In the spirit of Halloween, we saw a few “scares” during the Week 8 slate of games. Tom Brady appears to be the vampire of the NFL as the oldest starting quarterback at 39 years old continues to post MVP numbers despite only starting four games this season due to suspension. The Chicago Bears were Week 8’s zombie as they appeared dead this season, but rose up to kick their division rival Minnesota Vikings to the curb on Monday Night Football. Like a ghost, David Johnson defied gravity when he literally hung in midair to avoid a flying tackle from Carolina Panther’s cornerback Robert McClain. Lastly, Derek Carr was Week 8’s Frankenstein with his monster 513 passing yard performance with 4 touchdowns to lead his Oakland Raiders to an overtime win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8’s “pirate bowl.”
With Week 9 around the corner and six teams on bye, take a dive with me as we discuss several players and a defense to target.
QB Dak Prescott
Whether Tony Romo is fully healthy or not, the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback position appears to be Dak Prescott’s to lose. After a rough first half, Prescott resurrected the Dallas Cowboys offense in the second half to defeat division rival Philadelphia and clinch their sixth straight win. Prescott draws a home matchup against the Cleveland Browns who have allowed the 4th most points to opposing quarterbacks and should shine again in Week 9.
Week 9 projection: 225 passing yards; 25 rushing yards; 2 TD
With Mark Ingram apparently in the New Orleans Saints’ doghouse, Tim Hightower will now be a key component to their backfield committee and was one of the top waiver wide adds going into Week 9. Instead of Ingram serving as the workhorse, look for a shared workload after Hightower impressed with 26 rushing attempts for 102 yards in Week 8. The Saints’ ground weapons will be in full attack mode against the San Francisco 49ers who have allowed the most fantasy points and rushing yards to opposing running backs. In fact, they have allowed seven rushing touchdowns over the last three games. Whether Hightower’s value is long-term or short-lived, he will make an impact in Week 9.
Week 9 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD
WR Cole Beasley
Cole Beasley has been targeted at least six times in every game except for two and earned at least 53 receiving yards in every week. Although he has been very consistent this season, he has not experienced a major breakout game. Look for Beasley to have another strong start and potential breakout in Week 9 when the Dallas Cowboys welcome the Cleveland Browns who have given up the 5th most fantasy points including five touchdowns over the last three games to wide receivers. Dez Bryant’s recent return should only help Beasley’s value going forward.
Week 9 projection: 75 receiving yards; 1 TD
The tight end position has been abnormally shallow this season. With Tyler Eifert, Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Zach Miller and several other tight ends on bye for Week 9, you may be looking for a one week fill-in. Look no further than Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tight end Cameron Brate who was trending upward a few weeks ago as a key target for Jameis Winston. With his third touchdown catch in Week 8 and an attractive Thursday night matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, who have surrendered the 6th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Brate will be a “great” plug-and-play for Week 9.
Week 9 projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD
D/ST San Diego Chargers
The combination of rookie defensive end Joey Bosa’s domination and finally winning a few close games recently, seems to have re-energized the San Diego Chargers defense. In fact, they have six sacks, forced six turnovers, and averaged 10 fantasy points over the last three contests. With Tennessee visiting, they have a friendlier matchup than in recent weeks. San Diego’s defense will continue to improve and will be a solid start for at home for Week 9
Week 9 projection: 11 points
Week 8 Results….Another mixed bag…
Week 8 projection: 200 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, 2 TD
Week 8 results: 253 passing yards; 11 rushing yards; 1 INT (bad call)
RB Jeremy Hill
Week 8 projection: 100 total yards; 1 TD
Week 8 results: 73 total yards; 1 TD (good call)
Week 8 projection: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 8 results: 36 receiving yards (bad call)
TE Vernon Davis
Week 8 projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 8 results: 93 receiving yards (good call)
DST Detroit Lions
Week 8 projection: 10 points
Week 8 results: 6 points (OK call)
Good luck in Week 9!