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Week 9 Touches, Targets, Volume & Regression Index: Ja'Marr Chase & Jaylen Waddle Struggle

Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase had an inefficient season-low 32 yards in a loss to the Jets.

Backup quarterbacks dominated the past weekend of fantasy football. Mike White, Geno Smith, Trevor Siemian and Cooper Rush all led their teams to victory. A few beneficiaries of their heroics were featured in this week's volume report.

Inefficient Volume Players

RB Chuba Hubbard, Panthers

Carolina's rookie running back had his second-highest rushing total of the season in a win against the Falcons. It took Hubbard 24 carries, which matched a season-high, to accumulate 82 yards. His longest run of the day was just nine yards, and he lost a fumble for the first time on the first play of the game.

Hubbard's 3.4 yards per carry (YPC) was the worst mark of the team's three running backs. He has not filled in for Christian McCaffrey like Mike Davis did a season ago, and Carolina's All-Pro player is supposedly a week or two away from his return, according to coach Matt Rhule. Hubbard will soon fade out of relevancy.

WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals

It's proven nearly impossible to keep Chase out of the end zone, and the Jets failed to do so Sunday. Still, New York limited the presumptive Rookie of the Year to a season-low 32 yards on three catches. His involvement was not for lack of trying—Joe Burrow targeted Chase nine times, the most on the team.

That was not the first time Chase was held to just a few catches, but it was the first time a defense could take away his big plays. Chase averages 20.7 yards per reception (YPR) and was held to 10.7. His longest catch of the day went for 21 yards, also a season-low. This game was seemingly a fluke for New York and Cincinnati, so Chase should rebound next week against Cleveland.

WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins

Miami's rookie receiver was force-fed targets against Buffalo in a close game until the fourth quarter. Waddle led all Dolphins players with 12 targets, one off a season-high. Tua Tagovailoa only connected with his former Alabama teammate four times for 29 yards, a season-worst mark for Waddle.

Waddle has a respectable 70% catch rate on the season, but he's so far been unable to create big plays. His longest reception of the game Sunday went for just 12 yards, and his season-long is 36. Waddle should continue to see in the neighborhood of 10 targets per game as Miami will likely continue to have negative game scripts as the season goes on.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Limited Volume Efficiency Players

RB Darrell Henderson Jr., Rams

Henderson followed up his worst rushing output of the season with his best against Houston. He gained 90 rushing yards on 14 carries and had a rushing and receiving touchdown. Henderson's 6.4 YPC also matched a season-best mark. In his previous two games, Henderson totaled 123 yards on 36 carries, his worst two-game stretch of the season.

Sony Michel spelled Henderson with the game largely decided in the second half, and receiver Robert Woods stole a rushing touchdown, but Henderson returned to RB1 form regardless. There's no reason he should slow down going forward with the 7-1 Rams rolling.

WR Cedrick Wilson, Cowboys

Backup quarterback Cooper Rush didn’t look Wilson’s way often on Sunday Night Football — he finished fifth on the team in targets. Wilson still turned in his best game of the season with just three targets. He caught every pass thrown his way and took one for 73 yards and a score. That reception alone would have set a season-high receiving yard total for Wilson, and he added two more for 11 more yards to finish with 84.

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Michael Gallup is eligible to return from injured reserve after resuming practice last week, which could slam the door on any potential Wilson breakout.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks

Usually, touchdowns aren't factored into efficiency metrics for this series, but for D.K. Metcalf, we're making an exception. Three of his last eight catches have gone for scores, and he's now tied for second in the NFL in receiving touchdowns with eight.

Seattle’s stud receiver caught all six of his targets Sunday against Jacksonville for a season-low 43 yards. Two of those receptions went for scores from five and 16 yards out. Quarterback Geno Smith only needed to throw 24 passes in the Seahawks’ dominant victory, the bulk of which went to Tyler Lockett, who exploded for 142 yards. There’s a case to be made for Metcalf to see more targets with his impressive efficiency, but his 27% target share is respectable. It’s just that only two teams pass less frequently than Seattle.

Week 8 TTVR Index Performance Recap

Click here for last week's article

Inefficient Volume Players

Derrick Henry: Volume stayed about the same (28 carries, down from 29) while efficiency worsened (season-worst 2.4 YPC down from previous season-worst 3.0). Henry injured his foot during the game and will miss six to 10 weeks.

Tee Higgins: As expected, the volume decreased (six targets down from 15), but efficiency improved (caught four passes for season-best 97 yards).

Calvin Ridley: Ridley missed the game and is stepping away from football to focus on his mental health. There is no timeline for his return.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Limited Volume Efficiency Players

Damien Harris: Volume increased (matched a season-high 23 carries), and efficiency worsened (3.5 YPC down from 7.6, which wasn't sustainable).

Michael Pittman Jr.: Volume increased substantially (season-high 15 targets and 10 receptions up from four and four a week ago). Efficiency worsened to season-worst 8.6 YPR, but he added two touchdowns.

Zach Ertz: Volume stayed about the same (four targets down from five), and efficiency worsened (10.5 YPR down from 22.0).

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