Fantasy Football Flashback, Week 9: Joe Mixon, Justin Fields lead most reliable players

Welcome to the latest edition of the Fantasy Football Flashback, where we celebrate the accomplishments of the week's most reliable players. Those who roster Joe Mixon or Justin Fields likely won their Week 9 matchup, as those two players posted the highest weekly totals of any players this season. And while the drop-off after those two epic performances was steep, there were a few others players who had solid weeks. Let’s take a detailed look at the Top-10 scorers.

No. 1: Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, 53.10 points

Mixon became the sixth player in the past 55 years to tally more than 200 total yards and five touchdowns in a single game when he led the Bengals to a dominant win over the Panthers. The 26-year-old had been a disappointment on the ground entering Week 9, totaling just 432 yards and 3.3 yards per carry in his initial eight games. Mixon is a borderline RB1 going forward, but he is also a classic sell-high candidate for those who can trade him right now for a true superstar.

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No. 2: Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears, 42.72

Fields threw for just 123 yards but broke the NFL regular-season record for rushing yards by a QB (178) and tallied four touchdowns (one on the ground) in a 35-32 loss to the Dolphins. The Ohio State alum had been working his way towards a dominant rushing performance for several weeks, as he had amassed between 60-90 yards in each of his previous three games. Fields currently ranks seventh among QBs in total points scored, having entered QB1 territory despite having only one 200-yard passing effort to his credit. Fields should be close to unanimously rostered (currently at 70%) in fantasy leagues and is a trusted option going forward.

No. 3: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs, 35.14

To say that Mahomes carried the Chiefs offense on Sunday night would be a massive understatement. In a game in which the rest of the team produced 14 yards on 13 carries, Mahomes rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown while also completing 43 of 68 passes for 446 yards and another score. The NFL leader in passing yards and touchdowns, Mahomes trails only Josh Allen in total points scored and is as safe as any fantasy asset.

No. 4: Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders, 31.60

After frustrating managers in an illness-impacted Week 8 effort (1 catch, 3 yards), Adams bounced back by catching 10 passes for 146 yards and a pair of scores. The former Packer has been inconsistent this year, collecting four 100-yard games but also finishing under 40 yards on three occasions. Overall, he ranks sixth among WRs in season-long scoring and should be valued as a top-5 WR going forward.

No. 5: Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills, 26.80

The fact that Allen found his way onto this list in Week 9 is a testament to how valuable he is in fantasy football. The superstar QB struggled mightily in a loss to the Jets, completing just 52.9 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions. But he salvaged a solid fantasy day by rushing for 86 yards and two touchdowns. The 26-year-old is clearly the No. 1 overall signal-caller, but his fantasy managers now need to hold their breath hoping his right elbow injury doesn't limit his play or cause him to miss time.

No. 6: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks, 26.40

In five games as Seattle’s No. 1 running back, Walker has shown that he can be a borderline RB1 despite having virtually no involvement in the passing game. The rookie rushed for 109 yards and a pair of scores on Sunday, and he has found the end zone in each of his past five contests. Walker’s value is enhanced by the fact that Seattle’s offense is better than most observers expected, which makes his rest-of-season value tied to the continued success of Geno Smith.

Kenneth Walker III has quickly become one of fantasy's most reliable players. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Kenneth Walker III has quickly become one of fantasy's most reliable players. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

No. 7: New England Patriots Defense, 26.00

Bill Belichick continued a long history of confusing inexperienced quarterbacks when he organized a defense that held the Colts Sam Ehlinger-led offense to three points on Sunday. Along the way, the Patriots collected nine sacks and returned their lone interception for a touchdown. This is a defense that can be stashed for two weeks until the Patriots come off a bye against Zach Wilson and the Jets, but they face a string of quality passers after that game and will become waiver-wire fodder in many leagues.

No. 8: Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, 25.60

Etienne joins Walker as young rushers who recently gained larger workloads and are starting to dominate fantasy contests. The 23-year-old has logged three consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts and found the end zone in each of those games. And Etienne has the potential to take his game to another level, as he has receiving skills to be a more frequent target than he has been in recent weeks. Those who wish to trade for a running back should put in a substantial offer for Etienne.

No. 9: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins, 24.08

As was mentioned in last week’s column, few QBs are better supported than Tagovailoa, who can consistently find success simply by directing roughly half of his passes to the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. That plan worked once again in Week 9, as Miami’s pair of elite receivers combined for 228 yards and two scores during Tagovailoa’s 302-yard, three touchdown afternoon. The former Alabama star is a safe QB1 option who lacks a high ceiling due to his lack of rushing production.

No. 10: Kenyan Drake, RB, Baltimore Ravens, 23.90

Drake dominated touches in a depleted Ravens backfield on Monday night, turning 24 carries into 93 yards and two touchdowns. The 28-year-old has been a viable RB2 for the past four weeks, going over 60 rushing yards in three of those games and amassing four touchdowns. But he may return to the waiver wire when the Ravens play their next game in two weeks, as the club should regain the services of Gus Edwards (hamstring) and might also welcome back J.K. Dobbins (knee).