Week 9 Studs, Kenyan Drake, Isaiah Crowell, Courtland Sutton
If this was your studs article I’d skip right over the intro. That being said…
Kenyan Drake vs. NYJ
Finally, Adam Gase is putting his best offensive weapon to good use. Over their last four games, Drake is averaging 6.8 targets, 13.5 touches, 93.8 yards from scrimmage, and 1 TD per game. The production isn’t weighted to one big performance either. He’s exceeded 10 PPR fantasy points in all but one of those performances, which came in Week 6 against a tough Bears defense. He actually would’ve hit the mark in that game as well if he hadn’t lost a fumble on the goal line, and if he was able to convert the touchdown, it would’ve been another great performance. The Dolphins get a Jets defense this week that can be beaten in all facets and they are low on skill position players to rely on. That should force the coaching staff to push Drake’s touches up around 20, which would translate to a very nice fantasy day. I think he has an RB1 finish in store this week.
Isaiah Crowell at MIA
To be clear, I rarely, if ever, feel comfortable starting Isaiah Crowell. This just so happens to one of those weeks I’d be willing to trust him in my lineup. We know he has big-play ability and with Bilal Powell out for the season, Crowell will be in line for the lion’s share of the touches again this week. He’s been ineffective in his past two contests, but that was against the stout defenses of the Vikings and Bears. The Dolphins, on the other hand, have allowed 143.1 rushing yards per game and rushing touchdown in all but two of their games this season. They’ve also been particularly bad as of late, allowing 208 rushing yards to the Lions and 175 to the Texans. The Crowell play comes with plenty of risk, but I’m willing to take the chance in a week with six teams on bye.
Courtland Sutton vs. HOU
At 6’ 3” 220 lbs., Sutton is a physical freak that can run right past you or go up and over you to highpoint catches. We’ve seen him do both in a limited role and we’re about to see a lot more of it in the second half of the season, starting with Houston this week. The Texans are allowing the 8th fewest fantasy points per game to WRs this season but I’m not buying into the numbers. They’ve played the Titans, Cowboys, and Bills this season. Why is that significant? Statistically speaking, they are the three worst passing offenses in the league. With Demaryius Thomas now playing for their opponent, Sutton will assume his role in the offense and see a significant uptick in targets. He has WR1 upside this week at home.
D.J. Moore vs. TB
I think we saw the beginning of the D.J. Moore breakout last week against the Ravens. In just about as difficult a matchup as you can get, he had his best game of the season. Moore caught five balls on six targets for 90 yards and added two carries for 39 yards. This week he gets arguably the easiest matchup you can get against the Buccaneers. I’ve discussed this ad nauseam and I’m going to continue to do so until they get their act together. The Bucs continue their reign as the worst pass defense in the league, allowing 376 passing yards per game. That’s 58 more yards than the Steelers and Falcons, who are deadlocked for second worst on a per game basis. The Panthers have made a concerted effort to get their first-round draft pick more involved in the offense and I believe that trend will continue this week. I foresee a WR2 finish for D.J. this week.