Welcome to November. Week 9 will see all teams reach the half way point of the regular season of what’s promising to be a wild run home to the playoffs. NFL fantasy tips:
The injuries are also starting to add up, particularly those who were in nice matchups this week: Rookie sensation Deshaun Watson joins a host of all pros on the IR this week; Jordan Reed is ruled out (no surprise); Pierre Garcon is done for the year; and Jameis Winson and Cam Newton are both a bit dinged up. Throw in 6 teams on the bye (including New England and Pittsburgh) and you have to ask, “Who’s left?” Let’s take a look at some Week 9 plays…
Russell Wilson ($8,600) is single-handedly keeping the Seahawks in contention…and now he gets an all pro left tackle to help his cause. If they can get the run game going, the read option will be back in play which raises his floor even higher.
Drew Brees ($8,400) is in a dream spot this week. At home vs the Bucs, who even at full strength have been bad (actually the worst) against the pass, they will be without starting cornerback Brent Grimes. Ignore the lack of TDs for Brees, positive regression is coming.
Alex Smith ($7,800) will allow you to save a few dollars while still giving you a potentially top score. He draws the Cowboys, who also give up tons of points to opposing QBs. 16 TDs and no interceptions for Smith. Wow.
Kareem Hunt ($9,100) has gone 5 straight games without scoring a TD, but has amassed over 100 total yards in each of those games aside from last week’s game vs Denver. I say he gets back on the TD train this week against the Cowboys. The volume will be there and in a game with an implied total of over 50pts, he should be in the thick of things for the Chiefs.
Mark Ingram ($8,000) is certainly making the most of the situation now that Adrian Peterson is gone. Not only is he getting the rushing yardage and TD opportunities, he has 15 receptions over his last 3 games. The Saints are heavy home favourites, so Ingram seems like a lock.
Kenyan Drake ($4,500) is my pick of the Dolphins run game sans Jay Ajayi. Drake should get the chance to be the lead back with Damien Williams coming in as the change of pace guy. Game flow could determine the fate of Drake, but against a pourous Oakland run D, I’ll go with the guy slated to get early down touches and hope he makes the most of his opportunities.
Michael Thomas ($7,700). As mentioned above, Tampa Bay is both bad and banged up in the defensive secondary. Thomas is averaging nearly 9 targets per game and is likely to see some red zone opportunities. I don’t have an issue using all these Saints in tournaments, but will probably end up with Ingram OR Thomas in cash games.
Devin Funchess ($6,200) is surely priced too cheaply now that Kelvin Benjamin has moved on. Even with Benjamin on the team Funchess was being targeted 7 times per game and was a solid red zone option. Against division rival Atlanta, he’s an enticing play and one whose price is sure to rise in the coming weeks.
TY Hilton ($6,700) is another moderately priced WR poised to put up big numbers. The Texans just gor torched by a variety of Seahawks, but Hilton is the primary guy in Indy so should see a fair few targets this weekend. He’s coming off games vs two pretty good pass defenses so don’t let his recent bad form sway you.
Jimmy Graham ($6,300) is getting more and more involved in Seattle’s passing attack. An early season ankle injury seems to be behind him. 4 TDs in his lst 3 games looks nice, but he’s still due for a breakout in terms of yardage and receptions. The Redskins have been good vs wideouts this year, but terrible vs TEs. The Russ and Jimmy show is in play this week.
I’m going to fade the chalky defenses this week (Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston) and go a bit off the board with min-priced Indianapolis ($4,000) and Arizona ($4,900). Deshaun Watson’s loss throws the whole Texan offense into limbo and they’re on the road for the 2nd consecutive week, while Arizona is coming off a bye and should be OK to rebound vs a 49er team with QB issues of its own.
Be sure to check injury updates and good luck!