By Gary Davenport
Gary Davenport


NFL fans are going to have to get up early to check out of the biggest games of Week 9, as the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins do battle at Frankfurt Stadium (those Germans and their creative stadium names) on Sunday.
On some level, that’s appropriate—because at least one player taking the field in Germany is up early for the game, too.
When asked by reporters about how he felt taking on his old team, Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill didn’t pull any punches.
"I'm kind of glad that [the trade] happened," Hill said. "Obviously the situation that I'm in is great. I've got great teammates. My family is from Miami, and also, I accomplished one of my goals of being one of the highest paid in the league. So, everything's great. Life is great, man. Never can take anything for granted. So, I can't look back. Always got to look forward. That's my mindset. It doesn't really matter where we play at. I mean, obviously it would've been great to play in K.C., but it really doesn't matter where we play at, you feel me? They going to get this work wherever though."

Hill certainly appears happy—he’s already over 1,000 receiving yards for the season in Miami and in on pace to shatter Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record. In related news, he’s fantasy football’s No. 1 wide receiver in points, because of course he is.

To his credit, Kansas City cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is very good at what he does—he’s allowing just 50 percent of the passes thrown in his direction to be completed with an excellent passer rating against of 57.9. And in recent weeks, he has shadowed the likes of Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings, Garrett Wilson of the New York Jets and Calvin Ridley of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sneed and the Chiefs have allowed the sixth-fewest PPR points per game to wide receivers this year.
But come on, y’all. It’s Tyreek Hill. In full Cheetah mode.

If he has a bad game, that’s it—no more games in Europe.


Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (Marquise Brown vs. Denzel Ward)

The Arizona Cardinals have been a hot mess this season, but there’s at least a chance that quarterback Kyler Murray will return Sunday in Cleveland. Murray’s impending return has some fantasy pundits high on Brown’s stretch-run prospects, with Jon Hoefling of USA Today highlighting Brown as a prime “Buy Low” candidate moving forward.
“We've seen flashes of a dynamic pairing in the past when Murray and Brown have been on the field together,” he said. “In the ten full games Murray and Brown played together last year, Brown averaged seven receptions, 75.3 yards, and 0.4 touchdowns per game. That's about 17 points per game. Brown scored fewer than ten points in just one of those games and that came in Week 12 with both Murray and Brown coming back from injury. He also received eight or more targets in all but one game. Marquise Brown isn't just a buy-low candidate. He's a league winner. Call me Men's Warehouse, because you're going to like the way he looks. I guarantee it!”

To be fair, given that he was catching passes from Joshua “Wormburner” Dobbs this season, Brown’s WR21 ranking in PPR points is actually pretty good. But we don’t know that Murray will return in Week 9, and if he does, he’s going to be 13 kinds of rusty. If he doesn’t, it will be Clayton “Name That” Tune at quarterback for the Cardinals, which makes Dobbs look good. And Brown is facing Denzel Ward, and a Browns pass defense that has allowed the third-fewest PPR points per game to wide receivers in 2023. Brown may have a great stretch run. But his Week 9 prospects are—ungood.


Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens (Tyler Lockett vs. Marlon Humphrey)

It’s been something of a bumpy season for Humphrey. Back over the summer, Brian Baldinger of was talking the veteran up as one of the best in the league at his position.

"The three-time Pro Bowler is a complete corner who is the only defensive back with at least 10 forced fumbles and five picks since 2020, per NFL Research," he said. "He impressively led the league with eight forced fumbles in the 2020 season. He's an excellent tackler and blitzer with the capability to match up with many No. 1 receivers. In a division that features the likes of Ja'Marr Chase and Amari Cooper, the Ravens will look to Humphrey to handle business again this fall."

However, while Humphrey was sitting out the first month of the 2023 season following foot surgery, the Ravens secondary didn’t miss a beat, with Brandon Stephens emerging as a young breakout. Now, Humphrey’s back, and the Ravens possess one of the best secondaries in the league—third in the NFL against the pass and 26th in PPR fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers. Add in that Lockett (hamstring) and DK Metcalf (hip) are both banged up, and it could be a long week for the Seahawks passing attack.


Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (D.J. Moore vs. Marshon Lattimore)

Remember when Moore caught eight passes for 230 yards and three scores against the Commanders a month ago? His fantasy managers do—that’s why they are sobbing uncontrollably after Moore posted 160 receiving yards and no touchdowns in the last three games combined. However, Justin Carter of RotoBaller remains confident that once Justin Fields returns, so will Moore’s fantasy value.

“There's a pretty obvious explanation here: Justin Fields. Or, to be more specific, the lack of Justin Fields,” he said. “Fields was knocked out of the Oct. 15 game against the Vikings with a thumb injury. Tyson Bagent replaced him and has started the past two games for the Bears. He's set to miss Sunday's game against the Saints as well. Moore had back-to-back 100-yard games with Fields under center. He'll be fine once Fields is back. Until then, you might just have to live with WR3 numbers with Bagent at QB.”

Not for nothing, but WR3 numbers are probably the high side of what you can reasonably expect from Moore this week against a cornerback of Lattimore’s caliber—and he’s not alone. There are a fistful of wideouts this week who are mired in the hell of the rando quarterback. The question is going to be which ones somehow manage to navigate it—and frankly that’s a crapshoot.


New York Giants vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Deonte Banks vs. Davante Adams)

It’s OK if you’re just trying to block this game from your mind. It may well be helpful to your psyche. But there are fantasy-relevant players in this battle of tomato cans.

Or at least, Davante Adams was fantasy-relevant. Last week’s one catch for 11 yards was his nadir, but Adams hasn’t hit 75 receiving yards since October 1 and hasn’t scored a touchdown since September. And when head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were shown the door, Adams apparently wasn’t all busted up.

"At this point, don't get it confused, it's not a celebration that we have a new coach and changes were made," Adams said, per The Athletic. "Obviously, I think it was time one way or the other, it was time for some sort of change. Just to bring a little juice in and revitalize the team a little bit."

The Giants have tasked Banks with shadowing No. 1 wide receivers a few times this year, including just last week against Garrett Wilson of the New York Jets. Wilson turned in his first 100-yard game of the season, but Banks’ completion percentage against (51.0) and passer rating against (72.3) numbers both belie his talent.

Banks is a rookie. He’s going to look like one at times. But he was drafted where he was for a reason, and frankly Adams managers should be more worried about Jerry O’Connell.

Fine. Aidan. Whatever. Again, rando quarterbacks are kind of a problem.


Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (DaRon Bland vs. DeVonta Smith)

All right. It’s time to give a cornerback some dap. And DaRon Bland has earned every bit of it.

When Trevon Diggs tore his ACL in practice, that could have been a devastating blow to the Dallas defense. Hell, it should have been. But Bland hasn’t just held his own after being asked to kick outside. He has thrived—he’s tied for the league lead in interceptions and had a pick-six last week against the Los Angeles Rams. It’s not new, either—Bland picked off five passes as a rookie. Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters recently we’re all just seeing what Dallas already knew—Bland is anything but.

“He’s super instinctive and has great ball skills," McCarthy said. "He’s so consistent for a young player. Not only what he’s done this year but also last year. He’s going to play a long time.”

A.J. Brown vs. Stephon Gilmore will also be an interesting battle, although ala Tyreek Hill Brown is having the kind of season where the coverage just doesn’t seem to matter. But Bland could be a legitimate problem for Smith, who already is failing to meet fantasy expectations this season. In fact, if Cowboys DC Dan Quinn really felt froggy, Bland is totally capable of following Smith into the slot. He’s actually better there.

Gary Davenport is a rando fantasy analyst. Follow him on Twitter (at your peril) at @IDPSharks