Yahoo Fantasy analysts Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don make their picks for who might deilver an epic fantasy performance in Week 9.
MATT HARMON: It's time to see who we think will be fantasy legends for week nine, presented by the all new 2023 Toyota Sequoia. Each week, we're picking a handful of players who are match-up proof and ready to deliver an epic fantasy performance. Dalton, let's get it started with you, man.
DALTON DEL DON: Give me DeAndre Hopkins versus Seattle. He's leading the league in catches and yards, while ranking second in target share over two games since returning from his suspension. He also leads the NFL in air yards per game. He's finally moving around the line of scrimmage, although not as much last week, but he is seeing time in the slot in Arizona. And this week, the Cardinals face, admittedly, a fast improving Seahawks defense that actually ranks first in DVOA since week six.
They've defended receivers well too, but D-Hop is match-up proof with that much volume. Hopkins should continue to be targeted among the highest rates in the league with Marquise Brown out, and he could deliver an epic fantasy performance in a match-up with the highest total of the week.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, whatever workouts he was doing in the park or whatever it was during his suspension, great job, D-Hop. He's right back to normal. I think it's about time that Amon-Ra St Brown gets right back to the normal performances that we expected from earlier in the season. And the volume is still there, right? 31.6% targets per route run, that's the third best in the NFL, and now we've got TJ Hockenson out of the mix. That's just one guy out of the target rotation. Not that St Brown really needed it to ball out, but it does just help the math a little bit.
Now, Green Bay is eighth in drop back success rate allowed. They're typically a defense that you want to run on, rather than throw it all over the yard. But we saw on Sunday Tonight Football, the Bills were able to exploit that secondary. And, you know, Jaire Alexander is like chirping that, oh, wait, Stef Diggs didn't get any of that production on me. Well, he got it on everybody else, right? And St Brown is the guy who lines up a lot in the slot, is moved around the line of scrimmage.
So I think that this team playing zone coverage on 67% of their snaps, St Brown is a zone beater. This looks like a huge top five performance for St Brown coming up here.
DALTON DEL DON: The Lions are also scoring three more offensive touchdowns per game at home this season. I will stick in this same match-up with Aaron Jones as my next pick. He got a season-high in carries and rush yards last week, getting 7.2 yards per carry against a Buffalo defense entered allowing just 3.5. He forced a career high 13 missed tackles against the number one ranked run defense in DVOA, and now leads the NFL in avoided tackle rate.
This week, the Packers get a much different defense in the Lions, who are yielding 5.1 yards per carry, and have allowed the third most fantasy points to running backs. Detroit also sports one of the league's highest run rates against them over the last month, and the Lions have averaged easily the most combined points during games this year. On turf in this match-up with six teams on bye this week too, I think Jones could easily finish as the top fantasy back this week.
MATT HARMON: Well, you know Aaron Jones is on a lot of my team, so I love to hear that. A guy wish I had one more of my team's? Rhamondre Stevenson. Damien Harris has been back the last couple of weeks. It really has not mattered at all. Rhamondre Stevenson has emerged as a clear cut RB1 by a lot on that team-- 56% of the team rushes. That's pretty solid for a team that runs the ball a decent bit, but the key is the passing game work for Stevenson. 35.6% targets per route run the last two weeks, 27% target share.
Dalton, 27% target share is like elite level stuff, and he's making it happen in the open field as well. I think this is going to be a close, competitive match-up with the Indianapolis Colts this week. The Colts are definitely dialing back their pace, dialing back just their scoring efficiency a little bit overall with Sam Ehlinger, although, decent performance for him in his first start. But close competitive game, that's a Rhamondre Stevenson script. And, hey, even if the Colts somehow build a big lead, that passing game work is what it's all about there for the Patriots running back.
I think Stevenson is a top five running back play on the board this week, and he's going to fight for that spot pretty much every single week going forward. Thanks, Dalton, the all new 2023 Toyota Sequoia inspires drivers to live legendary. Check out the fully redesigned SUV at your local dealer, or learn more at Toyota.com.