By now if you’ve been following you know the drill, and if you’re new to the post I’m guessing you’ll get a sense of what we’re trying to do in this post pretty quickly. Here go our Week 9 NFL Takeaways; twitter style.
In short… quick hits of subjects of interest that you may have missed from the weekend that was. You won’t necessarily see headlines or big statistical outputs that are likely covered elsewhere… just some moments of intrigue from the weekend that was. I’m big into numbers, particularly snap counts and relative target share, but you won’t see an overwhelming amount of that here as there is lots of time to collect that data through the week. You’re just getting some unfiltered thoughts to help you guide your lineups for the week ahead.
Gimme all your Mullens. All your hugs and Kisses Too.
I assure you this is intended in entirely self deprecating fashion… no hindsight brags here, but I had the pleasure of starting Nick Mullens on Thursday Night in a QB premium, deep, dynasty league with Carson Wentz on a bye. It was a desperation play brought on by poor roster management, but by now you know it turned out pretty well for me.
A lot of gamers are willing to write Mullens’ outing off as a one time fluke produced by facing the woeful Raiders who evidently have quit on coach Jon Gruden. And, to a certain extent I think that was the case. But before you totally overlook the upstart third stringer for Week 10, bear in mind that he was an accomplished passer at Brett Favre U. He’s also had 10 days to prepare as the starter against an average Giants D who despite coming off the bye have given up a few key parts on defense and don’t have a heck of a lot to play for, either. I see a path to 200+ yards and multiple scores again this week, and in a lot of leagues you could do worse for a bye week replacement.
Again, just because you didn’t know who he was doesn’t mean he came out of nowhere:
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 2, 2018
If he is indeed successful, it should be noted that veteran WR Pierre Garcon who has been overlooked for much of this season, led the team with five targets.
RBs cookin’ with Freddie Kitchens
Make what you want of the pun-streak I feel like I’m on here, but don’t let the groan cause you to ignore Cleveland’s RB usage this week.
In a game that they trailed from the get-go with an uber-aggressive (i.e. go for every fourth down and for two after each TD) mindset the running back position was heavily involved for Cleveland this week and in the general sense the offense looked good.
Nick Chubb wound up with 22 carries against Kansas City which portends well for his usage as a game-script independent high-volume RB in the post-Hyde&Hue Browns offense, but that wasn’t even the story of the day at the position.
Duke Johnson receptions by week:
Week 1: 1
Week 2: 2
Week 3: 2
Week 4: 4
Week 5: 1
Week 6: 4
Week 7: 4
Week 8: 2
Week 9 in the first half: 6 pic.twitter.com/GyvQFp9Qfk
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 4, 2018
I think the Browns are capable of turning the corner at some point in 2018 or 19… perhaps they’re just a coach away… but you’ve got to assume that they’ll be trailing regularly. And, that will provide plenty of opportunity to integrate the receiving back into the offense. Johnson had just one carry, but picked up nine targets (catching all of them) for 78 yards, leading the team in all receiving categories. The Browns draw the Falcons next week – a team that has been highly susceptible to exploitation by receiving RBs so far this year.
In other receiving RB news, Theo Riddick finally found himself heavily featured for Detroit. It’s not like the team will be proud of their offensive output, so I’d wait another week to ensure it continues, but Theo Riddick picked up seven catches on eight targets in the fist game since Golden Tate’s departure.
The correct answer was Theo Riddick https://t.co/bSub2rbWJi
— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) November 4, 2018
Adrian Peterson – Off Week or Line Woes
After much of the hype leading up to the game focused on how the ageless wonder Adrian Peterson was defying expectations this year, he threw up a dud in a soft matchup – 9 carries for 17 yards. In fairness, there weren’t a lot of holes for the 33 year old RB to run through.
Unfortunately for his fantasy investors, that might be the new norm. Washington saw three more injuries along the offensive line this week and may find themselves without both starting guards the rest of the way. I don’t want to over react to one poor outing, but Alex Smith hasn’t been throwing deep regularly enough to keep defenses honest in the box and it looks like there are going to be serious impediments to both run and pass blocking the rest of the way. If there is a seller for Peterson (and admittedly, this isn’t the week to make the move) I’d certainly explore it.
— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) November 5, 2018
In other season-ending injury news for Washington, Paul Richardson is out. I don’t know an awful lot about Maurice Harris, but he had 12 targets this week and made good on them. With Richardson out (Crowder comes back, eventually) he should get some opportunities moving forward and is worth a look in deeper leagues.
— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) November 5, 2018
Adam Humphries keeps rolling
Last week in this space I suggested that Chris Godwin would be the fringe WR to roll with in a Fitzpatrick led offense in Tampa Bay. It turns out I was wrong, for this week at least. Frankly, I’m not comfortable rolling either Godwin or Adam Humphries despitre the strong passing game numbers in Tampa Bay, but certainly Godwin’s three targets paled in comparison to Adam Humphries’ 10 this week. That makes 19 over the last two games.
Adam Humphries (over 95% available) had 9 targets in Week 7, 10 in Week 8 and scored his first two TD’s of the season today.
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) November 4, 2018
Greg Olsen stays hot
Greg Olsen managed to find the endzone on limited use in his first week back. He was more heavily involved in the offense in his second, and now looks to be fully back to featured-pass-catcher status.
He caught all six of his targets in Week 9, including an impressive TD grab:
This catch was 🔥🔥🔥
— NFL (@NFL) November 4, 2018
Olsen appears to be fully healthy, and in a very thin fantasy TE group he’s picked up right where he left off as one of the position’s most stable options. Most important, he was on the field virtually every snap:
Greg Olsen with a TD in 3 straight games now, playing over 98% of the snaps
— Tyler Loechner (@LoechnerNFL) November 4, 2018
His six targets this week tied Christian McCaffery for the team lead. Norv Turner is getting a lot of credit for the creativity of the offense in recent weeks, and that is deserved, but they still need a traditional chain mover / red zone option and Olsen is that and more for Cam Newton. With that in mind, at a position with high variability he is a consistent option and that’s about all that the non-Kelce/Ertz owners can ask for at the position.
James Conner has reached matchup proof status
James Conner’s 112 first half yards (with a TD) might be the fantasy shock of the day for me. Nothing appealing about the matchup. 9 carries for 19 yards last time out against the Ravens. Young man is ballin’.
— Jon Collins (@joncollinsFSLR) November 4, 2018
All told, Conner finished with 24 carries for 107 yards, adding seven receptions on nine targets. Le’Veon Bell may change that, perhaps by the time you read this, but I wouldn’t expect him to log significant snaps for at least a few weeks. Right now, Conner owners just have to let him drive them to the playoffs and accept a time share if Bell does indeed report when the playoffs come. If anything, I’d project a heavy dose of Conner to continue in the regular season with hopes that their franchise tagged back is fresh enough to contribute in the preseason. Conner is playing well enough that he can still help you win your matchups on 18 touches.
More opportunities coming for Jeff Heuerman
Courtland Sutton saw five looks and Emmanuel Sanders nine in the first game that Denver played without Demaryius Thomas. Meantime, it was Jeff Heuerman who seemed to be the biggest beneficiary of freed up opportunities in the passing game.
Heuerman szn is on.
— Tim Thompson (@fantasyf00tball) November 4, 2018
The third-year TE was used all over the field and finished with 11 targets, including a redzone TD. He won’t see 11 every week, to be sure, but with one fewer option in the receiving game it does stand to reason that Case Keenum could look his way more often. Again, there are some ugly options at TE right now, and he might be worth a look in depeer leagues. He’s now had 28 targets over his last four games.
Don’t quit on David Moore
The standout second year receiver was quiet for Seattle this week, but those who picked him off up the waiver wire over the last week or so shouldn’t give up yet. He caught just two balls, but led Seahawks receivers in targets with seven (TE Nick Vannett and RB Mike Davis each had eight, on 39 passes by Russell Wilson) and nearly found the endzone on the last play of the game. In fact, he nearly scored twice:
Two end-zone misses for David Moore today.
— scott pianowski (@scott_pianowski) November 5, 2018
Close only counts in horseshoes and blah, blah, blah but we play in a game of opportunity and it seems that Wilson remains confident in his young receiver. The Seahawks play the Rams in Week 10 in a game that is shaping up as yet another shootout, and he should have plenty of opportunities yet again. Most daily gamers will be able to see that coming, but I’m quite willing to double down on Moore against a Rams squad that is giving up the 12th most points to the position on the season and has seen Marcus Peters in particular burned deep in recent weeks.