Fantasy risers and fallers from Week 9 of the season
We arrive again at our weekly look at the fantasy stock market, identifying fantasy options who are on the rise or fall.
Week 9 had a little bit of everything. From trade deadline deals to player suspensions there were plenty of curve balls thrown at owners. Add to the mix the normal amount of injuries along with six more teams on bye and the lineup decisions quickly became complicated.
Whether you won or lost this past weekend, it’s time to turn the page to the week ahead. As we place our focus on Week 10, here’s a look at some players on the rise, some sliding down and a couple to keep on the radar:
What a difference a year makes. There are many contributing factors to the Rams’ 6-2 start and big turnaround in 2017. Sean McVay’s arrival as the head coach and a revamped offensive line has led to an offensive resurgence and that has resulted better play from the franchise’s young signal caller.
The Rams scored a league-worst 14.0 points per game in 2016, yet the team enters Week 10 leading the league in scoring with 32.9 ppg. Goff continues to show improvement as the season progresses. He passed for career-highs of 311 yards and four touchdowns Sunday against the Giants.
The second-year quarterback now sits just outside the top 10 at the position with 140 fantasy points. He also has now accounted for multiple scores in four of his last six contests and is appears to be a solid fantasy option moving forward.
New Orleans won its sixth consecutive game in Week 9, and the recipe for that success has centered around running the football. When the team traded away Adrian Peterson a few weeks back we knew it would open the door for Kamara, but we may have underestimated how much.
Kamara was the top fantasy performer at running back for Week 9 as he carried the ball 10 times for 68 yards and a touchdown to go along with six catches on seven targets for 84 yards and an additional score. Over the last three weeks only Ezekiel Elliott has produced more fantasy points. Kamara’s 0.76 PPO in PPR formats over that span is outstanding.
Mark Ingram only had one more touch than Kamara in Week 9, but played 10 more snaps. Since the trade of Peterson, Ingram has had 67 touches on 156 snaps compared to Kamara’s 55 touches on 125 snaps. Both offer RB1 upside and are weekly locks as fantasy starting running backs.
Cook drew plenty attention from Derek Carr in Sunday night’s win over Miami, garnering 32.1 percent of the team’s target share as he caught eight of his nine targets for 126 yards. Given the lack of production at the tight end position this season, Cook has been a pleasant surprise during his first season as a Raider.
He has now been targeted at least five times in all but one game this season. In addition, he has reached double digits in fantasy points in four of his nine contests and is averaging 15.7 points over his last three games. Cook’s catch rate is up significantly in 2017 compared to recent seasons. He has pulled in 74 percent of catches this season. In 2016 he only caught 60 percent of his targets and the season before that in he only pulled in 57 percent of the balls thrown his way.
While there has definitely been some improvement with Cook, his lack of scoring is keeping him from being considered as a front-line fantasy tight end. He’s only found the end zone once all season and has scored just twice over his past 20 regular-season contests overall.
After a promising start in his return from a three-game suspension in Week 5, things have soured quickly for Martin out of the Bucs’ backfield. He’s failed to finish inside the top 25 for fantasy running backs for three straight weeks. Martin finished with seven yards on eight carries before being benched in the blowout out loss to the Saints last week.
After scoring in each of his first two contests upon his return, he hasn’t sniffed the end zone of his last three outings. Martin also has yet to top the 74 rushing yards he had in his Week 5 debut and hasn’t added much catching the call out of the backfield. He’s been targeted just 10 times this season and has five receptions to show for it.
With the team announcing on Monday that they will sit struggling quarterback Jameis Winston for a few weeks to rest his ailing shoulder, things could be getting even worst in Tampa. Add in a leaky defense which often puts them from playing from behind and the resulting game script doesn’t suggest a turnaround is ahead for the veteran any time soon.
The injuries continue to mount for Murray as the season wears on. In Week 9 it was a knee issue that limited him. He exited the game briefly in the second quarter and was unavailable when the team got to the goal line and that led to Derrick Henry scoring on a 1-yard touchdown.
Whether it’s a knee, shoulder, or hamstring, Murray is definitely starting to show signs of his heavy mileage at 29 and the Titans’ offense isn’t explosive enough to support the timeshare he has with Henry as it did a year ago. With Delanie Walker now healthy and rookie Corey Davis returning after missing six games with an injury of his own, it may make sense for Tennessee to start relying a bit more on the pass too.
Murray is still averaging 4.1 YPC and 2.3 YAC, which aren’t far off last year’s final totals. However, at this point in 2016 he had eight touchdowns compared to only his two scores this season. He also had five games of 20 plus touches at this point of the season a year ago, yet he has yet to that mark in any game in 2017.
Deshaun Watson’s season-ending ACL injury suffered last Thursday in practice had a domino effect on the Texans’ offense, resulting in across-the-board fantasy stock drops for the rest of the team’s offensive weapons. No player took a bigger hit though than Fuller.
The speedster connected quickly with Watson upon his return from his collarbone injury, scoring seven touchdowns on just 13 catches in four games. Watson’s ability to keep plays going with his mobility allowed Fuller to get open down the field and Watson had the ability to get him the ball. Backup Tom Savage fails on all fronts.
Fuller equaled his season-best with eight targets in Week 9 against Indianapolis, but couldn’t get out ahead on a big play as he did in previous weeks. He finished with just two catches for 32 yards and came up scoreless for the first time all season. It’s hard to justify keeping Fuller on your roster in redraft formats, especially in PPR leagues, with the change under center.
On the radar
Kelley had a season-best 14 carries in Week 9 and had two touchdowns in the team’s win at Seattle. That marks three scores in two weeks for Kelley as he continues to work his way back to 100 percent. Unfortunately, he only finished with 18 yards rushing and is averaging just 2.2 YAC for the season. The Redskins’ offensive line is still beat up and that is helping matters. With a brutal schedule ahead with matchups on tap with the Vikings and Saints over the next two weeks and owners are best served to take a wait-and-see approach with Kelley.
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
The Titans were happy to welcome Davis back to the field after a hamstring injury sidelined him for six weeks. The rookie saw about 15 percent of the target share, including two deep-ball targets, and ran routes on 83.9 percent of his snaps. He finished the day with two catches for 28 yards. It was encouraging return, but he still remains a very risky lineup option. Davis is worth a grab in most formats if he’s still available on your league’s waiver wire and if you have an extra spot. However, it’s best to let him play his way into your fantasy lineup.