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Fantasy Football: Three Week 9 matchups to take advantage of

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Could we see another shootout in Seattle and what will Carson Wentz do against the ‘No Fly Zone’?

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Each week I look to dive into the slate of games and pick out the ones I'm most intrigued about from a fantasy perspective, and using the statistical metrics I've built for analyzing the game, try to identify the nuggets that will help you make the best decisions for your fantasy team.

You can find my latest rankings through week 8 via the below links:

RODS Team Rankings

ROPE Quarterback Index and ROPED Pass Defense Index

RORO Rushing Offense and RORD Rushing Defense Indexes

Here are my top matchups for week 9.

Washington (3-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-2)

Washington come into the game against the Seahawks off the back of two straight division losses and are already three games back of the Eagles in the NFC East, so a trip to the Clink is just what the Doctor ordered, right?

On paper the match up is closer than you might think, given the respective records of the two teams. Heading into the game, the Seahawks are the 13th rated team, per my RODS rankings, with the Redskins 17th. In fantasy terms, both teams rank higher than in my ‘real world’ metrics, with the Seahawks 7th and Redskins 11th in fantasy points per game.

Washington’s strength lies in their offense, where they have the 9th rated fantasy offense, compared to the Seahawks’ 14th rated fantasy defense. Kirk Cousins is the 4th rated quarterback in the NFL per my ROPE Index rankings, but he faces the infamous Legion of Boom, who are ranked as the 5th rated pass defense per my ROPED Index, though the leader of the secondary, Earl Thomas, is questionable to play on Sunday which potentially gives Cousins a boost.

Russell Wilson was the highest scoring fantasy quarterback in week 8, as he passed for over 450 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Texans. His 22.25 average fantasy points per game are the second most in the NFL in 2017. Eddie Lacy is set to start at running back on a rushing attack that has struggled this year. The Seahawks rank 27th in my RORO rushing offense metric, and face a Redskins rushing defense ranked 18th.

I would say we’re on course for another passing shootout in Seattle after last week’s Seahawks and Texans game combined for nearly 900 passing yards and 8 passing touchdowns.

Washington

Must Starts: Kirk Cousins (QB), Chris Thompson (RB)
Solid Options: Jamison Crowder (WR)
Deeper Leagues: Josh Doctson (WR), Vernon Davis (TE), Rob Kelley (RB), Terrelle Pryor (WR)
Avoid: Redskins D/ST

Seahawks

Must Starts: Russell Wilson (QB), Jimmy Graham (TE)
Solid Options: Doug Baldwin (WR), Paul Richardson (WR), Seahawks D/ST
Deeper Leagues: Tyler Lockett (WR), Eddie Lacy (RB)
Avoid: None

Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) @ Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

This game has fantasy point galore written all over it as these two teams rank 6th (Cowboys) and 8th (Chiefs) respectively in my RODS rankings, with both teams in the top four offenses in the league. Where the matchup suffers is on the reinstated suspension of Ezekiel Elliot (at the time of writing), as he was back on his rookie season form over the last two weeks with the Cowboys rushing attacked ranked second in the league, per my RORO metric. With Alfred Morris running the ball, I would expect a drop off, but not a significant one as the Chiefs have the 29th ranked rush defense.

Alex Smith remains my top rated passer and faces a league average pass defense in the Cowboys. Smith is the 4th highest scoring fantasy quarterback this season with an average of 21.33 points per game. On the other side, Dak Prescott ranks as the 5th rated quarterback and 5th in average fantasy points.

Chiefs

Must Starts: Alex Smith (QB), Travis Kelce (TE), Kareem Hunt (RB), Tyreek Hill (WR), Harrison Butker (K)
Solid Options: Chiefs D/ST
Deeper Leagues: Albert Wilson (WR)
Avoid: None

Cowboys

Must Starts: Dak Prescott (QB), Jason Witten (TE)
Solid Options: Dez Bryant (WR), Alfred Morris (RB)
Deeper Leagues: Cole Beasley (WR), Cowboys D/ST
Avoid: None

Denver Broncos (3-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)

This is one of my favorite matchups of the week, if only to see how MVP front runner, Carson Wentz matches up against the Bronco’s ‘No Fly Zone’ pass defense. The Eagles are flying high with the best record in the NFL and are my 4th ranked team per the RODS rankings, facing the 11th ranked Broncos.

Though I fully expect the Eagles to win this game as the Broncos go through a QB change with Brock Osweiler taking over under center this week, the strengths of both teams match up nicely and the Broncos defense has the talent to keep the game close.

These two teams have the top two rushing defenses in the league, with the Eagles having the slight edge in rushing attack, though they do welcome recently acquired running back, Jay Ajayi, to the team. On the flip side, they are without all-pro tackle Jason Peters for the season, so both the passing and rushing attack could suffer as a result.

Carson Wentz is the man of the moment, and the second year passer sits as my 8th ranked quarterback so far this season, and 6th in average fantasy points with 20.60 ppg. A solid showing against the famed Broncos defense will add further fuel to his MVP credentials. Though we have no 2017 tape of Brock Osweiler, he ranked as the 34th best quarterback in the league in 2016, behind the likes of Blake Bortles and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Broncos

Must Starts: With Osweiler starting at Quarterback, none.
Solid Options: Demaryius Thomas (WR), Emmanuel Sanders (WR), CJ Anderson (RB), Broncos D/ST
Deeper Leagues: Jamaal Charles (RB)
Avoid: Brock Osweiler. Avoid, Avoid, Avoid.

Eagles

Must Starts: Carson Wentz (QB), Zach Ertz (TE), Eagles D/ST
Solid Options: Jay Ajayi (RB), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Nelson Agholor (WR), Jake Elliot (K)
Deeper Leagues: LeGarrette Blount (RB) with his goaline upside
Avoid: None