2023 Week 9 Fantasy Football Absurdity Check: Keaton Mitchell, C.J. Stroud & The Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals Streaming Defenses Chase Edmonds

Week nine was all over the place. I am not going to do some cutesy intro here where I pretend to be gobsmacked about things that happened. I got up at 6:30 AM for a game that wasn’t good until half-time, and then I watched one of the weirdest 10 AM slates I can remember, we lost Daniel Jones for the season, and Cowboys fans got plenty to complain about to distract them from complaining about Dak Prescott. I’m writing this intro before Bills-Bengals, but I am 100% certain that game won’t be as weird as it was last year when Damar Hamlin almost died and then people said he was replaced with a body double. Anyway, let’s dive into week nine’s craziness with some questions that need answers!

Will Keaton Mitchell Save Our Fantasy Teams?

Keaton Mitchell has been a trendy deep dynasty stash among Fantasy Football Twitter circles after he made the Ravens’ roster after Baltimore brought him into camp as an undrafted free agent. Before today, he had as many NFL touches as you or I did, and now he has ten NFL touches… for 134 yards and a touchdown. While extremely big-brained folks will tell you that we’ve likely seen the best from Mitchell (which, duh, of course, he’s not averaging 13.4 yards per carry in his career), what should we do with him in our fantasy football FAB bids this week?

While most people are telling you to fire the FAB cannons, I would like to preach just a bit of caution. At the half, Keaton Mitchell had two snaps for one catch and -4 yards. In the third quarter, he had 3 rushes for 41 yards, and a touchdown (which was itself 40 yards, so his other two carries garnered one yard). Then, in the fourth quarter, he had one 60-yard carry, and one zero-yard carry. You can sort of see where I am going with this.

Keaton Mitchell is extremely talented as a home run-hitting running back. The Seahawks are normally a good run defense, but Mitchell was able to gash them. However, he didn’t show any down-to-down consistency that will put him at the head of the now horrifying and disgusting three-headed Gus Edwards/Justice Hill/Keaton Mitchell Hydra. He’s certainly shown enough to move ahead of Justice Hill, but that will put him in a 40% timeshare, at best, and make him a weekly boom-bust flex play.

I think that Mitchell is likely your last chance to get a running back who will provide week-winning upside, so you should make a ~20%-30% FAB bid on him, but if someone wants to dump it all, they can have him.

Is C.J. Stroud HIM? Does he have THAT DAWG IN HIM?

C.J. Stroud is incredibly cool and good, and he is my best friend. Well, maybe not that last part, but he threw for 470 yards (broke a rookie record), 5 touchdowns (tied a rookie record), and 40.8 fantasy points (broke the rookie record). He did it against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that is yet to give up more than two touchdowns to a quarterback this season, and who has held four of seven opponents under 300 passing yards on the season. Tampa Bay isn’t the best defense, but there’s so much to like about C.J. Stroud after this one. You have to be encouraged by this game, given that all of his weapons ate. But even before this game, C.J. Stroud showed much that you could rely on.

A quick perusal of his PlayerProfiler.com page gives you a lot of insight into the type of quarterback that he is. He’s top-ten in money throws, and 30th in danger plays, meaning that he not only makes big throws, he makes the right big throws, not giving away plays. In comparison, Bryce Young ranks 32nd in money throws, and 27th in danger plays. The difference? As the kids put it, the Texans are letting Stroud cook. That’s why he’s top-five in yards per pass attempt. He has weapons at all levels (Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Dalton Schultz) and de-emphasizing the run game without Dameon Pierce there to muck things all up. Wheels up on C.J. Stroud, you might just have a league winner on your hands here.

How cool is Joshua Dobbs, man?

So cool, dude.

Should we bench all Cardinals until Kyler Murray returns?

The Arizona Cardinals reached a new season low, even for them. This is what happens when you decide to go with Matt Saracen Clayton Tune on the flight over to take on one of the best defenses in the NFL. Things got really nasty for them this week, as C.J. Stroud had more fantasy points than their entire team, combined. That’s what happens when you are on your third-string quarterback after trading Certified Baller Joshua Dobbs. But can things get better without Kyler Murray around?


No. They really can’t. But I worry that it has just as much to do with the lack of James Conner as it does with the lack of Kyler Murray. In the first five games of the season, with James Conner in tow, the Cardinals averaged 21.6 points. In the last four games, without Conner, they’ve averaged half that amount, sitting at 10.8 points per game. When Kyler Murray comes back, things are certainly going to get better, but until both Kyler and James Conner are back, I worry about this offense, and I am benching everyone until both are back or until Kyler shows that he can be the savior of your fantasy options.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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