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Things I Learned in Fantasy Football: Week 9

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Takeaways from Week 9 as told through @MarcasG's tweets.

Maybe it's time to do away with the narrative that the Buffalo Bills defense is tough on running backs. They've allowed 100-plus scrimmage yards and/or a touchdown in back-to-back games -- highlighted this week by the ageless Adrian Peterson turning back the clock and running for 108 yards in Week 9. Heading into Sunday, the Bills run defense was pretty middle-of-the-road, ranking 13th in the league. That ranking is likely to get a little worse when the week is over. Buffalo won't get any reprieves next week when they travel to the other end of Lake Erie to take on Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns. Much like the recent awakening we've had with the Bears defense, you can feel a little more confident starting your backs against the Bills.

After New York's first drive ended in a touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder, it looked like the Dolphins would once again be the miracle tonic that beefed up another weakling offense. Little did we know, that would be the last time Gang Green would reach the painted area. The Jets offensive line continued to to resemble a colander and Sam Darnold still looked befuddled as New York settled for a four-pack of field goals the rest of the way. On the plus side, Jamison Crowder did plenty of work in the first half and Le'Veon Bell cleaned up in garbage time. But any idea that the Jets offense could find some life in the second half of the season evaporated into the early November air like so much smoke from a tailgate grill.

We've been clamoring for it for years. Plenty of us had given up on it. But alas, it appears to be materializing before our very eyes. The mythical DeVante Parker breakout season is upon us. With his touchdown catch on Sunday, he's tied his career high in that category and is on pace to set a new career-high in receiving yards. It's wild to think that Parker's greatest success has come on a roster built to avoid it, but he and Preston Williams have flashed legitimate playmaking ability with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. With a schedule that includes another game against the Jets along with the Browns, Eagles, Giants, and Bengals, it's worth exploring having Parker and Williams as flex options for the rest of the season.

This isn't exactly a newsflash. But it is a notice that Hill looks pretty quarterback-proof right now. In two games with Matt Moore as a starter, Hill has 12 receptions (17 targets) for 216 yards and a touchdown. Not only is he a target for deep throws but he's shown a penchant for making difficult catches. Anyway, I'm telling you something you already know ... start Tyreek Hill.

It feels like things are starting to turn in our direction with this one. Jones got the start for Tampa Bay in Week 9 and scored a rushing touchdown on the opening drive. That was the good news. The better news is that Jones played 56 percent of the snaps, compared to just 11 percent for Peyton Barber. It's worth nothing that Dare Ogunbowale was on the field nearly 28 percent of the time -- his role as the Bucs' pass-catching back isn't going away anytime soon. But hopefully this means Jones is earning a spot as the main back in Tampa and cleaning up what has been a frustrating backfield.

After the first six weeks, we were wondering whether we'd overrated this group of running backs. But in the past couple of weeks, this flock of first-years has come to life. Josh Jacobs -- who has been the most consistent player of the group -- has continued his strong play. David Montgomery is starting to see more work despite the Bears' offense being stuck in neutral. Meanwhile Miles Sanders and Devin Singletary have shown that their big play ability is worthy of getting more touches. If you were patient enough to hang on to any of those players, your faith could very well be rewarded down the stretch.

Wait...what?


* Gardner Minshew has more rushing yards this season than Damien Williams.

* JuJu Smith-Schuster didn't have a game with fewer than 30 receiving yards last season. This season, he's had three games with fewer than 20 yards.

* In the first half, Mitchell Trubisky only completed one pass beyond the line of scrimmage.

* Ameer Abdullah (7) played more snaps than Alexander Mattison (6).

* LeSean McCoy hasn't played 30-plus snaps in a game once this year. On Sunday, he played six.

* Tyrell Williams failed to score a touchdown for the first time this season.

* Baker Mayfield still does not have a game with more than one touchdown pass.

And one for the road...


Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who wishes he was the guy who came up with trick-or-treating. Though you probably don't get royalties for that sort of thing. Send him your retconned inventions or fantasy football questions via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, and Instagram.

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