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Should I Start Jeff Wilson Jr. in Fantasy Football Week 9? Fantasy Outlook After Trade

Fantasy managers watched Jeff Wilson Jr.’s fantasy stock plummet overnight in response to news that Christian McCaffrey would be traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Wilson was already living on borrowed time while awaiting Elijah Mitchell’s return to the backfield, and McCaffrey’s arrival sealed his fate as a backup.

The Miami Dolphins were slinging running backs across the country as they raced against the clock to the trade deadline. Separate moves resulted in the acquisition of Jeff Wilson from the 49ers and the departure of Chase Edmonds to the Denver Broncos.

Jeff Wilson is now listed as the second running back on the depth chart behind only his former teammate Raheem Mostert. Head coach Mike McDaniel (who also spent four years with Wilson in San Francisco) said the new back is already expected to play against the Bears in Week 9.

Did Jeff Wilson suddenly become fantasy-relevant again in the Miami offense? Is he worth picking up to start in Week 9? Here’s what we know.

 

How Does Jeff Wilson Jr. Fit With Raheem Mostert In The Miami Dolphins Offense?

Raheem Mostert sits comfortably atop Miami’s depth chart as he leads the position in snap count, rush attempts, and yardage. His 101 carries account for 56% of the Dolphins’ total rush attempts. Chase Edmonds is second with 23% of the team’s total carries.

Mostert is holding up well this year given his heavy workload, but he has been one of the NFL’s “most-hurt” running backs throughout his career. He was active for fewer than nine games per season on average through his first seven years, and the Dolphins don’t want to grind the veteran down before a potential playoff run. The addition of Wilson should provide some relief to Mostert and preserve his longevity.

Jeff Wilson’s style seems to align more with Miami’s offensive scheme than that of former backup Chase Edmonds. Excluding McCaffrey in San Francisco, neither the 49ers nor the Dolphins highlight their running backs in the passing game. Mostert is averaging just 1.6 receptions per game and Edmonds ended his season in Miami with 1.3 R/G. Coming in with 1.3 R/G of his own, Wilson should continue to see limited receiving volume. He’ll likely work into similar offensive schemes to spell Mostert rather than serve in a complementary role.

Should I Pick Up And Start Jeff Wilson Jr. In Fantasy Football Week 9?

The Dolphins know their offense isn’t broken. They didn’t bring in Jeff Wilson to try to fix it, but he is there to grease the wheels before they fall off. Raheem Mostert is still the preferred option and will continue to receive the bulk of carries. Wilson will help Mostert carry the load while reassuring depth in the case of an injury.

Wilson will likely be eased into the offense in Week 9 and should be left on fantasy benches for now. Expect him to get between 6-10 touches per game as his role becomes solidified within the offense.

Wilson is a capable receiving back, but unless the Dolphins surprise us by using him in that capacity, games with double-digit touches will be rare without an injury to Mostert. If Mostert were to miss any time this season, however, Wilson would receive sufficient volume to slide in as a fantasy starter.

The Dolphins have a bye in Week 11. Assuming Mostert is still starting next week, Wilson isn’t a viable fantasy option until at least Week 12. He’s worth stashing if you can afford the bench spot but look elsewhere if you need current value to get you to the fantasy playoffs.



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