Welcome back to my trust or bust series, brought back for 2022, here we look at the Week 9 matchups.
After all the games I’ve been fortunate enough to watch I was blessed with yet another memorable moment this past Sunday. No, it wasn’t Christian McCaffrey and his trifecta touchdown game, although that was incredible. No, it wasn’t PJ Walker’s hail-mary touchdown pass to DJ Moore. That was pretty awesome though. No, it wasn’t Derrick Henry’s 5th career two-hundred-yard rushing game. This moment was a little more personal. A moment I’m sure every father hopes for.
This past Sunday I was watching the game while my son Baker (yes, he is named after Baker Mayfield, but that’s a story for another day.) and my wife were attending church over zoom. They came out of the room to grab something and as they headed back my son, who mind you, is only 16 months old started to cry suddenly. My wife walked back into the living room and said ‘Baker, what’s wrong?’ and I couldn’t believe what happened next.
My son gestured toward the TV and said ‘fooball’. My son wanted to watch the football game. Wow! My heart melted and I had a smile on my face all day.
We often forget that football and fantasy, while fun and exciting, are much more enjoyable and memorable when we watch them with the ones who mean the most to us and we get to share those special moments. Week 9 might not be as special as Week 8 when you consider the teams on bye this week. Then again, we don’t know until we know.
Thankfully, the trade deadline was pretty epic.
QB Tom Brady (TB)
Week 8 Ranking 9th
Week 8 Finish 19th
I try to avoid having players who play on Thursday Night because I don’t turn my articles in until Friday night, so for those of you who started Brady, sorry about that. At least, the Bucs’ offense looked better.
RB Kenneth Walker III (SEA)
Week 8 Ranking 6th
Week 8 Finish 25th
The Seahawks have been a great story this year and they’ve been great in fantasy this season. Walker didn’t have a bad game by any means and he added to his touchdown total, which is always nice. I imagine any chance of trading for Walker has passed, but it’s worth a shot.
WR Justin Jefferson (MIN)
Week 8 Ranking 2nd
Week 8 Finish 20th
Look, you never, ever sit Justin Jefferson, even if there’s a fire. However, I did mention how good the Cardinals’ defense has been against wide receivers this season, especially top-tier wide receivers.
TE Robert Tonyan (GB)
Week 8 Ranking 11th
Week 8 Finish 17th
Is the Green Bay offense broken or is Aaron Rodgers broken? Either way, it’s hard to trust anyone not named Aaron Jones in the Packers’ offense.
As if my son didn’t already make Week 8 special enough. Now I get to add a perfect week to the list.
Week 8 Results- 4 for 4 100%
Week 9 Inside/ Outside Picks
QB Joe Burrow (CIN)
Current Ranking 2nd
AVG Points per Game 23.3
Week 9 ranking 8th
In eight weeks Joe Cool has six QB1 performances with three of those being top five. Losing a player like Ja’Marr Chase will make things difficult for any quarterback and we saw that on Monday night. Now, Burrow and the Bengals have to face a hungry Panthers team after a devastating loss and a defense that has held quarterbacks to less than two hundred and fifty pass yards in six out of eight games.
Who I like More
QB Trevor Lawrence (JAX)
Week 9 ranking 14th
Trevor ‘Sunshine’ Lawrence has had somewhat of an up-and-down season but looking at his past performances there have been more ups than downs. With four QB1 performances so far this season, Lawrence has been a great second quarterback to start in SuperFlex leagues and is becoming a quarterback we can trust in 1QB leagues as well. Considering this matchup versus the lowly Raiders who have surrendered the third most passing touchdowns with fifteen, ‘Sunshine’ is well on his way to his fifth QB1 performance this week.
RB Leonard Fournette (TB)
Current Ranking 8th
AVG Points per Game 16.6
Week 9 ranking 11th
In his last five games, Uncle Lenny has had some high highs with three RB1 finishes. He’s also experienced some pretty low lows with a game outside the top forty. Neither the Rams nor the Buccaneers have been very good or consistent this season and after the performance CMC had against the Rams last week, one would think Fournette is a must-start. Yet, even after the Week 8 slashing by McCaffrey the Rams run defense still allowed the second-fewest points to running backs this season.
Who I like More
RB Jamaal Williams (DET)
Week 9 ranking 18th
Williams has been somewhat touchdown-dependent. Thankfully when he scores, he scores in bunches; four multiple-touchdown games already this season. Williams has shown he has a nose for the endzone. Luckily for him, the Packers have given up a touchdown almost every game on average to running backs. Can you guess who is second among running backs in rushing touchdowns? You guessed it, it’s Jamaal Williams.
WR Tee Higgins (CIN)
Current Ranking 20th
AVG Points per Game 14.6
Week 9 ranking 9th
Much to people’s dismay Tee Higgins did not perform like someone who could fill the void left behind by Ja’Marr Chase, let alone take over as the team’s primary receiver. Not many receivers can to be fair. Like Higgins, most wide receivers don’t perform up to their usual standards when facing a Panthers secondary that’s only given up two WR1 finishes all season. Higgins could disappoint for the second time this week.
Who I like More
WR Terry McLaurin (WAS)
Week 9 Ranking 18th
With back-to-back performances of fifteen or more points, McLaurin is starting to show signs of life. Six double-digit scoring performances on the season would lead us to believe McLaurin is quarterback-proof. In a matchup with the Minnesota Vikings and their secondary that’s third in receiving yards allowed, McLaurin is in for a big fantasy week.
TE T.J. Hockenson (MIN)
Current Ranking 4th
AVG Points per Game 12.2
Week 9 ranking 12th
After a monster, yet unexpected trade the Minnesota Vikings added a top-tier tight end in TJ Hockensen and the timing couldn’t have been any better after the loss of Irv Smith. Typically, players need time to get acclimated to their new teams and learn their new offense. If that wasn’t enough for Hockensen to deal with, he also has the “pleasure” of facing the Commanders defense that is number one versus tight ends.
Who I like More
TE Cole Kmet (CHI)
Week 9 ranking 22nd
He did it! It only took eight weeks, but Cole Kmet finally scored the touchdown we’ve all been waiting for (the ones who still have him rostered that is). Another thing going for Kmet is the fact that Justin Fields and the Bears are passing the ball more. The Bears will need to pass and pass a lot this week to keep up with the pass-heavy Miami Dolphins. It just so happens Kmet could pay off again this week against a Dolphins team that allows eleven points per game to tight ends.
That’s gonna do it for this week’s piece. I hope you found the info useful and actionable.
Thank you for reading. Just a reminder, my fantasy podcast: The ATB Fantasy Show records a new episode every Thursday. You can find the podcast on most major platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. Here’s a link to the most recent episode.
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Image Credit: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports