IBM Smart Lineup Decisions for NFL Week 9

What can you expect from Indianapolis Colts rookie Jonathan Taylor, after a disappointing game last week? Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football is an emotional game and that's a large part in why we love it. But "love" isn't the only emotion that comes with this game ... the flip side is just as strong of an emotion. What if I told you that it was possible to take the emotion out of the decision making while retaining the sheer joy that comes with watching the games every week? That's where IBM Insights comes in, as they use Watson AI to break down all of the content you're consuming and then some. And by "some", I mean every inch of the interwebs. Below are the highlights for NFL Week 9 - good and bad. Now all you have to do is avoid the bust players and watch the points pile up!


Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

Jackson has finished as QB18 or worse in the majority of his games this season and the sledding doesn't get any easier against the top defense against fantasy quarterbacks. The rushing numbers always ebb-and-flow, so you'll need Jackson to find rhythm as a passer to sustain value. Does that happen here? It's tough to get on when you consider that the Colts have ramped up the aggression over the past four weeks. In Week 4, they blitzed on just 6.8% of Chicago drop backs and it's been on the rise ever since, topping out at 38.3% last week after their bye.

Watson's Insight: Jackson entered Week 9 as QB9 in the projections, but the once limitless ceiling is now 13th best at the position (tied with Drew Lock!).

Running Back

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

Entering Week 9, there were 38 players with at least 55 carries and just two of them have failed to pick up 17 yards on a rush ... Frank Gore and Jacobs. Nothing against Gore, but that's not the company you want to keep. Not in 2020. It might take a touchdown to save you, but that's not a safe bet against the league's sixth best red zone defense. With a limited role in the pass game, Jacobs is a far riskier play in this spot than you might assume.

Watson's Insight: No running back (minimum 10-point projection) walks into Week 9 with a wider gap between his ceiling and floor (16.7 fantasy points).

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Colts were awfully cryptic surrounding Taylor's health last week and essentially pivoted off of him mid-game, leaving fantasy managers wanting more. Taylor had scored or caught at least four passes in five of six games prior to last week's mess and this game profiles as one where the Colts will want to pound their three-down back. There's more risk involved because of what happened in Week 8, but don't let that scare you off of this very talented rookie.

Watson's Insight: Taylor enters the week projected as RB21, but he owns the seventh highest floor at the position.

Wide Receiver

Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Did you know that Amendola is averaging 18 yards per catch this season? His yards per catch after the reception are nearly double his career rate this season, so it's difficult to imagine the Lions not getting him more involved this week in the absence of Kenny Golladay. The Vikings allow the third most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers, making Amendola a viable bye week filler or cheap DFS option.

Watson's Insight: Of the 110 players that entered Week 9 with a projection of at least 10 points, Amendola ranked second in CAP (Ceiling Above Projection) at 86.6%.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans

What happens when an unstoppable force meets a very movable object? Easy, the force pushes through. Now, calling Mooney an "unstoppable force" might be a bit strong, but Hollywood Brown is the only player (minimum 40 targets) this season averaging more air yards per target. That's an unstoppable role at the very least and opponents have been on target with 78.7% of their deep passes against the Titans this season. Mooney posted his best game of the season last week against the Saints (5-69-1) and I'm not ruling out another standout performance by the rookie.

Watson's Insight: Mooney's ceiling is 6.8 percentage points higher than his floor, ranking him fourth among qualifiers at all positions this week.

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