Week Nine Preview


Doesn’t look bad, does it? I’m favored by a little, I’m set up for another week of dominance…

Or am I?


I’m not sure what technical glitch has my competitor’s projected score at 84 on the Game Lines chart and 92 on the Team Preview chart. Obviously, if you add up those projected scores from his players, you get 92. So I’m getting credit with being favored when I clearly don’t deserve to be. He has had one player go already (more on that later), and even if you adjust his projected score down for how that player underperformed, you still get a projected total of 86, which has me favored but not by that much.

I’m definitely confused about this. But no matter. Ignore the weird technical glitch, and let’s focus instead on breaking this matchup down piece by piece. Because, no matter how you calculate the lines, this game is pretty even.

He has the edge in quarterback. Understandably. He has Aaron Rodgers, and Aaron Rodgers is one of the elite QBs in the NFL. My elite QB is on a bye this week, so I can’t match up with that. I’ve got Marcus Mariota, and I trust him to keep me in the game with a solid performance. I’ll lose this category, but if I just keep close-ish here I’ll make up the difference in other areas.

Like, for instance, running back. It’s no secret that I’m in love with my running backs. Who wouldn’t be? I have two of the top five guys in total points earned on the year. Their amazingness should continue this week. Plus, here’s where we find Team RAIDER NATION’s player that already went on Thursday night. Antone Smith was projected for 8 points but only managed 2. So I was already strongly in the lead in this category, and then RAIDER NATION underperformed anyway. This is where I have my best advantage.

That being said, though, don’t sleep on Jonathan Stewart, RAIDER NATION’s other RB. He missed 4 games due to injury, or else he’d be at the top of the leaderboard as well. He’s been back for two games and has scored over 20 points in both of them. He could easily do it again.

Then there’s wide receiver. On a normal week, the wide receiver position is a headache for me. This week, it’s been a panic attack. I literally had to pick up two waiver wire guys because I had no other options. (Randall Cobb hasn’t been officially ruled out yet, but it’s looking less and less likely that he’ll be healthy enough tomorrow to play. I had to make the decision to be prepared to go without him, which meant picking up Kenny Stills from Miami. Not a guy you’d normally start, but I’m desperate here, and he’s got a favorable matchup and could break out. I cut Tyrod Taylor to do it, by the way. He’s performed in the streaming tier of QBs, which means he has no trade value, and I needed his roster spot. Toodle-oo, Taylor.)

(Also – did you realize that toodle-oo is a bastardization of the French “à tout à l’heure”, meaning “see you later”? I can’t believe I never realized that before! Fun fact of the day, am I right? … Guys? … No one else cares, do they? Okay, I’ll shut up now. Back to football.)

It doesn’t help my confidence that Team RAIDER NATION has two very good WRs to put up against my two desperation plays, including Kelvin Benjamin, who I’m now facing for the third time. In Week One, he had 15 points and contributed to my most crushing defeat. In Week Three, he had no points at all, but I still managed to lose (very narrowly). No matter how he does this week – and it should be good, against the Rams, much as it pains me to admit that – I’m not excited about another faceoff against him. It hasn’t gone well before.

Tight end shows me with the edge, but it’s too close between these two players to really say with any confidence who’s going to beat out who. Complicating my life here is that Cameron Brate, my benched TE, went out Thursday night and earned 10 points. I came close to starting him, but I kept Kyle Rudolph for one more week because I liked his matchup and the fact that he’s playing at home. If Brate ends up outperforming him, I’m going to feel pretty stupid. If I end up losing this matchup by a couple of points that Brate could have given me, I’m going to feel like a total effing moron.

Flex is interesting. Flex is shown as an advantage for Team RAIDER NATION, but I think in reality it’s advantage me. Which is not a knock on Ty Montgomery. I’m really interested in Ty Montgomery, actually. GB has had so many injuries that they’ve had to have Montgomery, who normally plays as a WR, switch to RB because they literally have no one else. He lines up in both spots, and he’s now designated in the fantasy universe with both positions. He gets a lot of opportunity to touch the ball, which means more opportunities to score points. He should be a strong contributor to RAIDER NATION. It’s just that my flex is Frank Gore, and that guy’s been so reliably great for me that I still believe he can take any other flex guy. He’s a boss like that.

I don’t think his defense is going to perform particularly well, which is nice, because I’m not sure mine will either. And his kicker will probably have a solid day, which is alright, because mine will too.

This one’s a tossup, folks. A coin flip. If I had my regular team, I think I’d beat him easily, but I happen to catch this strong competitor on the week where my team is decimated by byes. That’s okay though, I’m still projected on the top edge of my league, and if my team lives up to what they can do, I can definitely still pull this out.

We’ll see on Sunday which way the coin falls.


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