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For the second consecutive week, 6 teams will be on a bye. This eliminates almost 20% of the player pool. This especially impacts the the Running back and Tight End positions.

Tight End is incredibly thin this week. Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, and Tyler Eifert are all on byes. That leaves Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker as the only two must start TEs this week. The very average Travis Kelce is my No.3 ranked TE this week.

I use a A-F grading scale for each player. I do this because I think many players values are equal. In DFS, if two players have the same grade, go with the cheaper option.

“A” Players are expected to have big games. “B” players are must starts. “C” players are borderline starters. A “C+” means I would lean towards starting them, and a “C-” means I’d lean towards not starting them. “D” players are not recommended starters, and “F” players are not listed.

As it related to DFS; These numbers are based on FanDuel’s player pricing. Grades are based on FanDuels’s 1/2 point PPR scoring system. A= $8,000 plus, B= $6,500-$7,900, C= $5,500-$6,400, D= $4,600-$5,400, and F= $4,500. Keep in mind QBs prices are inflated by around $1,000, and TEs prices are deflated by around $1,000.

Week 9 Game Previews and Fantasy Predictions

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

After getting off to a great 5-0 start, the Viking’s offense has unraveled. In an odd development, Offensive Coordinator Norv Tuner quit due to issues with Head Coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings can’t really play any worse on offense. Sam Bradford’s play, and an offensive line that allowed 5 sacks last week, are crippling this unit.

The Minnesota defense is still going strong. They will be a tough match-up for the Lions. In two games against Minnesota last season the Lions only scored 2 TDs.

Player Grades

Lions
Theo Riddick B
Marvin Jones C
Matthew Stafford C-
Golden Tate C-
Eric Ebron (Q)/Anquan Boldin D+

Vikings
Stefon Diggs B-
Jerick McKinnon (Q) C+
Kyle Rudolph C
Matt Asiata C-

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger is 50/50 to play this week. If he plays, it makes this a completely different game. The Ravens have been regressing on offense and defense. I believe the Steelers should win with Big Ben or Landry Jones.

The Pittsburgh pass defense has been a weakness. Joe Flacco and the Raven’s pass catchers have a chance to put up decent stats playing from behind. Rookie RB Kenneth Dixon is also expected to see more touches going forward.

Player Grades

Steelers
Le’Veon Bell A-
Antonio Brown A-
Ben Roethlisberger (Q) B-
Landry Jones C-
Sammie Coates D+

Ravens
Mike Wallace C+
Joe Flacco/Steve Smith(Q)/Terrance West C
Dennis Pitta C-
Kenneth Dixon/Breshard Perriman D+

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins played their best two games of the season before a bye last week. Jay Ajayi joined Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, and O.J. Simpson as the only RBs to ever have back-to-back 200 yards. He’s unlikely to go for a third, but you’re a special player when you join a list like that. Hopefully, the bye week won’t slow Miami’s momentum.

The Jets are simply an all around bad team despite coming offing a close victory against the winless Browns last week.

Player Grades

Jets
Brandon Marshall B
Matt Forte B-
Quincy Enunwa/Bilal Powell C-

Dolphins
Jay Ajayi B+
Jarvis Landry B
DeVante Parker C
Ryan Tannehill C-

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

This should be another hard fought battle in the NFC East, just as the Eagles-Cowboys game was last week. The Giants inability to run the ball will make things more difficult on them. Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Eli Manning should have good games based on sheer volume.

Carson Wentz has been playing great. His stats have not really reflected that. The biggest weakness Philly has is a lack of big play WRs. Darren Sproles saw more action than Ryan Mathews last week, and those two appear to be in a 50/50 split in the backfield.

Player Grades

Eagles
Darren Sproles C+
Carson Wentz/Ryan Mathews/Jordan Matthews C
Zach Ertz D+

Giants
Odell Beckham A
Eli Manning B
Sterling Shepard C+
Rashad Jennings/Shane Vereen C-

Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns

Dak Prescott was playing his worst game of the season through 3 quarters last Sunday night. He then led an amazing comeback overtime victory. Dez Bryant made his presence known in his first game returning from injury. This offense is rolling right now. There’s no logical reason to think the Cowboys won’t destroy the Browns this week.

Player Grades

Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott A
Dez Bryant A-
Dak Prescott B+
Cole Beasley/Jason Witten C+
Terrance Williams/Alfred Morris D+

Browns
Terrelle Pryor/Gary Barnidge C+
Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson C-

Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs

The struggling Jaguars fired OC Greg Olsen after an embarrassing Thursday night loss. Blake Bortles has played terrible this season. His stats are still decent, as he remains the King of garbage time fantasy points. The Chiefs defense is no joke. They just pounded the Colts in Indy last week.

Spencer Ware will likely miss this game. Jamaal Charles is done for the year. Charcandrick West steps into the starting line-up, and gets a great match-up with the Jags. Alex Smith with also likely be out. The Chiefs passing game hasn’t provided much for fantasy owners. I don’t think Nick Foles starting will make much of a difference.

Player Grades

Jaguars
Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns C+
Blake Bortles/Julius Thomas C
T.J. Yeldon/Chris Ivory D

Chiefs
Charcandrick West B+
Travis Kelce B
Jeremy Maclin C
Nick Foles C-

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

The Saints had the most surprising win of last week, defeating Seattle mainly due to their defense. The Saint’s offense should light up San Francisco. Mark Ingram was benched for Tim Hightower due his fumbling issues. It will be interesting to see how the Saints chose to use these two backs this weeek.

Player Grades

Saints
Drew Brees A
Brandin Cooks B
Mike Thomas B-
Willie Snead C+
Mark Ingram/Tim Hightower/Coby Fleener C

49ers
Carlos Hyde (Q) C+
Torrey Smith C+
Colin Kaepernick C
Shaun Draughn C-

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams

The Panthers are starting to play much more like themselves. They’ve shifted toward a more run heavy offense, while also limiting the number of Cam Newton’s carries.

The Panther’s biggest weakness is their secondary. Case Keenum and the Ram’s offense are unlikely to take advantage of that though. Todd Gurley has the 2nd lowest YPC in the league. The unanimous top RB coming into the season is no longer a must start option.

Player Grades

Panthers
Greg Olsen A
Cam Newton B+
Jonathan Stewart/Kelvin Benjamin B-

Rams
Todd Gurley C
Tavon Austin/Kenny Britt C

Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers

The Chargers are the best 3-5 team in the league. They’ve suffered many tough loses. They are a strong favorite at home versus a solid Titans team. The Titans could have a bit of a let down game coming off their annihilation of the Jaguars on Thursday night.

Phillip Rivers should be able to pick apart the porous Titan’s secondary. Melvin Gordon could struggle in this game. The Titan’s two stars, DeMarco Murray and Delanie Walker will get theirs in this one. Marcus Mariota should be good too in a potentially high scoring affair.

Player Grades

Titans
DeMarco Murray A-
Delanie Walker A-
Marcus Mariota C+
Rishard Matthews/Kendall Wright/Derrick Henry D+

Chargers
Philip Rivers B+
Travis Benjammin/Melvin Gordon B-
Antonio Gates C+
Hunter Henry (Q)/Tyrell Williams C

Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers

The Packers have completely abandon the running game. Ty Montgomery is expected to play. He unexpectedly sat out last week due to an illness. Whether he plays RB or WR is a question mark. Montgomery, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb (if he plays) all have great PPR value in Green Bay’s new dink and dunk offense. Their yardage and TD potential are very limited though.

The Colt’s offense looked a lot different without T.Y. Hilton last week. Hilton is likely to play this week. It will be the first time he and Donte Moncrief will be on the field together since week one. The Packer’s secondary is decimated. they’re down to starting their No. 4 and No. 5 CBs.

Player Grades

Colts
Andrew Luck A
T.Y. Hilton (Q) B+
Donte Moncrief B-
Frank Gore/Jack Doyle/Phillip Dorsett D+

Packers
Aaron Rodgers A+
Jordy Nelson B+
Davante Adams/Ty Montgomery/Randall Cobb (Q) B-

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr is coming off an amazing 500 yard/4 TD performance, and he’s in the debate for MVP. I still would not start him against the Broncos this week. Carr had only 384 yards and 3 TDs in 2 dames versus Denver last season.
Denver’s offense is struggling. They don’t have a very intimidating passing attack. Devante Booker didn’t have a great game in his first start. He still put up 80 yards and a TD. He should of had 3 TDs, as he fumbled once on the 1-yard line, and the Fullback vultured another 1-yard TD.
This is a big Primetime division game with a lot on the line. The Raiders and Broncos are tied for the lead in the AFC West at 6-2. The Chiefs will also be 6-2 after they beat Jacksonville earlier in the day.

Player Grades

Broncos
Devontae Booker B
Demaryius Thomas B-
Emmanuel Sanders C+

Raiders
Amari Cooper C+
Derek Carr C
Michael Crabtree/Latavius Murray C-

Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks

I’m officially done with the Seahawk’s offense. I’m not sure what’s wrong with it. But when you score only one offensive TD, and lose to New Orleans, there is a serious problem.
The Bill’s offense has done a great job considering the mountain of injuries they’ve had to their skill players. Sammy Watkins is on IR. LeSean McCoy, Robert Woods, and Charles Clay have all missed time with injury this season. A lot of credit goes to the Bill’s offensive line. i believe they’re the most underrated unit in the league.

Player Grades

Bills
LeSean McCoy (Q) B-
Mike Gillislee C+
Tyrod Taylor/Charles Clay(Q)/Robert Woods C-

Seahawks
Christine Michael B-
Jimmy Graham C+
Doug Baldwin C+
Russell Wilson C
C.J. Prosise C-

Tony

Tony "Mudd" Wogan

Tony "Mudd" Wogan is a multi genre freelance writer from Chicago. His writings include screenplays, short stories, lyrical poetry, ghost writing, and sports newspaper articles. He also has a life long passion for the game of football. He's a self proclaimed expert in talent/roster evaluation, coaching strategies, analytics, and NFL history.
Tony

Tony "Mudd" Wogan is a multi genre freelance writer from Chicago. His writings include screenplays, short stories, lyrical poetry, ghost writing, and sports newspaper articles. He also has a life long passion for the game of football. He's a self proclaimed expert in talent/roster evaluation, coaching strategies, analytics, and NFL history.

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