WATCH: MATCHUPS BREAKDOWN WEEK 9
With so many big names not hitting value last week, many people are looking forward to Week 9. Let’s get you ready for this slate with the NFL Cheat Sheet Presented by Hacksaw Ridge
Indianapolis vs. Green Bay Packers
Projected Point Total – 54 points
The Green Bay Packers opened up as a touchdown favorite against the Colts for Week 9, as they also carry the highest projected game of the week. Aaron Rodgers is coming off his best performance of the season where he completed 28 of 38 passes for 246 yards with four touchdowns. The 33.84 fantasy-point performance was his highest of the season even with a beat-up offense that included injuries to Ty Montgomery and James Starks (out for four weeks.) With Randall Cobb expected back this week, Rodgers will be focused on airing out the ball once again with Don Jackson as the only healthy running back on the team as I write this article. Coming into this game, the Colts have allowed 14 passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, who’ve completed 66 percent of their 304 passes for 2,387 yards, which ranks as the third-most in the league.
For the Colts, they have the majority of their offense back as Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett returned in Week 8. They lost T.Y. Hilton for the majority of this one but he was able to return late in the game, grabbing just one of six targets. Even without his prized wideout for the majority of the game, Luck completed 19 of 35 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns for 20.4 fantasy points. With his surrounding offensive all expected to be on the field for this one, expect Luck to spread the ball around the field, especially considering the Packers have one of the best run defenses in the league.
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
Projected Point Total – 41 points
It was a bit of a surprise to see the Bears come away with a victory against this stifling Vikings defense in Week 8. The 20 points allowed were the second week in a row where they’ve allowed 20 after holding opposing teams to under that mark for five straight weeks. Nonetheless, Matthew Stafford has a tough matchup. Vegas currently has the Vikings as six-point favorites with the Lions owning the lowest implied score in the league this week at 17 points.
Sam Bradford certainly has a favorable matchup against this poor Lions defense and with a $5,000 price tag, he certainly will draw some consideration. Nonetheless, Bradford has yet to exceed 300 yards this season, with his highest coming against the Green Bay Packers when he threw for 286 with two touchdowns. To Bradford’s credit, he’s thrown for at least a touchdown in every start this season while only getting picked off once. Kyle Rudolph ($4,000) will be a popular target as not only has he been targeted the most this season (54 targets) but the Lions are ranked dead last against opposing tight ends. The Lions have allowed a league-leading eight touchdowns to go with a 76 percent completion rate on 65 targets for 517 yards.
Worst QB Matchups
1. Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos – The Broncos rank as as the toughest defense for opposing quarterbacks. Heading into Week 9, they’ve only allowed six passing touchdowns while grabbing eight interceptions and holding them to a 53 percent completion rate on 284 attempts.
2. Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota is coming off a surprising loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday, but now sets its sights to the Lions. The Vikings have allowed only six passing touchdowns while grabbing nine interceptions. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 56 percent of their 259 attempts for a league-low 1,584 yards.
3. New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles have still been great against opposing quarterbacks. With eight passing touchdowns allowed, they’ve nabbed six interceptions and holding opposing QBs to a 57 percent completion rate on 238 attempts.
Best QB Matchups
1. Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – Tied for the league lead with 19 passing touchdowns allowed, the Lions are seeing 73 percent of the 273 targets against them completed for 2,176 yards.
2. L.A. Rams vs. Carolina Panthers – With 16 passing touchdowns allowed, the Carolina Panthers continue to struggle with opposing quarterbacks. Allowing a 66 percent completion rate on 252 targets for 2,142 yards, the Panthers are a shell of their former selves from last season.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs Cleveland Browns – Tied for the most passing touchdowns allowed at 19, the Browns are allowing 62 percent of the 275 targets to be completed for 2,308 yards.
Worst RB Matchups
1. Indianapolis Colts vs. Green Bay Packers – The Packers continue to be a force against the ground game this season. With just two rushing touchdowns allowed, the Packers are holding opposing running backs to 3.3 YPC.
2. Cleveland Browns vs. Dallas Cowboys – Dallas has allowed just three rushing touchdowns and 4.5 YPC.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens have allowed three rushing touchdowns and 3.5 YPC so far this season. For what it’s worth, opposing running backs have caught 37 of 43 passes out of the backfield for 277 yards and a touchdown.
Best RB Matchups
1. New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers – Depending who starts for the Saints at running back, they’ll have a tasty matchup on tap. The 49ers have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns and 5.3 YPC this season on a league-leading 1,125 rushing yards.
2. San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints – Not to be outdone by their opponent, the Saints are almost just as poor at defending against the run. Allowing a league-leading 11 rushing touchdowns, opposing backs are gaining 4.4 YPC, but with much less rushing yards with 692.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. Cleveland Browns – Another great spot for Ezekiel Elliot this week as he gets this Browns defense. With 10 rushing touchdowns allowed, the Browns are allowing 4.7 YPC for 1,034 yards.
Worst WR Matchups
1. Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos – No surprise here as the Broncos continue to pour it on opposing wide receivers. With just two receiving touchdowns, they’re catching only 48 percent of their 146 targets for a league-low 759 yards.
2. Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings – Even with a less-than-stellar performance last week, the Vikings remain the second-toughest defense to opposing wide receivers. Catching only 51 percent of the 149 targets for 785 yards and four touchdowns tells the story here.
3. Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers have only allowed three passing touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season, which may surprise some. Otherwise, they’re allowing a 66 percent completion rate on 156 targets for 1,119 yards.
Best WR Matchups
1. L.A. Rams vs. Carolina Panthers – It’s quite incredible to see the Panthers as the worst against opposing wide receivers this season. With nine touchdowns scored, opposing wide receivers are catching 65 percent of their 152 targets for 1,410 yards.
2. Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets – The Jets will enter Week 9 with the most passing yards allowed to wide receivers in the league at 1,546. They’ve also caught nine passing touchdowns and 65 percent of their 175 targets.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens – If somehow Ben Roethlisberger takes the field this week, he has a juicy matchup for his wide receivers. The Ravens have allowed a league-leading 13 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers as they’ve caught 60 percent of their 144 targets for 1,113 yards.
Worst TE Matchups
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens – While their wide receivers are in a good spot, we can’t say the same for the Steelers tight ends. The Ravens have held opposing tight ends to 252 yards on 34 catches with no touchdowns.
2. New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles – While the Eagles have allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends, they’ve very much kept them quiet otherwise. Only 16 of 30 targets have been caught for a league-low 172 yards.
3. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars have been very good at keeping opposing tight ends at bay this season. They’ve scored just one touchdowns while catching 27 of their 42 targets for 271 yards.
Best TE Matchups
1. Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – It doesn’t get any worse than the Lions defending against opposing tight ends. With a league-leading eight touchdowns allowed, the Lions are allowing a 76 percent completion rate on 65 targets for 517 yards.
2. L.A. Rams vs. Carolina Panthers – Another trouble spot for the Panthers this season has been the tight end position. With six touchdowns allowed, they’ve seen 64 percent of the 48 targets to tight ends caught for 433 yards.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. Cleveland Browns – The Browns have allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends with 79 percent of the 63 targets caught for 578 yards.
Last Week’s Leaders
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Last 3 Weeks Leaders
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Lineup Quick Hits
QB To Build Lineups Around…
Dak Prescott ($6,100) – Tuesday morning brought some good news for Dak Prescott, as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted that Prescott has the QB job to keep as long as he keeps producing. With a matchup against the Browns on tap, I think he’ll be producing in a big way. Coming off an impressive victory over a tough Eagles defense, Prescott scored 28.2 fantasy points by completing 19 of 39 passes for 287 yards with two touchdowns and rushing in another. His willingness to rush it in makes him all the more valuable, as he’s done that a total of four times this season. Entering this matchup, the Browns are averaging 288 passing yards per game with 19 touchdowns thrown. At $6,100, Prescott brings some fantastic value this week.
WR To Pair Him With…
Dez Bryant ($7,400) – Bryant made his return last week after a four-week absence and was peppered with 14 targets. Even though he only caught four of them, he made those targets count, going for 113 yards and a touchdown. With a putrid Browns defense in Week 9, Bryant should be a huge factor in this game with his big-play ability. Thus far, the Browns have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers as they average 184 yards per game.
The Top RB Will Be…
Le’Veon Bell ($7,700) – It almost doesn’t matter who is under center this week for Bell, as he continues to produce no matter the situation. Coming into this matchup, Bell is averaging 17 carries and 9.2 targets per game. The Ravens have certainly been tough against the run, holding opposing running backs to 3.6 YPC and one rushing touchdown. However, the 93.9 fantasy points that Bell has scored this season, 58 percent of those points have come through the air, making him so valuable in that role. With running back being as thin as it is this week, Bell should be one of the most popular options at the position.
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