Fantasy Football Report: Week 9

Gourav Pany, Staff Writer

No one needs to be told to start Patrick Mahomes on their fantasy team. But what about the flex tight-end/wide-receiver position? What about that one running back on waivers that might be able to fill in a spot for a starting running back on a bye week? Well, this is the place to find the important information in terms of fantasy football, as well as to get a second opinion on who to start or sit this week.


QB: Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

QB Carson Wentz’s game against the Tennessee Titans last week will probably go down as one of the most up and down performances of his career. On one hand, Wentz performed well in fantasy, posting 231 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in a game where the Colts deviated from their original game plan of running the football with RB Jonathan Taylor once the game got close. On the other hand, Wentz threw two boneheaded interceptions that looked horrible to even the casual viewer. The first interception was inexcusable, as he dropped back into his own end zone and just threw the ball up in the air in fear of a safety, which resulted in CB Elijah Molden jumping up to grab the football and walk a foot into the end zone. The second one was a result of Wentz forcing the football into a small window when he didn’t need to, as S Kevin Byard intercepted the football in overtime, which led to the game winning field goal by the Titans. However, Wentz faces the Jets on a short week, who have let the 7th most passing yards per game in the league. This should be an enticing matchup for Wentz, who will look to cut down on the mistakes and throw the ball all across the field against a banged-up Jets secondary, making him a low-end QB1 with a high-end QB1 upside.

Projection: 20.98 points (non-PPR)

RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

Originally labeled as a bust early in his career as an early draft pick for the Minnesota Vikings, WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson has had a pleasantly surprising resurgence season that many originally labeled as a fluke. However, Patterson’s consistent fantasy production has cemented him as a RB1/WR1, and that is projected to continue against the New Orleans Saints, who have been stout against the run this season. However, Patterson poses a matchup problem as a wide receiver and a running back, which leads to more touches, which means more production. Adding to his production is his resurgence in the running game, where he has outcarried original starting RB Mike Davis 23-10 over the past two weeks. Patterson has cemented himself as a RB1 with flexibility to be a WR1, which makes him indispensable for any fantasy football league.

Projection: 11.80 points (non-PPR)

WR: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Williams had a bad game against the Patriots, drawing coverage from CB J.C. Jackson and struggling to get open. Added to that was the exotic back-end coverage that the Patriots deploy, with a safety often assigned to take away a receiver once he gets past a certain mark, while the corner passes him off and takes another receiver. Long story short, this scheme made QB Justin Herbert hesitant to throw to Mike Williams in fear of being intercepted, as evidenced by his measly 5:2 target to reception ratio. However, Williams will get a matchup against the Eagles, who have been burned by offenses with versatile weapons like Williams, who will draw matchups against CB Darius Slay, who has had a drop off in quality of play from last year, leading to a bounce-back matchup for one of the most talented wide receivers in the league.

Projection: 10.90 points (non-PPR)

TE: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Gesicki had a bad day against the Bills last week, which was expected given the success that the Bills have had overall defensively, and because of the return of WR Devante Parker, who hogged 11 targets this past week. However, the Dolphins face the Houston Texans, who have been equally bad this season. Though the Texans defense is middle-of-the-pack, Gesicki will look to be the go-to target for QB Tua Tagovailoa, who has targeted Gesicki in every big instance and big game, including Gesicki’s back-to-back 80+ yard games against the Jaguars and the Falcons. Gesicki should be a TE1 option in a week in which TE T.J. Hockenson and TE Rob Gronkowski will be on a bye week.

Projection: 9.80 points (non-PPR)

K: Nick Folk, New England Patriots

In the Patriots’ shocking win against the Chargers, Folk had plenty of opportunities to kick field goals in a game in which the Patriots only scored 2 touchdowns and relied heavily on Folk to carry them to victory. In a matchup against a tough Carolina Panthers defense, the Patriots have a potent enough offense to move them into field goal range, where Folk reigns supreme, with only one miss in the past 57 field goal attempts. With two consecutive blockbuster games in the past two weeks (for a kicker), Folk looks poised to become a top three kicker option in most fantasy leagues.

Projection: 11.00 points (non-PPR)

DEF: New England Patriots

After a stellar performance against a red-hot Chargers offense that saw the Patriots log two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and three sacks. Led by a ferocious front seven featuring OLB Matthew Judon and a secondary that features CB J.C. Jackson, the Patriots will be in demand as a top defense option against a Carolina Panthers offense that might be without QB Sam Darnold, who has been unspectacular even when healthy, and is not a clear upgrade over former XFL star QB P.J. Walker.

Projection: 11.00 points (non-PPR)


QB: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Lawrence has had solid fantasy production this whole season, which has led to him being rostered by almost half of the fantasy community. However, the Jaguars will face the Buffalo Bills, who have the No.1 ranked defense in the NFL overall. Lawrence did not fare well against the Seahawks, who have an average defense, and given the skill that the Bills’ pass defense has shown all season, Lawrence will have a tough time mustering anything, let alone QB1 numbers. At best, Lawrence will be a low-end QB2 with average QB2 upside given the tough matchup.

Projection: 9.92 points (non-PPR)

RB: Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

While he was a hot pickup given his increased production last year because of RB Ezekiel Elliot’s decreased production, RB Tony Pollard has not lived up to the expectations of a RB1. Although the production is there in terms of carries and receptions, Pollard’s fantasy outlook looks dimmer than usual because of the reemergence of RB Ezekiel Elliot, and that does not project to change against the Denver Broncos, who are stout against the run. Additionally, QB Dak Prescott will likely be returning from injury this week, which reduces the amount of touches Pollard will get. All-in-all, Pollard should be looked as a low-end touchdown dependent RB3, like most No.2 running backs, and projects as a risky pick any week unless the health status of Ezekiel Elliot changes.

Projection: 6.70 points (non-PPR)

WR: A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans

It’s been a while since WR A.J. Brown produced, as he was kept quiet by an assortment of nagging lower body injuries. However, Brown exploded against the Indianapolis Colts for 155 yards and a touchdown. This is expected to change, however, against a Los Angeles Chargers secondary that has been stout against the pass, only letting rookie QB Mac Jones to pass for 218 passing yards last week. A majority of Brown’s production came one one touchdown reception for 50 yards. Although he remains a strong fantasy option, he should be looked at as a desperation-play low-end touchdown-dependent WR2, especially with the expected return of WR Julio Jones.

Projection: 7.90 points (non-PPR)

TE: Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Although TE Noah Fant has been solid in his sophomore season in the NFL, his fantasy stats haven’t matched his overall importance to the Denver Broncos offense. Traditionally, tight ends aren’t known for their yardage production, with the position mostly benefitting from touchdowns to boost their overall point total. However, Noah Fant, who has produced decently well in the yardage department, has only found the end zone twice, which is not optimal for a tight end who is part of an offense that doesn’t move the ball well despite the presence of WR Courtland Sutton, WR Jerry Jeudy and RB Melvin Gordon. In summary, Noah Fant’s yardage total is not enough to overcome the volume and touchdown production that has been lacking in his game, which is further bolstered by the fact that he plays against the Dallas Cowboys, who have stiffened up drastically defensively, especially last week against a tight-end dependent Minnesota Vikings.

Projection: 3.20 points (non-PPR)

K: Matt Prater, Arizona Cardinals

K Matt Prater has been exceptional for many fantasy managers for almost every week except for the week the Cardinals faced the 49ers. And with another matchup against the 49ers, this result is to be expected again. QB Kyler Murray was in a walking book by the end of the Cardinals’ game against the Packers, which may lead to decreased quarterback play this week against a 49ers defense that has done better against the pass than the stats suggest. This should decrease Praters’ field goal attempt total, which will negatively affect his fantasy value.

Projection: 7.00 points (non-PPR)

DEF: Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos drew a bad card this week fantasy-wise as they face a Cowboys team that performed well against the Vikings without QB Dak Prescott. However, with Prescott returning, the Broncos will have a hard time defending an offense that will also have WR Michael Gallup return to a wide receiving corps that includes WR CeeDee Lamb and WR Amari Cooper. The Broncos also traded away OLB Von Miller to the Rams, leading to a decreased pass rush and a bad situation for Broncos’ fantasy managers. Although OLB Kenny Young is expected to fill in for Miller, this defense is just not good enough to compete with the best offense in football.

Projection: 2.00 points (non-PPR)