Week 9 Fantasy Football Preview

Saturday, Nov 4, 2023 at 9:45 am ET


Week 9 sees a lot of good players out on the bye, with Jacksonville, Denver, Detroit, and San Francisco sitting out. Christian McCaffrey, Travis Etienne, and Amon-Ra St. Brown aren't walking through that door, so it's time to preview this week's slate of games and identify the best options to fill the holes left by your absent stars.

  • Defensive fantasy rankings against positions are from Pro Football Reference
  • Projected points and rankings are from Fantasy Nerds and correct as of 11/2/2023. Skill players have half-PPR projections listed.

Anyone not listed is either somewhere in the middle or not fantasy relevant this week. Always be sure to check the weekly rankings to compare individual players when making decisions.

Must-Start Players

QB

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Josh Allen, BUF Cincinnati Bengals 12th 21.4 (3rd)
Tua Tagovailoa, MIA Kansas City Chiefs 4th 18.3 (7th)
Jalen Hurts, PHI Dallas Cowboys 3rd 22.3 (2nd)
Patrick Mahomes, KC Miami Dolphins 25th 22.6 (1st)
Justin Herbert, LAC New York Jets 10th 17.8 (8th)
Lamar Jackson, BAL Seattle Seahawks 17th 21.0 (5th)

RB

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Raheem Mostert, MIA Kansas City Chiefs 10th 12.8 (12th)
Isiah Pacheco, KC Miami Dolphins 17th 12.5 (13th)
Alvin Kamara, NO Chicago Bears 24th 16.7 (1st)
Bijan Robinson, ATL Minnesota Vikings 7th 13.3 (T-6th)
Saquon Barkley, NYG Las Vegas Raiders 29th 14.9 (3rd)
Josh Jacobs, LV New York Giants 26th 13.5 (5th)
D'Andre Swift, PHI Dallas Cowboys 11th 13.1 (T-9th)
Joe Mixon, CIN Buffalo Bills 22nd 13.1 (T-9th)
Jonathan Taylor, IND Carolina Panthers 32nd 13.3 (T-6th)
James Cook, BUF Cincinnati Bengals 23rd 11.3 (16th)
Kenneth Walker, SEA Baltimore Ravens 15th 12.0 (14th)
Austin Ekeler, LAC New York Jets 18th 15.1 (2nd)
Breece Hall, NYJ Los Angeles Chargers 20th 14.5 (4th)
  • There are a lot of running back options this week; enjoy it while it lasts.
  • Taylor and Zack Moss are in an even split, so a lot depends on who gets into the end zone (it's been Moss more often). Carolina has given up the most fantasy points per game to running backs, so both players are startable this week. Taylor is a RB2 while Moss is a low RB2/flex option.
  • Cook is hanging on here by a thread: he has been outside the top 25 backs in three of the past four weeks.

WR

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Tyreek Hill, MIA Kansas City Chiefs 6th 18.7 (1st)
Cooper Kupp, LAR Green Bay Packers 9th 14.5 (T-6th)
Puka Nacua, LAR Green Bay Packers 9th 12.5 (13th)
Adam Thielen, CAR Indianapolis Colts 19th 14.1 (8th)
Davante Adams, LV New York Giants 17th 13.3 (10th)
CeeDee Lamb, DAL Philadelphia Eagles 31st 15.5 (5th)
A.J. Brown, PHI Dallas Cowboys 4th 16.6 (4th)
Stefon Diggs, BUF Cincinnati Bengals 15th 17.0 (3rd)
Ja'Marr Chase, CIN Buffalo Bills 12th 18.1 (2nd)
Keenan Allen, LAC New York Jets 1st 14.5 (T-6th)
Chris Olave, NO Chicago Bears 18th 12.6 (T-11th)
  • Keep rolling with Kupp and Nacua; it'll work itself out.
  • I really don't know what to do with Adams. He has just two Standard top-20 receiver finishes (Weeks 2 and 3) and three in PPR (Weeks 2, 3, and 4). Jakobi Meyers has outplayed Adams most weeks. Rookie Aidan O'Connell has been inserted into the starting lineup, lowering the floor of both receivers. They are both tenatively WR2s (maybe WR3s?).
  • Chase is a superstar, but teammate Tee Higgins is more of an enigma. He was drafted in fantasy as a borderline WR1 but has only one week among the top 35 receivers, and that was Week 2. I'm scared to put Higgins out there because of the duds he has put up, and I'm looking for a safer option.
  • The Jets are tough against receivers, but Allen is the unquestioned top guy and will have the ball fed to him by Herbert.

TE

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Travis Kelce, KC Miami Dolphins 24th 16.9 (1st)
Mark Andrews, BAL Seattle Seahawks 13th 13.0 (2nd)
T.J. Hockenson, MIN Atlanta Falcons 18th 10.7 (3rd)
Dalton Kincaid, BUF Cincinnati Bengals 32nd 9.4 (5th)
  • Hockenson's world turned upside-down with the injury to Kirk Cousins. This week, I wrote about the Vikings throwing the most passes per game through Week 8 but likely changing their offensive philosophy with a shift to a different style of quarterback. Hockenson has seen great volume, but that might change if the team throws less. Keep an eye on this; Hockenson might be a guy to trade if someone values him like a top tight end.
  • Kincaid has been a top-10 tight end each of the last two weeks, turning 13 catches into 140 yards and a touchdown. The rookie may be getting up to speed right before our eyes, and he has the juciest TE matchup of the week against the Bengals.

Good Matchups

QB

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Dak Prescott, DAL Philadelphia Eagles 30th 17.1 (8th)
Zach Wilson, NYJ Los Angeles Chargers 32nd 13.7 (20th)
Mac Jones, NE Washington Commanders 31st 14.2 (18th)
Derek Carr, NO Chicago Bears 28th 15.8 (T-10th)
  • An uninspiring group, but there's likely to be at least one top-10 QB this week out of these four.

RB

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Zack Moss, IND Carolina Panthers 32nd 8.8 (26th)
Kareem Hunt, CLE Arizona Cardinals 30th 9.0 (24th)
Chuba Hubbard, CAR Indianapolis Colts 28th 8.7 (T-27th)
Darrell Henderson, LAR Green Bay Packers 25th 9.8 (21st)
  • Jerome Ford has been dealing with an injury, and I trust Hunt more in my lineup. He has scored four touchdowns over the last three weeks. Hunt is a RB2/flex player while Ford is under flex consideration.

WR

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Zay Flowers, BAL Seattle Seahawks 25th 11.6 (T-20th)
Nico Collins, HOU Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27th 11.0 (25th)
Patriots Receivers, NE Washington Commanders 32nd N/A
Brandin Cooks, DAL Philadelphia Eagles 31st 7.5 (T-45th)
Garrett Wilson, NYJ Los Angeles Chargers 30th 12.6 (T-11th)
  • This would have been Kendrick Bourne's spot, but he tore his ACL in Week 8 and will miss the rest of the season. DeVante Parker, Demario Douglas, and JuJu Smith-Schuster are listed as the starting receivers for New England, but good luck guessing who will benefit against a sloppy Washington D that just got worse against the pass. Any of these three are worth taking a look at as your WR3 because of how bad the Commanders are against the pass, and I'd rank them Smith-Schuster, Parker, then Douglas (though it could even be someone else).
  • Cooks has been down most of the season, but he has two straight games with over 35 yards, a touchdown, and a carry. He's a legit WR3 this week.

TE

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Gerald Everett, LAC New York Jets 29th 6.5 (T-13th)
Dallas Goedert, PHI Dallas Cowboys 25th 9.8 (4th)

Bad Matchups

QB

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Geno Smith, SEA Baltimore Ravens 1st 15.0 (T-13th)
Joe Burrow, CIN Buffalo Bills 2nd 19.9 (5th)
  • I almost put Burrow in the must-start category after last week's 283 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills have been tough on quarterbacks, though, and Burrow has been inconsistent. Last time we saw these teams match up, Cincinnati was dominating Buffalo in the snow in the Divisional playoff round.

RB

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Tony Pollard, DAL Philadelphia Eagles 1st 13.2 (8th)
Dameon Pierce, HOU Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3rd 8.0 (32nd)
Devin Singletary, HOU Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3rd 8.3 (30th)
Alexander Mattison, MIN Atlanta Falcons 5th 8.7 (T-27th)
  • Pollard is pretty much a weekly starter, but three of his seven games have seen him finish outside the top 20 fantasy backs. The Eagles demolish every run game, leading the league in rush yards allowed per game.
  • In the Week 8 recap, I said Pierce and Singletary are trapped in a timeshare of mediocrity: think of it as a timeshare in Muncie. They should both be on your bench against the Bucs.
  • I see Minnesota running the ball a lot more with Cousins out, and that added volume will help Mattison and Cam Akers. Atlanta is really good on defense, though; I'm sitting both Viking backs and watching how things play out.

WR

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Jaylen Waddle, MIA Kansas City Chiefs 6th 13.7 (9th)
DK Metcalf, SEA Baltimore Ravens 2nd 11.4 (T-23rd)
Marquise Brown, ARI Cleveland Browns 7th 10.4 (32nd)
Mike Evans, TB Houston Texans 3rd 12.0 (T-16th)
Chris Godwin, TB Houston Texans 3rd 11.6 (T-20th)
Michael Pittman, IND Carolina Panthers 8th 12.3 (14th)
DeVonta Smith, PHI Dallas Cowboys 4th 11.5 (22nd)
Josh Palmer, LAC New York Jets 1st 9.1 (T-36th)
  • Waddle might be in the middle of a shootout between the Dolphins and Chiefs, nullifying the tough matchup against the Chiefs.
  • Metcalf's teammates, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, should also be skipped this week against a wicked Ravens defense.

TE

Player Opponent Opponent Rank: Fantasy Pts Allowed Projected Points (Rank)
Trey McBride, ARI Cleveland Browns 1st 7.8 (9th)
David Njoku, CLE Arizona Cardinals 6th 8.3 (7th)
Michael Mayer, LV New York Giants 8th 5.4 (22nd)
Logan Thomas, WAS New England Patriots 9th 7.2 (11th)
  • I jumped on Mayer after a 75-yard performance against New England in Week 6. Notice the Patriots listed above, ninth-best against tight ends. It was hopeful thinking, though, wanting a player on my favorite team to break out; Mayer has just three catches for 32 yards over the last two games. A tough matchup against the Giants projects Mayer to continue his low production.

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