The disappointments after Week Eight and what to look forward to in Week Nine
The Santa Clara
November 2, 2017
Buy Low – Dez Bryant (WR, DAL)
Dez Bryant has made it through the start of the season with a huge share of targets, netting 40 looks from Dak Prescott—almost double those of Jason Witten, the second most targeted player in the Cowboys’ offense. Dez Bryant’s matchups against opposing cornerbacks get easier in the weeks to come, so his production is likely to trend upward. If the Cowboys continue to struggle defensively, Prescott will have to air it out more than he ever did last season.
Sell High – Carlos Hyde (RB, SF)
San Francisco is not good at all (0-8). It’s hard to tell what direction this team wants to go in. One week they want to split the workload between Hyde and Matt Breida and the next they give Breida four carries. Hyde is still “the guy” here, but looking ahead at his schedule there doesn’t seem to be sunshine in the forecast. You may feel it’s in your best interest to find a trade partner and get a back with an easier slate ahead of him.
Key Waiver Wire Pickups – Paul Richardson (WR, SEA) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)
Richardson is carving out a significant role in the Seahawks’ offense. He snagged two touchdowns, giving him three in the past two contests and five on the season. Richardson can function as a deep threat and red-zone target, like the Texans’ Will Fuller, giving him plenty of value going forward considering how difficult it is for Seattle to run the ball. Smith-Schuster is still unowned in a large amount of leagues. After his seven-catch, 193-yard, one-TD performance on Sunday night, you can bet he’ll be picked up in a lot more. With Martavis Bryant firmly in the doghouse, Smith-Schuster should continue to function as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 receiver.
Key Matchups for Week Nine
Buccaneers @ Saints: If there was a game tabbed to be the highest scoring of the season, this might be it. Both defenses are subpar against both the run and the pass. On the other side of the ball, both teams are loaded with weapons in terms of the run as well as the pass. If you have someone on either of these teams—even if they are the second option for Jameis Winston or Drew Brees—it would be wise to start them, as this game could come down to who scores last.
Broncos @ Eagles: This game is an opportunity for the Eagles to erase any doubters who may still linger this far into the season. They will go up against arguably the best defense in the NFL without their starting left tackle, Jason Peters. In terms of fantasy value, the Eagles’ weapons will have a dull week compared to those in the past, just because of how good the Broncos’ defense is. This game will show if the Eagles’ weapons can provide consistent fantasy value, and if the Eagles are truly the Super Bowl contenders everyone thinks they are.
Chiefs @ Cowboys: Time to see if the Cowboys are for real. The Chiefs have a defense to reckon with, and an offense to match. The Cowboys’ defense has struggled as of late, but that’s nothing new. Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott will have to show that last year wasn’t a fluke, and make this game as much of a shootout as the Bucs-Saints game. If you’re willing to take a risk, play the Cowboys’ weapons. If you’re lucky enough to have someone like Travis Kelce, or Kareem Hunt for the Chiefs, expect them to perform above their projected production value.
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