The FedEx Air & Ground fantasy preview is back!
In case it slipped your mind, NFL football fans have the opportunity to vote on top performers at the running back and quarterback position following every regular week of action.
Now, without further ado, let's dive into some players who could have huge games in Week 9, both through the air and on the ground.
One thing the Los Angeles Rams offense has done this year is produce points on offense. In fact, the Rams 30.3 points per game ranks them second in the NFL. That bodes well for Goff's outlook as a sleeper quarterback this week. Los Angeles finds different ways to attack the opposition on a week-to-week basis, and should be able to take advantage of a weak New York Giants secondary in Week 9. It's no secret that the Giants can't stop tight ends from scoring. The Rams have two tight ends capable of doing damage -- both Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have over 150 receiving yards this season. Plus, between Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, Goff has a ton of options. And don't forget about Todd Gurley producing as a receiver out of the backfield. Gurley is averaging 41.6 receiving yards per game and has scored three touchdowns through the air this season. The Giants secondary has allowed 14 touchdown passes to quarterbacks this season, tied for third most, and they've only collected three picks. New York has also allowed 26 big pass plays, or plays of 20-plus yards and rank T-26th in the league in that stat on defense. With the Giants top cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, sitting this game out, Goff is a solid streaming option and could very well finish the week as a top-10 performer in fantasy.
More of a game-manager than a gun-slinger, Tyrod Taylor is quietly having himself a solid fantasy campaign. The Bills remain a run-first offense, but Taylor provides a few extra fantasy points with his legs on a weekly basis and currently ranks fifth among quarterbacks with 175 rush yards with Buffalo's bye in the rear-view. That bodes well for a matchup against a Jets defense that has allowed the fourth-most rush yards (160) to opposing quarterbacks. The Jets secondary has given up more passing touchdowns to quarterbacks, 17, than any other team in the NFL, and because of that, they rank in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points per game (17.41) allowed to the position. Taylor posted 18 fantasy points against the Jets in Week 1, so he's capable of picking apart their defense. And the Kelvin Benjamin trade helps his outlook too. Even if Benjamin is limited or only on the field as a decoy, his mere presence should open things up for the rest of the Bills receivers, in Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, and Jordan Matthews. Don't forget about LeSean McCoy either, who ranks fifth among running backs in receiving yards this season. Short dump offs to him from Taylor can result in huge gains, further boosting Tygod's upside on Thursday night.
Since Week 5, Aaron Jones is averaging an impressive 6.1 yards per carry with two rushing touchdowns on 49 attempts and 297 yards. He owns a 76 percent rush attempt market share in Green Bay's backfield, and it's safe to move forward with him as an every-week starter in fantasy despite whispers that Ty Montgomery will still have a role. And he probably will, but it won't matter for Jones' value. Jones also owns eight of 12 red zone opportunities in that three-game span which always helps solidify who the team trusts in scoring position. This week, Jones faces a Detroit Lions defense who started the season hot in terms of run defense, but due to recent injuries, has opened up a bit. Over their last three games, the Lions defense is allowing 20.03 fantasy points per game to running backs. That's on the heels of a Week 8 RB11 game from Le'Veon Bell, a Week 6 RB4 game to Mark Ingram and a Week 5 RB16 game to Christian McCaffrey (he scored a receiving touchdown). Detroit is on the road and facing a Brett Hundley-led Packers offense that would be wise to try and control the clock with the run game. Aaron Jones would be the main beneficiary of that strategy, and his fantasy owners should thrive as a result on Monday night.
In his four games since returning from an early-season suspension, Doug Martin has produced for fantasy owners despite a few floor-level performances in predictably tough matchups. In that span, Martin has owned an 85 percent share of Tampa Bay's rush attempts with 65 carries for 247 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and 54 receiving yards. He's managed to rank as fantasy's RB8 in standard scoring over the last month. Now, he gets his most favorable matchup in weeks, against the Saints. While New Orleans' defense has improved upon seasons' past, they're still susceptible to giving up big performances to running backs. The Saints allow an average of 120 rush yards per game to opposing teams and a 4.9 yards per carry average. They're also giving up an average of 18.64 fantasy points per game to the position this year. In a game that's predicted to be one of the higher-scoring affairs of Week 9, fantasy owners frustrated with Martin's limited fantasy production the last two weeks should expect a big game here. At the very least, he should find his way into the end zone at least once, and produce as a low-end RB1.
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