Week 9 Fantasy Blueprint: AB Joins Mike Evans

Hayden Winks
·25 min read



Posted Thursday and updated Friday evening, “The Fantasy Blueprint” will get you the stats and information that actually matter for fantasy football, and it will be produced in a way that doesn’t waste our time. If you don't know what "Fantasy Usage" is, read this. If you want my best bets, they’ll be at the top on Saturday. If you need live Vegas odds, go here. If you simply just want my weekly rankings, subscribe here for $3.99 per month and use promo code WINKS10 for 10% off. If you have other questions, reach out on Twitter (@HaydenWinks).

Best Bets of Week 9

Visit our live odds page. My all-time record: 70-47-3 (59.6%).

1. Chiefs (-10.5) vs. Panthers - CAR lacks defensive talent & Teddy could be sub-100%.

2. Seahawks (-3) vs. Bills - BUF defense is injured & Allen is overrated.

3. Chargers (pick 'em) vs. Raiders - LAC upping neutral pass rate & healthier on DEF.

4. Bears vs. Titans UNDER 46.5 points - TEN missing OTs & teams could get run-heavy.

5. Saints vs. Bucs OVER 50.5 points - Both teams adding WRs & could get pass-heavy.

1. Chiefs (31.75 points, -10.5 spread) vs. CAR

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Patrick Mahomes

Fantasy Per Game: 4, Team PaAtt: 11: Team RuAtt: 15

WR44 Tyreek Hill

Efficiency outlier (9.9 YPT) as low-end WR1.

WR81 Demarcus Robinson

A WR5 dart on low volume if Sammy Watkins (Q) is out.

WR89 Mecole Hardman

Season-high 13.6 xFPs Week 8. 31-of-47 routes.

TE1 Travis Kelce

Has 2x the PPR points of the TE12 this season.

RB19 Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Season-low 9.4 xFPs Week 8. Still the 1A.

RB57 Le'Veon Bell

Week 8 snaps: Edwards-Helaire (33), Bell (17).

Updated Friday: Sammy Watkins (questionable) was limited all week. I'd guess he'd be ruled out with the Chiefs bye up next, meaning Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are in play as WR5 darts. For DFS, keep in mind that the Chiefs are projected for 3.0 more points than even the second-highest projected team on the slate.

Fantasy Rankings

Edwards-Helaire is my RB15 this week. Subscribe to Rotoworld EDGE+ here to unlock the rest of my personal weekly positional rankings (posted Wednesday) for only $3.99 per month. Use promo code: WINKS10 for 10% off.

2. Seahawks (28.75, -2.5) @ BUF

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Russell Wilson

Fantasy Per Game: 1, Team PaAtt: 9: Team RuAtt: 25

WR2 DK Metcalf

Leading WRs in air yards P/G (122) in last 4. Faces CB White. WR1 still.

WR4 Tyler Lockett

Most volatile fantasy usage week to week. WR1. BUF lit up in the slot.

TE26 Greg Olsen

Week 8 routes: Olsen (23), Will Dissly (16). Needs TDs.

RB13 DeeJay Dallas

xFPs: Week 7 (4.6), Week 8 (30.8). Potential upside RB2.

Updated Friday: With Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde ruled out, DeeJay Dallas is projected for a near three-down role. I think his play last week earned him another start despite Travis Homer now being healthy enough to play. His floor remains low, but he has plenty of upside as an RB2.

3. Bucs (28.75, -5.5) vs. NO

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Tom Brady

Fantasy Per Game: 10, Team PaAtt: 5: Team RuAtt: 23

WR24 Chris Godwin (Q)

WR2/3 usage even without AB. Boom-bust WR3 with finger injury.

WR60 Mike Evans

10.7 xFPs per game on bum ankle. Now adding AB. Vertical WR3/4.

NA Antonio Brown

Had 4-56-1 on 8 targets with Brady on just 17 routes. My top TB WR.

TE4 Rob Gronkowski

17% target share in last 4 games likely to drop. TE1/2. Needs TDs.

RB10 Leonard Fournette

21.4 & 15.7 xFPs in last 2. RoJo keeps fumbling. Upside RB2.

RB24 Ronald Jones

RB3 usage with Fournette & fumbled (again) Week 8.

Updated Friday: Chris Godwin is questionable after practicing in full on Friday. I expect him to play through finger pain on Sunday as a boom-bust WR3. Anyone projecting this receiver group is guessing, but my guess is that Antonio Brown immediately steps in as the top receiver, even if he plays 50% of the snaps. Tom Brady went out of his way to recruit him for months and is letting Brown live with him right now. Brady is getting Brown the rock, as evidenced by his 2019 Week 2 stat line of 4-56-1 on 8 targets on just 17 routes. I think Mike Evans and Godwin will be boom-bust WR3s while dealing with injuries of their own. All are too good to sit in 12-team leagues.

4. Texans (28.5, -7) @ JAX

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Deshaun Watson

Fantasy Per Game: 8, Team PaAtt: 21: Team RuAtt: 31

WR9 Brandin Cooks

Target share since Wk 5: Cooks (27%), Fuller (23%). WR2/3.

WR16 Will Fuller

3rd in air yards P/G (116) in last 4. Upside WR2.

WR41 Randall Cobb

Under 10.0 xFPs in 6-of-7 games. PPR WR5.

TE27 Darren Fells

TD-dependent TE2 if Jordan Akins (Q) misses.

RB8 David Johnson

15.0+ xFPs in last 4 games. JAX allowing 4th most carries.

Updated Friday: Jordan Akins will play after practicing in full, pushing Darren Fells out of TE2 streamer status. Before Akins' injury, these two were splitting snaps and targets as desperate touchdown-dependent TE3s. Akins' return doesn't impact Will Fuller or Brandin Cooks as upside WR2 plays. I expect Deshaun Watson to continue playing better post-BOB with more play action passing. Jacksonville's defense is obviously one to attack.

5. Vikings (28.0, -4) vs. DET

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Kirk Cousins

Fantasy Per Game: 24, Team PaAtt: 32: Team RuAtt: 10

WR21 Adam Thielen

Only had 8 air yards Week 8. Volatile WR2.

WR48 Justin Jefferson

6.7 targets, 67 air yards in last 4. Volatile WR2/3.

TE22 Irv Smith

15-of-18 Week 8 routes with low-end TE2 usage.

RB2 Dalvin Cook

My RB2 overall. DET allowing 3rd most carries (28.6).

6. Steelers (28.0, -14) @ DAL

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Ben Roethlisberger

Fantasy Per Game: 22, Team PaAtt: 15: Team RuAtt: 11

WR15 Diontae Johnson

WR1/2 usage when healthy, but PIT shouldn't pass much vs. DAL.

WR30 JuJu Smith-Schuster

Low-floor flex with Diontae on a sad 5.6 aDOT. Volume concerns.

WR31 Chase Claypool

Treated as No. 1 WR by defenses. Volatile WR3. Needs splash plays.

TE12 Eric Ebron

TD-dependent on 17% target share. TE2.

RB11 James Conner

RB1/2 usage in near bellcow role. DAL allowing most carries.

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7. Packers (27.75, -6) @ SF

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Aaron Rodgers

Fantasy Per Game: 7, Team PaAtt: 13: Team RuAtt: 16

WR1 Davante Adams

32.1, 14.3, 29.0, & 25.8 xFPs in healthy games. Should smash.

WR92 Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Allen Lazard ruled out. MVS has sub-7.5 xFPs in last two games.

TE24 Robert Tonyan

26-of-50 Week 8 routes. TD-only TE2 with Adams. SF LBs are fast.

NA Dexter Williams

Physical profile as best bet for short-yardage if Aaron Jones is out.

NA Tyler Ervin

Passing-down back who has only held gadget role. PPR RB3.

Updated Thursday: Aaron Jones likely gets activated with no other options to call up, but he could be completely scaled back if his calf isn't 100%, especially if Green Bay jumps out to a lead. He's a boom-bust RB2 in season-long leagues with a massive ceiling and a 0-point floor.

8. Falcons (27, -4) vs. DEN

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Matt Ryan

Fantasy Per Game: 15, Team PaAtt: 4: Team RuAtt: 12

WR7 Julio Jones

Top-5 WR with or without Ridley. DEN 18th vs. WRs.

WR20 Calvin Ridley (Q)

DNP Thursday (mid-foot sprain). Volatile WR1/2 with Julio.

WR75 Russell Gage

Week 8 routes: Julio (36), Gage (29), Blake (21).

TE15 Hayden Hurst

2nd in TE routes. 6.0 targets per game in last 4.

RB12 Todd Gurley

Iffy speed but 13.4+ xFPs in all 8 games. RB1/2.

Updated Friday: Calvin Ridley did not practice this week, but the team is open to keeping him active if he shows well on game day. Ridley's upside keeps him inside top-25 rankings, although the floor makes him a risky bet. I'm sure ESPN's Adam Schefter will have an actionable report before kickoff. Either way, Julio Jones is set up for a plus game at home against a defense without CB A.J. Bouye (concussion). Hayden Hurst's outlook is improved if Ridley is limited or out.

Updated Sunday: Calvin Ridley looks doubtful to play and even if he did suit up, I'd be inclined to sit him. Julio Jones projects for the most fantasy usage on the slate with Hayden Hurst, Russell Gage, Todd Gurley, and Christian Blake also candidates for an extra target or two. Gage can be fired up as a boom-bust WR4 while Hurst is firmly inside top-10 tight end rankings.

9. Chargers (26.5, -1) vs. LV

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Justin Herbert

Fantasy Per Game: 5, Team PaAtt: 8: Team RuAtt: 1

WR3 Keenan Allen

22.2 xFPs P/G in 5 healthy Herbert games. A top-5 PPR WR.

WR49 Mike Williams

Herbert can actually throw deep. Upside WR3 if LAC passes.

TE11 Hunter Henry

LAC top five in neutral pass rate in two straight. Mid-range TE1.

RB25 Justin Jackson

Inconsistent RB3 with Kelley and Pope involved. Floorless RB2/3.

RB33 Joshua Kelley

Week 8 snaps: JJ (41), Pope (25), Kelley (21).

RB48 Troymaine Pope (Q)

Was playing over Kelley in Week 8 before concussion.

Updated Friday: Troymaine Pope is doubtful, which keeps Joshua Kelley in play as a desperate RB3 play. Justin Jackson was the primary passing-game back last week while Kelley threatens for work in the red zone. Jackson is a low-upside RB2/3 play in a desperate running back landscape. Remember that the offense went from bottom-three in neutral pass rate in the first six weeks to top-five in each of the last two weeks.

Updated Sunday: Keenan Allen is battling strep throat, which could impact his play to a certain degree but isn't enough to move him out of season-long lineups. He's seen top-five usage in all games with Justin Herbert. If anything, this increases Mike Williams' and Hunter Henry's chances of a ceiling game.

10. Cardinals (26.5, -4.5) vs. MIA

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Kyler Murray

Fantasy Per Game: 2, Team PaAtt: 12: Team RuAtt: 5

WR23 DeAndre Hopkins

Seeing hardest targets possible but still a WR1.

WR42 Christian Kirk

NFL-high 97% of targets near the sideline.

WR57 Larry Fitzgerald

I'd bench him for Andy, but I'm not an NFL coach.

RB32 Chase Edmonds

Upside RB1 in bellcow role. MIA 29th in rushing EPA defense.

Updated Friday: With Kenyan Drake ruled out, expect the Arizona offense to become more pass-centric with possibly more four-receiver sets. Chase Edmonds is obviously the big winner with Drake sidelined -- he's a top-eight option in my rankings -- but Christian Kirk's target expectation goes up a tick as well. DeAndre Hopkins and Kirk are good plays despite Miami's improved secondary. It's not one to completely avoid.

11. Bills (26.25, +2.5) vs. SEA

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Josh Allen

Fantasy Per Game: 6, Team PaAtt: 17: Team RuAtt: 21

WR13 Stefon Diggs

3rd in targets per game (11.0) in last 4 weeks. SEA 32nd vs. WRs.

WR50 Cole Beasley

7.4 aDOT, 47 air yards per game. PPR WR4 while Brown battles knee.

NA John Brown

Has fallen off the map while battling knee issue. DNP Wed.

RB40 Devin Singletary

Only seeing 2.3 "high value touches" per game in last four weeks. RB3.

RB47 Zack Moss

Week 8 xFPs: Moss (14.5), Singletary (8.3). Ranking ahead of DS now.

Updated Friday: The Seahawks will get S Jamal Adams back, but No. 1 CB Shaq Griffin and slot CB Ugochukwu Amadi have been ruled out. Stefon Diggs is in line for a WR1 day with Cole Beasley getting an improved matchup inside. John Brown's floor and ceiling as a flex option is completely tied to his health. He was a full participant in each of the last two practices.

12. Titans (26.0, -5.5) vs. CHI

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Ryan Tannehill

Fantasy Per Game: 9, Team PaAtt: 26: Team RuAtt: 6

WR12 Corey Davis

WR2 usage recently but was a WR5/6 for a year.

WR22 A.J. Brown

Efficiency outlier on low-end WR2 usage. Needs Davis to quiet.

TE18 Jonnu Smith

8.3 & 2.9 xFPs in last 2 with AJB & CD balling. Floorless TE1/2.

RB9 Derrick Henry

Pacing for a nuclear 368 carries. CHI a lowkey run funnel.

13. Raiders (25.5, +1) @ LAC

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Derek Carr

Fantasy Per Game: 18, Team PaAtt: 25: Team RuAtt: 6

WR68 Nelson Agholor

Under 8.5 xFPs in 6-of-7 games. WR6 only.

WR87 Hunter Renfrow

LAC defense allowing 4th most pass attempts per game. WR6.

WR91 Henry Ruggs

Under 9.0 xFPs in all 4 "healthy" games. No-floor WR5.

TE3 Darren Waller

25% target share (2nd) in last 4 weeks. Easily my TE2 overall.

RB6 Josh Jacobs

Touch shares: Leading (55%), trailing (15%). No LT Trent Brown.

Updated Friday: Trent Brown is back on the COVID-19 list, but the Raiders at least won't be facing Joey Bosa who is listed as doubtful with a concussion. I'm expecting this game to go over with the Chargers Offense firing away with their new vertical-based, pass-heavy attack.

14. Patriots (25.0, -7.5) @ NYJ

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Cam Newton

Fantasy Per Game: 20, Team PaAtt: 30: Team RuAtt: 3

WR35 Jakobi Meyers

9.7 & 14.4 expected fantasy points in last 2.

WR99 Damiere Byrd

Ran a route on all 32 Week 8 dropbacks. Just wind sprints tho.

RB55 Damien Harris

Boom-bust RB2/3 despite NYJ being 25th vs. RBs. Needs TDs.

RB46 James White

Needs negative game script to be an RB2/3. Big favorites here.

15. Ravens (24.75, -2.5) @ IND

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Lamar Jackson

Fantasy Per Game: 11, Team PaAtt: 31: Team RuAtt: 2

WR34 Marquise Brown

6 air yards in Week 8. No-floor flex play tied to big plays only.

TE7 Mark Andrews

22% target share is a disappointment. Still a mid-range TE1.

RB34 Gus Edwards

All 17 Wk 8 touches on 1st/2nd down. IND: 4th fewest RuATT.

RB39 J.K. Dobbins

1st in YAC, broken tackles per carry, YPC. #FreeDobbins

16. Lions (24.0, +4) @ MIN

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Matthew Stafford (Q)

Fantasy Per Game: 19, Team PaAtt: 18: Team RuAtt: 26

WR37 Marvin Jones

xFPs P/G: With Kenny (7.2), without (13.4).

WR85 Marvin Hall

Should be the Kenny Golladay replacement over Cephus.

WR96 Danny Amendola

MIN 30th vs. WRs. Amendola could see WR5 usage now.

TE2 T.J. Hockenson

15.9, 11.3, & 15.2 xFPs in 3 games post-bye.

RB22 D'Andre Swift

Week 8 snaps: Swift (38/61), AP (12), KJ (11).

RB51 Adrian Peterson

LT Taylor Decker & RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai DNP Wednesday.

Updated Friday: The Lions will be without Kenny Golladay, but the Vikings ruled out three corners and remain a defense to attack in fantasy. I expect Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson to handle most targets with D'Andre Swift, Marvin Hall, and Danny Amendola has distant options in the pass game. Expect Swift's role to continue to grow as the team moves away from veteran Adrian Peterson. ... LT Taylor Decker and RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai are expected to play.

17. Saints (23.25, +5.5) @ TB

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Drew Brees

Fantasy Per Game: 14, Team PaAtt: 9: Team RuAtt: 13

NA Michael Thomas (Q)

On track to play. More WR1/2 than top-five WR1.

NA Emmanuel Sanders

Likely settles in with WR3/4 volume. TB 10th vs. WRs.

TE14 Jared Cook

Season-high 13.0 xFPs Week 8 without Thomas/Sanders.

RB1 Alvin Kamara

18.9+ xFPs in all 7 games. 126-catch pace.

Updated Friday: Emmanuel Sanders was left off the injury report and Michael Thomas (questionable) is likely to play after getting in three-straight limited practices. When he returns, I'm not expecting Thomas to see the target totals he's had in previous seasons. The Saints are running more, have a healthy Alvin Kamara, and added Emmanuel Sanders this offseason. Thomas is more WR2 than WR1 in my opinion. The matchups for both Thomas and Sanders are difficult on paper.

18. Broncos (23.0, +4) @ ATL

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Drew Lock

Fantasy Per Game: 36, Team PaAtt: 15: Team RuAtt: 20

WR47 Tim Patrick (Q)

16.0 aDOT as Denver's deep threat if healthy. Limited Wed.

WR51 Jerry Jeudy

Led Week 8 in air yards with Patrick out. WR4 without Patrick.

WR82 KJ Hamler

42-of-48 routes, all from slot. Big-play threat as WR6.

TE6 Noah Fant

At least 9.7 xFPs in all six healthy games. Upside TE1.

TE13 Albert Okwuegbunam

Only 15-of-48 routes Week 8 with Fant healthy.

RB23 Melvin Gordon

Looks worse than Lindsay on tape but still seeing RB2 usage.

RB43 Phillip Lindsay (Q)

Pure runner only. ATL: 4th fewest carries allowed per game.

Updated Friday: Phillip Lindsay is likely to play after getting in a full practice Friday. His presence lowers Melvin Gordon's outlook to RB2/3 levels. On tape, Lindsay looks more explosive and could begin to eat into Gordon's snaps, even if the team views Gordon as the better passing-down back. ... Tim Patrick is more questionable after only getting in limited practices. The Broncos' passing game is far too inconsistent to have all of these receivers be in pay in fantasy circles. Patrick has operated as the primary deep target with Jerry Jeudy as the intermediate target and KJ Hamler in the slot. Noah Fant is the only 12-team starter. Jeudy and Patrick are WR4/5 plays.

19. Colts (22.25, +2.5) vs. BAL

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Philip Rivers

Fantasy Per Game: 25, Team PaAtt: 24: Team RuAtt: 9

WR61 Zach Pascal

Full-time player with or without Hilton. Desperate WR5 play.

NA Michael Pittman

Week 8 snaps: Slot (23), wide (22). 2-WR set starter.

WR67 Marcus Johnson

Week 8 routes: Pascal (34), MJ (24), Pittman (20).

TE10 Trey Burton

Only 15-of-37 routes Week 8 but schemed open. Upside TE2.

RB28 Jonathan Taylor

Having a Trent Richardson season. BAL: 2nd fewest carries.

RB35 Nyheim Hines

2 TDs in Week 8 but only 11.9 xFPs. PPR RB3.

RB61 Jordan Wilkins

Season-high 14.1 xFPs Week 8. Better than JT?

Updated Friday: T.Y. Hilton is doubtful to play, putting Zach Pascal, Michael Pittman, and Marcus Johnson into three-receiver sets. I'm expecting Pittman to begin separating from the bunch, but targets are distributed too flatly to trust at the moment. In addition to the receivers, the Colts use three tight ends and three running backs. That's too much involvement for a team only projected for 22.25 points, the 19th most of the week. ... At running back, I'm not ranking any Colt inside my top-24. Jordan Wilkins has been better than Jonathan Taylor by any metric (including my undefeated eye test), and neither are utilized in the passing game with Nyheim Hines taking on that role. All three are no-floor, limited upside RB3 plays. Keep in mind that Baltimore wants to slow down the clock and control the game.

20. Dolphins (22.0, +4.5) @ ARI

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Tua Tagovailoa

Fantasy Per Game: NA, Team PaAtt: 28: Team RuAtt: 17

WR70 DeVante Parker

17% target share in last 4 games. Faces CB Peterson. WR3/4.

WR73 Preston Williams

Team-high 75 air yards per game in last 4. Upside WR5.

TE25 Mike Gesicki

Slot WR Ford traded improves Gesicki's outlook. Upside TE2.

NA Jordan Howard

Gaskin (IR) and Breida (DNP Wed.) leave Howard as No. 1.

Updated Friday: Cardinals CB Dre Kirkpatrick (thigh) is out, boosting Preston Williams' status as a WR5 dart throw. Expect DeVante Parker to see CB Patrick Peterson, who has played well but isn't good enough to fade for fantasy. ... The Dolphins will primarily use Jordan Howard on early downs and Patrick Laird on passing downs with Salvon Ahmad a distant third option if need be. I'd only play Howard in season-long leagues as a forgettable RB3 play. I expect Howard to see double-digit carries and goal-line work.

21. 49ers (21.75, +6) vs. GB

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Nick Mullens

Fantasy Per Game: 32, Team PaAtt: 20: Team RuAtt: 14

NA Trent Taylor

GB allowing 3rd fewest pass attempts per game.

NA Kevin White

Called up from practice squad. Could be a starter.

TE16 Ross Dwelley

Season-high 8.5 xFPs Week 8. TE2 if Reed misses.

NA Jordan Reed (Q)

Was seeing TE1/2 usage without Kittle. Upside TE2.

RB45 JaMycal Hasty

Game could be put on his back. GB: 32nd vs. RBs.

RB58 Jerick McKinnon

We're tired. He's tired. Only 10.0 xFPs Week 8.

Updated Thursday: Jordan Reed is reportedly on a snap count in his first game back, keeping him off the fantasy radar in season-long leagues. ... Expect Trent Taylor, Richie James, and Kevin White to rotate at receiver with Ross Dwelley headed for a near full-time role.

22. Football Team (21.75, -2.5) vs. NYG

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Kyle Allen

Fantasy Per Game: 26, Team PaAtt: 19: Team RuAtt: 22

WR8 Terry McLaurin

10.0 targets, 34% share in last 4 weeks. WR2.

TE21 Logan Thomas

Produced but 7.9 & 7.1 xFPs in last 2 games.

RB26 Antonio Gibson

Post-Bye Rookie Bump? Was a pure runner only.

RB36 J.D. McKissic

Could lose passing role to Gibson post-bye.

23. Jaguars (21.5, +7) vs. HOU

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Jake Luton

Fantasy Per Game: NA, Team PaAtt: 7: Team RuAtt: 32

WR19 D.J. Chark

8th in air yards P/G (111) in last 4. Luton has more arm talent.

WR53 Keelan Cole

Low-aDOT slot WR with a backup QB. No-ceiling WR5.

WR58 Laviska Shenault

16% target share and now with a backup QB.

TE23 Tyler Eifert

No OLB Whitney Mercilus, LB Benardrick McKinney for HOU.

RB7 James Robinson

xFPs P/G: With Thompson (14.9), without (23.5).

24. Panthers (21.25, +10.5) @ KC

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Teddy Bridgewater

Fantasy Per Game: 23, Team PaAtt: 27: Team RuAtt: 24

WR26 Robby Anderson

29% target share in last 4 weeks. KC 3rd vs. WRs. WR2/3.

WR40 D.J. Moore

Career-high 10.5 YPT hiding WR3/4 usage. Sell?

WR46 Curtis Samuel

Still only a 19% target share in last 4. WR5 without carries.

NA Christian McCaffrey

Should return but maybe with 15% less usage. RB1.

Updated Sunday: There's reports that Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis will rotate series in Week 9. It's possible, and even if it's not that big of a rotation, CMC's workload will not be what it was in recent seasons. McCaffrey is more of a mid-range RB1 than an elite one with Davis proving capable as a mix-in option on early downs or third downs. The Panthers' addition of Robby Anderson also negatively impacts CMC.

25. Bears (20.5, +5.5) @ TEN

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Nick Foles

Fantasy Per Game: 28, Team PaAtt: 3: Team RuAtt: 29

WR18 Allen Robinson

102 air yards P/G as low-end WR1 despite QB.

WR56 Darnell Mooney

105 air yards per game in last 4. No-floor WR5.

WR59 Anthony Miller

Season-high 18.0 xFPs in Week 8. Still a WR5/6.

TE9 Jimmy Graham

TE1/2 usage. TD-dependent in horrible offense.

RB5 David Montgomery

Knock his speed all you want. RB1 usage. RB2.

26. Giants (19.25, +2.5) @ WAS

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Daniel Jones

Fantasy Per Game: 30, Team PaAtt: 22: Team RuAtt: 30

WR14 Sterling Shepard

The No. 1 for NYG. WAS: 1st vs. WRs on 2nd fewest PaATT.

WR38 Darius Slayton

5.7 & 14.0 xFPs in 2 games with Shepard back.

TE8 Evan Engram

3rd in routes. Usage trending up. Low-end TE1.

RB50 Wayne Gallman

14.3 & 9.9 xFPs in two games without Freeman.

Updated Friday: Devonta Freeman was ruled out, making Wayne Gallman an RB3/4 candidate. Unfortunately, the Giants stink (projected for just 19.25 points) and Dion Lewis and Alfred Morris were involved last week. You know what you're getting into if you start a Giants back in fantasy post-Saquon. ... Golden Tate is being disciplined in practice, even seeing reps on the scout team this week after showing his frustrations last game. He can be dropped in most fantasy leagues, especially with Sterling Shepard taking over as the No. 1 receiver. Darius Slayton must be downgraded with Shepard back in the mix and Evan Engram's role finally growing.

27. Jets (17.5, +7.5) vs. NE

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Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Sam Darnold

Fantasy Per Game: 34, Team PaAtt: 23: Team RuAtt: 27

WR5 Jamison Crowder (Q)

Removed Weeks 7-8 & groins can linger. Braxton Berrios is the backup.

WR62 Denzel Mims

WR5/6 usage since returning. NE allowing fewest PaATTs.

RB42 Lamical Perine

Usage hasn't improved beyond RB3/4 levels.

28. Cowboys (14.0, +14) vs. PIT

DALPIT9
DALPIT9
DAL9
DAL9


Fantasy Usage (Link)

Context

Cooper Rush (?)

Fantasy Per Game: NA, Team PaAtt: NA: Team RuAtt: NA

WR25 CeeDee Lamb

xFPs per game: With Dak (14.7), without (9.0). WR4.

WR45 Amari Cooper

xFPs per game: With Dak (17.9), without (8.8). WR3/4.

WR54 Michael Gallup

2nd in targets near the sideline (94%). WR5.

TE20 Dalton Schultz

TE2 usage as a true backup-level talent with backup QB.

RB14 Ezekiel Elliott

xFPs P/G: Weeks 1-6 (24.2), Weeks 7-8 (12.1). Low-end RB2.

Updated Sunday: Ezekiel Elliott could be limited (or potentially ruled out), making him a dicey season-long play. Even with a full workload, Zeke was trending towards RB2 land given the Cowboys' laughable 14-point team projection. Tony Pollard has RB2/3 appeal only if Zeke is ruled out. I don't trust him in this offense against the league's best defense. His ceiling is capped.

Charts of the Week

Week9Points
Week9Points

The Chiefs are projected for 3.0 more points than the second highest projected team of the week while the Cowboys project for 3.0 fewer points than the Jets. There’s a healthy Tier 2 of offenses this week with the Cardinals standing out as a high-paced offense. It’s good to see the Texans back after a slow first four weeks. Schedules matter.

PaAtt9
PaAtt9

I like looking at projected pass attempts even more than opponent efficiency data because it factors in pace, game script, and even handles some of the efficiency, too. This chart shows how much more a team is expected to pass this week compared to their seasonal averages. With the Seahawks headed to Buffalo, we should expect Josh Allen to pass even more. The same can be said for the Dolphins, Vikings, and Raiders.

Passing9
Passing9

There are a dozen teams in the “Eruption Spot” quadrant, making this look like a rebound week for the passing game after weather slowed offenses down in Week 8. The Texans passing offense gets the biggest upgrade based on opponent.

RuAtt9
RuAtt9

The Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, and Saints are the offenses that project for fewer carries than usual based on opponent. The Raiders and Chargers defenses allow a higher percentage of passes than runs. With the Chargers deploying three running backs right now, I’d look elsewhere if possible.

Rushing9
Rushing9

Chase Edmonds should have a near every-down role as a plus-receiver out of the backfield, and he’s also in line for a reasonable rushing day with the Dolphins pushing the Cardinals rushing matchup into the “Eruption Spot” quadrant. Chase is a borderline top-five option if Kenyan Drake is ultimately ruled out.

NeutralPass9
NeutralPass9

Like I wrote last week, the Chargers Offense has done a 180-degree turn in the last two weeks, and it’s for the better. The Chargers used to be in the bottom-three in neutral pass rate, but they’ve been top-five in each of the last two weeks because it’s what fits their personnel best. Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen are borderline top-five options at their respective positions, and Hunter Henry and Mike Williams are very much in play as 12-team starters.

Defenses9
Defenses9

The Steelers might have the highest projected defensive score of the decade against the Cowboys backups. Behind them, Washington, Houston, New York (Giants), Green Bay, and New England are reasonable defensive options based on projected sack rate and points allowed.