Stars of Week 9

QB: Jared Goff, LAR: 14-22, 311 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs      

RB: Alvin Kamara, NO: 10 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD (6 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD)

WR: T.Y. Hilton, IND: 5 catches, 175 yards, 2 TDs

TE: Julius Thomas, MIA: 6 catches, 84 yards 1 TD                                         

Welcome to the honor roll, Jared Goff! The Rams’ second-year QB has quieted his critics with stellar play this season, and he led the team to 52 points against the Giants this past weekend. We’ll take a deeper dive into Goff’s progress below. The New Orleans Saints have clearly secured the best draft class of 2017, and Alvin Kamara is a big reason why. The Saints’ rookie RB serves as a major weapon for Drew Brees in the passing game, while also toting the rock for a handful of productive carries every game. Kamara has achieved weekly starter status as a high end RB2. While T.Y. Hilton has had a relative disappointing season relative to his ADP, he rewarded his owners in a big way with 175 yards and 2 TDs against the Texans. Hilton won’t reach the same status as he would with Andrew Luck as his QB, but quarterback Jacoby Brissett is improving each week, and Hilton should settle in as a WR2 for the rest of the season. We end the group with Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas, who found the end zone once to go along with his six catches and 84 yards against the Raiders. Thomas remains nothing more than a TE2 who just had a nice week. 

Week 9 Takeaways – A Closer Look

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Jared Goff, QB – LAR: 14-22, 311 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs    

Analysis: There may not be a bigger surprise this season than the complete turnaround that’s occurred with the Rams. Sean McVay has installed an offense that invokes principles more complex than those in junior high programs, to the chagrin of Todd Gurley. The development of the team’s signal caller, Jared Goff, has perhaps been the biggest surprise of all. Incorrectly called a bust by many NFL pundits, Goff has reminded those jump-to-conclusions folks that coaching and surrounding talent play a critical part in any QB’s development. At the eight game mark of the season, Goff has thrown for over 2,000 yards, with a TD to INT ratio of 13 to 4. If you’re still not convinced about Goff, then consider this – he averages 8.4 yards per attempt, which ranks third among all QBs this season. This game against the Giants solidifies Goff’s ascent to top 15 fantasy QB status, with room to push into back end QB1 territory. Goff faces the Texans next week, and makes for a good start if you need a QB.

- Kenyan Drake, RB – MIA: 9 carries, 69 yards, 0 TDs (6 catches, 35 yards, 0 TDs)

- Damien Williams, RB – MIA: 7 carries, 14 yards, 0 TDs (6 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD)

Analysis: With the stunning trade of running back Jay Ajayi by the Dolphins to the Eagles, we’ve got two new names to consider for the team’s rushing duties – Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. Drake had a slight edge in carries, and a much wider margin in yardage gained. However, Williams scored the lone TD for the duo, so in terms of fantasy performance, it was roughly even. Note that per Pro Football Focus, Drake outsnapped Williams 37 to 30. Drake’s the preferable option to own over Williams, as he should continue to get the larger split of the carries. Williams should be a bigger player in the passing game, so for those of you in PPR leagues, Williams’ value should mirror closely to that of Drake. So in terms of value, Drake sits squarely in RB3/flex territory, while Williams does the same in PPR leagues, but drops to RB4 in standard leagues.

- Corey Clement, RB – PHI: 12 carries, 51 yards, 2 TDs (1 catch, 15 yards, 1 TD)

Analysis: With Jay Ajayi joining LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood in the Eagles’ backfield, of course we need to introduce a fourth option – rookie Corey Clement. The rookie RB out of Wisconsin emerged for the team in a rout of the Broncos, scoring three TDs against what was a stout run defense. So with four viable RBs, what should be made of the Eagles’ RB corps? Well, Ajayi will be the lead back starting next week, as was forecasted following the trade. The number two RB to own from the group is Clement, as the coaching staff loves his talent, and very importantly, he’s a good blocker. Clement’s weekly carries will likely decrease from what we saw this game, but on the flip side his role in the passing game will surely increase. Clement rightfully garners flex attention in PPR leagues. As for the former lead duo, Blount falls into RB4 territory, essentially needing an Ajayi injury to return to fantasy relevance, while Smallwood can safely be dropped.

- Rishard Matthews, WR – TEN: 4 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: The Titans were a hot pick to win the AFC South this season, and rightfully so. They have an emerging QB in Marcus Mariota, a killer rushing attack with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, and now a highly touted rookie WR in Corey Davis whom the Titans drafted with a top 5 pick. Well, the year hasn’t exactly gone as planned for the team, as Mariota’s ascension has stalled, the rushing attack hasn’t been as ferocious as last year, Davis has been injured and the team’s defense has struggled. Amidst the disappointment, we have been treated to another under the radar, quality season from Rishard Matthews. The Titans’ leading WR from 2016 has continued his role as Mariota’s top receiving option, turning in an underrated performance this past weekend against a tough Ravens’ secondary. Matthews accumulated 70 yards over 4 catches, finding the end zone once as well. Matthews has been targeted 55 times this season, which averages to just under 7 times a game. Corey Davis should see his role increase in the passing attack, and he’ll likely be the top option for 2018. But for the balance of the 2017 season, Matthews will serve as a safe WR3/flex option, elevating to WR2 status based on matchups. While the hype shines on Davis, Matthews is still the preferred option for this year.

- Robert Woods, WR – LAR: 4 catches, 70 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: We examined Jared Goff’s improvement above, and now we take a look at Robert Woods, one of his new weapons. Woods had his best game as a Ram this past weekend, scoring 2 TDs, including a 3rd and 33 conversion by taking a WR screen pass 53 yards to the house. While these were Woods’ first two TDs of the season, he has been targeted an average of just over 6 times a game. The issue that Woods faces, along with all of the Rams’ receiving targets, is the propensity for Goff to spread the ball around to several guys. Because of that, Woods and his Rams’ pass catching cohorts are matchup dependent each week, with WR3/flex as the ceiling in any given week. So there’s value to be had with Woods, but in most cases that’ll be against pass deficient defenses. Next week’s opponent, the Texans, fits the bill nicely.

Rapid Fire Pickups 

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues. 

QB: Josh McCown, NYJ

RB: Thomas Rawls, SEA (with Lacy out, Rawls will get bulk of carries)

RB: Devontae Booker, DEN (CJ Anderson losing grip on starting job)

WR: Corey Davis, TEN

WR: Marqise Lee, JAX

TE: Tyler Kroft, CIN


Week 10 Rankings 


  1. Dak Prescott, DAL (at ATL)
  2. Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. CLE)
  3. Tom Brady, NE (at DEN)
  4. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. MIA)
  5. Jared Goff, LAR (vs. HOU)
  6. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. DAL)
  7. Drew Brees, NO (at BUF)
  8. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at IND)
  9. Josh McCown, NYJ (at TB)
  10. Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. NO)
  11. Andy Dalton, CIN (at TEN)
  12. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. CIN)
  13. Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. MIN)
  14. Eli Manning, NYG (at SF)
  15. Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (vs. NYJ)
  16. Jay Cutler, MIA (at CAR)
  17. Case Keenum, MIN (at WAS)
  18. Jacoby Brissett, IND (vs. PIT)
  19. Philip Rivers, LAC (at JAX)
  20. Blake Bortles, JAX (vs. LAC)

Running Backs:

  1. Le'Veon Bell, PIT (at IND)
  2. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. HOU)
  3. Melvin Gordon, LAC (at JAX)
  4. Leonard Fournette, JAX (vs. LAC)
  5. LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs. NO)
  6. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. GB)
  7. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. DAL)
  8. Mark Ingram, NO (at BUF)
  9. Carlos Hyde, SF (vs. NYG)
  10. Alvin Kamara, NO (at BUF)
  11. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. MIA)
  12. Lamar Miller, HOU (at LAR)
  13. Jerick McKinnon, MIN (at WAS)
  14. Joe Mixon, CIN (at TEN)
  15. Bilal Powell, NYJ (at TB)
  16. Doug Martin, TB (vs. NYJ)
  17. Orleans Darkwa, NYG (at SF)
  18. DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. CIN)
  19. Aaron Jones, GB (at CHI)
  20. Ameer Abdullah, DET (vs. CLE)
  21. Chris Thompson, WAS (vs. MIN)
  22. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (at DET)
  23. Tevin Coleman, ATL (vs. DAL)
  24. C.J. Anderson, DEN (vs. NE)
  25. Alfred Morris, DAL (at ATL)
  26. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. CIN)
  27. Kenyan Drake, MIA (at CAR)
  28. Frank Gore, IND (vs. PIT)
  29. Ty Montgomery, GB (at CHI)
  30. Dion Lewis, NE (at DEN)
  31. Damien Williams, MIA (at CAR)
  32. Duke Johnson, CLE (at DET)
  33. Devontae Booker, DEN (vs. NE)
  34. James White, NE (at DEN)
  35. Latavius Murray, MIN (at WAS)
  36. Marlon Mack, IND (vs. PIT)
  37. Tarik Cohen, CHI (vs. GB) 
  38. Elijah McGuire, NYJ (at TB)
  39. Rod Smith, DAL (at ATL)
  40. Rex Burkhead, NE (at DEN)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Antonio Brown, PIT (at IND)
  2. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. DAL)
  3. A.J. Green, CIN (at TEN)
  4. Dez Bryant, DAL (at ATL)
  5. Michael Thomas, NO (at BUF)
  6. Golden Tate, DET (vs. CLE)
  7. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (at LAR)
  8. Brandin Cooks, NE (at DEN)
  9. Marvin Jones, DET (vs. CLE)
  10. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. NE)
  11. Adam Thielen, MIN (at WAS)
  12. Jarvis Landry, MIA (at CAR)
  13. Stefon Diggs, MIN (at WAS)
  14. T.Y. Hilton, IND (vs. PIT)
  15. Devante Parker, MIA (at CAR)
  16. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (at IND)
  17. Devin Funchess, CAR (vs. MIA)
  18. Sterling Shepard, NYG (at SF)
  19. Robby Anderson, NYJ (at TB)
  20. Jordy Nelson, GB (at CHI)
  21. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (vs. NE)
  22. DeSean Jackson, TB (vs. NYJ)
  23. Robert Woods, LAR (vs. HOU)
  24. Sammy Watkins, LAR (vs. HOU)
  25. Ted Ginn, NO (at BUF)
  26. Kelvin Benjamin, BUF (vs. NO)
  27. Keenan Allen, LAC (at JAX)
  28. Mohamed Sanu, ATL (vs. DAL)
  29. Rishard Matthews, TEN (vs. CIN)
  30. Marqise Lee, JAX (vs. LAC)
  31. Davante Adams, GB (at CHI)
  32. Cooper Kupp, LAR (vs. HOU)
  33. Jermaine Kearse, NYJ (at TB)
  34. Corey Davis, TEN (vs. CIN)
  35. Will Fuller, HOU (at LAR)
  36. Josh Doctson, WAS (vs. MIN)
  37. Marquise Goodwin, SF (vs. NYG)
  38. Allen Hurns, JAX (vs. LAC)
  39. Terrance Williams, DAL (at ATL)
  40. Eric Decker, TEN (vs. CIN)

Tight End:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NE (at DEN)
  2. Evan Engram, NYG (at SF)
  3. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at WAS)
  4. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. CIN)
  5. Cameron Brate, TB (vs. NYJ)
  6. Jack Doyle, IND (vs. PIT)
  7. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (at TB)
  8. Hunter Henry, LAC (at JAX)
  9. Tyler Kroft, CIN (at TEN)
  10. Vernon Davis, WAS (vs. MIN)
  11. Jason Witten, DAL (at ATL)
  12. Charles Clay, BUF (vs. NO)
  13. Austin Hooper, ATL (vs. DAL)
  14. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. MIN)
  15. Eric Ebron, DET (vs. CLE)
  16. Julius Thomas, MIA (at CAR)
  17. Ed Dickson, CAR (vs. MIA)
  18. David Njoku, CLE (at DET)
  19. Tyler Higbee, LAR (vs. HOU)
  20. AJ Derby, DEN (vs. NE)

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Los Angeles Rams (vs. HOU)
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. LAC)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (at IND)
  4. Detroit Lions (vs. CLE)
  5. Carolina Panthers (vs. MIA)
  6. Chicago Bears (vs. GB)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (at WAS)
  8. New England Patriots (at DEN)
  9. Tennessee Titans (vs. CIN)
  10. New York Jets (at TB)
  11. Buffalo Bills (vs. NO)
  12. New Orleans Saints (at BUF)
  13. Washington Redskins (vs. MIN)
  14. Green Bay Packers (at CHI)
  15. Los Angeles Chargers (at JAX)