What We Saw: Week 9

James Conner can still be relied upon as an RB1 when needed

Texans @ Dolphins

Final Score: Dolphins 17, Texans 9

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)


The return of Texans’ QB Tyrod Taylor wasn’t expected to move the needle much for a bad Houston team this week, but to be fair, the last time we saw Taylor he had beaten Jacksonville in Week 1 and had the Texans ahead of Cleveland in the first half in Week 2 before leaving with an injury. The Dolphins were gracious enough to turn the ball over five times on Sunday, yet Houston was unable to convert any of them into TDs. Not to be outdone, Taylor had 3 INTs of his own as the 1-7 Texans fell to the 1-7 Dolphins, 17-9.

In a surprise development on Sunday morning, Dolphins’ starting QB Tua Tagovailoa was removed from starting duties with a fractured finger in his non-throwing hand. QB Jacoby Brissett got the start in his place – and while he didn’t produce much from a fantasy standpoint, he was able to make enough plays to get the Dolphins the win. With such a low-scoring affair, it’s no surprise that this game wasn’t the most exciting from a fantasy standpoint, but some guys had some respectable enough performance to warrant a starting spot. Dolphins’ RB Myles Gaskin took a direct snap and ran it in for his first rushing TD of the season, while TE Mike Gesicki underwhelmed on the stat sheet but made multiple eye-popping, one-handed grabs. What did this game mean for your fantasy squad? Let’s dive into what we saw:


Houston Texans




Tyrod Taylor: 24/43, 240 yards, 3 INT, 5 sacks | 3 carries, 23 yards


As mentioned in the opener, it was not the warmest of returns for Texans’ QB Tyrod Taylor. It was anyone’s guess coming in how Taylor would look after his six-game absence, but he wasn’t quite up to game speed on Sunday. Taylor struggled with his accuracy throughout – completing barely over 50% of his passes on the afternoon. There were also those three instances of Taylor throwing the ball to the wrong team. It stands to reason that Taylor’s play will improve once he gets some more time to get back to game shape, but for now, he is not worthy of fantasy consideration.



Running Backs


David Johnson: 4 carries, 11 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards

Rex Burkhead: 2 carries, 9 yards

Phillip Lindsay: 8 carries, 28 yards


A bad rushing team to this point in the season, Houston continued their struggles on the ground against Miami on Sunday. RBs David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay figured to get an uptick in touches with the trade of RB Mark Ingram to New Orleans last week, but it has yet to materialize after two games. Johnson’s three catches added a small bit of value in PPR formats, but his abysmal four carries for 11 yards otherwise killed any chance of productive fantasy output. Lindsay didn’t fare much better – out-touching DJ 8-7 but averaging just over 3 yards per carry on his totes. This is a bad offense, a bad football team, and a bad RB situation for both of these backs so far this season.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Brandin Cooks: 13 targets, 6 receptions, 56 yards

Danny Amendola: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 49 yards | 0/1

Nico Collins: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards

Chris Conley: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 38 yards

Jordan Akins: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 7 yards

Antony Auclair: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Brevin Jordan: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards


WR Brandin Cooks was targeted a team-high 13 times on Sunday against Miami, but was only able to turn all of those targets into six grabs for 56 yards. Cooks hasn’t been used as the ‘burner’ type this season, but more as a possession receiver running out-routes near the sidelines to pick up first downs. WR Chris Conley saw all of his 3 targets and 2 catches early in the first quarter for Houston, and then we didn’t see him again for the rest of the game. All in all, it was a rough game for Houston’s offense as a whole – and there’s no reason not to expect that to continue as the season marches on.


Miami Dolphins




Jacoby Brissett: 26/43, 244 yards, TD, 2 INT, 4 sacks | 1 carry, 7 yards


As I mentioned in the opener, QB Jacoby Brissett got the surprise start for Miami on Sunday, but it wasn’t too much of a drag on the Dolphins’ pass-catching group. Brissett looked to his favorite target, rookie WR Jaylen Waddle, early and often on Sunday – finding Waddle all over the field to extend drives for the Dolphins. Not to be outdone by Texans’ QB Tyrod Taylor, Brissett responded in earnest by committing three turnovers of his own – including two picks and a fumble. Brissett has shown repeatedly that he isn’t worth fantasy consideration this season – even with a seemingly favorable matchup.



Running Backs


Myles Gaskin: 20 carries, 34 yards, TD | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 23 yards

Salvon Ahmed: 4 carries, 6 yards


Dolphins’ RB Myles Gaskin *finally* scored his first rushing TD of the season against the Texans on Sunday, and also added six catches to turn in his third-best fantasy output of the season. Gaskin struggled to get much traction on the ground and finished with only 1.7 yards per carry, but he had several key catches to extend drives for Miami throughout the game. Gaskin’s usage has been sporadic this season and he’s fallen victim to poor rushing game-scripts more than once, so his solid finish against a poor defense was at least slightly encouraging. RB Salvon Ahmed received just a handful of touches and continues to be unworthy of fantasy consideration.



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Jaylen Waddle: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 83 yards

Mike Gesicki: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 54 yards

Durham Smythe: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards

Adam Shaheen: 2 targets, 1 reception, 11 yards

Mack Hollins: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards, TD


Miami TE Mike Gesicki is an absolute freak on the football field, and he is (quietly) breaking out in a huge way this season. Gesicki’s 4-54 statline was nothing to write home about on Sunday, but half of his catches were spectacular one-handed grabs in tight coverage. Gesicki nearly had another one-handed catch early in the second half but wasn’t quite able to bring it down. While Gesicki has only found the end-zone twice so far this year, he has established himself as an every-week starting TE for fantasy purposes. Rookie WR Jaylen Waddle was the other bright spot for the Dolphins’ passing attack on Sunday. Waddle’s production has been a bit ‘boom-or-bust’y so far this season, but it’s clear that he’s established himself as a top option in Miami’s passing attach, especially when the Dolphins need to move the sticks – five of Waddle’s eight grabs went for first downs on Sunday.




Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

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