The trade deadline passed during the week and as is always the case, we saw some fantasy relevant movement at the eleventh hour. Golden Tate was shipped to Philly and a second bye, which makes life tougher for Stafford and co. Demaryius Thomas found his way into Houston, helping the likes of Watson and Hopkins. Ty Montgomery is out of the Green Bay backfield logjam, freeing up Aaron Jones.
It’s going to be interesting to see how all these moves affect the rest of the season, especially for your PlayON Daily Fantasy lineups.
Let’s take a look at the top picks for Week 9.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos ($8.7M)
Following the departure of DT, Courtland Sutton gets promoted to Case Keenum’s no. 2 guy at the Denver Broncos. In the past 5 Denver games, Sutton has either gone over 50 yards (51, 58, 78) or he’s scored a touchdown whilst working behind Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. But with Thomas and his seven targets per game gone, Sutton should see an immediate uptick in opportunity and production.
Funnily enough, Denver plays Thomas’ new team, the Houston Texans this week, providing a revenge narrative for DT. Houston’s defense has been rock solid recently, but Sutton still provides huge value. Get on now before that price starts bumping upwards.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers ($12.9M)
Newton has hit some great form recently. He started slowly in week one but since then has had 247 pass yards per game, with 13 passing touchdowns verse just four interceptions. They’re not huge totals but makes up for with his legs adding 41 rush yards a week and three scores. Newton is essentially the Panthers best rusher.
But now he strolls into a superb matchup with the Tampa Bay Bucs who are allowing 318 pass yards and a tick over 33 points per game. Andy Dalton just threw 280 yards and two touchdowns in the Bengals win last weekend. Tampa aren’t going to slow down the Panthers but can keep up with them offensively, meaning Newton should be required to go toe-to-toe with Fitzmagic all afternoon.
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams ($12.2M)
After two lean weeks, Goff bounced back with 295 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against Green Bay. He isn’t cheap, but he gets to throw over and around those Saints DB’s I’ve been so fond of all year. New Orleans allow right on 300 yards passing a game. That’s the 28th ranked pass defense in the NFL and in direct contrast to their no. 1 ranked run defense (74.1 ypg).
And just like Newton, while Goff is shredding that defense, the Saints have the tools to return serve, putting up almost 400 yards a game. It’s going to be a good old-fashioned shootout between two of the best offenses in the league. Game script alone should see Goff throw multiple scores.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($11.8M) vs. Chargers, Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings ($12.4M) vs. Lions
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs ($14.2M)
In the past three weeks, Hunt has chalked up 72 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards per game, plus scored five touchdowns. Playing in such a powerful offense will present those sorts of opportunities.
While the Browns defense is improving, but they still have a hard time with the top, big-name running backs. Melvin Gordon had 132 yards and 3 scores when he met Cleveland in week 6 and over two games this season, James Conner has destroyed them for 281 rush yards, 123 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Hunt could go off in the Chiefs high scoring offense.
Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings ($9.9M)
Murray has been a revelation in Dalvin Cook’s four game absence. With one more game before their bye week, it would be surprising to see the Vikings bringing Cook back now, especially when Murray has more than adequately carried the load.
In the last three weeks, Murray has gone off for 112 scrimmage yards a game and four touchdowns. And the Lions are the second worst team at stopping the run, allowing 144 yards per game on the ground. They made an effort to fix the issue by trading for the Giants Tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison, but he’s still just one man. I like Murray to continue his great run (no pun intended).
Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets ($7.6M) vs. Dolphins, Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints ($9.6M) vs. Rams
Willie Snead IV, Baltimore Ravens ($10.6M)
Willie Snead has emerged as Flacco’s favourite target since week 6. He has seen the ball thrown his way 28 times compared to 17 for John Brown and 23 for Michael Crabtree. He’s only managed to haul in 15 of those targets though and he hasn’t found the endzone since week 1 against the Bills.
The man is averaging around 50 yards a game on the season, so he’s not going to break any records, but with the amount of ball being thrown his way, and against a side allowing 265 pass yard a game, Snead should provide great value for his price.
Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams ($7.8M)
Or Robert Woods. Or Cooper Kupp. Take your pick. It’s much-of-a-muchness between the Rams wide out trio. The Saints and Rams game has the highest projected points total of the weekend, with betting agencies setting the over/under at about 60.
The main reason I’ve taken Cooks as the headliner, is that he’s the cheaper of the three options. He’s got big play ability and has only found the endzone twice this year. The Saints are allowing close to two touchdown passing a game, so Cooks provides huge value if he can get on to the end of one of them this week.
D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers ($7.9M) vs. Buccaneers, Danny Amendola, Miami Dolphins ($8.3M) vs. Jets
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons ($7.0M)
It’s pretty much Travis Kelce or take a punt. Rob Gronkowski is ailing. Zack Ertz is on the bye. But at a whopping $x.xM, it’s not so straight forward. That’s where Hooper can help you out. The Falcons big man is averaging over eight targets and 65 yards a game over the past three outings. He’s the third most targeted tight end over that time. Washington haven’t been giving up a lot of production to opposing tight ends, but Hooper is doing enough to suggest he’ll be a worthwhile start.
In saying all that, if you can afford Travis Kelce, go Travis Kelce.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins ($8.4M)
Jordan Reed is being horribly misused through the 2018 season. At his best, he’s one of the premier tight ends, but in order for that to happen, you need to throw him the ball. And they started that last week against the Giants.
Reed saw a season-high targets in that game with 12, catching seven of them for 38 yards. Still a meager yardage total but it’s trending in the right direction. And I love receivers playing against the Falcons who are allowing 306 pass yards a week. They’ve been fairly stingy against TE’s lately, but this feels to me like a comeback game for Jordan Reed.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs ($12.3M) vs. Browns, Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings ($6.7M) vs. Lions
Chicago Bears ($7.5M)
Close to being my pick of the week. Very close! They’ve been arguably the best defensive unit of the season so far ranking top 10 in total yards, rush yards and points allowed per game. What lets them down is their pass defense where they rank a middle of the pack 16th.
However, I’ve got the solution to that and it comes in the form of the Buffalo Bills. They are the worst passing team in the NFL, not even getting 150 pass yards per game, and they’re also the worst scoring team, with 10.9 point per week. And in better news for the Bears, Derek Anderson who has been starting, is out this week meaning Nathan Peterman is the man. That’s the 51 pass yards per game, three touchdowns vs nine interceptions and two fumbles in his career, Nathan Peterman. You’re welcome.
Carolina Panthers ($6.7M)
This one is a real punt, and a bit contradicting to what I said earlier in the Cam Newton piece. The Bucs offense can be fire behind Ryan Fitzmagic, but as good as he can be, he’s still a bit turnover prone. Appearing in five games (with two of them being half games), he has thrown five picks. That’s what happens when you’re bombing the ball deep down field.
And then there’s the other side. When Fitztragic rears his ugly head, it’s really ugly. He had 126 yards, no scores and a pick in week 4, fresh off the heels of his blazing start, and that game saw him demoted to backup QB up until Winston’s meltdown last week. So, the Panthers should at least see a turnover or two, and have the potential to be a game changing selection at a cut price, depending on which Ryan shows up.
Houston Texans ($5.7M) vs. Broncos, Minnesota Vikings ($6.9M) vs. Lions
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers ($8.3M)
It’s a road game for Roethlisberger, and you know what that means. Bad Ben. To be fair, he hasn’t been as bad on the road through the start of this year, but those games have come against Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, three poor defenses. And the Ravens are no poor defense.
Baltimore rank 2nd in pass yards allowed with only 195 per game, and 1st for points allowed with 17 per game. And they crush Ben in Baltimore. His recent history there has yielded results of less than 235 yards a game, with five total touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also going to be playing with a broken finger on his non-throwing hand. It is all against the QB this week.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.