Week 9 Roundtable
Welcome to the Fighting Chance Roundtable! Each week we will be asking our panel of Fighting Chance Staff a series of questions for the upcoming slate of NFL games. Each person will give you the best answer to the question in order to help set your lineups this week, both season long and DFS. This week we have Steve Rapin (@fantasygeek37 on Twitter), Kacey Kasem (@thekaceykasem), Jim Day (@fantasytaz), Brian Drake (@drakefantasy), and for the first time here at Fighting Chance, Kari Thomas (@12ozcurlsports). Please dear reader, follow them on Twitter and enjoy the Week 9 Roundtable!
Sleeper of the Week
Kari’s Pick – D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers. D.J. Moore is facing a Tampa Bay defense that is giving up the second most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey can’t win the game by themselves, so I expect D.J. Moore’s already expanding role to grow even more in a game that has the potential to be a shootout with Ryan FitzMagic back at the helm for Tampa Bay.
Jim’s Pick - Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos. With Royce Freeman looking like he won’t go again in Week 9, Booker will once again be the backup to Phillip Lindsay. Last week Booker was expected to be a part of the passing game with Freeman out, but while he did catch 4 passes for 23 yards he also ran the ball 9 times for another 78 yards. This week they face a Houston defense that has been pretty stout against the run but are susceptible to pass catching backs. They have allowed 46 passes, 314 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air to running backs.
Brian’s Pick – Tre’Quon Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints. The Saints rookie is going to score and go over 100 yards vs a Rams defense who struggles to cover speed receivers. I can see Smith taking advantage of Marcus Peters and being the breakout player he was a few weeks ago on MNF.
Kacey’s Pick - D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers. First and foremost, he's available in 90% of ESPN leagues and 81% of Yahoo leagues. If you want a guy who has a strong chance of scoring fantasy points, this is a wide receiver I'd take a look at. The Panthers are playing a bad Tampa Bay defense, so things are looking up for Moore. Plus, Torrey Smith has been injured which gives the rookie Moore more opportunities.
Steve’s Pick - Kapri Bibbs, RB, Washington Redskins. Chris Thompson has already been ruled out for this game against the Falcons and in the last game without Thompson, Bibbs caught four balls for 43 yards and a score. The Falcons have given up the most receptions to opposing running backs this season, so Bibbs could be an interesting flex play in PPR leagues in Week 9.
Bust of the Week
Kacey’s Pick - LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills. You drafted him to be a solid running back, and it's hard to think he'll be able to pull that off this week. The Bills are up against Chicago this week, so the matchup is not ideal. McCoy only has 257 yards rushing on 75 attempts this year. And now Nathan Peterman is under center with injuries to Josh Allen and Derek Anderson. Doesn't look great for McCoy this week.
Brian’s Pick - Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams. The Saints haven't allowed a RB to rush for 70 yards all season. They are also stingy vs the pass out of the backfield. They shutdown Gurley this week.
Steve’s Pick - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks. Russ Wilson has been playing out of his ass the last three weeks as he’s thrown for three touchdowns in each of those games. However, he’s doing it on an extreme level of efficiency as he’s only had 21, 23, and 17 pass attempts over that span. Seattle has reverted back to a run-first team and Wilson should come back to earth this week against the Chargers.
Jim’s Pick - Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions. Kerryon has been playing well for fantasy even with a vulture in Blount touchdowns. Last week he didn’t do much in the rushing game, but he saved his fantasy day by catching 6 balls for 69 yards. This week he is facing the Vikings who are only allowing 3.78 yards-per-carry and have not allowed a rusher to gain more than 83 yards on the season. Plus, it looks like Theo Riddick may be back this week and muddy up the waters once again.
Kari’s Pick – Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions. With the trade of Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles, it looked as if Marvin Jones Jr. would be an amazing play this week until you saw who the Lions are facing. Jones will be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes (who appears likely to play despite his questionable tag). I expect Kenny Golladay to come away with the most yards and at least a touchdown in this one with Jones facing a tough matchup on the road.
Which Offense Improved the most from the Trade Deadline?
Brian Says – Philadelphia Eagles. The best "real" football trade was the Eagles getting Golden Tate. Another weapon for Carson Wentz and that means less emphasis on a bad running game. Tate should slide right into a solid role weekly.
Steve Says -Philadelphia Eagles. Acquiring Golden Tate is a huge move for the defending champs as they are still trying to find their groove in 2018. Nelson Agholor has been struggling and while Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz have been playing great, Tate’s ability to play anywhere on the field, as well as his ability to gain massive yards after the catch is going to add a new dimension to that Eagles’ offense.
Kari Says - Baltimore Ravens. I was pretty torn on whether the Ravens or Eagles were the offensive trade deadline winners but after looking at what the Ravens had to give up (a 7th round pick) and what the Eagles gave up (a 3rd round pick), it made it easier to choose. The Ravens needed a solid pass-catching back and that’s what they got in Ty Montgomery. Montgomery didn’t have a ton of opportunities with the Packers this season but he’s averaged 11.3 yards per catch which ranks fifth among backs in the league.
Jim Says -Dallas Cowboys. The offense that should be helped the most by the recent trades should be the Dallas Cowboys and their acquisition of WR Amari Cooper. I am not the biggest Cooper fan, but he brings something to the table that Dallas didn’t have before; a #1 WR that defenses will have to take seriously. This should open the door for both Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup to get a little more involved as defenses account for Cooper. Plus, it should open up running lanes for Ezekiel Elliot. Cooper has some flaws, but he is still a young receiver that can continue to get better. Maybe all he needed was a change of scenery and a new QB.
Kacey Says - Philadelphia Eagles. They managed to get Golden Tate for a third-round pick. A third rounder, when Amari Cooper went for a first rounder to Dallas. The Eagles have been hampered by injuries this season, and adding Tate to their roster can help them get back in the swing of things and look like that dynamic team they were last season.
Which player’s that wasn’t traded fantasy value was hurt the worst from a trade?
Jim Says – Buck Allen. Allen has been a big surprise with 288 total yards, 30 receptions and 5 touchdowns so far. But the addition of Ty Montgomery should push Allen back to the bench. Montgomery is a better version of Allen and should get moved into the change of pace role fairly quickly.
Kari Says –Nelson Agholor. Nelson Agholor’s fantasy value and real-life value went down drastically with the Eagles trade for Golden Tate. There simply aren’t enough targets to go around and too many mouths to feed in the Eagles offense now. Agholor can be cut in any format as far as I can tell as the bulk of the targets will be going to Alshon Jeffrey, Zach Ertz and Golden Tate. Ertz and Jeffrey may see a small dip in their target totals but nothing that should give owners any fears in rostering them.
Brian Says – Nelson Agholor. The Eagles adding Golden Tate just kills Agholor's value. He's dead for fantasy. Drop him.
Kacey Says - Pierre Garcon. I seriously feel for Garcon. I know there are a few guys out there that had their value hurt after the trade deadline passed, but I feel like Garcon would have benefited from a change of scenery. He's 32 years old right now, so he's not getting any younger. He has yet to score a touchdown with the 49ers, and who knows if he'll be able to this season. I'd hate to see his career end this way.
Steve Says - Matthew Stafford. I want to think a little bit different here. Matt Stafford wasn’t on the trade block and was in no danger of being moved, but losing Golden Tate signals what we have already started seeing…that the Lions are shifting to a run-first team. Stafford could see a career low in pass attempts this year and losing his most reliable weapon in the passing game is going to hurt. With Tate gone, Stafford is now a mid-to-low end QB2 or streaming option among the quarterback ranks.
Over/Under - 3.5 - Number of 100 yard games for Marlon Mack rest of the season?
Brian Says – Under. I'll take the under. He's not a special talent. He always has a tendency to bounce the play outside. This year he's doing better but I still can't see this trend of hot play continue.
Jim Says – Over. Marlon Mack has been running extremely well since coming back from injury, including 2 straight 100-yard games leading into the bye. On the other side of the bye Indianapolis has a pretty tough schedule against some stout run defenses. They have Jacksonville and the Titans twice, the Texans in Houston, the Dolphins, Giants and Cowboys at home. Jacksonville has allowed 3 100-yard rushers so far on the season, while Tennessee and Houston have yet to allow one. I expect Mack to have at least 1 100-yard performance against Jacksonville and for him to eclipse that mark again against the Dolphins and Giants. That leaves 5 games and as long as he can stay healthy I expect him to hit one of those as well, so I am going with the over.
Steve Says – Over. I believe Marlon Mack is going to have four or more games over 100 yards for two reasons. First, the Colts really seem dedicated to establishing the run game and taking pressure off of Andrew Luck. Secondly, I like their schedule for the final eight games of the season. Here is who they play, with their opponent’s current rush defense ranking in terms of yards against in parenthesis. Jacksonville-twice (24th), Tennessee-twice (19th), Miami (29th), Houston (7th), Dallas (9th), NYG (23rd). As long as he stays healthy, I think Mack has a very good shot at finishing out the year strong.
Kacey Says – Over. He already has two games in a row over 100 rushing yards, and I like his upcoming schedule. I look for him to have five or six more of those kinds of games if they just allow him to touch the ball.
Kari Says – Over. I can see Mack running all over the Jaguars (twice), Giants, and Dolphins. The Giants, Jaguars and Dolphins are ranked 23rd, 24th and 30th against the rush on the season, respectively. I think it’s entirely possible in a home matchup he performs well against the Cowboys but I feel confident in saying Mack will complete the season with at LEAST four more 100+ rushing games.