Jared Goff, Detroit (vs Green Bay)
Goff and the Lions offense returned to form last week when D'Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown got back on the field. The Packers defense actually played well in a loss and frustrated Josh Allen to an extent, so they won’t be as easy a matchup as the Dolphins were last week, but the game is indoors at home, and Goff could have easily had a much bigger last week if Jamaal Williams didn’t score twice on the ground.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington (vs Minnesota)
Heinicke didn’t come alive until the fourth quarter last week, but he didn’t need to as the Colts were within shouting distance for the whole game in Sam Ehlinger’s first start. The Vikings offense should be successful enough to force the Commanders offense out of their shell early in the contest. Minnesota has allowed over 300 passing yards three times in the last six games, and only the Chicago and New Orleans passing games failed to throw for over 260 yards against them.
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta (vs LA Chargers)
Mariota should have another good passing day against a Chargers defense that will be chiefly concerned with spotting the run since that’s their weakness. Their performance against the pass hasn’t been stellar, with only Jacoby Brissett and Russell Wilson failing to throw multiple passing scores against the Chargers. Davis Mills, Trevor Lawrence, and Derek Carr have all put up a crooked number in the passing touchdowns column against the Bolts defense this season.
Deon Jackson, Indianapolis (at New England)
This one won’t matter if Jonathan Taylor is able to get in a full practice this week or we otherwise get a signal from the team that he’ll be a full go. If Taylor is limited or out, Jackson should be the lead back, with Zack Moss just joining the team this week and Phillip Lindsay getting outplayed by the 2021 undrafted free agent. Jackson also racked up 10 catches in a game earlier this year and could be a big part of the offense if Colts fall behind and have to abandon the run at Foxboro.
Kenyan Drake, Baltimore (at New Orleans)
John Harbaugh might be trying to make it sound like Gus Edwards has a chance to play on Monday night, but with a bye in Week 10 and J.K. Dobbins still on the shelf, Edwards will probably sit. That will leave the lead back job to Drake, who scored last week and also had a 100+ yard game in Week 6. Drake has been the top receiving back on the team, which also should enhance his value with the team’s #1 wide receiver and tight end also probably out this week.
Jeff Wilson, Miami (at Chicago)
Normally we preach caution about using players in their first week with a team after a midseason trade or release - look at Christian McCaffrey’s limited workload with Wilson just two weeks ago. This case is different as Wilson has played with Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel for a long time and should fit right into the offense right away. The Bears just traded away their two best front seven defenders and McDaniel should be quick to pull Raheem Mostert if this game gets out of hand, giving Wilson another path to Week 9 value. Wilson was a goal line back with Mostert when both were together under McDaniel in San Francisco, so Wilson might have standalone value without a Mostert injury or blowout game script.
Dontrell Hilliard, Tennessee (at Kansas City)
Hilliard has been ripping off explosive plays all season and deserves more work in the backfield. This week he could see more simply because the low-wattage Titans offense won’t be able to keep up with the Chiefs on the road. Tennessee has also been dangerously overworking Henry. The team has given their lead back an average of 30 carries a game over the last three weeks, and it can’t be lost on them that Henry showed up on the injury report with a foot injury this week.
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