Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. The Week 9 GameDay fantasy live chat kicks off Sunday morning at 10:30am eastern and runs for one full hour. We’ll be talking Starts & Sits, injury updates, weather reports, point spread movements, survivor selections and more. To access the chat, hit up the homepage of the NFP and look under the “Hot News & Rumors” section.
WEEK 9 SURVIVOR PICK
Last week: New Orleans Saints over Buffalo Bills (won)
Plan B: Kansas City Chiefs over Cleveland Browns (won)
Already played: Indianapolis (WK 1), Baltimore Ravens (WK 2), Seattle Seahawks (WK 3), Denver Broncos (WK 4), Atlanta Falcons (WK 5, loss), San Francisco 49ers (WK 6), Green Bay Packers (WK 7), New Orleans Saints (WK 8).
This week: DALLAS COWBOYS over Minnesota Vikings
Plan B: CAROLINA PANTHERS over Atlanta Falcons
Why: The Cowboys are 4-0 ATS over their last four home games and are coming off a heartbreaking, last second loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 8, so this looks like a good bounce back spot for Jason Garrett’s crew. The Vikings may be 1-6, but they haven’t won a single game in America this season and are 0-3 on the road, losing by an average of 9.0 points per game.
MISFIRE OF THE WEEK
Last week: Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) over Atlanta Falcons (won)
PICK: BALTIMORE RAVENS (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns
Analysis: Since 2003, road favorites off a bye playing a divisional opponent are 20-2 straight-up and 18-4 against the spread (.818). And with Cincinnati losing on Thursday night at Miami, John Harbaugh and the Ravens know it’s now or never when it comes to the AFC North. Also note that Baltimore is 8-3 ATS over their last 11 meetings with the Browns and 5-0 ATS over their last five trips to Cleveland.
LVH SUPERCONTEST SELECTIONS
Last week: 5-0
Note: The Big Puma (my partner in the contest) is flying into Vegas Friday night, so we don’t plan to have our card finalized until the Saturday morning deadline. I’ll be sure to tweet our five selections over the weekend, but for now, the teams we’re currently considering include Baltimore, Tennessee, San Diego, and Carolina, to name a few.
CLICK HERE to check out all of the current Week 9 lines.
START ‘EM UP
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins (vs. San Diego): Griffin has been a major disappointment this season, so much so that the Washington media began calling the second-year signal-caller out in the wake of last Sunday’s 45-21 blowout loss at Denver. Expect a bounce-back effort on Sunday against a San Diego team that is flying across the country for an early start time and who also happens to be surrendering an average of 24.1 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (second-most in NFL).
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (at St. Louis): For a guy who has notched exactly zero rushing touchdowns on the season, Johnson couldn’t ask for a better situation than what he’ll face Sunday in St. Louis. The Rams enter Week 9 on short rest following a very physical and emotionally draining loss to division rival Seattle on Monday night, while the Titans enter Sunday coming off the bye. Note that St. Louis is currently surrendering an average of 20.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (sixth-most in NFL).
Ride the hot hand with Mathews, who has topped 100 rushing yards in each of his last two outings.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Minnesota): Williams has found the end zone in four straight contests and is coming off a career-high ten-target performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 8. Throw in the fact that Minnesota is giving up an average of 26.4 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (eighth-most in NFL) and there’s no question that we should all be riding the hot hand.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers (at Washington): Mathews’ last two efforts prior to San Diego’s Week 8 bye resulted in 43 carries for 212 rushing yards and one score, making the former Fresno State standout look like the first-round pick the Bolts thought they were getting when they traded up to select Mathews in 2010. Week 9 offers a similar “high upside” situation against a Redskins team that currently ranks 30th in the NFL against the run (123.4 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of 24.0 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (t-second-most in NFL).
Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders (vs. Philadelphia): Has found the end zone in two of his last three starts and faces an Eagles defense this weekend that currently ranks 31st in the NFL against the pass (302.2 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of 32.4 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (second-most in NFL).
Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears (at Green Bay): Returns to action following Chicago’s Week 8 bye to face a Green Bay defense that is permitting an average of 11.2 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (third-most in NFL).
Carolina Panthers, D/ST (vs. Atlanta): Currently ranks third in fantasy scoring at the D/ST position thanks, in large part, to 15 takeaways (ninth-most in NFL) and a 13.7 points per game surrendered average (second-fewest in NFL). Take note that the Falcons have already committed 11 turnovers through just seven games and are coming off a dismal 13-point effort at Arizona last Sunday.
SIT EM DOWN
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (at Carolina): The arsenal is depleted, the playoff hopes are fading and the defense he’s set to face on Sunday is surrendering an average of just 14.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (second-fewest in NFL). Ryan will be chucking it all over the field in Week 9, but we don’t think it will amount to much.
Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts (at Houston): Richardson’s five games with the Colts have amounted to 75 carries for 228 yards (3.04 YPC) and two scores. That’s not exactly what Indy owner Jim Irsay was hoping for when he shipped a first-round selection to Cleveland for T-Rich’s services. Houston’s defense has struggled a bit against the run this season, but the Texans are coming off the bye and head coach Gary Kubiak’s job is on the line. Expect a strong effort from the 2012 AFC South champs.
Jackson's quarterback is going to be under fire all day in Seattle.
Vincent Jackson, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Seattle): Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon against the Seahawks defense and deafening crowd noise of CenturyLink Field? No thank you.
Fred Jackson & C.J. Spiller, RBs, Buffalo Bills (vs. Kansas City): It looks like undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel is going to get the start for Buffalo this weekend, which is bad news for the entire offense, Jackson and Spiller included. Especially when you consider the fact that Kansas City is giving up an average of just 12.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (third-fewest in NFL).
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (at Houston): With Reggie Wayne down for the count, many will expect Hilton to step up and produce big numbers in his absence. Maybe that’s true, but we don’t think it kicks into play this Sunday against a Houston defense that currently ranks first in the NFL against the pass (145.6 yds/gm) while giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the business (13.4 pts/gm).
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons (at Carolina): With Roddy White and Julio Jones out of action, opposing defenses are keying more and more on Tony G, who has caught just five passes for 56 yards and no touchdowns over his last two outings. Carolina’s linebacking unit is one of the best in the business, as evidenced by the fact that this team is surrendering an average of only 7.0 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (t-11th-fewest in NFL).
New York Jets, D/ST (vs. New Orleans): They’ve been solid in 2013 and are due for a bounce-back performance following last week’s blowout loss, but we don’t want anything to do with a defense that has to face Drew Brees and the Saints, even if we believe that grabbing +6 with the Jets is a good bet.
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