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What to do with Mark Walton Week 9 fantasy football

Mark Walton isn’t a high upside play in fantasy, but is he worth a start now with Kenyan Drake traded away? We give you the answer.

Miami Dolphins running back Mark Walton runs with the ball in front of Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the first quarter at New Era Field. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Last week Mark Walton continued as the feature back for the Dolphins, but it was his first game without Kenyan Drake in the mix. He took on a stout Steelers run defense and put up sub-par results. He ended up rushing 11 times for 35 yards and catching 3-of-6 targets for 19 additional yards and lost a fumble.

His numbers aren’t anywhere near what you would hope for, but in this matchup, they seemed somewhat inevitable. The good news is that he had 17 looks despite a poor game and matchup and played a position high 87% of his team’s snaps.

Fantasy football analysis: Miami Dolphins RB Mark Walton

The Dolphins take on a Jets team in Week 9 that has given up the 12th-most fantasy points to running backs but also the second-fewest yards per carry at 3.3. The discrepancy here is that they’ve allowed the second-most touchdowns with eight to go along with the second-most receptions and fourth-most receiving yards to running backs.

Before his trade, Drake had seen 33 targets in six games to Kalen Ballage’s 11. With Drake out, Walton had six targets to Ballage’s one. Walton is now the primary running back target on the team and could see his numbers surge in that department with his team likely trailing more often than not.

Ballage appears to be the goal-line back still, but Walton did see one goal-line look to Ballage’s one in Week 7 (there were no opportunities in Week 8). The trouble is that Ballage scored a touchdown, and Walton didn’t. The Dolphins aren’t going to spend a ton of time around the goal line, so we’re looking more for receptions and yards with a chance at a stray touchdown for Walton this week.

Thankfully for Walton backers, the Jets linebackers are hurting. Beat writer Brian Costello tweets, “The Jets are without their top 5 inside LBs: C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Neville Hewitt, Blake Cashman, Albert McClellan. As Adam Gase put it, “It’s not ideal.” The Jets thinned out linebackers should be a boon for Walton, both as a receiver and if he can get to the second level.

Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start, especially in PPR leagues.

DraftKings DFS Recommendation

Walton comes in at a measly $4,500, which is an intriguing number for any player who should see 15+ looks. With DraftKings scoring giving us a point per reception, the Jets linebackers banged up, and Kenyan Drake and his targets in Arizona, Walton makes for a safer than expected play at a great price.