Tuesday - Jan 26, 2021

Home / Commentary / RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 9


Welcome to the Week 9 edition of “Red Light, Green Light,” a matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night).

In each NFL Week 9 game profile below, I will choose a total of 3 players to highlight as green, yellow or red light options.

green-light Green Light: Players who have a great matchup. These guys are rock solid fantasy options, and can be counted on as a strong source of fantasy production.
yellow-light Yellow Light: Players with just an OK matchup and/or usage concerns. These guys are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire.
red-light Red Light: Players with serious matchup/usage concerns, thus requiring lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should just be avoided altogether if possible.

Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not carry your team to victory.

As always, the information conveyed below is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, but can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default points per reception (PPR) scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week Teams: Philadelphia, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland, Cincinnati

New York Giants at Washington Football Team

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Giants Football Team
Quarterback 21st 16th
Running Back 14th 28th
Wide Receiver 12th 32nd
Tight End 24th 9th
Defense/Special Teams 2nd 3rd
Vegas Line: Football Team -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 41

Green Light – Football Team D/ST

The Giants’ implied team point total is just 19.25, which is the third-lowest of this week’s slate. The Washington front seven will be a big problem for New York’s beleaguered offensive line.

Yellow Light – Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington)

Giants’ CB James Bradberry has been one of the few bright spots during New York’s 2020 campaign, though he was not able to keep McLaurin from posting respectable stats back in Week 6 (7-74-0 on 12 targets). With one of the narrowest passing trees of any NFL team, expect McLaurin to continue soaking up targets.

Red Light – Wayne Gallman (RB, New York Giants)

All things considered, Gallman has played well the past two weeks, racking up 116 total yards and two scores on 28 touches over that span. However, the Giants seem to be insistent on keeping their backfield a committee while DeVonta Freeman (ankle) remains out, as veteran Alfred Morris was injected into the mix last Monday night, and Dion Lewis remains involved on pasing downs.

Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bears Titans
Quarterback 32nd 20th
Running Back 18th 12th
Wide Receiver 30th 5th
Tight End 11th 7th
Defense/Special Teams 6th 32nd
Vegas Line: Titans -6
Vegas Over/Under: 45.5

Green Light –  Allen Robinson (WR, Chicago)

Held to under 70 receiving yards just once over the Bears’ last six games, Robinson faces a Tennessee secondary that is littered with injuries and allowing 199.7 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.

Yellow Light – Jonnu Smith (TE, Tennessee)

With just 2-29-0 pm two targets last Sunday, Mr. Smith continues taking a backseat to the Tennessee wideouts, though that may not be a winning strategy against the Bears. While Chicago’s cornerback play has been a strength this season, they have allowed the 8th-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends.

Red Light – A.J. Brown (WR, Tennessee)

Brown has scored at least once in every game he’s played since returning from a knee injury in Week 5, though expect that streak to come to an end on Sunday. Chicago has only allowed two touchdowns to opposing wideouts, which is the fewest among NFL teams.

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Lions Vikings
Quarterback 12th 5th
Running Back 2nd 16th
Wide Receiver 13th 2nd
Tight End 25th 16th
Defense/Special Teams 16th 11th
Vegas Line: Vikings -4
Vegas Over/Under: 52

Green Light – Dalvin Cook (RB, Minnesota)

Cook’s monstrous fantasy performance of 226 total yards and 4 scores on 32 touches last Sunday marks the third time he’s gone for more than 140 in his last four games played. Cook leads all running backs with 11 touchdowns, and Detroit has allowed an NFL-leading 12 to the position so far.

Yellow Light – D’Andre Swift (RB, Detroit)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any hard evidence to support this theory, but one would imagine Detroit finds more ways to involve Swift in the passing game with top wideout Kenny Golladay (hip) on an indefinite hiatus. As it is, Swift has been targeted at least four times in all but one game this season.

Red Light – Kirk Cousins (QB, Minnesota)

Cousins’ streaming appeal goes out the window if Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford (reserve/COVID-19) isn’t cleared to play, as any failure on the part of Detroit to put up a fight would only incentivize the Vikings to hand the ball off to Dalvin Cook even more.

Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Panthers Chiefs
Quarterback 25th 26th
Running Back 4th 21st
Wide Receiver 27th 28th
Tight End 22nd 23rd
Defense/Special Teams 17th 30th
Vegas Line: Chiefs -11
Vegas Over/Under: 51.5

Green Light – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, Kansas City)

Edwards-Helaire has not done much (97 total yards and a score on 18 touches) in the two games since Le’Veon Bell joined the Chiefs’ lineup, though it appears that latter’s presence has had more of a negative impact on Darrel Williams‘ role than anything else. Still seeing around 50 percent of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps, look for a rebound performance out of the rookie running back against a Panthers rush defense that has been gashed by everyone.

Yellow Light – Christian McCaffrey (RB, Carolina)

At last, the consensus no. 1 overall fantasy draft pick gets back in action after missing nearly two months of action. However, it is still up in the air as to whether McCaffrey will resume his every-down role after a lengthy layoff, or cede touches to backup Mike Davis, who had performed admirably in the starter’s stead.

Red Light – Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Carolina)

Quarterbacks on teams that are major underdogs are typically the ones worth a look when streaming the position. However, Kansas City has allowed just the 5th-fewest passing yards this season, and Bridgewater has thrown multiple touchdown passes in just three of eight games played.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.