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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 9

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

STRONG PLAYS

Jay Cutler vs. TEN

Cutler has been a fantasy dud this season, ranking just 25th among starting quarterbacks in fantasy points per game. Cutler has been plagued by a lack of yardage and just nine touchdown against eight interceptions. This week, Cutler has a matchup against the Titans that should give him the opportunity to have one of his best performances of the season. The Titans rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks while giving up multiple touchdowns in six of eight games this season. They have also surrendered at least 250 yards passing five times. Look for Cutler to have one of his better performances and be a nice potential fill-in this week.

Michael Vick vs. NO

Vick avoided a benching and will start Monday night's game, despite his Eagles' 3-4 record. Thanks to a matchup against the woeful Saints, he has an opportunity, for at least one week, to return to the fantasy elite. The Saints are last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, giving up multiple touchdown passes in each of their last four games. In their two matchups against running quarterbacks (Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton), New Orleans surrendered an average 56.5 yards rushing. Look for Vick, at least for Week 9, to be a strong quarterbacking option and to stave off backup Nick Foles for the time being.

Ryan Mathews vs. KC

Mathews could be the poster boy for this matchup article. He rarely is either a must start or a must sit, and owners seem to have questions about him every week. In PPR leagues, Mathews ranks 15th in fantasy points per game, but he ranks much lower in standard leagues where his nearly four receptions per game offer no points. This week, Mathews has a favorable matchup against the Chiefs. The Chiefs have given up the seventh most fantasy points to running backs this season, and while Mathews did have just 82 combined yards in his first matchup this year against Kansas City, it was his second game back from injury and he had just 16 combined touches. Mathews has averaged more than 23 combined touches in the three games since. Look for Mathews to be a solid RB2 this week for the Chargers.

Denarius Moore vs. TB

Moore has quietly put together a productive season. He ranks 17th in average fantasy points per game in PPR leagues and has caught touchdowns in three consecutive games. Moore has a good opportunity for a strong all-around game this week against the Buccaneers. The Bucs have allowed the third most points to fantasy receivers this season and have really struggled recently, giving up 32.5 fantasy points per game in their last two games. Moore has the potential to have his best week of the season.

Jermaine Gresham vs. DEN

While Gresham has been far from great this season, he is tied for 10th in average fantasy points scored in PPR leagues. Gresham has yet to have a big game as he hasn't caught more than five passes in any game this season and has yet to top 70 yards. Both those numbers have the potential to be surpassed this week in a matchup against the Broncos. The Broncos have given up the third most fantasy points to tight ends and have given up at least 10 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues in five of seven games. With this matchup, Gresham has the opportunity to have one of his best games of the season.

WEAK PLAYS

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. HOU

This week doesn't offer many opportunities for bad matchups for fantasy quarterbacks that an owner might actual start. Fitzpatrick seems to be the best fit as in five of his seven starts he has thrown for multiple touchdowns, but in his two toughest matchups (49ers, Cardinals) he was held without a touchdown and threw for just 279 yards total. This week, Fitzpatrick faces a very tough matchup in the Texans. Houston has allowed the eighth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, but take away the Week 6 performance by Aaron Rodgers, and the Texans would rank first. Look for Fitzpatrick to struggle this week and be fantasy irrelevant in Week 9.

Chris Johnson vs. CHI

After Week 5, Johnson was given up for dead as was coming off a 24-yard effort against the Vikings. Fast forward to Week 9 and Johnson is one of the hottest backs in the league, averaging 128.3 yards per game in his last three contests. Johnson, however, could be derailed in Week 9's matchup against the Bears. Chicago has surrendered the fewest points to fantasy running backs this season and have not allowed more than 81 yards to any running back. Johnson will have his work cut out for him to be anything more than a low-end flex option in Week 9.

Dez Bryant vs. ATL

Bryant has been fantasy gold in three out of his last four weeks as he has either caught a touchdown or surpassed 100 yards. At press time, his hip was not expected to hinder him, but the Falcons' pass defense might. The Falcons have allowed the third fewest points to fantasy receivers this season, and Bryant, much more than Miles Austin, has struggled against better pass defenses. In his previous two toughest matchups, Bryant has just five catches for 31 total yards. While Bryant will exceed those totals, don't be surprised if he struggles this week in Atlanta, especially if the hip injury flares up.

Santana Moss vs. CAR

Moss has caught touchdown passes in three of his last four games and has become fantasy relevant in PPR leagues, averaging 14 points a game the last four weeks. This week, Moss should struggle to get to those numbers against a surprisingly good Panthers pass defense. While the Panthers as a whole have struggled, they are fifth in fewest fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and have surrendered the fifth fewest catches, and only five touchdowns in seven games. Look for Moss to come back to earth this week in a tough matchup.

Brandon Pettigrew vs. JAC

Pettigrew ranks a solid seventh in average fantasy points scored at the tight end position in PPR scoring and has 10 or more fantasy points in five of his seven games this season. However, this week he faces his toughest matchup against the Jaguars. The Jaguars allow the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends and are only one of two NFL teams that have yet to give up a touchdown to a tight end this season. He's also dealing with a knee injury that could keep him out of action. Assuming he plays, Pettigrew may be too good to bench with at least three fantasy starting tight ends on byes this week, but expect one of his worst performances of the season.

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