Fantasy Football Fallout Week 9

by Emerson Beery · Fantasy Football

This is Fantasy Football Fallout Week 9! In the ever-dynamic fantasy football landscape, the conclusion of this past weekend has left fantasy managers buzzing with excitement. As we navigate Week 9, notable developments have captured the spotlight and raised eyebrows.

From the meteoric rise of Rachaad White, to the rookie quarterback sensation C.J. Stroud making waves in the league, and the unexpected reemergence of Joshua Dobbs. Join us as we delve into the biggest fantasy football headlines and unravel the implications of these Week 9 revelations.

Week 9 Fantasy Football Fallout

Patrick’s Problems Persist

Compared to the rest of the NFL, Patrick Mahomes is still right in line with expectations, ranking No. 4 in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks. However, Mahomes is averaging 5.1 fewer points than he did last season. His leading wide receiver in Week 9, Skyy Moore, had 33 receiving yards. Mahomes is actually closer to the QB20 in fantasy points per game than Josh Allen, who is the QB1 this season.

This isn’t the same Kansas City offense as in years past because Travis Kelce is the only reliable skill position player. The difference? Mahomes is No. 31 in air yards per attempt and is No. 14 in Deep Ball Accuracy Rating. There isn’t anyone making plays downfield, and it shows in his fantasy production. Mahomes will be a mid-tier QB1 rather than the locked-in top 3 option he was drafted as.

Arthur Smith’s Coaching Conundrum

The Falcons’ game plan is comical at this point, and Arthur Smith can’t hide behind a win against a poor team this week. The misuse of Drake London and Kyle Pitts has been well-documented. However, what Smith has done to Bijan Robinson‘s fantasy value is unforgivable. After being drafted in the first round of fantasy drafts, he is No. 24 in fantasy points per game.

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Bijan Robinson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

His disappointing performance isn’t due to his play either. He is No. 12 in the NFL in yards per touch and No. 4 in Evaded Tackles. The issue is Robinson is only No. 30 in Opportunity Share and has been out-carried by Tyler Allgeier on the season. Allgeier has been less efficient but continues to see half the work in the backfield. Robinson is impossible to take out of fantasy lineups, but it’s time to readjust expectations. He is a high-end RB2 going forward with a relatively soft schedule down the stretch.

Tee Higgins’ Terrific Turnaround

After a disastrous start to the season, Tee Higgins bounced back in a major way in Week 9. He caught eight receptions for 110 yards, both season highs. Is Tee Higgins set to finish the season strong after a bounce-back performance? Not so fast. Higgins had a lot go right for him in this matchup that might not be sustainable going forward.

First, he out-targeted Ja’Marr Chase, which is something he hasn’t done many times in his career. Chase has a 31.1-percent target share on the season but received just 18.2-percent of the targets in Week 9. Furthermore, Burrow had 44 pass attempts against the Bills. This marks his No. 3 highest mark of the season. The perfect storm happened for Higgins to have a breakout performance, and it won’t be sustainable on a weekly basis. Higgins is still a borderline WR2 in fantasy lineups, but that is a stark improvement from his production thus far.

Deshaun’s Dramatic Return

Deshaun Watson has deservedly taken a lot of grief from fantasy managers in 2023. He’s made disastrous interceptions, and the Cleveland offense has fallen flat on too many occasions. However, Watson clearly did suffer a significant shoulder injury that was hampering his production over the last six weeks. This past game, he made a number of impressive throws on his way to a QB8 finish in fantasy leagues.

The Houston version of Watson is clearly gone. Nonetheless, he is a better player than he’s shown this past month. Here is a big secret. If the Week 7 game is removed where Watson barely played, he is the QB9 in fantasy points per game on the season. This is without Nick Chubb, and an offensive line that has dealt with numerous injuries. Watson is a back end QB1, and a buy based on his current fantasy football value.

Rachaad’s Red-Hot Run

Don’t look now, but Rachaad White has finished as a top 12 fantasy running back three times in a row. Over that span, he’s made 17 receptions and accumulated 337 all-purpose yards. After becoming a popular breakout pick this off-season, this is exactly what fantasy managers were hoping for. White’s No. 5 in the NFL in snap percentage and is one of the few running backs in the NFL with a true bell cow role.

The difference in his play hasn’t been his rushing production either. White has only rushed for more than four yards per carry twice this season. The biggest change is his role as a receiver. After averaging less than 20 receiving yards a game in the first five weeks, that number has increased to 64.3 yards over the last three games. Baker Mayfield had the highest check-down percentage in the entire NFL in 2022, and White has a prolific pass-catching profile too. This is a match made in heaven, and White is a high-end RB2 against Tennessee in Week 10.

C.J. Stroud’s Stunning Rookie Success

C.J. Stroud is loudly putting together one of the best rookie seasons of all time. He is No. 8 in total QBR and No. 3 in yards per attempt. Stroud is coming off a 400-yard performance against Tampa Bay where everything seemed to go right for him. He’s going to be a starter for a long time in this league and has a bright fantasy future.

Unfortunately, his value is likely slightly inflated now compared to his rest of season outlook. While Stroud is No. 5 in fantasy points per game, he is No. 15 in Expected Fantasy Points Per Game. He’s been extremely efficient so far, and Stroud is due for some regression games. The main issue is he is No. 25 in rush yards per game among quarterbacks. Stroud is a great athlete. If he wants to continue this run for fantasy, he is going to have to use his legs more. Stroud is a low-end QB1 in most matchups with one of the safer floors of any quarterback.

Joshua Dobbs Delivers Dazzling Comeback

Joshua Dobbs produced one of the great stories of this NFL season in his game-winning drive against the Falcons this past weekend. He hadn’t practiced a single time with the team. Additionally, players had to explain the playbook to him. Nonetheless, he was terrific down the stretch on his way to a huge comeback. More importantly for fantasy managers, T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison had productive games without Kirk Cousins.

Dobbs has finished as a top 10 fantasy quarterback four times this season, and the schedule opens up quite nicely as well for the next six weeks. This is good news for T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison, who will still be reliable starters. However, the end is potentially near with Justin Jefferson‘s 21-day practice window likely opening up this week. Dobbs is No. 32 in pass yards per attempt and No. 20 in pass plays per game when he is on the field. There won’t be enough volume to go around for all three of these players to maintain fantasy value on a regular basis. Jefferson will be a fixture, leaving Hockenson and Addison as boom-or-bust options with very low fantasy floors when he returns.