Underdog Battle Royale Picks: Week 9


Week 8 brought some weird games and some unfortunate circumstances. The worst part, of course, is that we now know we’ve lost the Titans, running back Derrick Henry for the season (or most of the season). We’ve also lost Jameis Winston for the season due to a torn ACL, but that could set the table for the return of Taysom Hill, who was one of the best fantastic quarterbacks in 2020 when he started four games when Drew Brees missed the time with a host of injuries.

You also didn’t need a fantastic big day to win last week’s Underdog Battle Royale tournament championship.

The winner of last week’s contest only needed 135.26 points to win the tournament last week, which is one of the lowest scores of the season to win it all.

Week 9 presents a landscape that is slightly more difficult to navigate. With the Lions, Buccaneers, Seahawks and soccer team all on byes, and no Rams player on this list due to their Sunday night clash, we end up with several elite players – especially at the level. of the receiver.

As we prepare to tackle this weekend’s slate, here’s a look at some of the players I’m targeting in the draft.

Week 9 Spread and Over / Under

  • Kansas City (-1) v Green Bay – O / U 54.5
  • Philadelphia (+1) vs Los Angeles Chargers – O / U 50
  • Baltimore (-5.5) vs. Minnesota – 49.5
  • Dallas (-10) vs. Denver – O / U 49.5
  • Jacksonville (+14.5) vs. Buffalo – O / U 48.5
  • Cincinnati (-2.5) v Cleveland – O / U 47
  • New York Giants (+3) v Las Vegas – O / U 46.5
  • San Francisco (+2.5) vs. Arizona – O / U 46.5
  • Miami (-6.5) vs. Houston – O / U 45.5
  • New Orleans (-6) v Atlanta – O / U 42

Strategist

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Why not usher in Taysom Hill’s comeback by giving him the chance to help you organize this weekend’s tournament? The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the league, allowing 27.9 points per game and 358.3 yards per game.

Plus, we can’t forget how fantastic Hill was last season in the absence of Drew Brees.

Hill started in place of Brees’ weeks 11-14 and was the overall QB8 in fantastic points per game at 21.1. Hill completed 71.9% of his passes during that span, throwing for 834 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 29 more yards and four touchdowns. The Saints went 3-1 under Hill, and despite rumors that Hill would not be reduced to the NFL-level quarterback position, for at least a brief period, he proved the skeptics wrong.

We’re still counting on Hill coming back from a concussion that caused him to miss the last two weeks. Assuming he returns, our rankings like Hill as QB1 for this week, projecting him as QB10 with 19.3 fantasy points.

Hill has a chance to be a cheat code in drafts right now, as Underdog is giving out his ranking each week for positions based on projected points. Currently projected 0.00 points higher on Underdog, Hill is unlikely to cross editors’ minds throughout the week, as his name is being pushed to the end of the list.

Joe terrier, Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow gets the mention here after I had to remove Aaron Rodgers from the article due to his recent COVID-19 diagnosis which will now keep him away from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Burrow has been a strong fantastic quarterback all season, placing the overall QB13 in fantastic points per game at 19.6. Over the year, Burrow threw two or more touchdown passes in every game this season, which included a 259/3/1 line in last week’s loss to the New York Jets.

The Bengals and Burrow get the Cleveland Browns this week in a divisional clash as the Bengals look to continue their race to an all-time division title.

As a team, the Browns have been one of the best friendly teams in the quarterfinals for fantastic purposes. Over the past five weeks, they’ve given the opposing quarterbacks the fourth most fantastic points per game, with Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray combining to throw 627 yards and eight touchdowns against them.

Our rankings suggest Burrow has the third easiest matchup on the slate and projects him as the overall QB12 with 18.8 points.

Back runners

Zack Moss, Buffalo Invoices

It’s a tough draw for the running backs this weekend outside of your typical stud farms. One player who I think could have an interesting advantage on the roster, however, could be Bills running back Zack Moss against the Jaguars.

It will take several things to make Moss worth it, especially in the touchdown department. During the season, Moss averaged 11.3 fantastic points per game and dominated touchdowns in goal-to-go situations.

In those situations, Moss saw 13 opportunities in goal-to-go situations compared to Devin Singletary’s four. Moss has scored on four of those opportunities while Singletary has yet to find the end zone in those situations. Overall, Moss is averaging 13.83 chances per game and 62.5 yards per game.

Moss had three top-24 performances of the season for the Bills, his most significant game coming in Week 3 against Washington (16.6 points). Given the positive play scenario Moss and the Bills are expected to see against the Jaguars, another top-24 week could be on the horizon for him in this one.

You could probably land Moss at the end of your draft, as he’s only screened for 10.8 points on Underdog. Our ranking projects it as the general RB17 with 12.8 points.

Myles Gaskin, Miami dolphins

Once again pivoting the top full-backs for that pick, Myles Gaskin and the Dolphins have a favorable home game against the Houston Texans.

Gaskin leads the Dolphins on rushing with 66 carries for 279 yards, but has yet to find the rushing end zone. He also caught 31 of 40 targets for 165 yards and three touchdowns, averaging a fantastic 9.7 points per game. Gaskin hasn’t produced at the level we hoped he would when writing this offseason. He’s fallen outside the top 24 scorers in all but two games this season, where he tallied 26.9 and 15.7 points, respectively.

Houston is allowing the second most rushing yards per game (148.1) and the second most points per game (30.1).

As the 6.5-point home favorites, Miami could reach a point in this game where they rely on ground play to burn time. Gaskin might even find the rushing end zone in this one for his first rushing touchdown of the season.

If countercurrents are your thing, Gaskin could be your man. Our ranking projects him as RB16 of the week at 12.8 points. He has the ninth easiest matchup among running backs this week.

Wide receiver

Justin jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

The Ravens have been a tough pass defense to face. One week, they are set on fire by Carson Wentz and Michael Pittman, the next, they arrest Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

That being said, Baltimore’s defense certainly hasn’t been good as they allowed 296.1 passing yards per game and 23.4 points per game. For that reason, I like Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson in a game that has the third-highest projected total on the slate (49.5).

Jefferson has been one of the top 24 receivers in five of his seven games this season, averaging a fantastic 13.8 points per game (WR21). He’s averaging nine targets per game with 6.1 receptions per game and 80.4 receiving yards per game. Minnesota has also pitched at a high rate so far, forwarding 61% of its games in a neutral game scenario, which ranks eighth in the league.

Our ranking projects Jefferson for a fantastic 14.5 points this weekend (WR9).

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

Ravens receiver Marquise Brown finally appears to have established herself as a receiver in the third year. The former first-round draft pick posted four WR1 weeks over the season and averaged a fantastic 16.2 points per game during the process.

In the Ravens’ Week 7 loss to the Bengals, Brown recorded 14 targets, a season-high, and finished with a 5/80/1 receiving line and 16.5 points. Over the course of the season, Brown is averaging 8.4 targets per game, 5.3 receptions per game and 80.9 yards per game.

The Vikings have struggled against receivers this season, giving away the 15th most fantastic points to opposing receivers in the past five weeks.

This week our projections have Brown at a fantastic 12.6 points (WR17), and as having the sixth easiest matchup on the slate.

Tight end

Mike Gesicki, Miami dolphins

Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has had a great season for the Dolphins so far. He’s averaging a fantastic 10.2 points per game and has been in the top 12 TEs in five of his seven games this season.

During the year, he caught 40 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns on 53 targets, as he now has a very generous game against the Texans. Our rankings suggest Gesicki has the easiest game on the slate for tight ends this weekend, which makes sense given the Texans have allowed one touchdown per game against opposing tight ends over the past five weeks. .

Gesicki looks like a solid fulcrum in the elite tight-ends squad that we often target, as he continues on his way to a career year.

Tyler conklin, Minnesota Vikings

Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin has admirably replaced injured tight end Irv Smith this season, posting a receiving line of 27 receptions for 297 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaged 5.3 targets per game this year and has two top-12s to his name.

Last week against the Cowboys, Conklin saw seven targets this year, which is just one target below his season-high eight targets he saw in Week 3 against the Seahawks.

As is the case with Justin Jefferson, the Ravens have struggled with tight ends this year as well. Baltimore is allowing the fifth most fantastic points per game on opposite tight ends in the past five weeks, as our rankings suggest Conklin has the second easiest matchup on the slate. He’s screened for 7.6 fantastic points this week and as a TE13 overall.


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