Six more byes this week. The teams resting Week 9 are pretty big time as well when it comes to fantasy. Ready for who you are without this week?
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, LaGarrette Blount, Julian Edelman, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, A.J. Green, Carson Palmer, David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Jordan Howard, Alshon Jeffrey, Jamison Crowder, Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed.
Got all that? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
EXPERT OF THE WEEK: DUNTON
His RB starts of DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte alone were solid plays, but Crabtree showed he could put up a ton of points even when he wasn’t scoring touchdowns. The same could be said for Davante Adams, who dropped 19 without seeing the end zone. Despite some of our experts feeling that the Lions porous pass defense was the prime opportunity for Osweiler and Nuk to finally breakout, Dunton told you he was a bust last week and his eight points from the WR1 slot showed just that.
QB-Aaron Rodgers-It seems weird for me to have to tell you to put Aaron in your lineup but a game against the Colts may be just what Rodgers owners need to back up last week’s performance. Rodgers seems to have found a favorite target in Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson seems to be getting better each week. All systems go on A Aron.
RB-Jay Ajayi-Ajayi is coming off of back to back 200-yard games and then a bye. What a great time for a bye to rest his legs. Now he takes on the Jets who have been anything but a dominant defense this year. 200 yards for a 3rd week is highly unlikely but I still expect a strong week from the Dolphins’ RB.
WR-Mike Evans-As a Bucs fan the short week division game scares me. As an Evans’ owner it is everything the Bucs need. Evans is going to get a great number of targets and as long as Winston can minimize the INTs and hit Evans for some solid gains, Evans should have a big game this Thursday.
QB-Cam Newton-Cam has had a rough year, and I am not talking about the late hits and constant beatings he is taking. He has missed a ton of open throws that he made last year and the hits have gotten in his head about his running game. The tough Rams D is not a good recipe for success this week.
RB-Latavius Murray-The Raiders have been yo-yoing Murray’s carries this year and the matchup against the Broncos D doesn’t help. I think this game may be too big for the young Raiders and am leary of any of the Raiders offensive weapons. I think this week is a learning curve week for Oakland, they need to prove they are ready for the primetime slot, and eventually they will be, just not this week.
QB- Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have a home match up against the Saints this weekend. It seems crazy to say Kaepernick is a start this week but with two weeks to prepare for the awful Saints defense he could put up some good numbers this week.
RB- Charcandrick West should have a monster game at home against Jacksonville this weekend if he gets the start. Seems like Kansas City just plugs in running backs and they do well.
WR- Tyrell Williams could be Philip Rivers healthiest receiver on Sunday. He should see a bunch of targets at home against The titans
QB-Derek Carr had one of his best games ever last week, I have a feeling it won’t be anything like that this weekend against a super stingy Denver defense.
WR- Jeremy Maclin seems to be disappearing in an offense that loves to run the ball. I think most of the fantasy points in this game will come from the running backs.
QB – Colin Kaepernick: With Brady on a bye, and Stafford(@Minnesota) and Carr(vs.Denver) both having unfavorable matchups this week, many fantasy owners will be looking for a one week fill in at quarterback. Look no further than San Fransisco and Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick still isn’t a good real life QB, but facing a Saints defense giving up over 17 points a game to opposing quarterbacks that just made Nick Foles look good, Kaep is a top ten play this week.
RB- Kenneth Dixon: Ravens coaches have been wanting to get this explosive rookie more work since the season began, but a minor knee injury kept him out a few weeks, and Terrance West ran away with the job. After a subpar performance by West in week 7 and now coming off a bye week, I expect the Ravens coaching staff to get Dixon involved more in week 9. I still think West gets work too, but Dixon makes for a great flex play at the thinnest position in fantasy.
WR- Jeremy Maclin: Alex Smith might be the most cautious quarterback in the NFL, and while that is good for the Chiefs, it’s not always good for Maclin. This week Alex Smith(concussion) is out and will be replaced by Nick Foles. Foles is not a great quarterback, but he isn’t afraid to take some shots downfield. That is great news for Maclin owners who don’t care if three of those shots are intercepted as long as one or two connect. I expect a big day for Maclin, and owners who have been patient with him to this point will be rewarded with a top 15 WR.
QB – Derek Carr: Carr is having an MVP caliber season so far and the Raiders are 6-2, but this week they get a divisional matchup with Denver and their “No Fly Zone” defense. This game is being played at The Black Hole, but Denver’s defense has been a black hole for opposing quarterbacks in fantasy. The Raiders committed 24 penalties last week at Tampa, and even if that number is cut in half, Denver will be able to take advantage and get after Carr. Carr will be under pressure all day and should remain on your fantasy bench.
RB – Frank Gore: The Indianapolis Colts are one of the biggest disappointments of the NFL season at the halfway mark. Their offensive line is one of the worst in football, and they get to face the number one rushing defense in the NFL this week. Add to that they will have to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and a Packers offense finally finding its groove, and the game flow suggests they won’t be able to run the ball much this week. With the state of running backs in fantasy right now it will be hard to bench Gore, but if you have the depth of grabbed Tim Hightower or Antone Smith off waivers, keep Gore out of your lineups this week.
WR – Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree – As with Derek Carr, these two wide receivers have a terrible matchup going against the league’s best secondary in Denver Broncos. I know Crabtree has been a touchdown machine and Cooper has been on fire the past few weeks, but I expect this defense to cool them off quickly and would try to stay away from them for this week.
QB: Jameis Winston. Last time he faced the Falcons, he threw for 281 and four touchdowns. The Falcons are still the worst in QB points allowed, tied atop the leaderboard with 19 touchdowns allowed. Winston should do just fine this week, and while he may not find the end zone four times, he is still a quality replacement with all of the byes and injuries this week.
RB: The Saints RB situation is a mess, but if they declare either Tim Hightower or Mark Ingram the bell cow officially, either are a strong play against fantasy’s worst rush defense. That makes Carlos Hyde a strong play against fantasy’s second worst defense.
WR: Start Jarvis Landry and hope the Jets haven’t come to their senses and bench Revis Island. This guy is making every receiver look like a superstar.
TE: The Lions have the worst pass defense in fantasy against TEs, but I don’t know that I trust this offense this week, even though the world loves Kyle Rudolph as a must start. I think Antonio Gates has a big week against Tennessee.
Def: Chiefs. The Jaguars and Blake Bortles are not a threat.
QB: I think Derek Carr will perform better than expected, though definitely not up to his MVP caliber expectations he has put upon himself. I think the MNF game has two sits. Tyrod Taylor is going to struggle against a Seahawks defense that has allowed just five touchdowns this season through the air. And Russell Wilson just didn’t look healthy against that porous Saints defense.
RB: The Carolina Panthers have allowed just three rushing touchdowns all year. Todd Gurley has looked like half the rookie he was. It’s tough to find better options with what’s out there this week, but I think he is in for a long day.
WR: Allen Robinson has been a bit disappointing this year, but it is in large part because Blake Bortles is greatly overrated. He is great for fantasy, but only when his team is down 30 points in the fourth quarter. This week, in Arrowhead, the Chiefs should smother that offense.
TE: Coby Fleener has a good matchup against the 49ers defense who are middle of the road against TEs. That’s why people will realize he is a total bust, as his diminishing snap counts show.
Def: Jets. This team is a mess. Great second half against a horrid Browns team last week, but they are still to inconsistent to trust.