It feels like I’m saying this every week, but that was a truly ridiculous week of football. A series of shocking NFL-level results led to equally shocking performances on the fantasy side. The Jaguars beat the Bills and held Josh Allen to under 10 points. The Broncos dominated the Cowboys and kept both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb completely in check. The Derrick Henry-less Titans made Matthew Stafford look bad en route to a comfortable victory. Fantasy managers all over will be looking at their teams, asking, “What happened?”. If you’re one of them, read on for the key details from each of Sunday’s games.  

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

  • Cordarrelle Patterson has to be setting some sort of fantasy points per snap record. He played just 33 of the Falcons 59 snaps, the exact same number as Mike Davis. But he touched the ball on nearly half of those 33 snaps, with six targets and nine carries for 136 total yards. He gets it done in a different way every week, but Patterson is getting it done and should be viewed as an RB1 until he fails to do so. 
  • Prior to Mark Ingram returning to NO, Alvin Kamara saw 85.3% of the Saints’ RB rushes and commanded a 22.3% target share. Since Ingram came over, those numbers have dropped to 65.1% and 14.0%. Shoutout JJ Zachariason for the numbers, and the conclusion to take away is this: Kamara is still an RB1, but this usage will severely cap his ceiling. Don’t expect any six rushing TD games anytime soon. 
  • With Juwan Johnson a healthy scratch, Adam Trautman set a personal season-high in snaps with 67. The second-year TE also set a new career-high with seven targets. However, he also had a few really rough drops. I’d monitor his usage but leave him on the wire for now.

Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys

  • I’m calling it now: This is your last chance to trade for Jerry Jeudy. In his second game back from injury, Jeudy was clearly the featured piece in the Broncos offense, constantly on the move before the snap and seeing eight targets on just 28 attempts from Teddy Bridgewater. It didn’t turn into huge numbers today, but I see him going off against the Eagles and establishing himself as a must-start weekly play. 
  • Yes, Malik Turner led Cowboys WRs in receptions and scored two touchdowns. No, you shouldn’t add him. Turner is primarily a special-teams player (he had a punt block in this one!) and played just 18 offensive snaps, mostly with the game entirely out of hand.
  • Javonte Williams looked incredible, picking up yards seemingly at will against the Cowboys defense. But so did Melvin Gordon. Gordon bested Williams in snaps and carries and got the call at the goal line for another rushing TD. He’s going nowhere and might actually be one of the cheapest RB2s you can find if his manager is listening to the entire fantasy community screaming that he’s “washed.”

New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers

  • Christian McCaffrey played just 29 snaps. And he still racked up 12.6 fantasy points thanks to 14 carries and five targets. His snap count will go up as he returns to full health. He is, as he’s always been, a top-three (at least) fantasy asset when healthy. 
  • Monitor the health of both Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris heading into next week. If neither recovers from their respective head injuries, Brandon Bolden becomes an instant RB2 play in PPR. If only one does, they’re also an RB2. If both, Harris should dominate as usual, even though Stevenson looked great in the time between Harris’ injury and his own.
  • What’s up with DJ Moore? After starting the year on fire, the 24-year old has slowed down considerably. His target numbers are still insane, and he even had two designed rushes today, but it’s not turning into fantasy production. You likely can’t move him for much, so I’d hold: Eventually, all those targets plus his talent has to come good.

Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens

  • Take away his blown-coverage touchdown today, and Justin Jefferson has just 7.1 fantasy points over the last two games. Sure, hypotheticals are dumb, and points are points, but he also has only nine targets in that span. Don’t panic, but if you can move him for good value, I’d consider it. 
  • There’s value to be had in this Ravens backfield, somewhere. Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell and Patrick Ricard combined for 37.1 points this week. Latavius Murray is likely back in the mix next week and was the lead back before his absence. I’d say Murray and Freeman are both worth holding to see how it shakes out but don’t rush to start any of the three (or four).
  • The buzz around the fantasy community is that yesterday was the beginning of the Rashod Bateman breakout. The rookie from Minnesota set his early career highs in just about every stat yesterday and looked good while doing so. However, this is still a run-first (and run-second, and run-third team), and with Sammy Watkins coming back, I don’t see the volume to make Bateman a reliable starter along with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

  • Don’t be too disappointed by Jarvis Landry only running 19 routes and seeing four targets in the first game of the post-Odell Bekcham Jr. era in Cleveland. Thanks to a defensive TD and a couple of huge plays, the Browns offense had an absurdly low number of snaps for a team that scored 41 points. Landry still led the team’s WRs in every opportunity metric and will see more work in less ridiculous game scripts.
  • The story is reversed for the Bengals, who ran an absurd 75 plays. Ja’Marr Chase was on the field for 72 of them, while Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins saw 58 and 57 snaps. Boyd is the one I’m concerned about, as just two targets and one reception for 11 yards on that many snaps is not good, to say the least. He’s clearly the third option here, which means duds like this are on the table every week.
  • At a glance, D’Ernest Johnson had a terrible game, averaging two yards per carry, while Nick Chubb averaged nearly 10. However, he, like Landry, saw decent opportunity on a rate basis and was just capped by the Browns’ dominant performance as a unit. Don’t drop him until Kareem Hunt returns. He has a real role in this offense.

Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Devin Singletary seems to be claiming more work in the Bills backfield. Yes, Zack Moss left the game with an injury, but that didn’t come until the second half. Even in the first half, Singletary saw more work, especially in the passing game, than usual. Where this leaves them both going forward is anyone’s guess: When both are healthy, neither is a player I’d be happy with as anything more than a flex in deep leagues.
  • I mentioned Dan Arnold last week, and I’m doing it again. He led the Jaguars in targets and is showing a higher floor than any other TE you can find on the wire. Add him, and start him over most of the mediocre options out there.
  • Speaking of Jaguar players worth adding, Jamal Agnew, who was drafted as a DB/returner and literally taught himself to play WR watching YouTube, has 31 targets (most on the team) over the last four weeks since D.J. Chark’s injury. He dropped a touchdown yesterday but was also consistently open thanks to his legit 4.3 speed. He’s worth a roster spot in deep leagues, and I love him as an add in dynasty or a dart throw in DFS.

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Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

  • Apologies to anyone who started Tyrod Taylor after I hyped him up last week. But I still think he will come good eventually. He looked great in the one and a half games he started before injury and has the fantasy gold that is QB rushing ability. I wouldn’t run him out next week against the Titans, but lock him in for Week 11 against the Jets in two-QB leagues.
  • Myles Gaskin had his best game of the season from an opportunity perspective, surpassing 70% of snaps and hitting 20 carries for the first time. Sure he averaged less than two yards on those carries, but volume is king. Malcolm Brown returning from IR could muddy the waters, but I like Gaskin as a high-end flex or low-end RB2 going forward.
  • This Texans backfield is a mess. For anyone to be startable, the team needs to both become more competitive AND commit to using one player more consistently. Neither looks likely.

Las Vegas Raiders @ New York Giants

  • The Kadarius Toney hype train (which I must admit I was riding) has officially derailed. Even with Sterling Shepard absent, Toney was hardly involved. He saw one target and was the key to two fancy plays, both of which went for negative yards. If there’s decent options on your waivers, drop him. Maybe next year.
  • Darren Waller has received lots of flack for being a disappointment since his huge Week 1, but it’s a bit overblown. Despite missing a week due to injury and having his bye, Waller is fifth among tight ends in yards, receptions, targets and fantasy points. He still gets elite volume, and eventually, the big 100-yard or multi-touchdown games will come.
  • Saquon Barkley will likely be back on the field after the Giants’ Week 10 bye. Prior to his Week 5 injury, he was getting more and more involved in the passing game, which is key to his value, given that the Giants o-line is the second-worst run-blocking unit in the league. Assuming his usage and ankle both look good, he’ll be an RB1 down the back half of the season.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Philadelphia Eagles

  • This was our first real (aka not against the Lions) look at the Eagles backfield without Miles Sanders. While, for some reason, this team seems much more committed to the run as soon as their best back is hurt, it’s still unclear who the new lead back is. Jordan Howard saw the most carries and performed well but was actually out-snapped by Boston Scott. Howard is the back to own, but don’t be surprised if next week he is outproduced by Scott or even Kenneth Gainwell
  • Chargers tight ends caught two touchdowns yesterday. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, neither of them came from Jared Cook. While he had four receptions of his own, Cook wasn’t even the TE with the most snaps for LA on the day. Unless you have no other options, Cook shouldn’t see your lineup going forward.
  • Jalen Hurts failed to crack 20 fantasy points for the second straight week yesterday, but I’m not worried. Against the Lions, he didn’t need to throw because, well, they’re the Lions, and he was actually fairly efficient against the Chargers. Just as important for his fantasy value, he saw double-digit carries, which will always keep him as one of the highest-floor QBs in the league.

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jordan Love is bad. If Aaron Rodgers misses any more time for any reason, significantly downgrade all Packers players. If even Davante Adams managed to turn 14 targets against the terrible Chiefs defense into just 42 yards, you know something’s wrong.
  • Speaking of superstar WRs underperforming despite double-digit targets, Tyreek Hill had his worst outing since Week 2, managing just 5.3 points on 11 targets. This whole Chiefs offense is off, but so far, Hill has gotten his regardless. He’s still a top-five WR and could be a solid target if his manager is worried about whatever is up with Patrick Mahomes.
  • Randall Cobb has had a couple of solid weeks, but he still belongs on waivers. He saw the fourth-most snaps among Green Bay WRs. Allen Lazard, who saw 53 snaps despite only being targeted once, is a much better choice if you need a fill-in WR.

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

  • Elijah Mitchell can catch alert! While it would be great for his value if he continues to see more usage in the passing game, don’t expect five or even three targets every week. All of his targets yesterday came on first and second downs, with JaMycal Hasty still dominating third downs. Regardless, Mitchell is a solid RB2.
  • I don’t think Rondale Moore is going to reach fantasy relevance this year. The electric rookie clearly has talent, but his role in this offense just isn’t fantasy friendly. His average depth of target is an absolutely tiny 1.2. Next-lowest among WRs is 5.9. You can drop him in redraft leagues.
  • If Chase Edmonds misses time, James Conner could be a top-five RB. Similar to Darrell Henderson in LA, Conner would be the feature back on one of the league’s best offenses, involved in both the passing and running games. Three touchdown games are obviously outliers, but averaging one score per game would be well within Conner’s range.

Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Rams

  • In his first week with the team, Adrian Peterson led the Titans in carries and scored his 125th career touchdown. But this isn’t All Day of old, and there’s a reason he wasn’t signed before this week. AP looked frankly mediocre. He seems to have the inside track to the lead job, but don’t be surprised if D’Onta Foreman makes a fight of it.
  • Robert Woods is a good target to acquire anywhere you can. While he’s been mostly overshadowed by Cooper Kupp’s historic start to the season, Woods is also among the top 25 in targets league wide. DeSean Jackson leaving doesn’t impact him too much, but more targets to go around is always a good thing. He should be a WR2, at least, going forward. 
  • Van Jefferson should also be a great rest of season play. He only caught three passes but saw seven targets, including two back-to-back end zone looks. I love him as a flex or backup WR option that has way more upside than similarly-scoring players as a handcuff to Woods and Kupp.

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