Will and Declan’s Booms and Busts: Week 9

Declan McDaniels and Will Baker

Will and Declan’s Booms and Busts is a weekly fantasy football column that focuses on helping you decide who to start and sit in your lineup. We base our projections on ESPN PPR scoring.


Week 8 Prediction Results:


Justin Herbert, QB – Projected: 18.8 & Actual: 21.2

Travis Fulgham, WR – Projected: 14.2 & Actual: 19.8

Brandon Aiyuk, WR – Projected: 12.4 & Actual: 23.1



Daniel Jones, QB – Projected: 15.2 & Actual: 16.2

Jarvis Landry, WR – Projected: 11.9 & Actual: 9.2

Melvin Gordon III, RB – Projected: 12.8 & Actual: 10.7


Week 9 Projections


Ben Roethlisberger, QB – Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Ben Roethlisberger will look to lead his team to 8-0 against a struggling Cowboys team. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Big Ben and the 7-0 Pittsburgh Steelers are a dangerous sight in the American Football Conference (AFC). Fresh off a win against the reigning division champions, the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers’ impressive array of young offensive talent is encouraging for Roethlisberger’s fantasy value, especially in a Week 9 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have struggled on the defensive side of the ball this year, giving up big games to quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan and Kyler Murray. They are fourth in yards per catch allowed per game and fifth in passing touchdowns allowed per game. Roethlisberger has had over two touchdowns in six of his seven games and zero interceptions in five of his seven games. Roethlisberger will also benefit from having the league’s number one ranked defense, which will likely keep the Cowboys offense off of the field, leading to more scoring opportunities for the Steelers. This game is projected to be a blowout for the undefeated Steelers and Big Ben is a must start. 

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 17.9 

Our Projection: 21.2


Marvin Jones Jr., WR – Detroit Lions (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

Marvin Jones Jr. heads into a favorable matchup against the Vikings, expecting a large target share increase (Courtesy of the National Football League)

With Kenny Golladay listed as doubtful heading into the Lions’ game on Sunday against the Vikings, Marvin Jones Jr. has a massive opportunity to produce. The Vikings’ defense is the second worst in all of fantasy football against wide receivers, allowing Davante Adams to notch a 30.3 PPR performance last week. The Vikings have also given up big performances to Calvin Ridley, D.K. Metcalf and Will Fuller this year, so Jones Jr. should be able to take advantage of the holes in Minnesota’s secondary. Each of Jones’s games with his highest number of targets has been in the three weeks that Golladay has missed, which should allow him to further capitalize on a great matchup. Jones is primed for a big game as he faces an abysmal defense and is in a favorable position to eat up targets for Detroit.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 14.0

Our Projection: 20.6


Chase Edmonds, RB – Arizona Cardinals (vs. Miami Dolphins)

Without starter Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds looks to showcase his talent with a great matchup against Miami. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Chase Edmonds comes into a Week 9 matchup versus Miami with the potential to assert his dominance atop the Cardinals’ running back depth chart over the injured Kenyan Drake. Edmonds came into the season as Drake’s backup but has shown flashes of brilliance out of the backfield all season. Edmonds has not yet had a game with more than six rushing attempts, yet has four 13-plus PPR games. After Drake went down with an injury in Week 7, Edmonds stole the show with 21.5 PPR points, an impressive number considering he did not score a touchdown. Edmonds has been viewed mainly as a receiving back, yet was equally impressive on the ground when taking over for Drake with five rushes for 58 yards. Edmonds’ upside without Drake to take touches away from him is undeniable in any matchup given the talents that he has shown throughout the season, but this upside is bolstered by the fact that Edmonds will face the Miami Dolphins’ 26th ranked fantasy rush defense. Edmonds has the potential for a massive game and should be in starting fantasy lineups if possible.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 17.4

Our Projection: 24.3



Todd Gurley II, RB – Atlanta Falcons (vs. Denver Broncos) 

Todd Gurley II’s weekly production will halt in a tough matchup against the Broncos, who have allowed the least amount of touchdowns to running backs this year. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Todd Gurley has started his season off strong despite worries about his arthritic knee, which stemmed from several knee injuries in the past years. His steady usage and goal line success has been the main reason for his 15.2 average fantasy points per game. When he’s healthy, Gurley is one of the best goal line rushers in the NFL. However, since 2019 in six games without a touchdown, Gurley averages 8.2 fantasy points per game. He is very touchdown dependent, which is worrisome in his Week 9 matchup against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have allowed only three touchdowns to opposing running backs this year, tied for lowest in the league. Denver also is the ninth best defense in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, making for a tough matchup for Gurley in Atlanta’s pass-heavy offense. The matchup and Gurley’s touchdown dependency will result in a decrease in fantasy points this week. 

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 15.7
Our Projection: 10.8 


DJ Chark Jr., WR – Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Houston Texans)

DJ Chark is off to a slow start this season, and this will not change in Week 9 with a tough matchup against Texans’ cornerback Bradley Roby. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

DJ Chark has had a slow start to the year after a solid rookie season last year. Chark is averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game, with only one game netting over 13 points. To add to his struggles, quarterback Gardner Minshew is out for Sunday’s game with an injured thumb, leaving rookie and 6th round pick Jake Luton as their starting quarterback. This is a downgrade for Chark and the Jacksonville offense, who already rank 26th in points scored per game among NFL teams. This week, Jacksonville plays the Houston Texans, who rank 6th worst in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers. Despite this, Chark will likely be shadowed by cornerback Bradley Roby, who has chosen one receiver to shadow in all six of his full games this season. This includes a Week 5 matchup against Chark, when Roby held him to two receptions for five yards on 28 routes. With a difficult matchup and a new rookie quarterback, it is unlikely that Chark will see any major production this week, similar to his game in Week 5 against the same team.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 10.5

Our Projection: 6.8


Terry McLaurin, WR – Washington Football Team (vs. New York Giants)

Terry McLaurin has been great all season, but rising Giants’ cornerback James Bradbury will pose a tough matchup for McLaurin. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Terry McLaurin has been a consistent producer all season despite the poor quarterback play for the Washington Football Team. Most would expect McLaurin to have a relatively good Week 9 against the New York Giants, who rank 22nd against fantasy wide receivers this season and are universally recognized as one of the worst teams in football. However, similar to Chark, McLaurin draws a tough matchup against a star cornerback: James Bradbury. Bradbury has been one of the few bright spots for the Giants and last week limited Mike Evans to just three receptions for 55 yards, albeit with one touchdown. Bradbury has been outstanding all year, keeping top receivers in check, including Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson and Robert Woods. The Washington and New York matchup could very well end up being a defensive bout where each struggling offense is unable to produce, further decreasing McLaurin’s value. Despite being a popular option for fantasy managers this season, McLaurin will have a hard time producing in this sneakily difficult matchup.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 15.7

Our Projection: 9.6