After the NFL Scouting Combine this past year, much was made of D.K. Metcalf’s rippling muscles. My boss was talking up the Ole Miss product’s biceps. My girlfriend was enamored with his bustling chest. Even Momma-Donk called to ask about D.K.’s glutes. But what nobody talked about were his bulging calves. That is until week 9, when the Buccaneers defense was hypnotized by Metcalf’s leg beef.

The entire Seahawks offense took full advantage of this calf-muscle-induced hypnosis with Russell Wilson going 29/43 for 378 yards and 5 touchdowns—he now has 22 passing touchdowns on the season—Tyler Lockett snagged 13 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns—he now has 6 touchdowns on the season—and the sexy calved beast himself, D.K. Metcalf, hauled in 6 catches for 153 yards and his 5th touchdown. The Buccaneer defense will attempt to snap out of the trance before gazing into Kyler Murray’s sparkling eyes next week. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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A clash between defenses surrendering the 2nd (TB) and 6th (SEA) most receiving yards per game carries the highest point total for week 9.

Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Jameis Winston ranks #1 in average completed air yards and #1 in average intended air yards. Winston and Head Coach Bruce Arians offense likes to push the ball down field. Tied for 3rd in the NFL in completed passes over 40 yards, Jameis gets his shot against a Seahawks defense that ranks tied-for-10th in most completed passes allowed over 20+ yards. Despite his league leading 12 interceptions, Jameis Winston is a viable starter in all formats. Jameis is Rudy’s projected QB6 in week 10.

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As I’ve gone through the process of completing the rest of season rankings, I’ve noticed a trend. The number of players that I have a strong confidence in for the rest of the season is dwindling… Fast! Whether this is from the regular attrition of the NFL season or the changing landscape of the way coaches deploy their personnel, it is happening.

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Mattison made the handcuff report back in the pre-season as a premium handcuff, and needs to be rostered by all Dalvin Cook owners heading down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Barely on the field for a quarter of the Vikings offensive snaps (26.4%), Mattison’s athletic ability was still on full display. The Vikings are giving Mattison the ball when he is on the field, touching the ball 78.9% percent of his snaps compared to Dalvins 54.9%. In week 8, Alexander took 13 carries for 61 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and now averaging 4.9 ypc on the season. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison is fully capable of producing in our fantasy lineups in an offense built around the run. The Vikings rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (32.9). Mattison is averaging 10.8 touches per game over the past 4 weeks, if he is able to find the field for more than 26% of the offensive snaps he’ll start to flirt with weekly flex value.

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You just knew Eddie’s kick wasn’t going to go in too right? It didn’t matter that it was only a 41-yard kick. You see, the Bears are kind of like the Buccaneers when it comes to the kicking game. The kicking game is cursed. Once Pineiro hit the upright in the first half, any kick that was going to be important didn’t stand a chance. It was in Eddie’s head, it was in the crowd’s head, and it was in my head at home. 

I was watching the game with a good buddy who is a Bears fan and it was completely quiet for most of the drive. The only thing that was said the whole drive was by him. He just kept repeating, “Why aren’t they going for a touchdown? They need to go for a touchdown, you can’t leave it up to the kicker.” He was right. We all were right. Here is what else I saw during the early slate of games on Sunday.

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It’s a well known fact: Ezekiel Elliott has an insatiable appetite. The star running back has been begging anyone and everyone to feed him since all the way back to Pop Warner, but the hunger has never subsided. This past September the Cowboys finally broke down and gave Zeke a little grocery money of his own. But the Dallas RB hasn’t been able to locate the Whole Foods Market in his neighborhood and continues to ask for handouts. Fortunately, his best bud Dak Prescott (21/27 for 239 yards, 5 carries for 30 yards and 2 touchdowns) continues to be charitable, feeding Zeke the pigskin 22 times for 111 yards plus another 6 thru the air for 36 more yards and his 6th touchdown as the Cowboys trounced the Eagles on Sunday night. Watch those fingers Dak! Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football: 

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We’re getting to the part of the season where the teams that started hot make way for new teams to start to get hot. The Kansas City Chiefs looked unbeatable until they showed a chink in their armor in Detroit, and the Texans looked pretty pedestrian until recently. The Texans were a popular upset pick for Sunday, but it’s still surprising to see them come back from an early 14 point deficit when it looked like the Chiefs were going to roll right over them. 

The Vikings passing game has looked lethargic so far this season with a lot of the blame being placed on Kirk Cousins when really Kevin Stefanski and Mike Zimmer deserve a lot of the heat. Stefon Diggs, who is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, was left for dead by this Vikings offense. Until Sunday when he went off for 3 touchdowns. Things in this league can shift at any time. 

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We are already a quarter of the way through the NFL season and I still find myself thinking how much I missed football on Sundays. It felt great to go through the football routine last week after missing weeks 2 & 3. Ironically, I had my worst week of the season at the sportsbook. Too much research can be a bad thing. Let’s take a quick look at some buy and sells without overthinking things.

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I had a feeling about the Rams last night. I thought that after a disappointing performance against Tampa, they’d take it to a divisional opponent. After all, Seattle hasn’t been nearly as dominant at home as they used to be. Seattle has a bad secondary, so I figured Goff would be able to throw all over them. It took a while, but he eventually did. The problem was the Rams defense is probably pretty bad. We’ve seen it over the past 5 days how much of a problem that the secondary is. Aaron Donald can’t do everything.

Many of you know that I like to dabble in gambling (legally now!) and instead of taking the 1.5 that Seattle was giving the Rams, I took the Rams to win outright and grab a few extra bucks in the process. As we now know, that was a horrible mistake and likely one that I won’t make again in the near future. I still can’t believe that Greg Zuerlein missed the game winning kick in the first place. He’s usually money in the bank. But instead I am heartbroken, and the only way to make myself feel better is to analyze statistics for you to keep in mind for your fantasy teams. Let’s go!

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Marlon Mack was initially thought to have been ruled out due to an ankle injury during Sunday’s game against Oakland. Colts head coach Frank Reich clarified that Mack was not medically ruled out. Mack was forced on the sideline due to a negative game script. Marlon Mack will be dealing with an injury designation throughout the course of this week again. Forcing fantasy owners to play chicken with their lineups, but Macks injury isn’t expected to keep him out of his week-5 matchup. Nyheim Hines was the preferred back and catch-up game script favorite playing from behind early in the 1st quarter. Hines finished the game with 35 snaps to Macks 18, and Jordan Wilkins 16. Recording 6 receptions on 6 targets, Hines’ role was solidified as the receiving play back. Unfortunately neither of the 3 IND backs turned in a serviceable fantasy outing. Mack hasn’t played a full 16 games since joining the Colts and has surfaced on the injury report for two injuries 4 weeks into the season (calf/ankle). Mack owners need to consider rostering either Jordan Wilkins or Nyheim Hines, as insurance. Jordan Wilkins is averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry and will be the early down/goal line back if Mack were to go down for any period of time.

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