Sunday Shareholder Report, by Justin Lad and PredictionStrike

It’s almost impossible to believe that we’re already approaching week 10. Then again, if you’re a fantasy football player it’s not that unbelievable with all the storylines we’ve seen this year and week. As we enter week 10 it’s time to start focusing on the playoffs and what teams are going to start getting hot at the right time.


The 1 PM EST Slate

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

I’ve already told on myself at least one time. I’m a Bills fan, and I’m a believer in Zach Wilson (0%, $3.60). I believe he will turn things around. When you look at Josh Allen (-15%, $16.97) and Zach Wilson they’ve had almost the same start to their career in the NFL. Both entered the NFL without a solid veteran, weak supporting cast, and midseason injury. This isn’t to say to Wilson will be Allen, but more so that I believe, similar to Allen, sitting and learning will be beneficial to him. I believe this, even more, when you bring in a solid veteran presence in Joe Flacco ($2.24).

While Wilson is healthy enough to play this week it’s probably smart to rest him against this Buffalo defense. If you own any shares of Mike White (1.5%, $1.34) this might be the time to sell as I think the Buffalo defense will likely put an end to White’s magical run here.

To date, White has looked competent against two teams in the bottom third of the NFL in terms of interceptions. The Bengals and Colts also are bottom 5 in terms of passing yards given up per game. The Colts defense leads the NFL in passing touchdowns given up. As we prepare for this game, investment-wise, I’m completely out on the Jets side of the ball and Mike White specifically. I believe starting Mike White is more or less an attempt to preserve Wilson’s confidence. This would be aimed at not playing him against a team giving up the fewest passing yards, and touchdowns in the NFL this season.

As for the Bills I’m not entirely sure what to expect in this one. Josh Allen doesn’t look like he did just a year ago and they appear to be missing Dawson Knox ($1.50) more than we had probably anticipated. With Knox back in the lineup, I’m likely off Cole Beasley (-5%, $7.02) the rest of the way this season barring a setback for Knox. At his current price, I like Knox the rest of the season as before his injury he was having a breakout year and had the Bills offense up and running. As for Stefon Diggs (-6%, $8.89), I can’t imagine he escapes this one without hitting his projections against a porous Jet defense. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’m firmly out on these Bills running backs and still believe in that (so long as you don’t believe Josh Allen is a running back).

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans enter the game coming off a win against the Rams and appear to be getting hot at the right time. However, should we be buying this team?

Last week Ryan Tannehill (-4.6%, $10.52) looked dreadful as he threw for under 150 yards but found paydirt twice. As suspected, Tannehill is going to struggle without a reliable running game. Adrian Peterson (8.6%, $3.67) led the team in carries and was the only running back to find the end zone. In a game in which the Titans won no player rushed for over 30 yards. This win, over one of the more dominant teams in the NFL, felt more like a fluke than a team getting ready to go on cruise control.

The Titans draw a New Orleans team who recently suffered defeat against the Atlanta Falcons. However, the story is drastically different than the Titans as it wasn’t for a lack of offense. Trevor Siemian (.3%, $0.82) beat his projections last week by scoring 2 touchdowns and nearly doubling Tannehill’s yardage. With Siemian in the game, Alvin Kamara (-.1%, $10.30) was still viable and nearly missed his projections. This trend is likely to continue this week but with Kamara likely beating his projections. However, this week Kamara is going to miss time with an ankle injury. If the Saints are going to be stay in the playoff race they’re going to have to rely on Mark Ingram (30%, $1.42).

This seems like a mismatch on paper with these two teams. If the Saints can continue with the same offensive identity as last week I think we could be in for a more surprising upset. While the Titans appear to be getting better I’m still not completely sold. Throughout the season the Titans have struggled mightily to guard WR1 of the opposing team. Throughout the season the Titans have allowed almost 7 catches, 90 yards, and about a touchdown per game against the opposing alpha. While Marquez Callaway (4%, $1.21) hasn’t been a household name I think he is in line for a short-term investment to beat his 8 point projection along with Trevor Siemian and Alvin Kamara this week.

While we won’t get any answers this week, I’m also following Michael Thomas ($10.28). We haven’t seen Thomas this year and for most of last year. Numerous reports throughout that time had emerged about his dissatisfaction. As we head towards the offseason now seems like a good time to buy back into Thomas. He’s likely going to be traded as the Saints enter a rebuild this offseason, and the hype will likely surge. Once he’s healthy he’s a force, and getting him at almost half of his value a year ago feels like a bargain!

Other stories I’m following:

  • Antonio Gibson ($1.93) is almost 1/3rd of what he was this offseason. I’m buying back into the talent and the situation. Battling a shin injury are we sure we’re not just panicking here?
  • The Cowboys and Falcons game will be a game I want to watch this week. Matt Ryan (30%, $10.45) has quietly had a good year in Atlanta in spite of losing Calvin Ridley ($10.15). Dak Prescott (-1.65%, $10.13) and the Cowboys look to rebound as well after last week’s dreadful performance.
  • The Colts’ offense is clicking on all cylinders and now it becomes a question of if all their pieces can hit their expectations or will one part of the offense steal the opportunity from the other (ala Jonathan Taylor (0.50%, $9.42) vs. Michael Pittman (0.75%, $2.98)).

The 3 PM Slate

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals

I won’t say I told you so, but please read my article earlier in the week covering the Panthers. Cam Newton (1.7%, $6.03) is back in town and possibly on a mission! Set to right the wrongs that were done to him, the Panthers have brought Newton back into the fold. It cost them a pretty penny! I’m not sure if Newton can be effective this week but I think if he can stay healthy he is a surefire bet to beat his projections going forward. Lest we forget before getting COVID last season Cam Newton was emerging for the Patriots. With this signing, it all but signals the end of Sam Darnolds’ (-15%, $2.55) time in Carolina. The best-case scenario for Darnold would be signing in Buffalo with his good friend Josh Allen and rebuilding his confidence and throwing under Daboll (ala Mitch Trubisky).

As we analyze this game I’m likely in on PJ Walker (5%, $1.06) as a short-term investment against this Arizona defense without JJ Watt. Should Walker get the start he’s slated for only 11 points on his projection and has upside within this offense. DJ Moore (-14$, $0.87) has been one of my favorite buy lows as the Panthers are likely going to get an upgrade at quarterback this offseason and has proven to be a playmaker.

As for the Cardinals, there isn’t much known at the moment as to the status of Kyler Murray (1%, $6.25) and Deandre Hopkins (-1%, $4.98). While we’re likely disappointed with them missing last week it’s the right decision for the Cardinals. As we saw last season Kyler isn’t the same player when he’s hurt and if they can find ways to win and get these two healthy the better their postseason odds get.

As for this game I still absolutely love James Conner (91%, $2.06) to keep doing what he was able to do last week. It almost seems as though Conner was built for this opportunity. Conner has already proven he’s able to handle the workload when given the opportunity, it’s more so a matter of health for him. So long as Conner can stay healthy he has put up an average of 13 points per game since after his rookie season in terms of fantasy. Conner has scored 6 or more touchdowns each of the last 3 seasons and has rushed for over 70 yards in 2 of the last 4 seasons. I think Conner will make that 3 of the last 5 seasons as we march towards the playoff race.

Sunday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders

This is going to be a fun game to watch as the storylines are aplenty! One of the most interesting aspects of this game is the crown of the AFC West. Every team in this division is tied at 5 wins.

This game has historically been a high-scoring affair. While the Chiefs' offense hasn’t been spectacular of late I think this is the type of game for them to get right. Patrick Mahomes (-13.5%, $12.86) is the most glaring buy low as we head into this game. On paper the Raiders defense appears to be much improved from last season. However, the Raiders have given up 20 or more points in every game this season but one.  I do believe that the Chiefs are going to start getting hot at the right time and they appear to be getting closer to the return of Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($2.12) back this week. It will be interesting to see just how much work Clyde gets and if he has indeed fallen into a committee when he returns with Darrel Williams (-3%, $1.80/share) in total touches. Remember, the last time we saw Clyde he was splitting time three ways!

As for the Raiders I still firmly believe that Derek Carr (-10%, $7.61). I’m not convinced he will be in Vegas the rest of his career, but he still has a lot of good football left in him. Before last week Carr was beating projections the prior two weeks. The Chiefs' defense appears to be ascending but considering they played against Jordan Love and the Giants I’m not buying this narrative. Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow (10%, $1.52) appear poised for a bounce-back game in a week I hope most of the NFL bounces back from last week's snooze fest.

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