Sometimes in fantasy football you need to think big to win. Doug Moore presents his Week 9 fantasy football bold predictions that will separate you from the competition.
We are now over halfway through the fantasy football regular season, which marks the time when owners may need to take some risks in order to orient themselves for a strong playoff run. Keep that in mind while reading my Week 9 bold predictions.
Coming off one of his worst games of the season (throwing for for 265 yards and a touchdown) against the Seahawks, Brees gets a great match-up this weekend against the 49ers. Over the past two games, the 49ers have given up a total of 448 yards and five touchdowns against Tyrod Taylor and Jameis Winston. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Brees and company have a much stronger passing attack. Brees has thrown for at least 400 yards and four touchdowns in two games this season, so we know he’s still capable of putting up big numbers for the Saints offense against one of the worst defenses in the entire league this weekend. Expect a big game from Brees.
Wentz has exceeded the expectations of many in his rookie season to this point, throwing for 1,526 yards to go with nine touchdowns and only three interceptions. He has struggled a bit over the past two games though, throwing for only 340 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also is facing the Giants this weekend, who have given up only one touchdown and collected four interceptions in the past two games against opposing quarterbacks, thanks in part to their much improved secondary. Wentz has played well but also hasn’t put up mind-boggling stats this season either. He is someone to avoid this weekend.
Elliott has proven to be worth every penny the Cowboys paid after drafting him in April. He has 799 yards rushing and five touchdowns in seven games this season, which is incredible for a rookie running back. He has rushed for at least 80 yards in six straight games while also having four games this season with over 130 yards rushing. This weekend, he faces the Browns, who have given up 501 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns over the past three games, just under 134 yards and two touchdowns per game on average. While they have faced DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte and Jeremy Hill over that span, Elliott has proven to be one of the best running backs in the game already. Don’t be surprised if Elliott has a monster game against this weak defense.
Matt Forte struggles against a surprisingly tough Miami run defense
Speaking of Forte, he faces the Dolphins this weekend who have been tough against opposing running backs over the past two weeks, giving up only 163 total yards and one touchdown during that span. While Forte has 182 yards and three touchdowns over the past two games, this is easily the toughest match-up he has seen in recent weeks and could be in for a rough day. With also having 55 rushing attempts over the past two games, the Jets could decide to use Bilal Powell more to keep Forte fresh as well. He has a tough match-up this weekend on top of his crazy usage, so it might be best to temper expectations for Forte in Week 9.
Unfortunately for Todd Gurley owners, he has another bad week
Despite the Panthers’ overall struggles this season, they have done well over the past couple of games against opposing running backs. They have given up only 83 rushing yards over the past two games combined and no touchdowns. Gurley has had a rough 2016, rushing for 70+ yards only twice in seven games and having only scored three rushing touchdowns this season. The Panthers still boast one of the best front sevens in football and Gurley will be in for another rough outing against a tough defense.
Coming back from a serious shoulder injury after missing five games, Moncrief finished with 41 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. In his two full games this season, Moncrief has 105 yards receiving and has scored in both games. He faces a Packers team this weekend, who just gave up 194 yards receiving and two touchdowns to the Falcons wide receiver corps. T.Y. Hilton is dealing with an injury and will likely be limited again which means Phillip Dorsett is strictly a deep threat. Moncrief likely will need to step up and be the team’s go-to receiver in this juicy match-up. He is in for a big game.
Crabtree is coming off two great games, going for 16 receptions, 204 yards and a touchdown on 27 targets. Unfortunately, he faces the Broncos this weekend, who have given up only 244 yards and a touchdown to opposing wide receivers over the past three games. Even with Aqib Talib slated to be out, Crabtree will likely draw Bradley Roby in coverage who did well last week. His teammate Amari Cooper is playing at an equally terrific level and has no ceiling at this point. Both will likely have less than optimal games, but with how hot Cooper has been, Crabtree is likely the one to suffer because of that. He isn’t due for another great game here.
Dez Bryant shows that his Week 8 performance was no fluke going up against Cleveland
In his first game back following a four game absence due to a knee injury, Dez had a solid game. He finished with four receptions, 113 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets against a particularly tough Eagles defense. This weekend, he gets to face the weak Browns defense, who have given up 663 yards and five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past three games. Dez was by far Dak Prescott’s favorite target and it will likely stay that way going forward. Expect to see him force-fed a lot of targets this weekend and perhaps have an even better performance than the one he had in Week 8.
Pitta has seen double digit targets in two straight games but has only come down with 10 receptions and 76 yards. Luckily, he faces the Steelers this weekend, who have given up 199 yards and a touchdown to opposing tight ends over the past two games. Even though Steve Smith Sr. is expected to play this weekend, Pitta will likely see close to double digit targets again, as Smith may be limited, with a better chance of racking up yards and even a touchdown. He is a strong play this weekend.
After going for 213 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 3 and 4, Graham has struggled a bit since. He has 14 receptions for 176 yards over the past three games and faces the Bills this weekend. Outside of both Patriots tight ends (Martellus Bennett with 109 yards in Week 4 and Rob Gronkowski with 109 yards and a touchdown in Week 8) having great games, the Bills have given up no more than 39 yards to an opposing tight end and haven’t allowed a touchdown either. Russell Wilson has struggled over the past three games with zero passing touchdowns and Graham has suffered because of that. He has a tough match-up this weekend and shouldn’t be relied on to do well in it.