Kenyan Drake (32) will need to get off to a sizzling begin for Miami, and maintain off teammate Damien Williams. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Fans of soccer, each the actual life and fantasy variations, desperate to see how just lately traded gamers of observe will fare with their new squads could have to attend a short while. For instance, Jay Ajayi ought to get on the sector Sunday for the Eagles, however in all probability in a restricted position with LeGarrette Blount remaining the starter, at the very least in the meanwhile (plus, Philly will get the Broncos’ brick-wall run protection, then a bye).
Kelvin Benjamin is even much less more likely to get vital taking part in time, if any, on condition that his Bills debut will come on Thursday, in opposition to the Jets. Meanwhile, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan steered his new quarterback, former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo, won’t play in any respect this season, not to mention as late as Week 12, following his new group’s Week 11 bye.
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One QB we all know gained’t play for his new group this 12 months is AJ McCarron, as a result of his new group kinda sorta failed to truly full a last-minute commerce for the Bengals’ backup. Oh, Browns, will you ever get your act collectively?
That stated, there will probably be gamers raring to go this week, abruptly unleashed by the departure of a dominant starter. Which brings us to our first two conditions of nice curiosity in Week 9.
Matchup: vs. Chiefs, Sunday, four:25 p.m.
Okay, that is baduming that Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension will, the truth is, start this week. That could possibly be a really sketchy badumption, if this prolonged course of and the Deflategate saga earlier than it are any indication, particularly on condition that the NFLPA and Elliott’s attorneys filed expedited enchantment and emergency injunction requests with a federal court docket Wednesday.
But it stays possible that the desperation maneuver will fail, and Elliott will probably be out for some time, giving Alfred Morris an opportunity to grow to be a significant fantasy power in his absence. Or will it’s Darren McFadden? For that matter, how about Rod Smith?
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The younger (23), giant (6-foot-Three, 230 kilos) and athletic Smith is the wild card right here, but it surely’s not out of the query he pushes McFadden (30) and Morris (turns 29 in December) apart. In the close to time period, although, Morris figures to get the primary crack at lead-back duties, with McFadden in on pbading downs and as a change of tempo.
That’s all hypothesis, nonetheless, as even the Cowboys’ beat writers are expressing nice uncertainty about how this can play out. The first take a look at (once more, baduming Elliott is out) comes in opposition to a Kansas City protection that’s permitting the eighth-fewest fantasy factors to RBs however has been gashed in two of the previous three weeks by the Broncos and Steelers.
Matchup: vs. Raiders, Sunday, eight:30 p.m.
With Ajayi in Philadelphia, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams are left to vie for touches, as Senorise Perry lurks on the fringes of the competitors. Drake, a 2016 third-round choose, seems slated for the early-downs position, on the very least, however Williams could possibly be the worst form of thorn in his aspect, one who is available in on pbading downs and on the purpose line.
As with the Dallas RBs, that is hypothesis in the meanwhile, and we’ll should see what the precise division of labor is, in a tasty matchup with a pliant Oakland run protection. In actuality, even when Drake or Williams (or Perry, for what it’s price) emerges as a workhorse, he’ll nonetheless be hard-pressed to rise above RB3 standing behind a awful offensive line, with both Jay Cutler or Matt Moore at QB.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
Matchup: vs. Buccaneers, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Thomas ought to feast on a Tampa Bay secondary permitting essentially the most fantasy factors to WRs, and in that case, he’d make for sell-high candidate. “But wait, Desi,” you’re in all probability saying (it’s a little bit presumptuous of you to name me “Desi,” however I’ll enable it), “haven’t I been studying that Thomas is definitely a buy-low man?”
You have, and that’s as a result of he has but to have an enormous sport, catching only one TD in two of seven contests whereas failing to high 90 yards in any of them. Given his constant position in a Drew Brees-led offense (at the very least eight targets in six of seven video games, with six targets within the different), to not point out his breakout rookie marketing campaign final season, the consensus is that Thomas is price getting on a budget, if potential.
That narrative might work in your favor, in the other way, if Thomas strafes the Bucs and seems to verify all of the optimism nonetheless hooked up to him. In actuality, the Saints have a troublesome schedule for WRs after this week, as they go to the Bills after which face 4 groups ranked within the high 11 in fewest fantasy factors allowed to the place (the Redskins, Rams, Panthers and Falcons).
As I famous earlier than the season of Brandin Cooks’s commerce to New England, “Sure, that leaves Thomas as the Saints’ top WR, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that his numbers have nowhere to go but up from last year’s line: 92 catches on 121 targets for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns. For one thing, Drew Brees loves to spread the ball around, and no Saints wide receiver has topped 130 targets since Marques Colston in 2010.”
That was earlier than New Orleans turned so efficient on the bottom, with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara each posting start-in-all-formats numbers. Brees, who has led the NFL in cross makes an attempt 4 occasions, together with simply final season, is tied for 12th on a per-game foundation this 12 months, decreasing the ceiling for your entire Saints receiving corps.
Matchup: vs. Rams, Sunday, 1 p.m.
New York has had a bye week to determine the way to transfer the ball with out Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. It helps that Sterling Shepard is predicted again from his ankle harm, and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see a) how huge a job he has and b) how a lot, if in any respect, he eats into Evan Engram’s goal share, which has been big since Beckham went down.
In the backfield, Orleans Darkwa wants to indicate that his current takeover of the highest spot on the depth chart remains to be in impact, whereas Wayne Gallman nonetheless has an opportunity to impress in opposition to a Rams protection that’s second solely to the Niners in fantasy factors allowed to RBs. Or is a wholesome Paul Perkins (ribs) set to stage a comeback? As with the Dolphins, it might not matter a lot, however RBs with notable workloads are at all times of curiosity in fantasy.
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