Game Previews: All Fantasy Relevant Players For Week 9
Jets vs. Dolphins
If there was any hope for the Jets to turn their season around, this is the week to get it going. With a 3-5 record, and already having lost to Miami Week 2, the Jets are going to look for a season split. Surely QB Brock Osweiler of years past has to show up, right? In all reality Osweiler hasn’t been that bad in his three starts, posting a 1-2 record while throwing six touchdowns and three interceptions. The Gang Green defense have 15 takeaways this year, and forcing Osweiler into tough situations would bode them well to add to that statline. Look for their D/ST to be a decent option to stream this week. Now let’s take a look at the offensive side of the ball.
Some WR help on the way?
QB Sam Darnold has had a (fairly expected) up and down start to his career. Over the last few years, the int’s have been too frequent, but it’s fair to chalk that up to not having both proper o-line protection, as well as a lacking of wide receivers to throw the ball to. Both WR Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson have been out with ankle injuries, though the two may be back. Both were practicing this week, and are questionable to play. It would be great if the two return, but would be hard to trust them from a fantasy outlook. If you are in a bind and need to start any of the Jets receivers in a bye-heavy game week, there’s always WR Jermaine Kearse, who saw 10 targets last week against Chicago. Buyer beware though, he only caught three balls in the effort. WR Rishard Matthews should get some action but again, it’s hard to trust any Jet WR at the moment.
Some RB help on the way as well!
RB’s Isaiah Crowell and rookie Trenton Cannon have not gotten the job done on the ground in recent weeks. They have been expected to pick up the slack lost due to fellow RB Bilal Powell’s season-ending neck injury. However, second-year RB Elijah McGuire was activated off of IR yesterday and is expected to make his season debut. Last season, he posted 315 rush yards on 88 touches and one score. In the pass game, he caught 17 balls on 26 targets for 177 yards. He is coming off of a fractured foot suffered earlier this summer, and has been practicing without real limitation; even on punt and kickoff return duty. If the coaching staff feels he is good to go, you can look for McGuire to be involved right out the gate behind Crowell, leaping over Cannon in the process. He has been a stash add since last week, especially in PPR formats, and he could be a sneaky flex option from here on out.
Another week, another score from the TE?
Can rookie TE Chris Herndon make it a fourth-straight game with a score? Arguably he is touchdown dependent, but has caught seven of 11 targets in the last three games. It’s clear as day Darnold favors him, especially in the red zone. I would look for more of the same to happen against the Dolphins, giving Herndon value as a streamer this week if your regularly scheduled TE is on his bye.
Like a dog that just chewed up your favorite slippers, the Dolphins have had 10 days to sit in the corner and think about what they did. Coming into week 8, the Dolphins were the very definition of a mediocre team that was overperforming. Now they are a .500 team that should probably have a 3-5 record or worse. A minus 26-point differential has now ballooned to minus 45, as the Dolphins have suffered their second blow out of the season. Unlike the first time they were blown out, there were positives to take away from last Thursday, specifically WR DeVante Parker tapping into the ability that made him a first-round pick and RB Kenyan Drake making plays as a runner and a receiver. Week 9, the Dolphins get a favorable matchup with the New York Jets, which is nice given the fact that they are still missing some starting pieces due to injury.
What to Expect from the Receiving Game
Yet again, QB Brock Osweiler will have control of the Miami passing game. With QB Ryan Tannehill convalescing, Osweiler has been functional as the quarterback for the Dolphins, though he has been dangerously close to crashing a few times. With Osweiler slinging the ball, DeVante Parker had one of his best games as a pro last week against Houston. The strength of the Jets defense is in the Safety and Linebacker position, which means that Parker might be able to reproduce some of the production he flashed in Week 8. The Jets strength is more likely going to limit WR Danny Amendola than Parker or WR Jakeem Grant, since Amendola makes his living where the second level roams. Grant is still a very boom-or-bust play, but with this being a week with 6 teams on bye, you could do worse. TE Mike Gesicki has been getting more involved in the passing game since WR Albert Wilson suffered his injury and Osweiler has been under center.
More Drake Please
Last week, RB Kenyan Drake was the player fantasy owners were expecting coming into the season, even though the volume still wasn’t what was advertised by the coaching staff in the preseason. Drake is an explosive player with the ball in his hands and could see several openings in the ground game against a weakened line for New York. His ability to split out wide against the soft corners for the Jets should also be a boon to fantasy owners. RB Frank Gore should also be another good play for owners during bye week hell, since he’ll see volume and a soft front. For the first time this season, start the Miami running game with confidence.
Can the Ballhawks Feast
Miami doesn’t have a great defense, but they do have one that can generate a lot of turnovers. Playing against rookie QB Sam Darnold, that particular skill set should net the defense some points this week. Beyond that, the Miami defense is the healthiest it has been all season. DE Cameron Wake should be able to get into Darnold’s face all game long, making life miserable for the rookie. Miami is one of the best streaming defensive options during Week 9.
BOOM: Kenyan Drake
BUST: Danny Amendola
SLEEPER: Frank Gore