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Sunday Scaries: Week 9

Week 8 Update:

Daniel Jones Vs. Geno Smith. Danny Dimes had his worst game of the season, Geno got DK back (miraculously), and hit Lockett on a fluke broken coverage. Tough L.

Andy Dalton +2.5 Vs. Derek Carr. Derek Carr and the rest of the Raiders offense looks like trash. Dalton didn't need the juice. Solid W.

Justin Jefferson Vs. DeAndre Hopkins +3. Nuk didn't need the juice. He just crushed and led to a huge W.

Running Season Record: 15-9

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Week 9 Matchups:

Antonio Gibson +6 Vs. Dalvin Cook

Boy has Antonio Gibson's last twelve months been a roller coaster! A 2nd round pick in March 2022 fantasy drafts, he was left for dead in early September after Brian Robinson was named the starter in Washington.

After Brian Robinson suffered injuries following a horrific car-jacking incident, Gibson always finished as a top-25 back, never falling below 11 fantasy points through the first three weeks. Robinson's return to the lineup relegated Gibson to 2nd fiddle for the Commanders, and yet Gibson has finished as a top-27 back each of the last three weeks. What's been even more encouraging for Gibson is his involvement in the passing game: 4+ targets in 6 of 8 games this season, averaging 3.6 receptions and over 28 receiving yards per game. Even more so, JD McKissic and his 5 targets per game will be missing from this MIN-WAS contest. Gibson could see closer to 7 or 8 targets in this game. Additionally, the Vikings give up the 4th most pass yards to quarterbacks on the season-- meaning Gibson is in line for a massive game. And no, don't worry about Brian Robinson getting in on the pass-game action. Robinson has 2 targets in 4 games since being activated from IR.

While Dalvin Cook has scored fewer than 12 fantasy points only twice in the season, he only ranks 13th in fantasy points per game. His efficiency metrics have taken a hit over the last few seasons: ranking RB20 in true yards per carry, RB25 in yards per touch, RB34 in Juke Rate, RB34 in Breakaway Run Rate, and RB38 in yards created per touch. Cook's volume has hidden these inefficiencies pretty well, as Cook ranks 8th among RBs in snap share (70%), 7th in carries with 16.3 per game, and has hit the right side of variance so far with scoring 5 TDs. Washington has been fairly stingy over the past few weeks stifling the run, holding Jonathan Taylor to a 16-76 clip, Aaron Jones to 8-23, and David Montgomery 15-67 all without TDs.

Final Pick: Antonio Gibson +6. The juice is just too much to pass up (pun intended) in this matchup. Passing game usage projects to be massive for Gibson.

Chris Olave vs. Romeo Doubs +1.5

The Doubs hype train has turned into more of a roller coaster this season. Whereas I wonder whether the welcome has been worn out for Chris Olave and left him as a post-hype player-- he's great but quietly getting massive volume while Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas have missed time this season. Both rookies have exceptional matchups heading into their respective Week 9 matchups.

Doubs has finished as a top-24 WR in three different weeks so far, but that success mostly hinges on whether he scores a TD. In games where Doubs doesn't score a TD, he's on average WR71. In games where he does score, he's on average the WR17. Doubs is netting a respectable 18.1% target share and a 21.7% target rate. He gets to face Amani Oruwariye who has been a plus matchup for most other WRs. Oruwariye gives up 4.6 receptions and over 70 receiving yards per game while shadowing at least half of the time. The Detroit Lions overall give up 32.4 fantasy points per game. The Packers are also projected by PFF to have a 39% pass block ADV over the Lions.

Chris Olave is no longer the Air Yards king, as he's been pushed to 2nd in that category by Tyreek Hill. Still, Olave has finished as a top-18 WR in four of his last five games and has scored double-digit PPR points in all but one game so far this season. Olave still leads all receivers with 18 deep targets, ranks first in unrealized air yards, and is fifth in average target distance. The Baltimore Ravens allow an 83rd-percentile favorable matchup vs. WRs and allow 32.4 fantasy points to the position per game on the season. The Saints also are projected by PFF to have a 29% pass block ADV over Baltimore in this matchup.

Final Pick: Chris Olave. While both players run deep, Olave does so more often and more successfully. It's also still possible that Rodgers's favorite target this season, Allen Lazard, could be active in time for this game, impacting the opportunity for Doubs.

Evan Engram vs. Tyler Conklin +1.5

Gotta get some more TE love into these matchups. The difficult thing, however, about TE rankings in half-ppr is that so much scoring is driven by whether the player gets into the end zone.

Tyler Conklin is coming off the #1 overall TE finish in Week 8, catching 6 passes on 10 targets, two of which went for TDs. Conklin has been targeted 5+ times in six of his eight games with the Jets after coming over from the Minnesota Vikings. His matchup against the Bills is not ideal. The Bills are a bottom 26th percentile matchup vs. TEs and only allow 7.5 fantasy points per game to the position, and have not surrendered a TD thus far on the year. In particular, Conklin's TE-LB matchup projects by PFF to be a -33% ADV against Conklin.

Evan Engram is quietly putting up a nice season so far. He's currently TE10 in total points and TE13 in points per game while only having caught 1 TD so far on the season. Engram ranks 2nd in TE deep targets, 6th in air yards, and 7th in air yards share. He's also been great after the catch, ranking 8th in receiving yards and 8th in yards after catch. But, unlike Conklin, Engram faces a Las Vegas Raiders team that is a 93rd percentile matchup vs. TEs, allowing 13.6 points per game. It may be a tough TE-LB matchup for Engram as he's graded by PFF at a -17% ADV, but with all the deep targets and separation, it will be hard to guard Engram consistently with Christian Kirk and Travis Etienne also on the field for the Jags.

Final Pick: Evan Engram. Engram has finished with 9+ fantasy points in three of the last four games with a plus matchup. Conklin has failed to reach 8 fantasy points in five of eight games so far and faces a tough Bills team.

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