If you are researching stocks in the market to invest in, how long are you looking at their profit/loss sheet? Weeks? Months? Keep that in mind with the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 9 Stock Up/Stock Down article.
One single week in the NFL is often the definition of overreaction theater, much less the week-to-week game of Fantasy Football. Each player has data from which we draw conclusions. We are forced to use that information to make decisions moving forward.
We tend to evaluate each week's Fantasy Football performances thinking about the short term. What does the data tell us about what to expect for a defined period of time, or for the rest of the season? But we can also draw conclusions from a longer-term Dynasty perspective.
Who saw their stock rise based on usage or opportunity in Week 8? Who saw it fall due to their own performance, lack of usage, or because of a change in role? Let’s dive in and find out.
2023 Fantasy Football Week 9 Stock Up/Stock Down
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Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders
Jahan Dotson just went from no more than 43 yards in any of his first seven games to eight catches, 108 yards, and a touchdown in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dotson has taken half the fantasy season to finally get on track, but he is tied to the right offense to have a massive second half of the season.
Washington now leads the NFL in rate of passing plays and they throw it more than 68% of the time. Partially because of the terrible defense and partially because their best skill players are pass-catchers, this team under quarterback Sam Howell is throwing, throwing, and throwing some more. In Sunday's game, they threw the ball almost 77% of the time. Dotson is sixth among all wide receivers in routes run this season, so if Howell can just continue the trend of looking his way, this will be a second half player to roster everywhere.
Quentin Johnston, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Perhaps it was because of the blowout, perhaps it was because of Josh Palmer's injury the week before, but rookie Quentin Johnston finally mattered for fantasy teams with his best output of the season. His snap share shot up to a season-high 70%. He had a season-high six targets, five receptions, and 50 yards receiving. And he led all wide receivers on his team with two Red Zone looks against the Bears.
Much like Dotson in Washington, Johnston is in the right offense to sustain success if they choose to utilize him more. The Chargers throw 59% of the time, which is borderline top-12 in the NFL. How they use Johnston will determine how successful the Chargers are with that passing game. On the season, Johnston has a very high 12.5-yard average depth of target (aDOT). On Sunday, that was just 7.8 yards as Los Angeles decided to make it simpler for Johnston and get him the ball where he had room to operate.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Tennessee Titans
I challenge you to go find a stock up/stock down or a buy/sell article this week that does NOT have Hopkins as either a hold/buy or a stock up after his performance on Sunday. Forget the fact that Will Levis might have just had the best professional game of his life. We know he won't throw four scores every game. We can focus on the fact that Levis can simply make throws that Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis can not.
As you might expect, Hopkins dwarfs his teammates in all passing categories. He leads the Titans with a 41% air yards share and a 28% target share. His 753 air yards are now top-ten among wide receivers this season and the Titans might be looking at a more balanced passing/rushing attack in the future with a competent quarterback. If you are playing for the championship this season, Hopkins is a great piece to add.
Miles Sanders, RB, Carolina Panthers
Fantasy managers who drafted Miles Sanders as an RB2 this year are certainly not happy with the performance for most of this year. And coming out of the bye week, it just got a whole lot worse. He is averaging just under 32 rushing yards per game and now faces severe playing time competition from Chuba Hubbard (Sanders played a season-low 18% of snaps in Week 8). In the game against the Texans - all neutral game script - Hubbard out-touched Sanders 17 to 2.
Hubbard saw more targets than Sanders on Sunday and the past four weeks and Hubbard got five of the six running back opportunities in the Red Zone in that game. In fact, Sanders has not seen a target since Week 5. Sanders has also dropped to 54.1% snap share on the season (25th among backs) and ranks 51st in yards per touch (3.5 on the year). Meanwhile, Hubbard averages 4.24 yards per touch, far and away out-pacing Sanders in that department.
All Minnesota Vikings Pass-Catchers
Even with the caveat that the Minnesota Vikings are not going to move forward with Jaren Hall or Nick Mullens for the rest of the season, we can't help but downgrade all Vikings' pass-catchers after the loss of Kirk Cousins. Even with his flaws (23rd in Red Zone completion percentage), Cousins was first in pass attempts, second in Red Zone attempts, seventh in air yards per attempt and sixth in expected Fantasy Points per game. Newcomer Joshua Dobbs can get things done with his legs, but that doesn't help the Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson shares. Dobbs is 16th in expected Fantasy Points per game and 27th in true completion percentage.
Minnesota still throws at a 66% clip this season, but the quality of those throws is about to get a whole lot worse. With Cousins out and Jefferson looking for a long-term deal, it's possible the Vikings pull the plug on this season and look to mini-rebuild. It's certainly possible that Dobbs just comes out and slings it the last half of the season (especially to Hockenson). But we will need to see it to believe it first.
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