A Fantasy Perspective: Week 9’s Surprise Performances

Look back at Week 9’s Surprise Performances. Highlighting key performances that could pay dividends as you set your lineups for Week 10.

Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans, QB): Having been sidelined for two weeks due to a knee injury, Mariota exploded back onto the scene on Sunday against the Saints. His performance further reiterated why he was the second overall selection in this year’s draft. Mariota finished the day with 28 completions for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed once for five yards. While his knee injury may have limited his ability to rush for more yards, for the most part Mariota looked healthy. As bye weeks continue to dwell upon us, Mariota is worth taking a look at this week. Although, keep in mind he will have a tougher matchup facing arguably one of league’s best defense in the Panthers. Therefore despite his impressive outing against the Saints, I would recommend other streaming options for this week. Mariota is merely a last resort type starter this week. Prior to his injury, Mariota was making as case for Rookie of Year and appeared to pick up right where he left off this past Sunday. With another week to rehab his knee, moving into latter part of the season, Mariota is certainly worth a stash on your bench if you have room.

Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans, TE): Mariota wasn’t the only Titan who reemerged on Sunday. Walker’s offensive resurgence seems to coincide with the return of Mariota under center. Walker hasn’t found pay dirt since Week 1, leaving many fantasy owners hesitant to continue putting Walker in their lineups. Although for those who demonstrated patience, Walker paid dividends to those owners who stuck with him. On the day, Walker finished with 7 receptions for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Following Sunday’s matchup, Walker is now ranked eight in fantasy points per game among tight ends. Similar to Mariota, Walker faces a tougher matchup this week going up against the Panthers defense. Although, the Panthers have been average in defending the tight end position, allowing 10.2 yards per reception this season. With the reemergence of Mariota, Walker is not back in contention as a TE1 for the remainder of the season. He is a viable option moving forward. He is a player I recommend picking up off the waiver wire if he’s available in your league. If you’re an owner who’s been stashing him on your bench the time to start him is now.

Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills, WR): Have a Day, Mr. Watkins! Following a season riddled with injuries, Watkins production in both reality and fantasy have been subpar to say the least. The bye week could not have come at a more opportune time for Watkins as it allowed him to nurse his injured ankle. With an added week to rest and rehab his ankle, Watkins was able to suit up against the Dolphins on Sunday. Watkins hauled in eight receptions on a team-high 12 targets for 188 yards and a touchdown. Not only did Watkins record a team high twelve targets, he accounted for over 90% percent of the Bills passing offense. An indication that moving forward, Watkins will play a pivotal role in the Bills offense arsenal. Following his career day, fantasy owners are hoping his performance is sign of things to come. Although reports indicate his ankle is not 100% healed and playing on a short week are factors fantasy owners need to take into consideration. Watkins will also have a one-way ticket to Revis Island, which is usually where receivers disappear for the duration of the game. Therefore, fantasy owners will need to temper their expectations if they chose to have Watkins in their lineup this week.

Source: ESPN Fantasy Football Now


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