Caplan's Week 9 Insider Fantasy Notebook


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Caplan's Week 9 Insider Fantasy Notebook

Off the Injury Report

Note: These players had injuries which caused them to be listed on their team’s injury report for at least one game.

Nick Chubb/RB/Browns (calf strain): My understanding is his injury had a 2-3 week recovery and he missed two games and now is no longer listed on the injury report. So, hopefully he’ll start performing to the level like we all expected he would be this season.

Josh Jacobs/RB/Raiders (chest contusion): What I’m told is he could have played during their bye week (had they played in Week 8) despite leaving their last game early (Week 7) and not returning.

Darrel Williams/RB/Chiefs (hamstring): He came out of their Week 7 game with a minor injury, but now is no longer listed on the injury report.

Alexander Mattison/RB/Vikings (shoulder): He dealt with this lingering injury for a few weeks, but is no longer listed on the injury report.

Mike Williams/WR/Chargers (knee): He got hurt in their Week 5 game and did not practice leading up to their Week 6 game, but wound up playing. Give him credit considering his lengthy history and he’s no longer listed on the injury report.

Allen Robinson/WR/Bears (ankle): After dealing with his injury for 3 weeks, he’s off the injury report. We’re running out of excuses for his low productivity, but at least he’s not dealing with an injury at this point.

Kadarius Toney/WR/Giants (ankle): He’s finally off the injury report with his lingering ankle injury, but now is dealing with the hand injury he suffered in their last game.

Chase Claypool/WR/Steelers (hamstring): After dealing with his lingering injury for 4 weeks, he’s off the injury report.

Deonte Harris/WR/PR/KR/Saints (hamstring): For those of you in larger leagues or who use returners, Harris is off the injury report after dealing with his lingering injury for a few weeks.

Travis Kelce/TE/Chiefs (neck): Our Greg Cosell said his reduced numbers lately had nothing to do with his linger injury (dealt with since Week 6). It’s all about his QB’s issues. Well, at least Kelce is no longer listed on the injury report with the neck injury, so that excuse is out the door—for now.

Darren Waller/TE/Raiders (knee, ankle): He wound up getting hurt in Week 7’s final practice (ankle) and wound up not playing against the Eagles. However, their bye week did him well and is no longer listed on the injury report.

Here’s my inside look at some of the Week 9 matchups from a fantasy perspective:


The Vikings lost their top pass rusher DE Danielle Hunter (torn pectoral-IR) for the season and with veteran CB Patrick Peterson (hamstring-IR) out, their defense has taken a hit, which you could see last week against the visiting Cowboys.

While I’m told Peterson is expected to return for their Week 11 game against the visiting Packers, their coverage against opposing WRs and QBs should continue to be an issue. Their coverage on the backend with journeyman Bashaud Breeland and 2nd-year CB Cameron Danzler should be exposed once again today by Ravens OC Greg Roman. Danzler (ankle-questionable) got hurt in last week’s game and is no lock to play.

I can see why the over-under total (opened at 49.5) is higher than you would normally think for what most thought were two good defenses to start the season. The Ravens defense has been a major disappointment (see recent matchups against Carson Wentz and Joe Burrow) and the Vikings have major issues in coverage, which aren’t likely to get fixed today.


The Saint fantasy defense, if you get credit for points against, should be a good play today.

The Falcons really struggled to move the ball last week without star WR Calvin Ridley and with the Saints defensive front matches up quite well to the below average Falcon offensive line.

This game, at least on paper, looks like one where the Falcons offense figures to struggle again—this time on the road.


One thing you might see coming out of their bye is the usage of RB Kenyan Drake going up.

Former HC Jon Gruden preferred a grind it out running game with Josh Jacobs and Peyton Barber, while OC Greg Olson, who now calls the plays, prefers versatility with his running backs, I’m told. Drake had 17 total touches in their win before the Week 8 bye against the visiting Eagles.

Drake has scored 3 times in the two games with Olson calling the plays without Gruden and he would be the first back in if Josh Jacobs couldn’t play. Barber was a healthy inactive for Week 7.

Drake, if you’re struggling for a flex option, is worth a pickup for the rest of the way. Jacobs is their clear starter, but Drake should have a clearly defined role the rest of the way (8-12 touches per game is a reasonable expectation).

Also, WR Zay Jones now starts for Henry Ruggs at the “Z'' position. Jones, I’m told, was their backup for all 3 WR positions (X, Y, Z) and has the versatility to be moved around for matchup purposes. Being the fourth option in their passing game might not prove to be a great fantasy producer every week (Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards are the top-3), but Jones still should post 3-4 catches a game and they will take an occasional shot play with him.


The Eagle passing game got a big break when the Chargers ruled out two of their top three CBs on Friday (Michael Davis-hamstring, Asante Samuel-concussion).

This leaves veteran CB Chris Harris and #4 CB Tevaughn Campbell as the starters. However, Campbell, I’m told, got hurt in Friday’s practice and is now questionable to play.

This matchup for the Eagles passing game looked difficult to start the week, but it now looks much more favorable.


The Titans want to keep their run-based offense intact without star RB Derrick Henry and plan to go with a two-man backfield tonight with veteran Adrian Peterson and D’Onta Foreman as the main ball carriers, I’m told. They’ll go with Jeremy McNichols mainly as their 3rd down RB/change of pace.

Plans could change, of course, if they’re getting blown out or are down big in the game, which certainly is possible without Henry. And that’s something they’ve only had to do twice since the 2016 season.

He missed one game in his rookie season (2016) and one in 2019. Veteran RB Dion Lewis started for him during their Week 16 loss to the visiting Saints that season.

Peterson’s workout for the team went so well that they offered him a practice squad contract right away and then decided after one practice (Thursday—they had a walk-through only on Wednesday) to sign him off their practice squad.


Starting RB David Montgomery has been dealing with a grade-2 MCL sprain, I’m told, but recovered quite well with his rehab on that injured knee. And with that being the case, the team plans to activate him off IR by Monday’s 4p ET deadline for the game (unless he has a setback before that time).

For games on Sunday, that deadline is 4p ET on Saturday, but for whatever reason, teams can activate players on game day for Monday night games.

It will be a two-RB backfield in this game between Montgomery and rookie Khalil Herbert. Veteran RB Damien Williams (knee) is out.

WR Darnell Mooney (groin-questionable) got added to their injury report after Friday’s practice, but it’s a good sign that he got some work in on Saturday. Had he had a real setback, he would not have been on the practice field yesterday.