Week 9 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: Russell Wilson has thrown for three or more touchdowns in 6-of-7 starts, and four or more in 4-of-7. Rarefied air. The numbers for the Bills’ aerial defense look strong, but they have faced a soft slate of opposing passers. Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill both had easy, efficient days. … After a month of low-wattage affairs since his destruction of the Ravens, Patrick Mahomes finally went nuclear against the Jets, turning in one of the 2-3 best starts of his career. The Panthers do their best to limit big plays, but the talent differential between Matt Rhule’s defense and Mahomes’ offense remains enormous. … Deshaun Watson kept Will Fuller at the trade deadline. A Jags team permitting 8.5 yards per attempt and 282 passing yards per game will offer no resistance. … With coronavirus wreaking havoc with the backfield, the Packers are not going to have a running game against the 49ers. That’s just as well for Aaron Rodgers playing a defense without a secondary, and all the better if Allen Lazard (core) returns. The 49ers’ once fearsome defense has been decimated by injury at every level. It is worth noting that the 49ers’ corona-hollowed offense may offer little pushback, limiting Rodgers’ upside opportunities.
Kyler Murray returns from bye to face a Dolphins Defense that isn’t flying under the radar anymore. Flying all over the field, the Dolphins have surrendered just eight passing scores in seven games. With seven rushing touchdowns in seven starts, Murray’s legs will be the key as he looks to keep pace with his QB2 by average points pace. … Josh Allen has only six passing scores over his past five starts, a span in which he’s been merely the QB19 by average points. We would like to think Allen has at least graduated to consistently taking advantage of good matchups. There’s no one more giving to enemy QBs than the Seahawks. Allen’s going forward reputation hinges on rocking this start. … At some point, Justin Herbert is going to regress. Not even Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson can be counted on for month-plus streaks of three-plus scores. But Week 9 against the Raiders is unlikely to be that point. … Ben Roethlisberger is the QB22 by average points. It is time for more. The Cowboys are knocking on the Seahawks’ door when it comes to being the matchup for opposing passers. Only New Orleans and Atlanta have handed out more air scores.
It hasn’t always been pretty for Tom Brady, Monday night included. He nevertheless checks in as the QB9 by average points. Antonio Brown arrives for Week 9. The Saints shut Brady down in Week 1 but enter the season’s mid-way point hemorrhaging the league’s sixth most QB fantasy points. … Lamar Jackson is the QB11 by average points. This is no longer a drill. Coming off a four-turnover disaster, Jackson has to be better. With 65 rushing yards in back-to-back starts, he is at least rebuilding that part of his floor. He will need it against the Colts’ feisty defense. … Matthew Stafford gets one of his best matchups without his best receiver. Kenny Golladay (hip) is out. Marvin Jones, Marvin Hall and T.J. Hockenson are still capable of providing chunk gains in a game with a 52 over/under. All that is if Stafford comes off the COVID-19 list in time to start. … Ryan Tannehill has completed fewer than 20 passes in back-to-back losses. He did provide two passing scores each time out. Tannehill is a floor play vs. a Bears D surrendering the fifth fewest QB fantasy points. … Matt Ryan has surpassed one passing score in one of his past six starts. Now he’s missing Calvin Ridley (foot). Ryan maintains rankings benefit of the doubt because we know the floor and ceiling are both there, but it is long past time he starts hitting them again.
Even with two rushing scores, Cam Newton is the QB30 by average points since returning from coronavirus three games ago. That tends to happen when you throw for zero passing touchdowns. We simply cannot write off Newton and his legs vs. the Jets’ embarrassing defense. … The wind held Derek Carr down in Week 8. He should bounce-back to his mid-range QB2 floor vs. a Chargers Defense that just collapsed against Drew Lock. A 52 over/under in a dome helps. … Even with Curtis Samuel emerging as one of the league’s most dangerous No. 3 receivers, we have seen diminishing returns from Teddy Bridgewater over the past three weeks. Hopefully Christian McCaffrey’s return for Week 9 at least stabilizes Bridgewater’s floor for a high-totaled game with the Chiefs’ tough defense. … Drew Brees keeps hitting his 280/2 floor. That will be put to the test vs. the Bucs’ foreboding defense. Michael Thomas’ (hamstring) return to the football universe would help immensely. … It’s a great matchup for Kirk Cousins against the Lions. The same is true for scorching-hot Dalvin Cook. We don’t need to tell you which player Mike Zimmer will prioritize.
We expected Kyle Allen to at least get Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson and maybe even Logan Thomas their numbers. It took a little longer than expected, but it happened in Week 7. Allen is set up for more floor success against the Giants. … Nick Foles misses way too many big plays. He will still be afforded plenty of opportunities for them vs. the Titans, whose secondary has been so bad they just released starter Johnathan Joseph. Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller are enough to work with. Hopefully Foles actually does so. . … Drew Lock was nearing “benched” territory before rallying the Broncos past the Chargers. The lad hasn’t had a plus matchup all season. He finally has one in the Falcons. I guess let’s see what happens. … Philip Rivers has been playing much better football of late, but his supporting cast is running too ragged for anything other than bottom-basement QB2 value against the Ravens’ elite, if corona-short handed, defense. … They kept Tua Tagovailoa beneath the floorboards for his first start. The Dolphins will have to open it up a bit vs. the Cardinals after Jared Goff’s five-alarm meltdown took the Week 8 pressure off Tua. … Spare a thought for whoever wins the Cowboys’ quarterback competition, Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush.