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Week 9's fantasy football playbook
The latest fantasy football news, rankings, start/sit advice, and more to help you avoid misery on Sunday.
Thanks again for being a loyal reader and subscriber! Keep reading for the latest fantasy football rankings, news, and analysis from the 5th Down Fantasy team and around the web. Best of luck in Week 9!
📰 Week 9 news you can use
Who is trending up and down heading into Sunday’s action, courtesy of our friends at FantasyPros.
😥 Joe Mixon (chest) is listed as questionable for Week 9 versus the Bills. But don’t worry too much, as Mixon was able to practice in full on Thursday and Friday. It seems very likely that he will suit up on Sunday night and continue to rank as a low-end RB1 in fantasy football.
🙌 Daniel Jones (neck) has been removed from the Giants’ injury report after logging a full practice on Friday. He will play in Week 9 versus the Las Vegas Raiders. He was off to a slow start before his injury but could benefit from playing against a soft Vegas defense.
🤞 Josh Downs (knee) remained limited in practice on Friday. He is officially questionable to play against the Panthers on Sunday. Downs has been fantastic over the last four weeks, catching 23 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns.
😟 Matthew Stafford is expected to be a game-time decision after suffering a thumb injury last week. He did not practice all week, but he has played before in weeks where he did not practice. If he is sidelined, it would be Brett Rypien starting.
🙌 Chuba Hubbard will start for the Panthers in Week 9. He will “split” carries with Miles Sanders, but last week, he saw 15 carries to just two carries for Sanders. Hubbard should remain a solid RB2 play for fantasy managers this week.
📋 Week 9 rankings update
🚨 Our Week 9 fantasy football rankings for PPR, Half-PPR, and Standard scoring formats will update frequently up until kickoff on Sunday.
Insights on key fantasy matchups from the 5th Down team and some of my favorite experts from around the web.
📈 3 guys up
Tyler Boyd (CIN vs BUF) — “Dane Jackson and Taron Johnson both allow receptions over 80% (PFF) of the time while targeted, with Johnson already surrendering three touchdowns and a passer rating of 127.0 (PFF); the start is on for Tyler Boyd this week against Johnson in the slot. Tee Higgins will have opportunities against Dane Jackson and potentially Rasul Douglas, but his inconsistency so far in 2023 makes him difficult to work into a lineup for me.” — Gavin Babbit, 5th Down Fantasy
Zack Moss (IND at CAR) — “Even with Jonathan Taylor back and now playing at a high level, Moss has still found a way to be productive. Moss has scored at least 14.4 PPR points in three of four games with Taylor, and he has four touchdowns over that span. He also has at least 12 total touches in each of those outings, which should continue in Week 9 at Carolina. The Panthers are No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and eight running backs have scored at least 11.2 PPR points against Carolina this season.” — Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports
Sam Howell (WAS at NE) — “Howell ranks eighth at the position in fantasy points scored this season. The Commanders quarterback has averaged 18.6 fantasy points per game through eight weeks. His PFF passing grade is below average, but his 369 dropbacks are by far the most at the position. He ranks in the top six in passing yards and passing touchdowns because of that volume. The Commanders have the fourth-best matchup for quarterbacks this week, according to our strength of schedule tool. Howell has graded better against man defenses than zone defenses this season. He's also recorded a higher big-time throw rate (8.9% to 4.5%) and a slightly lower turnover-worthy throw rate (3.6% to 3.7%) against man coverage than against zone.” — Nathan Jahnke, PFF.com
📉 3 guys down
Tony Pollard (DAL vs. PHI) — “Pollard just keeps running into issues in the red zone. The team now has 15 offensive touchdowns with 10 through the air and only five on the ground, one of which went to Prescott. They aren't leaning on their rushing attack in that area as much as they historically have. Pollard also only earned one target, while Rico Dowdle had two. We know it'll be hard to be efficient running against Philadelphia, so he'll need to either score or catch passes to produce. His role and usage keep him in the top 24, but he's not a must-start.” — Josh Constantinou, RotoBaller.com
Alexander Mattison (MIN at ATL) — “Mattison returned to leading Minnesota’s backfield last week but got just 1.9 YPC against a bad Green Bay run defense while losing a short score to Cam Akers. Mattison ranks 58th out of 61 qualified backs in rush yards over expectation this season (Akers ranks last). The Falcons have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs and are the only defense yet to cede a rushing score to the position. With fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall making his first career NFL start at QB, the Vikings’ offense (still missing Justin Jefferson) could struggle. Only Arizona and Chicago have lower implied team point totals than Minnesota this week.” — Dalton Del Don, Yahoo Sports
Zay Flowers (BAL vs SEA) — “Flowers is likely to be moved around drawing matchups with Tariq Woolen, Tre Brown and Devon Witherspoon. The fade is on for Flowers; Seattle’s corners are all being targeted deep down the field, limiting the Ravens’ chances to catch them over the top. Flowers is going to have to make contested catches against this trio of corners, all of which have forced incompletion percentages north of 15% (PFF), that is good for top 30 in the NFL for all three.” — Gavin Babbit, 5th Down Fantasy
💸 Wanna bet?
Here are two lineups I’m going with in Week 9 DraftKings based on some of my favorite matchups.
Lastly, a few takes that have me sold on certain DK plays this week from some of my favorite experts on the World Wide Web (you may refer to it as the information superhighway).
Jalen Hurts (QB, $8,000) — “The knee issue Hurts is dealing with is enough to have some trepidation in cash games and going completely overweight in tournaments, but there are only a few options on this slate that have his upside at the position. This game can also still pop. The one thing we were looking for was if his knee injury would prevent him from running last week, and he only scrambled one time. For the game, he rushed four times for six yards after he rushed for a season-low 21 yards the week prior. Dallas leads the NFL in pressure rate (48.3%). Hurts had handled pressure well, completing 54.5% of his passes (fifth) for 7.6 yards per pass attempt (fourth) with six touchdowns and two interceptions (92.6 rating).” — Rich Hribar, Sharp Football Analysis
Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, $5,400) — “Stevenson has a 93% Bargain Rating on DraftKings and has outperformed his salary-based expectations in two of his past three weeks. Like Kamara, he has been very involved as a receiver, with at least four targets in each of the last three weeks and over 50 receiving yards against the Bills two weeks ago. On the season, Stevenson has averaged over 15 touches per game and double-digit DraftKings points even though he has only found the end zone two times. The Patriots don’t have a lot of playmakers and are dealing with multiple injuries, which could lead to even more work for Stevenson.” — Zach Thompson, Fantasylabs.com
Demario Douglas (WR, $4,000) – “The diminutive Douglas caught the eye of the Patriots at the Shrine game, then they selected him in the sixth round of the 2023 draft. Coming from a small school, it took time to get adjusted and he suffered an injury early on, but it looks like he’s arrived and will be a significant part of the offense going forward. Two weeks ago, he played in 62% of the snaps and caught four of six targets for 54 yards while rushing once for 20 yards. Last week, he played in 77% of the snaps and caught five of seven targets for 25 yards along with one rush for four yards. With Kendrick Bourne done for the season and the matchup a good one, Douglas could be primed for a breakout game.” — Stan Son, DKN.com