Week 9 Wrap: Dak Prescott, Jalen Hurts throw a fantasy football party

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys speaks with Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles
Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts both delivered in Week 9. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) (Cooper Neill via Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts lived up to the hype during just the second-ever meeting between the two quarterbacks. They both finished as top-three fantasy QBs while carrying their teams in Week 9. The Cowboys entered with the NFL’s largest margin of victory (24.2 points) and defeat (22.0), somehow experiencing just one lead change in a game all season.

Sunday’s matchup was different though — a back-and-forth affair featuring a near-miraculous Dallas comeback. The Cowboys had the ball at their own 14-yard line with 50 seconds left and no timeouts yet somehow turned that into a 1st-and-10 at Philadelphia’s 11-yard line with 27 seconds remaining thanks to multiple Eagles penalties. A sack killed the drive (Dallas needed a touchdown instead of a field goal because Prescott stepped just inches out of bounds on an earlier two-point try) and ultimately won it for Philadelphia, which is now 2.5 games ahead of Dallas.

Hurts visited the medical tent multiple times and seemingly aggravated his knee injury at one point. But he performed as well as ever while running 10 times, including yet another successful QB push for a score (he also did so to get off his own goal line). Hurts has gotten 8.8 YPA over his last three games and finished Sunday’s win with a completion percentage over expectation (+14.8) in the 94th percentile.

The Eagles are tough.

D'Andre Swift got just 2.4 YPC, lost a touchdown run to Kenneth Gainwell and committed two fumbles (none lost). The second fumble wasn’t his fault (A.J. Brown ran into him), and Swift saw the second-most carries (18) in a game all season. The volume is encouraging, but Swift will continue to lose short touchdowns to his quarterback.

Brown and DeVonta Smith both caught touchdowns but suffered from Hurts attempting a season-low 23 passes. Smith had a nice score but saw just three targets and came up limping after a fourth-quarter catch. Meanwhile, Dallas Goedert left late in the third quarter with a possibly serious forearm injury (Albert O SZN?). The injuries are worth monitoring moving forward.

CeeDee Lamb led all receivers this week in targets (16), catches (11) and yards (191). Dallas’ offense is most successful when he’s heavily involved, so hopefully, the trend since the team’s bye continues. Lamb looked unguardable at times Sunday, and his lost fumble was on the game's final play, albeit not meaningless to fantasy managers.

Jake Ferguson saw a career-high 10 targets, scored and was a top-five fantasy tight end this week. But Michael Gallup had a bad drop on a third down to end a drive late in the first half. He made up for it by recording a nice catch and drawing a long PI penalty in the fourth quarter, but Dallas remains haunted by letting Amari Cooper leave. Brandin Cooks wasn’t targeted until the fourth quarter, while Gallup has been one of the league’s worst WRs over the last month.

Tony Pollard was quiet again and had a fourth-quarter touchdown negated by an illegal formation penalty at the goal line. It’s been the story of his season, with Jalen Tolbert scoring his first NFL touchdown on the next play instead. Rico Dowdle had a carry inside the 10 with Pollard also on the field earlier in the game. Pollard quite simply looks nothing like the explosive player he was before the ankle injury.

  • The Cowboys and Eagles were successful on a combined five-of-seven fourth-down attempts, as Mike McCarthy deserves credit for being more aggressive.

  • KaVontae Turpin had a big kick return and then caught a touchdown on his first play after spending a long time in the medical tent due to hurting his ribs.

  • Brandon Aubrey doinked in an extra point and shanked a kickoff out of bounds but set an NFL record with 19 straight made field goals to start his career.

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs (Germany)

  • The Chiefs led 21-0 at halftime, holding Miami’s league-leading offense to just 110 total yards. But Kansas City struggled once again in the second half, getting shut out after entering averaging just 6.6 points per game after halftime this season (only the Cardinals had been worse).

  • Patrick Mahomes has won nine straight games coming off a loss. He threw two touchdowns, but no one on the Chiefs reached even 35 receiving yards. Kansas City really needs a wide receiver to step up (and Taylor Swift to attend games).

  • Travis Kelce finished with season-lows in targets (four), catches (three) and yards (14).

  • Raheem Mostert had just three carries for six yards at halftime (trailing Jaylen Waddle and Salvon Ahmed in rushing), but scored and had some big runs on the final drive. He leads the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns but will lose fantasy value with De’Von Achane slated to come back after the Dolphins' upcoming bye.

  • Kansas City’s defense scored a wild touchdown and deserves a ton of credit. Tua Tagovailoa’s 5.7 YPA was easily a season low.

  • The Dolphins are 6-0 against opponents with a sub-.500 record but 0-3 against winning teams this season.

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

  • Josh Dobbs was a top-five fantasy QB this week despite not starting and barely knowing Minnesota’s playbook. He had an amazing play avoiding a sack and running for a first down. Dobbs made multiple big plays with his legs Sunday (including a sick TD run) and has been one of the league’s best rushing quarterbacks this season. Dobbs threw a game-winning touchdown late despite missing LT Christian Darrisaw (and Justin Jefferson) and K.J. Osborn also leaving injured.

  • Jaren Hall suffered a concussion and seemingly lost the job to Dobbs, who should be able to keep T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison’s fantasy values afloat.

  • Alexander Mattison again struggled on the ground (2.8 YPC) but caught a touchdown and gained job security. Cam Akers, who became the team’s emergency backup QB Sunday, suffered a season-ending torn Achilles.

  • Taylor Heinicke didn’t lose any fumbles but wasn’t a passing upgrade over Desmond Ridder.

  • Jonnu Smith led Atlanta in receiving while catching a long touchdown. As frustrating as it is for Kyle Pitts’ fantasy managers, there was once a time when people were begging for more Smith targets in Tennessee. Pitts didn’t see any significant difference in usage with the new QB and without Drake London.

  • Bijan Robinson had fewer carries (but more yards) than Tyler Allgeier and lost a fumble. He also lost a goal-line TD to Allgeier, as Arthur Smith refuses to use the rookie in scoring situations.

Seattle Seahawks @ Baltimore Ravens

  • Lamar Jackson had his second straight quiet fantasy game as he wasn’t needed much during the 37-3 blowout. The Ravens ran for 298 yards, as Baltimore has outscored two NFC division leaders 75-9 over the last two weeks. Jackson also improved to a career 18-1 versus the NFC.

  • Gus Edwards had four carries for 10 yards but two touchdowns at halftime. He had a 42-yard run during the first play of the third quarter and then didn’t see another touch all game. Edwards finished fourth on his team in carries (and nearly fifth) yet was a top-10 fantasy back this week. Edwards has six rushing touchdowns over the last three games and will remain TD-dependent in fantasy.

  • Keaton Mitchell had a long TD run and was a top-five fantasy back this week despite getting just nine carries. The Ravens produced two top-10 fantasy backs despite their QB running for 60 yards and facing a Seattle defense allowing just 67.4 RB rushing yards per game this season. Mitchell is an intriguing prospect with more upside than Justice Hill, so he needs to be stashed in fantasy leagues.

  • Tyler Huntley found Odell Beckham Jr. for a late score during the blowout.

  • We can mostly ignore this game for Seattle, although it was nice to see Jaxon Smith-Njigba remain involved (leading the team in receiving).

Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns

  • The Browns allowed just 59 yards on 48 plays in a dominant defensive performance. Clayton Tune didn’t stand a chance Sunday, when Cleveland ended its five-game losing streak to Arizona and the NFL’s longest streak without a shutout (251 games).

  • Deshaun Watson didn’t commit turnovers like P.J. Walker but was off-target all day. He was lucky his first touchdown wasn’t intercepted in the end zone, while his other score came on an 11-yard drive. Still, Watson’s velocity appeared much better, so it’s a step in the right direction.

  • Amari Cooper continues to play well (especially at home), turning five targets into 139 yards (and the fortunate TD). The return of Watson is big news for Cooper’s fantasy value moving forward.

  • Cleveland surprisingly couldn’t find much success running Sunday, but Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt at least combined for 34 carries. Both can be used in fantasy leagues, although the Browns are dealing with multiple offensive line injuries (LT Jedrick Wills was carted off in the third quarter Sunday).

  • The shorthanded Cardinals should welcome Kyler Murray back in Week 10.

Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers

  • Jordan Love had his best game since Week 1, finishing with 8.8 YPA and a CPOE (+11.6) in the 89th percentile (in a game the opposing QB was in the fourth percentile). It helped that Green Bay was in a positive game script throughout, leading to just 26 pass attempts.

  • Aaron Jones saw 26 opportunities and can be treated as a top-15 fantasy RB moving forward now healthy.

  • Christian Watson made a terrific fourth-quarter catch but suffered multiple injuries on the play.

  • The Packers lost fumbles on back-to-back drives to open the second half after going 80 drives without doing so.

  • Brett Rypien was a disaster, as few players in the league looked more valuable this week than Matthew Stafford. Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and the Rams RBs desperately need Stafford back.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans

  • C.J. Stroud broke Andrew Luck’s rookie record with 470 passing yards (and five touchdowns). He got 11.2 YPA without committing a turnover in an epic performance. Stroud has more career TD passes than Kenny Pickett and looks like a future star.

  • Despite having a couple of solid corners, Tampa Bay has become the premier pass-funnel defense. The Texans produced fantasy’s top QB, TE (Dalton Schultz) and WR (Tank Dell) Sunday. Noah Brown was the WR2 while Nico Collins somehow gave Houston three wide receivers in the top-12 this week. Remarkable.

  • Brown took advantage of Robert Woods’ absence while facing a Bucs defense highly vulnerable to the slot. He caught a long score and had another long catch negated by a holding penalty in the fourth quarter.

  • Stroud missed Dell for a would-be 90-yard touchdown in the first quarter and the WR dropped a downfield pass in the third. He’d later catch a touchdown on the same drive before pulling down another score that won the game with six seconds left. The huge passing performance by Houston also somehow left yards on the field.

  • Devin Singletary acted as Houston’s lead back with Dameon Pierce out but was stuffed by a tough run defense. The Texans can’t run the ball and would be far better off throwing on more first downs.

  • Rachaad White got 3.7 YPC but scored two touchdowns and remained active as a receiver, finishing as this week’s No. 1 fantasy back.

  • Cade Otton secured two scores and was the No. 3 fantasy tight end in Week 9.

  • Ka’imi Fairbairn got injured, forcing Houston into multiple two-point attempts. Dare Ogunbowale also became the first non-kicker to make a field goal since 2004 during one of the best games of the season.

Washington Commanders @ New England Patriots

  • Sam Howell played well again, throwing for the most yards (325) against New England all season (the Patriots have faced Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa x2, Dak Prescott and Josh Allen, among others). He continues to get the ball out quicker (three sacks) and had an awesome run for a first down on a third-and-23. Let’s just ignore him throwing a bad interception in the end zone on first-and-goal to end the same drive.

  • Jahan Dotson scored for the second straight week and has seen at least eight targets each of the past three games. It helps that Curtis Samuel was out, but Dotson needs to remain a part of Washington’s offense.

  • Terry McLaurin nearly had a 50-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter and led the team in receiving.

  • Brian Robinson lost a fumble but scored and dominated the Commanders’ backfield with 20 opportunities.

  • Mac Jones badly overthrew a wide-open Tyquan Thornton on fourth down during New England’s first drive, which was a sign of things to come. Jones was not good (-12.1 CPOE), but it wasn’t all his fault. Jalen Reagor dropped a perfectly thrown bomb in the third quarter, while JuJu Smith-Schuster had an interception bounce off his hands to end the game.

  • Rhamondre Stevenson’s 64-yard touchdown was the longest run of his career. He’s getting targets, but Stevenson hasn’t surpassed 10 carries in a game since Week 4.

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints

  • The Bears committed five turnovers (New Orleans had none) and missed a field goal, yet somehow the Saints didn’t cover.

  • Chris Olave suffered a third-down drop in the third quarter but scored his second touchdown of the season.

  • Taysom Hill had more carries (11) than Alvin Kamara (nine) while taking over inside the red zone. Hill led the Saints in rushing (52 yards) while also catching and throwing touchdowns. He’s become a weekly must-start fantasy tight end.

  • More targets would’ve been nice, but Kamara was facing a Bears defense allowing the fewest YPC this season. Hill stealing goal-line touchdowns is Kamara’s biggest fantasy obstacle moving forward.

  • Tyson Bagent had 148 passing yards (11.4 YPA), two TD passes and led Chicago with 60 rushing yards at halftime. He didn’t do much after that and finished with four turnovers (New Orleans has a takeaway in every game this season). Bagent Zero will soon give way to Justin Fields, and some of his picks were downright ugly. Nonetheless, he can play and shouldn’t be written off.

  • DJ Moore had an eventful third quarter when he lost a fumble and then had a near-touchdown in the end zone knocked out of his hands.

  • Moore took a backseat to Cole Kmet, who scored two touchdowns Sunday. Kmet’s fantasy managers are in no hurry to see Fields return.

  • D’Onta Foreman acted as Chicago’s true feature back, and it will be interesting to see what happens with Khalil Herbert eligible to come off IR in Week 10.

  • Dennis Allen cost New Orleans four points when he perplexingly accepted a holding penalty on fourth-and-two in the second quarter (the Bears were surely kicking a FG). Bagent ran for a first down on the next play (on third-and-12), leading to Kmet’s second touchdown.

Indianapolis Colts @ Carolina Panthers

  • Bryce Young threw two pick-sixes to Kenny Moore during an ugly loss. Coming off his best game as a pro, Young took a huge step backward Sunday at home versus a beatable Indy secondary.

  • Chuba Hubbard was dominating work but fumbled in the first half and saw Miles Sanders get involved afterward. Sanders had just one carry at halftime but was given four touches on the team’s opening second-half drive. Hubbard finished with 22 opportunities and looks like the 1A, but Sanders is back taking touches in a bad offense.

  • Adam Thielen’s target rate drops 13% when facing man, a coverage the Colts use at the league’s second-highest rate.

  • Another weird second-half game script and two pick-sixes led to long stretches without much Jonathan Taylor again Sunday, but he ultimately finished with a healthy 23 opportunities. Taylor recorded his first receiving touchdown since 2021, while a false start penalty cost him a rushing TD in the second quarter. Taylor can be treated as a borderline top-five fantasy back moving forward.

  • Josh Downs left with a knee injury in the second quarter, so Michael Pittman Jr. could be looking at increased targets.

  • The Colts comically lost a fumble during a punt return and are the only team that’s scored 20+ points in every game this season.

New York Giants @ Las Vegas Raiders

  • Daniel Jones left early in the second quarter after suffering a potentially serious knee injury. It’s a tough end to a disastrous and injury-filled season for Danny Dimes, who was struggling mightily yet again Sunday before the injury.

  • The Giants entered with the hope that getting their starting QB and both tackles back from injury would help but instead were blown out by a team that just fired its entire coaching staff (Antonio Pierce won his coaching debut against his old team).

  • Saquon Barkley has quietly looked terrific over the last two games, with his own offense a much bigger concern than his high-ankle sprain.

  • Tommy DeVito was intercepted on back-to-back plays in the second quarter. When he wasn’t taking sacks (six) or throwing interceptions, DeVito actually looked good! Danny’s cousin got 8.8 YPA and had a positive CPOE (+3.2 compared to Jones’ -23.4). Turnovers are, of course, killers, but it gives some hope to the rest of New York’s fantasy offense moving forward.

  • Aidan O’Connell didn’t make any mistakes or take any sacks (after being sacked seven times during his first start). AO’C wasn’t needed much, attempting just 25 passes in the lopsided win.

  • Las Vegas’ wide receivers were quiet as a result, with Jakobi Meyers doing damage as a runner.

  • Josh Jacobs had 18 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns at halftime. He didn’t do much afterward though, including losing three yards on his final carry to go under 100 (a brutal blow to those who play in leagues with a bonus).

Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

  • Joe Burrow continued to look like his old self while leading the Bengals to a big win. He threw for a season-high 348 yards against a Bills defense that entered allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. After getting just 5.3 YPA over the first six games, Burrow has gotten 8.3 over the last two while facing top defenses. He’s healthy again (aside from his finger), and the rest of the league needs to take notice.

  • While Ja’Marr Chase was close to a couple of big plays, Tee Higgins led Cincinnati in targets (nine) and receiving yards (110) during his best game of the season. A healthy Bengals offense to go along with an underrated pass defense gives Cincinnati Super Bowl potential.

  • Josh Allen led Buffalo in rushing (44) and scored on the ground, while Dalton Kincaid led the team in targets (11) and catches (10). Kincaid is locked in as a borderline top-five fantasy tight end.

  • Stefon Diggs saw a modest seven targets but finished as a top-five fantasy WR this week anyway.

  • ESPN’s FPI gave Buffalo a 67% chance to win Sunday night, but the Bills have now lost more games this season than they did all of last year.