Every week, our Yahoo fantasy football crew will reveal their boldest predictions for the action ahead. It’s time to get bold for Week 9!
Washington Football Team for the win
Scott Pianowski: The key letters this week are WFT. I want you to get behind this Football Team, however you can. Sure, playing Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin, those are obvious things. So is the WFT defense against the turnover machine that is Daniel Jones (keep in mind Washington is rested off the bye, while New York played Monday). But take things a step further. Proactively start Logan Thomas at tight end. Don’t be afraid of J.D. McKissic as a lower-end RB2 or FLEX play. And in true burying the lede style, here’s my juiciest suggestion: get over to Bet MGM and take WFT at +400 to win the NFC East. Your holiday savings club begins here.
Cardinals DST, Chase Edmonds ready to smash
Dalton Del Don: The Cardinals are at home, coming off a bye and getting a Dolphins team that won last week despite being out-gained by the most yards in any NFL game in 2020. Arizona’s defense quietly ranks top-10 in DVOA, and its rushing offense (Bonus Prediction: Chase Edmonds finishes as a top-three fantasy back this week) should provide a nice lead, and Tua Tagovailoa appears entirely unready (and Miami is down multiple running backs). It’s a recipe for Arizona to finish as the #1 fantasy D/ST in Week 9.
Drew Lock in Week 9 QB1 picture
Liz Loza: Swaggy Drew will smash (in a top-15 kind of way) in Week 9. The green gunslinger is coming off an impressive victory in which he threw for 248 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT, closing out Week 8 as fantasy’s QB8. This weekend, he’ll take on a Falcons defense that’s allowing an average of over 320 passing yards and the most fantasy points per contest. Furthermore, Denver’s defense is hobbled, which means this could turn into a bit of ping-pong match, as reflected by the 49.5-point projection set by Vegas. With Tim Patrick working his way back on the field, Noah Fant’s rebounding health, and the emergence of (my Week 8 Fantasy Damage pick) Albert O, Lock demands QB1 consideration.
Noah Fant to join the fun with Drew Lock
Andy Behrens: I’ll simply co-sign everything Liz had to say about Drew Lock, a strong fantasy option this week, and I’ll point out the fact that Atlanta has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Somehow, the Falcons have already given up 50 catches for 534 yards and eight TDs to the position. Noah Fant is coming off a 9-target game and he’s likely to finish top-5 among all tight ends this week.
Sterling Shepard ready to shine
Matt Harmon: Sterling Shepard will be a top-15 receiver against the Washington FT in Week 9. We’ve seen Shepard get right back and roll into the top wideout role for the New York Giants since he’s returned from injury the last two weeks. Shepard leads the receiver crew with a 26 percent target share in the last two weeks. He’s run fewer routes than Darius Slayton (58 to 75) but that makes sense to preserve him a bit. The target total shows that when he’s on the field, it’s been a priority to get him the ball. The red-zone target distribution also rests at four to zero between the two. Shepard isn’t just getting volume, he’s getting it where it matters most. Against a Washington team that rushes the passer well and forces quick throws, Daniel Jones should be looking to get the ball out in a hurry to Shepard this week.