Performed Higher than or up to Expectations
Lower than Expectations
STEELERS 13 - TITANS 10
The most productive running back for Pittsburgh was not on most
fantasy teams. Willie Parker could not even muster 1.5 ypc and
ended up with 19 yards rushing and five receiving. The heir apparent,
Rashard Mendenhall, erred apparently, carrying the ball only four
times for six yards. Mewelde Moore was more effective in the passing
game, with four catches for 28 yards. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger
silenced a lot of fantasy critics, with 363 yards, one touchdown
and two interceptions. Santonio Holmes caught nine passes for
131 yards and one touchdown. PPR bandits Hines Ward and Heath
Miller each reeled in eight catches, Ward for 103 yards and Miller
for 64 yards.
Justin Gage continued from his hot summer with seven catches
for 78 yards and one touchdown. Kenny Britt has earned his way
onto the waiver wire with a team leading 85 yards on only four
catches. Bo Scaife turned in a decent PPR performance with 5 catches
for 48 yards, but fumbled once. Not surprisingly, the running
backs had a tough day, with Chris Johnson gaining 57 yards on
the ground and 11 through the air, while LenDale White only managed
28 yards rushing and 5 receiving. Kerry Collins threw for 244
yards, one touchdown and one interception.
COWBOYS 34 – BUCCANEERS 21
PLE: Felix Jones, Antonio Bryant
After a shaky first half the Cowboys got things rolling when
Tony Romo hooked up with Miles Austin on a 42-yard touchdown,
Austin’s only catch of the game, Romo continued to build
on his stats and ended the day with 353 yards and three touchdowns.
Oddly, most came on the long ball, as Romo only hooked up with
his receiving corps on sixteen passes. Accordingly, no one was
effective in PPR formats, however, Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton
each had big games. Crayton caught four passes for 135 yards,
most of which came on an 80-yard touchdown. Williams only made
three catches of 86 yards, 66 of which came on one play. Jason
Witten was the largest recipient of passes with five catches for
71 yards. Marion Barber put in a steady performance with 79 yards
and a touchdown. Felix Jones only touched the ball six times for
The Caddy is running on all pistons. Carnell Williams broke out
for 97 yards and a touchdown, while Derrick Ward was close behind
with 62 yards rushing, 21 yards receiving and a touchdown. Kellen
Winslow caught five passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile,
Michael Clayton caught five balls for 93 yards. Antonio Bryant
was barely heard from with only two catches of 29 yards. Byron
Leftwich threw often (41 attempts) and connected for 276 yards
and one touchdown.
SAINTS 45 – LIONS 27
PLE: Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, Matthew Stafford
Drew Brees started off the season on fire. Six touchdowns and
one interception making his 358 yards only an afterthought. Brees
spread the wealth evenly, divvying up 26 passes between eight
players, no one getting more than five catches. Jeremy Shockey
led the way with four catches for only 31 yards, but he had two
touchdowns. Following closely behind him was Devery Henderson
with five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Getting into
the scoring action with limited catches were Robert Meachem (51
yards), Heath Evans (35 yards) and Marques Colston (30 yards).
Mike Bell ran for 143 yards, but fumbled once, with no touchdowns.
Reggie Bush caught five passes for 55 yards, but lost one of two
fumbles and only rushed for 14 yards.
Matthew Stafford did not make the fantasy debut his fellow rookie
Mark Sanchez made. Stafford threw for 205 yards and three picks
and could not even complete 40% of his passes. Calvin
Johnson caught three passes for 90 yards. Stafford’s number
one target was Kevin Smith who caught seven passes for 52 yards
and ran for 20 and a touchdown.
COLTS 14 – JAGUARS 12
PHE: Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai, Maurice Jones-Drew
It was the Reggie Wayne show. Wayne caught 10 passes for 162
yards and a touchdown. Peyton Manning threw for 301 yards, but
hooked up only on the Wayne touchdown and was intercepted once.
Anyone who started Anthony Gonzalez felt the sting when crumpled
with a knee injury and left after the first play. The only other
effective player in the Colts offense was Joseph Addai, who caught
five for 35, ran for 42 and scored a touchdown. Dallas Clark caught
four passes for 39 yards.
Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 97 yards, caught five passes for
26 yards and scored a touchdown. Other than that, the Jaguars
barely took the field. David Garrard only threw for 122 yards
(yikes!); Torry Holt caught five passes for 47 yards and Troy
Williamson caught only one for 10 yards.
JETS 24 – TEXANS 7
PLE: Leon Washington, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton
Mark Sanchez began his NFL career with a yeoman performance,
throwing for 272 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Leon
Washington is not about to be the next Brian Westbrook with Thomas
Jones running for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Washington did
rack up 60 yards on the ground and 24 in the air. Only four players
caught the ball Washington (4-24), Dustin Keller (4-94), Jerricho
Cotchery (6-90), and Chansi Stuckey (4-64, 1 TD). The Jets defense
pitched a shutout against the Houston offense.
Matt Schaub was not the answer this week, throwing for only 166
yards and an interception. The top receiver was Owen Daniels with
four catches for 44 yards. Andre Johnson tripped out of the gate
with four catches for only 35 yards. Steve Slaton had 35 yards
receiving, but only 17 yards rushing. No one was fantasy relevant
in the Texans offense.
VIKINGS 34 – BROWNS 20
Only one person mattered in this game. That was All-Day Adrian
Peterson who rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Peterson
also caught one of Brett Favre’s 14 completions for 12 yards.
Favre threw for 110 yards and a touchdown. Percy Harvin was the
most effective receiver with three catches for 36 yards and a
touchdown and also rushed for 22 yards. No other receiver eclipsed
All the James
Davis hype still had Jamal
Lewis toting the rock 11 times for 57 yards and catching three
for 47 yards. Davis was on the field but only touched the ball
seven times and did not reach 10 yards total. The only receiver
of note was tight end Robert Royal who caught four for 60 yards
and a touchdown. Again, no wide receiver eclipsed 30 yards including
Edwards who managed only one catch for 12 yards. Brady Quinn
threw for 205 yards, one touchdown and turned the ball over twice.
BRONCOS 12 – BENGALS 7
PHE: Brandon Stokley, Cedric Benson
One freak play can change fantasy and real world fortunes. Brandon
Stokley was unheard from until late in the fourth quarter when
a ball intended for Brandon Marshall was tipped by the Bengals
into Stokley’s arms for an 87-yard touchdown. That was Stokley’s
only catch, but it was enough for the win and enough for anyone
having the guts to start him. That catch took Kyle Orton from
156 yards to 243 yards and a touchdown. Correll Buckhalter was
far more effective than Knowshon Moreno. Each carried the ball
eight times, Buckhalter for 46 yards (and 11 receiving yards)
and Moreno for 19 yards. Brandon Marshall who sat out most of
the summer, was still the greatest recipient of passes with four
catches for 27 yards. Eddie Royal only had two catches for 18
yards and Tony Scheffler caught one for 29 yards.
Despite only one offensive score, Cedric Benson rushed for 76
yards, caught four for 32 more and scored a touchdown. Even Chad
Ochocinco had an okay day with five catches for 89 yards. Carson
Palmer threw for 247 yards, but failed to toss a score and threw
two picks. Chris
Henry and Laveranues
Coles each had only one catch for less than 20 yards. Meanwhile,
as noted in my last installment of Training
Camp Hype, Andre
Caldwell was a primary target with six catches for 54 yards.
EAGLES 38 – PANTHERS 10
PHE: Eagles D/Sp.Team, Donovan McNabb, Brent Celek
One would think with 38 points scored, there would be a lot of
fantasy points to spread around. While Donovan McNabb threw for
two touchdowns and ran for one, he also tossed an interception
and passed for only 79 yards before being knocked out (probably
for next week too) with a rib injury. Brian
Westbrook had only 64 yards on the ground and less than 10
yards receiving, but scored on a short pass. Brent Celek was the
only player who exceeded expectations with six catches for 37
yards and a touchdown. The Eagles special teams and defense were
all over the place, with a DeSean
Jackson 85-yard punt return for a touchdown, seven turnovers
and five sacks.
Jake Delhomme had a day to forget. In a horrific opening game,
he mimicked the Panthers play-ouster with only 73 yards, four
interceptions and a fumble. Only DeAngelo Williams did anything
for fantasy owners, rushing for 37 yards and leading the passing
game with four catches for 42 yards and scoring once. Jonathan
Stewart could not get moving on the ground with eleven carries
for 35 yards. Steve Smith did not perform like a #1 receiver with
only three catches for 21 yards.
RAVENS 38 – CHIEFS 24
PLE: Derrick Mason, Larry Johnson
The Ravens mixed the running and passing game nicely, throwing
as often as they ran and splitting carries between their three
running backs. Everyone had a good fantasy day - Joe Flacco threw
for 307 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Willis McGahee
was the touchdown machine, rushing for 44 yards, catching four
passes for 31 yards and scoring twice. Ray Rice eclipsed 100 yards
on 19 carries and also caught two passes for 12 yards. Even Le’Ron
Mclain got points with a touchdown, three catches for 23 yards
and 19 yards rushing. Both Mark Clayton and Todd Heap caught five
passes for over 70 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Mason was the
only fantasy starter who did not flourish, with four catches for
Brodie Croyle filled in nicely for the scratched Matt Cassel,
passing for only 177 yards, but scoring twice. The Ravens run
defense lived up to expectation, stalling Larry Johnson to only
20 yards. Dwayne Bowe caught four passes for 40 yards and scored
a touchdown. Mark Bradley roped in four for 73 yards.
FALCONS 19 – DOLPHINS 7
Tony Gonzalez debut as a Falcon went well. Five catches for 73
yards and a touchdown is to be expected. Matt Ryan threw effectively,
going for 229 yards and two touchdowns, but other than Gonzalez,
no receiver was highly targeted. Jerrous Norwood, Roddy White
and Michael Jenkins all caught between four to five catches for
Chad Pennington threw for only 176 yards and turned over twice
on a fumble and an interception. Only Davone Bess had any fortune
with seven catches for 57 yards otherwise, no receiver caught
more than two balls for 26 yards (Ginn, Jr.). Ricky Williams had
some success, rushing seven times for 39 yards and two catches
for 19 yards and a score. Ronnie Brown only rushed for 43 yards
and caught two passes for 10 yards.
SEAHAWKS 28 - RAMS 10
PHE: John Carlson, Julius Jones, Nate Burleson
PLE: Steven Jackson, Marc Bulger, Donnie Avery
Matt Hasselbeck started off horridly with two interceptions,
but turned his game around and threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
Julius Jones made the Jones’ family happy with a second
big game of the day, running for 117 yards (62 of which came on
a touchdown run), along with 19 yards on two catches. John Carlson
was a beast with six catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Nate Burleson has returned from his injury year with seven catches
for 74 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught six for
So you thought grabbing Steven Jackson in a PPR league was a good
idea? Not one catch for Jackson, who rushed for only 67 yards,
half of which came on a garbage drive in the last five minutes
of the game. Marc Bulger threw for 191 yards with no scores and
no turnovers. Donnie Avery caught six passes for 46 yards. Laurent
Robinson had a decent game with five catches for 87 yards.
GIANTS 23 – REDSKINS 17
Eli Manning managed Mario Manningham to a 30-yard touchdown scamper
while passing for 258 total yards. His one touchdown was countered
by two turnovers. Steve Smith was the steady target, catching
six for 80 yards. Manningam had a total of 58 yards and Kevin
Boss took in three for 62 yards. The fearsome ground attack was
limited: Brandon Jacobs rushed for 46 yards and caught two more
for 17 yards; Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 60 yards and caught three
passes for 11 yards.
The Redskins starting three skill-position players were silent
as Clinton Portis ran for 62 yards and Santana Moss and Malcolm
Kelly combined for 3 catches and 12 yards. Jason Campbell threw
one touchdown and one interception on 211 yards of passing. Chris
Cooley led the charge with seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Antwaan Randle El caught seven passes for 98 yards.
49ERS 20 – CARDINALS 16
PHE: Frank Gore, Tim Hightower, Larry Fitzgerald
PLE: Josh Morgan, Anquan Boldin
Shaun Hill managed a football game, but it wasn’t fantasy
notable. Hill threw for 209 yards and one touchdown without an
interception (he did lose a fumble). Frank Gore’s 30 yards
on 22 carries would generally be frightful, but one of those rushes
along with one of his three catches for 18 yards culminated in
a touchdown. Josh Morgan was nearly unheard from with three catches
for 38 yards but the ageless Isaac Bruce caught four for 74 yards.
Vernon Davis caught five for 40 yards.
Tim Hightower rushed eight times for 15 yards but nevertheless
had a great game in PPR leagues as he reeled in 12 catches for
121 yards. His counterpart Chris Wells carried only seven times
for 29 yards. Larry Fitzgerald had a bad game and still came away
with six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Anquan Boldin just
had a bad game, ending with two catches for 19 yards. Jerheme
Urban filled in well for Steve Breaston, hauling in five catches
for 74 yards.
PACKERS 21 – BEARS 15
PHE: Greg Jennings, Ryan Grant, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett
PLE: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Greg Olsen
Jay Cutler passed for 277 yards with one touchdown but killed
some fantasy owners with four interceptions. Oddly, like Steven
Jackson, Matt Forte was unheard from in the passing game without
a single reception. Forte only rushed for 55 yards. Devin Hester
was the Bears’ shining star with four catches for 90 yards
and a touchdown. Earl Bennett continues to be Cutler’s favorite,
hauling in seven catches for 66 yards. Johnny Knox had a huge
68-yard non-touchdown reception, and caught a total of two for
82 yards. Greg Olsen was not the outlet he was expected to be,
catching only one pass for eight yards.
Aaron Rodgers failed to impress after a flawless summer however,
on a final two-minute drive, Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings
for a 50-yard touchdown, giving Rodgers 184 yards and one touchdown
on the night. Jennings ended with six catches for 106 yards and
a touchdown. Ryan Grant rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown. Donald
Driver hauled in 39 yards on four receptions.
PATRIOTS 25 – BILLS 24
PHE: Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Ben Watson, Trent Edwards,
The Patriots fell behind early but pulled out a victory late
in the fourth quarter scoring twice in the last 2:06 of the game.
Tom Brady picked up where he left off in 2007 tossing two touchdowns
on 378 yards passing and 53 attempts. It’s no surprise that
Randy Moss and Wes Welker were the beneficiaries of Brady’s
throws… each caught 12 passes but what may surprise some
is the two scores for tight end Ben Watson (6 rec, 77 yards).
Perhaps his demise and the #1 TE in New England has been greatly
exaggerated. Chris Baker caught 1 pass for 7 yards. The Patriots
only rushed the ball 19 times split between Laurence Maroney (10
– 32 yds) and Fred Taylor (9-25 yds, 1 TD).
The Bills blew the game thanks to a late turnover, but gave fantasy
owners a couple smiles thanks to performances by quarterback Trent
Edwards (212 yds, 2 TDs) and running back Fred Jackson (140 yds
combined rushing/receiving, 1 TD). The two wideouts were fantasy
busts with Owens catching 2 passes for 46 yards and Evans catching
3 for 25.
CHARGERS 24 – RAIDERS 20
PLE: Chris Chambers
Another Monday night game that came down to the final minutes.
Darren Sproles’ touchdown run with 18 seconds left gave
the Chargers another victory over the Raiders… their 12th
straight victory over the silver and black if you’re counting
at home. Fantasy wise, the big news coming out of this game is
the sprained ankle of LaDainian Tomlinson (13-55, 1 TD), which
limited him throughout much of the second half. Darren Sproles
chipped in with 66 combined rushing/receiving yards and 1 score.
Antonio Gates (5-83) and Vincent Jackson (5-56, 1 TD) did the
damage through the air. Keep your eye on wideout Legedu Naanee
(5-49) who was targeted six times. Those who started Chris Chambers
got a goose egg.
The Raiders used a two-pronged rushing attack comprised of Darren
McFadden (17-68 rush, 2-25 rec) and Michael Bush (12-55 rush,
1 TD; 1-4 rec) and to much surprise had a couple notable fantasy
receivers. Tight end Zach Miller caught 6 passes for 96 yards
and it was Louis Murphy, not Darrius Heyward-Bey making the most
impact as a rookie with 4 catches for 87 yards and 1 touchdown.
Quarterback JaMarcus through for over 200 yards for only the 7th
time in 19 starts.