Week 9 looks like it will be the last week without Drew Brees leading the Saints offense as he set to return after their bye this week. There also seems to be progress for Mahomes, Thielen and Davante Adams on their way back from injury. Even if they do not play this week we are getting closer to more fantasy and NFL relevant players returning to the field, which make this game much more fun.
Game of the Week: New England @ Baltimore (NE -3.5)
The Sunday night game is the obvious choice here, as Sunday Night Football continues to have more interesting match ups than what we have seen on Monday night. The New England defense has been unreal for fantasy and looks like one the best defenses the NFL has seen in some time. This week they face different challenge with the dual threat of Lamar Jackson leading the Ravens’ offensive attack.
Players to Watch: Lamar Jackson, Julian Edelman, Mark Andrews, Tom Brady
Fantasy Football X Factors: Marquise Brown, Sony Michel, The Entire Patriot Defense
Prediction for Winner: Patriots to win and cover. The Patriots’ defense is unreal at this point. If any team is going to contain Lamar Jackson this is the team. It is hard to imagine picking against them until I see a team give me a reason to do so.
Minnesota @ Kansas City (MIN -2)
Even with Mahomes progressing it seems like there will be another week with Matt Moore leading this offense. While obviously a step down from Mahomes, Moore showed he can keep the Chiefs’ offense respectable and their weapons still fantasy relevant. Kirk Cousins on the other hand came back to earth after a few games of high production. Kansas City is only 1 game up on Oakland in the loss column while the Vikings are looking to keep pace with the Packers.
Players to Watch: Dalvin Cook, Tyreke Hill, Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs
Fantasy Football X Factors: Adam Thielen, Matt Moore, Kirk Cousins
Prediction for Winner: Vikings to win and cover. Another KC loss without Mahomes will keep the AFC West surprising in play for a little while longer. Running the ball against the Chiefs seems to be the recipe teams are using and having Dalvin Cook makes that a great game plan for the Vikings,
Detroit @ Oakland (Oak -2)
This match up feels like the loser could have their playoff hopes crushed. The AFC does have less teams that seem legitimate Wild Cad contenders, while another lost of the Lions will put them in a hole they likely can’t dig themselves out of. Stafford is in the midst of a great bounce back season after a down year last year. The Raiders meanwhile have shown they can put up points, especially when Tyrell Williams is healthy. Makes you wonder what this offense could have looked like with Antonio Brown.
Players to Watch: Matt Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller
Fantasy Football X Factors: Lions’ RBs, Marvin Jones, Tyrell Williams
Prediction for Winner: Oakland to win and cover. With 2 teams that are pretty evenly matched I prefer the west coast team playing at home. This game should be competitive with the margin of victor likely being a FG.
New York Jets @ Miami (NYJ -3)
This game is interesting mostly to see if Miami actually tries to win. Last week they started off strong, but then not scoring after the 1st quarter. Miami looks like they try to find new ways to keep from winning as they work at getting the top pick in the draft. They also continued their collection of draft picks by trading away Kenyon Drake. The Jets are hoping their offense can get back on track against Miami. The Jets are headed into a softer spot in their schedule so the offense looking good here will let us know if their players will be relevant as teams are fighting for a spot in the fantasy playoffs.
Players to Watch: LeVeon Bell, Mark Walton, Robby Anderson, Davante Parker
Fantasy Football X Factors: Sam Darnold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Herndon
Prediction for Winner: Jets to win and cover. The Dolphins don’t seem to be trying to win and this is probably the smallest spread they will see the rest of the season. If the Jets’ offense doesn’t get back on track here then this really is a lost season for them.