NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Stock Watch (Part 1)

Week 9 is in the books, and Colin’s Review has got answers to all of your fantasy football-related questions. Which players are trending up? What skill groups are trending down? Is Garrett Gilbert the greatest quarterback of all time? Read about the fantasy impact from all of Sunday’s 1 o’clock games, and don’t forget to check out the Thursday Night Report for more in-depth analysis about the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers.

Jump to a matchup below:

Falcons vs. Broncos | Bills vs. Seahawks | Colts vs. Ravens

Texans vs. Jags | Titans vs. Bears | Chiefs vs. Panthers

Giants @ Football Team | Vikings vs. Lions

Click here for Part 2

Atlanta Falcons 34 vs. Denver Broncos 27

Don’t look now, but ever since the Atlanta Falcons fired Dan Quinn, they’ve won three out of their last four games. Even more surprising is the fact that they are playing much better on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons defense hasn’t allowed a running back to top 70-yards in four games. But that’s probably because it’s still so easy to throw on them.

For the Denver Broncos, Jerry Jeudy had a breakout game, finishing with a 7/125/1 stat line on a whopping 14 targets. Even though it mostly came in garbage time, the talented rookie has established himself as the team’s top pass-catcher moving forward. Last week, Jeudy turned four catches into 73 yards, so it’s no surprise that he broke out against the soft Atlanta secondary. However, Jeudy’s still only catching less than 50% of the balls thrown his way. His connection with Drew Lock is still underwhelming, despite the massive volume being thrown his way.

Other beneficiaries of the Falcons pass defense were Tim Patrick (12.9 PPR points) and KJ Hamler (15 PPR points). Patrick is quietly having a strong rookie season, and has actually been more consistent this year than Jeudy. Meanwhile, Noah Fant hasn’t found the endzone since injuring his ankle a month ago. He’s still the most talented pass-catcher on this team, but Lock’s recent propensity to sling the ball has resulted in better production from the wide receivers.

Broncos running backs continue to be a problem. The underrated Falcons run defense held Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay to next to nothing. That’s two duds in a row for Gordon, who is nothing more than a risky FLEX play at this point. Lindsay is seeing just as many opportunities, and has actually been the more efficient runner this season. Denver’s leading rusher on the day was Lock, who now has two rushing scores in his last three games. Because Denver is consistently playing from behind, the second-year dancing QB is emerging as a strong streaming candidate, especially with games coming up against the Raiders and Dolphins.

For the Falcons, Calvin Ridley missed his first game of the season, though he’s been operating at less than 100% for a few weeks now. Matt Ryan, who is Top 5 in the NFL in passing yards, doesn’t necessarily need Ridley to succeed, although it’s hard to predict which receiver steps up in his absence. If Ridley is forced to miss any more time, that means good things for Hayden Hurst and Olamide Zaccheus, though I wouldn’t be too optimistic about Zaccheus. Remember Russell Gage? Me neither. The Top Dawg on the Falcons is still Julio Jones, as he (and the run defense) has benefitted the most from Quinn’s firing.

Stock Watch
  • Calvin Ridley 📈
  • Broncos WRS 📈
  • Drew Lock 📈
  • Broncos RBs 📉📉

Buffalo Bills 44 vs. Seattle Seahawks 34

Did anyone see this coming? I wagered 40 bones on the Seahawks -3, but as we saw this week in Dallas, always beware of the road underdogs. Especially if that team’s only home loss came against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Seattle defense is simply not good enough for this team to make a deep playoff run. Russell Wilson literally has to be perfect for the Seahawks to win. If he struggles only slightly, as he did here, then you can forget about it.

Wilson turned the ball over four times, but was still able to turn in 22 fantasy points. That’s because he got his first rushing TD in over a year. Other than that, Wilson admittedly played turrible. DK Metcalf remains unguardable, probably the best WR not named Davante right now, but the rest of the Seahawks pass-catchers were a mixed bag. With Tre White shadowing Metcalf, the stage was set for another Tyler Lockett explosion. However, he was held under 45-yards for the fourth time in five weeks. If you take away Lockett’s two games against Dallas and Arizona, he’s putting up a stat line similar to Michael Gallup. That’s not ideal, and although you can’t necessarily bench Lockett, he’s best suited as a boom-or-bust DFS play.

Meanwhile, David Moore has quietly been more consistent than Lockett. He now has four touchdowns on the season, yet he isn’t really worth a roster spot. Moore is always a threat for a big play, as evidenced by his 55-yard TD on Sunday, but he’s too hard to predict.

With their defensive woes seemingly unfixable, the biggest concern for Seattle right now is to get healthy at running back. Even though rookie DeeJay Dallas scored for the second game in a row, this team clearly missed the power-run game that Chris Carson provides. Wilson threw another goal-line interception, and you have to wonder if Carson’s return will help levy those costly turnovers. Nevertheless, you also have to wonder if DeeJay Dallas has earned more playing time. Hang on to Dallas in case Carson misses more time (knowing him, he probably will), and keep an eye on the status of Rashaad Penny moving forward.

Perhaps the only ones who saw this result coming were the Buffalo Bills themselves. After a four-week stretch in which Josh Allen reverted back to his rookie self, he finally caught fire for his third 30+ point performance of the season (and his fifth game over 25 pts). The return of John Brown certainly helped (eight catches for 99 yards), but the biggest reason for the bounce-back was probably Seattle’s swiss cheese defense. Stefon Diggs once again returned immense draft day value (9 catches for 118 yards), while the likes of Gabriel Davis, Isiah Mckenzie and Tyler Kroft all found the endzone. The only disappointment was Cole Beasley. After being a high-upside-WR4 with a stable floor through the first seven games of the season, he’s now busted two weeks in a row. It’s probably best to keep him out of lineups now that he’s been lost in the shuffle.

The biggest fantasy sleeper to emerge from this game was Bills rookie running back Zack Moss. Even though he only averaged 2 yards-per-carry, Moss has established himself as the better player than Devin Singletary, and he is also receiving valuable work at the goal line. He’s a TD-dependent FLEX option, though his role in the offense seems to be increasing by the week.

Stock Watch
  • Russell Wilson’s MVP campaign 📉
  • Cole Beasley 📉
  • Home underdogs against the spread 📈
  • Zack Moss 📈
  • Teams facing the Seattle defense 🔥🔥

Colts quarterback Philip Rivers had a rough day against the Ravens D/ST

Baltimore Ravens 24 @ Indianapolis Colts 10

Who said home underdogs against the spread were trending up? Couldn’t be me. In my defense, the Colts were only 1-point favorites against a Ravens squad that’s only lost four regular season games in two years. No one should have bet against Harbaugh and co. yesterday.

Baltimore’s only first-half touchdown was a 65-yard fumble return by Chuck Clark. Philip Rivers was soooo close to making the TD-saving tackle, but we all knew that the veteran QB was going to struggle against the Ravens D/ST. He threw one interception and was held without a touchdown.

Lamar Jackson provided some good rushing stats in the second half, but his ability to lead the offense remains anemic. He was held under 20 fantasy points for the second straight game. Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown once again led the team in targets, but when Jackson is only throwing 23 times a game, it’s hard to put much truss either of them. Hold out hope that the Jackson/Andrews combo regains its early-season form, but watch in horror as Nick Boyle slowly becomes a thing. The backup tight-end led the team with 46 receiving yards.

With Big Truss Mark Ingram missing his second-straight game, the Baltimore backfield remains as confounding as ever. Talented rookie J.K. Dobbins broke out for 113 rushing yards against Pittsburgh last week, but he still split time with Gus Edwards against Indianapolis. Even though Dobbins is clearly the most talented RB on the roster, Edwards now has a touchdown in three straight games. He isn’t going away any time soon. Edwards is the absolute worst type of fantasy player: you can never start him, but you also can’t start others because of him.

Meanwhile, the Colts backfield is even more confusing than Baltimore’s. Rookie RB Jonathan Taylor has ceded his carries each week to Jordan Wilkins, who is starting to emerge as the Frank Reich’s preferred choice. Taylor desperately needed a “prove it” game, and after a first-quarter TD, it looked like he was well on his way to doing it. Unfortunately, a second-quarter fumble relegated Taylor to the bench, and one thing is starting to become clear: JT isn’t very good at football.

Nevertheless, he’s still the best bet to score meaningful fantasy points out of this offense. Nyheim Hines fell flat on his face after scoring two touchdowns last week, and the pass-catching corps of Michael Pittman, Jr., Zach Pascal and Mo Alie-Cox are below-average at best. Even if Rivers can improve his play, the fantasy outlooks for this entire team seems to be trending downwards.

Stock Watch
  • Ravens D/ST 📈
  • J.K Dobbins 📉, Gus Edwards 🙃
  • Jonathan Taylor 📉, Jordan Wilkins 🙃

Houston Texans 27 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 25

After benching Gardnew Minshew for the second time in two years, the Jacksonville Jaguars handed the keys to sixth-round rookie Jake Luton…who is exactly like Gardner Minshew. It’s clear that the Jags are tanking, and so they’ve perfected a style of offense that is perpetually playing in garbage time. That’s good news for James Robinson and D.J. Chark, who both put up huge numbers in the comeback effort. Robinson has been one of the most consistent running backs in fantasy this year, and that isn’t expected to change next week against Green Bay. On the other hand, Chark has been a disappointment over the last month, so it’s great to see his elevated play coincide with a quarterback change. If Luton is going to be throwing 12 targets his way every week, start Chark with confidence. But I still might be inclined to take a wait-and-see approach. If Keelan Cole, Laviska Shenault and Chris Conley creep back into the mix, Chark loses tremendous value.

The Houston Texans have been forced to play a shootout style similar to the Jaguars this season. Deshaun Watson has been a tremendous QB1 over the last month, and he seems to actually be getting better. With David Johnson leaving the game early in the first half with a concussion, Watson threw touchdown passes to Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks to build a double-digit lead and preserve the win.

As long as Fuller remains healthy, he is a must-start every week; and as long as Watson continues to play at a high level, Cooks deserves FLEX consideration. If David Johnson is forced to miss any time, Duke Johnson will likely be able to put up the same types of numbers as his ineffective cohort — somewhere between 6 to 12 standard points.

Stock Watch
  • Texans offense 📈
  • DJ Chark 📈
  • Duke Johnson 📈
  • Jags WRs not named “DJ Chark”: 📉🤞

Tennessee Titans 24 vs. Chicago Bears 17

The Bears defense is very good — Derrick Henry was held in check for only 68 yards, and Ryan Tannehill was like 5/15 at one point. The Titans defense is very bad—they are one of the worst 3rd-down units in NFL history. So when Nick Foles throws 52 times, that’s good game-planning right?

It doesn’t matter how bad your defense is — the Bears offense is worse. The players struggle for every yard, and head coach Matt Nagy designs the worst schemes in the league. David Montgomery deserves starting consideration every week because of his heavy workload, but how many times can he keep turning 17 touches into 2.2 fantasy points before we start giving up on him?

The pass-catchers remain mostly consistent week to week. Allen Robinson is a WR2 with a safe floor, while guys like Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller are touchdown-dependent. Veteran tight end Jimmy Graham, who found the end zone in this game, has at least five catches in three of his last four games. You could do a lot worse if you’re desperate at TE, but the bust potential is very real.

For the better part of this game, the Titans offense mimicked the Bears. Tannehill struggled for the third straight week, and it has now started to impact Henry’s play. The Titans next three games are Colts-Ravens-Colts, which means that they could remain in this funk for a little bit. I think they’re too talented to stay down for long, which is why all Titans — including AJ Brown and Jonnu Smith — are still starters moving forward.

Stock Watch
  • Jimmy Graham 📈
  • Ryan Tannehill 📉

Patrick Mahomes is the clear MVP midway through the season

Kansas City Chiefs 33 vs. Carolina Panthers 31

In Christian McCaffrey’s long-awaited return, he wasted no time in putting up insane fantasy numbers — two touchdowns, 10 catches and over 100 yards, good for 37.1 PPR points. But at what cost? Unfortunately, the star running back is now considered day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and is looking doubtful for next week’s game against Tampa Bay. We’ll await the MRI results on Tuesday.

Of course, this means that Mike Davis once again becomes an RB2, so I hope you held onto him. In a year full of bad things, it’s a damn shame that injuries have had such a huge impact on fantasy football.

The rest of the Panthers offense pulled out all the stops against the Chiefs—Teddy Bridgewater has established himself as a viable streamer (28 fantasy points), Curtis Samuel is worth a waiver pick-up (26.8 PPR points) and Joey Slye will definitely break the record for longest field goal at some point (his 67-yarder to win the game had the distance but was wide right). Unfortunately, both DJ Moore and Robby Anderson have had two disappointing weeks in a row. They should bounce back at some point, especially if McCaffrey misses time, though I’m not confident starting either one of them.

As for the Kansas City Chiefs? Their offense remains unstoppable. Patrick Mahomes is GOATing right now, while Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are quietly putting up insane numbers. The only question marks from a fantasy perspective are at running back: Clyde Edwards-Helaire has seen his workload decrease every week, though he did save his stat line with a receiving TD, and Le’Veon Bell a complete non-factor. In my opinion, CEH is still worth a start, while Bell shouldn’t even be rostered.

Stock Watch
  • Christian McCaffrey 📉😢
  • Mike Davis 📈
  • Teddy Bridgewater 📈

New York Giants 23 @ Washington Football Team 20

With their second win over the Washington Football Team, the New York Giants are officially back in the playoff race. They play Philly next week in a battle for first. What a time to be alive.

The New York Giants stink. Daniel Jones didn’t turn the ball over for the first time all year, but he still only scored 12.8 fantasy points. Dammit Dimes. This of course meant bad news for Darius Slayton, although Evan Engram was still able to put up a solid outing. This is how the G-men have been all year, so don’t expect them to change anytime soon. It’ll be a dart throw every week.

On the other hand, Wayne Gallman has quietly scored a TD in three straight games. Even if Devonta Freeman comes back, I like Wayne’s World for the rest of the season. Party on.

The Football Team remains in the playoff race, but Alex Smith has now thrown his hat into the ring. After Kyle Allen broke his foot in the first half, Smith stepped in and performed…as expected for someone who couldn’t even walk two years ago. How does this impact Washington’s fantasy value?

For one thing, it’s great for J.D. McKissic. He struggled on the ground, but caught nine balls for 65 receiving yards. Expect Smith to look his way early and often. That’s bad news for Antonio Gibson, a very talented runner that is sometimes hampered by negative game script. When the Football Team is forced to play from behind, Gibson loses value.

For the likes of Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims, Smith can only be good. He’s the most accurate passer on the roster, even though he doesn’t often sling it deep. Despite the loss, the ex-Redksins might just fuck around and win this division.

Stock Watch
  • Wayne Gallman 📈
  • J.D. McKissic 📈
  • Terry McLaurin 📈
  • Antonio Gibson 📉

Minnesota Vikings 34 vs. Detroit Lions 20

Dalvin Cook is unquestionably the best running back in the league right now. After another 200-yard, 2 TD performance, he’s probably the midseason fantasy MVP. If you see him on your opponent’s roster, break out the booze because it’s going to be a long weekend.

How does the Dalvin Cook supernova affect the rest of the Vikings offense? Tight end Irv Smith, Jr. caught two touchdown passes, while Kirk Cousins had one of his most efficient games of the season. When the Vikings hand the ball to Cook all game, they usually win, but it also means Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen should be slightly downgraded.

Meanwhile, this game was a huge disappointment for the Detroit Lions. Fresh off a bye and trying to get to .500, Matthew Stafford played terrible against a defense he should’ve dominated. He greatly misses Kenny Golloday, and he won’t be effective until his star WR returns. For the likes of TJ Hockenson, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola, their fantasy success hinges on Golloday remaining out.

Stock Watch
  • Dalvin Cook 🔥🔥🔥
  • Irv Smith Jr. 📈
  • TJ Hockenson 📈
  • Vikings WRs 📉

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