What We Saw: Week 9

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

Titans @ Rams

Final Score: Titans 28, Rams 16

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


Just as everyone expected, the loss of RB Derrick Henry had no negative effect on the Titans and they rolled the Rams on Sunday night. Wait, what? No, seriously. Tennessee’s defense frustrated QB Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense all night – leading to Stafford’s worst fantasy output of the season thus far. Stafford was sacked 5 times and pressured countless others, and by the time he got going and the offense started clicking the game was well into garbage time. Newly-acquired Titans’ RB Adrian Peterson got his first action of the year and while he didn’t look great, he did end up in the end-zone for the 125th time in his storied career:



While the Rams’ offense wasn’t as high-flying as we’ve come to expect, pass catchers WR Cooper Kupp and WR Robert Woods both turned in respectable fantasy showings even though neither one found the end-zone. All in all it was a strange week throughout the NFL, and this Sunday night contest was no different. How was your team affected by all of the chaos? Let’s dive into what we saw:


Tennessee Titans




Ryan Tannehill: 19/27, 143 yards, TD, INT | 2 carries, 3 yards, TD


Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill was put into the crosshairs following the (potentially) season-ending injury to Derrick Henry last week, and he responded by walking to Los Angeles and leading his team out with a victory on Sunday Night Football. While Tannehill did enough to get a win for the Titans, his fantasy output was less-than-stellar. Tannehill threw an INT on the Titans’ first possession and it appeared that Tennessee may be in for a long night. But after Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford responded with a pick of his own, it set up Tannehill and the Titans for this quick, wide-open strike TD to TE Geoff Swain on first down:



Tannehill’s numbers weren’t the greatest overall, but he did somewhat salvage his fantasy performance with this one-yard TD scamper just before halftime:



Running Backs


Adrian Peterson: 10 carries, 21 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Jeremy McNichols: 7 carries, 24 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 11 yards

D’Onta Foreman: 5 carries, 29 yards


Nobody was quite sure what to expect from newly-signed RB Adrian Peterson in his first game action this season, but it was encouraging to read reports from earlier in the week that the Titans saw enough to promote him to their active roster right away. After leading the Lions in rushing a season ago, Peterson was eased in gently and got most of his work in the first quarter. Peterson clearly wasn’t quite back up to game speed as of yet, and his potential to replace Henry’s historic production isn’t very high at all. But with some more time to learn the Titans’ offensive system, Peterson certainly has a chance to contribute from a fantasy standpoint in the coming weeks.

Usual third-down RB Jeremy McNichols finished second to Peterson with 10 total touches but wasn’t able to do much with them. RB D’Onta Foreman also appeared out of nowhere to lead the Titans in rushing on Sunday night. Foreman certainly seemed to have the most pop against Los Angeles, but only time will tell how this backfield timeshare will shake out in the weeks to come. The Rams’ defense has been tough against the run this season and Sunday night’s game was no different, and things likely won’t get much easier for the Titans’ run game next week against New Orleans’ tough defensive front.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


A.J. Brown: 11 targets, 5 receptions, 42 yards

Julio Jones: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 35 yards

Geoff Swaim: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 29 yards, TD

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards


With Tannehill only needing to throw 27 times on the night due to Tennessee’s early lead, the Titans’ pass-catchers had a slump of a night as well. Other than Swaim’s TD catch seen above, none of the Titans’ other receivers were able to score on Sunday night. WR A.J. Brown scuffled with Rams’ CB Jalen Ramsey from time to time throughout the night and was generally frustrated otherwise on the night. WR Julio Jones hauled in all 4 of his targets but was basically non-existent in the Titans’ offensive gameplan. TE Geoff Swaim has quietly put together back-to-back weeks of decent fantasy production for Tennessee including trips to the end-zone in both of the Titans’ past two contests. If teams continue to try and stack the box to stop Tennessee’s running attack, Swaim could very well continue to be a beneficiary of less defensive attention.


Los Angeles Rams




Matthew Stafford: 31/48, 294 yards, TD, 2 INT | 2 carries, 13 yards


It was a miserable night for Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford against the Titans on Sunday night. As I mentioned above, it was the worst fantasy output for Stafford this season, but some garbage-time numbers ultimately helped with his overall fantasy output. After leading Los Angeles to a FG drive late in the first quarter, Stafford threw back-to-back INTs leading to two quick Titans’ TDs, and the game never really felt like it was back within the Rams’ grasp from that point on. His first pick came on a spinning, twirling, mess of a play where he was trying to avoid being sacked in the end-zone for a safety:



On the Rams’ very next possession, Stafford wasn’t quite finished:



Stafford did connect late in the game for a garbage-time TD pass to RB Sony Michel to pad his fantasy output just a bit, but it was certainly a game to forget for Stafford and the Rams.


Running Backs


Darrell Henderson: 11 carries, 55 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 3 yards

Sony Michel: 7 carries, 20 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards, TD


RB Darrell Henderson was briefly knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter with an ankle injury, but ultimately he was able to return. By the time he did, however, the Rams were out of the game and game-scripted away from running the ball. Henderson did bust a nice 14-yard gainer on the Rams late first-quarter TD drive, but was otherwise mostly ineffective. RB Sony Michel saw a slight uptick in touches while Henderson was being attended to, but ultimately needed this receiving TD to salvage his fantasy performance:



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Cooper Kupp: 13 targets, 11 receptions, 95 yards

Robert Woods: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 98 yards | 1 carry, 6 yards

Van Jefferson: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 41 yards

Tyler Higbee: 10 targets, 5 receptions, 51 yards


While none of the Rams’ pass-catchers were able to find the end-zone on Sunday night, there was enough volume going around to produce some respectable fantasy performances. WR Cooper Kupp has been out-of-this-world as the #1 player in all of fantasy to this point in the year – and he still performed in a game where the Rams’ offense struggled considerably. Kupp fell just 5 yards short of his fourth-straight 100-yard receiving game, but has now posted a ridiculous 74-1,019-10 season through just nine games. Yes, you read that right, in just nine games Kupp has already produced an outstanding (full) fantasy season. Fellow Rams’ WR Robert Woods has been hot-and-cold throughout Kupp’s dominant season, but he contributed a more-than-respectable stat-line on Sunday night, himself. TE Tyler Higbee quietly put together his best fantasy performance since Week 3 against Tampa Bay with a 10+ PPR point night. Higbee was expected to take on a larger receiving role with TE Gerald Everett departing for Seattle this season, but we’ve yet to see that come to fruition to this point.


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

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