Kickoff: Monday, November 7 at 8:15 PM ET
Location: Caesar’s Superdome, Tampa, Florida
Betting Odds: NO +2.5, 48 Total on Oddshark
Writer: Drew DeLuca (@DrewDeLaware on Twitter)
Lamar Jackson (Start, QB1)
If we were to tell you last week that Lamar Jackson would finish between Taylor Heinecke and Jacoby Brissett in fantasy points during Week 8, you surely would’ve benched him. However, all three somehow finished as Top 10 quarterbacks, and in related news, I just bought PowerBall tickets.
With Rashod Bateman out with a foot injury and Mark Andrews hampered by two separate injuries, we’re not expecting much from Lamar through the air this week. However, we do expect him to exceed 50 yards rushing for the seventh time in eight games, and a touchdown on the ground would shock no one. Jackson should once again offer mid-level QB1 production despite his circumstances, so start him in all fantasy football formats.
Gus Edwards (Start, FLEX), Kenyan Drake (Sit), Justice Hill (Sit), Mike Davis (Sit), Patrick Ricard (Sit)
For the second consecutive game, Gus Edwards led all Ravens, Lamar Jackson included, in both carries and rushing yards. He has averaged nearly 4.9 yards per carry over the past two weeks, but he offers little in the passing game and will experience more touchdown volatility than most “starting RBs” thanks to Jackson’s presence as a goal-line vulture.
Kenyan Drake caught all four of his targets, but managed a measly five yards receiving. However, he did cross the stripe, which is more than we can say for Justice Hill, who logged only four carries. Only six teams have been tougher on opposing fantasy running backs than the New Orleans Saints, so we’re treading lightly and recommending Edwards only as a mid-tier flex option. We’re completely passing on Drake, Hill, Mike Davis, and fullback Patrick Ricard altogether in all fantasy football formats.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Devin Duvernay (Sit), James Proche (Sit), DeMarcus Robinson (Sit), Tylan Wallace (Sit), Isaiah Likely (Start, TE2*), Mark Andrews (Start, TE2*)
After sitting out two games with a foot ailment, Rashod Bateman re-aggravated the injury and is now slated to miss a few more contests. In his stead, a triumvirate of fantasy mediocrity arises: Devin Duvernay, DeMarcus Robinson, and James Proche. Duvernay logged his fourth touchdown of the year last week, and should see the biggest lift in volume and production as a result of Bateman’s expected absence. Robinson led all Ravens wide receivers in both targets and receptions, but we know better than to go back to that well so soon. Tylan Wallace is on your waiver wire for a reason. Leave them there; he should continue to see few to no targets, even with Bateman out.
In a perfect world, tight end Isaiah Likely would be a sure-fire start if Mark Andrews is unable to give it a full go. The latter flashed late in the preseason and fared well in limited action thus far but has been hampered by nagging ankle and shoulder injuries that have hampered production. Only the Washington Commanders (of all teams) have allowed fewer points per game to the tight end position, however, so we don’t expect a typical smash game from Andrews, even if he does suit up. Andrews profiles as a mid-level TE1 until he’s able to play full-throttle with no ill effects. Likely is a low-end TE2 at best in that case.
New Orleans Saints
Andy Dalton (Sit, QB2), Jameis Winston (Sit)
Last year, the Saints featured a patchwork wide receiving corps, featuring the likes of Marquez Callaway and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. This year, the quarterback position takes the baton, as Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, and Taysom Hill have all logged meaningful minutes under center this season.
Dalton has been reasonably competent and mildly productive, even with Hill stealing occasional red zone work. The “Red Rifle” has tossed nine touchdowns and thrown only four interceptions in five games, leading the Saints to 24 or more points in each of those contests. Expect Dalton to continue starting over Winston until the former falters. We don’t like him in traditional single-QB formats, but the longtime Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller is a respectable streaming option in superflex leagues in Week 9, as the Ravens are more generous than most to opposing fantasy quarterbacks
Alvin Kamara (Start, RB1), Mark Ingram (Sit), Dwayne Washington (Sit),
What a week for running backs! Christian McCaffrey made history by becoming the first player in 17 years to record a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown in the same game. Tony Pollard and D’Onta Foreman capitalized on their opportunities by notching three touchdowns apiece. Not to be outdone, Derrick Henry gashed the Houston Texans for 219 rushing yards and a pair of scores. Fireworks everywhere!
Alvin Kamara was a comparative afterthought with his meager 158 total yards, and he managed to score only three touchdowns. How disappointing. Kamara still managed to finish as the RB1 in Week 8, and we like him to stay near the top in terms of fantasy production in Week 9. However, we’re steering clear of Mark Ingram and Dwayne Washington and we implore you to do the same.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Chris Olave (Start, WR1), Michael Thomas (Sit), Jarvis Landry (Sit), Marquez Callaway (Sit), Rashid Shaheed (Sit), Tre’Quan Smith (Sit), Taysom Hill (Start, TE1), Juwan Johnson (Sit), Adam Trautman (Sit)
Chris Olave is an elite downfield separator, and he catches just about everything thrown his way. He’s a low-end WR1 this week, with or without the return of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. Since Week 2, Olave has posted double-digit fantasy points each week, and has drawn seven or more targets in five of his last six games. The buy-low window on Olave has been officially closed.
As of the wee hours of Thursday morning, Thomas and Landry had not yet been cleared as full practice participants. There was no timetable for Thomas’ return, and Landry hasn’t played since Week 5. Expect both to be rusty if they do return in 2022, so don’t let them into your circle of trust (aka “your lineup”) until they prove they’re all the way back.
Likewise, Marquez Callaway, Rashid Shaheed, and Tre’Quan Smith are far too “boom-or-bust” to trust. Meanwhile, “tight end” Taysom Hill won’t go away, and he continues to maintain a prominent role in the Saints offense. As long as he lurks, Hill will hold down the values of both Juwan Johnson and Adam Trautman, neither of whom offers FLEX appeal.