Another week, more disappointing scoring. The median points per game was 38.5 (19.25 per team), about a TD short of the average to which we had grown accustomed relatively recently. I don’t have the stats yet for Week 9, which obviously is not complete, but this struck me during the week:
Sack% plus INT% by year…
- 2021: 7.9%
- 2022: 8.2%
- 2023: 8.7%
Sacks, remember, are like mini turnovers. They cause kicks on drives — punts or field goals. Thus, they eat into scoring. I think this is a big part of the problem, but I have no solution.
Let’s start with the Cowboys at the Eagles, where it’s easy to say Dak Prescott carried Dallas and just came up short. However, he took an 11-yard sack on first down at the Eagles’ 11 with 27 seconds left and no timeouts. That can’t happen. I don’t care if the defensive rusher is shot clean at you out of a cannon. That ball has to be fired out of the end zone. The sack was basically the game.
CeeDee Lamb is making a living in the slot. But on the game’s biggest play, the ball didn’t go to him. Jake Ferguson was open on this fourth down play after the two-minute warning but before the last possession. Correction: “wide-ass open.” Prescott did not see him even though Ferguson was a first or second read all day.
D’Andre Swift is averaging 3.4 yards per carry the past six games. I’d sniff around Rashaad Penny this week. Pick up Kenneth Gainwell if he’s on waivers.
The Dallas Goedert injury (arm) seems bad, but we’ll hope for the best. His absence would provide an uptick in targets for DeVonta Smith, however.
I don’t know what to do with Keaton Mitchell. Yes, he’s a must add given whoever picked him up previously probably dropped him by now. The backfield is a mess though and he has no goal-line role and probably a maximum of 25% of the rushes. Gus Edwards averaged over 10 yards per carry and also looked good. Should Mitchell be the primary ball carrier though? Of course.
I thought we had to back off of C.J. Stroud. He seemed to be fading. He wasn’t really fantasy viable for over a month. But wow. He just destroyed the Bucs. Todd Bowles got eviscerated again by a rookie. Daniel Jones did this to him. Same with Baker Mayfield (2018 rookie season), when Bowles was the coach of the Jets. And now Stroud, who obviously is good but he’s not this good. The Bucs and Bowles turned him into Norm Van Brocklin.
The less said about Colts–Panthers, the better. Remember, the Panthers do not have a first-round draft pick. If they were in your fantasy league, you’d want to boot them out for incompetence.
So the Raiders did not trade Davante Adams to the Jets and then all the people who were in charge of that decision were fired? The next morning? Then Adams is basically ignored all game in Week 9 anyway. What a disaster and waste of a Hall of Fame talent still in his prime. Now the Jets are on deck for Adams.
The Giants are going to be in prime position to draft a QB and Daniel Jones potentially has a torn ACL. Seems like the decision is being made for them.
The Dolphins are so predictable and such a strange team. Here’s the oddity: Name an explosive offense that couldn’t beat you passing when they had to pass? Usually when a team has top receivers and a QB who is a top MVP candidate, you know you have to buckle up when they mount a furious comeback attempt in a last-minute drive. Miami honestly should have kept running in the final minutes.
Joshua Dobbs is the player of the week. Coming into the game for the injured starter when he doesn’t even know where the bathrooms are at the training facility and walking away with a comeback victory? Just awesome and why we love this game.
I was told no one cares that billionaire scion Arthur Smith is galaxy braining his roster and not funneling the ball to his top talents. Actually, though, there’s millions of people who care. Don’t try to make us feel trivial. I ask you football people who snicker at fantasy along with Arthur Smith, why is Tyler Allgeier (3.2 per carry) getting more totes than Bijan Robinson (5.1 per carry)? Give me a football reason. I double-dog dare you.
Amari Cooper (5-139-1) got average QB play today and was great and would be great — easily a Top 10 fantasy WR — if he could just get that every week. This is not a big lift. We’re not asking for Dan Marino here. Maybe Deshaun Watson can be average the rest of the year, making Cooper a potential league winner. Probably not though.
Aaron Jones had the prove-it game. That’s the only actionable takeaway from the Rams-Packers.
Lots of fantasy futures are riding on the return of Matthew Stafford, who has a sprained thumb, one of the harder injuries to forecast.
Three sacks in 48 dropbacks for Sam Howell, who is again proving that sacks are a QB sack. He had to stop it and he has. The past two games, he’s been dumped four times in over 100 dropbacks, and I don’t need my state college education to know that’s less than 4%, about a quarter his prior rate.
Taysom Hill is just killing it if you can play him at tight end — over 20 points this week. He’s just murdering Alvin Kamara in the process and knee-capping Derek Carr, too. He’s being used smartly though. The dude is a weapon.
D’Onta Foreman is earning his carries and may be the man now in Chicago. Why is Khalil Herbert owed anything?
Tyson Bagent isn’t good but I’m not gonna arm wrestle with you.
Geno Smith has regressed into being Geno Smith. Someone on Twitter (I can’t find it) said he was the Comeback Player of the Year only because he came back from being Geno Smith. That’s hilarious! Well, he went right back again.
This is sort of damning with faint praise but the Ravens are the best team in the AFC right now. Still, they have no receivers who are dangerous. So how can they beat a good defense from the pocket? And that’s what a top defense is going to dare Lamar Jackson to do.
(Photo of Keaton Mitchell: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports)