Fantasy Football: Top smash plays, upgrades and fades for Week 9 | Fantasy Football News, Rankings and Projections | PFF

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Fantasy Football: Top smash plays, upgrades and fades for Week 9

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) runs after catching a fifty yard touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 of the NFL season is here, and so is the weekly look at the top smash, upgrade and fade plays for fantasy football. I'll integrate NFL totals, spreads, implied points and proprietary PFF matchup data each week, looking for players who score highly or poorly across all metrics.

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Rankings & Projections | WR/CB Matchup Chart | NFL & NCAA Betting Dashboards | NFL Player Props tool | NFL & NCAA Power Rankings


We will also look at the projected DFS rostership for additional context for building tournament lineups.

KEY:

  • SOS: PFF's Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.
  • OL Pass Block Advantage (OL PBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (pass blocking advantage — the higher the percentage, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • OL Run Block Advantage (OL RBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (run blocking advantage — the higher the percentage, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • WR/CB Matchup Advantage (WR/CB MU): wide receiver versus cornerback matchup; derived from the WR/CB Matchup tool (matchup advantage grade — the higher the grade, the better the matchup for the receiver, and vice versa).
  • TE Matchup Advantage (TE MU): tight end versus linebackers and safeties; derived from the TE Matchup tool (matchup advantage — the higher the percentage, the better the matchup for the tight end, and vice versa).
  • Projected PPR Points (PPR Proj)

QUARTERBACKS

For quarterbacks, we are looking for big point totals and implied points. The spread doesn't matter as much for pass-heavy teams, but we are looking for trailing scripts that could cause run-heavy offenses to throw more than usual.

Smashes
Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR
Josh Allen @JAX 48.5 -14.5 31.50 9.3 14 25.1

Allen lands smash status despite Buffalo's two-touchdown-favorite status against the Jaguars. The Bills are willing to throw the ball in all game scripts. As a result, Allen has three top-four finishes in five games where Buffalo hasn't trailed by four or more.

Upgrades
Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR
Matthew Stafford TEN 53.5 -7.5 30.50 5.8 19 19.9
Taysom Hill ATL 42.0 -6.0 24.00 7.1 36 18.2
Tua Tagovailoa HST 46.0 -6.5 26.25 10.0 -24 18.5

Stafford has the second-highest explosive-play rate of all passers at 20.9% (minimum 200 attempts), and the Rams throw the ball the sixth-most (63%) inside the five. Thanks to these developments, Stafford can put up huge numbers even when the team runs more in leading game scripts.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) makes a pass against Detroit Lions during the first half at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Hill returned to practice on Wednesday but may not get the start this weekend. However, if he gets the starting nod, he is in a choice spot thanks to plus matchups in the passing and rushing departments. The Saints were already a run-heavy team and could now be the NFL's most run-heavy unit.

Tagovailoa and the pass-happy Dolphins land in a get-right spot against the Houston Texans.

Fades

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