Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 9

Footballguys Staff takes you through the Top 5 Passing Matchups for Week 9


To view all of our Week 9 Matchup content, please see the links below:
Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 9
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 9
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 9
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 9
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 9
Passing Matchup Chart Week 9

Houston at Jacksonville

The Texans aren’t winning much, but it’s hard to blame Deshaun Watson and the air attack. Watson has topped 300 yards in 4 straight games, producing 9.0 per attempt and 11 touchdowns. (Of course, that’s been inflated a bit by catch-up mode, but that’s to be expected for the 1-6 Texans.) Watson is spreading the ball around plenty, making Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks, and even slot specialist Randall Cobb fantasy-viable every week. Fuller continues to prove himself one of the game’s most dangerous deep threats; it’s no wonder the Packers (and possibly other teams) are working feverishly to deal for him. His 10.4 yards per target ranks ninth among all qualifying wideouts, and he’s found the end zone in five straight games. And as long as there’s volume available for Cooks, he’s always a step away from a massive stat line of his own. With the Texans routinely playing from behind - and almost no support from David Johnson and the ground game - it’s always fair to project stout numbers from this group. That’s especially true in generous matchups like this one.

The Jaguars pass defense continues to flail badly against all comers. They’ve been burned for 300+ yards in 4 of 7 games, including a masterful 359-yard, 3-touchdown performance by Watson himself less than a month ago. In that one, Watson and his receivers repeatedly took advantage of wide zones and poor tackling, winning both on deep balls and quick-hitters. The Jacksonville secondary remains a mess of injuries and ineffectiveness, and it’s hard even to project much of the rotation before the weekend. The full-timers, though - cornerbacks C.J. Henderson and Tre Herndon, and safety Josh Jones - have been poor overall. First-round rookie Henderson has at least flashed big-time ability, but Herndon and Jones continue to bottom out at their respective spots. Jones in particular is simply out of place in the passing game; he’s an in-the-box guy who provides almost no downfield support. Simply put, this is an extremely generous spot for anyone who feels the need to throw against the Jaguars. The downfield matchups are there to be won, especially by frightening deep-ball threats like Fuller and Cooks.

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