 TDs per game? Sign. Me. Up.

RB Ty Montgomery: After being a late scratch in Week 8, Ty Montgomery is shaping up to play in Week 9. He’s been limited through Thursday practice, so you need to keep an eye on the injury report, but his usage in the passing game makes him a solid RB2 play. If he’s still listed as a WR, he’s a WR2/flex option.

WR Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams: Jordy Nelson has not been a stud WR1, but his involvement around the goal line is keeping him in the WR2 discussion. Randall Cobb has been limited all week and is now a game-time decision. Meanwhile, Davante Adams has become the best starting WR for the Packers. All of them are solid WR2 starts for this matchup, assuming Cobb plays.

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Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers

TITANS
QB Marcus Mariota: The Chargers are mid-pack in points allowed to opposing QBs, but Mariota has been pretty hot lately. He’s a solid starter in Week 9.

RB DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry: The Chargers rank 6th in points allowed to opposing RBs, making DeMarco Murray a must-start RB. After a monster performance in Week 8 for Derrick Henry, he is a flex option in a week with limited options.

WR Kendall Wright, Rishard Matthews: Kendall Wright has been Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the past three weeks. With the mid-season retirement of Andre Johnson, Kendall Wright and Rishard Matthews take over the primary WR target roles. Wright is a WR2 while Matthews is an interesting flex option.

TE Delanie Walker: The matchup is fine, but Delanie Walker was added to the injury report after reporting “groin tightness” in practice. Keep an eye on the injury report before starting Walker.

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CHARGERS
QB Philip Rivers: Philip Rivers has overcome a lot of hurdles (injuries to his pass catchers) this season, but he comes into this decent matchup with even more injuries to consider. You may not have better options, but Rivers might have a quiet week with limited options.

RB Melvin Gordon: The Titans are surprisingly stout against RBs, allowing just the 9th least points this year. However, Gordon has been a consistent performer due to his red zone work. With many of the pass catchers banged-up or out already, Gordon should be a solid RB2 with RB1 upside.

WR Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman: Travis Benjamin is suffering from a PCL injury and Tyrell Williams is suffering from a knee injury. Both may miss the game, making Dontrelle Inman the WR to play as a WR2 with sneaky WR1 upside.

TE Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry: The Titans have allowed the 7th most points per game to opposing TEs, making Antonio Gates a great TE start for Week 9 while his rookie counterpart has missed practice and may be out.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

BRONCOS
QB Trevor Siemian: Any QB facing the Raiders defense is a streaming option, especially in a week with so many QBs sitting out. Their average dropped under 300 after Jameis Winston’s 180-yard performance, but the Raiders secondary is still very beatable.

RB Devontae Booker: In his first start for the Broncos, Devonte Booker got a little banged up on his way to 24 touches (19 carries, 5 receptions) for 84 yards and a rushing TD. He’s been limited in practice this week so keep an eye on him before slotting him in as a borderline RB1, especially with the late start.

WR Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders: The Denver Duo hasn’t lit the world on fire, being held back by their QB and a run-heavy game plan. However, the matchup is juicy and the options may be limited. Both players are great WR2 plays.

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TE Virgil Green: While the Denver offense hasn’t focused on the TE position, the Oakland defense has a soft spot for TEs to exploit. Virgil Green is a reasonable flyer if your streaming TE to cover a bye week.

RAIDERS
QB Derek Carr: Derek Carr is quietly QB6 in average points per game and has good upside most weeks. If this was a normal week with a full compliment of QBs, I might suggest considering alternate options for Carr facing the league’s #1 secondary. But it’s a week short on options and Carr could be ok in this divisional matchup.

RB Latavius Murray: The Denver defense is scary for QBs and WRs, but RBs have been able to score well. Latavius Murray has taken over the majority of the carries and is an RB2.

WR Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree: Amari Cooper is WR5 in PPR leagues this year and WR1 since Week 5. His abilities will be tested this week in a nasty matchup, but he’s a must-start. Crabtree is a low-end WR2.

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Monday, November 7, 2016
8:30 PM EST
Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks

BILLS
QB Tyrod Taylor: The Seahawks are allowing the 7th least points to opposing QBs while Tyrod Taylor ranks 16th in average QB scoring due to some impressive rushing stats the past few weeks, including rushing TDs in each of the past two. This is a terrible matchup, but you may not have another option. If you do, start them. If you don’t…join the bye-week apocalypse!

RB LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee: McCoy returned to practice in a limited role Thursday and is trending to a possible start Monday night. If he plays, it’s a tough matchup and it renders Gillislee useless. If you have both players, you can wait for the decision on who’s playing. If you don’t have any options, McCoy is a risky play in a rough matchup on MNF.

WR Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Percy Harvin: Robert Woods returned to game action last week and is trending to be the primary option for Week 9 in a very tough matchup. Marquise Goodwin is still in the concussion protocol, but might get cleared with the extra day of rest for the Monday night kickoff. Meanwhile, the Bill signed their former WR, Percy Harvin for depth. He might be an interesting play if we knew he was in game shape, but I wouldn’t recommend rolling him out against his former team, Seattle.

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TE Charles Clay: While Charles Clay has been targeted a decent amount recently, he has just 2 receptions in each of the past two games. He suffered a shoulder injury as well, but it was not noted in his limited designation on Thursday. With the late start, questionable status and bad matchup, Clay should only be a last resort.

SEAHAWKS
QB Russell Wilson: There is something wrong with Russell Wilson and he’s just not the same player. He has just 25 rushing yards on the season after averaging 35 per game last year. He’s not startable most weeks right now and he should only be a last resort this week.

RB Christine Michael, C.J. Prosise: The emergence of C.J. Prosise has put a damper on Christine Michael’s upside. The Bills Defense is giving up the 6th most rushing yards per game this year, making Michael a solid RB2 option. C.J. Prosise is a flex play in PPR leagues.

WR Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett: With Russell Wilson struggling, so are his pass catchers. Baldwin is a WR3/flex in PPR leagues, but the rest of the WRs are not start-worthy.

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TE Jimmy Graham: Since his monster Week 3 performance, his points have decreased each week, culminating with a  3 reception, 34-yard performance last week. This week, he faces a Bills team allowing the 9th least points to opposing TEs. His name value says play him and his potential to return value like his Week 3 and 4 performances is there, but the trend says not to play him. If you have another option, it may be best to play them.

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