Fantasy Focus – Week 9 Matchups
We are approaching the halfway point in the season this week and it has been one hell of a bumpy ride. There have been a lot of surprises so far this season and you have to look no further than both New York teams. On the other hand, we have Brady and Rodgers going through incredibly difficult seasons. Onto Week 9 and there is still a lot to play for. Who’s the Fantasy Focus for this week?
Chargers (4-3) @ Falcons (4-4)
What Chargers will we get after the bye
The Chargers are coming off a shocking defeat in Week 7 to the Seahawks. Then fortunately a well timed bye in week 8 should have them looking to bounce back. They are now back on the road, and this week against a Falcons side sitting atop the NFC South. The Chargers offence has struggled for consistency without Kennan Allen so far this season. And even with Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler standing out they have struggled to string victories together. Allen was ruled out again for Monday’s practise and if he does not return, then there will be little surprise in Ekeler and Mike Williams seeing a large volume. The Chargers need a win to at least keep a little pressure on the Chiefs in the battle for the AFC West.
Falcons setting the pace in the NFC South
The Falcons are coming off an OverTime victory over NFC South rivals, the Panthers in week 8. Mariota, although throwing for 2 interceptions, was able to throw for 2 receiving TD’s and 250+ yards. Pitts was relevant again and Allgeier was used in both the ground and air game. The Chargers are an explosive offence, and this should be a high scoring game. Mariota will be required to throw, so Pitts and London should feature, along with Allgeier.
- Chargers win in Atlanta by less than 7 points
- Ekeler another big game, pair TD’s and 100+ scrimmage yards
- Pitts another receiving TD in loss
Packers (3-5) @ Lions (1-6)
The Packers are in free fall, and this is the last game they would want. The Lions on the other hand, although 1-6, have been scoring and competing week in and week out. This is a huge weekend of football for the Lions and the perfect time to be playing the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and his receivers seem to be reading different scripts. The Lions offence will need to tick and their defence will need to play lights out on Sunday.
Do or die for the Packers
Rodgers would have never expected to be in this position 6 months ago. But he will need to turn this around soon. The Vikings are running away with the NFC North at the moment and if the Packers want another playoff run they will need to start winning again. The Lions will prepare for this game as if it is their SuperBowl so this could well be another banana skin for the cheese heads. The Lions have one of the worst defences in terms of points allowed, and Rodgers will look to take advantage of this with Doubs and Tonyan the most likely weapons used in the passing game. Whilst Jones and Dillon improved slightly in week 8 they will need to continue improving to help take the pressure off the young receiving group.
Lions’ biggest game of the year
The breaking news this week is TJ Hockenson being traded to the Vikings. This will most certainly have a negative impact on the Lions offence. However, the Lions terrible defence this year leaves their team and QB with no other option than to put up points. The Lions squad will react to this trade by uniting on the field and showing as they have done the whole season, they have heart and grit. A fit DeAndre Swift will also be crucial for this offence. The Lions will need to score more than 30 points this weekend to have a chance.
- Lions record one of their more famous wins in recent history by less than 5 points
- Aaron Jones 100+ scrimmage yards, Tonyan TD reception
- Goff throws for 300+ yards, Amon-Ra St Brown 100+ yards.
Titans (5-2) @ Chiefs (5-2)
The current 2nd vs current 3rd seed in the AFC conference. The Titans have had arguably the easier schedule but every team still needs to win the games. The Titans seem to have King Henry running like the King he truly is again, but the passing game is a huge concern. The Chiefs acquired a new shiny piece by the name of Kadarius Toney last week. He would have benefitted from having the bye week to get up to speed with this offence, because speed is the one thing this offence does not lack. Mahomes is playing as well as he ever has and the Chiefs will want to win here to put a little pressure on the Bills sitting atop the AFC.
Can King Henry carry the Titans…again?
32 carries, 219 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. The King is back! Although the narrative here is that Henry was an obvious play with rookie QB Malik Willis under centre. Regardless of who is under centre going forward, Henry will need to carry this Titans offence. The Titans will need to run the ball all over the Chiefs to win this game, but with the Chiefs fire power it’s unlikely the game script will fall in the favour of the running game. Tannehill (assuming he is back from injury) will have to throw, and provided the Titans don’t go out and trade for some, Robert Woods will have a busy day.
A Mahomes statement game
The Chiefs are the highest scoring offence in the league with 223 points so far, (this includes the fact they have had a bye too). Although the Titans have been defending well, the challenge of Chiefs in Arrowhead is one not many teams have conquered in the recent past. And with the Chiefs weapons now, you back them to win more often than not. The Chiefs running game is still questionable, so the majority of the fantasy value here will be with Kelce, Smith-Schuster and shared between the other receivers.
- Chiefs win by 10+
- Henry kept under 100 rushing, Robert Woods 7+ targets, Tight End with a TD
- Mahomes throws for 275+ yards, comfortable win, moving the chains, early love for Toney 75+ yards