32 Fantasy Thoughts – Week 9, Nick Mullens, Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara
Well here we are in the midst of the annual NFL hates fantasy football week part 1. We had 6 teams on bye this past week; Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, NY Giants, and Philadelphia. If that wasn’t bad enough the scheduling gods gave us the Raiders v 49ers on Thursday night and the Titans v Cowboys on Monday. Gee thanks for that.
32 Fantasy Thoughts
1. Nick Mullens hey does anyone know who this guy is? Full disclosure, without google I wouldn’t have had a clue. So, it turns out he is a quarterback. Mullens the UDFA out of Southern Mississippi started the season on the practice squad and was promoted to the 53 man roster after the season-ending knee injury to Jimmy Garoppolo.
2. Mullens threw for 262 yards and 3 TD’s which was the most productive NFL debut since the merger. In the process, Mullens led the 49ers to only their 2nd win in the last two years without Garoppolo at QB. I’m guessing everyone knows who he is now!
3. The Oakland Raiders offense! What is happening here? Look I know the Raiders are not good, and I know they just traded their best WR away. But seriously they just played a team with a weak defense and managed to look like a group that flat out quit. Carr is terrible and when your favorite target is Brandon LaFell, well it’s going to be a long season.
4. From a terrible QB, we transition to a great one. Patrick Mahomes continues to pursue an MVP crown this season. He passed for a career-high 375 yards, added 3 TDs and rushed for 18 yards. He continues to be QB1 overall and leads the second highest QB by 49.64 points.
5. Kareem Hunt had a big day. Reportedly the Chiefs back purchased over 150 tickets for his former high school to come out and watch him play the Browns. Well, apparently, Hunt wanted to give them a show. Hunt ran for 91 yards and two TD’s on 17 carries and added a 50 yard TD reception as well.
6. Alvin Kamara dominated the Saints touches over Mark Ingram. Kamara had 19 carries vs. Ingram’s 9, and 4 catches to Ingram’s 1. Kamara scored twice, and Ingram fumbled. At the end in this highly entertaining game vs. the Rams, Kamara finished with 33.6 fantasy points while Ingram settled for 2.6. I am very interested to see how this plays out over the final weeks of the season.
7. Michael Thomas had a 72-yard TD to seal the win over the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams and added the throwback Joe Horn TD celebration. It was awesome. Thomas finished as the top fantasy scorer in week 9 with 39.10 points and has moved up to WR3 season to date.
8. Drew Brees was back to throwing Drew Brees in this one. It was to be expected as the Saints locked horns with the high scoring Los Angeles Rams. Week’s like this are what will keep Brees in the top 12 QB conversation. Brees recorded 31.44 fantasy points a week after posting a season-low 7.80. Brees sits as your #6 highest scoring QB and three of the top five have yet to have their bye week.
9. Christian McCaffery was the third highest scoring back in week 9 behind only Kamara and Hunt. McCaffery posted 32.7 points and has now moved up to RB 8 in the process. CMC had 17 carries for 79 yards and 2 TD as well as 5 catches for an additional 78. Look for CMC to finish strong down the stretch for the Panthers and his fantasy owners.
11. Tevin Coleman exploded in week 9 vs. the Redskins solid defense. Coleman posted 88 rushing yards and 68 receiving yards with 2 TDs (32.6 fantasy points). Coleman has been mediocre since Devonta Freeman was placed on IR. This is more like it for his fantasy owners.
11. I was pretty vocal on how much I did not like Matt Ryan in week 9 vs Washington. Ryan has struggled outside away from Atlanta this year, so I had my reasons. Matt Ryan doesn’t care what I think. Ryan posted 26/38 350 yards and a 4 TD and was the 3 QB in week 9 and sits #2 overall thru 9 weeks.
12. A new era began in Cleveland this past week after the terminations of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. The Browns promoted RB coach Freddie Kitchens to Offensive Coordinator and the RB’s benefited. Most notably Duke Johnson. Duke was a RB1 last year and for some reason wasn’t getting touches under the Haley led offense. If one week under Kitchen’s is any indication Duke is going to be a force to be reckoned with the remainder of the season.
13. If I told you that Tampa Bay was going to have 4 passing touchdowns and one WR was going to have an 8/82/2 receiving line, you would likely have guessed it was Mike Evans, maybe DeSean Jackson, or even Chris Godwin. Well that WR was none other than Adam Humphries. Evans somehow came out of this with only 1 catch on 10 targets for 16 yards.
14. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Jameis Winston once again in the Bucs offense. He started off terribly and once again brought the Bucs back only to fall apart in the end and lose the games. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a good quarterback but man he’s awesome for fantasy. Fitzmagic is averaging 25.17 points per game this season and that includes the first half in Chicago where he scored 4.04. Back that one out and his average is 29.40.
15. Kirk Cousins had his worst fantasy day of the season in week 9. His performance vs the Lions was a dud. The running game came alive in this one as did the defense. If I am the Cousins owner, I will start to worry a little bit. This is the Vikings team I had envisioned in the offseason. Cousins won’t be this bad going forward but he likely won’t be a must-start QB each week.
17. Adam Thielen entered this week with 8 straight 100+ yard receiving games. Playing without Stefon Diggs by his side all but ensured he would be the Vikings #1 target. As it turned out, Thielen appeared to be battling thru a sore calf and the Vikings went run heavy vs. Detroit. Thielen remains the #1 overall WR in fantasy this season, but he had to settle for a 4/22/1 receiving line.
18. James Conner rushed for 107 yards and scored his first career receiving TD in the week 9 win over Baltimore. Conner has the most TD from scrimmage by any Steelers in the teams first 8 games of a season and has more yards than Le’Veon Bell did at this point last season.
19. Le’Veon Bell remains a no-show and he must report to the Steelers by Tuesday, November 13th at 4pm EST to be eligible to play in 2018.
20. Adrian Peterson had a great matchup this past week, I had him in many DFS lineups as I felt he would have a game like his week 8 performance vs the Giants. Well, the opposite happened. The Redskin’s offensive line was decimated by injury and AP ended his day with 9 carries for 17 yards and 3 catches for an additional 16. Not what I was looking for and certainly not what his owners were seeking. Be careful with AP the remainder of the season as that O line is a mess.
21. The Buffalo Bills are a bad football team, this is not news. When the Bills made the move to Josh Allen earlier this season, it gave Bills fans remote optimism for the future. Well, Allen got hurt and the Bills signed Derek Anderson off the street. After Anderson was hurt late in week 8 the Bills were forced to start none other than Nathan Peterman. Peterman finished 31/49 no TDs and 3 INT. How bad is this QB? After his week 9 effort throwing 3 picks and no TD’s his QB rating improved from 20.8 to 30.7
22. Almost every week Aaron Rodgers plays, he finds himself in this article with the description of best QB on the planet. After watching the Sunday night matchup vs New England, I am convinced now more than ever. Nobody makes more out of nothing than Rodgers. Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s offense is terrible and predictable. McCarthy continues to waste the prime years of his Hall of fame QB.
23. Aaron Jones out-touched Jamaal Williams 14-7. Jones finished 14/76 (5.4 YPC) and looked great in the process until a costly fumble that tourney the tide of the game. Ty Montgomery was traded to Baltimore at the deadline and it looks like this backfield is becoming Jones’. I certainly hope the fumble doesn’t change that.
24. James White left the game on Sunday night for a few series, and at first, it looked like it could be serious. White is the single biggest piece of the Patriots offense in my opinion and if he is lost for any significant time they will suffer. Thankfully White returned and he finished with 102 total yards and a TD. Thru 9 weeks, White is RB6 averaging 21.9 points/game.
25. Adam Gase continues to frustrate. In the Dolphins lackluster 13-6 win over the Jets, the Dolphins RBs carried the ball 24 times. For some unknown reason, Frank Gore received 20 of them. Kenyan Drake had 3 and rookie Kalen Ballage chipped in with 1. The running game as a whole was pathetic as Gore had 2.7 YPC, Drake 3 YPC, and Ballage took his lone carry -2 yards. What possesses a coach to force feed a 35-year-old running back in a game where he cannot reach 3 yards per carry. As a fantasy owner, I hope that Miami falls off a cliff and we see Adam Gase shown the door at the season’s end.
26. Keenan Allen posted 100 fantasy points in weeks 1-8 last season and sat at WR13. Thru the first 8 weeks of 2018, Allen posted the same 100 points but sits at WR26. What makes Allen interesting to me is his small buy low window. Last season he took off in week 9-17 finishing that time frame as WR1 with 183.4 points. Based on his week 8 effort I believe he’s about to finish strong once again.
27. The Seahawks used the three-headed monster of Chris Carson/Mike Davis/ Rashaad Penny on the ground in their loss to the Chargers this past week. Carson re-injured his hip and could be lost for a while. Mike Davis will be the lead back but it’s very possible we will get a decent look at rookie Rashaad Penny. We might even see why Seattle used the draft capital they did on him.
28. Dion Lewis finished last season as RB5 from week’s 9-17 last season and there were high hopes for Lewis in the Titans offense. Tennessee got off to a terrible start and Lewis did as well. Lewis appears to be heating up and in his last two contests, he has averaged 21.85 points per game. Hopefully, this is a trend that he continues the remainder of the season.
29. Marcus Mariota shed the glove on his throwing hand this week and has gotten the feeling back in his fingers. I’m no doctor but feeling in the fingers on your throwing hand has to be a good thing. Mariota led the Titan to 28 points against a defense that entered the week as the only team in the league not to allow more than 25 in a game this season. He finished 21/29 for 240 with 2 TD. He added 10 carries 32 yards and an additional score. This was the Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense I was excited about all offseason.
30. Amari Cooper made his Cowboys debut and, in the process, turned 8 targets into 5 catches for 58 yards and a TD. Cooper looked good in this one, unfortunately, he still has a questionable QB throwing him the football. Dak isn’t good and he’s terribly inaccurate. Cooper may continue to struggle in Dallas but if he does, it’s not on him.
31. Dallas is a mess. The offense is predictable and quite frankly boring. Unless the Cowboys increase the sense of urgency and become more aggressive, I don’t want any part of this team. The lone exception would be Ezekiel Elliot.
32. There are four teams on bye in week 10; Baltimore, Denver, Houston, and Minnesota. For those keeping score at home, 2 top 12 QB’s, (Deshaun Watson and Kirk Cousins),1 top 12 RB (Phillip Lindsay), 3 top 12 WR (Thielen, Deandre Hopkins, and Emmanuel Sanders), and 1 top 12 TE (Kyle Rudolph) will be unavailable to you this week.