Fantasy Recap: Week 9 Early Slate 1

  • Final Score: Chargers 20 @ Falcons 17 (Push, U49.5)


    Key Postgame Storylines

    A back and forth game of two teams missing key options at positions of importance and it showed as both teams struggled to get much going offensively. We got the volume we were looking for from Herbert but he only threw for 5.7 yards per attempt and finished with 245 passing yards on 30-of-43 attempts with a touchdown and interception. We anticipated a volume driven game from waiver wire adds of the week: Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter and we got serviceable lines of eight for 106 and five for 53 respectively. Austin Ekeler was the player we for sure had in our lineups and he delivered, scoring touchdowns both on the ground and through the air. He had 14 carries for 47 yards and seven receptions for 24 yards with a fumble lost. Rookie Isaiah Spiller played ahead of Sony Michel as the backup to Ekeler, out-touching him seven to one but we’ll leave that for deeper leagues.


    The Falcons went back to their running ways as starting running back Cordarrelle Patterson made his return and his presence was felt early scoring the game’s first touchdown and getting in for a second time with 44 yards on 13 carries plus a catch for nine. He was out-gained by Tyler Allgeier, however, who carried the ball 10 times for 99 yards thanks in part to a run that went for 44 yards. Quarterback Marcus Mariota didn’t do much for us as he threw for just 129 yards on 12-23 passing with no touchdowns and just 24 yards on the ground. Three-and-outs, missed field goals and turnovers were the difference and the Falcons will look to clean up their act in a rematch against the Panthers next week.


    Top Performers

    RB Austin Ekeler: Ekeler was once again the focal point of the Chargers offense, being the primary rusher and was second in targets catching dump-offs in the backfield. He will continue to be the top option in our game, especially in PPR.


    WR Joshua Palmer: If you needed to start Palmer in a pinch he came through for you in PPR formats as Herbert’s top receiving option. We will need to wait on the status of inactive Keenan Allen before we continue to roll with Palmer but if Allen is out any longer, we can have confidence Palmer will continue his WR3 status.


    RB Cordarrelle Patterson: Patterson returned and scored two touchdowns from the goal line which is a welcome sight as he looks to be back in action as the Falcons primary ball carrier. Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley will remain in the mix but as long as the Falcons continue their run-game philosophy, Patterson will be an every week RB2.


    Biggest Busts

    TE Kyle Pitts: The Falcons appear to have fooled us after following up what we got last week from Pitts with this performance. While Pitts was targeted a team-high seven times, he only caught two of those for 27 yards. It has been frustrating rostering Pitts this season and it seems those frustrations will continue until major changes are made to the offense.


    QB Marcus Mariota: Mariota failed to deliver this week for managers looking to take advantage of what we saw last week and expecting it to continue. In single quarterback leagues, he can be safely dropped but for superflex formats we hope you have a better QB2 option even with his rushing upside.


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    Final Score: Dolphins 35 @ Bears 32 (Bears covered +4, O45.5)


    Key Postgame Storylines

    We had points galore in this epic shootout in Chicago as both teams made big plays all afternoon. Tyreek Hill again showed up in a big way, catching seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown once again showing the league just how fast and uncoverable he can be, while Jaylen Waddle would catch five passes for 85 yards with a touchdown himself. This duo has shown time and time again that they are the most dynamic duo in the league and as long as they are on the field, a big play is waiting to happen. Those two putting up those numbers means that Tua also came through, completing 21-30 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns, he has proven to us that he must be started in fantasy and has to be top-10 at the position until further notice.


    Justin Fields had a historic game, his 178 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback in a regular season game and he was also the first quarterback since 1950 to run for 150 yards while throwing three touchdown passes. This fire had been burning for the last few weeks as we saw the Bears playbook expand, allowing Fields to run more and more efficiently making those flames erupt in a massive way for fantasy purposes. Fields was also efficient in the pass game, throwing for only 123 yards on 17-28 passing, but with three touchdowns. One of which went to receiver Darnell Mooney who caught seven passes for 47 yards while two TD passes went to tight end Cole Kmet who caught five of his targets for 41 yards. The Bears offense has come alive in a big way and with a mouth-watering matchup against the Lions next week, we should look to fire up some Bears for fantasy.


    Top Performers

    QB Justin Fields: Fields was the top performer putting on a historic show, one that Lamar Jackson hasn’t even accomplished. The Fields train had been in motion over the last few weeks so hopefully you hopped on and can continue to ride while it’s especially hot next week against the Lions.


    WR Tyreek Hill: Hill’s expectations are lofty but he still manages to surprise managers in a positive way with massive receiving totals. With the way the Miami offense is rolling, Hill looks to be a top-3 receiver if not the top receiver overall the rest of the way.


    TE Cole Kmet: Kmet has been highly involved over the last two weeks, catching three touchdowns over that span and will enter the top-12 tight end discussion in the coming weeks.


    Biggest Busts

    RB Raheem Mostert: While Mostert bailed managers out with a touchdown, his nine for 26 rushing line is disappointing especially considering new acquisition Jeff Wilson Jr. out touched him 12 to nine. We will need to monitor this backfield over the next few weeks but in the meantime consider benching Mostert as he looks to be more of a RB3.


    RB: David Montgomery: Montgomery had a quiet day rushing for just 36 yards on 14 carries, adding a catch for eight yards. This game on the ground was all about Justin Fields as Fields was the leader in rush attempts leaving little for Montgomery or Khalil Herbert. We shouldn’t expect Fields to run wild like this every game, however, and should continue to utilize Montgomery as a RB2.


    Final Score: Panthers 21 @ Bengals 42 (Bengals covered -7, O42.5)


    Key Postgame Storylines

    The Panthers were out of this game from the get-go as the Bengals were up 35-0 at halftime. Joe Mixon and Joe Burrow were able to do as they pleased all game as Mixon averaged seven yards a carry while carrying the ball 22 times for 153 yards and four rushing touchdowns, adding four receptions for 58 yards and another touchdown. The positive regression hit hard for Mixon who had only scored two touchdowns on his 129 rushing attempts so far this season and won matchups for those who started him on Sunday.


    Carolina had no answer for the Bengals’ barrage of scoring as quarterback P.J. Walker would throw for just nine yards on 3-10 passing with two interceptions and would be benched at halftime in favor of Baker Mayfield. Once Baker came in, the offense was able to move the ball and score three touchdowns, two of which came from Baker to Terrace Marshall Jr. and tight end Tommy Tremble, but it was too late for the Panthers as their quarterback controversy is back on.


    Top Performers

    RB Joe Mixon: Mixon’s five total touchdowns puts him back on pace for what his expectations were before the season started as an end-of-the-first-round pick in fantasy. He was always a must-start thanks to the volume he receives and games like this are possible for players with his talent and the offense around him.


    WR Terrace Marshall Jr.: There were lofty expectations for Marshall last year as a rookie and he failed to live up to those expectations, but his role this season appears to be expanding as he had his best game of his season so far. He is worth a flyer off the waiver wire for those desperate to fill their WR3 or FLEX spot on their rosters.


    Biggest Busts

    RB D’Onta Foreman: The game script for the Panthers didn’t go as planned as they trailed 35-0 at halftime, resulting in limited work for Foreman as he only carried the ball seven times for 23 yards with two catches for -2 yards. If Hubbard remains out, we should still continue to put Foreman in our lineups as he has shown that he can produce with normal game scripts.


    WR D.J. Moore: Coming off back-to-back top-10 wide receiver finishes, our expectations for Moore were increased and the game script seemed to fit the bill for Moore to be more involved. That wasn’t the case, however, as he could only catch two of his six targets for 24 yards and will be a boom/bust WR3 moving forward regardless of who the quarterback is.


    Final Score: Packers 9 @ Lions 15 (Lions covered +3.5,U49.5)


    Key Postgame Storylines

    Another clunker for the Packers as they have now lost five games in a row. Aaron Rodgers will have a difficult time pointing fingers after this one as he would complete 23-43 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions, all three were end zone giveaways as well. Aaron Jones was injured in the third quarter, but seems optimistic about playing next week even though he left the stadium in a boot. A.J. Dillon took over in Jones’ absence but again struggled to get anything going. The Packers return home next week against a stingy Cowboys defense and it will be hard to trust any of the Packers’ options aside from Allen Lazard and whoever starts at running back.


    The Lions managed to come out of this ugly game as victors due to a nice defensive effort from the defensive line tipping passes at the line of scrimmage and forcing turnovers that sunk the Packers. Jared Goff has really slowed down after an explosive start to the season, with his performance today exemplifying the decline as he passed for only 137 yards on 14-26 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. With the extra possessions, the Lions managed to run the ball and burn clock with Jamaal Williams as D’Andre Swift would return but be a non-factor only being on the field for nine snaps. The Lions next game will be in Chicago and it could get ugly for them if they can’t find any offense as the Bears have been rolling lately.


    Top Performers

    WR Allen Lazard: Lazard was Rodgers’ most trusted option as he caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. We love to see this kind of volume for Lazard who we took later in drafts and we should continue to start him as a more trustworthy WR2.


    RB Jamaal Williams: D’Andre Swift clearly isn’t healthy, so that means big volume for Williams as he carried the ball 24 times for 81 yards even with Swift back. The line wasn’t spectacular for Williams as he failed to get in the end zone, but we can move forward knowing he has earned the team’s trust and will be given RB2 volume even with Swift playing.


    Biggest Busts

    RB D’Andre Swift: Swift managed only nine snaps and just five touches resulting in two carries for 10 yards and three catches for 40. He is playing hurt and the team refuses to give him enough volume to make him a reliable fantasy contributor. Until that happens, he should probably stay on fantasy managers’ benches.


    WR Amon-Ra St. Brown: Brown caught four of his nine targets for 55 scoreless yards. The Lions offense didn’t really have much of a reason to pass the ball as the Packers offense kept shooting itself in the foot resulting in a quiet line for Brown. We should continue rolling him out as a must-start and hope games like these turn into a floor rather than a ceiling for his production.


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