Big Time Producers – Biggest Stars of Week 9 Fantasy Football
Welcome to the big time! We have officially reached the halfway point of the NFL season. Here’s another edition of Big Time Producers, reflecting upon the guys that likely won you your week.
Russell Wilson – The MVP talk continues as Russell Wilson just keeps stacking stats and wins. Wilson would finish the day with a ridiculous 5 touchdowns, as well as a 2 point conversion play, easily placing himself as the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback of week 9. Wilson is a locked and loaded start, even when he’ll be on the road against the 49ers next Monday night.
Matthew Stafford – The renaissance of Matthew Stafford continued on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders in a losing effort. Stafford slung it all over the lot, finishing with the most yards on the week at 406 while adding 3 touchdowns. Stafford’s next matchup against the Bears suddenly doesn’t look so scary and he’ll get a cake matchup against the Buccaneers in week 15 as well, so you’re riding Stafford for the next few weeks if you’ve been playing him.
Lamar Jackson – Not even Bill Belichick can stop Action Jackson. Lamar Jackson proved that not even the vaunted Patriots defense can stop him from using his legs to his advantage, as he rushed 16 times for 61 yards and 2 scores. He also added 163 yards through the air and a passing touchdown, leading to the best day any quarterback has had against New England all season. Next up, the woeful Cincinnati Bengals.
Kirk Cousins – It was actually a pretty mediocre day for Kirk Cousins, as he only completed 50% of his passes. However, he also threw for 3 touchdowns, which boosted his fantasy football production into the top ten. Even with Adam Thielen out, Kirk Cousins has shown he can produce and should stay in your starting lineup going forward.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Fitzmagic is back baby! The Dolphins journeyman quarterback lit up a woeful Jets team and led the Dolphins to their first win of the season. The Dolphins may have actually hurt themselves in the long run as they’ve now allowed the Jets and Bengals to enter the race to the bottom, but Ryan Fitzpatrick has to be flying high right now.
Deshaun Watson – It wasn’t a huge day for fantasy football, but it was an impressive performance by Deshaun Watson. Watson led the team to a crucial victory over the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars, likely cementing the Texans as the eventual division winner. Following the bye week, Deshaun Watson will get an improved Ravens’ defense in what could be the game of the week in week 11.
Christian McCaffrey – There is nothing left to say about CMC, besides 3 letters; MVP.
Josh Jacobs – The Oakland Raiders have been one of the most surprising teams this year and it has mostly revolved around their first-round running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs has been a volume monster, but he’s also done well with the extra carries, finishing on Sunday with 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jacobs is a weekly must-start when healthy.
Melvin Gordon – The change at offensive coordinator paid immediate dividends for Melvin Gordon, who finished with 109 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, this means we are unlikely to see Austin Ekeler regain his former status, even though he was the more explosive runner on the day. If Melvin Gordon is going to continue operating as the primary endzone back, he will be valuable down the stretch.
Damien Williams – After being left for dead by many fantasy football owners, Damien Williams now has two straight weeks with a touchdown. He also eclipsed 100 rushing yards for the first time all year. In fact, his 125 rushing yards on the day are 25 more than Williams has had all season. It’s encouraging for William’s status going forward, but it doesn’t make him the de facto fantasy asset just yet.
David Montgomery – For the second straight week, David Montgomery has been excellent for fantasy football. It was terribly inefficient, but Montgomery finished with 2 touchdowns and if the Bears are going to have any chance going forward, they’ll need to rely on their rookie running back. Montgomery is clearly the best offensive weapon on the team.
Carlos Hyde – It would have been an absolute monster day for Carlos Hyde if he hadn’t had the ball knocked out of his hand 2-3 yards away from completing a long touchdown run. Even still, Carlos Hyde finished with 160 yards on 19 carries, his highest output of the season. Hyde will enter a bye week in which he’ll get a much-deserved rest before going on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens.
Mike Evans – It was a monster day for Mike Evans, as for the second straight week he dominated his matchup. In just 2 weeks, Evans has accumulated 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. It’s very possible Evans could have a similar performance next week against a hot and cold Arizona Cardinals team, but as long as he’s not facing James Bradberry or Marshon Lattimore, he’s an every-week starter.
Tyler Lockett – As great as Mike Evans was on Sunday, he was not the number one scoring wide receiver in fantasy football, Tyler Lockett was. Lockett finished with 13 catches, 152 yards and 2 touchdowns in an overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lockett has been one of the most consistent wide receivers in fantasy football all year and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue.
Tyreek Hill – We were reminded on Sunday that Tyreek Hill is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Whether it’s Charizard or Matt Moore throwing him the ball, Tyreek the Freak is proving to be exactly that; a freak of nature that cannot be covered on a football field. When Patrick Mahomes eventually does come back, maybe as soon as next week, it’ll only serve to boost Hill’s value further than it already is.
Marvin Jones – Finally! The Lions managed to get both of their starting wide receivers involved, as both Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay had big games. However, Jones doubles up the catches on Golladay, finishing with 8 catches for 126 yards and 1 touchdown. The way the Lions are being forced to throw the football, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are both going to be excellent plays down the stretch of the season.
Preston Williams – This was a bittersweet performance for Preston Williams, as he dominated the Jets secondary en route to 5 catches for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, the knee injury Williams’ suffered that forced him to exit the game has been officially diagnosed as a season-ending ACL tear. This is a blow to one of the few bright spots on the Dolphins’ roster.
Mohamed Sanu – Well, that didn’t take long. Mohamed Sanu has already become an integral part of the offense, drawing 14 targets and catching 10 of them for 81 yards and a touchdown. We’ve seen this story so many times; the journeyman receiver joins the Patriots and becomes a star. Color me shocked.
Zach Ertz – I’ve been harping on the lack of production from Zach Ertz but if you’ve stuck with him this far, you were finally rewarded. Ertz finished with 9 catches for 103 yards and 1 touchdown. It was the first time all season he’s surpassed 100 yards and only his 2nd touchdown of the season, but hopefully, this leads into positive regression for Ertz through the second half of the season.
Noah Fant – Most of it came on a 75-yard touchdown reception, but it was really nice to see Noah Fant have a breakout game. The rookie tight end has been coming along and is a bright spot for a struggling Broncos team that is likely assessing their offseason in early November. I don’t know if you want to chase these points on a weekly basis, but it was encouraging to see Fant’s breakout under new starter Brandon Allen.
Jacob Hollister – It’s kind of crazy that Jimmy Graham never really worked out in Seattle because Russell Wilson finds ways to make unknown tight ends relevant for fantasy football. Formerly Will Dissly, it is now Jacob Hollister’s turn to shine. Hollister caught two touchdowns, including the game-winner, and should be a hot add off the waiver wire this week.
Mike Gesicki – The 2018 second-rounder, Mike Gesicki, turned in a career performance yesterday. It was only 6 catches for 95 yards, but that’s more than half his yards on the season. It’s encouraging to see the young tight end getting a shot in this woe begotten offense, but I don’t know if these are the points I’ll be trying to chase until the Dolphins get to face the Jets again.
Hunter Henry – My only problem with Hunter Henry in the off-season regarding where he was being drafted was the overt injury risk. Now that he’s healthy, he’s ballin out as Philip Rivers go-to target. He didn’t find the endzone, but Henry caught 7 of 10 targets for 84 yards. The target share alone instantly propels him into the discussion as a top ten tight end in fantasy football.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Minkah Fitzpatrick trade has paid immediate dividends for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the former Dolphins cornerback continues to be a difference-making playmaker for the black and gold. The Steelers are second in the league in turnovers and the defense is keeping them in games this season, but they’ll have a tough matchup at home against the Los Angeles Rams.
Houston Texans – This one really surprised and saddened me as it put a damper on Minshew Mania. The Houston Texans had easily their best defensive game of the season in the wake of losing their defensive captain, leader and best player, JJ Watt. The Texans had allowed totals of 32, 24, 28 and 24 in their last four games, which is why I was so keen on starting Jaguars players for fantasy, but it simply didn’t work out and the Texans shut them down in London.
Baltimore Ravens – In another surprising turn of events, the Baltimore Ravens handed the New England Patriots their first loss of the season. Marlon Humphrey scooped a fumble and returned it for a score for the second straight week, resulting in a second straight week of the Ravens being usable for fantasy football. You can’t expect Humphrey to return touchdowns every week, but the Ravens defense is getting better and they have some good matchups down the stretch.
Carolina Panthers – I thought the Panthers defense would bounce back after a whooping at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers and I was mostly right. They still gave up 20 points, but the Panthers defense finished with 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a fumble recovery. They have a questionable matchup in Lambeau next week though so I’d probably look elsewhere for a streaming option, even after how Aaron Rodgers looked against the Chargers.
Indianapolis Colts – It’s strange when two teams like the Steelers and Colts make the top 8 defenses for fantasy football, but that’s a reflection of the Steelers’ season thus far. The defense is humming and Mason Rudolph is bad at football. The Colts defense would finish with an interception, a fumble recovery and a safety to give them a usable stat line for fantasy football. They’re my hottest pick up of the week as they get the Miami Dolphins next.