Fantasy Football: Week 9 Starts/Sits, Injury Report
Justin Herbert (vs. LVR): Herbert has been one of the better rookie quarterbacks this season and gets a nice divisional matchup versus the Raiders this week. The Raiders are allowing 266 passing yards per game to the quarterback position, and an average of 20.8 fantasy points to quarterbacks per game. This AFC West matchup has a 52.0 total, and the Chargers are one-point favorites. This contest is expected to be a competitive one throughout, and relatively high scoring at that.
Drew Lock (@ ATL): The Falcons defense has been dreadful this year, specifically with stopping the pass. Atlanta has allowed the second most passing completions, third-most passing attempts, most passing yards, and most touchdowns to quarterbacks this season. Drew Lock had a nice come from behind victory and gained confidence over the last week, so I’d expect him to be slinging it on Sunday afternoon for the Broncos.
Ryan Tannehill (vs. CHI): I’d rather avoid Tannehill if possible, this week. The Bears only allow 241.9 passing yards per game, just one touchdown, and very minimal rushing production to quarterbacks per game. The Titans will be without Adam Humphries, who granted is their third receiver, and the available wide outs have a tough matchup all around. Chicago has allowed the fifth-fewest receptions to receivers this year. It’s not the easiest matchup for Tannehill and the passing attack of the Titans.
Teddy Bridgewater (@ KC): The return of Christian McCaffrey for the Panthers is likely going to help this offense as a whole but might limit Bridgewater’s upside. That, plus the fact that the game is going to be played in KC, it’s a tough spot for Teddy. The Chiefs have only allowed 15 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, and a low 213 passing yards per game. I expect the Chiefs to run away with this game. Easy fade.
Chase Edmonds (vs. MIA): With Kenyan Drake not expected to play this week, we can turn to Chase Edmonds in a phenomenal matchup against the Dolphins, who are abysmal against the run. According to Football outsiders DVOA, the Dolphins are the 32nd rated rush defense in the league this year. Miami has gotten destroyed by running backs, giving up on average 21 fantasy points per game this season. While the numbers per game look good on paper, we have to remember the last two teams the Dolphins have faced: the Jets and Rams. Both of which do not have viable fantasy running backs on their roster, at this time. Expect a field day from Edmonds this week.
DeeJay Dallas (@ BUF): Chris Carson has been ruled out. Carlos Hyde has been ruled out. Travis Homer is expected to be limited. Seattle brought back a familiar face in Alex Collins this week, but it’ll be Dallas who gets a majority of the workload. Dallas faces a Bills team that allows 107.6 rushing yards per game, 23.8 rushing attempts per game, and 19.8 fantasy points per game to backs. Given the fact that Seattle has all these RB injuries, I’d expect a solid day from Deejay Dallas this week. He’s a solid FLEX option with RB2 upside.
Jonathan Taylor (vs. BAL): Taylor has struggled over the last few weeks and is now battling an injury. He should be able to play through it, but Baltimore is a tough matchup all around. Baltimore only allows 76.9 rushing yards per game, and the fewest fantasy points per game to RBs this season. On top of that, in terms of DVOA, the Ravens are the toughest unit, ranking 32nd in the league versus the run. Third string running back Jordan Wilkins got involved last week, so between Taylor, Hines, and Wilkins, it’s a rough spot for Taylor & the Colts RBs here in Week 9.
Tony Pollard (vs. PIT): Alright, this one is going to sound confusing. As of this writing, Ezekiel Elliott is not expected to play here in Week 9. Pollard is the next man up. Usually, this is a situation we would attack for fantasy. However, not this week. Three reasons. 1) Garrett Gilbert is slated to be the fourth starting quarterback for the Cowboys this year. 2) The offensive line is still banged up. 3) the most important reason, the Cowboys are 14.5-point under-dogs this week. If Elliott plays, I’d expect him to be limited and not at 100 percent. If you have alternative options, I wouldn’t be opposed to benching Zeke here either.
Jerry Jeudy & Tim Patrick (@ ATL): We talked about how bad the Falcons are against the pass when Drew Lock was mentioned. You’d have to think Jeudy is in a great spot as well as Tim Patrick, right? Atlanta is just one of the bottom five defenses in the league against the pass, and everyone should be able to take advantage of the matchup here.
Darnell Mooney (@ TEN): Here’s a name that might surprise you. Darnell Mooney is in a tremendous spot this week for the Bears. Tennessee is bleeding receiving production to receivers, and Mooney has quietly become a factor for the Bears recently. Of course, Allen Robinson is still the primary read, but Mooney gets the weaker coverage against Tennessee, who allows the third most receiving yards per game to receivers and has allowed ten receiving touchdowns this season. On top of that, Tennessee allows the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers this season. Add it all up, and Mooney is a solid flex option this week.
Emmanuel Sanders (@ TB): Okay, so Sanders is expected to return from the COVID-19 list this week, which is great. The problem is Michael Thomas is expected to return as well as the number four receiver in Marquez Callaway. I’m not worried about Callaway at all, but it is worth noting. Brees has been banged up in practice this week but is expected to play. The Buccaneers are allowing just 20.5 fantasy points per game to receivers this season and have only allowed two touchdowns to receivers all year. With Thomas expected to return, I’d suspect that Thomas will likely garner most of the target share for the Saints this week in prime time.
Mecole Hardman (vs. CAR): I expected bigger things out of Hardman while Watkins was out, and it just hasn’t happened to this point. This week, Hardman gets a middle of the road matchup against the Panthers. He’s been so inconsistent, and unless I’m desperate, I’d rather bench Hardman.
T.J. Hockenson (@ MIN): At this point, Hockenson should be every week starter for you by now. I’m fully aware most of his production has come via the touchdown, but that’s about to change for the better. Kenny Golladay is expected to miss some time, and it will be up to Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson to fill the production, along with secondary receivers. Hockenson has been as solid as they come this year, despite being touchdown dependent. The tight end position is so bad this year, so if you get any production at all, consider it a win for you.
Eric Ebron (@ DAL): I say it every week, but you can start basically anyone against the Cowboys and expect viable numbers from a fantasy perspective. Ebron is a solid start this week, as the Cowboys, who has the 25th ranked overall defensive DVOA this season.
Irv Smith (vs. DET): I just can’t trust Irv Smith this week. Smith is the 41st ranked TE on the season, and only has two games above ten fantasy points this year. The most receiving yards he’s had in a single game this year was 64, and then 55, but beyond that nothing was even remotely close. This week, he faces the Lions, who have been one of the best teams in the league versus tight ends all year.
Dalton Schultz (vs. PIT): Schultz started out the season as one of the few surprises for the Cowboys but has cooled off in recent weeks with the quarterback situation. Speaking of that, Garrett Gilbert is going to start for the Cowboys this week, and he will be the fourth quarterback they have started in nine weeks. Given the state of the Cowboys as a whole, you’re better off turning to other options instead of relying on Schultz this week.
Tennessee Titans (vs. CHI): The Bears offense, for the most part is simply not good. Their quarterbacks are below average, Montgomery is just okay, nothing special, and the offensive line isn’t anything to be excited about for the Bears. That being said, Tennessee is a home favorite, in a game with a total less than 50 points expected. I’ll take my chances with the Titans defense here.
New York Giants (vs. WAS): This game has a 43.0 total, and the Giants are on the road against the Washington Football Team. The Football Team will be starting Kyle Allen at quarterback and are coming off a bye. The Giants are not a good NFL team as a whole, but this is a solid defense to stream here in Week 9.
Indianapolis Colts (vs. BAL): I know the Colts are among the best fantasy defenses in the league, but this week they face the Ravens in a tough matchup. I’ll look elsewhere if I can.
Carolina Panthers (@ KC): This is a Simple one. Always sit DSTs versus KC.
Matt Prater (@ MIN): While Matthew Stafford is expected to play in Week 9, Kenny Golladay will remain out. The Lions might be forced to kick some extra field goals if some of their drives stall out.
Chris Boswell (@ DAL): We’ve mentioned it many times already but start all your players against the Cowboys this week. Even the kicker.
Greg Zuerlein (vs. PIT): The Cowboys are in a rough spot and are not expected to be competitive in this one. Easy fade for Greg the Leg.
Dustin Hopkins (vs. NYG): I am expecting a low scoring contest in Washington this week, and with that being said, I would bench Hopkins. Don’t expect much fantasy production here.
Drew Brees (Shoulder): Full practice, expected to play.
Andy Dalton (COVID): Ruled out this week.
Sam Darnold (Doubtful): Not expected to start.
Jimmy Garoppolo (Ankle): Placed on Injured Reserve.
Gardner Minshew (Thumb): Ruled out.
Matthew Stafford (COVID): Cleared to play, activated from the COVID-19 List.
Chris Carson (Foot): Ruled out this week.
Kenyan Drake (Ankle): Ruled out.
Miles Gaskin (Knee): Placed on IR, not expected to play for at least three weeks.
Matt Breida (Hamstring): Ruled out.
Ezekiel Elliott (Hamstring): Not expected to play after being limited in practice all week.
DeVonta Freeman (Ankle): Expected to miss this week.
Carlos Hyde (Hamstring): Ruled out.
Mark Ingram (Ankle): DNP, likely will miss this week.
Josh Jacobs (Knee): DNP, up in the air.
Christian McCaffrey (IR): Expected to return.
Jonathan Taylor (Ankle): Expected to play.
Keenan Allen (Illness): Late addition to the injury report on Saturday, questionable.
Jamison Crowder (Groin): Missed practice, questionable.
Chris Godwin (Finger): Expected to return.
Bryan Edwards (Foot): Expected to return this week.
Kenny Golladay (Hip): Ruled out.
N’Keal Harry (Concussion): Hasn’t practiced, uncertain for MNF.
T.Y. Hilton (Groin): Missed practice, likely not playing this week.
Calvin Ridley (Foot): Hasn’t practiced, unlikely to play.
Emmanuel Sanders (COVID): Expected to return.
Michael Thomas (Hamstring): Expected to return.
Sammy Watkins (Hamstring): Ruled Out.
Dawson Knox (Calf): Expected to return.
(Cover Photo: Dave Reginek/Getty Images)