The season continues to chug along, SanFran remains the lone undefeated team and I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Miami looked like a real team, say what? The Giants had Dallas on their heels until a little black cat and maybe some voodoo magic got to them. Russell Wilson should only be contending with CMC for MVP and anyone who says Mahommes over those 2 guys loses the right to talk football. All in all, another glorious week for football. Let’s dive into the top things you need to be aware of leaving week 9 and preparing for week 10. The below are in no particular order of importance.
Da Bears – No receiver on this Bears team is playable in fantasy. Trubisky is regressing back to a freshman in college and Nagy can’t seem to figure it out. Mitch is averaging 135 yards PER GAME. That’s not a lot to go around and his TDs also sit at 5. Defenses know this, they know he can’t throw, so while Montgomery feels juicy, he’s not. Shut down the bears offense in fantasy for the rest of the season unless by the grace of god there is a renaissance but that probably won’t happen.
Pascal Time Babayy – It’s Zach Pascal time in Indy, I’ve wrote about my love for this kid before and with Hilton going down for the next 3 weeks at least, and their schedule looking favorable for the next 4 weeks, he will slot in nicely as a WR2 in fantasy rosters. Yes, Jacoby being banged up may limit his ceiling, but here’s some stat knowledge for ya – when Hilton missed week 4, Pascal saw the majority of snaps and targets and netted out with a nice 4-72 line, not great but solid for early season. Then even with Hilton in during week 7, Pascal saw the same split in targets but managed 6-106-2, impressive with TY playing opposite him. Then finally, this past week with TY out, he saw 5-76-1. Jacoby is trusting him more, he has talent, and he has the favorable situation. I like him.
Sneaky Oakland – Oakland can be ignored no longer in my opinion. A surprisingly decent team despite losing who was supposed to be their best wide-out, losing some defensive pieces, and everyone just not feeling confident about the situation. Derek Carr has turned into one of the most accurate passers this season, completing 71% of passes. He’s also protecting the ball well, only 4 picks on the season which is a big improvement. But, there are 2 things attributing to his success, the first being that his offensive line is protecting him. He’s been sacked twice in the past 5 games, that’s amazing considering the upcoming defensive lines they’re facing aren’t imposing so clean pockets for him. The second biggest thing is that Josh Jacobs is the real deal; averaging 4.9 per carry, has broken 120 yards on the ground in 3 of the last 5 games, he is dominant and remember how I said they aren’t facing imposing d-lines? He’s going to feast. Last tidbit of Raiders love – Hunter Renfrow – all of a sudden he’s Carr’s best target and has produced a TD in the last 2 games while having amazing efficiency, he’s a solid WR2/Flex play if you are in some bye week trouble.
Melvin Gordon Is Alive? – He’s back, he had a day in a game where the Chargers should have been behind but his line of 20-80-2 on the ground and a little sprinkle of air yards certainly showed he was back in the groove. We knew this was coming though, he just needed time. He’s facing some favorable defensive lines in the next 2 weeks but after that, suspect. So, I don’t personally think this kind of production will sustain into the fantasy playoffs, specifically because of how beat up that offensive line is and who they play during that time period, but, for the next 2 weeks, you may have a stud on your hands. Ekeler is still a viable flex play no matter what, just keep that in mind.
Barkley, It’s a No From Me Dog – I’m crazy, right? Definitely. But, I don’t know how much I trust Barkley. If you have, you probably got him in the top 3 picks so you have to be immensely dissappointed with production so far this season, and you have every right to be. How are you going to come out of that game averaging 2 yards per carry with 28 on the ground? The only thing that saved his fantasy night was the fact that he was the number 1 receiver for Daniel Jones cause he was running for his life all night and needed the outlet. Now, they have a favorable schedule during the fantasy playoffs but right before that, it gets tough. Also, if DJ can’t throw the ball, don’t expect a lot out of him.
Legion of Boom, Offensive Edition – Wow oh wow. Now, I know it was against the Bucs who don’t have the greatest passing defense, but they do have a legit run defense. Russell Wilson; 378 in the air for 5 TDs. Chris Carson; 16 carries for 105. Tyler Lockett; 13-152-2. DK Metcalf; 6-123-1. This offense is crazy. They also add Josh Gordon to the mix, WHAT? This team is only going to get better and more dangerous, they are serious contenders in the NFC, I think they should represent them in the Super Bowl. They have a tough schedule the remainder of the season so I don’t expect this kind of game to happen again but I don’t think you can sit any of their offensive starters (Wilson, Lockett, Carson, Metcalf) and we have to see how Gordon figures into this.
Foles Takes Over – Foles was declared the starter again in Jacksonville after a poor performance by Minshew, which I don’t blame him for. He has played very well and honestly, if I was Jacksonville, I may have rode with the youngster. But, seriously, Jacksonville has shown that they have young talent at their wide receiver position and Fournette looks really good this year, they just need a QB to put it all together consistently and I’m not entirely sure it’s Foles. He’s been spotty in the past. Yes, he had a dream run for Philly, but that’s not the norm for him. His saving grace and yours in fantasy is that they play weak air defenses the rest of the season and during the fantasy playoffs so I think Chark may be a sit next week while we see what Foles has, but after that he’s an auto-start. Conley is situational.
Tanne-going-back-down-Hill – I take back what I said in past articles, my confidence in him is back to low-levels. Carolina got absolutely SMOKED by SanFran and I was expecting Tennessee do something to that level, not entirely because they aren’t SanFran, but they have good pieces like SanFran – AJ Brown, Corey Davis, Jonnu, Derrick Henry – anddd they shit the bed, behind 2 picks by Tanney. I don’t know what to do here from a fantasy perspective. They have so much talent at WR, but they’re just so inconsistent, the QB change didn’t seem to bring any consistency. I will say Henry is still probably a weekly starter but the final week of playoffs, they have the Saints, who’s defense has been very good so beware.
Jordan Howard SZN – I am so happy that he is having a successful season with Philly. I thought Chicago handled him so poorly and he got done dirty by them. To have him go 19-82-1 on the ground against a “vaunted” defense in a revenge game was magical. He’s averagine 4.4 per carry, has 7 TDs on the season and has not been usurped by Miles Sanders like many thought he’d be. Before Sunday night, I woulda said that his next 2 games are tough, but the Patriots got torched in the power run game so I think he can succeed there and the fantasy playoffs schedule looks juicy with with games against the Cowboys, Giants, Dolphins, and Redskins. Jordan Howard is a weekly starter and the Eagles may ride him to success as Wentz has been looking solid.
Singletar-irly Rushing – Devin Singletary made his true debut this weekend. All season, when he’s healthy, he was used as a change of pace back and he did it well, often getting great yardage on very small touches. Well, the Bills let him loose this weekend and it worked. 20-95-1 on the ground, 3-45 in the air and had the second most targets on the team. He’s a young, explosive back and that Buffalo o-line is good enough to give him wholes. There’s always the worry that Father Time will step in (Frank Gore) but this felt like a “passing of the torch” game, especially with Gore going out of way to make sure Adrian Peterson said hello and got introduced to Singletary. The Bills have the 11th ranked rushing offense and if Singletary becomes the true featured back, he’ll benefit. Couple that with their schedule has a mix of poor to moderate rush defenses, he can prove to be a huge value, just pay attention to his usage.