The Week Nine Fantasy Football Stock Report
Can it be anyone other than Nick Mullens that has his arrow pointing straight up at the QB position after Week Nine? The relatively unknown 23-year-old from Southern Miss made his NFL debut an absolute gem to remember. While it came at the hands of the hapless Raiders, his command of the offense was impressive. There’s a great chance that Mullens falls back to earth against a better defense. The Giants are up in Week 10, however, which puts him on the streaming and DFS radar. At this point in the season, he’s a curiosity add in 2QB and deep dynasty formats as well.
What a week for the running back position. There was no bigger ascender than Duke Johnson following a huge Week Nine performance. Johnson, one of the best receiving backs in football, was finally used properly and it paid off for Fantasy owners. He had just 20 receptions in his previous eight games, but managed nine for 78 yards and two scores on Sunday. There is enough room in this offense for Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson to be weekly RB2 options. Due to his receiving chops, Johnson gets a bump in PPR formats assuming his usage continues to trend in the right direction. The Falcons are up next with a high-octane offense and a suspect defense (particularly against receiving backs), this sets up nicely for Johnson.
Geronimo Allison’s injury issues have opened the door even wider for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to establish himself as one of Aaron Rodgers’ top targets. Randall Cobb continues to look like a shell of his former self and while Allison had a few nice games to start the year, he’s now on IR. Valdes-Scantling has had four straight games of 100 yards or a TD and he’s making crucial, contested catches at key times. Outside of Jimmy Graham and Davante Adams, MVS is the Packers best receiving threat right now. He’s approaching WR3 territory with considerable big play upside.
Jeff Heuerman had a TD called back in Week Seven, caught one the following week and then exploded for 10 receptions, 83 yards and a score last week. His game log is littered with spotty performances, but the trade of Demaryius Thomas has opened up additional targets and Heuerman certainly saw his fair share and more on Sunday. Given the completely dismal tight end landscape, Heuerman is absolutely worth an immediate add if you need help at the position. He could very well finish as a Top 10 option from here on out.
Similar to Alex Smith, it is not that the numbers Joe Flacco is putting up are bad; they are simply not cutting it for Fantasy purposes. His recent slump has affected the entire offense, stagnating the production of John Brown and Michael Crabtree in particular. With the offense sputtering over the past month, inquiring minds want to know if a switch to Lamar Jackson is in the cards. It likely won’t happen in the next few weeks, but a switch at QB is certainly within the realm of possibility. As such, Flacco is a risky streaming option, despite exploitable matchups after the Ravens bye.
Outside of two massive rushing performances, Isaiah Crowell has had less than 50 yards in the other seven games this season. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week Five and much like his usage in Cleveland, he is rarely involved in the passing game. The Jets are also giving young backs Trenton Cannon and Elijah McGuire some run, with rach receiving nine and 10 touches respectively in Week Nine. Oh, and did we mention that the Jets offense is struggling big time right now? All that adds up to Crowell going directly to your bench for the foreseeable future. He’s simply too risky to start unless you are completely desperate.
It is fair to wonder if Devin Funchess is going to break out this season. While he’s been a solid target for Cam Newton thanks to his size and athleticism, a leap in production was expected for the 24-year-old. And yet, he hasn’t surpassed 77 yards in a game and he’s scored just three TDs. With Greg Olsen back and D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel starting to get more involved, Funchess is in danger of becoming an inconsistent Fantasy threat. Consider him a WR3/FLEX play through the bye weeks, but his production over the next few games will determine whether he has a spot in your playoff starting lineup.
Vance McDonald certainly had some intrigue earlier this year as a solid receiving tight end in a powerful pass attack, but he’s slowed down considerably after a fast start. He has one TD on the year and it was way back in Week Three. Jesse James is not as gifted, but continues to stay involved, pilfering a few carries a week. Not to mention, the Steelers’ talented group of receivers and James Conner all need to be fed touches. McDonald is still a streaming option because the position is so weak, but you can do better.