Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Marshawn Lynch was his usual powerful self running for over 90 yards and scoring a touchdown. His middle finger to the sideline on a goal-line pass call was like a scene from the cutting room floor of Any Given Sunday. If I were Lynch I would be pissed as well as he is as good as it gets at the goal line. Russell Wilson broke the spell of underperforming QBs on Thursday night as he managed 3 TDs through the air and ran for an additional 29 yards. Zach Miller continued the tight end dominance against the Cardinals as he had 5 grabs for 40 yards and a TD. The return of Percy Harvin to practice this week makes him a top waiver priority, but don’t expect huge numbers in this run first offense.
The Cardinals on the other hand were lucky that the scoreboard didn’t reflect their actual play. Waiver wire darling Andre Ellington managed 5 touches for 13 yards, as Rashard Mendenhall once again led the Cardinals’ backfield in touches with 13. Mendenhall was once again ineffective as he had only 22 yards on 13 carries, but did manage a rushing TD. Larry Fitzgerald was playing on a balky hamstring and it showed. He only had 2 receptions for 17 yards on 5 targets. Michael Floyd led the Cardinals in yardage and targets, while Rob Housler had a lot of “garbage time” looks. Housler finished with a season high 7 receptions for 53 yards. If Jermichael Finley was your TE1 Housler may be a better roster filler than whoever gets named Finley’s replacement.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Mike Glennon was able to top 20 fantasy points once again as he made it a point to target Vincent Jackson whenever possible. Jackson led all wide receivers in week 7 with 22 targets, while finishing with a tremendous 10 receptions for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tim Wright got the bulk of the passing down snaps, but didn’t see the targets necessary to make him fantasy football relevant. Doug Martin had juicy match up against Atlanta and of course he was injured while running the ball in the red zone. Mike James took over and looked very capable in Martin’s absence. Schiano won’t admit that Martin’s shoulder injury is season ending yet, but I would be targeting Mike James in all free agent systems. The volume will be there and he is a skilled runner so it could be worth mortgaging your FAAB budget if your early round running backs didn’t pan out. (Wilson, T-Rich, Spiller, etc.)
The demise of Matt Ryan was greatly exaggerated as he had a fantastic fantasy day against the Buccaneers. His big first half was enough to calm many a fantasy GMs nerves. Jacquizz Rogers had a great PPR day with 8 receptions for 46 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Falcons as team found it difficult to run the ball as they had 18 carries for 18 total yards. With Steven Jackson having a set back last week it only solidifies Rogers’ PPR value. Tony Gonzalez was thought to be the beneficiary of all the lost targets from the losses of Julio Jones and Roddy White, but Harry Douglas had other plans. Douglas had his best fantasy day as a pro with 7 receptions for 149 yards and touchdown, while Gonzo had 2 receptions for 30 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions
The Bengals’ Andy Dalton must have heard me muttering a few weeks ago about his lack of production. I was sold on him coming into the year as the poor man’s Matt Ryan with all the weapons at his disposal, but he had failed to breakout until the last two weeks. Dalton had 372 yards and 3 touchdowns in a tough road game in Detroit. AJ Green had a huge game with 6 receptions for 155 yards and a TD. The Bengals talented tight end duo of Gresham and Eifert had 7 receptions for over 100 yards and a touchdown combined. Giovani Bernard was held in check, but still managed over 10 points in full point PPR leagues. Marvin Jones had a nice TD and could be taking over a the WR2 very soon. For those of you that lost Reggie Wayne this weekend in deep leagues, I could see taking flier on the talented Jones.
Matthew Stafford was once again a player that many thought about benching going against a very tough Cincy Defense that never gives up 300 yard games, but if you stayed the course you were rewarded. While Stafford wasn’t terribly efficient (28/51) he did manage to throw for 357 yards and 3 touchdowns. That gives him 7 passing TDs over the last two weeks. Reggie Bush got plenty of opportunities with 20 carries and 5 targets, but only managed 94 yards. Calvin Johnson broke out big time with 9 receptions for 155 yards and 2 TDs after being a decoy last week. Kris Durham was targeted 8 times and came away with 5 receptions for 41 yards. Joseph Fauria was NOT the tight end to reach the end zone as Brandon Pettigrew was able to catch a touch down pass. Fauria did see 3 targets in the end zone. Nate Burleson is almost back and will be a welcome sight for this offense.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Thad Lewis was unable to match his week 6 fantasy output (who knew) and finished with 0 TDs. Stevie Johnson was his favorite target with 13 total targets, but only managed 6 receptions for 61 yards. CJ Spiller had 9 touches for 7 total yards. 7!!!!! The future is as cloudy as it’s ever been for this top fantasy draft pick. Fred Jackson was injured twice during the game, but toughed it out and managed the only offensive touchdown for the Bills.
Ryan Tannehill was constantly under pressure and turned the ball over 3 times resulting in points for the Buffalo Bills. Brandon Gibson was a PPR star with 5 receptions for 40 yards and 2 TDs. Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline both had over 10 targets, but didn’t have the big games many expected. Charles Clay turned his one reception into a touch down. I was surprised he wasn’t more involved. I was even more surprised that the annoying (for fantasy purposes) Daniel Thomas had more touches than Lamar Miller. Miller is in a virtual time share for the foreseeable future and should be benched in most formats.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Tony Romo had a few bad turnovers, but still managed to top 300 yards and throw a touchdown pass. Joseph Randle proved to be just an average talent, but did have 22 touches for 93 yards. Miles Austin once again was riding a bike and it looks like he will be shut down for a while. He honestly he doesn’t fit the offense anymore as their ideal set of receivers is Dez, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten are much better at exploiting matchups. Dez Bryant had 8 receptions on 16 targets for 110 yards. Terrance Williams once again scored a touch down and looks to be more than a dynasty league target now. He is a legitimate WR2 if Miles Austin is phased out. If he is available make him a top priority.
Nick Foles pretty much sunk every daily fantasy line up I had as he was horrible while he was in the game and later left with a concussion. The good new is Michael Vick should be back this week. DeSean Jackson failed to get going with his QBs struggling and was injured on a running play. Somehow Jason Avant had a team high 15 targets, but only turned them into 3 receptions. Riley Cooper had 6 receptions on 7 targets for 88 yards and still managed one bad drop. LeSean McCoy was held in check by a Dallas defense filled with no names up front.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Tom Brady once again disappointed, but who can blame him. These wide receivers just can’t be relied on and he focused almost all of his attention on the returning Rob Gronkowski. Gronk led the Patriots in targets with 17 and had 8 receptions for 114 yards. He was tackled inside the 2 yard line on one play and failed to see a pass from Brady because of the sun being in his eyes, otherwise he would have also had a touchdown. Brady was focusing on Gronk so much that he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on one pass where he defender undercut Gronk’s route. Ridley and Bolden split the touches in the backfield and both had rushing touchdowns. Bolden getting the first crack at a goal line carry had some Ridley owners running for the exits. Ridley is by far the best running back at their disposal, but he is nothing more than a RB2 with this usage.
Geno Smith was inefficient when throwing the football (17/33), but did manage to throw a touchdown and run for one. Off season acquisition Chris Ivory was finally on display, but nobody decided to tell fantasy owners of Bilal Powell that Ivory would be the bell-cow for the day. Ivory getting 34 carries for 104 yards was a nice surprise for anyone who was forced to put him in their lineups is deeeep leagues. Jeremy Kerley was able to show off his considerable skills in the absence of Santonio Holmes by having 8 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Cumberland started the game with a 25 yard reception, but managed just 2 more receptions for 16 additional yards. I still like his skill set if you’re desperate for a tight end.
Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
The Bears are decimated by injuries on defense and that trend continued as Lance Briggs was injured in this game. The bigger problem for the Bears and fantasy owners is Jay Cutler was injured and looks like he will be out more than a month with a groin tear. Matt Forte was in all my daily fantasy lineups and that paid off big time as he had his first ever 3 rushing touch down game. Alshon Jeffrey made the most of his four receptions as he went over 100 yards and had an additional 16 on the ground. Brandon Marshall had 6 receptions for 75 yards on a team high 10 targets. Martellus Bennett made the most of his one reception with a seven yard TD. The fact that the Bears will have to turn to journeyman Josh McCown for the next few games makes banking on anyone besides Forte and Marshall going forward a tough thing to do.
I expected a huge game from the Redskins running game against the Bears and boy did we get it. The only thing is it wasn’t Alfred Morris who was the top fantasy producer. Instead Roy Helu Jr. came off the bench and vultured 3 touch downs. The Redskins ran for 209 yards and Morris was able to nab 95 of those yards while Robert Griffin III was able to run for 84 yards. The big news in this game was the break out of tight end Jordan Reed. The signs have been coming for a while that Reed was going to break out and now he has arrived. The stage was cleared before the game as Fred Davis was a healthy scratch and Reed came through big time with 9 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. Somehow he is only owned in 25%of ESPN fantasy leagues. That’s going to end big time. If he’s on the wire he should be your top priority.
St. Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers
Well this game couldn’t have ended any worse for the Rams. Their best defensive player Chris Long was shown the door for throwing a punch in a scrum and Sam Bradford was lost for the year to a torn ACL. Janoris Jenkins decided to enrage Steve Smith of the Panthers and was the recipient of a vintage move by Smith for a receiving TD. The only bright spot was waiver wire find Zac Stacy managed to have a nice fantasy game (87 total yards and a TD) in a terrible matchup. The Rams should have to lean heavily on Stacy going forward, but their run game might not be able to hold up against the added attention. Kellen Clemons is a big down grade from Sam Bradford behind a suspect offensive line.
The Panthers had a nice fantasy match up against the Rams and failed to capitalize. Cam Newton put up pedestrian numbers and DeAngelo Williams was only able to 40 yards on 15 carries. If you chose Mike Tolbert in any best ball leagues you got rewarded again with a short yardage touchdown. Steve Smith had a touchdown and added 69 yards. Greg Olsen only had 4 targets and caught all four for 47 yards. I’m worried that he isn’t involved enough.
San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Philip Rivers was super efficient going 22/26 for 285 yards and a touchdown. While Rivers had a very nice day it was the running backs you wanted in your lineups for this match up. Ryan Mathews rewarded your patience by running the ball for 110 yards and 1 TD. A running back going for 100 yards is nothing to sneeze at in today’s NFL. Danny Woodhead once again put up over 15 PPR points and has been even better than he was last year in New England. Eddie Royal finally got back in the end zone with a diving effort at the pylon. Waiver wire target Keenan Allen had 3 receptions for 67 yards, but was banged up a little in this one. Antonio Gates had 6 receptions, but managed only 31 yards.
Chad Henne had over 300 yards passing, but was sacked 6 times and threw one interception. Justin Blackmon had a pedestrian game (6-58-0TDs) after having back to back huge games. Cecil Shorts III was a surprise start and had a team high 8 receptions for 80 yards. Mike Brown looked pretty good against Denver last week and he looked even better this week with 5 receptions for 120 yards. I would only look at him in extremely deep leagues unless there’s an injury to Shorts or Blackmon. Still a name to file away.
San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans
The 49ers have decided they are a running team only apparently. They rode Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick’s legs to a victory on the road. Kaepernick was once a gain not a top 10 fantasy QB, but did look more decisive and explosive when running. Frank Gore had 70 yards rushing with 2 TDs and even added 34 yards in the air. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis got the bulk of the targets and had decent days as both just barely managed more than 10 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
Jake Locker made a surprise start and was a top 12 fantasy quarterback as he racked up yardage and touchdowns in catch up mode. (326 yards 2 TDs) Chris Johnson was only used in 1% of Draftstreet lineups because of the tough match up against the 49ers, but racked up 19 fantasy points thanks to a long catch and run. Kendall Hunter is becoming a nice flex option in PPR leagues as he had 9 receptions for 98 yards. Nate Washington saw his targets increase (10) with Locker back , but managed only 3 receptions for 62 yards.
Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers
The Browns played like a team that knew they didn’t have a chance to win. Even though the Packers defense was banged up the Browns failed to take advantage. Weeden looked awful (17/42 for 149 yards 1TD 1Int) and it wouldn’t surprise me if he finds the bench next week. McGahee was pedestrian and the Browns haven’t missed a beat with T-Rich traded. The big surprise was the performance by Josh Gordon. He had 2 receptions for 21 yards on 6 targets and looked almost disinterested. Jordan Cameron got a lot of garbage time attentions and finished with a team high 7 receptions for 55 yards and 1 TD.
Aaron Rodgers was able to have a very representative game (260 yards 3 touch downs) despite missing two of his biggest targets in Randall Cobb and James Jones. Jarrett Boykin the owners that rushed to the waiver wire for him last week with 8 receptions for 103 yards and 1 TD. Jordy Nelson was limited in production by Joe Haden, but still managed to grab 5 balls for 42 yards and 1 TD. The big issue for the the Packers is the very scary injury to Jermichael Finley. He was having a break out game with 5 receptions for 72 yards and a hard fought touch down, only to have his health come into question on a hit over the middle. Finley has been diagnosed with a spinal contusion and if you own him you should look for a replacement ASAP. I honestly hope he is put on IR and is able to fully heal before thinking about suiting up again. Andrew Quarless will most likely take over tight end duties for the Packers, but I would look to some other FA names first.
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Case Keenum got the chance to start for the struggling Texans. He had a very nice game (271 yards 1 TD) even though he didn’t have a running game to take the pressure off. Arian Foster injured his hamstring very early in the game and his back up Ben Tate apparently broke a few ribs filling in. By the end of the game they were down to fullback Greg Jones running the ball as third string running back Cierre Wood was inactive and later released for team rules violations. After the running backs were hurt it was impossible for Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins to build on their hot starts to the game.
What more can I say about Jamaal Charles. He is the most consistent runningback in fantasy football. A ho-hum 123 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the 7th game in a row. Dwayne Bowe had a team high 9 targets, but didn’t have a big game. The return of Anthony Fasano almost produced two touchdowns, but he was tackled inside the 5 yard line twice. Keep an eye on him in deep leagues as Alex Smith loves to feature the tight end.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
This game was a struggle for both teams and for fans to watch. Ray Rice continued to struggle and Torrey Smith was once again held in check. Nothing more to report besides some injuries to the Baltimore offensive line that might need a shuffle.
The bright spot for the Steelers was the continued emergence of Le’Veon Bell. He carried the ball 19 times for over 90 yards and showed nice patience when pressing the hole. One of my all-time favorite tight ends Heath Miller caught the only touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, but only caught one other pass. PPR beast Antonio Brown was held relatively in check with 6 receptions for 55 yards. My Trick Plays sleeper Emanuel Sanders was a big disappointment with only one reception for 7 yards. He teased me and fantasy owners with with a long touchdown return, but stepped out of bounds by a hair. UGH!
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning was able to put up big fantasy numbers (386 yards 3 TDs), but his passes were mostly wounded ducks that had fantasy owners scared about an injury. The injuries along the offensive line finally proved to be costly as Manning was hit regularly by the Colts defense. Manning tried to take advantage of two deep safeties by running the ball, but Knowshon Moreno failed to get anything going on the ground (15-40 1 TD) and his running mate Ronnie Hillman once again had a costly fumble. Eric Decker had 8 receptions for 150 yards and 1 TD, Demaryius Thomas had 4 for 82 and 1 TD, Wes Welker was fed the ball late and had 7 receptions for 96 yards. Tight End Julius Thomas had 5 receptions for 41 yards and 1 TD.
Andrew Luck was played heavily in daily fantasy football and he didn’t disappoint. (228 yards 3 TDs 29 yards 1 TD), but he did lose his best wide receiver Reggie Wayne to a torn ACL on a poorly thrown ball. The injury to Wayne should be very concerning for any Andrew Luck owner as he leaned on him heavily. The Colts are going to need TY Hilton and Coby Fleener to grow up fast and Darius Heyward-Bey to make more plays. Trent Richardson was once again held in check as he looks completely lost running the ball. He is indecisive and shows a real lack of vision.
Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants
Adrian Peterson should have stayed on the bus for this one. With the Vikings throwing Josh Freeman to the wolves by starting him a few short weeks aster signing him, Peterson was met by a wall every time he tried to carry the ball. Freeman looked rusty and out of sync with every wide receiver on the Vikings as he had over 30 in-completions. Talking about any of the receivers would be disservice to them as they had no chance on may of Freeman’s throws. I would stay away from starting any Viking besides AP until Freeman gets acclimated.
Eli Manning was looking at another banged up secondary and another chance to get into the good graces of fantasy owners, but once again didn’t produce. (200 yards 1 TD) Peyton Hillis was signed off the street and found himself as many fantasy owners’ last hope of grabbing a victory. While he totaled 81 total yards and a touchdown, it was anything but a great running back performance. Hakeem Nicks had a case of the drops and if you hoped he would be traded to a better passing team I think that ship has sailed. Victor Cruz had a tremendous match up and only managed 5 receptions for 50 yards. Rueben Randle was once again hit or miss. He made a tremendous leaping catch for a touchdown and then fumbled a punt return by using poor fundamentals. I’m a little worried that play may land him in the doghouse next week.