I’ve already spilled digital ink about what it’s like to overstay your glory years. Those of you who follow me on the baseball side know that I’m all for Justin Verlander retiring. Almost nobody his age succeeds as a pitcher, and every stat-based mind out there could see that Verlander’s 2022 year was less-impressive under-the-hood than it was on the surface. So, how much sense does it make that he should take the championship ring, retire on top his career, and let fans never question “What could have been?” Because we’re seeing that happen with Aaron Rodgers every week. The Packers have dropped 5 straight and have a bit of a Murderer’s Row to face to finish out the season. After putting up 9 points and losing star running back Aaron Jones to an ankle injury, the storied Packers franchise look one step closer to a complete rebuild. Despite Halloween being in the past, the tricks keep rolling in for our fantasy teams.
Now, in the famed words of Sir Mix-a-Lot, let’s investigate thoroughly the behind-the-scenes information on our favorite players:
|Joe Mixon||4 TDs||Still got out-rushed by Justin Fields|
|Tyler Allgeier||99 rush yards||One of the few RBs you know will get yards even when their team is losing.|
|Cole Kmet||5 rec, 2 TDs||This is why I play best ball|
|Jamaal Williams||24 rushes, 81 yards||Clearly has a dossier on D’Andre Swift|
|J.J. Taylor||10 rushes, 9 yards||10 yards less than D’Onta Foreman|
|Dax Milne||6 yards, TD||Looks exactly like you’d expect|
|Leonard Fournette||60ish all-purpose yards on 14 touches||At least he’ll go in the record books for the Brady 100,000th-yard catch.|
|Cam Akers||5 attempts, 3 yards||Welcome to your third-round pick|
Week 9 News and Notes
Joe Mixon: Like, 30 touches, 200 all-purpose yards, and 4 TDs. I’m not even being hyperbolic. Sure, the Bengals blew out the Panthers, which is basically like saying they set a land speed record while going downhill with the wind at their back. Hopefully, the momentum continues forward, and Mixon finishes the season strong as your RB1. I dunno what to analyze here — the guy who was supposed to be your RB1 is finally being your RB1. Great! Let’s move on.
Baker Mayfield: As the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation taught me, “All good things must come to an end.” By good things, I mean that brief resurgence of D.J. Moore as a relevant fantasy wide receiver. I mean, nobody expected the Panthers to put up a fight for NFL Wins after they fired their coach, traded a bunch of players, and benched their [checks notes] franchise QB Baker Mayfield. But somewhere along the line, the Panthers management apparently thought that getting blown out by the Bengals — last year’s Super Bowl runner-up — was reason enough to bring Baker Mayfield back into the fold. Maybe bringing Baker was the sign that the Panthers are giving up for the rest of the season? That P.J. Walker and his 9 yards passing was simply too good? Whatever. There’s a weird cadre of fans out there who think Baker Mayfield is good, and they’ve been wrong for years, but they fail to admit it. Much like me and my love of Dare Ogunbowale. Sure, Mayfield put up a double TD performance on Sunday against the Bengals backups, but he’s nowhere near your fantasy radar. If Mayfield remains behind center for the rest of 2022 — which was the original plan — we can kiss our D.J. Moore celebrations goodbye.
Cordarrelle Patterson: If you’re old enough to remember when Eve 6 was band and not a Twitter troll account, you’ll remember those early Madden games when you had an awesome RB, and you could rush 50 times a game and win. Somehow Arthur Smith keeps thinking that he’s got Derrick Henry in Atlanta. Maybe it’s because Marcus Mariota has the arm strength of Ryan Tannehill. Who cares, C-Patt is back and surging into the end zone at rates we haven’t seen since Shawn Alexander. Start Patterson every week going forward.
D’Andre Swift: The truth is that I don’t spend my Sundays watching Red Zone and harvesting every data bit in real time. I spend my Sundays like every other Midwesterner: ordering pizza and shouting at the Vikings as if they can hear my anger. So when I sit down to do this article, I’m generally unaware of whatever’s going on in the NFL until I look up the answer, like, “What the frak happened to D’Andre Swift?” The Detroit News (literally the publication name) reported that Swift was running onto the field trying to insert himself into the game, but the Lions kept pulling him back. Swift was on pace for 10 yards a touch, but instead, Jamaal Williams carried that ball in his jaws like the beautiful lioness that he is. OK friends. We can now worry our pretty little patooties off. Maybe there’s some more severe injury the Lions aren’t telling us about, but for some reason, Swift is being limited in touches, and it’s destroying our teams. The worst thing is, we’re gonna get J-Rob’bed, and one day, Dan Campbell will secretly decide to give Swift 30 touches, and he’ll go for 150 yards and 10 receptions. Live dangerously — whether to start Swift is now up to you.
Deon Jackson: In my weekly injury article, I wondered if it was the presence of Matt Ryan that enabled Deon Jackson to finish as the RB1 the last time he started. After Sam Ehlinger threw for half the distance of that Yordan Alvarez bomb in Game 6 of the World Series, I think we have our answer. The Colts have decided to dagger their season by refusing to play/pay Matt Ryan, which will spell disaster for every fantasy manager that had hoped for a Jonathan Taylor / Michael Pittman surge into the fantasy (and maybe even NFL?) playoffs. Much like a piece of wood from Minneapolis turns into sewage when it flows down the Mississippi to New Orleans, the downstream effects of the Colts’ decision will tank your fantasy season. Let’s flee this team and never look back.
Justin Fields: I told you to add him a few weeks back, and we’re now, somehow, at the “start him going forward” part of the year. In terms of throwing, Fields isn’t great, and he doesn’t rack up air yards. Neither does Lamar Jackson. Rushing QBs are risky like that, but when they’re on fire, they’ll save your fantasy team. Fields has an absolute cake schedule coming up — Lions, Falcons, Jets, Packers. We can’t expect 4 TD games every week, but what else are you going to do — start Marcus Mariota?
Jeff Wilson: So much for the narrative of “won’t play much immediately following the trade.” Wilson and Raheem Mostert split carries on Sunday, with Wilson gathering the yards and Mostert vulturing the TD. Definitely not the RB-by-committee situation we wanted, but we’ll take the 10 carries apiece going forward.
Josh Palmer: So the Chargers/Falcons didn’t get anywhere near the 49 Over/Under that Vegas predicted, but Palmer finished the game with 8 receptions and 106 yards. How about that for a freebie waiver wire pick? You’re welcome.
Kyle Pitts: 7 targets…and 2 catches. As much as we give Pitts [checks thesaurus] crap, he’s been getting a reasonable amount of targets and target percentage on the year. It’s just…Marcus Mariota sucks, and the Falcons refuse to pass. The Falcons gained 50 yards in the 4th quarter while trying to hold/gain a lead. Yeesh.
Michael Carter / James Robinson: So, uh, the Jets beat the Bills? I guess the Big Apple got sick of the upstate punks taking all of their attention. Mark my words — the 2nd half of the NFL season will be absolute chaos, as there are some really bad teams in the high-win categories (cough, Vikings, cough). So, the Jets moved into striking distance to take the lead in the AFC East by thwarting the Bills, which probably made a couple of you rich. The Jets were +425 to win this game, which is, like, a 20% chance to win. Yeesh. ENYWHEY. Carter and Robinson split carries on Sunday while they tallied up 28 touches combined. Hey now, we don’t want a NSFW tag on this article! Zach Wilson isn’t exactly the QB to rack up yardage (in fact, he’s topped 200 yards only twice this year), so y’all can keep marching out the Jets RBs as your RB2s every week. [< Things I didn’t expect to say in 2022]
T.J. Hockenson: The Vikings surprised fantasy players by announcing shortly before game time that they expected their new acquisition, T.J. Hockenson, to play every down and be fairly involved in the game. 4 quarters of awful football later, Hockenson racked up 70 yards on 9 targets, putting up the best game by a Vikings tight end in [checks memory] 2 years? Hock will likely cut into Dalvin Cook’s receptions, but who cares — the Vikings have dedicated themselves to offense-first for 2022, and their near-defeat to Curtis Samuel catching a TD in triple coverage illustrates that fact.
Aaron Rodgers: AHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s all. ACKSHUALLY, Rodgers gave a post-game interview where he told reporters that he wasn’t disappointed about coming back to the NFL and that he was to blame for a couple of the interceptions he threw. Ah, there’s personal growth! Remember, we’re a couple of weeks removed from A-Rog getting pulled at Lambeau and the Pack faithful fervently cheering Jordan Love. The Packers have a 5 game losing streak in the midst of a cakewalk division, and we could see Love sooner than we think.
Tom Brady: I saw a friend on Twitter post something about a classic Tom Brady comeback. So, Brady chucked the ball 58 times. In his career — which started sometime around the paleolithic age when footballs were made of hardened clay and bat dung — Brady had attempted 58 or more passes a mere three times. Four if you count Sunday. Of those huck-fests, Brady topped 400 yards in all of them (OK, 395 yards in one of them, sue me for brevity). On Sunday? 280 yards, the majority of them to something called Cade Otten. The last time Brady went hog with the hogskin and only scored 1 TD? He gave Aaron Hernandez 19 targets, and Brandon Lloyd went for 190 yards in a losing effort to Colin Kaepernick. Those 280 yards passing on 58 attempts on Sunday? It’ll rank as his 22nd-worst yards per attempt in his career and third-worst yardage per attempt performance as a Buc. Great, he made a comeback. That’s nice. The Bucs now have the same record as the Commanders and the Falcons. What a world! I suppose I’ll retire when Brady retires. Does that mean Donkey Teeth needs to find a new Sunday writer? Let’s see how long Tom stays in the game.
The Seahawks: I mean, my Razzbowl team is gonna be D.O.A. after I make the cutline because my running backs are all similarly D.O.A. Please stay alive Raheem Mostert! But one thing keeping me alive is Noah Fant and DK Metcalf on my team. The weird thing about good receivers, is that they can often be fantasy relevant with bad QBs [stares at Cooper Kupp]. Fant is extremely boom or bust and is basically a DFS play for the time being, but we can see Fant getting a little bit more action than Will Dissly. This isn’t terribly actionable as they’re both bench plays going forward, but I’m just trying to work in any excuse to talk about my RazzBowl team.
All right, players! How are your teams faring? Let me know how you’re doing in the comments, and I’ll see you next week for the injury report!