The top scorers in Week 9 were a who’s who of players most likely to be on eventual fantasy championship teams. Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, Mike Evans and Julio Jones all had strong performances.
Ryan topped all quarterbacks as he threw for 344 yards and four touchdowns Thursday night. It’s important to note that he faces two good pass defenses and has a bye in the next three weeks.
The only other quarterback to throw four touchdown passes was Eli Manning. He hasn’t been worth mentioning lately and it’s hard to tell when he’ll play well. The Eagles are tough against quarterbacks so it was a surprising result.
Marcus Mariota is proving to be very reliable as he’s scored well for the fifth straight game. In that span he has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He threw for 313 yards and accounted for four scores against the Chargers.
Brees and Aaron Rodgers each tossed three TDs as they took advantage of nice matchups against the 49ers and Colts. Brees has just two tough matchups for the rest of the season. After next week against Washington, Rodgers has a brutal schedule.
Dak Prescott took advantage of a bad defense on Sunday, throwing for 257 yards and three touchdowns. He has a difficult stretch ahead, but if you make the playoffs you’ll like his matchups.
Colin Kaepernick faced a bad Saints defense, but his output was still surprising. He threw for 398 yards and two touchdowns. If you didn’t start him this week, you may have missed your window for optimal production. He faces the Cardinals next week.
The most disappointing quarterbacks of the week were Derek Carr, Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill. Luck had two interceptions while Tannehill couldn’t produce against a bad Jets pass defense. Carr is somewhat excused since he faced the Broncos and the game flow led to the Raiders running the ball more.
Latavius Murray had a great game against Denver, rushing for 114 yards and three touchdowns against the typically-dominating defense.
Gordon had the best day among running backs, rushing for 196 yards and a TD. He added 65 yards receiving to boot. He’s had at least 22 rushes in four straight weeks.
Mark Ingram put his fantasy owners at ease with a 158-yard performance, highlighted by a 75-yard score. He’ll hold off Tim Hightower, who also produced well.
Elliott didn’t rush for 100 yards, but he scored his sixth and seventh touchdowns of the season.
Jay Ajayi didn’t have a third straight game with 200-or-more yards rushing, but he did top 100 and scored his fifth touchdown in four games.
Sunday’s biggest surprise came from DuJuan Harris, who filled in for Carlos Hyde. Harris leapfrogged Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn in the lineup on his way to totaling 142 yards and scoring. He may have earned some snaps even when Hyde returns.
The worst rushers on Sunday were Le’Veon Bell, Devontae Booker and Jonathan Stewart. Booker was especially disappointing as he faced an Oakland defense that has a hard time against running backs.
Week 9’s best wide receivers were led by Evans, who was unstoppable Thursday night, catching 11 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Jones bounced back from a bad performance by catching eight passes for 111 yards and a TD in that same game.
Jordy Nelson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown played up to their usual standards this week.
Mike Wallace and Rishard Matthews were surprises. Wallace, who scored on a franchise record 95-yard touchdown, led the Ravens despite Steve Smith returning. Matthews scored twice and has found the end zone in four of the last five games for the Titans.
Rookie wideout Michael Thomas is as steady as they come and had his first multi-touchdown game for the Saints.
The biggest duds of the week were Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree and Jarvis Landry. Bryant was held to just one catch for 19 yards.
Jason Witten had one of the best games of his career as he caught eight passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. The tight end was one of 11 to score this week.
Waiver wire suggestions:
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
DuJuan Harris, 49ers
Rishard Matthews, Titans (6 touches-63 yards, 2 TDs)
Taylor Gabriel, Falcons (7-76, TD)
Eli Rogers, Steelers (6-103)
Lance Kendricks, Rams (7-90)