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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football: 20 Thoughts Recapping Week 9

  • The Draft Network
  • November 9, 2020
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Week 9 saw the triumphant return of Christian McCaffrey, the re-emergence of D.J. Chark, and possible breakout games from young receivers Jerry Jeudy and Olamide Zaccheaus.

Before we turn the page to Monday Night Football and then the start of Week 10, here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with the final note after Sunday Night Football.

  1. MELVIN GORDON/PHILLIP LINDSAY: Sunday was a disastrous day for the Broncos backfield. Both Lindsay and Gordon had sub-4-point games. Neither back could get going and then the Broncos fell way behind and forced Drew Lock to throw 48 times in an attempt to get back into the game. The state of the running back position means both of these players are going to be in RB2/flex territory going forward, but unless one of them is inactive, fantasy managers will be starting them without a ton of confidence. 
  2. JERRY JEUDY: Credit to Jeudy, who is using garbage time (and garbage time that turns into victories like in Week 8) to have some fantasy success lately. Despite the return of Tim Patrick, Jeudy had the best game of his young career with 7/125/1. He’s emerging as a potential WR3 option in the right matchups. He’ll be ranked as a top-40 wide receiver next week against the Raiders.
  3. OLAMIDE ZACCHEAUS: He did most of his damage early, but Zaccheaus took advantage of Calvin Ridley’s absence and Denver’s cornerback injuries to put up 4/103/1, leading the team in receiving yards. It was his second 15-plus-point game this season—he had 8/86/0 against the Packers a month ago. His fantasy value feels tied to a Ridley or Julio Jones injury, but he could be worth a flier later in the season as the Falcons are on bye next week and Ridley should be back by Week 11.
  4. DAVID MOORE: Moore is becoming an intriguing fantasy play as of late. He had 4/71/1 on Sunday to bring his season touchdown total up to four. Aside from getting blanked against the Vikings, Moore is averaging 13.7 fantasy points per game since Week 4. He should be in waiver wire consideration this week and will likely enter the back end of my top-50 wide receiver rankings for Week 10. 
  5. LAMAR JACKSON: Although the Ravens got back into the win column, it was another sub-19-point performance for Jackson, who has five of those in his last seven games. He came into the day ranked as the QB12 in average fantasy points per game and will likely end the week there when it’s all said and done. There may be a buy-low or hold-steady opportunity here if you’re willing to pay 85% of his draft-day price. He gets the Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars, and Giants from Weeks 13-16—and all but the Cleveland game at home. Even though Jackson hasn’t lived up to his second-round price tag, he still could win you a fantasy championship down the stretch. 
  6. J.K. DOBBINS/GUS EDWARDS: As expected, Dobbins and Edwards split carries on Sunday. Dobbins had 12 for 30 yards while Edwards had 11 for 23. Why does this make the column? Well, because people continue to blindly believe that Dobbins will suddenly get all this backfield work despite all the evidence to the contrary. It’s important to separate what we want to happen from what’s most likely to happen. As long as Mark Ingram is out, Dobbins and Edwards will share a near 50-50 workload split. When Ingram is back, it’ll be a three-way split with two players emerging above the rest each week. 
  7. MARQUISE BROWN/MARK ANDREWS: Baltimore’s offensive struggles have really sapped the fantasy value of its top-two pass-catchers. Brown entered the week ranked as the WR48 in average fantasy points per game (11.0) and had just 3/38/0 on five targets on Sunday. Andrews came in as the TE7 in average points per game (11.5) and 3/22/0 on his five targets. Brown is a bench option with some upside, while Andrews is no longer a must-start—although the latter is still a likely-start each week because of the state of the tight end position. 
  8. JONATHAN TAYLOR: This wasn’t a great matchup and the Colts didn’t run much in general, but when they did they relied on Jordan Wilkins at a near 2-to-1 clip compared to Tayor—things really shifted after Taylor lost a fumble. He did get in the end zone so his day wasn’t a complete disaster, but the rookie is a mid-level flex play at best until further notice—and you’ll likely have a receiver or two on your bench you’ll like more. 
  9. WILL FULLER/BRANDIN COOKS: Fuller scored a touchdown for his sixth consecutive game and led all Texans receivers with 5/100/1. He’s sneaking into the weekly WR1 conversation and has a few more good matchups to take advantage of for the remainder of November. If there were any questions about whether or not he’s a weekly must-start, there shouldn’t be anymore. I also wanted to give a shoutout to Cooks, who’s been sensational over the last four weeks. He had 3/83/1 and got the scoring started for Houston. He’s in the weekly WR2 conversation from here on out. 
  10. D.J. CHARK: Welcome back! Chark had only one double-digit performance in his last three games before exploding for 7/146/1 on 12 targets on Sunday with rookie quarterback Jake Luton at the helm. He started things off with a 73-yard touchdown, displaying the big-play ability that made him a high-end WR2 last season. Will that continue next week with Gardner Minshew presumably back? Maybe, but this might be a time to sell high if you’re near the top of your standings. The Jaguars play the Ravens in Baltimore and host the Bears in Weeks 15 and 16. Chark might not be starter-worthy in those matchups. 
  11. CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY: Yeah, so McCaffrey is still good. Check. McCaffrey got 28 touches in his return, totaling 151 combined rushing and receiving yards, and scored twice (as a runner and a pass-catcher). He looked healthy and jumps right back in the mix with Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook for the best fantasy running back to roster for the rest of the season.
  12. LE’VEON BELL: I’m not starting Bell for a while. He’s done absolutely nothing with the Chiefs so far, and it’s hard enough to figure out what type of workload Clyde Edwards-Helaire will get on a week-to-week basis, not to mention Bell. He won’t be in any of my lineups in Week 11 when Kansas City returns from bye or in a brutal Week 12 matchup with the Buccaneers. Maybe he’ll be helpful in December and is worth holding onto for that reason, but he should be glued to the bench for now. 
  13. DALVIN COOK: Until Kamara inevitably surpasses it on Sunday Night Football, Dalvin Cook became the first non-quarterback to cross the 200-fantasy-point threshold this season—and he needed only seven games to do it! Cook rushed for more than 200 yards and scored two more touchdowns, continuing his transcendent season. Cook is averaging 28.73 fantasy points per game this season. For context, McCaffrey was leading all running backs with 30.8 points per game at this point last season and Todd Gurley was leading all backs with 28.9 in 2018 and 23.4 in 2017. 
  14. COREY DAVIS: Davis got blanked in Week 9 after Ryan Tannehill completed only 10 passes against the Bears defense. It was an incredibly disappointing performance, especially for those who were finally buying in. The next three matchups aren’t great, but Davis has a favorable December schedule to look forward to. Plus, before Sunday, Davis was averaging 16.8 fantasy points per game (WR2 territory) in his five games and didn’t have fewer than 11.9 fantasy points in any game.
  15. J.D. MCKISSIC: Despite the mid-game quarterback switch due to the gruesome leg injury suffered by Kyle Allen, McKissic continued to be the quintessential PPR running back. He led all Washington players with 14 targets, catching nine for 65 yards (he also ran for 17 yards on three carries). McKissic is very clearly the guy tasked with playing on obvious passing downs, and has had as much success with Alex Smith as he had with Allen. McKissic needs to be rostered in nearly all full-PPR leagues going forward. 
  16. NELSON AGHOLOR: With touchdowns in four of his last five games (and four in a row not played in horrible weather), the former Eagles cast-off is proving to be a solid fill-in option for fantasy managers. He's getting only 3-5 targets per week more often than not, but you can't argue that he's not making the most of it. If you need some help at the end of your bench, Agholor is a worthwhile option.
  17. KALEN BALLAGE/JUSTIN JACKSON: On a day I thought Jackson would feast and help fantasy managers as an RB2, he got injured on the first play of the game and barely played. Instead, Ballage got the majority of the work, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries (he also caught two passes for 15 yards). Unless Jackson is set to miss Week 10, I have no interest in Ballage. However, Ballage's usage is a pretty clear indicator that Joshua Kelley has beyond an uphill battle to be fantasy relevant for the rest of the season.
  18. TUA TAGOVAILOA: Tagovailoa was asked to do a lot more in his second start and he was quite successful. He completed 20-of-28 passes for two touchdowns and zero turnovers. His 21.42-point performance will place him in QB1 territory for Week 9. Although his early ascension to Dolphins starter has been a boon for those in two-QB leagues, he's still not a must-add for me in single-QB formats. He's a borderline top-20 quarterback next week, but you'll likely have a couple better options that are also available unless your league hogs quarterbacks.
  19. CHASE EDMONDS: Edmonds was given a full workload in his first game this season as the starter with Kenyan Drake injured. He received 25 carries, but didn't do a ton with them. He finished with 70 rushing yards, which is a 2.8 yards-per-carry clip. His three catches for 18 yards helped get him to double-digits, but it was a fairly underwhelming day. He'll be a borderline RB1 next week if Drake is out against a Bills team that ranks in the bottom 10 against the run this season.
  20. SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Check back after the conclusion of Sunday Night Football for the final fantasy note.

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