Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football Week 9 Preview: Homestretch


Most commisioners prefer more fantasy playoff participants than less. 12 team leagues with just the top four making it in causes a lot of early abandonment.

November is the time of year where some fantasy teams are on their last leg. One more loss ensures no playoff contention. And playoffs are what it’s all about. You went through all that drafting, waivering, trading, injuries to hope for some reward at the end. Restricting the chances of owners getting in with just four spots, seems unfair considering what everyone puts into it.

You get a lot of abandonment in public leagues at the low end of participation levels. Public leagues where your yearly “badges” and “achievements” allow you to play tougher opponents every year seems to work very well in eliminating the chaff.

But abandonment happens regularly and just as often in fee leagues too. Owners either just fill the bye week with whatever or ignore their team completely and count the fee as lost. Either way, team activity drops with regard to trades and waiver pickups.

Commissioners have methods of keeping the “better luck next year” people interested. Usually it comes in the form of avoiding the last place booby prize or as some call a “toilet bowl” trophy of some kind.

Other ways, such as using a consolation bracket to award draft position preference for the following season can hold interest and keep the waiver wire active among all the participants. The F6P staff league uses this method.

Some leagues might have the guy who dumps his team on waivers or benches everyone in a fit of temper. This includes obvious lopsided trading to a specifc owner or owners. A careful commissioner can easily repair such poisoning damage. It’s easy enough to proxy manage an abandoned team with whatever the league agrees on with terms and specifics.

This type of behavior will ensure no invite in 2020. An owner gets far more respect by playing the spoiler during the homestretch. Trying to knock off the top teams or other playoff hopefuls with crazy sleepers or whatever available.

2019 Fantasy Football Week 9 Preview 2019 Fantasy Football Week 9 Preview

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Games to Watch 2019 Fantasy Football Week 9 Preview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. You have your fantasy lineups set, now it’s time to watch ’em play.

Byes: Bengals, Falcons, Rams, Saints

Note: Texans vs Jaguars London game is a 9:30 am ET start.

Early Sunday: Texans (5-3) vs Jaguars (4-4) +1.5 46.5 (in London)

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A London game worth getting up early for. This is a key matchup with a playoff importance index factor of 78/∼100 in the AFC.

This is the second of their 2019 meetings. The Texans held on for a narrow 13-12 victory in Week 2 by thwarting a 2-point conversion attempt.

Dede Westbrook is questionable with shoulder and neck issues. He played through the ailments for a couple of weeks and made the London trip after missing most of the Jets game.

The Texans are giving among the most fantasy points to wide receivers, which seems a shame if Westbrook can’t play at 100%. However, D.J. Chark and Chris Conley can feast on those possibilities without J.J. Watt (out for the season) pressuring Gardner Minshew.

Minshew, by the way, is playing very well and a quarterback controversy looks inevitable when Nick Foles is ready to resume starting duties.

For the Texans side of things, a display of DeAndre Hopkins talent is all there for England to see, but whether Deshaun Watson can oblige is another matter. Defenses are using pressure up front to stop Watson setting his feet for the money throws to Hopkins. Calais Campbell does enough disrupting without A.J. Bouye‘s star coverage downfield.

Leonard Fournette should remain the focus of the Jaguars attack as usual, but we may expect a bit more receiving and screens so Fournette can put his bowling ball rushes at full tempo.

The Texans will use Carlos Hyde regularly, but I suspect more usage from Duke Johnson than usual in this one to keep a check on the pass rush. The Jaguars sacked Watson four times in their last game.

Fun Fact: This is the Jaguars seventh game in London and the Texans first. The Packers are now the only NFL team without a single trip to London.
Sleeper: Kenny Stills, WR, Texans

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

Colts (5-2) at Steelers (3-4) +1.0 42.5

Frank Reich is my top candidate for coach of year. Jacoby Brissett continues to impress and keeps the Colts competitive in every game. T.Y. Hilton (calf) is out. Zach Pascal and the tight ends tend to flourish minus Hilton in the lineup. Jaylen Samuels with James Conner out (doubtful-shoulder) will have enough volume to get RB2 production against a stingy Colts rush defense.

2019 Fantasy Football Week 9 Preview

Titans (4-4) at Panthers (4-3) -3.5 42.0

The Panthers fell with a heavy thud versus the 49ers. Derrick Henry should find plenty of lanes against a leaky Panthers front who are giving the 3rd most FPs to RBs the past four weeks. Christian McCaffrey has yet to slow up and wears defenses out early to open up opportunity for the receivers.

Jets (1-6) at Dolphins (0-7) +3.0 42.5

Just try and remember how starved you were for football in late July. Two baked-in bad football teams can still make for a fantasy bonanza. Le’Veon Bell is grumpy about his reduced workload and made it known. Feed the beast. Also, definitely give Dolphins’ Devante Parker a shot if you are short of wides on the bye.

Bears (3-4) at Eagles (4-4) -5.0 42.5

The revenge game theme seems like nonsense when you see the protagonist chatting and laughing it up with his old friends on the opposing side. The Bears traded Jordan Howard with decent 5th round value a year from free agency. That said, it does not mean he won’t try and out-play his rising counterpart David Montgomery. Saving face isn’t quite like revenge.

Vikings (6-2) at Chiefs (5-3) -2.0 48.0

I thought the OU line would top 50 for this one. Make of that what you will. Matt Moore will have another start in place of Patrick Mahomes. The Vikings passing game opened up in recent weeks and Kirk Cousins will test that suspect Chiefs secondary. Kansas City just had one of their coldest Halloweens on record, but we can expect milder temperatures for Sunday.

Redskins (1-7) at Bills (5-2) -9.5 37.0

We’re losing the promising star fantasy waiver choice Terry McLaurin to a coaching change and now Dwayne Haskins helps the slide. The Bills have a fierce defense and sitting every Redskins player is a sound choice. That includes Adrian Peterson. For the Bills, Frank Gore isn’t a much better option either. The best choice of all is the DST of the Bills, or even the Redskins too.

Late Sunday: Packers (7-1) at Chargers (3-5) +3.5 48.5

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Another game where there is a strong temptation to take the over. With Davante Adams (toe) trending toward a return, who knows what he’ll  do in sunny California.

Keenan Allen has had rough past four or five weeks in fantasy, but he has to break out of his slump at some point. This is a good matchup to turn it around.

The Chargers had a reprieve against the Bears last week who failed to make the winning field goal. So, things remain unwell with the Chargers. The running game with Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon has turned into a rough mix compared with last season.

One important player of this game, whose presence cannot be understated, is lineman Bryan Bulaga. The Packers offense, in run and pass, relies on his veteran skill. He will play on Sunday after an injury scare against the Chiefs.

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Bulaga and David Bakhtiari will have heavy work up front against Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. The Chargers secondary may have the worst of it as they rank well among the lower half of the league. Aaron Rodgers should have no troubles there if Bulaga and Baktiari do their job.

Fun Fact: The Packers have lost their last seven games on the road following a road victory.
Sleeper: Jimmy Graham, WR, Packers

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief…

2019 Fantasy Football Week 9 Preview

Browns (2-5) at Broncos (2-6) +3.5 39.0

The Broncos will start Brandon Allen at quarterback with Joe Flacco on IR. This makes the Browns a very sound DST stream. On the other hand, the Broncos are just as worthy to test their DST on the Browns offense. Either way, offenses in this game will have it tough. The Browns are fourth worst versus fantasy RBs and the Broncos will likely use that to their advantage.

Lions (3-3-1) at Raiders (3-4) -2.5 50.5

The Lions will continue with a scattered committee in the backfield until someone emerges. Most thought Ty Johnson would slot right in, but the shoes of Kerryon Johnson were just too big for him to fill. Derek Carr has Tyrell Williams back for a second week and we may see more of Zay Jones in the Raiders offense. Jones is a true #Dangerzone sleeper.

Buccaneers (2-5) at Seahawks (6-2) -5.0 52.0

The Seahawks signed Josh Gordon, but we’ll see him another week. The Buccaneers are among the toughest of the non-contenders and the Seahawks cannot afford to look past them. The Seahawks prefer run-first, jet sweep, and all manner of RPO. The gamescript is most likely pass for this one, but Russell Wilson is happy enough to comply.

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Patriots (8-0) at Ravens (5-2) +3.0 45.0

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The Ravens present a unique challenge for the undefeated Patriots because the quarterback virtually doubles as an extra running back.

The Patriots are clinical about any one piece on offense. Logically, limiting Lamar Jackson should be all about getting contain and forcing him to throw. However, it turns out better for defenses to work the opposite way. We can see this by the slide of Mark Ingram and how other teams figured out how to approach the problem.

In essence, by focusing heavy on downfield coverage, you can soften the effect of Mark Ingram and the rest of the running backs by making Jackson the rusher to worry about.

It’s a tricky balance for a defense and the Ravens are 5-2 because collapsing their scheme requires strict attention to assignment on every play. It’s not easy.

Bill Belichick has some of his own ideas and every team in the NFL will have their eyes focused on what he cooks up to ease the work in the secondary and the defense as a whole.

The Patriots on offense work very well with a lead. Tom Brady has yet to be in a situation in 2019 where they need to overcome a deficit for a win. With the Ravens that they cannot afford to get behind.

The Ravens will try and do this by working the clock and keeping Brady off the field. If the Patriots get a good percentage of 3rd down conversions, they will have a great edge. Not only that, it will force Lamar Jackson into more conventional pistol and shotgun formations without the read-option. This allows the Patriots to pass rush with full force and use blitz packages as they see fit.

Fun Fact: The Ravens are 10-2 off their bye week at home since 2002.
Sleeper: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Patriots

Monday Night: Cowboys (4-3) at Giants (2-6) +7.0 48.0

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“We haven’t figured out how to win more games, that’s what we need to get better at…”Saquon Barkley Nov. 1, 2019.

And so, it is so. Contending in the NFC East involves at least a little winning. If the Giants pull off a victory, it leaves them only a game and a half behind the Cowboys.

Daniel Jones has done well in so many areas, but the one part which continues to bite him is ball security. One day, later in his career, a game will come along where he believes he put that old habit to rest. Suddenly, a youthful presence will surround him from his inner self at a crucial moment on 3rd down and he will then smile and say, “I’m still me.”

The Giants have a lot of names we’ll hear in future. Darius Slayton and Saquon Barkley will be along for this journey and the tide will ebb and flow. Right now, the Giants need better weapons to develop.

The Cowboys have that part already built. Dak Prescott has great receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Ezekiel Elliott is probably the steadiest and consistent running back in fantasy. He’s putting in heavy numbers and has a touchdown in four straight weeks.

The Giants on defense are susceptible to this varied attack and they’ll certainly need a fighting spirit to defeat their division rivals. They will have Sterling Shepard back, which helps. This is the first time where he and Golden Tate will combine in the same game.

The key to this game is Evan Engram. If he is “in the zone” for this game, the Cowboys will have their hands full. But that’s what the Giants need more than the Cowboys. A full commitment and form.

This should be one of the better Monday night games this season. Start all your fantasy playable Giants and Cowboys minus the DSTs.

Fun Fact: The Cowboys have won five straight times on the road following a win and coming out of their bye week.
Sleeper: Darius Slayton, WR, Giants

In the Booth on Sunday

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Dan Fouts

NFL Network in London 9:30 am ET

Texans vs Jaguars: Rich Eisen, Kurt Warner, Steve Mariucci, Michael Irvin

CBS Early

Colts at Steelers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Titans at Panthers: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Jets at Dolphins: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

FOX Early

Bears at Eagles: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth
Vikings at Chiefs: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Redskins at Bills: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

CBS Late

Packers at Chargers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Browns at Broncos: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

FOX Late

Lions at Raiders: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Buccaneers at Seahawks: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber

Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. He ranked 6th in draft rankings on Fantasy Pros in 2020.

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