The 2016 Fantasy Football schedule enters Week 9, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of RotoExperts.com *is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com. Throughout the season, Jake will give you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives, while letting you know which performers will help you take home a championship.
The Saints picked up a big win last Sunday. Hosting one of the NFC's playoff contenders, the Saints were able to topple the Seattle Seahawks and will now head to San Francisco in Week 9 as they look to get back to .500.
It was another solid game for Drew Brees, as he threw for 265 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks. Not only does that give him at least one touchdown in each game, it was a good showing against one of the league's best defenses. The 49ers are much more forgiving, as they have allowed at least two passing touchdowns in every game since Week 1. Brees will be locked in as a Top 3 quarterback option.
Not surprisingly, the 49ers also give up plenty to opposing receivers with 13 touchdowns allowed in their last six games. Michael Thomas led the Saints in receiving again with six catches for 63 yards. Thomas now has at least 44 yards in every game. Willie Snead had a strong showing with six catches for 56 yards, and Brandin Cooks scored in his third straight game. All three are must-starts with Cooks being a WR1, and Thomas and Snead hold WR2 value. Tight end Coby Fleener has a chance to notch his third receiving touchdown of the season against the 49ers. Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham, similar top-end tight ends, put up at least 100 yards and a score in back-to-back weeks against these 49ers.
Week 9 will also provide a great opportunity for Mark Ingram to bounce back, as the 49ers allow the second most Fantasy points to running backs with 10 rushing touchdowns given up in the last six games. In fact, Ingram and Tim Hightower can find value in Fantasy leagues with six teams on byes, especially after Hightower rushed for 102 yards last week. Start your Saints and enjoy Week 9 of the Fantasy Football season.
Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston has put up some terrific games, and this week can be another. The Falcons allow the most Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) to quarterbacks on NFL.com at 22.2. They're tied with the Lions and Browns with 19 passing touchdowns allowed. Don't forget that it's a Thursday night game though. As mentioned, the Browns are also extremely forgiving against quarterbacks. Not only has Dak Prescott impressed as a rookie, but he accounted for three touchdowns last week and is going to be a QB1 option in a matchup with those Browns. Blake Bortles put up most of his numbers late in the game and Kansas City is a tough place to play, but the Chiefs have allowed the third most FPPG to quarterbacks over the last four weeks (22.8). Bortles is a high risk/high reward option in Week 9. As we know by now, anyone facing the Broncos is in for a tough day. Despite Derek Carr's league-leading Week 8 performance, he carries risk this week.
The Steelers have allowed the fourth most FPPG to running backs, thanks in large part to 11 total touchdowns in seven games (eight rushing). While the backfield situation is a bit murky, it appears Terrance West is still the lead option for the Ravens, making him a solid RB2 play. If Ty Montgomery returns in Week 9, he needs to go right back in your lineup. The Packers backfield is waiting for his return, and the Colts are among the most forgiving defenses with 1,234 yards and 10 touchdowns allowed to running backs which Montgomery has been playing for the Packers. The Chargers are another highly favorable matchup for running backs, and while you don't need to be told to play DeMarco Murray, this is a week where you can use Derrick Henry given the running back landscape. Henry always has the potential to score when he gets 8-10 carries, and that's a decent bet to make this week. The Cowboys defense has been sneakily tough against running backs, and while it's tough not to use Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson each week, both could have quiet days given the matchup.
The team allowing the most FPPG to receivers might surprise you, as it's the Panthers with 28.2. Kenny Britt and Brian Quick have been underrated options this year, as both rank inside the Top 40 at receiver. With it being a thin week and a nice matchup for the Rams, Britt and Quick are start-worthy in Week 9. The Jets allow the second most FPPG to receivers which is another surprise, but it also presents more opportunity for receivers you might not normally use. Jarvis Landry is a lineup mainstay, but Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker have big-play upside for those needing a high ceiling with their Week 9 fill-ins. Speaking of big-play ability, it's expected that Ben Roethlisberger and Sammie Coates will both be ready for Week 9. The Ravens present a great opportunity for opposing receivers and have the most receiver touchdowns allowed (13). On the other side of that matchup, the Steelers have given up just three receiver touchdowns all year with the Broncos being the only team with less. That makes Mike Wallace, Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman risky plays.
Tight ends continue to have big days against the Lions, and the Lions have now given up eight touchdowns to them – two more than any other team. Fire up Kyle Rudolph as a TE1. With the Browns being weak against the pass, it goes hand-in-hand that they allow a high FPPG to tight ends at 11.7 on NFL.com. Last week, Jason Witten found the end zone for the first time this year and has a good chance to make it two games in a row against the Browns. Cameron Brate continues to be a significant red zone presence for the Buccaneers and is second on the team in red zone targets with eight. The Colts are one of six teams allowing double-digit points per game to tight ends, making Brate a good option. Jesse James is touchdown reliant for Fantasy production, but he'll find scoring tough this week, as the Ravens allow just 3.6 FPPG to tight ends and have yet to allow one to score.
The Panthers defense has struggled this year, but when it comes to Fantasy, it still ranks 10th overall and the Rams give up the most FPPG to opposing DSTs. The Jets are just a fraction of a point behind the Rams in FPPG allowed, which makes the Dolphins an intriguing streaming DST at home, as they have put up seven-plus points in three games. Keep an eye on the Ravens DST. If Roethlisberger can't return, they will become the top streaming option in Week 9. Some of the top kickers still have low ownerships. Dustin Hopkins and Josh Lambo are the third and fourth highest scoring kickers, and yet their ownerships are just 41.4 and 25.4, respectively. Even deeper is Caleb Sturgis, who is just 10.2 percent owned despite being the fifth best kicker and facing the second best matchup for kickers this week (Giants, allowing 10.4 FPPG).
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