We are back to the bye weeks with four teams sidelined in Week
9 after a respite last weekend. Injuries, however, didnít
stop. The most damaging was Kirk Cousinsí torn Achilles
and its effect on the Vikings receivers. Other quarterback question
marks include: Matthew Stafford, Tyrod Taylor, Kenny Pickett and
whether Kyler Murray is ready to go for Arizona this Sunday or
they choose Clayton Tune?
Byes: Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, San Francisco
“Understanding what not to do sometimes is just as
important as what you can do.” – Bill Belichick
1) When rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson went down for
the season, those who picked up his backup, have been handsomely
True. Richardson averaged 24.4 FPts/G in the three full games
before his season-ending shoulder injury, but Gardner Minshew
has averaged 26 FPts/G in his three starts despite playing tough
defenses like the Browns and Saints. That production ranks Minshew
No.5 since Week 6. Who knew? The Colts receiving weapons of Michael Pittman Jr. and rookie Josh Downs have proven to be pretty good,
particularly when defenses are keying on running backs Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss. The backfield pair have also contributed
17 catches and 144 yards to Minshewís total.
2) Of the likely ďclaimableĒ quarterbacks, Mitchell
Trubisky, is the best option for Week 9.
With all the quarterback injuries and four byes this weekend,
if your starting QB isnít on the current roster and your
options are; Clayton Tune (0% rostered) in Arizona, Brett Rypien
(0% rostered) for the Rams, Mitchell Trubisky (0% rostered) in
Pittsburgh, Tyson Bagent (5% rostered) with Chicago, P.J. Walker
(1% rostered) with Cleveland, Jaren Hall (0% rostered) in Minnesota
or Will Levis (6% rostered)Ö Iím going with Trubisky.
With so many unknowns, Iím going with the quarterback who
has the best pass-catching group to help out their questionable
quarterback. In this case, that means Pittsburgh (George Pickens
and Diontae Johnson), Los Angeles Rams (Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua)
or Minnesota (Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson). Next Iíll
weed out the young quarterbacks on the road because thatís
too much to ask for an unknown in a loud and hostile environment.
The Rams are going outdoors to frigid Green Bay and Minnesota
is traveling to Atlanta, leaving my Week 9 choice as Trubisky
versus Tennessee at home. I truly hope it isnít coming down
to this option for anyone.
3) If you donít score touchdowns, you canít be an
elite fantasy running back.
Fact. Derrick Henry is fifth in rushing yards (526), but 15th
in fantasy points per game (14.2). James Cook is eighth in rushing
yards (486) and 26th in fantasy points (12.2). Rookie Bijan Robinson
is ninth in rushing yards and 19th in fantasy points (13.7). What
do they have in common? None of them have scored more than three
times this season. If running backs are in a bad offense, or if
his quarterback is stealing too many of the short-yardage chances,
heíll never be elite. Henry had been elite the last five
season because in addition to yards heís produced double-digit
touchdown totals, but this season doesnít look like heíll
reach that mark.
4) Jahmyr Gibbs is at his peak fantasy value if you are thinking
of trading him.
Gibbs produced 27.6 fantasy points against Baltimore in Week
7 and in front of the entire nation on Monday night improved on
that to 29.9 points. He showed speed, power and receiving ability
and the announced fawned over him for 60 minutes. Should you trade
him? Remember how frustrated you were early in the season when
David Montgomery was getting the majority of the work? Monty will
be back after the Lionsí Week 9 bye. In the three games
where both running backs were active, Montgomery saw 72% of the
touches and Gibbs 27%. Although that may be closer to 50-50 after
Gibbsí elite performances, donít expect this backfield
to belong to the rookie. You should explore what other fantasy
owners are willing to offer.
5) Speaking of peak value, look no further than the Ravensí
Gus ĎThe BusĒ Edwards.
True. Edwards is coming off 21.4 fantasy points in Week 7 and
29.4 points last Sunday. Since the beginning of the 2022 season,
itís his first two 20+ point performances and, in fact, he had
only cracked double digits three other times. Heís not a pass
catcher and despite four touchdowns in the last two games he doesnít
score touchdowns (one in the previous 13 games). Sell, sell, and
“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as
much as you please.” – Mark Twain
1) Trade Jordan Addison or Justin Jefferson and get what you
Iím going to have to say no. Without Cousins under center,
their trade value has certainly taken a significant hit and you
will likely be disappointed with what you get offered. You simply
have to hope that, Hall, or Joshua Dobbs with a few weeks in the
system, can play at a sufficient level where his receivers can
produce a reasonable return. Iím not trading Addison and
the only way Iím trading Jefferson, who is eligible to return
from his hamstring injury in Week 10, is if there is some news
which says heís seriously thinking of sitting out the rest
of the season. Iím not trading either in dynasty leagues.
2) Trade Davante Adams.
NO! Itís not like Adams canít get open anymore. Itís
not like heís dropping balls (yes, I know he did drop one
Monday night). Although Adams managed just one reception for 11
yards on seven targets, with even average quarterback play he
could have produced two touchdowns and 169 yards. Garoppolo missed
a wide open Adams on first-and-10 from the Las Vegas 2-yard line
(98-yard TD) early in the fourth quarter and again with five minutes
remaining from the Las Vegas 40-yard line Adams was clear by 10
yards of the nearest defender (60-yard TD). Garoppolo canít
play any worse and past performance says he will get better.
3) Travis Kelce must be using a Romulan cloaking device.
Currently, falseÖ until I can prove otherwise. How else
do you explain his always being open despite the Chiefs having
no other great receiving options. Kelce leads all tight ends in
targets (9.7 per game), in receptions (7.7) and FPts/G (19.5).
Since the top Kansas City wide receiver, rookie Rashee Rice averages
just 10.5 FPts/G, and they have no other wideout option averaging
even six points, wouldnít you think they should cover Kelce
with at least two or three players at all times? Like a triangle
and two in basketball? I assume these smart defensive coordinators
have already tried that, so the only remaining hypothesis is my
cloaking device theory.
4) Tyreek Hill has more receiving yards than the New York Jets
have passing yards.
NoÖ but itís a lot closer than you might think. Hill,
who said he would crack 2,000-yards receiving this season has
1,014 in eight games (which is on a pace for 2,154 yards) while
the Jets offense has managed just 1,150 passing yards. Unlike
Kelce, I understand how Hill is always open. Heís faster
than anyone and his change of direction is elite. By the way,
the current receiving record is 1,964 yards by Calvin Johnson
in 2012 (16 games) and Hill is ahead of that pace too. Eagles
wideout A.J. Brown is on pace for 1,995 yards after his NFL-record
sixth consecutive day with at least 125 receiving yards.
5) Last week in this column I said ďThis is the week Kareem
Hunt blows up.Ē
I said it and I was wrong. Of course in my defense, I, like many
others, thought that Jerome Ford would be sidelined. He made a
miraculous comeback from an ankle sprain which was expected to
sideline him 1-2 games. It wasnít a complete failure, because
Hunt scored for the third consecutive weekend, but I was expecting
20+ carries and he saw only 14 with 10 going to Pierre Strong
and nine to Ford. Hunt is averaging almost 15 FPts/G the past
three games, but is too reliant on touchdowns in this RBBC backfield
to be counted on from week-to-week.