Welcome back folks to my weekly predictions for the top fantasy performers at each position. Week 9 is already underway as Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams had themselves a nice Thursday night. Both very well may be one of the top performers for their position this week. With that said, I’ll still be giving you my predictions on my picks for the potential top players. So let’s jump right in.
Top 3 QBs
Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have had arguably the roughest season so far. They have blown five leads this when they were leading by double digits, managing to only win one of those games. In reality, the brightest spot on the team right now is their rookie quarterback. Look for him to put the team on his back for a Chargers team in desperate need of a win, no less in their division vs. the Raiders.
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Matty Ice and the Falcons haven’t played the Broncos since 2016. In Ryan’s three appearances vs. the Broncos, he’s thrown for 200+ in each contest but lacked in touchdown passes with 3 total. The Falcons will be at home this week and will look to secure their third win of the season behind the arm of Ryan. I’m guessing he throws for 400+ yards.
Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
In the lone game he played vs. the Jaguars last year, Watson threw for 350+ yards and 3 TDs. The Texans are another team that is in dire need of a win. They’ve been in practically every game this year and have the talent around Watson to have a high powered offense. Deshaun will look to go off big this week in a divisional matchup that will leave one team at the bottom of the division.
Top 3 RBs
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
In his two matchups vs. the Lions in 2019, Cook was able to muster 3 TDs and 204 yards combined on the ground. After a huge Week 8 vs. the Packers, I expect Cook to have a stellar follow-up appearance. The Vikings should look to lean on Cook in this game as they fare well in keeping the game close if he gets 20+ touches.
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson will look to take much of the pressure off rookie quarterback Jake Luton who will be starting in place of the injured Gardner Minshew. The Jaguars rushing attack is facing a Texans defense that ranks one of the worst in rushing yards per game. Robinson is also a good pass-catching back and that should add to his value this week.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans
Henry is a tank and has been on a tear as of late. He’s scored a touchdown in five straight games, three of those having scored twice. In his rookie season, he ran for 60 yards and a score in his only matchup with the Bears in his career. The Titans are coming off back-to-back losses and I expect Henry will play a big role in trying to get the Titans back in the win column.
Top 6 WRs
Antonio Brown – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
AB is back and ready to get business boomin’ again. This is a big flyer this week as he has only been practicing with the team for a week. The good thing is he is familiar with Bruce Arians’ calling plays and his rapport with Tom Brady looks great in his lone game with the Patriots. In that game, Brown was targeted 8 times and secured 4 receptions for 56 yards and a TD.
Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears
Robinson and the Bears will be on the road vs. the Titans this week and will be looking to bounce back from a FG loss to the Saints in Week 8. Robinson has no career games vs. the Titans so there isn’t much to go off of for previous matchups. He is the most targeted receiver for the Bears and the offense should look to stretch the field deep with Robinson this week.
Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Jones has seen a resurgence the past three weeks after being hampered by injuries in Week 2 and 3. He’s received 29 targets in the past three weeks and it looks like the All-Pro receivers rapport is back on point with his QB. His two career games vs. the Broncos aren’t exactly eye-popping in the stat column. With that being said, those stats don’t deter my confidence in his “Boom” potential this week.
Chase Claypool – Pittsburgh Steelers
Though fantasy owners shouldn’t expect the Week 5 breakout performance that Claypool had, his “Boom” potential vs. the swiss cheese Cowboys defense is something to be optimistic about. The Steelers do spread the ball around so this play will be predicated on his ability to get open more often. The Steelers look to remain hot and Claypool could benefit from Sunday’s matchup.
DeAndre Hopkins – Arizona Cardinals
The current leader in yards this year, Hopkins will look to break the 800+ yard mark on Sunday. He has only two career games vs. the Dolphins, but his best performance came in 2018 in a Thursday night game when he scored twice with 6 receptions for 82 yards. The good thing was he was covered by Xavien Howard, who in 2018 was tied for the NFL lead in interceptions at seasons end. Look for him to be relied on to keep the Cardinals high-powered offense rolling.
Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers
Allen has been excelling since rookie Justin Herbert was named the starter for the Chargers. Since Week 2, he’s only had one week where he received less than 10 targets. In his eleven career games vs. the Raiders, he’s only twice been under five receptions. His fantasy value will be predicated on if he can get in a touchdown, as his target share and yards can only do so much for fantasy owners.
*Allen popped up late on the injury report and is listed as questionable, so make sure to monitor that.
Top 3 TEs
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce has been one of the top TEs this year and for good reason. He’s only had one game this year where he received less than five targets. He had his second 100+ yard receiving game last week and will look to add his third this year. He has no previous matchups vs. the Panthers so this will be an opportunity for him to show Carolina and first-year coach Matt Rhule what an elite TE looks like.
Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders
Waller’s two games last year vs. the Chargers were relatively modest games. His “Boom” potential though is always apparent week in and week out. He’s secured a touchdown reception in two of the past three games. In Week 8 he had his second-lowest receiving total of the year. As one of Derek Carr‘s most reliable targets, look for him to burst out for his second 100+ yard performance this year.
Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans
Smith has been quiet the past three weeks as he hasn’t been able to surpass 30 yards or score a touchdown. The good thing is he is one of Ryan Tannehill‘s first looks in the red zone. I think this week he reverts back to his first four weeks of the season where he scored five times.
Top 3 Kickers
Jason Sanders – Miami Dolphins
After Tua Tagovailoa‘s first start last week, it looks like the Dolphins offense has the possibility to stall more than they did in the first six weeks of the season. This will be pivotal for Sanders’s value this week as he is still perfect on the season for PATs and FGs. Look for him to kick at least three through on Sunday.
Mike Badgley – Los Angeles Chargers
I expect the Chargers and Raiders game this week to have its fair share of points scored. Badgley has bounced back from a rough few weeks where he missed a crucial FG and some PATs. I expect him to help add to the Chargers point total this week.
Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos
The Broncos offense has been looking up in recent weeks in their ability to move the ball. McManus is a reliable option this week as the Broncos still have a tendency to stall on offense. Add in his big leg and there is always the potential for a 50+ yard conversion.
Top 3 DEF/STs
The Steelers face the Cowboys this week. Need I say more. The Cowboys will have another rookie go under center and that is a rough assignment for a first start against a notoriously great defensive team.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are on the road Monday night vs. the Jets. The Jets are the worst team in the NFL, though they show weird signs of playing well. I expect Big Bill and the Patriots defense to try and blowout the Jets.
New York Giants
The Giants have played every team tough this year. They will be on the road vs. the Washington Football Team this week who are hit or miss on their potential every week. Look for the Giants to dial it up against Kyle Allen and force some turnovers.
As always, I’m feeling good about this week and am in search to keep my recent track record of having players be the #1 performer in their position group. Whether you play fantasy football with friends or daily fantasy with friends, a few of these predictions will go off for you. Agree or disagree? Let me know at the censored world of Twitter @RealsleeepyG. See you all next week.