Austin’s Fantasy Train: Week 9


Austin West, Contributing Writer

I’m not sure about anybody else, but I had myself a nice fantasy day between my five fantasy teams and last week’s article. My fantasy teams went 4-1 this week, with one of my teams even hitting over 200 points. For those that play fantasy football a lot, you know how rare this is and how good it feels to hit it. This is all thanks to some huge fantasy performances over the weekend. Huge shoutouts to Alvin Kamara, Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Christian McCaffery and Tyreek Hill all having themselves 30+ fantasy days on Sunday. I know NFL Fantasy likes to release the perfect lineup every week for fantasy and this week’s was something else: a total of 245.7 fantasy points scored. Absolutely unreal. Now remember folks, we had an NFL record of trades on the trade deadline this week so make sure that all the players you roster are still on the teams you think they are and evaluate how that affects those players for the rest of the season.  

Let’s move on to last week’s picks. I was trying to get back on track and I think this might have been my week. First, my picks for those to overperform were Tua Tagovailoa, Jonathan Taylor, Justin Jefferson and Greg Dulcich. Tagovailoa and Dulcich each beat their projections but Taylor and Jefferson couldn’t even though Justin Jefferson still scored 15 points instead of his projected 21. Meanwhile, for Taylor, he might be the biggest bust of the fantasy season and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any easier for him. He’s only scored double-digit fantasy points in two of his six games. As for the underperformers, they were Trevor Lawrence, David Montgomery, George Pickens and Robert Tonyan. Each of these players would be underperformers on the week, especially George Pickens who notches a goose egg against the Eagles. My pick was saved by the offensive pass interference call against Tonyan which was not a great call in my personal opinion but it helps my record. Hopefully, this week can continue this trend. Once more we will ride upon the Fantasy Train for Week nine. 

Teams on BYE: Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Tickets to Ride 

Quarterback, Justin Fields: Justin Fields has had a great three weeks in fantasy finishing top ten as a fantasy quarterback each week. Now he has the acquisition of Chase Claypool in the offense to help better his receiving corps. Even in the blowout loss to the Cowboys he was able to throw for two touchdowns, throw for 150 yards, and rush for 60 more. He faces the Dolphins who should also blow out the Bears on Sunday. The Dolphins have also given up 12 passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns this season. Garbage time looks to be Justin Fields’ friend this week. 

 Running Back, Aaron Jones: The heart of the Packers offense is Aaron Jones and the run game. Even against the Buffalo Bills who are a top five rushing defense in yards allowed per game. This week, he faces an NFC North rival in the Detroit Lions, who have given up the third most rushing yards per game, the most points per game, and the third most fantasy points to running backs this season. I didn’t understate Jones being the heart of this offense either. Jones has touched the ball on 43% of offensive snaps. The only person with more is Aaron Rodgers. All in all this matchup looks great from the workhorse of the 9-1-5’s very own Aaron Jones.  

Wide Receiver, Keenan Allen: Keenan Allen is returning after the bye week after appearing in the first half of the Week seven game against the Seahawks. He chose a good time to return too, with a matchup against the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons. The defense has given up the most points to wide receivers this season and Keenan Allen is going to be the most targeted receiver in the Chargers’ offense as Mike Williams is currently out with an injury for this game. The Falcons have also allowed the second-most receiving touchdowns in the league to wide receivers. Let’s see Keenan Allen return to the Chargers with a bang. 

Tight End, Dawson Knox: Dawson Knox has become a consistent target for Josh Allen when the Bills get into the redzone. He’s two for two with two touchdowns in the last two games within 20 yards of the endzone. The Bills face the Jets who are top ten against wide receivers in fantasy points with Sauce Gardner which will allow Allen to be able to target him more frequently in this game, especially when it comes to the redzone. This is supported by the Jets giving up the top half in the league most points to tight ends this season. He may be touchdown dependent many weeks, but the chances of him scoring stay high. 

Missed the Train 

Quarterback, Tom Brady: Father Time is finally starting to catch up with Tom Brady. While last week he had himself an average fantasy day scoring 17 points, the two games prior were all under 15 fantasy points. He also hasn’t been able to throw for more than one touchdown since Week four. He now faces off against the Los Angeles Rams defense that is top ten in the league against the QB position this season. They’ve only allowed two QB passing touchdowns in the past three games, both from Jimmy Garappolo last week. The Bucs’ o-line also allows the most pressure per dropback in the NFL at 30.5% which opens up the opportunity for Aaron Donald and the Rams to get after Tom Brady. 

Running Back, Michael Carter: Well, Michael Carter didn’t have the workhorse role last week we thought he would after Breece Hall was sent to IR. Only seven carries and four receptions for 61 total yards. Now going into this week’s game, he has James Robinson with a full week of practice to compete with for the starting role. If you thought that was bad, the Jets face the Buffalo Bills who have only allowed five total touchdowns to running backs through seven games. So to recap, wasn’t considered a feature back without James Robinson, now has James Robinson in the lineup, AND faces off against one of the best defenses against the run in the NFL. I’ll let you make up your own mind about this one. 

Wide Receiver, Brandin Cooks: A big name many people suspected to be traded before the deadline was Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Personally, I really thought that the Packers might make a push for him but the Packers decided to sit back and do nothing this year. Instead, Cooks remains on the Texans as Davis Mills’ number one target as they face the current number one team in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles. Cooks wasn’t at practice on Tuesday with the possible trade talks and is questionable with a wrist injury, but if he is to play, he faces a top five defense against the pass and will most likely see a lot of a Darius Slay shadow throughout the 60 minutes. Couple that with no touchdown since Week four, the Texans and Cooks are in for a rough Sunday. 

Tight End, TJ Hockenson: This is going to be the shortest part of this article. TJ Hockenson has just been traded to the Minnesota Vikings (as of Tuesday). While they do play Sunday, that means Hockenson most likely will only have a few days of practice before the game. While McCaffery got some touches after one practice, Hockenson will still get some touches as well. Unfortunately, he will be touchdown-dependent when it comes to his matchup against the Commanders. 

All projections and rankings are provided by FantasyPros experts in PPR scoring format 

To get more of your football fix check out Football UNfocused on Spotify, co-hosted by Austin West.