It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.
Bills – Browns
Brian Hoyer vs. EJ Manuel isn’t exactly the epitome of upper-echelon quarterback play in the NFL. No offense to either guy. They’re both still young, inexperienced quarterbacks but it’s not like we’re tuning in expecting to see Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Still, once we get down to Brandon Weeden and Jeff Tuel, you realize just how much we miss Hoyer and Manuel. Somehow, there were 61 points scored in this game. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller should come into games injured more often. They combined for 119 yards and three scores after both were questionable to play in the game. Willis McGahee ran for 72 yards and a score on 26 carries. That will be his normal stat line, but you know what? It’s about the same production Trent Richardson was putting up in Cleveland. Plus, the Browns are 3-0 and got a first-round pick since trading Richardson away. I guess Cleveland knew what they were doing all along.
Jaguars – Rams
In a stunner, this game produced 54 points and some strong fantasy numbers. Justin Blackmon made an impressive return from suspension, catching five passes for 136 yards and a score. Blackmon and Cecil Shorts would actually make a formidable receiving duo if Jacksonville could ever get consistent quarterback play. Good luck with that. Austin Pettis is turning into a decent fantasy option in the Rams’ three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense. Zac Stacy got the start and rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries against Jacksonville’s Swiss cheese defense. He’s worth picking up this week, but keep your expectations under control. The Rams’ offensive line still can’t block anyone.
Chiefs – Titans
Jamaal Charles continues to show why he was worthy of a top 3 pick in PPR leagues. Charles topped 100 yards rushing and added five receptions. Charles has always been a good fantasy player, but the addition of noodle-armed quarterback Alex Smith is a perfect storm. Chris Johnson still can’t run the ball but he made the fantasy owners he hates so much happy by catching four passes for 63 yards and a score. Maybe this feud is over? Probably not, considering that he rushed for less than 2.0 yards per carry again.
Eagles – Giants
This game was to determine which team’s season is over. It’s the Giants. Say goodnight. Despite being the second worst team in the NFL, the Giants produced two receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle that had big fantasy days. All told, Nicks, Randle and Victor Cruz saw a combined 37 targets. Expect that to continue because New York’s defense is absolute trash and Eli Manning will have to throw the ball a lot. That is, unless you think Brandon Jacobs has any reason to be on an NFL roster. The big news from this game was the injury to Mike Vick. Nick Foles played well in Vick’s absence, tossing 197 yards and two touchdowns. Vick is expected to be out at least this week against Tampa Bay, so Foles will get to show what he can do.
Saints – Bears
Alshon Jeffery continues to dominate just like I predicted he would this year. God, I should be a fantasy football writer. I thought Jeffery and Brandon Marshall would form one of the top receiving duos in the NFL this year. Now we just need Marshall to do his part. Pierre Thomas took over the Darren Sproles role on Sunday, catching nine passes for 55 yards and two scores. The Bears put up a ton of offense but only scored 18 points. If the Saints can get those results all year, they’ll be tough to beat.
Ravens – Dolphins
John Harbaugh said he was going to recommit to Ray Rice and the running game and he kept his promise. Rice carried the ball 27 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns, while Bernard Pierce went back to his backup role with 11 carries for 46 yards. Mike Wallace is having an interesting season. He either goes over 100 yards or is non-existent. Luckily for Wallace owners, this was one of his good weeks. Lamar Miller got his usual seven carries. Unfortunately, this week they only went for 15 yards. It’s hard to always turn fewer than 10 carries into 60 yards and a score.
Seahawks – Colts
This was an entraining game, with the Colts proving they’re serious contenders after beating San Francisco and now Seattle. Trent Richardson produced his usual 56 yards on 18 carries. I guess you can’t blame Richardson considering he plays in Cleveland. Oh, wait… T. Y. Hilton finally exploded, with Richard Sherman shadowing Reggie Wayne. Hilton caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Hopefully this will be a springboard game for Hilton, because he can be a difference maker every week for the Colts. Donald Brown looked better running the ball than Richardson again. It must be because Richardson plays in Cleveland. Oh, wait.
Lions – Packers
I traded for Aaron Rodgers last week. He rewarded me with an average game like I knew he would. I thought Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin would each have a role in the Packers’ offense, so I was wrong all the way around about Green Bay. Although, if you’re a rookie running back and keep fumbling, we can cross you off the list. Franklin is all done unless Lacy gets hurt again. I guess we found out just how important Calvin Johnson is to Detroit’s offense. Without him the Lions couldn’t do anything. The Packers’ defense focused on taking away Reggie Bush and didn’t have to worry about Detroit’s other receivers because most of them shouldn’t even be on an NFL roster.
Patriots – Bengals
The Bengals’ defense dominated New England, holding the Patriots to just 248 yards of total offense. Danny Amendola returned but looked rusty. He struggled with drops and just didn’t look 100 percent healthy. Amendola’s production will increase in the coming weeks, but saying he’s another Wes Welker is a slap in the face to Welker. One week after looking like he was going to start getting more touches, Giovani Bernard saw 13 carries to BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s 19. Good luck figuring that mess out from week to week. I’m giving up.
Panthers – Cardinals
This game was on the same time as Denver/Dallas, so my guess is most people didn’t watch a single play. I had it on another TV and I didn’t watch many plays either. We already know Mike Shula has ruined the Panthers’ offense, so why do I need to watch it? The one pleasant surprise in Carolina has been Ted Ginn. He isn’t seeing a ton of targets but Ginn is making the most of them. Then again, why would a speed receiver see a lot of targets in Shula’s offense? Andre Ellington looks better every week. Rashard Mendenhall continues to look the same: well below average. If I were Arizona’s coach, Ellington would get more touches. Then again, I would be an awful coach.
Broncos – Cowboys
Fantasy football is about statistics and this game was full of them. The fourth highest scoring game in NFL history saw a 500-yard passer, a 400-yard passer, four 100-yard receivers and a total of 12 touchdowns. Heck, there was so much offense in this game that Peyton Manning even scored a rushing touchdown. Terrance Williams had a big game filling in for the injured Miles Austin and caught four passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. Williams has now had two strong games in a row, so he will have a role in Dallas’s offense even when Austin returns. I guess the only negative from a fantasy perspective came if you are a Demaryius Thomas owner (like me). In a game with so much offense, Thomas’s 5/57/0 stat line was disappointing. It also cost me a win.
Texans – 49ers
I was going to start this off by writing, “Houston, we have a problem,” but I figured it would be stupid, so I decided against it. Matt Schaub couldn’t throw a pick-six in four straight games if he tried, yet he’s done it. That’s simply amazing. Schaub is struggling to the point where he’s killing the value of every Texan offensive player. However, lost in Shaub’s three-interception meltdown is Colin Kaepernick’s atrocious play. Take away a 64-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Vernon Davis and Kaepernick did nothing. After five games it’s time to start worrying about Kaepernick and the 49ers’ passing game.
Chargers – Raiders
Philip Rivers threw for over 400 yards again with two scores, but this time he added three interceptions as well. The Chargers also had two 100-yard receivers in Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen. San Diego can’t run the ball at all, so Rivers and his receivers will be fantasy gold most weeks. The only negative is that he spreads the ball around, so expect some inconsistency among his receivers. Darren McFadden was inactive. That was shocking considering his high pain tolerance. Given how quickly McFadden recovers from injuries, we should see him back on the field sometime in 2014.
Jets – Falcons
A wild week ended with a wild Monday night game. I like Geno Smith. I think we expect every rookie to be Andrew Luck now but Smith has shown me quite a bit through five games. Has he looked like a rookie at times? Sure, but he’s also shown a lot of positives too. Remember, it’s not like he’s working with the Broncos’ weapons either. The Jets may have finally found their quarterback. I still think it’s comical that the Falcons are letting Roddy White play like this upcoming bye week is some magical place that cures cancer. White is now more injured than he was five weeks ago. As I’ve said many times here, it’s one of the worst mismanagements of an injury that I remember seeing. People keep asking me if they should trade for White. I say no. I don’t think he’ll be 100 percent all year now.