As it turned out, week nine was an extremely turbulent one in both the NFL and fantasy football in general. Strange results included: 1) the Jaguars(1-6) shocking the Bills(5-2); 2) the 10.5 point underdog Broncos stunning the Cowboys in Dallas; and 3) the Giants(2-6) beating the visiting Raiders(5-2).
Heading into week ten, I’m sure that most fantasy managers are hoping for a return to some normalcy. With that in mind, we do have the most customary number of teams on bye, four. These four teams are: 1) Bengals; 2) Bears; 3) Texans; and 4) Giants.
Week Nine Review:
Besides the untimely placement of Devante Parker on IR(hamstring), last week turned out to be a perfect week for predictions. My two favorite suggestions were: 1) Carson Wentz-who completed 22 of 30 pass attempts for 272 yards and three touchdowns; and 2) Pat Freiermuth-5 catches(on 6 targets) for 43 yards and two touchdowns.
Justin Fields(QB Bears) although we’ll have to wait until week eleven to find out for sure(Bears are on bye as previously mentioned), Monday Night’s 29-27 road loss to the Steelers seemed to be a breaking out party for Fields. With the help of a defensive score, Fields led the Bears back from a 20-6 deficit late in ge third quarter to take the lead(27-26) with under two minutes to play.
On the night, Fields completed 17 of 29 pass attempts for 291 yards and one touchdown. He also added 8 rushes for 45 yards. In week eight, Fields rushed 10 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. As is often the case, it will be worth keeping an eye out to see if the Bears open the playbook even more coming off the bye. Fantasy managers should view Fields as one of the better streaming options for the rest of the season, with upside for more.
Elijah Moore(WR Jets) in a case of rookies often get better as the season progresses, Moore has now had 13 receptions( on 14 targets) for 151 yards and two touchdowns over the last two games. Moore had only had nine other catches on the season previously.
One thing that has really helped Moore was the necessary change at quarterback due to Zach Wilson’s knee injury. Prior to his injury, Wilson was only completing 57.5 percent of his passes with a yards per attempt of only 6.5. Of Moore’s first 26 targets, he had caught an abysmal nine. Mike White has been named the starter for week ten. Even on a bad Jets’ offense, Moore can be viewed as a WR3/flex moving forward.
Brandon Aiyuk( WR 49ers) it’s always a little fun, and a great deal self serving, when you can reference one of your own articles from earlier in the summer that you had written for another website. Being straightforward, I thought that this breakout would come much sooner.
At the beginning of the season, Aiyuk struggled with a hamstring injury that he had sustained during the final part of training camp. Over the last two weeks, however, he has regained solid footing. Aiyuk has ten catches(on 15 targets) for 134 yards and a touchdown. He looked exceedingly spry on Sunday, and should finish as a top 24 receiver for the rest of the season.
Nyheim Hines( RB Colts) over the last two seasons, we have seen several breakout performances from Hines. His week nine performance against the Jets was yet another example. He had 6 rushes for 74 yards and a touchdown, while adding 4 catches(on 6 targets) for 34 yards. The rushing touchdown was from 34 yards away.
The negative aspect is that Hines still only received a 45 percent snap share and ten touches, with Marlon Mack a healthy scratch. It remains to be seen if Mack wiii continue to be a healthy scratch in future weeks, but Jonathan Taylor will continue to receive the bulk of the touches. I would use Hines as a flex, at best, in most weeks.
Donovan Peoples-Jones(WR-Browns) this suggestion has to be prefaced with the fact that I love Peoples-Jones’ talent. What I don’t like is the fact that the Browns are a run first offense whose wide receivers historically see smaller target numbers.
In week nine at the Bengals, Peoples-Jones had two catches(on three targets) for 86 yards and a touchdown. He has been exceedingly efficient in his last three games, securing 11 catches(on 14 targets) for 257 yards and three touchdowns. My concern is that this is likely unsustainable, unless Peoples-Jones sees an uptick in targets. Odell Beckham had received 74 targets over his 12 healthy starts(6.16 targets per game), combining 2020 and 2021. Just like Hines, DPJ is best used as a weekly flex.