NFL: Five fantasy stars of week 9

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a pass to Robert Woods for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Week 9 was full of blowouts, fights and surprise performances from some unexpected heroes. Chances are, most of the high performers are still on the waiver wire in your league, and if not they probably were not started. Let’s see who thrived and who definitely did not.

Quarterback: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams: 28 points standard, 28.4 points PPR

The Rams did not just beat the New York Giants on Sunday, they absolutely destroyed them. This was largely due to a stellar performance from Goff, who threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 51-17 victory. Goff also showed off his arm, hitting Sammy Watkins downfield for a 67-yard touchdown bomb. He managed to do all of this on only 14 completions, the fourth-least of all quarterbacks who played the whole game this week.

The Rams face the Houston Texans next week, and Goff could potentially have another big game. The Texans just let Jacoby Brissett throw for over 300 yards, so I am confident Goff can do just as well, if not better. He is also available in just over half of ESPN leagues, so he is worth an add as either a backup or low-end starter moving forward. For week 10, I would feel good with Goff at the helm.

Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills: 26 points standard, 26.9 points PPR

Tyrod Taylor had a good game against the New York Jets despite falling 34-21 on Thursday Night Football. Taylor threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, although he did lose a fumble. He also rushed for 35 yards and another touchdown. Taylor’s big fantasy day largely benefited from garbage time scores, as the Bills went down 34-7 before scoring twice in the last five minutes of the game.

Taylor and the Bills face the New Orleans Saints week 10, and I am not confident in his ability to have a strong fantasy performance. The Saints have a good defense, one which could pose a problem to Taylor. While he will be getting a big playmaker in Kelvin Benjamin, it is not enough to outweigh the strength of the Saints defense. You should find other options than Taylor for your starting quarterback next week.

Honorable Mentions: Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Jay Cutler

Running back: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints: 24 points standard, 31.2 points PPR

Kamara was a dual threat Sunday against the Buccaneers, rushing 10 times for 68 yards and catching six passes for 84 yards. He also had two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Kamara has been on a tear lately, recording at least 75 yards from scrimmage in each of the four games since coming off his bye week. He also has had at least 10 touches since week 4, with this week being his highest with 16.

He does have one handicap when it comes to fantasy, and his name is Mark Ingram. Ingram continues to get roughly twice as many carries as Kamara and the same number of receptions per game. However, he continues to produce good fantasy numbers even with his limited usage. I would be fine starting him next week as a RB2 or FLEX option, especially against a Bills defense that was just torched for 209 scrimmage yards by the Jets’ running backs.

Running back: Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles: 24 points standard, 25.6 points PPR

Going into week 9, Clement was owned in 0.8 percent of ESPN leagues and started in just 0.1 percent, but for those few that did start him, it paid off. He only accumulated 66 scrimmage yards, 51 on the ground and 15 through the air but made his way into the end zone three times. Projected zero points on ESPN, it is safe to say that he greatly surpassed his expectations and shocked fantasy football players everywhere in the process.

The Eagles are on bye week 10, but the following week they have a tough division matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, a team that has looks better every game they play. Couple that with being in a crowded backfield, which includes new addition Jay Ajayi, and Clement should see minimal playing time. Even after this big week, he is still not worth owning until he consistently becomes the second man up, and with LeGarrette Blount behind Ajayi, it is extremely unlikely.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Forte, Todd Gurley II

Wide Receiver: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: 29 points standard, 34.5 points PPR

Hilton exploded again this week, catching five passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. His two scores both came off big yardage plays, with one going for 45 yards and the other for 80. The latter was a little treat to fantasy owners, as it appeared Hilton went down by contact, but he jumped back up and took it another 30 yards to the house uncontested. After further review, it was determined that he was never touched when he went down, and the touchdown stood.

To put it simply, Hilton is boom or bust - there is no in-between. This marks the third week this season where he has had over 150 yards. However, in every other week he finished with less than 60, proving his big play dependency. The Colts face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers next week, who have given up the second-least yards through the air per game, only behind Jacksonville. If you want to take a chance on his breakout potential, start him, but if you have more consistent options, I would opt for the consistency.

Honorable Mentions: Marvin Jones Jr., Alshon Jeffery

Bonus: Defense/Special Teams, New York Giants: -10 points standard, -10 points PPR

The Giants defense was only a fantasy star is you were facing them, because you basically got a free 10 points. While it is easier for defenses to finish with negative points than any other position, it takes skill to go as deep into the negatives as the Giants did against the Rams. They just had the worst fantasy week of anyone, giving up 51 points and 473 yards in just 60 minutes of play. I am truly sorry if you started them, and I would say Ben McAdoo is too but he would probably just find a way to put the blame on you.


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.