What an advert this week was for the NFL, and that was just in Texas!
By Martin Richardson
This week we saw our first game in Germany, with the Chiefs beating the Dolphins to continue that debate about whether or not the Dolphins really are contenders. There was a statement performance from the Ravens who nearly shut out the Seahawks with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball. The Browns did shut out the Cardinals who are expecting Kyler Murray back this week. Plus, the Packers, a team I was critical of last week, put the Rams to the sword with a commanding win.
And finally, I think I have just about recovered from the ending of the Buccaneers at the Texans and the Vikings at the Falcons. If there was an advert for why the NFL is special, then those two games had it all. They were unbelievable. As a Bucs fan, I’ll save the inquest for another time, but what a show from CJ Stroud and Tank Dell.
Week 9 also gave us yet another set of injuries to worry about, with Daniel Jones, Cam Akers and Dallas Goedart all picking up serious injuries. So as usual, I’ll take a look at the impact these have on your fantasy prospects for week 10 and beyond.
With the news of Daniel Jones being injured until next season, Barkley is probably going to get the lions share of the ball from Sopranos extra Tommy DeVito or Tyrod Taylor when he’s back from injury. Which means his production should go up from what we have seen so far. Barkley averages only four yards per carry and has a single touchdown to his name. which is not what was predicted in the off season when he was pushing for his new deal. However, he is making up for the lack of touchdowns with big chunks of yardage on both the ground and in the air. Against the Jets defence he ran for nearly 130 yards, and had over 90 yards against the Bills and Raiders, so he clearly can be productive in different ways. The only issue is going to be if DeVito can get them to the red zone in order to Barkley to push through for a touchdown or two.
I love stories like this in the NFL. Sunday was so much fun watching Dobbs come in and play. And all the stories that came out after made the win against the Falcons even more impressive. To not know names or take snaps from Garrett Bradbury before he had to play due to an injury to Jaren Hall and make the Vikings offence function to a credible standard is nothing sort of miraculous. Which for me, bodes well for the Vikings going forward. Dobbs is rated as a top ten QB in fantasy football, with five games where he has had 2 or more touchdowns and all bar one of those was with the Cardinals.
Moving forward with the Vikings, Dobbs has a real chance to earn himself a solid deal in 2024 either at the Vikings or for a team in transition. Dobbs plays the Saints in week 10, followed by very winnable games against the Broncos and Bears before a week 13 bye. Plus, Dobbs inherits a situation that has two legitimate stars at wide receiver: Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. Addison has been a star in Jefferson’s absence, so when Jefferson returns, Dobbs will be spoilt for choice for targets in Minnesota; something he didn’t have in Arizona.
Dobbs, perhaps unsurprisingly learned on the run game more in his first game, giving Alexander Mattison one of his better fantasy games, so perhaps he might be worth a watch to see if his season picks up in this new offence.
The final thing to look for with Dobbs is that he is exactly what Kirk Cousins isn’t- a mobile QB who can run the ball, as we saw against the Falcons and a few times with the Cardinals.
Available in 83% of leagues, have I made a case to go and get Dobbs off waivers yet?
Time for some tight end love right here. ESPN has Ferguson as the 11th best TE in the league, but this is only due to other players such as Cole Kmet and Dalton Schultz having big two touchdown games. When you actually look at Ferguson’s numbers, he is far more consistent than the aforementioned Kmet and Schultz. He has had a 47 yard, 48 yard, 77 yard and 91 yard receiving games, as well as two touchdowns in the last two games against the Eagles and the Rams, so he is clearly getting more and more of the ball as he is a very potent weapon when moving the ball downfield. Dallas have had their bye and have some very favourable matchups against the Giants this week the Panthers and Commanders. For some reason he is rostered on only 65% of teams, so there is a good chance you could pick him up on your waivers this week to help your season either get back on track, or push for the playoffs.
Second on the list of this tight end love in is the original trick play specialist, Taysom Hill. Its always interesting to try and make sense of Hill’s stats when it comes to fantasy, but the headlines are clear: three touchdowns in two games, playing in his usual WR/RB split, with over 120 receiving yards in four games and over 130 yards rushing the same number of games. Hill is becoming a mainstay of the Saints offence just their bye in week 11 and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. They have games against the Bucs, Panthers and the Falcons (twice) and could secure an NFC South title with wins in those types of games. If they are going to do that, they need to keep Hill involved in their offensive play. But for fantasy games, they are games that offer a lot of points for tight ends and more importantly, more points for a fantasy championship run in.
My Mulligan of the week: THE Miami Dolphins
0-3 against Super Bowl contenders is a bit of a concern at this point, as they could end up falling short when it matters most. But for now, the Dolphins have done what is expected of them so far and beat teams that they should. Irrespective of the result against the Broncos, the Dolphins have thrown up some impressive numbers on offence all season and will make the playoffs in a division that is wide open. A week 10 bye allows for the franchise to focus in ensuring they do exactly that as three games are divisional and could make sure they win their division.
From a fantasy perspective, all of the offence still pose a threat and could be difference makers with games against the Raiders, Commanders, Titans and Jets twice after the bye. Add to the mix that fantasy standout star De’Von Achane should be back off Injured Reserve for them as well, which will add an extra dynamic element to their offence. It will just be the last three games of the season against the Cowboys, Ravens and Bills that will potentially define how the Dolphins approach relevant January football. All three of those defences have the potential to disrupt the Dolphins offence. With that in mind, you may need to ensure you trust the Miami players totally if you are going to use them in your playoff run should you get there.
Fantasy Football: Players To Worry About
I guarantee that someone reading this will have spent a first round pick on Robinson in their draft at would have very smug that they landed him for this season. But, he just hasn’t been the guy that fantasy players would have wanted. He’s had blockbuster rushing numbers of 124 yards and 104 yards, as well as being a threat in air with two games with over 40 yards, so he good for double figures in fantasy football when he gets going. But, he only has one, yes one solitary touchdown rushing and two receiving. He has just been too inconsistent to be a top fantasy running back this season. And when he has underperformed, boy has he underperformed; he has five games with single figures for fantasy points which is not what you want from any RB1. That may well be down to really odd usage by Arthur Smith as well as Robinson’s odd migraine issue against the Bucs. Keep an eye on him and hope that he picks up his form going into your playoff window.
Just like Robinson, I bet there were plenty of smug individuals who thought that the Wilson to Rodgers connection would be electric this season. But those hopes were dashed on that fateful drive in week 1. Since then, Wilson has not had the opportunity to showcase his ability as a consistent top WR for fantasy players. He is without a touchdown since week 2 which is partly down to Zach Wilson being out of his depth as a starting QB in New York. Now if you look at his numbers, he does have some standout yardage: 90 yards against the Eagles and 100 against the Giants, but the rest of the games have been distinctly average performances. Wilson and the Jets have a lot of touch matchups down the stretch, with the Dolphins twice and the Bills in the AFC East on the horizon, as well as the impressive Texans and defensively imperious Cleveland Browns. Maybe look to sure up your WR depth if you have Wilson on your roster.
A Yorkshireman living in Lancashire, Martin is a massive NFL fan but his heart belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also a huge Fantasy Football enthusiast and spends far too long crunching the numbers! Follow him at @MRBucsFan31