NFL Fantasy 2018: Love or Hate Week 9

2 Nov 2018 - 6:27pm | Pigskin Ninja | Updated: 2 Nov 2018 - 7:27pm | Likes: 25 Like 
Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 9 of the NFL season kicked off on Thursday as the 49ers obliterated the Raiders in the Battle of the Bay. Assuming that you didn’t start a whole lot of offense from a pair of one win teams – and noting that if you started San Francisco QB Nick Mullens you should get an automatic win this week – then there are probably plenty of spaces left on your fantasy roster for games on Sunday and Monday.

Here is the advice:

Quarterback

Love – Alex Smith vs. Falcons

This is a matchup play. Smith hasn’t been a fantasy monster of any type this season, with his inability to consistently throw the deep ball still being a problem for his owners.

Luckily for those owners, however, Smith gets the Falcons this weekend. The Falcons seem to have forgotten how to defend against the forward pass in 2018 and they allow one of the highest fantasy numbers to opposing quarterbacks on a weekly basis. Smith may not have the arm, but he is more than capable of picking apart this putrid secondary.

Hate – Ben Roethlisberger @ Ravens

There are many things working against Roethlisberger here. The Baltimore pass defense has been outstanding so far this season (they have allowed just three touchdowns to wide receivers since week three) and they are equally adept at covering deep routes from outside players and those tricky underneath routes out of the slot.

Then there is the fact that Big Ben just doesn’t play well in Baltimore. It is amazing to think that he has never passed for over 300 yards at M&T Bank Stadium, while the last time he threw for two touchdowns there was in 2013. Given that he plays there on a yearly basis, history says to avoid this matchup.

Running Back

Love – Lamar Miller at Broncos

That feels kind of strange to type.

Miller though is on a little bit of a hot streak and in a league where running games are all over the place unless you have one of the absolute studs, then that is about to get a starting nod from me.

In his last two games Miller has produced at least 100 rushing yards and one touchdown. He is also getting the touches (he had at least 18 in each game) and as a back where volume is important for his production that is a great sign.
He also has a plus matchup against a Broncos team that gives up 5.1 yards per carry, the second-highest such total in the league.

Hate – LeSean McCoy vs. Bears

The Bills offense sucks from both real life and fantasy perspectives. Players that have been valuable in past seasons (such as McCoy) are getting nothing out of an attack that has an inaccurate quarterback who has yet to show the ability to keep defenses honest with his arm.

It doesn’t help that McCoy is getting up there in age, a real problem for a runner of his speed and slashing style. Then there is also the fact that the Bears are the only team in the NFL that has still to allow a rushing touchdown this season.
It is hard to see that changing this weekend.

Wide Receiver

Love – Courtland Sutton vs. Texans

We mentioned last week how midseason trades in the NFL can dramatically shift fantasy production in either a positive or negative way. The Broncos shipping off Demaryius Thomas to the Texans means big things should be in store for Sutton owners over the course of the rest of 2018.

Thomas was a cornerstone of the Denver offense for years, so this trade is a huge show of faith in Sutton. The rookie from SMU will almost certainly surpass his season-high of six targets against (ironically) the Texans, with Houston also having given up 15 passing touchdowns on the year.

Hate – Randall Cobb at Patriots

The reason to like Cobb here is that this could be a shootout as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers go at it for potentially the last time. Both teams can score, while neither is going to win any defensive awards in 2018.

The problem is that Cobb is still on his way back from a hamstring injury and that the Packers found a slew of potential replacement targets in his absence. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison will take away some of Cobbs’ snaps, meaning that he has to be ultra-productive when he is on the field to be a worthy fantasy play.

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