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DeAngelo Williams dominates: Week 9 fantasy recap

What a crazy weekend of football action. There were a ton of high-scoring performances from some of the game's top stars, while several other players emerged in new roles to take advantage of their opportunities. DeAngelo Williams has some how found the fountain of youth, as he's running better than he did at any point last year. The Steelers might need him now more than ever, too, as Ben Roethlisberger left the game with an injury.

We have more on that and the rest of Week 9's games in our full recaps below.

Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers

Top performers:
» Aaron Rodgers, QB: 369 pass yards, 4 TDs, INT, 32.96 fantasy points
» James Starks, RB: 39 rush yards, 5 rec, 78 yards, TD, 17.7 fantasy points
» Randall Cobb, WR: 4 rec, 99 yards, 15.9 fantasy points
» Davante Adams, WR: 7 rec, 93 yards, 2-pt, 11.3 fantasy points
» Cam Newton, QB: 340 pass yards, INT, 33.58 fantasy points
» Jonathan Stewart, RB: 68 total yards, 6.80 fantasy points
» Devin Funchess, WR: 71 yards, TD, 13.1 fantasy points
» Greg Olsen, TE: 66 rec yards, TD, 12.6 fantasy points
» Panthers D/ST: 3 sacks, safety, 10 pts allowed, 9.00 fantasy points

Whew, what a game. After Carolina thoroughly dominated the first two and a half quarters, Aaron Rodgers and company came roaring back. The return of Davante Adams clearly helped, as Rodgers targeted his young wideout 11 times, and he responded with seven catches for 93 yards. Adams looked good, too, and will be in the WR2 discussion weekly moving forward. Randall Cobb got loose a bit, which was nice to see, as he and Rodgers connected on a beautiful 53-yard touchdown. This was the type of game fantasy owners needed to see against a tough defense to restore their faith in Cobb. Richard Rodgers was the recipient of two of his quarterback's passing touchdowns, but he only had 19 yards on the day. He suffered a few bad drops and was benched for a series in the middle of the game. He'll continue to be a touchdown-dependet matchup-based play at the position. As for the backfield ... this might have been the last gasp for Eddie Lacy this season. He's not quite droppable, but he was thoroughly out-played by James Starks, committed a costly fumble and suffered a groin injury. He should be benched until further notice. Starks on the other hand needs to be owned in more than just 16.9 percent of leagues and will be THE top waive-wire pickup this week. He acquitted himself well in pass protection down the stretch, showed soft hands out of the backfield and is a more explosive runner. He could begin to see the lion's share of work in this backfield.

As for the Panthers, Cam was Cam, missing some makeable throws, but his rushing/big-play ability got the job done. He connected with rookie Devin Funchess on a picture-perfect deep toss to set up one Panthers score, and later connected with Funchess for a touchdown of his own. This offense would be a lot more dangerous if Funchess starts to produce on a consistent basis. Jonathan Stewart ran hard, but the Packers did a good job of bottling him up. He still saw 77 percent of the running back attempts out of the backfield, but he needs to get into the end zone from a ways out. After bringing the ball all the way to the 1-yard line, he was vultured by Cam on a sneak. Olsen led the team in targets and remains an every-week TE1.

Washington Redskins at New England Patriots

Top performers:
» Kirk Cousins, QB: 217 yards, TD, INT, 10.68 fantasy points
» Matt Jones, RB: 44 total yards, 4.4 fantasy points
» Pierre Garcon, WR: 4 rec, 70 yards, 7 fantasy points
» Jordan Reed, TE: 18 yards, TD, 7.8 fantasy points
» Tom Brady, QB: 299 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 17.86 fantasy points
» Brandon Bolden, RB: 39 total yards, rec TD, 9.9 fantasy points
» LeGarrette Blount, RB: 29 rush, 129 yards, TD, 18.9 fantasy points
» Julian Edelman, WR: 5 rec, 102 rec yards, 10.2 fantasy points
» Julian Edelman, WR: 5 rec, 55 rec yards, TD, fmbl, 9.5 fantasy points
» Rob Gronkowski, TE: 4 rec, 47 yards, 4.7 fantasy points

This game went about as expected. The Patriots got up early, and salted away the clock with LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden down the stretch. Blount ran really well all day, racking up a ton of his 129 yards after contact. Bolden found his way into the game because Dion Lewis left with a non-contact knee injury and did not return. We'll hold out hope for Lewis, as he's been one of the most edxciting players to watch this year and a fantasy stud, but the injury looked bad. Julian Edelman got his, while Rob Gronkowski had a bit of a quiet day. That's partly because the Patriots made a concerted effort to work Brandon LaFell into the game plan. He saw nine targets today on a wide variety of routes, and notched five catches for 102 yards. He had a fantastic connection with Tom Brady last year down the stretch, and will be in the every-week WR3/flex discussion moving forward.

The Washington skill position players need to buy Kirk Cousins some apology cards, as they dropped a ton of very catchable passes, putting the offense in constant holes. The backfield remains unusable in fantasy, as Alfred Morris and Matt Jones split 15 carries (five to 10, respectively) for a meager 37 yards. DeSean Jackson's return to the field was an inauspicious one, as he managed just three catches for 15 yards on six targets. Even with DJax back, Jamison Crowder continued to see a heavy amount of targets with eight, which he turned into six catches for 50 yards. He'll have value in deeper PPR leagues. Pierre Garcon was plagued with some bad drops, but managed 70 yards on four catches. Cousins looked fine, but as we said, he wasn't helped by his wide receivers. He's still only a streaming option with the right matchup. Jordan Reed didn't see the volume we would have liked, but his ultimate garbage time touchdown (25 seconds left in the game, down 24 points) was just enough to give him a decent fantasy day.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets

Top performers:
» Blake Bortles, QB: 381 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 32 rush yards, fumble, 20.44 fantasy points
» Allen Hurns, WR: 122 yards, TD, 18.20 fantasy points
» Allen Robinson, WR: 121 yards, 12.10 fantay points
» Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: 272 yards, 2 TD, 18.88 fantasy points
» Chris Ivory, RB: 48 yards, 2 TD, 16.80 fantasy points
» Eric Decker, WR: 79 yards, TD, 13.90 fantasy points
» Brandon Marshall, WR: 44 yards, TD, 10.40 fantasy points

Blake Bortles is becoming every fantasy owner's dream. The Jaguars quarterback wasn't great on the field, but he still put together a nice fantasy day with more than 20 points. His top two receivers -- Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns -- are proving that they belong in your lineup every week. T.J. Yeldon didn't have an eye-popping week, but still gave you more than 100 scrimmage yards. Not too shabby against a defense that many people feared would keep the clamps on him.

It was a workman-like performance for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets. The Amish Rifle wasn't spectacular, but he was efficient with 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The eternally underrated Eric Decker had a nice afternoon with 79 yards and a score. It would have been another lousy day for Chris Ivory were it not for a pair of touchdowns. Doesn't matter. We'll take it.

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Top performers:
» Ryan Tannehill, QB: 309 passing yards, 11.56 fantasy points
» Lamar Miller, RB: 19 touches, 141 total yards, 2 TDs, 26.10 fantasy points
» Jay Ajayi, RB: 5 carries, 41 yards, 26.10 fantasy points, 4.10 fantasy points
» Jarvis Landry, WR: 11 rec, 69 yards, 9.05 fantasy points
» Kenny Stills, WR: 3 rec, 74 yards, 7.4 fantasy points
» Tyrod Taylor, QB: 225 total yards, TD, 15.54 fantasy points
» LeSean McCoy, RB: 18 touches, 119 total yards, TD, 17.90 fantasy points
» Karlos Williams, RB: 9 carries, 110 yards, 2 TD, 23.0 fantasy points
» Sammy Watkins, WR: 8 rec, 168 yards, TD, 22.80 fantasy points

Lamar Miller continues on as the best case study in #JustGiveItToYourGoodPlayers. He paced the offense with 141 total yards, 97 of which came through the air. Ever since Joe Philbin got the axe, Miller's been the featured part of the offense. Surprisingly, after a stint on IR Boomerang following a rough training camp, rookie Jay Ajayi got a few touches and looked tremendous. Monitor his status. He's a very talented rookie, and will have big handcuff value if this really is his job. Rishard Matthews lost looks to Kenny Stills and others today. Expect that trend to continue throughout the season. The Bills offense looked infinitely better with all its top players back in tow. Who would have thought? Tyrod Taylor instantly unlocked a dimension of the offense EJ Manuel could only dream of, and both running backs went over 100 yards and scored. LeSean McCoy left the game with an injury, and we know Karlos Williams can deliver in one of the highest value handcuff situations. The big difference maker was Sammy Watkins, who for the first time this season looked like player the Bills sold out to draft last year. When he's healthy, and Tyrod is under center, he can start in good matchups.

Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints

Top performers:
» Marcus Mariota, QB: 371 passing yards, 4 TDs, 33.34 fantasy points
» Antonio Andrews, RB: 20 touches, 103 total yards, 11.10 fantasy points
» Dorial Green-Beckham, WR: 5 rec, 77 yards, 7.70 fantasy points
» Delanie Walker, TE: 7 rec, 95 yards, 2 TDs, 23.50 fantasy points
» Drew Brees, QB: 389 passing yards, 4 total TDs, INT, 31.46 fantasy points
» Mark Ingram, RB: 25 touches, 94 total yards, 9.40 fantasy points
» Willie Snead, WR: 6 rec, 95 yards, 9.50 fantasy points
» Brandin Cooks, WR: 4 rec, 73 yards, TD, 13.30 fantasy points
» Benjamin Watson, TE: 5 rec, 60 yards, 6.0 fantasy points

About that streaming Saints D/ST call ... somehow this contest turned into a shootout quickly. The difference between Marcus Mariota and Zach Mettenberger was palpable right away, as a team that was non-competitive last week looked like an offensive juggernaut in Week 9. The Titans weren't kidding about naming Antonio Andrews the feature back. He took 20 touches yet again, and kept the offense on schedule. He's giving them no reason to involve anyone else, so you can probably drop those David Cobb shares. Dorial Green-Beckham led the team in receiving yards, and should be on every fantasy owner's radar. Mariota loves Delanie Walker, who also got some lucky bounces off tipped passes today. The Saints took this one through the air with three of the Titans' top defensive backs on the shelf. Mark Ingram didn't get much going, but still saw 25 touches. He has one of the safer workloads in the NFL and should be just fine going forward. Both Snead and Cooks are making good in their roles in this offense, and are worth flex plays going forward. Benjamin Watson enjoyed a steady day, even though Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui scored touchdowns in the red zone. His role is still safe in this offense, so there is no need to panic there.

Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers

Top performers:
» Derek Carr, QB: 310 pass yards, 4 pass TDs, 3 rush yards, INT, 26.34 fantasy points
» Latavius Murray, RB: 96 rush yards, -1 rec yard, 7.50 fantasy points
» Amari Cooper, WR: 88 rec yards, TD, 14.80 fantasy points
» Michael Crabtree, WR: 108 rec yards, 2 TDs, 22.80 fantasy points
» Clive Walford, TE: 1 rec yard, TD, 6.10 fantasy points
» Jamize Olawale, RB: 19 rush yards, TD: 7.90 fantasy points
» Ben Roethlisberger, QB: 334 pass yards, 2 pass TD, 2-pt, INT, 21.36 fantasy points
» DeAngelo Williams, RB: 235 total yards, 2 rush TD, 2-pt, 36.50 fantasy points
» Antonio Brown WR: 284 rec yards, 22 rush yards, lost fumble, 28.60 fantasy points
» Martavis Bryant, WR: 31 rec yards, TD, 9.10 fantasy points

What a game for fantasy fans. From Derek Carr's four touchdown passes to Antonio Brown's 17 receptions for 284 receiving yards to DeAngelo Williams' two touchdowns and over 200 scrimmage yards, there was more than enough to go around. Toss in two touchdown catches for Michael Crabtree, and one each for Amari Cooper and Martavis Bryant, and everyone came away happy from this game ... well, except for Steelers' fans. Despite getting a big win over the Raiders in dramatic form, Ben Roethlisberger had to be carted off the field with what looked like a foot or ankle injury. The severity of his injury isn't known yet, but we saw what happened to all of Pittsburgh's playmakers when he wasn't playing earlier in the season, and it wasn't good. We'll be keeping a close eye on Ben's status in the coming days. With his third straight strong game, Carr has proven that he's worthy of top-10 fantasy quarterback consideration and needs to be owned in all leagues. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Latavius Murray had to leave the game with what looked like a concussion, so his day ended early too. But, for the most part this was one heck of a game to watch for fanatsy enthusiasts.

St. Louis Rams at Minneosta Vikings

Top performers:
» Todd Gurley, RB: 89 rush yards, TD, 20 rec yards, 16.90 fantasy points
» Tavon Austin, WR: 15 rec yards, 66 rush yards, 8.10 fantasy points
» Kenny Britt, WR: 87 rec yards, 8.70 fantasy points
» Adrian Peterson, RB: 125 rush yards, TD, 18 rec yards, 20.30 fantasy points
» Teddy Bridgewater, QB: 144 pass yards, INT, 17 rush yards, D, 2-pt,  13.46 fantasy points
» Stefon Diggs, WR: 42 rec yards, 4.20 fantasy points

Other than the big running back matchup between Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson, who both had great fantasy performances, there wasn't much fantasy action in this game. Stefon Diggs led the Vikings in receiving with just 42 yards and neither quarterback threw a touchdown pass. Teddy Bridgewater saved a bit of face with a rushing touchdown and added a 2-point conversion on a run as well. But Bridgewater took a nasty blow to the head on what looked like an illegal hit by a Rams defender and left the game to be evaluated for a concussion. Shaun Hill came into the game but did next to nothing for the Vikings offense, although they did come away with an overtime win. If Bridgewater has to miss any time, it could negatively impact Diggs' value for as long as he's out. Tavon Austin also proved that he's worth a fantasy roster spot with his all-purpose, gadget-type usage. There was one passing play where Austin was wide open down field and dropped a pass, so he could have had a few more points, but he has the potential to have a big game pretty much each and every week.

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

Top performers:
» Matt Ryan, QB: 303 pass yards, TD, 2 rush yards, 16.32 fantasy points
» Devonta Freeman, RB: 79 yards, TD, 13.90 fantasy points
» Julio Jones, WR: 137 yards, 13.70 fantasy points
» Blaine Gabbert, QB: 185 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 32 rush yards, 14.60 fantay points
» Garrett Celek, TE: 12 yards, 2 TD, 13.20 fantasy points
» Shaun Draughn, RB: 96 yards, 9.60 fantasy points

Everything about this matchup said the Falcons were going to put up bonkers statistics. So of course, Atlanta's players put up a whole host of mediocre numbers. Matt Ryan struggled all day long to consistently get the ball to his receivers and threw his only touchdown on a short pass to Devonta Freeman. Speaking of Freeman, he was out-rushed by Blaine Gabbert (!!!). Were it not for his 67 receiving yards, the day would have been a wash. Julio Jones was Julio Jones, even if he didn't make his way into the end zone. The biggest takeaway is that the Falcons are tough to trust, regardless of the matchup.

When fantasy football enthusiasts needed a savior, they turned to Blaine Gabbert. OK, maybe not. But the Niners quarterback did give you 14 points, which is probably about 10 points more than many of us had projected. If you rolled the dice on Garrett Celek, you were rewarded with a pair of touchdown catches. Today's output wasn't really special in any sense and there's little reason to think you can count on any 49ers in two weeks when they head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top performers:
» Eli Manning, QB: 213 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, -1 rush yard, INT, 12.42 fantasy points
» Odell Beckham Jr., WR: 105 rec yards, 10.50 fantasy points
» Shane Vereen, RB: 14 rush yards, 29 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 10.30 fantasy points
» Jameis Winston, QB: 249 pass yards, 24 rush yards, rush TD, 18.36 fantasy points
» Doug Martin, RB: 31 rush yards, 12 rec yards, fumble lost, 2.30 fantasy points
» Mike Evans, WR: 152 rec yards, fumble lost, 13.20 fantasy points
» Charles Sims, RB: 78 rush yards, 4 rec yards, fumble lost, 6.20 fantasy points

Man, this game was not pretty on either side of the ball. On the ground, neither team was productive. Doug Martin had his worst game of the year with just 43 total yards on 13 touches and lost a fumble, which didn't help his fantasy total. Thanks to a 59-yard run in the second half, Charles Sims finished with 78 yards and out-scored Martin from a fantasy perspective. This obviously won't be the case every week, but it was more a matter of game flow as the Bucs were playing down out of the gate. The Giants running back committee shared 32 rush attempts, with Rashad Jennings leading the way with 13 carries for a measly 48 yards. Thanks to Shane Vereen's receiving touchdown in the first half, he was the leading fantasy scorer out of New York's backfield and seems to be the most reliable option going forward. In the passing game, both Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans proved why they are worthy of a top-10 ranking each and every week. On 17 targets, Beckham hauled in nine receptions for 105 yards while Evans saw 19 targets and caught eight passes for 152 yards. Evans struggled with some bad drops though, including what looked like a surefire touchdown, so his day could have been even bigger. Jameis Winston didn't throw any touchdown passes but proved a worthy streaming option for fantasy owners in need as he rushed one in himself and posted over 18 fantasy points in standard leagues. Eli Manning followed up his six-touchdown game last week with somewhat of a stinker here as he threw two picks and had fewer than 13 fantasy points in standard scoring formats. He should be fine against New England next week though.

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts

Top performers:
» Peyton Manning, QB: 281 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 15.24 fantasy points
» C.J. Anderson, RB: 8 touches, 38 total yards, 3.8 fantasy points
» Ronnie Hillman, RB: 7 carries, 1 yard, 0.10 fantasy points
» Emmanuel Sanders, WR: 6 rec, 90 yards, TD, 15.00 fantasy points
» Demaryius Thomas, WR: 5 rec, 50 yards, 5.00 fantasy points
» Owen Daniels, TE: 6 rec, 102 yards, TD, 16.20 fantasy points
» Andrew Luck, QB: 286 total yards, 2 TDs, 21.48 fantasy points
» Frank Gore, RB: 29 touches, 102 total yards, TD, 16.20 fantasy points
» Ahmad Bradshaw, RB: 7 touches, 11 yards, TD, 7.10 fantasy points
» T.Y. Hilton, WR: 5 rec, 82 yards, 8.20 fantasy points
» Griff Whalen, WR: 5 rec, 73 yards, 7.30 fantasy points

The all-time passing yardage record didn't fall today, as the Colts kept Peyton Manning under the needed mark. The mistakes just keep rolling in for Peyton, as two other confusing interceptions held him under 20 fantasy points for yet another week. C.J. Anderson looked like the superior back today, but in fairness, Hillman came into the day banged up. These two are tough to rely on week to week with their own competition for touches and game script playing a factor. Emmanuel Sanders busted loose on a 64-yard score, but otherwise the Colts held the two Denver receivers in check. Playing Vernon Davis was a bad idea all the way around this week, and he didn't catch a single pass. Owen Daniels actually had his best game of the season, which should give us hope for Davis' future role. Andrew Luck also had his best game of the season against the best defense in the NFL. There were still some shaky moments, but all the way around, this was the performance his owners needed to see. Frank Gore continues to be the workhorse of this offense carrying a massive 28 rushes today. In a fantasy landscape where running backs continue to drop like flies, he's been ultra-steady. The Broncos made a concerted effort lock down other Colts weapons, while letting the injured T.Y. Hilton beat them. That plan cost them 82 yards, and in part, the game.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Top performers:
» DeMarco Murray, RB: 83 rush yards, TD, 78 rec yards, 22.1 fantasy points
» Ryan Mathews, RB: 67 rush yards, TD, 12.7 fantasy points
» Jordan Matthews, WR: 9 rec, 133 rec yards, TD, 19.3 fantasy points
» Matt Cassel, QB: 299 yards, 3 TDs, INT, 23.66 fantasy points
» Darren McFadden, RB: 27 rush, 117 yards, 5 rec yards, 12.2 fantasy points
» Cole Beasley, WR: 9 rec, 112 rec yards, 2 TD 23.2 fantasy points
» Dez Bryant, WR: 5 rec, 104 rec yards, TD, 16.4 fantasy points

Aside from Cole Beasley's scoring outburt, everything else about this game went pretty much as we expected. The Eagles backfield was productive, with both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews getting it done for fantasy owners. Murray looked good in his second shot at "revenge" against the Cowboys, and continues to be a relatively trust-worthy RB2 each and every week. Mathews continues to be the more efficient runner on far fewer touches, keeping him in the weekly flex discussion, but we'd love to see his workload increase. Jordan Matthews bounce-back nicely with a really solid game that included the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Fantasy owners will likely want to see him do it again, but this is a start for him getting back into their good graces. Were it not for said overtime touchdown, Sam Bradford would have had an utterly forgettable fantasy day.

Matt Cassel threw a terrible pick-six, but otherwise managed a decent fantasy night for anyone forced to stream him with six teams on bye weeks. He was helped by an amazing catch by Dez Bryant on a 100 percent YOLO ball that he threw up with a prayer. Dez answered it, and the prayers of countless fantasy owners, too. Seriously, watch the catch in the video to the right if you haven't seen it yet or want to witness the amazing happen again. Much to the chagrin of Christine Michael truthers, this backfield belongs to Darren McFadden. He received 28 touches (27 rush, 1 reception) and totaled over 100 total yards for the third straight game. Joseph Randle only accomplished that feat twice as the Cowboys' primary back in 2015. McFadden is an every-week RB2 moving forward given his extreme volume and production.

Chicago Bears at San Diego Chargers

Top performers:
» Jeremy Langford, RB: 142 yards, TD, 2-pt, 22.2 fantasy points
» Jay Cutler, QB: 345 pass yards, 2 TD, INT, -2 rush yards, 2-pt, 17.6 fantasy points
» Alshon Jeffery, WR: 151 yards, 15.1 fantasy points
» Danny Woodhead, RB: 111 yards, TD, 17.1 fantasy points
» Philip Rivers, QB: 280 pass yards, TD, 15.2 fantasy points
» Chargers D/ST: Sack, INT, fumble rec, TD, 11 fantasy points

All week, there was plenty of excitement about Jeremy Langford's fantasy prospects. On Monday night, he justified that hype with more than 20 fantasy points against the porous Chargers defense. As long as Matt Forte is out of action, Langford will be a viable starter, though his future matchups aren't quite as juicy as what he faced in Week 9. Jay Cutler continues to play well, even if he's not a weekly QB1 start. The veteran posted 17-plus fantasy points for the fifth consecutive game and still doesn't have a game with more than one interception. That's definitely progress. It certainly helps when you have Alshon Jeffery going against an injury-riddled secondary. Let's see if Cutler can stay hot against the Rams next week.

If you've ever considered playing in the NFL, you might want to call the San Diego Chargers. They could use some extra bodies. The improbably long list of walking wounded has severly hamstrung Philip Rivers and the passing game. In the short term, it means more work for Danny Woodhead, Antonio Gates and Steve Johnson. But for the rest of the season, this is going to pose a problem for an offense that was among the league's most efficient early in the season.

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