Photo: Douglas DeFelice, USA Today Sports
GB @ SF
- Aaron Jones looked like his typical self even though he was only in because of a depth chart emergency at running back due to covid, and he should be fine for the stretch run.
- Robert Tonyan Jr showed his very low weekly floor with Davante Adams back, and it will get lower when Allen Lazard returns, which will probably be this week.
- Richie James was basically the only viable option in the 49ers receivers corps and he more than rose to the occasion. He’s not a great waiver pickup because the 49ers are getting Brandon Aiyuk back and maybe Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne, but keep James on your deep dynasty radar.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling did enough to make us consider him as a desperation play even after Allen Lazard returns. Remember they both had good games in Week 1 vs. Minnesota.
- With only Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty healthy, the 49ers still chose to lean on McKinnon, so it appears Hasty’s window of value isn’t going to open up before Raheem Mostert returns.
HOU @ JAX
- Jake Luton brought back the deep pass in this offense right away, hitting DJ Chark for a 73 yard score in the opening drive of the game. Chark also had 6-73 after that and should be an everyweek play going forward.
- David Johnson left with a concussion and Duke Johnson Jr replaced him the rest of the way. Duke will be a viable RB2 play if David can’t go in Week 10, but the team could also call up Scottie Phillips to split the workload.
- Laviska Shenault Jr left with a hamstring injury and might not play in Week 10. If he’s out, Chris Conley - not Keelan Cole - was Luton’s favored target after Chark.
- Deshaun Watson split the targets at tight end between Darren Fells and Jordan Akins, which means we might not have a reliable tight end play from this offense going forward.
- Jacksonville’s pass defense is bad and gave up two easy long touchdowns to Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller V. Err on the side of playing wide receivers and quarterbacks against them.
NYG @ WAS
- Darius Slayton is on milk cartons as Austin Mack actually provided the punch in the deep passing game with Golden Tate on the outs with the team. We’ll have to wait for Slayton to go off on our bench before trusting him again.
- Evan Engram caught a touchdown on a skillful play and has been a solid PPR TE1 for three straight weeks, so we can trust him going into the matchup with the Eagles.
- Kyle Allen went out with a serious leg injury. Alex Smith was very productive with Allen out and looked a lot better than he did the first time he was on the field this year. We don’t have to worry about Terry McLaurin’s value with Smith. J.D. McKissic looks like a solid PPR RB2 as long as Smith is out there.
- Wayne Gallman scored for the third straight week. He’ll be a fine emergency RB2 this week if Devonta Freeman doesn’t return. If Freeman does return, we’ll watch to see if the Giants turn this into a committee after Gallman ran at least as well as Freeman during Freeman’s absence.
- Logan Thomas’ two game scoring streak did not get to three, but he did get four targets from Smith and three were good for catches, so he is still rosterable with Smith.
BAL @ IND
- Jonathan Taylor was running better and then fumbled (which was returned for a score in part thanks to a horrible tackle attempt by Philip Rivers) and barely saw the field for the rest of the game. The Colts backfield remains almost impossible to predict heading into a matchup with the Titans on Thursday.
- Lamar Jackson righted the ship as a passer even though his fantasy numbers weren’t big in the matchup with this tough defense. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews didn’t get right for fantasy, but with Jackson finding his game, they’ll come around soon enough and be ready to take advantage of a great Week 13-16 schedule (DAL CLE JAX NYG).
- Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins couldn’t overcome a stout and active Colts run defense after eviscerating the usually impenetrable Steelers run defense in Week 8. Mark Ingram II could be back this week to make this backfield useless for us again, outside of desperation plays.
- The Colts passing game has no reliable options, although Jack Doyle went out with a concussion, so Mo Alie-Cox and Trey Burton could be desperation tight end plays for Week 10.
DET @ MIN
- Dalvin Cook is a god and the Lions defense is playing the matador approach right now.
- Matthew Stafford went out with a concussion, but he was shaky before the departure with two interceptions, including one in the end zone. The Lions wide receiver group doesn’t have any reliable plays with Kenny Golladay out anyway, but Stafford being out and Chase Daniel being in for Week 10 would make it even worse.
- As long as Dalvin Cook is balling, the Vikings passing game will remain low volume. Irv Smith got two scores to come through, but a strong Vikings running game and viable defense will mean a lot more risk comes with playing Adam Thielen or Justin Jefferson. We’ll watch how this plays out Monday night at Chicago.
- TJ Hockenson continues to be one of only 3-4 reliable weekly plays at tight end.
- D’Andre Swift had his biggest share of touches this year, but the Lions are going to hold down his value as long as they are sleepwalking through games.
CHI @ TEN
- David Montgomery left with a concussion, not that he was effective before the injury. Ryan Nall scored after replacing Montgomery and will be a Week 10 desperation play if Montgomery isn’t cleared to play.
- Ryan Tannehill didn’t have to do much because the Bears offense is abysmal and the Titans also scored a defensive touchdown off of a Montgomery fumble. Corey Davis was the casualty as Tannehill only completed 10 passes. AJ Brown was fine because of a long score and he looks awesome right now.
- Nick Foles is bad. All of his significant production came in garbage time. Minnesota is up this week so stick with Allen Robinson, but Darnell Mooney remains a mere desperation play.
- Jimmy Graham has actually been a top six tight end this year and should be a solid TE1 with the Bears likely relying on the pass more going forward.
- Jonnu Smith scored, but feel lucky if you started him. He’s a boom/bust play against the Colts with a small boom.
CAR @ KC
- Christian McCaffrey left with a shoulder injury that will sideline for at least this week and possibly longer. Mike Davis goes back to being an everyweek play, although the stone wall Bucs run defense is up this week.
- It’s officially time to worry about DJ Moore as Curtis Samuel became a huge part of the passing game against the Chiefs and for good reason. Until we see Moore have a better game than Samuel, we should value Samuel higher, although all three could have good games this week.
- The Chiefs just haven’t been interested in running the ball lately. At least Clyde Edwards-Helaire got a short score to bail out anyone who played him, but the ceiling and floor are both low for him and it has nothing to do with Le’Veon Bell, who is barely getting on the field.
- Teddy Bridgewater played a gutsy game and almost pulled out a win in Kansas City. He has been a rollercoaster ride for fantasy, but should get a lot of attempts against the Bucs defense this week.
- The Chiefs passing game mainly went through Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Sammy Watkins should be back after the bye, so Mecole Hardman’s outlook is getting dimmer.
SEA @ BUF
- Josh Allen returned to September form and was nearly flawless against the Seahawks “defense”. He should stay hot against the Cardinals.
- John Brown’s return seemed to be a key to Allen’s resurgence, and Brown has WR3/Flex value heading into the matchup with Arizona.
- Jacob Hollister led the Seahawks tight ends in catches and targets and could be coming on in the second half of the year as a startable fantasy tight end.
- Gabriel Davis outproduced Cole Beasley and the refs missed a call or he would have had two scores. As long as Allen is flourishing, Davis is probably the better play of the two as a bigger part of the downfield attack.
- Deejay Dallas moved back into a committee with Travis Homer healthier coming into Week 9. Chris Carson and/or Carlos Hyde could return this week to formally extinguish Dallas’s temporary value.
- David Moore had an easy long score to keep him in the desperation play/injury upside rosterable value zone.
- The Bills defense forced four turnovers from Russell Wilson and without them, they might not have won despite scoring 44 points.
DEN @ ATL
- Jerry Jeudy was a much bigger part of the Broncos simplified offense and might be a safe play going forward.
- Albert Okwuegbunam left with a torn ACL, making Noah Fant a safer play going forward even though he isn’t 100% as he plays through an ankle injury.
- Drew Lock was terrible until the game was almost lost for the second straight week. Garbage time points count the same but they are hard to rely on. He’s a sell high.
- Calvin Ridley couldn’t play because of a foot injury, so Olamide Zaccheaus came through with a long score. He’s not a priority pickup because the Falcons are going into their bye and Ridley could return in Week 11. Hayden Hurst’s target share also benefited from Ridley’s absence. The Broncos pass defense should be considered a plus matchup for opponents going forward.
- Todd Gurley scored again, but he didn’t look like a clearly better back than Brian Hill again. We’ll continue to monitor how this backfield is divided up.
LV @ LAC
- Justin Jackson left on the first play with a knee injury and it was Kalen Ballage who got the most work after that, not Joshua Kelley. With Troymaine Pope possibly returning this week, this backfield is impossible to project.
- Devontae Booker looked good and got eight carries to Josh Jacobs’ 14, outgaining him 68 to 65 yards on the carries. Booker is at least worth carrying because of his Jacobs injury upside. We’ll see if this signals more of a committee going forward.
- Henry Ruggs III isn’t reprising his big early season role and the Raiders had a balanced offense and low volume passing game despite the back and forth nature of the contest, casting a shadow on the value of all of their passing game pieces except Darren Waller.
- The Chargers found yet another way to lose in excruciating fashion, twice having the game-winning touchdown in one of their players hands, only to have it dislodged as the potential hero went to the ground.
MIA @ ARI
- Preston Williams looked like he had great rapport with Tua Tagovailoa but left with a foot injury that will put him on injured reserve. Devante Parker and Mike Gesicki get bumps in value in the wake of this.
- Christian Kirk is as hot as any receiver in fantasy right now and he should keep that up as DeAndre Hopkins will draw Tre’Davious White against Buffalo in Week 10.
- It wasn’t just Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds got a huge workload and the Cardinals couldn’t open up any holes for him. Drake could be back this week. This backfield isn’t going to produce a reliable weekly play.
- Besides a sack/strip that turned into a score, Kyler Murray had no problems solving the emerging Dolphins defense.
- Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t a huge fantasy hit, but he was very good and will keep the Dolphins competing for a playoff spot. He’ll be more valuable in 2QB/Superflex leagues.
- The Miami backfield was a mess with Jordan Howard scoring, Salvon Ahmed leading the group in yardage, and Patrick Laird getting the only reception. We’ll see if DeAndre Washington gets more run this week or Matt Breida is ready to play after a hamstring injury kept him out.
PIT @ DAL
- Tony Pollard was maybe the best offensive player for the Cowboys and might have earned more work going forward as Ezekiel Elliott was slowed by a hamstring injury that made him a game time decision.
- Ben Roethlisberger got banged up but played well enough in the second half to overcome a two-score deficit. With this game script, all three Steelers receivers were worthy plays, along with Eric Ebron, who scored the game-winning touchdown.
- James Conner and the Steelers running game was kept on ice as they trailed for most of the game. We’ll see if it is a sign that Conner is wearing down as he has another good matchup against the Bengals this week
- Garrett Gilbert was a huge improvement from Ben Dinucci and he made Amari Cooper and Ceedee Lamb viable plays again. Michael Gallup took the hit as Dinucci seemed to favor him in Week 8.
NO @ TB
- Antonio Brown was a dud and miscommunication between him and Tom Brady caused an interception. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be fantasy relevant with the Bucs.
- The Saints defense shut down the Bucs, including Rob Gronkowski, who got enough targets to be fantasy relevant, but was covered well.
- Mike Evans was shut down by Marshon Lattimore on two goal fades, but after the game Bruce Arians indicated that he was open more often than Tom Brady targeted him. We’ll see what the target priorities are vs. Carolina between him, Brown, and Chris Godwin, who didn’t seem to have any problems playing with a broken finger.
- Drew Brees looked at ease with all of his weapons on the field together for the first time since Week 1, when the Saints beat the Buccaneers. He’s looking like a QB1 for the second half.
- Tom Brady was frustrated all night by pressure as he suffered the worst loss of his career. His playoff schedule makes him a buy low.
- The Bucs backfield continues to be in motion. Ronald Jones II was in at the goal line, but Leonard Fournette is clearly the passing down back. Neither will be reliable and the better play each week with hinge on game script and how the coaches are feeling about the backs play that day.
- Michael Thomas looked like his old self against a tough matchup vs. Carlton Davis, who shut him down in Week 1. Bigger games are coming for him.
- Jared Cook seemed like the most likely to suffer in fantasy terms with all hands on deck. He fumbled inside the five on one of the few negative plays for the Saints on the night.
NE @ NYJ
- Cam Newton found his range as a passer again, mainly because of Jakobi Meyers emerging as a #1 receiver against a weak Jets secondary. We’ll know what we have in Meyers after we watch him against the Ravens this week, but early signs are very good.
- Joe Flacco was very effective against a Stephon Gilmore-less Patriots pass defense and he revived the value of Breshad Perriman. Perriman should be picked up and carried through the bye in typical leagues. The Jets offense looked different with their top three receivers (Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims being the others) for the first time this year. Crowder’s ceiling could be a lot lower than it was earlier this year with actual viable targets around him.
- The Patriots run defense looks weary but the Jets couldn’t break through for a big play. Look for Lamical Perine to move ahead of Frank Gore in touches after the bye, but don’t expect consistent fantasy value to result from the change.
- Rex Burkhead was the best Patriots back and Damien Harris left with a chest injury. James White continues to be on the margins and Sony Michel is due back soon, so good luck figuring this group out.