Throughout the season, Jake Ciely (*@allinkid*) will give you the expert take on New Orleans Saints players from fantasy perspectives, while letting you know which performers will help you take home a championship. The Saints host the Titans in Week 9, as they look to move above .500 on the season.
Well Saints fans, it doesn't get much bigger than that. The Saints gave fans and owners an offensive explosion of epic proportions in Week 8. Any owners of Saints players were smiling afterward, especially those with Drew Brees. It was arguably his best game ever, as Brees completed 39 of 50 passes for 505 yards and an incredible seven touchdowns. That's 46.54 fantasy points on NFL.com for those of you wondering. The Titans defense isn't as forgiving as the Giants is, but it's only middle of the pack and not a concern. Another big Brees day is in store.
Marcus Mariota is expected to return this week for the Titans and should find his way back into most lineups. He carries nice upside each week. Like Brees, New York Giants QB Eli Manning, should have another big week with the Bucs defense allowing 20.3 FPPG to quarterbacks on NFL.com. Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) had a quiet return but will find more success against the Raiders defense. Andrew Luck (Colts) and his offense have been a bit shaky, and this is the one time you can consider benching him, as the Broncos defense is clearly the best unit in the league.
With all of the passing going on, Mark Ingram had a semi-quiet day with just 80 yards, but when Brees is dominating as he was, you don't need the run game as much. Still, 80 yards is a nice day, and Ingram is a good bet to get back to his RB1 status this week with a more balanced approach. C.J. Spiller snuck in a touchdown too last week and now has even more opportunities in front of him. With more snaps and touches, Spiller finds himself in the Flex conversation in Week 9.
Jeremy Langford steps in for the Bears, and while he's a must-add off waivers, he's also a solid start in Week 9. The Chargers allow a league high 24.25 Fantasy Points Per Game to running backs. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard (Bengals) can frustrate weekly since game flow will dictate usage, but both are set up for solid outings against a weak Browns run defense. There are many options in San Francisco with Pierre Thomas signed, too, but even against the Falcons' weak run defense, all are risky plays since we don't know the planned usage. Speaking of risky, T.J. Yeldon (Jaguars) has to start for most teams with six bye week teams and several injuries, but don't expect much success against a Jets defense dominating the run – just 11.63 FPPG allowed. Another must-grab off the wire is DeAngelo Williams (Steelers). He'll be a RB1 more often than not, but this week he's more of a RB2 (still a must-start) against a very tough Raiders run defense.
Patient Brandin Cooks owners were rewarded, as he had the breakout game we were waiting for and Willie Snead continued to show his growth as a rookie. Cooks and Snead both scored twice and will continue to be Top 30 receiver options with WR1 potential each week. Marques Colston still has value in favorable matchups, as he also found the end zone with 114 yards receiving. He's a deep league play now, but a solid one given the thin rosters in Week 9. Of course, we have to talk about Ben Watson and his terrific nine-catch, 147-yard day that included a touchdown. Watson has scored in three of the last four games and is TE6 overall on the year. There are no concerns left, as Watson is a TE1 and must-start at this point.
The teams allowing the most FPPG to receivers are on byes (Chiefs and Ravens), but the 49ers are third, which gives Justin Hardy (Falcons) deep league value. The Falcons need some help alongside Julio Jones and Hardy can find open space at times. The Patriots are dominating the league, but their pass defense is still exploitable. DeSean Jackson is a must-start in his return and Pierre Garcon (both Redskins) is a nice option in PPR leagues. While the Broncos can scare you off Luck, the Colts defense should have you locking Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders into all lineups. In this same matchup, that means T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Andre Johnson of the Colts are all risky. Hilton is the only one worth starting in Week 9. The same goes for the 49ers receivers against the underrated Falcons pass defense and with Blaine Gabbert at quarterbacks.
Heath Miller (Steelers) clearly liked having Roethlisberger back and now faces the most forgiving team against tight ends: the Raiders. He's a great option in all leagues. Vernon Davis (Broncos) has TE1 potential now that he's playing with Peyton Manning. He's worth grabbing in most leagues and even worth a spot start for those needing a tight end in Week 9. It's hard to sit Jason Witten (Cowboys), but the Eagles' linebackers make it tough for any tight end to have value against them. Kyle Rudolph isn't having the breakout season owners wanted, and the Rams are strong against tight ends. There are likely better options out there.
When you score so many touchdowns, your team's kicker is always a great Fantasy option. Kai Forbath is a solid play again this week. Those with Justin Tucker (Ravens) on a bye can plug in Nick Folk, as he is a borderline K1 in a great matchup with Jacksonville. Chris Boswell for the Steelers is a great sleeper pickup with Roethlisberger commanding that offense. The Titans can be turnover prone at times and allow the most FPPG to opposing defense, making the Saints a sneaky DST play. Some other nice fill-ins include the Bengals going against the Browns on Thursday night, the Falcons against the 49ers with Gabbert at quarterback and the Jets hosting the Jaguars.
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