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What to make of Joe Mixon’s huge game
If you had Joe Mixon in your fantasy lineup in Week 9, you probably won your matchup, or at least you better have. The Cincinnati running back ran right through the Carolina Panthers all day long for a total of 211 yards and five touchdowns. You’re not going to see Mixon score over 50 fantasy points again in a single week, and he may not do that in the next two or even three games. Why? Because he’s actually been on the field more in previous weeks than he was in Week 9. That’s right. In Week 9, Joe Mixon played 65% of Cincinnati’s offensive snaps. It was his lowest snap count percentage of the season. Remember, Mixon is a running back. A 42-21 final score in which the Bengals dominated from start to finish is exactly the game script you want for your running backs in fantasy. Yet, Mixon was on the field for less than two-thirds of Cincinnati’s offensive snaps. Ja’Marr Chase’s return date is unclear, and the Bengals are on a bye this week so we won’t hear much about his status, but Chase figures to be back for the fantasy playoffs and avoiding a trip to IR was a good sign. Whenever Chase is back on the field, Cincinnati will obviously be throwing more. Mixon couldn’t be a more obvious sell high.
Dalton Schultz showing signs of life?
Odell Beckham Jr. to Dallas rumors don’t seem to be going anywhere. They make sense when you look at the Cowboys’ depth chart. Did you know that Noah Brown is second on the team in receiving yards in 2022 behind CeeDee Lamb? For now, Beckham remains unsigned and questions about his knee remain as the receiver tore his ACL with the Rams in the Super Bowl approximately nine months ago. Speaking of knee injuries, Dalton Schultz has been dealing with an MCL injury all season but has battled through it for Dallas and continued to suit up. In the two games prior to the Cowboys’ bye week, Schultz accumulated 11 catches for 123 yards. He’s yet to find the end zone but at a position as barren as tight end can be for fantasy purposes, that kind of production can surely help. Tight end usage is always important to keep an eye on as well as a lot of tight ends are rostered by NFL teams for their blocking purposes which isn’t going to translate to fantasy production. With that being said, Schultz’s targets per routes ran percentage came in at a respectable 31 and 33% in those two games heading into the bye. He’s becoming a nice second target for Dak Prescott and appears to have Prescott’s trust in the short term at the very least.
Cam Akers is back, but does it matter?
After he was not traded, Cam Akers and the Rams sure feel like the couple that can’t find new partners and decide to just stick together for the hell of it. The Week 9 loss in Tampa was the first time Akers stepped on the field in a month. The Florida State product carried the ball five times for a measly three yards. Akers out-snapped Ronnie Rivers but it was the other two active running backs for the Rams on Sunday, Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, who led the way for Los Angeles against Tampa Bay. Out of the 17 running back rushing attempts for the Rams, 12 of them belonged to Henderson and Brown played all but one of the team’s third-down snaps. So what’s the actionable takeaway here? Kyren Williams is set to make his NFL debut on Sunday against Arizona. He’s worth a stash in all formats because no one else seems to want to do anything with RB touches for the Rams and Cooper Kupp is the only WR worth trusting in this offense. Someone else has to gain yards…right?
WR Situations to Monitor post Trade Deadline
If you’re looking for stashes, Kadarius Toney, might profile as a good one. The newly-acquired Chiefs WR was only on the field for nine snaps on Sunday night against Tennessee, but he did catch both balls thrown his way for 12 yards. It’s important to remember the first game for traded players on their new teams is often times an ease-in game and Andy Reid said that would be the case for Toney in advance of Sunday’s 20-17 OT victory over the Titans. The WR room in Kansas City still isn’t blowing anyone’s socks off, hence the trade for Toney in the first place. If you have a roster spot to spare, Toney might become playable by the fantasy playoffs. Just on that hunch alone, given his quarterback is Patrick Mahomes, he’s worth rostering.
A player who’s certainly owned in more leagues would be Bears WR Chase Claypool. However, in shallower leagues, there’s still a possibility the former Steeler is a free agent. What kind of showing was it for Claypool in his Chicago debut? How about 26 offensive snaps played out of a total of 74. Justin Fields dropped back to pass 38 times but Claypool ran a route on just 16 of those dropbacks. However, the Fields still targeted Claypool six times and Claypool received a carry as well which suggests Chicago may plan to be more creative with his usage in the coming weeks. For most of Fields’ career, prior to recent weeks, this has been an offense that’s been stuck in the mud and its rare success was rooted in strong ground game production. The Bears need to continue to allow Fields to develop and the acquisition of a talent like Claypool should help Fields grow. Don’t be surprised if Claypool is the No. 1 WR in the windy city by season’s end.
By Greg Frank
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