Jimmy Garoppolo (@ SEA): On a week with tons of games in rough weather situations, Garoppolo gets an outstanding matchup in great weather in Seattle. Seattle allows the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Not only that, but the Seahawks also allow the most fantasy points to opposing receivers as well. Add those two things together, with the 49ers’ injuries at the RB position, it sets up for a prime spot for Garoppolo in a divisional game.
Carson Wentz (vs. DAL): Another quarterback in a divisional game with a great matchup is Carson Wentz at home against the Cowboys. The Cowboys are a bottom-ten defense in the league playing with their third-string quarterback. I’m expecting the Eagles, despite all of their injuries, to walk all over this Cowboys team in Week 9. Start all your Eagles this week.
Drew Brees (@ CHI): The Saints are going to be without Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Marquez Callaway this week in a relatively tough matchup on the road versus the Bears. It’s tough to trust a quarterback on the decline with all those receivers out.
Matthew Stafford (vs. IND): Stafford faces the defense that allows the second fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
Le’Veon Bell (vs. NYJ): Revenge game alert! I know in the past I’ve said to avoid Bell, but there were reasons for that. The situation he was in with the Jets was nowhere near the level it was previously in Pittsburgh. Now, he’s on a new team, fresh start, with the Chiefs, who are a heavy favorite against the Jets (19.5 points!) in one of his first few games with his new team. Being the Chiefs are likely going to run away with this one, don’t be surprised if Bell got some opportunities in this one to get used to playing on his new squad. He might play on third downs and short yardage situations early in the game, but perhaps late in the game he’ll really get going.
Boston Scott (vs. DAL): As mentioned previously, start all your players versus the Cowboys. Miles Sanders is out again this week, and Scott should handle most of the load. It’ll be a committee between Scott and Clement this week. The Cowboys are equally as bad against the run compared to the pass.
Jerick McKinnon (@ SEA): McKinnon has had a heavy workload recently, the 49ers knew this, and already limited McKinnon last week. Tevin Coleman is expected to return, and between Coleman, McKinnon, Hasty, there will be a lot of mouths to feed here.
J.K. Dobbins & Gus Edwards (vs. PIT): Mark Ingram is doubtful for this game, but that doesn’t mean one guy will get a majority of the workload like in the past. The Ravens have rookie J.K. Dobbins now, and I’m expecting an RBBC approach in this situation. I’d rather not start either of these guys and play players in better situations.
Brandon Aiyuk (@ SEA): Seattle allows the most fantasy points per game to receivers, and to quarterbacks as well. With Deebo Samuel out, Aiyuk is the top option for Garoppolo this week, along with Kittle. While it can be argued that Kittle is technically the number one receiving option for the 49ers (as a TE) Aiyuk still has a solid matchup, regardless.
Tre’Quan Smith (@ CHI): I mentioned previously how the Saints are going to be without three receivers this week, and that leaves Tre’Quan Smith as the last man standing. The matchup isn’t the best, but he should be able to over come that with volume. Kamara, Cook and Smith are expected to get most of the volume for the Saints this week.
Damiere Byrd (@ BUF): Another team with multiple receivers down are the Patriots, who will be without Julian Edelman, and N’Keal Harry. That leaves Byrd as the next option. Problem is, he gets the Tre’Davious White matchup, which is always a tough one. With how Newton has struggled lately, I’ll pass.
DeVante Parker (vs. LAR): Parker is going to be up against Jalen Ramsey this week, a premiere shut down corner back in the NFL. With a rookie in his first game at QB, I’d rather look elsewhere.
Jonnu Smith (@ CIN): The Bengals allow the second most fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Smith has been on the rise all year long. Easy start.
Mike Gesicki (vs. LAR): While DeVante Parker has a tough matchup this week, Gesicki’s isn’t all that bad. The Rams allow production over the middle. It would not surprise me if Tua leaned on the tight end in his first game.
Tyler Higbee (@ MIA): On the other side of this game, Higbee does not have a great matchup. Miami only allows 7.70 fantasy points per game to tight ends this year. Being he was banged up with the hand injury, I’ll pass on Higbee in this matchup.
Irv Smith (@ GB): Another tight end with a tough matchup is Irv Smith against the Packers, who allowed among the top-ten fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Not only that, but Green Bay has also only allowed 21 receptions to tight ends all season, sixth fewest yards on the season, and only one TD to the tight end position. There are better options out there.
Robbie Gould (@ SEA): Robbie Gould has a divisional matchup on the road against the Seahawks this week. This game has a 54.0 total, great weather and is expected to be competitive most of the way. This week, for kickers, it’s going to be about avoiding games with 20+ MPH winds, if possible. There are less than 5 mph expected winds in SEA this week and very little to no precipitation anticipated as well. Great situation for kickers!
Brandon McManus (vs. LAC): As previously mentioned, this week, we have tons of games with weather issues. McManus also has one of the better situations, kicking in Denver. There’s minimal concern here, solid weather with no rain, and very few winds. In a game with a 44.5 total, I’m expecting a few field goals by the Broncos in this one.
Mason Crosby (vs. MIN): Crosby has been battling an injury this week and is expected to play. However, the conditions are not that great for him. He’ll be kicking in the near freezing cold temperature in Lambeau field with 20-25 mph winds and a chance of rain. Seems like a messy spot. No thanks.
Daniel Carlson (@ CLE): This Raiders game is going to have even worse conditions than the Packers vs. Vikings. In Cleveland, there are expected 25-30 mph winds, an 85+ chance of precipitation, it’s going to be ugly. We want kickers who only have to worry about kicking the ball. Carlson has that, plus heavy rain and win conditions to battle. Easy pass.
New Orleans Saints (@ CHI): With all of the Saints offensive injuries, the Saints are going to have to rely on their defense this week. This game only has a low 43.0 total, and the Saints are favored in this one. Foles is not a great quarterback, so the Saints should be able to handle this with no problem.
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. DAL): The Eagles defense, as a whole, is not great in terms of talent. That being said, the Cowboys are down multiple offensive linemen on their third-string quarterback, and their star running back has just not held onto the football this year. If you’re looking for a plug and play defense, here are one of your best choices.
San Francisco 49ers (@ SEA): The Seahawks have one of the premiere offenses in the NFL, so this would be a spot to avoid the 49ers defense if possible. This is expected to be one of the highest scoring games on the week. I know we drafted the 49ers as a top three defense in seasonal leagues, but this is a rough spot for them. Look for alternatives this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (@ BAL): Any defense against the Ravens is a tough matchup for any defense. The Steelers, despite being among the league best, are no exception here.
Andy Dalton (Concussion): Not expected to play.
Other Quarterbacks that were limited practice throughout the week but are expected to play: Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Ben Roethlisberger.
Chris Carson (Foot): Limited practice, questionable.
DeVonta Freeman (Ankle): DNP, expected to miss.
Carlos Hyde (Hamstring): DNP, Doubtful.
Mark Ingram (Ankle): Doubtful, not expected to play.
Aaron Jones (Calf): Ruled Out.
Phillip Lindsay (Concussion): Limited, questionable.
Joe Mixon (Foot): Ruled Out.
Miles Sanders (Knee): Ruled Out.
Jeff Wilson (Ankle): Ruled Out.
Other Running Backs who were limited in practice/on the injury report this week, but are expected to play: Dalvin Cook, Damien Harris, Kareem Hunt, Josh Jacobs, Justin Jackson and Adrian Peterson.
Jamison Crowder (Groin): Doubtful, unlikely to play.
Julian Edelman (Knee): Ruled Out.
Chris Godwin (Finger): Ruled Out.
N’Keal Harry (Concussion): Ruled Out.
Alshon Jeffery (Calf): Ruled Out.
Tim Patrick (Hamstring): Questionable, not expected to play.
Breshad Perriman (Concussion): Ruled Out.
Allen Robinson (Concussion): Doubtful.
Deebo Samuel (Hamstring): Ruled Out.
Michael Thomas (Hamstring): Ruled Out.
Sammy Watkins (Hamstring): Ruled Out.
Other Wide Receivers who were limited in practice/on the injury report this week, but are expected to play this week: A.J. Brown, John Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Diontae Johnson Jarvis Landry, Scotty Miller, DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Sterling Shepard and Adam Thielen.
Austin Hooper (Abdomen): Ruled Out.
Tyler Higbee (Hand): Game Time Decision.
Other Tight Ends who were limited in practice/on the injury report this week, but expected to play Mo Alie-Cox, Eric Ebron, Noah Fant, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Adam Shaheen and Robert Tonyan.
Mason Crosby (Calf, Back): Expected to play.
(Cover Photo: Justin Edmonds/AP Photo)