Between bye weeks and injuries, I’m sure you had some ugly lineups out there this week. And in the wake of a wacky Sunday of football, you could be on the cusp of victory or defeat, largely depending on tonight’s games. Do you need a miracle? Perhaps the Ravens or Saints can provide one. But more on that in a minute. First, we’re halfway through the season, so it’s time for some mid-season awards.
Mid-Season MVP: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are the league’s only unbeaten team. As much as I admire the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles have been the league’s best team, too. While the Eagles are loaded on offense and defense, they wouldn’t be 8-0 without Hurts. Once an afterthought in a draft class that included Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, Hurts has seized the starting job in Philadelphia and continues to run with it. He’s been great in his second full year as a starter, and he has his team in great shape to make a deep run in the NFC.
Mid-Season Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, New York Giants
The Giants are 6-2. The team is on a bye this week, but if the playoffs started today the Giants would be in it. That’s an incredible turnaround for a team that’s been stuck in neutral for several seasons. Now, with Daboll at the helm, the Giants haven’t been flashy, but they’ve been effective. The team is getting the most out of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones and they’ve won six games. The Giants are in the thick of the race in the NFC East and in the race for the playoffs. They’re one of the biggest success stories of the year.
Mid-Season Fantasy MVP: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
This was close. You could make a great case for Geno Smith, and I nearly did. But I’m going with Chubb. Running back has been a bigger dumpster fire than normal through nine weeks. And yet, Chubb has been steady and reliable. Even thought the Browns are just 3-5, Chubb continues to shine. Even though the team doesn’t always give him a ton of carries and doesn’t use him in the passing game, he’s been a steady and reliable producer. Chubb has 163.1 points, averaging 20.4 points per game. He’s been a top tier RB1 and a set it and forget it lineup option—something that’s been a rare find in 2022.
And now, on to Monday night’s game.
Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at New Orleans Saints (3-5)
Week 9 of the NFL Season ends in New Orleans. The Saints are coming off a big victory, seemingly finding some stability with Andy Dalton at quarterback. The Ravens entered the week in sole possession of first place in the AFC North. If they want to keep it that way, they need to keep winning. So, there’s plenty of stakes in tonight’s game, but also plenty of people missing.
During the week Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas and Ravens’ receiver Rashod Bateman both turned up with season-ending injuries. It’s a grim sign for two teams, and two passing games, that need every player they can get. And yet, both will have to move on. For the Ravens, thoughts got even worse. Mark Andrews, the team’s top-flight tight end, and running back Gus Edwards are both doubtful. That leaves the Ravens light on play makers.
In terms of fantasy, if you’re looking for a miracle the only solid start for the Ravens is quarterback Lamar Jackson. If you need someone else, Devin Duvernay is the best option at receiver and tight end Isaiah Likely is capable of scoring points in bunches. If you want an option at running back, I’m going with Kenyan Drake.
For the Saints, Dalton has been a steadying influence, but he’s still just a low-end QB2. The real miracle maker is running back Alvin Kamara, a great threat in the passing and running game. Chris Olave is a solid WR2 option, while Taysom Hill is the greatest Yolo option in this game. He runs, he throws and he catches passes. Sometimes his points come in bunches, too.
The Pick: The Ravens.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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