I had a whole intro typed out heading into my usual Thursday night routine…

And then the fantasy world got turned upside down for Week 9 and for the rest of the season.

The alerts on my phone were going crazy with the DeShaun Watson injury. My jaw was in shock an awe, and slowly, as the confirmations started to come out about his ACL injury, I started to think about how much this changes this week’s slate.

I was planning on fading Watson, Hopkins and Fuller and pivoting to Lamar Miller. I might’ve hedged, but now I don’t have to worry about that.

So what are some impacts to this slate because of the Watson injury? Here are some things to consider, for all formats:

  1. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott’s ownership are likely to rise.
  2. DeAndre Hopkins ownership will go way down.
  3. Lamar Miller ownership probably stays put
  4. Colts DST is a cheap streamer with Tom Savage at QB
  5. Will Fuller, for me, is one of the worst plays on the board because of his price.
  6. Julio Jones, Dez, A.J. Green and Michael Thomas ownership levels likely to increase.
  7. Most importantly, more people might pay up at running back.

As for me, nothing really changes. I’ve locked on to a lot of guys this week, personally. But I actually have a lot of interest in Nuk now that Watson is out, but I am still not sure he is worth $9,200.

I have a lot of recommendations this week as I really like this slate, and have since the Zeke suspension came down (and not too happy about that either). Hope you can keep up!

Time for the rankings, which are again raw points based and matchup based, salary not factored in.

Quarterbacks

  1. Drew Brees
  2. Dak Prescott
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Alex Smith
  5. Cam Newton

Running Backs

  1. Kareem Hunt
  2. Todd Gurley
  3. Mark Ingram
  4. Adrian Peterson
  5. Christian McCaffrey

Wide Receivers

  1. Dez Bryant
  2. Michael Thomas
  3. Julio Jones
  4. DeAndre Hopkins
  5. T.Y. Hilton

Tight End

  1. Zach Ertz
  2. Jimmy Graham
  3. Jack Doyle
  4. Vernon Davis
  5. Tyler Kroft

Defense/Special Teams

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. Philadelphia Eagles
  3. New Orleans Saints
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Denver Broncos

Top Stacks

  1. Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant
  2. Drew Brees/Mark Ingram/Michael Thomas
  3. Kareem Hunt/Tyreek Hill
  4. Russell Wilson/Doug Baldwin/Jimmy Graham
  5. Matt Ryan/Julio Jones
  6. Cam Newton/Christian McCaffrey
  7. Todd Gurley/Sammy Watkins
  8. Jacoby Brissett/T.Y. Hilton

Top Fades

  1. WIll Fuller
  2. Leonard Fournette
  3. A.J. Green
  4. MIke Evans
  5. Tennessee Titans DST

 

Drew Brees – QB – New Orleans Saints – $7,000


Analysis: I realize the Saints haven’t thrown for more than 2 touchdowns this season but once. I also realize that the Saints have been running the ball a lot more with Mark Ingram since the Adrian Peterson trade. I also realize this play could be risky considering the conservative box score numbers for Brees. But I feel very confident in Brees vs. the Buccaneers, who are allowing 274 yards passing and 24 points per game. Coming off a week where Brees didn’t throw a touchdown, this is a perfect spot for Brees to get the passing game going for him and his team.

Jacoby Brissett – QB – Indianapolis Colts – $5,200


Analysis: I have really gotten accustomed to paying down at QB, and I am certainly going to with Brissett this week. The Texans DST is in shambles with all of the injuries and lack of talent in the secondary. We saw what Russell Wilson (who is far superior to Brissett, I know that) did to this team almost a week ago. Brissett has the wheels, will be in indoors on turf (where his receivers flourish) and I would’ve liked to say that I felt he would be playing behind the whole game. Now I am not so sure. But what I am sure about is that Brissett has a high floor with rushing and touchdown upside in this matchup.

Dez Bryant – WR – Dallas Cowboys – $6,400


Analysis: We are in another situation where Dez Bryant is in a spot for a potential blowup. The question everyone wants to answer is the running back situation for the Cowboys – will it be Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden? Sure, one of those guys probably has a solid game, but I want to attack the Chiefs with the passing game of the Cowboys this week. I love this spot so much I will likely have Dez in 90-98 percent of my lineups. Not only did Dak not look his way enough against Washington, Dez has drawn a lot of tough WR/CB matchups. This week is certainly not one of them. Without Zeke, this is a great spot for Dez.against the Chiefs, who second in the league in average fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. This season, KC has surrendered 94 catches for 1,438 yards and 13 touchdowns to wide receivers. This is a feed me spot for Dez in this week’s games’ highest total.

Michael Thomas – WR – New Orleans Saints – $7,200


Analysis: Speaking of rebound/smash spots, here’s another. Should the Saints get into a shootout or even play from behind (or not truthfull), Michael Thomas is the guy Brees is going to look to. He has 8 or more targets in every game this season except one. If you like trends or believe in that type of squeaky wheel, then you should know that in every game this season Michael Thomas has seen double-digit targets and now he gets to face the worst secondary in the league in average fantasy points allowed. He also is averaging 6 catches per game and is on a 3-game endzone draught, a pace that isn’t likely to last very long.

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