Welcome back to Week 9! I know you’re saying to yourself “My Giants/Steelers are on bye, what do I do?! Should I pick up the Eagles?” I’m just kidding. No one in their right mind would think to start the Eagles this season. But we are facing a bye week with the most teams on bye, and that includes Dallas and San Francisco, so people will want to look for a flyer this week. With so many on bye, we will have to dig around on waivers.
First, in an exercise in keeping ourselves honest, let’s review last week and how we did. The Colts got you through, but not by much. It didn’t kill you, but it sure didn’t help either. The Falcons were okay unless your league counts yards against them, and then they weren’t so okay. The Commanders got you through the week with a serviceable performance, and the Titans were the fifth-best defense of the week!
So a great, two goods, and an eesh. Well, let’s get through the Week 9 matchups and see what we like to get you through the week. As always, we’re looking for teams rostered around 50% or lower rostered.
Please note that there is a good chance better teams are out there in your league than these four, but we cannot assume they’re out there for every league. Stay active and monitor the league home page, there is also a chance someone will drop a defense after the waivers clear for this week as well.
Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent: vs Tennessee Titans
ESPN % Rostered: 6%
Yahoo % Rostered: 31%
This week’s waiver wire will probably be a scramble to pick up the Chiefs’ defense, and for good reason. They will play host to a Titans offense that everyone knows what they’re going to do. They’re going to hand the ball off to Derrick Henry 25-30 times and see what that gets them. The Kansas City defense has the seventh-fewest yards per attempt and the second-fewest rushing touchdowns allowed on the season.
Per head coach Mike Vrabel, we won’t know how Ryan Tannehill‘s injury and illness are progressing until after this article is published, but I don’t think it will matter too much. The Titans have allowed 13 sacks over their last four games, and now face a Chiefs’ defense that has 9 sacks in their last four. The Chiefs have had 6 turnovers in their last four games as well. Opposing defenses to Tennessee are averaging 6+ points in their last four games, a solid floor to start on. I like teams coming off the bye, and the Chiefs had the week off last week.
Our best defensive plays of the season… so far 😤 pic.twitter.com/frz9tIv9kH
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 30, 2022
Opponent: @ Washington Commanders
ESPN % Rostered: 10%
Yahoo % Rostered: 23%
After that, we are looking at three teams with similar chances of success for Week 9, starting with the Vikings. Minnesota travels to Washington and takes their last-4-game average of 7.5 fantasy points to the Commanders and their almost 7 fantasy points allowed over their last four. This matchup is even better in leagues that do not count yards against. The Commanders have given up 9 sacks in their last four games, while the Vikings have racked up 14 sacks over that same time.
Taylor Heinicke is now on an interception streak for his two games played heading into this matchup, and Minnesota has now had back-to-back weeks of two interceptions and a fumble in each of those games. So far, the Vikings have been pretty stout against the run, forcing quarterbacks to go through the air. The Vikings have held the last four highest rushers to under 60 yards, including the last three matchups that were under 50 yards. With more air volume against comes more opportunities for interceptions, which this Minnesota unit is in the top 10 of.
Put this man in Canton.@HarriSmith22
📺: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/1AOoUhbU03
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 30, 2022
Opponent: vs Carolina Panthers
ESPN % Rostered: 37%
Yahoo % Rostered: 42%
Despite the clinic that Nick Chubb put on last night, the Bengals were actually okay fantasy-wise, and actually decent if your league doesn’t count yards against. This unit has multiple blocks now on special teams, and has had a sack in every game this season. They will now host a Panthers team that has given up 30+ points in fantasy over their last four games depending on league settings.
Carolina is averaging giving up a turnover and 2.5 sacks per game this season. Cincinnati is the best defense in the league at defending against yards after the catch, and has allowed the third-fewest passing touchdowns. They are also allowing the tenth-fewest yards per play run against them for all teams to this point in the season. Before last night, the Bengals had limited their last 3 quarterbacks to under 200 yards passing. I look for that to be the trend against PJ Walker in this game as the Bengals return home.
4th of the season 😮💨#CINvsCLE | 📺 ESPN pic.twitter.com/kJ35JLRll4
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 1, 2022
Opponent: @ Chicago Bears
ESPN % Rostered: 42%
Yahoo % Rostered: 44%
This last slot is going to be a bit of a riskier play. We’re no longer scrambling to just default to whatever defense is playing the Bears lately, with their revived rushing assault. But this Dolphins team has a top-3 passing attack on the year, which means the Bears will once again be chasing points. This puts more pressure on Justin Fields and his offense, where he has been sacked an average of almost 4 times per game. They’re also averaging 1.5 turnovers per game. This sets up a solid floor to start a defense against when needing a fill-in.
Miami is also part of that multi-team tie for the seventh-fewest yards allowed per rush on the season. This is also one of the heavier blitzing teams, the 8th-most this year. As long as they come from the outside to contain Fields to the middle, we should see a decent fantasy floor to get you through the week.
Making plays in his 🏠 state! 👏 @zachsieler with the big third down sack!
📺: Watch #MIAvsDET on @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/S39ScobEZk
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 30, 2022
These teams did not meet the consideration threshold for the main highlight section, but you should check to see if they’re available in your league:
New England Patriots – ESPN: 75% Y!: 89%
Green Bay Packers – ESPN: 61% Y!: 48%
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Photos by Zach Bolinger & Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)