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Week 9 brought us a superhuman performance from Kareem Hunt. The second-year-back scored three touchdowns and ran up 141 yards against a Browns defense that had been surprisingly good this season up to this point. The point is not so much about Hunt as it is that you should not expect any defense to stop this Kansas City offense. Maybe they'll stop Hunt one week, or Tyreek Hill another; Maybe they'll slow down Travis Kelce, or shut down Sammy Watkins ... but no one has stopped the offense as a whole so far.
Of course, Week 9 brought us a lot more than just another dominant Chiefs performance. James Conner ran through the Ravens, Julio Jones finally scored a touchdown, and Tevin Coleman scored two through the air. You can't always count on the outlier performances from week-to-week but that's why we're here.
Three big questions from Week 9
Are we going to be able to trust Dalvin Cook after his bye?
I didn't like the idea of the Vikings playing Cook when they didn't trust him to play a full complement of snaps but boy did they prove me wrong. Cook ran ten times for 89 yards, and caught another four passes for 20 yards. The most encouraging sign was that he broke a long run and hit top speed on a 70-yard gain without any issue. His hamstring looks fine right now and should look even better in Week 11.
In a game in which Cook was on a pitch count, he saw almost 50 percent of the team's rush attempts and 80 percent of their targets out of the backfield. Once the bye has past, and Cook has had another week to recover, I would expect a full feature role. Cook could be a league-winner if he stays healthy, and he remains a "buy" in redraft leagues.
Did we get a little too excited about some rookie receivers?
It seems so.
Courtland Sutton saw more opportunity, but three catches for 57 yards doesn't exactly scream "must-own" either. So what did we miss with these guys?
Moore is still on a run-first team that jumped out to a very early lead in this game. Sutton still has Case Keenum as his quarterback. That doesn't mean you should be rushing to drop either receiver — the waiver-wire options this week just aren't that enticing. But you shouldn't be forcing them into your starting lineup yet either. Moore and Sutton are very talented receivers, but their situations may continue to make them inconsistent.
Is it time to panic about Mark Ingram?
Unfortunately, yes. Ingram fumbled again in Week 9, and saw his playing time suffer because of it. He saw just 10 touches in the game compared to 23 for Alvin Kamara. But that wasn't the worst of it. The one thing we expected for Ingram was goal-line work. In Week 9, Kamara had a pair of goal-line scores. It's time to treat Ingram like a flex who isn't getting short yardage work.
Six big waiver wire pick ups for Week 10 and beyond
Mike Davis has been extremely efficient when given an opportunity this season, but Chris Carson was standing in his way. Carson tried to play through an injury in Week 9 and left at halftime. Davis continued to be a great option. He turned 15 carries into 62 yards and caught another seven passes for 45 yards. If Carson's absence is longterm, Davis will be a borderline No. 2 running back moving forward. At the very least he's a solid option in Week 10 against a suspect Rams defense.
Anthony Miller was one of the many disappointing rookie receivers, but don't be fooled: this was more about game script than anything. Mitchell Trubisky only threw 20 passes in this game and six of them went to Miller. Miller caught five of them for 49 yards. That's a 30 percent target share for an extremely talented young receiver. That could shrink when Allen Robinson returns but this is exactly the type of player you want to have on your roster heading down the stretch.
Maurice Harris was not someone I expected to be writing about this week. But how do you ignore 12 targets? Harris was Alex Smith's favorite target in Week 9, when the Washington defense finally put Smith into a must-pass situation. Harris was remarkably efficient, catching 10 of his 12 targets for 124 yards. If that's not convincing enough, he gets a Week 9 matchup with the worst pass defense in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll only have 12-team value if Jamison Crowder remains out.
Ito Smith is still taking a backseat to Tevin Coleman, but he's still someone who needs to be owned in any league 12 teams or deeper. As things stand, Smith is a reasonable flex option through the byes with 10-plus touches per game on an offense that is among the league's best. Many will talk about how unsustainable his touchdown numbers are, and they aren't wrong ... but Atlanta running backs have been outperforming traditional touchdown metrics for some time. What's more, if Tevin Coleman goes down, Smith immediately becomes a top-20 option.
The closer the Jets move towards accepting their season is over, the closer they must get to seeing what they have with their younger players. Second-year back Elijah McGuire saw his first action of the season in Week 9 and it wouldn't be surprising if he sees more moving forward. Bilal Powell is already on Injured Reserve and it's hard to imagine Isaiah Crowell is part of the longterm plans. McGuire isn't someone you can start next week but he is a playoff stash and a must-add in Dynasty leagues.
Some players are exciiting because of their immediate opportunity. Others are more upside plays in case they get that opportunity.Adam Humphries is neither, but he still needs to be owned in more than four percent of leagues. The diminutive slot receiver scored a pair of touchdowns on Sunday and led the Buccaneers with eight catches and 82 yards. I would still expect this to be an offense focused on Mike Evans, but Humphries is an add in any PPR league with more than 12 teams.