Week 9 is upon us which means we are just about halfway through the NFL regular season. Unfortunately, that also means your fantasy season is coming to an end soon and these next few weeks can decide if you are competing for a championship or competing to not come in last place. With 6 teams on a bye this week (Colts, Bengals, Giants, Eagles, Cardinals, Jaguars) a lot of people are scrambling to fill their lineups, including myself. I’d advise staying away from these players, or at least toning down your expectations, if you to continue to make it through the bye week woes.
(QB Rank: 14 | Opponent: @Bal)
Everybody loves a good Steelers vs. Ravens dogfight and come Sunday that’s exactly what you are going to get. Last week Cam Newton was efficient and accurate against an elite Ravens defense and I expect them to come back with vengeance against their arch rival. Historically, Big Ben has always been worse on the road than at home especially against the Ravens. Want to hear some stats that will blow your mind? In 10 career games against the Ravens on the road, Big Ben has never thrown for more than 280 yards or 2 touchdowns. He averages 234 yds/game, 0.9 touchdowns, and 1.3 interceptions. He has only thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in a game twice and hasn’t done so since 2013.
Moral of the story? Big Ben just plain and simple is not good at Baltimore and I expect a similar performance this week.
(RB Rank: 6 | Opponent: @Bal)
Don’t get me wrong, James Conner has been playing lights out over the past few weeks and will certainly get his fair share if the Steelers want to win. If you own him you are most likely starting him but I’d be hesitant in expecting another big game. As good as he’s been, he is still a young player finding his way in the NFL and has never played meaningful snaps in a game at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens rank 11th against the run at only 98.1 yds/game and only surrendered 19 yards on 9 carries to Connor when they played back in Pittsburg week 4. If you’ve ever watched a Steelers vs. Ravens game then you know how physical these games can be which could result in a subpar performance out of Connor.
(RB Rank: 21 | Opponent: @Wsh)
Although his stats may make it seem like he has been a decent player so far this season, Coleman should be thought of as a bust. The best thing that could have possibly happened did with Devonta Freeman being consistently hurt and then getting placed on IR – and what does Coleman have to show for it? A couple of mediocre performances at best. If you take out a 107-yard rushing performance in week 2, Coleman hasn’t rushed for more than 51 yards. This week doesn’t get any easier against a Redskins defense that ranks 2nd against the run at only 80.1 yds/game, not to mention the Falcons have been airing the ball out all year and I expect it to continue this week if they want to compete.
(WR Rank: 19 | Opponent: @Min)
The Kenny Golladay show took to center stage early on in the season averaging 17.4 pts/game over his first 5 games but recently took a back seat with the offense going more run heavy. The departure of Tate is surely going to open up targets and put Golladay back in the spotlight but I don’t think his second act is going to begin this week. The Vikings defense already is the 3rd best in the league against the passing only giving up 30.6 pts/game thus far and should get a boost with the return of stud corner Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes will most likely be man marked on Golladay which could mean a third consecutive dud week for the young Detroit wide receiver.
(WR Rank: 26 | Opponent: Ten)
The Amari Cooper hype train is back and is gaining momentum quickly. He now moves on to a Cowboys team that was in need for a pass catcher. In fact, that may be an understatement; No knock on Cole Beasley but when he is your best wide receiver and your offense is averaging 183.1 passing yds/game something has to change. Could this change of scenery for Amari make him fantasy relevant again? Absolutely! He could be a huge contributor if you reluctantly kept him and are headed towards the fantasy playoffs. The reality is that things can’t physically get any worse than they were before but id like to see some progress before I put him in any lineup. On top of that, Dak isn’t exactly the QB who airs it out 35-40 times a game so he is going to need a big target share to make an impact week in and week out. It also doesn’t help that the Titans defense has been very good against the pass ranking 9th in the league at only 226.4 yds/game allowed.