Neely back with a new segment this week. I’ll be looking at players I favor this week and players I’d fade. Let’s take a look at my Week 9 faves and fades.
Herbert finally had more rushes than David Montgomery last week. This is exciting news as it correlates with the head coach’s desire to “go with the hot hand.” Montgomery is a good player but Herbert just looks better. They are the most run-heavy team in the league right now besides the Falcons and that could alternate any given week. Herbert has been consistently given more and more opportunities and delivered every time he’s going to take over this backfield this season and Montgomery will likely be looking for a new team this off-season. Herbert is a great pass catcher as well and can handle all three downs if need be. I think in a game against Miami where the Bears will be forced to play offense at a pace they aren’t used to, Herbert will be the go-to man and is going to boom this week and secure that RB1 spot on his team.
A nice divisional battle against Seattle means good things for Moore. Hopkins’ splashy play will undoubtedly make him a focal point of the Seahawks defense but it’s very hard to take away the short throws and opportunities that Moore is consistently given. He’s amazing in open space and can take a curl route for 30-40 yards. When things aren’t working down the field to Hopkins, which is bound to happen eventually, Moore will only be more involved. Considering he had a huge game along with Hopkins last week, I think he’s extremely safe as a flex and offers huge upside, especially against a bad defense in a potential shootout of a game
This is a do-or-die game for not only AJ Dillon but the Packers in general. The Packers are 3-5 and not looking good. I think reality might crack if Aaron Rodgers walks into Detroit and loses a shootout with Jared Goff. The game is in Detroit and I think this is where the Packers either assert themselves as a contending team this year or not. It would be hard to imagine this team making the playoffs after losing to the Lions and falling to 3-6. The Lions run defense is absolutely terrible so this is also a do-or-die game for Dillon. If he can’t find a way to 20 points in this game or at the very least make slime explosive plays then he’s gotta be on benches for the rest of the year unless you’re truly desperate. If Dillon gets under 10 points once again then he might truly be in drop territory. I’ve started Dillon in some lineups and i’m hoping it won’t be my last time but this seems like a culminating moment for his fantasy season.
Kirk simply has a great matchup with Las Vegas. I think he has an easy path to double-digit targets and could find the endzone as well. Nothing about LV’s defense should scare you away and don’t let Kirk’s recent performances scare you either. He’s Lawrence’s favorite target and they are also hoping to stop their recent slide against a team that had a pitiful performance last week. I think they go back to what has been working and Kirk goes for close to ten catches and close to a hundred yards and a tuddy this week. If you’re considering Kirk as a flex or even WR2, start him with confidence.
The Bears are going to find themselves having to do something to match the energy Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are going to bring. They don’t have many options and one of their best will be going deep to newly acquire Chase Claypool. I don’t think it will look pretty but Chase might have a nice splash game here for his new team. I think at the very least he will be given the opportunity and I trust him to make some big plays and start earning the trust of Fields and his team. He has the potential to be an amazing flex play this week
Of course, if we mention Herbert as a fave I need to talk about David Montgomery here. I think he’s a great player. I just see his usage trending more towards 12-15 carries a game and that’s it. Especially when playing a high-powered offense like Miami. He might get goal-line work but the Bears are as likely to give Herbert the goal-line/red zone opportunities as well. I don’t think Montgomery gashes the Miami run defense, especially with Bradley Chubb now in the mix. So if you want to pray for a touchdown be my guest but that’s not for me.
Gibson is finally breaking out and getting that passing game usage everyone has desired but I think the excitement will be quelled a little against the Vikings here. The Vikings are atop their division and playing good football. It seemed like last week the Commanders were sending everyone deep and then passing it off to Gibson to do something in space. I think forcing Heinke to have to take those deep shots leads to more mistakes and disrupts this nice little momentum they have going.
Bill Belichick is the king of terrorizing young QBs. Sam Ehlinger is in for a hell of a ride and I don’t want anything to do with this offense this week. I think for the rest of the season Sam Ehlinger will keep the fantasy assets of this team relevant because he’s fighting for a job in the NFL if not for the Colts. This week is going to be tough sledding though. Campbell has carved out a nice slot role but I think we might be looking at a 3 INT kind of game here.
Carr has been a mostly stable presence amidst this crazy season for fantasy QBs. Last week he was not present at all. The Raiders as a whole floundered on the level you rarely see NFL teams do. Very odd and I don’t know If I trust Josh McDaniels to right the ship immediately so I’m benching Carr and Renfrow for sure until I see a reason not to. You are kind of stuck with Adams and Jacobs but you might want to look at moving on from them. This team’s playoff chances are very slim and that kind of trajectory can lead to shutting down someone like Adams if he gets any kind of injury in the coming weeks.
“He Just Produces” was what I and many others told ourselves about Brandin Cooks when drafting him. It’s the kind of thing you need to tell yourself to buy into a WR1 on a bad team. I was truly hoping he would get traded if for nothing else to avoid this matchup against the Eagles. The new lie Cooks owners have been telling themselves is that the Texans will be down by so much that they will have to force Cooks the ball to try and get back into it but that narrative has not been unfolding. He hasn’t had double-digit targets since Week 2 and that was a huge reason why he was able to consistently produce. He’s also dealing with an injury and is leading a banged up receiver corps as it is. I think the Eagles key in on Cooks and shut him down. You might want to fire up another option. (He also probably won’t be playing).