The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league's 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.
Throughout the below team-by-team rundowns, I'll be referencing "OFP" and "OTD." OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equal. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player's opportunity to score fantasy points, or his "expected" fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league average player who saw the same workload in the same location on the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. FORP is the difference between a player's actual fantasy point total and his OFP. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it's touchdowns. Volume is king in fantasy football, so this is not information you want to overlook.
That said, here is the post-Week 9 OFP Leaderboard:
Next, here are the players who exceeded their OFP by the largest margin this past week and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:
And these are the players who fell short of their OFP by the largest margin last week and thus you shouldn't be too quick to overreact to their performance when making lineup, trade or waiver decisions:
Kenyan Drake played 88% of the snaps (his highest snap share since Week 16 of the 2017 season) and racked up 162 yards and one touchdown on 19 touches in his Cardinals' debut in Week 9. Of course, David Johnson and Chase Edmonds were both inactive with injuries. Johnson was handling 77% of the snaps, 60% of the carries and 19% of the targets when healthy earlier this season and is expected back in a similar role in Week 10. Even if Drake's impressive performance leads to a bigger piece of the pie, Johnson is still the lead back, and Edmonds (who was outstanding in his own right in Week 7) will eventually factor in as well. Assuming a snap share in the 30% range (that very well could be generous), Drake will not be a trustworthy fantasy starter, at least until we have evidence that he's more than a backup. If he's on my roster, I'd be trying to trade Drake this week, and if he's available, I wouldn't spend much on waivers.
When we last saw Matt Ryan, he had a rough game against the Rams that ended with an injury that cost him a start in Week 8. Of course, Ryan was red-hot prior to the disastrous Week 7, having entered the game with back-to-back top-2 fantasy weeks. Ryan has four top-10 fantasy weeks under his belt in six full games this season and has completed a career-high 71% of his pass attempts. He's expected back this week and remains a quality QB1 play. If Ryan was dropped in your league, pick him up and fire him up against the Saints.
Marquise Brown returned from a two-game absence on Sunday night. With a 3-48-0 receiving line, the rookie paced the Ravens in receiving yards, though he's now been held below 50 yards in four consecutive games. Since putting up 31 fantasy points in his NFL debut, Brown has totaled 49 points in five games. Baltimore's reliance on the running game limits Brown's appeal a bit, but his snap share is a good bet to increase (he played 57% of the snaps on Sunday) and he has a much more attractive matchup against the Bengals in Week 10. Brown is a boom/bust flex option.
Did rookie Devin Singletary finally take over as Buffalo's lead back on Sunday? It sure seemed like it. Singletary played more snaps (40 to 21), had more carries (20 to 11) and was targeted more often (four to zero) than counterpart Frank Gore. Singletary looked the part with 140 yards and one touchdown in the game. For the season, Singletary is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 6.4 yards per target and has scored three touchdowns in five games. He's finished four of his five NFL games as a top-25 fantasy back. Consider the rookie a fringe RB2 play at Cleveland in Week 10.
Greg Olsen went for 40 yards on three receptions during Sunday's win against the Titans. Olsen has now failed to clear 52 yards in five consecutive games and has found the end zone in only one game this season. Olsen was targeted at least seven times during each of his first three games but is averaging 4.0 targets per game during his past five outings. The good news is that Olsen is playing 89% of the offensive snaps, but the usage simply hasn't led to much fantasy production (his last weekly finish better than 14th was in Week 3). The 34-year-old is a weak fantasy starter right now, though he'll be worth a speculative add if Cam Newton returns from injury.
The disaster that is the 2019 Bears offense finally caught up to Allen Robinson on Sunday. After reaching 60 receiving yards in seven of eight games to open the season, Robinson was held to a 6-yard catch on five targets in a good matchup against the Eagles in Week 9. If there's a silver lining, it's that Robinson handled a 24% target share, which means he's seen at least 21% of the Bears' targets in all eight games this season. Robinson is averaging 8.9 targets per game and has posted four top-25 fantasy weeks. Even after the rough day, Chicago's top receiver is a viable WR2.
A.J. Green is expected to make his 2019 debut Sunday. The 31-year-old has played 17 snaps since Week 9 of the 2018 season, but he was still very much a fantasy force when we last saw him. During the eight games he played in full last season, Green posted a 45-687-6 receiving line and was eighth among wide receivers in fantasy points. Barring reports that he'll be significantly limited, Green, who is averaging 9.0 targets per game since the start of the 2017 season, will be worth a start against Baltimore in Week 10. He should be viewed as a solid WR2 moving forward.
One of the unluckiest players in the touchdown department during the first eight weeks of the season, Jarvis Landry finally found the end zone against Denver on Sunday. Despite the scoring troubles, Landry's strong outing brings him to five games with double-digit fantasy points this season. Landry is averaging 8.6 targets per game and has been targeted at least six times in all eight of Cleveland's games. Landry had no top-40 fantasy performances through Week 3, but he has been 34th or better during four of his past five games. The slot man's usage suggests he should be in lineups as a WR3/flex.
Michael Gallup was held to two receptions for 33 yards on six targets on Monday Night Football, but the second-year receiver did bail out his fantasy investors with a touchdown catch. After averaging 113 receiving yards per game during his first three games, Gallup has fallen short of 50 in three straight. The good news is he's seen a target share of at least 15% in all six of his games this season. The Dallas offense is currently ninth in plays per game (65.3) and second in touchdowns per game (3.25), so it's a good spot for a No. 2 wideout.
Brandon Allen made his first NFL start Sunday, attempting only 20 passes in the win against Cleveland. Allen was held to 12 completions, but he connected with Noah Fant and Courtland Sutton for touchdowns. Only three Broncos were targeted more than once (Sutton 8, Fant 4, Diontae Spencer 3). Sutton's 44% target share provides some optimism that he can remain a weekly fantasy starter, but we should still be wary of the team's shaky quarterback situation in what is a low-volume (22nd in offensive snaps per game), run-heavy (sixth run-heaviest), low-scoring (30th in touchdowns per game) offense. It's possible rookie Drew Lock is under center following the Broncos' Week 10 bye, which will only add more uncertainty to the situation. Sutton remains in the WR3 mix, but, if he's on your roster, it's not a bad idea to explore trade opportunities this week.
Tra Carson started at running back for Detroit in Week 8, but he was placed on injured reserve last week, which opened up a new round of questions about the backfield. Ty Johnson paced the unit in snaps (60%) on Sunday, but he wasn't productive, totaling 36 yards on 12 touches. J.D. McKissic (38%) produced 72 yards and one touchdown on seven touches, and Paul Perkins carried the ball on all three of his carries. Johnson's usage suggests he's the back who should be on benches, but you likely can do better in your flex spot.
Jimmy Graham has risen from the dead for a pair of strong fantasy performances this season, but he has otherwise been a non-factor. Other than 6-61-1 and 4-65-1 receiving lines against the Eagles and Raiders, Graham has failed to clear 41 yards in his other seven games. Graham has a total of 37 yards and zero touchdowns on nine targets over the past two weeks. He's played only 62% of the Packers' snaps this season. The 32-year-old will occasionally snag a touchdown, but he's not a reliable TE1.
Carlos Hyde went for 160 yards on 19 carries against the Jaguars in Week 9, which is his highest total since he ran for 193 yards against the Jets in Week 14 of the 2016 season. Hyde has now finished eight of nine weeks as a top-37 fantasy back, but has finished only one week better than 20th. Hyde has handled a massive carry volume (he ranks ninth among backs with 149 carries), but he's been held to three touchdowns (4.5 OTD) and has been targeted only 10 times (five of which came in one game). Hyde will remain a flex option with added value in non-PPR leagues when Houston returns from its bye.
T.Y. Hilton missed Sunday's game with a calf injury that is expected to cost him at least another game or two. In his place, the snap counts at wide receiver on Sunday were as follows: Zach Pascal (94%), Chester Rogers (65%), Parris Campbell (65%) and Deon Cain (28%). Pascal paced the team in targets (six) and posted a strong 5-76-1 receiving line. Campbell produced 80 yards on eight touches (three of which were carries), Rogers found the end zone on one of his five targets and Cain failed to catch either of his two targets. With Miami on deck in Week 10, Campbell (flex) and especially Pascal (borderline WR3) are on the fantasy radar. Both will be riskier if Jacoby Brissett is out, though Brian Hoyer was solid in relief on Sunday.
With Dede Westbrook sidelined in Week 9, Keelan Cole posted a 5-80-0 receiving line on six targets. Cole was on the field for 82% of the offensive snaps, which was just behind starters DJ Chark (95%) and Chris Conley (88%). Sunday's performance marks only the third time during Cole's past 17 games that he reached six targets in a game. Cole does not need to be prioritized on waivers and will be on only the flex radar in deeper leagues if Westbrook misses more time. That seems unlikely with Jacksonville headed to its bye week.
Right when it seemed like LeSean McCoy had taken over as the Chiefs' lead back, Damien Williams paced the backfield in snaps in Week 8 before exploding for a 12-125-1 rushing line against the Vikings in Week 9. Williams easily dominated the snaps this time, seeing the field on 72% of the plays, compared to 17% for Darrel Williams and 10% for McCoy. Granted most of Williams' production on Sunday came on a 91-yard touchdown, but he's now scored in back-to-back games and in four of his seven outings this season. Williams' decline in receiving work (six targets during his past four games) is a red flag, but Patrick Mahomes' likely return in Week 10 could change that in a hurry. The Chiefs' hot hand approach is a pain, but, at least for now, Williams is an option for your flex
It took five games, but Melvin Gordon finally put together his first strong (and non-touchdown-dependent) fantasy performance since returning from his holdout against Green Bay on Sunday. Gordon racked up season highs in touches (23), scrimmage yards (109) and touchdowns (two). He played 62% of the snaps, which nearly doubled the share of Austin Ekeler (35%). Granted the Packers have struggled against the run, but Gordon's heavy volume is more than enough to keep him in the RB2 mix. He should be in lineups against Oakland in Week 10.
Todd Gurley II's efficiency has plummeted this season, but his fantasy production has been bailed out big time by continued dominance in the touchdown department. After scoring 40 touchdowns in 29 games during the 2017-18 regular seasons, Gurley has seven scores in as many games in 2019. That has masked a 3.86 YPC and 1.86 YAC (both lowest since 2016), as well as a 65% catch rate and 3.5 YPT (both easily career lows). As if that's not bad enough, Gurley's snaps are trending the wrong direction, as he set a season low in snap share during each of his past two games. It's possible the Week 9 bye week will get Gurley rolling, but, for now, he remains a touchdown-dependent RB2 against the Steelers this week.
DeVante Parker scored another touchdown Sunday and has now found the end zone in four of his past five games. Parker has racked up six-plus targets and 55-plus receiving yards in six of his eight games. With the Dolphins' offense suddenly able to find the end zone -- they've scored two or more touchdowns in four consecutive games -- Parker is suddenly a weekly flex option. You may need him this week against the Colts with six teams on a bye.
Bisi Johnson has found the end zone during two of Minnesota's past three games. The rookie has been on the field for 76% of the team's offensive snaps with Adam Thielen limited by injury to only 15 snaps during the span. Despite the touchdowns, Johnson will be a weak roster add even if Thielen misses additional time. The Colorado State product was targeted eight times in Week 7, but he has seen two targets during each of his past two games. That's not nearly enough for WR3 production, and there's little upside in a Minnesota offense that has called pass 50% of the time this season (second lowest).
Mohamed Sanu had his Patriots' "breakout" game on Sunday night. The former Falcons' slot man put up a 10-81-1 receiving line on 14 targets. The target and catch numbers match career-high marks set in Week 6 of the 2014 season when Sanu was with Cincinnati. Sanu, as well as Julian Edelman and Ben Watson, played all 65 of the team's offensive snaps. Sanu was targeted five times in a situational role in his New England debut, but his Week 9 usage suggests he's now a must-start in fantasy. New England is headed to its bye, but Sanu should be in lineups against the Eagles in Week 11.
Michael Thomas has 73 receptions in eight games. That puts him on pace for 146, which would break Marvin Harrison's single-season record of 143 set in 2002. The dominant first half of the season comes despite the fact that 63 of Thomas' 90 targets have come from the hand of backup QB Teddy Bridgewater. Thomas caught 77.8% of his targets and averaged 9.5 yards per target with Bridgewater, but his catch rate is 88.5% and he's averaging 10.0 YPT with Brees. The top-scoring fantasy wide receiver even after a Week 9 bye, Thomas is your top option at the position moving forward.
Daniel Jones was one of the biggest underachievers of Week 9, posting 12 fantasy points despite a 28 OFP. Jones has been as boom/bust as they come, producing a pair of top-10 fantasy weeks, but also fewer than 13 points in his other five starts. He has added some value as a rusher (29-188-2), but is averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt and has eight interceptions to go along with 10 fumbles. Jones will be a starting option only when the matchup is right and is a borderline starter against the Jets with six teams on a bye in Week 10.
Robby Anderson finally had a good matchup in Week 9. He didn't take advantage. The soon-to-be-free-agent receiver was held to a 2-33-0 receiving line on four targets against Dolphins CB Ryan Lewis and has now failed to clear 43 yards in six of eight games this season. Anderson has done a majority of his fantasy damage on two plays (a 92-yard touchdown in Week 6 and 36-yard catch in Week 2) and will be a very risky flex option this week, even against the shaky Giants defense. Anderson is not a must-roster at this point.
Derek Carr has the Raiders at 4-4 on the season, but his solid play still hasn't translated to much fantasy success. Carr has thrown for 293, 285 and 289 yards and has either two or three passing touchdowns during his past three games. His fantasy finishes during those weeks? 16th, sixth and 12th. Carr has one top-10 fantasy week to his name and has finished 16th or worse six times. Carr is a non-factor with his legs (12 carries, 27 yards) and Oakland is operating the game-script-adjusted third-run-heaviest offense in the league. Carr should be in lineups only when the matchup calls for it. That won't be the case this week against a Chargers defense allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Zach Ertz got back on track with a 9-103-1 receiving line on 11 targets against the Bears on Sunday. Ertz had been in a bit of a slump, failing to clear 54 yards or find the end zone during his previous three games. Following Sunday's rebound effort, Ertz sits fifth among tight ends in fantasy points, having posted four top-seven fantasy weeks. Ertz has been targeted at least seven times in seven of nine games. There are eight "reliable" weekly tight end options right now, and Ertz certainly remains one of them. The Eagles' relatively easy remaining schedule should lead to more games like Sunday.
With both James Conner and Benny Snell sidelined in Week 9, it was the Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds show in the Pittsburgh backfield. Samuels dominated the snaps (66%) and, though he did very little as a rusher (8-10-0), he had a huge receiving day, hauling in all 13 of his targets for 73 yards. Edmunds, meanwhile, played 26% of the snaps and produced a 12-73-0 rushing line. He wasn't targeted. If Conner remains out this week, Samuels will be a fringe RB1 option against the Rams' middle-of-the-pack run defense, with Edmunds more of a shaky flex.
The moment we were sure Tevin Coleman was "the guy" in the 49ers' backfield was the moment we went wrong ... at least as far as Week 9 goes. Coleman played 36 snaps against Arizona, which paced the team's running backs, but it led to only 36 yards on 14 touches. Matt Breida, meanwhile, went for 92 yards on 17 touches in the win. This after Coleman finished each of the previous four weeks as a top-25 fantasy back. Since Coleman returned from injury in Week 5, he has 77 carries and 12 targets on 172 snaps. Breida has 58 carries and 11 targets on 115 snaps. The touches are close enough that we can call this committee, but Coleman is the preferred RB2 choice, with Breida more of a flex.
The Seahawks are still operating a run-first offense this season but not nearly to the extent of the 2018 team. Seattle averaged a league-low 26.7 pass attempts per game last season, but it sits at 32.6 through nine games in 2019. The adjustment has been huge for Russell Wilson's value, as fantasy's No. 9 scoring quarterback in 2018 is currently No. 1 this season. Granted he's been a boom/bust producer (five top-5 fantasy weeks, but four finishes outside the top 15), but the efficiency has been terrific. Wilson has completed a career-high 68.3% of his passes, is averaging a career-best 8.5 yards per attempt and paces all quarterbacks with 25 total touchdowns. Wilson will be a top-end QB1 play most weeks going forward, though he's not quite as appealing against the 49ers' shutdown defense in Week 10.
Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and two more touchdowns in Seattle on Sunday. He's now thrown for at least 300 yards during five of his past six games and has also tossed at least two touchdowns during five of his past six outings. Believe it or not, Winston is fantasy's No. 2 scoring quarterback during those six weeks. The Tampa Bay offense has picked up where it left off in 2018, ranking third in snaps per game (68.5) and seventh in touchdowns per game (3.0) while calling pass 65% of the time (ninth-highest). Winston remains a weekly QB1 play, and that's especially the case this week against an Arizona defense allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
A.J. Brown posted a 4-81-0 receiving line on seven targets against the Panthers on Sunday. Brown now has either 64-plus receiving yards or a touchdown in three consecutive games and five of nine games this season. Brown has settled in as Tennessee's No. 2 receiver, but it's still hard to justify him as a reliable flex option. Brown has been targeted five or fewer times in seven of his nine games, falling short of 30 yards in five of those outings. Brown shouldn't be a major waiver wire priority with the Chiefs, a bye week and the Jaguars next up on the slate.
Adrian Peterson ran for 108 yards on 18 carries against the Bills on Sunday and has now cleared 75 rushing yards in four consecutive games. That's impressive, but that's about where the positives end. Peterson has been targeted a grand total of five times and has zero touchdowns during the span. In fact, Washington hasn't scored a single offensive touchdown during its past three games, and Peterson hasn't found the end zone since Week 1. The worse news for Peterson's fantasy prospects is that Derrius Guice is expected to be activated from injured reserve following the team's Week 10 bye. Even if Guice doesn't take full control, the second-year back will surely be a factor. Considering Peterson has managed only one weekly finish better than 20th without Guice in the fold, he's unlikely to provide RB2 numbers going forward. Try to trade him away this week while you still can.