Week 9 Matchups - Fantasy Football Starts and Sits

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Welcome to our Week 9 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in so check back often.

I'll be on Reddit each Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to answer all your start/sit questions as well. You can also reach me directly on Twitter @ChrisMangano if you can't wait.

Teams on bye: Bears, Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots, Steelers. Let's get to the Week 9 matchups!

Editor's note: Our friends at DraftEasy are giving you a FREE shot to win $50. Just pick four correct NFL player matchups and win! Try It Now!

 

Week 9 NFL Matchups - 1:00 PM ET Games

Important note and credits about data used in this article:

  • All snap counts taken from Football Outsiders. Adjusted line yards also taken from Football outsiders. You can read more here.
  • Success rate is taken from Sharp Football Stats (Warren Sharp). You can read more about it here.
  • Wide receiver snap percentages and corner grades/stats are taken from Pro Football Focus.

 

Colts at Texans

Matchups We Love:

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)
Hilton has struggled without quarterback Andrew Luck, but has seen seven or more targets in four of the last six and is in a great spot against a Texans pass defense that is allowing 1.89 PPR points per target. Hilton lines up all over the field, so he will get chances against a weak Texans secondary.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Frank Gore (RB, IND) / Marlon Mack (RB, IND)
While Mack has seen an increase in usage, Gore has still out-touched him in every game but one. They draw a tough matchup against a Texans defense that ranks fifth in adjusted line yards, fourth in yards per attempt and has held five running backs to weekly finishes of 25th or worse. Even while ceding 41 points to Seattle last week, they limited their RBs to less than 10 yards on the ground total. Gore and Mack should both be considered flex plays in a tough spot.

 

Other Matchups: 

Jacoby Brissett (QB, IND) has filled in well for Andrew Luck and is coming off a 233-yard, two-touchdown effort against the Bengals. The Texans defense is hurting, and have given up three top-four scoring weeks in their last five games, and just got torched by Russell Wilson. Brissett can be considered a high-end QB2 in this matchup.

Donte Moncrief (WR, IND) and Kamar Aiken (WR, IND) have each had 12 targets over the last three games, but Aiken out-targeted Moncrief five to one on Sunday. Moncrief plays primarily outside which is still a good spot, while Aiken plays from the slot and gets a great matchup against the Texans slot corners allowing 2.06 PPR points per target. Aiken could be a low-end flex play in deep PPR formats, while Moncrief should likely be avoided.

Jack Doyle (TE, IND) is coming off a monster 12 catch, 121 yard, one touchdown game and continues to be Jacoby Brissett's number one target. The Texans are just an okay matchup, ranking eighth in success rate and 19th in yards per attempt. They have allowed three top-three tight end finishes, however. Doyle has moved into weekly low-end TE1 territory.

With the devastating loss of DeShaun Watson (QB, HOU) for the season to an ACL injury suffered in practice, Tom Savage (QB, HOU) will be thrust back into the starting role after failing to make it past halftime in Week 1. The Colts present a fairly easy first test for Savage, as they rank 31st in yards per game and 18th in touchdown percentage. Five out of seven quarterbacks to face them have finished inside the top-12, and no quarterback has finished worse than 14th. Vontae Davis is out again, making for an even easier matchup. While Savage isn't likely to finish as a top-12 or even a top-14 quarterback, the matchup gives him some low-end QB2 value.

Lamar Miller (RB, HOU) handled almost all of the running back work coming out of the team's bye, getting 21 carries and three targets in a shootout against the Seahawks. The Colts rank 18th in adjusted line yards and 16th in yards per attempt, and have allowed five top-13 scoring weeks to running backs. Unfortunately, without Watson under center to keep defenses honest, Miller may face more stacked boxes and will get less chances in the red-zone. Even in a good matchup with the promise of high usage, Miller has to be considered nothing more than a RB2.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU) is in a good spot against the Colts outside corners who are allowing 1.51 PPR points per target. Unfortunately Hopkins gets a big downgrade with Savage at quarterback, though it should be noted he was Savage's favorite target in the two games he started last year. Even in a good matchup, Hopkins has to be viewed as a WR2 unless we see big improvement from Savage. Will Fuller (WR, HOU) likely takes a bigger hit than Hopkins as his big-play threat will be neutralized. While the matchup is good, Fuller should likely be viewed as a low-end WR3.

Ryan Griffin (TE, HOU) out-snapped Stephen Anderson (TE, HOU) 65 to 11, but each saw just two targets. Anderson could see his snap count increase, but it'd be best for fantasy owners if one of these tight ends was the team's preferred pass-catching target. The Colts rank 23rd in success rate against, and 24th in yards per attempt on throws to the position, and have given up three top-12 weeks. Both Griffin and Anderson are tough to trust at the moment and neither can be considered more than a TE2, though we'd prefer Griffin.

 

Bengals at Jaguars

Matchups We Love:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)
Ugh, it hurts to type this. Week 8 was supposed to be Mixon's coming out party but here we are, still waiting. The Jaguars run defense has been awful this year ranking 31st in both adjusted line yards and yards per attempt. They did make a move for Marcell Dareus at the trade deadline, however, and he could be a boost to this run-stopping unit. Even in a plus matchup, Mixon can't be considered more than a RB2 based on what we've seen so far.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)
Dalton, and the rest of the Bengals passing attack, draws the dreaded Jaguars matchup this week. The Jaguars rank first in yards per game allowed, touchdown percentage against and sack rate. No quarterback has a better finish than QB19 against them and that shouldn't change this week. Dalton is a low-end QB2 play at best.

Giovani Bernard (RB, CIN)
Bernard saw just two carries and two targets in Week 8 and is barely a fantasy asset at the moment outside of very deep PPR formats. The Jaguars are good against pass catching backs ranking 18th in success rate and ninth in yards per attempt. Gio is a deep league, PPR flex play dart throw at best.

A.J. Green (WR, CIN)
Green is a stud, but draws the dreaded Jaguars matchup. The Jaguars outside tandem of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye have allowed just 477 yards and zero touchdowns on the season, and are giving up 0.97 PPR points per target. You can't bench Green but owners should temper expectations.

Tyler Kroft (TE, CIN)
Since Tyler Eifert's injury in Week 2, Kroft ranks second on the Bengals in targets. While this gives him a nice floor, his ceiling will be limited against a Jaguars defense that ranks 10th in success rate against and fourth in yards per attempt. They have yet to give up a top-12 tight end finish over their last five games. Kroft is in the TE2 range.

Blake Bortles (QB, JAC)
Bortles has been a nice QB2, streaming option this year, but will face a tough test against a Bengals defense that ranks fourth in yards per game allowed, sixth in sack rate, and 11th in touchdown percentage against. They have also allowed just one QB finish better than 15th in their last four games. Bortles is a low-end QB2 play.

Marqise Lee (WR, JAC)
Lee has 16 targets over the last two games but will find things tough against the Bengals outside corners who are allowing just 1.16 PPR points per target and have given up two touchdowns total on the season. Despite Dede Westbrook (WR, JAC) coming off IR, Lee should continue to be the team's number one target but can't be considered more than a WR3 in a tough matchup.

 

Other Matchups: 

Brandon LaFell (WR, CIN) has assumed the number two role behind Green and gets the "better" matchup out of the slot against the Jaguars slot corners who are allowing 1.4 PPR points per target. LaFell has seen 12 targets over the last two weeks and makes for a low-end flex play in PPR formats.

Leonard Fournette (RB, JAC) looks set to return from the ankle injury that kept him out one week and he should be ready against a Bengals defense that ranks 27th in adjusted line yards but 10th in yards per attempt. They have allowed back-to-back top-10 finishes and Fournette could make it three straight. He is a weekly must start.

Allen Hurns (WR, JAC) draws an OK matchup out of the slot against Bengals corners who are allowing 1.6 PPR points per target and have given up two touchdowns. Hurns led the team in targets in Week 8 after seeing just three each of the previous two weeks. He is a solid flex play in a good matchup.

Marcedes Lewis (TE, JAC) has seen just seven targets over the last three games but gets a great matchup against a Bengals defense that ranks 31st in success rate and 29th in yards per attempt. They've allowed three, top-12 tight end finishes on the season. Lewis offers streaming value in two-tight end formats.

 

Buccaneers at Saints

Matchups We Love:

Doug Martin (RB, TB)
For as improved as the Saints defense has been, they still struggle against the run. On the season they rank 12th in adjusted line yards but 25th in yards per attempt and have allowed five, top-12 scoring weeks. Martin has seen at least 13 carries in every game he has started and should have a successful day against the Saints.

DeSean Jackson (WR, TB)
Jackson has seen at least six targets in each of his last six games and should have a big advantage over the rest of the Saints outside corners not named Marshon Lattimore, who are allowing 2.36 PPR points per target. Jackson is always a boom/bust play but this could be a week he booms.

Drew Brees (QB, NO)
Brees' fantasy value has taken a hit as the Saints have leaned on the run game and their defense in recent weeks, but he is still playing well. The Buccaneers have now overtaken the Patriots as the best defense to play a quarterback against as they rank 30th in yards per game allowed, 21st in touchdown percentage against and dead last in sack rate. Brees is an easy QB1 play.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO) / Ted Ginn (WR, NO)
Thomas has seen eight or more targets in four of the last five and draws a great matchup against a Buccaneers secondary that is allowing the most fantasy points to receivers and 1.82 PPR points per target. Thomas is an easy WR1 play. Ginn has seen more than four targets just once in the last five but has become a key weapon for Brees. He's a boom/bust WR3 play in a plus matchup.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Jameis Winston (QB, TB)
The surprise of the season is the Saints becoming a team that relies heavily on their defense. They rank ninth in touchdown percentage against and 11th in sack rate and have allowed weeks of QB27, QB30, QB11, QB19 and QB22 in their last five games. It's hard to see Winston as anything more than a high-end QB2.

Mike Evans (WR, TB)
Evans has seen double-digit targets in four of the last six but draws a tough test as he is likely to be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore has given up just 127 yards and zero touchdowns on his 25 targets and is allowing just 1.03 PPR points per target. You can't bench Evans but owners should temper expectations.

Cameron Brate (TE, TB) / O.J. Howard (TE, TB)
Brate and Howard played almost identical snaps, but Brate out-targeted Howard five to two. The matchup this week is not great as the Saints rank sixth in success rate and ninth in yards per attempt. They have allowed just one, top-12 tight end finish on the season. Brate can be viewed as a high-end TE2 while Howard is a risky TE2 play.

 

Other Matchups:

Charles Sims (RB, TB) had seen 15 targets over a three-game span before getting zero last week. The Saints rank 25th in success rate on throws to running backs and 15th in yards per attempt but Sims can't be considered more than a low-end flex play in deep PPR formats.

Adam Humphries (WR, TB) has seen six or more targets in four of the last six and is in a good spot against the Saints slot corners who are allowing 1.66 PPR points per game to receivers. Humphries will never rack up the yards, but he makes for a solid flex play in PPR formats.

Mark Ingram (RB, NO) now has 65 carries and 16 targets over the Saints last three games and gets a Buccaneers defense that ranks 13th in adjusted line yards and 11th in yards per attempt, but has allowed four, top-10 scoring weeks in their last six. Ingram did fumble twice last week, and from what we saw last year head coach Sean Payton may want to send some sort of message, but the Saints need Ingram and he should be an easy RB1 start once again. Alvin Kamara (RB, NO) has 25 carries and 14 targets over the last three games and continues to be a viable RB2, especially in PPR leagues. That should remain the same this week.

Brandon Coleman (WR, NO) seems to have supplanted Willie Snead (WR, NO) as the slot receiver, but he's only seen eight targets over the last three games. The matchup is a plus, but with such low volume he is little more than a deep league, low-end PPR flex play.

The Saints appear to be using a tight end by committee approach as the snap counts in Week 8 were Josh Hill (TE, NO) 40, Michael Hoomanawanui (TE, NO) 24 and Coby Fleener (TE, NO) 16. Target-wise, Hill and Fleener were the only targeted tight ends as Hill saw four and Fleener just one. The matchup is just OK as the Buccaneers rank 18th in success rate and 12th in yards per attempt. Still, none of the Saints tight ends can be trusted.

 

Rams at Giants

Matchups We Love:

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)
Goff should once again be in the QB1 discussion against a Giants defense that ranks 27th in yards per game allowed, 26th in touchdown percentage against, and 27th in sack rate. They have allowed a top-7 quarterback finish in four straight games and if that's not enough, they will be without stud corner Janoris Jenkins who was suspended by the team for a rules violation.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)
Kupp has seen seven or more targets in three of his last four, and should be a favorite of Jared Goff this week against Giants slot corners who are allowing 2.33 PPR points per target. Kupp has ten red-zone targets in the last four as well and has a great chance to score this week. He should be considered a solid WR3 with upside in this matchup.

Orleans Darkwa (RB, NYG)
Darkwa seems to have taken hold of the Giants backfield, for whatever that's worth. He draws a great matchup against a Rams defense that ranks 19th in yards per attempt and has allowed four, top-6 scoring weeks to running backs. The concern for Darkwa is always volume as the Giants are one of the pass-heavier teams. He is in the RB2 discussion this week.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Eli Manning (QB, NYG)
Manning should get a boost with the return of Sterling Shepard, but it likely won't matter against a Rams defense that ranks in the top-10 in yards per game allowed, touchdown percentage against and sack rate. Only two qaurterbacks have finished better than 16th against them and Manning is not likely to make it a third. Manning should be benched if possible.

Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG)
It will be interesting to see if Shepard continues to primarily operate out of the slot (he's played 86% of his snaps there on the season) or if the Giants move him around more now that he is the team's number one receiver. Regardless of where he lines up the matchup is tough as the Rams are allowing just 1.45 PPR points per target overall and 1.28 out of the slot. Shepard is still a solid WR3 play based on the volume he should see but his ceiling may be capped in a tough spot.

Evan Engram (TE, NYG)
The Rams are one of the toughest matchups for tight ends ranking second in success rate against and fifth in yards per attempt. They have allowed just one, top-12 finish on the season. Still, Engram is a must start tight end who is basically the Giants 1B receiver.

 

Other Matchups: 

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR) has seen 23 or more carries, and four or more targets, in three of his last four games. The Giants rank 21st in success rate and 19th in yards per attempt, but have allowed only two, top-12 scoring weeks. Still, Gurley is a locked-in must start every week.

Robert Woods (WR, LAR) has averaged 7 targets over his last five and gets a boost with stud corner Janoris Jenkins suspended indefinitely by the team. Without Jenkins, the outside corners for the Giants have allowed five touchdowns and are giving up 1.71 PPR points per target. Woods should be viewed as a relatively safe WR3 play.

The Rams tight ends Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR) and Gerald Everett (TE, LAR) are in a great spot this week against a Giants defense that has given up a top-12 finish to the position in every game. Unfortunately neither are involved enough to be considered more than a TE2. Higbee is the preferred play as he has seen more targets.

 

Falcons at Panthers

Matchups We Love:

Mohamed Sanu (WR, ATL)
In the two games since returning from injury, Sanu has 17 targets and four red-zone targets. He draws another great matchup against the Panthers slot corners who are giving up 1.98 PPR points per target. Sanu is a safe WR3 play especially in PPR leagues.

Austin Hooper (TE, ATL)
The Panthers rank 26th in success rate and 23rd in yards per attempt when defending tight ends. They have allowed three top-12 scoring weeks in their last four games. Hooper's targets have been inconsistent on the season but he did see six last week. He could once again be more involved in a plus matchup and can be viewed as a high-end TE2.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)
Ryan, and the entire Falcons offense, has disappointed so far in 2017 and things could continue as they face a tough Panthers pass defense that ranks third in yards per game allowed, 14th in touchdown percentage allowed and second in sack rate. They've also allowed just two, top-12 finishes on the season. Ryan is a high-end QB2 play.

Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL) / Tevin Coleman (RB, ATL)
For the first time all season, Coleman got more carries than Freeman (14-12) but was only targeted once compared to Freeman's three. They draw a tough matchup this week against a Panthers unit that ranks ninth in both adjusted line yards and yards per attempt and has yet to allow a top-10 running back scoring week while holding five units to 22nd or worse.

Ed Dickson (TE, CAR)
Dickson has seen at least five targets in each of his last four games but has done little with them. That could continue against a Falcons defense that ranks fourth in success rate and 11th in yards per attempt. Dickson is little more than a low-end TE2.

 

Other Matchups: 

Julio Jones (WR, ATL) has seen just 17 targets over the three games excluding the Patriots game, and has curiously been absent from the offense for long stretches. He's likely to draw shadow coverage from James Bradberry, and while Bradberry has been good, allowing just one touchdown on 49 targets and 1.31 PPR points, Jones should have the advantage. Of course he will need to see close to double-digit targets to really pay off for his owners.

Cam Newton (QB, CAR) is in another great spot but we've been down this road before. The Falcons rank 14th in yards per game allowed and 17th in touchdown percentage against but have given up just two top-12 quarterback finishes. Still, no quarterback has finished worse than 18th against them and Newton should be in the high QB2 discussion.

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR) has found a home in the Carolina passing game and could see an uptick in targets with the departure of Kelvin Benjamin. McCaffrey has seen at least seven targets in five of the last six though it should be noted the Falcons do a good job against pass catching backs ranking sixth in success rate and 17th in yards per attempt. Still, McCaffrey will be involved and makes for a solid RB2 play in PPR formats. Jonathan Stewart (RB, CAR) continues to see double-digit carries but this entire running game is doing nothing. The matchup with the Falcons is good as they rank 22nd in adjusted line yards and 21st in yards per attempt, but Stewart can't be considered more than a flex option in deeper formats.

With the departure of Benjamin, Devin Funchess (WR, CAR) now becomes the teams unquestioned number one receiver. He had already out-targeted Benajmin in four of the last six and has at least eight targets in five of those games. He could push closer to weekly double-digit targets with Benjamin out of the mix and is in a good spot against the Falcons outside corners who have allowed five touchdowns and are giving up 1.77 PPR points per target. Funchess is a solid WR2 play and could push even higher. Curtis Samuel (WR, CAR) and Russell Shepard (WR, CAR) will likely see a slight bump as well but for now we'd caution a wait and see approach if possible.

 

Broncos at Eagles

Matchups We Love:

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)
For as good as the Broncos defense is, they struggle mightily against tight ends. On the season they rank 25th in success rate and 28th in yards per attempt and have allowed four, top-5 scoring weeks. There is no reason to think that Ertz, who has been a weekly stud, can't make it a sixth.

 

Matchups We Hate:

C.J. Anderson (RB, DEN)
Anderson continues to handle the bulk of the carries for this backfield but faces a tough test against an Eagles defense that ranks first in adjusted line yards and third in yards per attempt. They have allowed just one, top-10 scoring week to boot. Add in the fact that game script may take him completely out of the gameplan and Anderson is best left on benches this week.

Jay Ajayi (RB, PHI) / LeGarrette Blount (RB, PHI)

With the Eagles trading for Ajayi at the deadline, Blount will likely see a reduced role. Reports are Ajayi will be eased in so Blount could remain the starter for one more week. Regardless, this is a matchup you want no part of as the Broncos rank second in adjusted line yards, first in yards per attempt and have yet to allow a rushing touchdown. Both Ajayi and Blount should be benched if possible.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)
It seems like Jeffrey has been on the "hate" list more than any other player, but it makes sense given how brutal his schedule has been. He faces another tough test on the outside against the Broncos corners who have allowed just three touchdowns on the season and are giving up 1.41 PPR points per target. Jeffrey has to be considered a low-end WR2 in a tough spot.

 

Other Matchups: 

Brock Osweiler (QB, DEN) has been announced as the starter over a struggling Trevor Siemian (QB, DEN). After Siemian's hot start he has regressed back into his bad form from last season. Osweiler isn't much of an upgrade and the matchup is just OK as the Eagles rank 26th in yards allowed per game but just 13th in touchdown percentage against. Osweiler can be viewed as a low-end QB2 at best.

DeVontae Booker (RB, DEN) has seen an increase in carries each of the last three weeks but a decrease in targets. The Eagles do a good job stopping pass catching backs, ranking 11th in success rate and 12th in yards per attempt. Booker is little more than a low-end flex dart throw in PPR formats.

The Eagles present a great matchup for receivers Demaryius Thomas (WR, DEN) and Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN), but with Osweiler under center there is a lot of unkown. The best we can do is look at 2015 when Osweiler attempted at least 20 throws in eight games. In those games Thomas averaged 5.5 catches for 70 yards and 0.62 touchdowns while Sanders averaged 4.3 catches for 71 yards and 0.29 touchdowns. Both receivers take a hit, but it would seem like Thomas is the preferred option of the two.

A.J. Derby (TE, DEN) may get a boost with Osweiler in and has seen at least four targets in the last three games. The Eagles are a good matchup ranking 21st in success rate and 17th in yards per attempt, and have allowed four, top-14 scoring weeks. Derby is a solid TE2.

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI) continues to play exceptionally well in his spohomore campaign and does draw a bit of a tough matchup against a Broncos defense that ranks sixth in yards per game allowed but 27th in touchdown percentage against. Wentz could be under pressure too against a defense that ranks 12th in sack rate, though his mobility will help mitigate that to a degree. Wentz is a solid QB1 play.

Nelson Agholor (WR, PHI) has seen just eight targets over the last two games but could once again become a focal point of this passing offense as one area the Broncos have struggled in is slot coverage. On the year they are allowing 1.71 PPR points per target to slot receivers. Agholor makes a solid WR3 play in PPR formats.

 

Ravens at Titans

Matchups We Love:

Jeremy Maclin (WR, BAL)
While Maclin only saw five targets in his first game back from injury, he did turn one of them into a long touchdown. He draws a great matchup against the Titans slot corners who are allowing 1.86 PPR points per target. Maclin is a solid WR3 with upside.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Alex Collins (RB, BAL)
Collins was a hot waiver-wire add after he torched the Dolphins defense on Thursday night football. While Collins has looked good in his limited action, the Titans are a tough test ranking fifth in yards per attempt and allowing just two, top-12 scoring weeks on the year. Collins may have earned more touches but he can't be considered more than a RB2.

Benjamin Watson (TE, BAL) continues to be the Ravens top-targeted tight end but will find things tough against a Titans defense that ranks seventh in success rate and eighth in yards per attempt. They've held three tight ends to 24th or worse scoring weeks and only two have cracked the top-10. Watson looks like a low-end TE2 in this matchup.

Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN)
Mariota struggled heading into the break and that could continue against a Ravens defense that ranks fifth in yards allowed per game, sixth in touchdown percentage against and 13th in sack rate. They have given up just one quarterback finish higher than 19th on the season. Mariota is a high-end QB2 play at best.

Rishard Matthews (WR, TEN) / Corey Davis (WR, TEN)
Matthews has seen just 16 targets over the last three games and will have a tough time against a Ravens secondary that has allowed just three touchdowns on the year and is giving up 1.23 PPR points per target. He can't be considered more than a WR3. Davis is set to make his return after his 10 target, six-catch, 69-yard debut in Week 1 and could give this struggling offense a boost. Still, the matchup is tough and owners will likely want to sit him one week if possible.

 

Other Matchups: 

Joe Flacco (QB, BAL) looks set to start after suffering a scary hit to the head in Thursday nights game. The matchup isn't bad as the Titans rank 18th in yards allowed per game, 25th in touchdown percentage against and just 31st in sack rate. Flacco was looking good before his injury and can be considered a QB2 in this matchup.

Javorius Allen (RB, BAL) could be a sneaky play this week against a Titans defense that is good at stopping the run, but struggles against pass-catching backs. On the season they rank 21st in success rate and 28th in yards per attempt. Allen is a solid PPR flex play.

DeMarco Murray (RB, TEN) and Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) continue to split time, though Murray seems to be the preferred option, especially in the passing game. The Ravens are not a scary run-stopping unit, ranking eighth in adjusted line yards but 20th in yards per attempt. They've allowed four top-seven running back scoring weeks as well. Murray is a solid RB2 while Henry makes a fine flex play.

With the return of Davis, Eric Decker (WR, TEN) will likely move back to slot on three wide receiver sets. He draws the best matchup agianst the Ravens slot corners who are allowing 1.63 PPR points per target. Still, he will likely be third on the totem pole now and can't be considered more than a low-end PPR flex play in very deep leagues.

Delanie Walker (TE, TEN) is battling an ankle injury and is questionable to play on Sunday. The matchup is just OK as the Ravens rank fifth in success rate but 21st in yards per attempt. They've also allowed three top-eight scoring weeks to the TE position. Walker should be a solid start if he suits up. If he can't go, look for Jonnu Smith (TE, TEN) to take his spot.

 

NFL Week 9 Matchups - 4:00 PM ET Games

Cardinals at 49ers

Matchups We Love:

Adrian Peterson (RB, ARI)
After looking like his old self in the first game with his new team, Peterson came back down to earth before the bye. He's in another blow-up spot this week, however, against a 49ers defense that ranks 20th in adjusted line yards, 15th in yards per attempt and has allowed six, top-12 running back scoring weeks. With a potential game script that is unlikely to see Arizona behind early, Peterson is a solid RB2 with upside.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Carlos Hyde (RB, SF) / Matt Breida (RB, SF)
Since the "Breida scare" four weeks ago, Hyde has out-carried Breida 39 to 12 and out-targeted him 23 to 11. The matchup this week is tough as the Cardinals rank seventh in both adjusted line yards and yards per attempt, and have allowed just three scoring weeks better than 17th. Hyde should still be in the high-end RB2 discussion while Breida is little more than a deep-league PPR flex.

 

Other Matchups:

Drew Stanton (QB, ARI) will get the start in place of injured Carson Palmer, and he gets a nice soft matchup coming out of the bye. The 49ers rank 24th in both yards allowed per game and touchdown percentage against. They are just an average pass rush team ranking 19th in sack rate. They've given up a top-12 quarterback week in four straight and if this were most other quarterbacks they'd get a "love" matchup. Stanton is just not good and for that reason he can't be viewed as more than a QB2 even in a plus matchup.

Stanton will likely hurt the value of Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI) though the matchup should help as the 49ers slot corners are allowing 1.62 PPR points per target. Fitzgerald should retain a fair bit of value in PPR formats as he should see his share of targets, but can't be considered more than a WR3 in standard formats with Stanton at the helm. John Brown (WR, ARI) has no reclaimed the clear number two spot on this offense but will also be hurt with Stanton starting. The matchup is a plus as the 49ers outside corners have given up five touchdowns and are allowing 1.69 PPR points per target. Still, Brown can't be considered more than a low-end WR3 play.

Jermaine Gresham (TE, ARI) has seen three or less targets in every game since Week 1 and remains little more than a low-end TE2 dart throw against a 49ers team that ranks 10th in success rate and 14th in yards per attempt, but has given up three straight top-12 scoring weeks.

Like Stanton, C.J. Beathard (QB, SF) also draws a great matchup against a Cardinals defense that ranks 23rd in yards allowed per game, 29th in touchdown percentage against and 26th in sack rate. If Beathard is going to have a game this is the week. Unfortunately he has not looked good and can't be considered more than a QB2 play.

With the news that Pierre Garcon (WR, SF) is going to IR with a neck injury, both Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF) and Aldrick Robinson (WR, SF) become thrust into a larger role. This matchup is a tale of two corners. On one side you have Patrick Peterson who is one of the best, if not the best, cover corners in the league. On the season he has allowed just seven catches on 22 targets and gives up 0.96 PPR points per target. On the other side you have Tramon Williams who replaced Justin Bethel and has allowed seven catches for 103 yards on the 10 times he has been targeted. Both Goodwin and Robinson can't be considered more than desperation flex plays at this point. Trent Taylor (WR, SF) should see an expanded role out of the slot and draws a great matchup against the Cardinals slot corners who are allowing 1.63 PPR points per target. He makes for a low-end PPR flex play.

After seeing 17 targets in weeks five and six, George Kittle (TE, SF) has just six total over the last two weeks. The Cardinals are just an OK matchup ranking 24th in success rate and 10th in yards per attempt, and Kittle is nothing more than a low-end TE2.

 

Redskins at Seahawks

Matchups We Love:

Jimmy Graham (TE, SEA)
Graham has seen seven red-zone targets over the last two weeks and draws a Redskins defense that ranks 27th in success rate and 31st in yards per attempt. They've allowed five, top-13 scoring weeks and three, top-3 weeks. Graham is an easy TE1 play.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Kirk Cousins (QB, WAS)
Don't be fooled by DeShaun Watson's big day on Sunday, the Seahawks are still an elite pass defense. They rank 12th in yards allowed per game and eighth in touchdown percentage against. Prior to Watson, they hadn't given up a top-12 scoring week all season. Cousins should be viewed as a high-end QB2.

Vernon Davis (TE, WAS)
With Jordan Reed (TE, WAS) out, Davis will step into the starter role. Davis was already seeing his share of work with four targets in each of the last three games, and will be in line for an increase. The Seahawks are tough on tight ends, however, ranking first in success rate and sixth in yards per attempt. They've allowed just two, top-12 scoring weeks on the season. Still, Davis should get plenty of volume and can be considered a low-end TE1.

Doug Baldwin (WR, SEA)
Baldwin continues to be a target monster, having seen at least eight targets in four of the last five and double-digit targets in three of those. With the Seahawks inability to run, and the exceptional play of Wilson of late, he should continue to see plenty of looks. Unfortunately he draws a tough matchup against the Washington slot corners who have yet to give up a touchdown and are allowing just 1.19 PPR points per target. You likely can't sit Baldwin but owners should temper expectations.

Paul Richardson (WR, SEA) / Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)
Richardson and Lockett are 2A and 2B behind Baldwin but are in a tough spot against a Washington defense that is sneaky good against receivers having allowed just one touchdown on the outside and giving up 1.2 PPR points per target. Richardson and Lockett should not be considered more than low-end WR3 plays in this matchup.

 

Other Matchups:

Rob Kelley (RB, WAS) has just 15 carries and four targets in his two games since returning from injury. The Seahawks are not a tough spot ranking 15th in adjusted line yards and 23rd in yards per attempt, but they have only allowed one, top-12 scoring week to the position. Kelley can't be considered more than a low-end RB2 at best. Chris Thompson (RB, WAS) looks like the best back on this team by a mile and should get a boost in targets with Jordan Reed out. The Seahawks do a great job against pass catching backs ranking third in success rate and sixth in yards per attempt. Still, Thompson has to be considered a solid RB2 in PPR formats.

With Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder (WR, WAS) looking unlikely to play, Josh Doctson (WR, WAS) should see an expanded role. Unfortunately he is in a tough spot against a Seahawks secondary that is allowing just 1.53 PPR points per target to outside receivers. Safety Earl Thomas will be out which is a boost to Doctson's value but for now he has to be considered just a flex play. Ryan Grant (WR, WAS) would likely move to the slot if Crowder can't play but draws an even tougher matchup against slot corners that are allowing just 1.21 PPR points per target. Still, he could have flex value in PPR formats through increased volume.

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA) has been on fire lately and ranks as QB5 since Week 5 despite having a bye. The Redskins have a sneaky good pass defense, ranking 13th in yards allowed per game and 16th in touchdown percentage against. They also pressure the quarterback ranking eighth in sack rate. The addition of left tackle Duane Brown is huge for this offensive line and Wilson. Depsite a somewhat tough matchup, Wilson is a must start QB1.

Despite reports the Pete Carroll wants to get Eddie Lacy (RB, SEA) more touches, this is a backfield you want to avoid. Between Lacy, Thomas Rawls (RB, SEA), J.D. McKissic (RB, SEA) and C.J. Prosise (RB, SEA) who returned to practice this year their are just too many mouths to feed. This is also one of the pass-heaviest teams in the NFL. If you own any of the Seattle running backs it's best to avoid them until we get more clarity.

 

Chiefs at Cowboys

Matchups We Love:

Kareem Hunt (RB, KC)
Hunt has had a disappointing stretch, at least by his owners standards, but has seen at least 18 carries and four targets in four of his last five games. He's in a great spot to return to his early week glory against a Cowboys defense that ranks 23rd in adjusted line yards and 24th in yards per attempt. They've only allowed three, top-12 finishes on the season but Hunt could certainly make it four.

Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)
Hill's boom/bust season continues but this is a week he should boom against a Cowboys secondary that has given up nine touchdowns and is allowing 1.65 PPR points per target. Hill is a great start this week.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)
Elliott somehow keeps pulling rabbits out of his hat and avoids a suspension that seems all but inevitable at some point. Getting a stay before his appeal hearing, Zeke will get the start and is in a smash spot against a Chiefs defense that ranks 29th in adjusted line yards, 27th in yards per attempt, and have given up three straight top-12 scoring weeks. Elliott is an easy RB1 and should be a top-five finisher at the position.

Dez Bryant (WR, DAL)
Bryant is averaging over nine targets and has seven red-zone targets over the last four games and draws a Chiefs secondary that has been awful this year having allowed eight touchdowns and 1.81 PPR points per target to outside receivers. Even stud corner Marcus Peters has looked like a shell of his 2016 version. Bryant is an easy WR1 play.

 

Matchups We Hate: none

 

Other Matchups:

Alex Smith (QB, KC) is coming off a relatively quiet game against the Broncos but should be able to bounce-back against a Cowboys defense that ranks 15th in yards allowed per game and 20th in touchdown percentage against. They rank seventh in sack rate, however, so Smith will be under pressure. Still, Smith has been great this year and should be considered a solid QB1.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC) has seen at least seven targets in four of his last five and five red-zone targets over that span. The Cowboys are a good matchup ranking 22nd in both success rate and yards per attempt. They have yet to give up a top-12 scoring week, however, but Kelce could certainly end that streak. Kelce is a locked-in weekly TE1.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL) will be without running back Ezekiel Elliott which could lead to more pass attempts if the team struggles on the ground firing on all cylinders with Ezekiel Elliot playing again this week. The Chiefs rank 28th in yards allowed per game and 22nd in touchdown percentage against, but are holding opposing quarterbacks to the lowest competition percentage. They have allowed four, top-10 quarterback performances and Prescott could certainly add to that. He is an easy QB1 play.

Jason Witten (TE, DAL) has seen 19 targets and four red-zone targets over the last three games and could be in-line for more work with the suspension to Elliott. The Chiefs rank 10th in success rate but 30th in yards per attempt and have allowed four, top-12 scoring weeks. Witten can be considered a borderline TE1.

 

NFL Week 9 Matchups - Sunday Night Football

Raiders at Dolphins

Matchups We Love:

Jay Cutler (QB, MIA) 
After Matt Moore (QB, MIA) made the Dolphins decision easy, Cutler will be back under center. With the trade of Jay Ajayi the Dolphins may lean more heavily on Cutler's arm. The matchup is great as the Raiders rank 21st in yards per game allowed and 19th in touchdown percentage against. They don't apply much pressure either ranking 28th in sack rate. They've allowed four top-nine quarterback finishes and six in the top 13. In a tough week at the position, Cutler makes for a great stream and could push into low-end QB1 territory.

DeVante Parker (WR, MIA)
Parker returns from a three game absence and gets a fantastic matchup against the Raiders outside corners who have allowed six touchdowns and are giving up 2.5 PPR points per target. Parker saw at least eight targets in all three of his healthy games and should once again be a favorite of Jay Cutler.

Julius Thomas (TE, MIA)
Thomas continues to be a lower option in the Dolphins passing attack but could get a boost against a Raiders defense that ranks 19th in success rate, 20th in yards per attempt and has allowed five, top-9 scoring weeks. Thomas has real touchdown potential this week and is a solid TE2 play.

 

Matchups We Hate: none

 

Other Matchups: 

Derek Carr (QB, OAK) draws an average matchup against a Dolphins defense that ranks 11th in yards allowed per game but 23rd in touchdown percentage against. They have only given up two top-10 quarterback performances but Carr has the ability to make it a third. He should be a low-end QB1 in this matchup.

With the return of Marshawn Lynch (RB, OAK) from his one-game suspension, both DeAndre Washington (RB, OAK) and Jalen Richard (RB, OAK) become nothing more than bench stashes. The matchup this week is just OK as the Dolphins rank 16th in adjusted line yards and 18th in yards per attempt, but have allowed two straight top-12 finishes. Still, Lynch just isn't seeing the volume we all hoped for and can't be considered anything more than a boom/bust RB2 that is TD-dependent for value.

Michael Crabtree (WR, OAK) / Amari Cooper (WR, OAK)
Cooper now has double-digit targets in two straight games while Crabtree has double-digit targets in two of the last three. Crabtree is still Carr's preferred red-zone target as he has three to Cooper's zero over the last two games. Both receivers are in a good spot this week against the Dolphins outside corners who are allowing 1.76 PPR points per target. We'd give the slight edge to Crabtree for his touchdown potential but both are solid starts.

Jared Cook (TE, OAK) has seen at least five targets in five of the last six games and should continue to be involved against a Dolphins defense that ranks ninth in success rate and third in yards per attempt, but has allowed four, top-12 scoring weeks. Cook is a high-end TE2.

Jarvis Landry (WR, MIA) draws a good matchup against the Raiders' slot corners who are allowing 1.71 PPR points per target. Landry out-targeted Parker in two of the teams first three games and should continue to see plenty of looks with Jay Cutler back under center. Landry is an easy PPR start and makes for a solid play in standard formats as well. Kenny Stills (WR, MIA) is sure to take the biggest hit with Parker returning as he saw just 18 targets in the three full games Parker played. The matchup is good, but Stills has to be dropped down to flex territory with Parker's return.

 

More Week 9 Lineup Prep