Week 9 kicked the second half of the NFL season off and we were treated to some of the best games of the year. The Rams came in as the last unbeaten team in the league and left New Orleans disappointed. Michael Thomas gave us a throwback celebration that brought Joe Horn to tears and, if you bought into the hype surrounding many of the WRs affected by trade deadline deals, you were likely crying as well.

For a full rundown and Andy, Mike and Jason‘s take on the Week 9 Studs & Duds, check out today’s podcast.

Studs
QUARTERBACKS

Drew Brees vs LAR
346 yards, 4 TDs
The best way to end the last undefeated streak in the NFL is to play lights out football. Drew Brees did just that in the Saints victory over the Rams. Brees threw for 3 first-half TDs and had one of his best outings of the year when his team needed him most. Especially big after a Week 8 Dud against Minnesota.

Jared Goff @ NO
391 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Goff did not go down quietly. The Rams fought tooth and nail to keep their streak alive and Goff had his second-highest yardage output for the season. His 3 TDs just weren’t enough to top Brees and Co.

Matt Ryan @ WAS
350 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Big win for the Falcons here and Matt Ryan did his part. He spread the ball around and got 3 guys into the end zone…including Julio Jones…finally!

Patrick Mahomes @ CLE
375 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
The Browns had done a pretty good job at slowing down QBs this year but Mahomes is bulletproof.

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ CAR
243 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs
While the return of “Fitz-magic” did not lead to a Tampa Bay victory, it was another solid fantasy performance.

RUNNING BACKS

Kareem Hunt @ CLE
91 yards rushing, 1 reception for 50 yards, 3 total TDs
When your team gets out to a big lead, your RB tends to have a big game. Hunt found the TD on a screen pass and running the ball. It was a rewarding day after a relatively quiet Week 8.

Alvin Kamara vs LAR
82 yards rushing, 4 receptions for 34 yards, 3 total TDs
Tales of Kamara’s demise at the hands of the return of Mark Ingram were clearly exaggerated. Kamara had his way with the Rams, routinely breaking arm tackles and picking up extra yards.

Christian McCaffrey vs TB
79 yards rushing, 5 receptions for 78 yards, 2 rushing TDs
The Panthers ran over, around, and thru the Buccaneers defense early and often in this one. McCaffrey’s 150 totals yards and 2 rushing TDs led to his best fantasy performance of the season.

Tevin Coleman @ WAS
88 yards rushing, 5 receptions for 68 yards, 2 receiving TDs
Coleman had been pretty disappointing since taking the lead role over but patience was rewarded in Week 9. It was his 2nd best rushing performance and best day thru the air in 2018.

James White vs GB
31 rushing yards, 6 receptions for 72 yards, 2 rushing TDs
James White has been leading the Pats all season long so another big performance is a big win is hardly surprising. White is on pace for over 100 catches this year.

James Conner @ BAL
107 yards rushing, 7 receptions for 56 yards, 1 receiving TD
Another week the Steelers are not missing Le’Veon Bell. Conner handled business running and as a receiver.

Duke Johnson vs KC
8 yards rushing, 9 receptions for 78 yards, 2 receiving TDs
Maybe if Hue Jackson or Todd Haley could get Duke the ball they’d still be employed.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Michael Thomas vs LAR
12 catches for 211 yards, 1 TD
When you plan a big end zone celebration to make Joe Horn proud, you better come thru with a big day. Thomas had a huge day in an even bigger win and took time during the game to make a celebratory phone call.

Adam Humphries @ CAR
8 receptions for 82 yards, 2 TDs
Humphries is, on most days, 5th or 6th, in the Tampa Bay pecking order. On Sunday, he was very clearly #1 in a game where the Bucs had to throw a lot. He played hard, fought thru tackles and found the end zone multiple times.

Julio Jones @ WAS
7 receptions for 121 yards, 1 TD
You read that stat line right. Julio Jones scored a touchdown. All is right in the world.

DeAndre Hopkins @ DEN
10 receptions for 105 yards, 1 TD
Despite the addition of Demaryius Thomas, Hopkins is still top dog. The Texans needed every catch as they pulled out a big win in Denver.

Brandin Cooks @ NO
6 receptions for 114 yards, 1 TD
It’s always hard to tell which Rams wideout might own the day and in Week 9 it was Cooks. Coming off of a rather quiet Week 8, it was a pleasant surprise in his revenge game against the team that drafted him.

Josh Gordon vs GB
5 receptions for 130 yards, 1 TD
Gordon is looking better in this offense every week and appears to be the deep threat Tom Brady so sorely needs, especially as Gronk misses time.

Keenan Allen @ SEA
6 receptions for 124 yards
This was the big game that Allen owners had been waiting on. He still hasn’t scored a TD since Week 1, but cracking the 100-yard mark is a positive start.

TIGHT ENDS

Travis Kelce @ CLE
7 receptions for 99 yards, 2 TDs
When the best TE in football goes up against one of the worst teams against the TE you get Stud performances. Kelce looked like a man amongst boys on both of his TD catches and continues his reign atop the fantasy TEs.

Jeff Heuerman vs HOU
10 receptions for 83 yards, 1 TD
We expected good things from the Denver pass catchers this week, we just picked the wrong pass catchers. Heuerman had a TD last week but this was by far the best outing of his season.

O.J. Howard @ CAR
4 receptions for 53 yards, 2 TDs
The return of Ryan Fitzpatrick definitely meant magic for OJ Howard. Howard has been solid all season long but seems to play his best football with Fitzpatrick under center.

George Kittle vs OAK
4 receptions for 108 yards, 1 TD
A bright spot in a very subpar Thursday night game, Kittle is really coming into his own. Kittle has caught at least 4 balls in every game but one this year.  This was his second 100+ yard outing of the season.

Greg Olsen vs TB
6 receptions for 76 yards, 1 TD
Olsen is, and likely always will be, Cam Newton‘s favorite WR. His TD catch was a thing of beauty and worth a watch if you missed it on Sunday.

DUDS
QUARTERBACKS

Kirk Cousins vs DET
164 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Cousins did not need to do much in this game, as his defense did it’s best to destroy Matt Stafford. Whether it was that lack of urgency or the lack of Stefon Diggs, fantasy owners will be hoping for a quick rebound.

Matthew Stafford @ MIN
199 yards
Yikes. Late Saturday there was word that Xavier Rhodes may miss this game and it looked like Stafford and the Detroit pass catchers may have a good day in store. 10 sacks later and it was clear that it’s going to take more than a banged up CB to get past this Vikings defense.

Derek Carr @ SF
171 yards
The warm and fuzzies that fantasy owners had for Carr after his solid Week 8 performance lasted exactly 4 days. The Raiders are just not good and Carr doesn’t look capable of winning every game himself.

RUNNING BACKS

Adrian Peterson vs ATL
33 total yards on 12 touches
I’m going to take full ownership of this Dud…I traded for AP in my home league and this is my bad luck affecting all Peterson fantasy owners. My bad.

Tarik Cohen @ BUF
13 yards, 1 reception
Not that the Bears need any help at all from their offense, as their defense outscored the Bills by themselves, but you’d have hoped to see something from Cohen. The Bills defense is actually pretty good, so this can be forgiven.

Mark Ingram vs LAR
36 total yards on 10 touches
The Ingram hype is dying as fast as it appeared. This is 3 straight weeks with fewer than 10 fantasy points.

Kenyan Drake vs NYJ
35 total yards on 7 touches
In a game where Frank Gore had 20 carries, the lack of touches is far more concerning than the lack of production.

Lamar Miller @ DEN
45 total yards on 14 touches
Miller came crashing back down to earth. Let the D’Onta Foreman hype resume.

Kerryon Johnson @ MIN
44 total yards on 15 touches
Expectations were probably too high against the Vikings solid defense but Kerryon is trending the wrong direction.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mike Evans @ CAR
1 reception on 10 targets
DeSean Jackson @ CAR
2 receptions for 32 yards
Chris Godwin @ CAR
2 receptions for 40 yards
When your 3 best WRs combine for 5 catches, you lose games…badly. Don’t let the final score fool you, Carolina controlled this game from start to finish.

Chris Hogan vs GB
Nothing on 2 targets
Early in the season, it was a common thought that Hogan would be Brady’s #1 in 2018 after his outstanding 2017 finish. Games like this prove that we know very little.

John Brown vs PIT
3 receptions for 17 yards
Not exactly the yardage output you want to see from your “deep-threat” WR.

Kenny Golladay @ MIN
3 receptions for 46 yards
With the trade of Golden Tate, it was supposed to be the Kenny G party. Instead, the Vikings hit Matt Stafford almost more times than he could hit his WRs.

Emmanuel Sanders vs HOU
6 receptions for 47 yards
Courtland Sutton vs HOU
3 receptions for 57 yards
In estimating the effect of the departure of Demaryius Thomas we may have forgotten that the Texans have a pretty good defense.

Devin Funchess vs TB
4 receptions for 44 yards
D.J. Moore vs TB
1 reception for 16 yards
Tampa Bay’s leaky defense was supposed to mean big days for the Panthers’ starting WRs. Instead, Curtis Samuel soaked up all of the glory.

TIGHT END

Ed Dickson vs LAC
GOOSE! on 1 target
Maybe our excitement after his first week back was a little premature.

Jared Cook @ SF
2 receptions for 20 yards
The Raiders are a sinking ship and the days of Cook being a locked and loaded top 5 TE are going with them.

Kyle Rudolph vs DET
2 receptions for 28 yards
After nearly robbing a TD from Latavius Murray owners early in this game, Rudolph did not do much else.

Vance McDonald @ BAL
3 receptions for 25 yards
Baltimore is typically bad against TEs but Vance could not get anything going.

Jordan Reed vs ATL
4 receptions for 34 yards
Another week, another instance of questioning Rule 86.

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