Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

Top five fantasy stars of Week 9

Week 9 of the NFL season has come and gone. As we have passed the halfway point of the season, we had some big fantasy performances this week. If you had these players (or if you got lucky) you feel pretty good about your team this week. Here are the top five fantasy stars of Week 9.

Carson Wentz, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz had a day against the Denver Broncos, throwing four touchdowns in a 51-23 blowout.

Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

Carson Wentz (Photo from grandforksherald.com)

The Broncos defense hasn’t allowed 18 or more fantasy points to any quarterback in their first seven games of the season. However, Wentz steamrolled one of the top defenses in the league.

For Wentz, it’s all about consistency, and we have seen that in his last five games. He has tossed 17 touchdowns and just three picks in the last five.

In seven of the nine games he has played, he has been a top eight quarterback. His elusiveness as a passer and a runner has made him a high-end QB1 with his consistent play.

Wentz now has a league-leading 23 touchdown passes and is continuing to have what looks like an MVP season. After a bye in Week 10, he will face the Dallas Cowboys the following week.

I expect him to have another good day with Dallas’ defense being in the lower tier against the quarterback this season.

T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts

Many of us had given up hope on Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, but he finally broke through. It looks as if there is some chemistry developing between him and his quarterback Jacoby Brissett as well.

Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

T.Y. Hilton (Photo from tvasports.ca)

Hilton has been struggling all season, with some of it being due to not having his quarterback Andrew Luck. For the first eight weeks, he only averaged 66 yards and had only one touchdown.

But he was a beast on Sunday with 175 yards and two touchdowns, with one being 45 yards and the other was a 80-yard score. His 34 points in PPR and 29 in non-PPR gives some life to fantasy owners as there seems to have been a jumpstart in the Colts offense at least throwing the ball. Hilton has a trio of long touchdowns, but other than that, he has been kept out of the end zone.

It’s encouraging to see Hilton finally have a good game, but he will continue to be a boom or bust player for the rest of the season.

Quarterback Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

The first two quarterbacks picked last season had stellar performances. Jared Goff had a similar day to Wentz as he torched the New York Giants defense.

Goff had a career day, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns while completing 14 of his 22 passes in a 51-17 blowout. The highest scoring offense has continued its dominance, and part of it is Goff playing well.

This is a guy that started his career with an 0-7 record as starter heading into 2017 with a 63.6 passer rating. Now he looks like the first overall pick the Rams were hoping for.

He has now scored at least 16 points five times in the last eight games, including 28 on Sunday. Goff averaged an outstanding 14.1 yards per attempt thanks to a pair of long touchdown passes, one a 52-yard strike to Robert Woods on a third and 33 and then a 67-yard deep ball to Sammy Watkins just over two minutes later. It’s just one of those feel-good stories when it comes to Goff.

Goff has gained some attention across fantasy as he was the 13th most started quarterback according to ESPN. He will continue his good play against a struggling Houston Texans defense.

Running back Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

What a season rookie Alvin Kamara is having, both as a runner and a pass catcher. Even though this is his eighth game, he had a career day in fantasy with 25 points and 31 points in PPR.

Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

Alvin Kamara (Photo from buffalonews.com)

The Saints back contributed 152 total yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kamara rushed 10 times for 68 yards and a touchdown and hauled in six of seven targets for 84 yards and another score.

The versatile rookie made his presence felt again, leading the Saints in receiving yardage while posting his best reception total since Week 4. He also posted his second straight week scoring a rushing touchdown for the first time in his career. Kamara also for the first time scored a receiving and a rushing score in the same game. The Saints seem to have found their pairing with Kamara and Mark Ingram.

He continues to be one the best pass catching backs in the league as he and rookie Christian McCaffrey are the only backs with at least three receptions in every game this season. They play the Bills next week and could have a solid day as a pass catcher.

TIght End Evan Engram, New York Giants

While the Giants struggled, Evan Engram had a solid day against the Rams. Engram had four catches for 70 yards and a score.

This may not seem like a star to most, but Engram has been lights out the last three games, scoring over 15 in three straight. He has established himself as the first target in a struggling Giant offense. He led the team in targets and tied for the most yards. Engram found the end zone in the fourth on a 10-yard pass from Eli Manning. He has posted at least 60 receiving yards in four of his last five games while reaching the end zone in each of his last three.

Engram has had a solid season even with the Giants woes on offense and should be considered a viable TE1 option. Expect Engram to have another solid outing next week against the winless San Francisco 49ers.

 

Featured image from si.com.

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Andrew Luck fantasy outlook

Is Andrew out of fantasy Luck?

On Wednesday, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck hit another setback. Colts General Manager Chris Ballard said that Luck is suffering from soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder. The soreness is so bad that he is receiving a cortisone shot.

“It’s natural, there’s going to be some pain and soreness when you’re rehabbing an injury,” Ballard said in a press conference on Wednesday. “And it’s been kinda coming along the whole time. It’s just one thing that hasn’t gone away. We’re going to shut it down and calm it down for now.”

He also did deny that they will put him on injured reserve but didn’t answer if he would return this season.

In fantasy, many who picked him hoped he could be part of the second half of the year. Now with the possibility of missing 2017, for those who haven’t cut Luck yet, it is time to do so now. And going forward, Luck should be no longer viewed as a must starter in fantasy.

Andrew Luck going forward

Andrew Luck hasn’t been all that lucky dealing with injuries. He has dealt with them since 2015 which started with a sprained shoulder. He suffered multiple injuries after the sprained shoulder including a lacerated kidney plus multiple muscle pulls in his abdomen in 2015, a frayed labrum in the preseason in 2016 and shoulder surgery in 2017.

Luck also suffered a concussion in 2016 in which he missed only one game. But the injuries since 2015 have been too many. And now with this setback, it’s hard to trust him going forward as your main quarterback in fantasy. However, he’s still Andrew Luck and we have seen what he’s done in the past.

Andrew Luck fantasy outlook

Andrew Luck (Photo by: colts.com)

Since his rookie season in 2012, Luck has ranked in the top 10 of quarterbacks four times out of six seasons and in the top five twice. He has been in the top 10 in passing yards three times and has been in the top five in passing touchdowns twice including the league leader in 2014 with 40.

He has proven consistent in fantasy but the injury problems have always been cause for concern. There’s no question he still can play through injuries as he has done before, but this injury has been nagging him since his surgery and has now suffered a serious setback.

Now I’m not saying he still isn’t a QB1 because he is. But he shouldn’t be an automatic QB1. With multiple injuries, he has been bitten with being injury prone. Now granted he played 15 games in 2016, but he has had some type of injury the past three years. There has to be some caution thinking about his health. But the talent level of Luck shouldn’t keep you away too much.

Jacoby Brissett Outlook

From this point on, Jacoby Brissett will remain the starter and will likely finish barring any injuries.

Andrew Luck fantasy outlook

Jacoby Brissett (Photo by sbnation.com)

Brissett has had a average 2017 season throwing for 1,209 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also run for three touchdowns.

Since week 3, he has scored over 12 fantasy points. His best came in week 3 against the Browns with 29. This is in part to some success is his ability to run the ball himself. But we are now in the stretch and the three of the four defenses against the Colts are ranked in the top 10 against the quarterback.

Two of them are the best two in the league which are this week’s opponent the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Colts after that stretch still face some tough defenses including the Denver Broncos, the Buffalo Bills who rank third against quarterbacks and the Baltimore Ravens who are right behind him.

Brissett remains a low-end QB2 or likely remain in the wavier wire.

2018 outlook

Now it’s bad to think ahead at this point but, depending how he heals in the offseason, there should be caution when it comes to Luck. As mentioned he will probably not play in 2017 and will heal the shoulder for the 2018 season. He should remain a QB1 but have a quality backup depending how well his recovery is.

 

Featured image from kwbe.com.

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week two DFS Dont's

Week two DFS don’ts: Tight ends

Week one reinforced our belief in the volatility at the tight end position. The top five scoring tight ends on FanDuel were all less than $5,500 and Jason Witten was the most expensive. The most notable players at this position disappointed in a big way. This means you need to pay attention to match up and opportunity, not the name on the jersey. With that being said, one of the highest scoring tight ends of week one has found himself on my list of week two DFS don’ts.

Austin Hooper: FanDuel Price $5,500

What? How is the highest scoring tight end in week one DFS don’ts? The opportunity is not and will not be there for Austin Hooper this week. When selecting a tight end, you normally want to follow this checklist. Is his team a heavy favorite? Is his team playing at home? Does he command between eight percent and 15 percent of his team’s targets?

First, the opening line on the Atlanta and Green Bay game started with Atlanta as a one point favorite. Currently on BOVADA, the line has moved to Atlanta -3. This is a good sign for Hooper. If the line becomes Atlanta -5, then you can start to consider Hooper as your DFS tight end. However, there is more to examine.

Second, the Falcons are playing at home, on Sunday night, in their new stadium. Even I can’t deny that narrative. I was at the NFC Championship last year and the atmosphere was incredible. Everyone is going to remember how the Packers got dismantled by this team, including Aaron Rodgers. This game will likely shoot out given these two offenses and the already high over/under of 54.

Finally, the most important part of the checklist is his target market share. For those who don’t know, target market share is the percentage of targets a player gets. Against the Bears, Hooper received a whopping six percent of Matt Ryan’s targets. The only reason he produced was because of a coverage lapse by the Bears. If you want to count on a guy who needs a complete coverage breakdown to produce, at an incredibly inflated price, be my guest.

Jack Doyle: FanDuel Price $5,200

week two DFS Dont's: tight ends

Jack Doyle (Photo: SI.com)

It’s obvious, I know. However, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t talk about how awful this matchup is for Doyle. First, he might have the worst quarterback in the NFL. Scott Tolzien is unwatchable. Even with such a game flow that dictated the Colts to throw the ball, Doyle only saw three targets. Maybe the situation improves if Jacoby Brissett gets to start. But, that may not help given their lack of chemistry.

Not only does Doyle have an awful quarterback, he has potentially the worst matchup in the NFL. In my DFS don’ts tight end piece last week, I talked about how good the Cardinals defense is against tight ends. They only surrendered two touchdowns in 2016 to tight ends, and they never allowed more than 53 receiving yards in a single game to the opposition. Predictably, Eric Ebron was awful against the Cardinals.

If the Cardinals are going to be this good going forward, I may have to place any tight end playing against them in this series. Maybe I would consider Doyle as a “punt” play at the tight end position, but his price of $5,200 doesn’t even allow me to do that. There are plenty of other options with better matchups and prices in this week’s main slate.

 

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