This season features the highest YPA (7.4) ever, but you wouldn’t know it watching the quarterback play from around the league Sunday. First, there was Gardner Minshew, who turned the ball over four times in the final 11 plays and helped D.J. Chark have a quiet game despite entering as a consensus top-10 WR this week.
Dwayne Haskins deserves some slack for being a raw rookie who wasn’t given many practice reps under Jay Gruden, but he’s going to be a major problem for Terry McLaurin’s fantasy managers over the rest of the season. Allen Robinson currently ranks No. 4 in WOPR, which would normally suggest he’s an easy WR1 for fantasy purposes (unless you’re Corey Davis), but Michell Trubisky is holding him back (ARob somehow was held to six yards Sunday versus an Eagles defense that entered allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers). Trubisky led the Bears to nine net yards of offense (one first down) in the first half of Week 9’s loss and has gotten just 5.6 YPA while producing zero touchdowns in five of seven games this season (and his 15 rushing yards Sunday were a season-high).
Mason Rudolph has looked competent at times, but he’s concentrating on mostly underneath stuff while destroying JuJu Smith-Schuster’s value. The Colts could be looking at extended action from Brian Hoyer, while Sam Darnold and Josh Allen disappointed in terrific matchups Sunday. Carson Wentz also continued his middling season (and Aaron Rodgers had his worst game in memory). We haven’t even seen Ryan Finley debut for the Bengals yet.
And then there’s Baker Mayfield, whose ADP was the QB4 entering the season but is now rendered useless in non-Superflex leagues. He entered Sunday with a 0:6 TD:INT ratio in the fourth quarter this season, with the league’s second-worst adjusted completion% and most discouragingly of all, the NFL’s lowest Passer Rating with a clean pocket (Kirk Cousins with the best). That’s a telling stat that’s more than a little worrisome for the future and not something for which coaching can be totally blamed.
Odell Beckham Jr. came into 2019 with the upside of shattering the record books since he ostensibly was getting a big upgrade at QB, but instead, he’s stuck on one touchdown for the year and outside the top-20 fantasy receivers. It was a rough day for quarterbacks in Week 9, and they brought many of their teammates (and fantasy managers) down with them.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Gardner Minshew entered with the third-best TD:INT ratio in the league, but it’s now possible the expensive Nick Foles retakes the QB position in Jacksonville. Facing a Houston defense missing J.J. Watt, Minshew really struggled in London, and it didn’t help Leonard Fournette end his TD drought (he’s now up to 214 touches with just one touchdown on the year) … Duke Johnson led the Texans in receiving and also ran in a score, likely not in many fantasy lineups (I had him benched in a 20-team league) … DeAndre Hopkins at least saved his day with a late garbage time score (right after a Watson rush was mistakenly not ruled a TD).
Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills
Given the matchup and reports that Dwayne Haskins hadn’t received many practice reps this season, his outing Sunday could’ve been worse, but no Case Keenum would crush Terry McLaurin’s fantasy value this year … John Brown has stayed healthy yet has reached 85 receiving yards just once this season, while Devin Singletary went off for 140 YFS on 23 touches and impressed while doing so. The rookie back continues to see increased snaps, and with the Bills’ upcoming schedule looking favorable, he’ll now be a weekly RB2 option. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Adrian Peterson has somehow gotten 5.1 YPC over the last four games despite his environment.
Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers
Kyle Allen was competent enough for D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel to post solid games and looks locked in as Carolina’s starter with Cam Newton an IR candidate, while Ryan Tannehill has gotten 8.5 YPA or better in three of four games this season … After seeing just two carries in the first half, Derrick Henry had seven on the second half’s first drive, culminating in a TD run … Christian McCaffrey got off to a slow start against a run defense that entered ranked No. 2 in DVOA but finished with three more scores and became just the third player in NFL history to record 150+ scrimmage yards in six of the first eight games of a season. His DFS price seemingly can’t move high enough.
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
David Montgomery is being treated as a true workhorse, making him a weekly fantasy starter regardless of matchup (his two one-yard plunges Sunday saved his day against a tough run-D), while Jordan Howard hit pay dirt in his revenge game and is on pace to record 11 touchdowns this season ... Nice to see Zach Ertz cash in on all the air yards that suggested a big game was coming, but it was quite surprising to see Allen Robinson nearly post a goose egg, as his shaky QB situation superseded Philly’s busted secondary.
Minnesota Vikings @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs came in 4-0 on the road and 1-3 at home but won in Arrowhead thanks to a solid performance from Matt Moore, who has helped keep Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce’s fantasy values afloat until Patrick Mahomes returns likely soon … Kirk Cousins didn’t get any help from the run game and lost Adam Thielen in the first quarter, but he still managed three TD passes with no picks in a tough environment versus a KC pass defense that entered ranked No. 4 in DVOA. Cousins has a 13:1 TD:INT ratio over the last five games … Despite Sunday’s quiet outing, Stefon Diggs would be a borderline WR1 as long as Thielen is sidelined … Sammy Watkins had a nice one-handed grab … LeSean McCoy was benched after losing a fumble last week, so it wasn’t a surprise to see Damien Williams get a shot Sunday, and he promptly produced the longest TD run of the season that was highlighted by Hill easily catching up to the back who ran the 40-yard dash in the 92nd percentile. Williams dominated backfield touches and is back on the RB3 scene.
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins finally won (and even scored points in the third quarter for the first time this year) and now share the same record as the Jets, whose season somehow just got even more frustrating while watching Ryan Fitzpatrick outplay Sam Darnold. Mark Walton and Le’Veon Bell both underwhelmed while set to get big workloads, although nine targets certainly helped the latter … Jamison Crowder continues to act as Darnold’s clear No. 1, and Chris Herndon should be added in all leagues in which he’s still available … Preston Williams, DeVante Parker (what a TD catch) and Mike Gesicki really isn’t the worst skill-position group.
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Indy lost its center and quarterback (while playing without T.Y. Hilton) on the road against a solid Pittsburgh defense yet still nearly won thanks to Brian Hoyer tossing three TDs (and a pick-six). The Colts remain winless (0-6) when Hilton hasn’t played over the last eight years … Jaylen Samuels struggled on the ground (although he appeared to score on a play that Mike Tomlin confusingly didn’t challenge, instead choosing to later review two unwinnable PI calls) and lost a fumble but was a PPR monster securing all 13 targets and will be well worth using as long as James Conner is out (Trey Edmunds needs to be added in all leagues as well) … Zach Pascal led Indy in targets and the game in receiving yards and will be worth using in deeper fantasy leagues regardless of the team’s QB with Hilton sidelined the next few weeks ... The Steelers have committed a turnover an NFL-high 15 straight games, while Darius Leonard just recorded the most tackles over the first 20 games in NFL history.
Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders
During a day filled with shaky quarterback play, Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr combined for 695 yards (9.7 YPA) and five TD passes in a game that lived up to its high-scoring billing. Carr is playing extremely well right now, and his game-winning TD to Hunter Renfrow was especially nice … Detroit’s backfield committee can be ignored in fantasy leagues, while Josh Jacobs continues to act as one of the league’s rare workhorses as a rookie (his 22.5 carries per game over the last four contests would easily lead the league on the year) … Tyrell Williams played his first game with the Raiders without reaching the end zone, while Darren Waller somehow saw just two targets … Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones (what a catch) both finished top-five in air yards this week, yet neither was on the field for the Lions’ final offensive play with the game on the line during a pass from the one-yard line because Matt Patricia.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson was set up for a big game facing a Tampa Bay funnel defense and didn’t disappoint with 378 yards and five scores, and the best possible news for his future fantasy value is the continued decline of Seattle’s once-vaunted defense … In a game that featured three receivers surpassing 120 yards (while scoring), Chris Godwin wasn’t one of them. Mike Evans posted 180 yards one week after he went off for 198 in just three quarters, as the wideout looks simply unguardable … Ronald Jones continued to separate himself from Peyton Barber, while Chris Carson became the first back to rush for 100 yards against the Bucs this season, although he fumbled two more times (losing one) and was caught from behind by Devin White … If Jameis Winston is going to finish a game without committing a turnover, he’s going to need a little luck ... I had Tampa Bay +5.5 in an otherwise winning parlay and picked them in the SuperContest, so the end of the fourth/OT wasn’t an ideal turn of events.
Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos
Brandon Allen looked like an upgrade over Joe Flacco, getting 9.7 YPA while hooking up with rookie Noah Fant for a 75-yard TD strike. Most importantly, it appears Allen will be capable of keeping Courtland Sutton’s breakout season rolling … Baker Mayfield managed just 6.5 YPA and continued to show no rapport with Odell Beckham Jr., who tied a season-low with just six targets and hasn’t scored since Week 2 … What an absolute nightmare season for the Browns, who should be searching for a coaching replacement around the clock. Cleveland at one point called back-to-back run plays on third and fourth down inside the five-yard line and neither went to Nick Chubb.
Green Bay Packers @ Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers played well (10.5 YPA) in the upset but didn’t throw a TD and failed to reach a possible 300-yard scoring bonus despite having 294 passing yards with 10+ minutes remaining Sunday. Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, struggled badly (4.6 YPA) while dealing with protection issues, spoiling Davante Adams’ return to the lineup … Aaron Jones was one of the biggest busts of the week, while Jamaal Williams caught a touchdown for the fourth game in a row … Mike Williams ironically racked up 111 yards on just four targets (with a lot coming after the catch), while Hunter Henry’s WOPR this week suggests big things are in store.
New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens
Neither Tom Brady nor Lamar Jackson had huge passing games Sunday night, but the Ravens still came away with 37 points against the league’s stingiest defense thanks to 210 rushing yards. Jackson has four rushing scores over the last three games and only health will prevent him from rewriting the record books when it comes to rushing quarterbacks. Mark Ingram got 7.7 YPC but lost a fumble and a rushing score to Gus Edwards, while Sony Michel was invisible, even losing a goal-line TD to James White … Marquise Brown returned to action and will once again be worth using in fantasy leagues now past NE, while Mohamed Sanu led the Patriots with a whopping 14 targets and sees a major boost in fantasy value now in New England and with Josh Gordon gone … Julian Edelman lost his first fumble since 2016, while Justin Tucker missed just the second extra point of his career … Bill Belichick had won 17 straight regular-season games in which he was facing a quarterback for the first time before losing to Jackson on Sunday night, and there was just one true road win (the 49ers) in all of Week 9.