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.
Giants – Bears
The Giants tried to turn back the clock and stop their losing streak by riding the legs of Brandon Jacobs against the Bears. Jacobs ran like it was 2007, rushing for 106 yards and two scores on 22 carries. It wasn’t enough though, as three more Eli Manning interceptions brought the Giants’ record to an astonishing 0-6 on the season. So I think after six games we have figured it out. When Brandon Marshall has a big fantasy game, Alshon Jeffery doesn’t. When Alshon Jeffery has a big fantasy game, Brandon Marshall doesn’t. However, under no circumstances can both receivers have big fantasy performances in the same game. That would just be unacceptable.
Bengals – Bills
Thaddeus Lewis got the start for Buffalo and played well, connecting on 19-of-32 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Then of course he got hurt, because that’s a prerequisite for playing quarterback in Buffalo these days. Andy Dalton finally had a strong fantasy game and it was nice to see A.J. Green reappear in the offense. Green saw 11 targets, catching six balls for 103 yards, which included a beautiful touchdown reception. I’ve been waiting for the Bengals to use Giovani Bernard more in the passing game and they did on Sunday. He caught seven balls for 72 yards and a score. Bernard can be a huge weapon most weeks if Cincinnati uses him like they did against Buffalo.
Rams – Texans
Things went from bad to worse for Houston on Sunday. With their season basically on the line, the Texans got smashed at home by St. Louis. The good news from a fantasy perspective is that Arian Foster still had a big day. Other than that though, there’s very little to be happy about in Houston. The fans cheered when Matt Schaub got hurt. I wonder how hard they were cheering when T.J. Yates threw that pick six? Yates doesn’t look like any kind of upgrade for Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins owners. Zac Stacy got the bulk of the carries for the Rams and ran well against a tough Texans rush defense. He’s an encouraging fantasy play moving forward.
Raiders – Chiefs
The Chiefs scored 24 points their usual way. Despite gaining only 216 yards of offense, Kansas City’s defense scored a touchdown, caused three turnovers and resisted three sacks. Terrelle Pryor has played well this year but he’s still a young quarterback and was just overmatched on Sunday by the nasty Chiefs D. There are rarely a lot of offensive stats from Kansas City games that don’t come from Jamaal Charles, and Sunday was no different.
Panthers – Vikings
The Panthers’ offense finally got going on Sunday. All it took was playing Minnesota, which in my opinion has the worst defense in the NFL. Leslie Frazier is doing one heck of a job there. Cam Newton started running a little bit and had his first really big fantasy game of the season. Once Mike Shula was hired as Carolina’s offensive coordinator, I thought it would hurt Steve Smith the most. He was my 38th-ranked receiver coming into the season. After six games, you see why.
Steelers – Jets
The Jets look like one of those teams that have a “one week on/one week off” offense. One week their offense looks good then the next week it can’t get out of its own way. Antonio Brown is turning into a reception monster. He had nine more on Sunday and now has 30 catches on 37 targets in his last three games. I grabbed Heath Miller in two of my leagues a couple of weeks ago. He’s really saving my backside, considering that my starting TE before him was Jared Cook, who is now completely useless.
Eagles – Buccaneers
Nick Foles has looked tremendous in his six quarters of work since Mike Vick went down. It will be interesting to see which way Chip Kelly goes when Vick is healthy enough to play, if Foles continues to put up strong numbers. Fantasy owners should certainly take a shot on Foles and see what happens. Even more shocking is that Riley Cooper had a 100-yard game. I thought I would see the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus skipping down the street together before I saw Cooper have a 100-yard game. I guess if you live long enough, you see everything.
Packers – Ravens
Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards but just one touchdown. Rodgers hasn’t been his usual superstar self so far this season in terms of putting up weekly stud numbers. He has been solid, just not one of the top two QBs, which is what he was drafted as in most leagues. It probably won’t help that Randall Cobb hurt his knee and Eddie Lacy is starting to roll on the ground, but Rodgers can still put up huge numbers against any defense. I thought Ray Rice would be the biggest fantasy bust of the 2013 season. After six games I’ve seen nothing to change my opinion. For all the guff Joe Flacco takes, he’s putting up pretty good numbers on a team that can’t run the ball and has one of the NFL’s worst group of receivers and tight ends. Flacco may not be Drew Brees but he’s playing with a bunch of tomato cans out there.
Lions – Browns
It’s pretty obvious to me now that we need to talk about Brian Hoyer as a possible MVP candidate. Think about it: when Hoyer starts, the Browns can’t lose; when Hoyer doesn’t start, the Browns can’t win. It’s that simple. Seriously though, Brandon Weeden stinks. I don’t want to say the Lions need some receivers, but when Kris Durham has emerged as Matthew Stafford’s second option behind Megatron, that’s not a position of strength on your team. It’s amazing that Stafford had 248 yards passing and four scores when Calvin Johnson is banged up and there isn’t much else for him to throw to in Detroit besides Megatron and Reggie Bush. Oh, and the tight end I kept calling Christian Fauria is really Joseph Fauria.
Titans – Seahawks
Remember when Marshawn Lynch was a bust? Now he’s one of my favorite players in the NFL. The guy always runs hard and he almost always puts up big fantasy numbers to boot. The reason I love Lynch is because on a day where he rushes for only 77 yards, he makes up for it by scoring twice and catching four balls for 78 yards. The guy truly is a beast. Chris Johnson isn’t a beast and I’m getting sick of talking about how he doesn’t do anything, so I’m just going to stop. How about this? When Johnson does do something, I’ll mention it. I’ll talk to you around Christmas.
Jaguars – Broncos
In one of my leagues, I had two receivers in this game. Astonishingly, the guy who put up huge fantasy points plays for Jacksonville. Justin Blackmon saw an insane 20 targets, catching 14 of them for 190 yards. On the other hand, Demaryius Thomas has been a bit of a disappointment. I don’t understand why Peyton Manning doesn’t just throw it up to him when Thomas has single coverage. The guy is a monster and can’t be covered. Instead, Julius Thomas now has more fantasy value. I get spreading the ball around, but in my opinion you still need to feed your stud. Oh, and as I predicted a few weeks ago, the committee in Denver is dead. It’s now Knowshon Moreno and the two other guys.
Cardinals – 49ers
In case you were wondering, the Cardinals are far and away the worst team in the NFL when it comes to covering the tight end. Just look at the numbers Jared Cook, Jimmy Graham, Greg Olson and Vernon Davis put up against Arizona. If you have a TE playing against the Cardinals, expect a huge game from him. Andre Ellington once again vastly outplayed Rashard Mendenhall. Ellington racked up 92 total yards and a touchdown on 12 touches. He needs to start getting around 20 touches a game, regardless of how much he weighs. Carson Palmer is an upgrade over John Skelton. That’s the nicest thing I could think to say about Carson Palmer.
Saints – Patriots
I missed the last couple of minutes of this game. Did anything exciting happen? I thought we might see an old-fashioned shootout between Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but instead both quarterbacks did a lot of handing off and throwing short passes. I know Brady threw the ball 43 times, but 10 of those attempts came in the Patriots’ final couple of possessions. New England ran the ball 35 times in this game, and the Saints 26 times. It takes those two teams a couple of weeks to run the ball that much sometimes. In the end though, the Saints gave Brady too many chances and he made them pay with a perfect pass to beat them. That was after Brees threw a perfect pass to Kenny Stills to give the Saints the lead. That’s why I didn’t want to see so many handoffs in this game. Watching Brady and Brees throw the ball is fun to watch. Oh yeah, I own Brady in one of my leagues, so there’s that too.
Redskins – Cowboys
This game featured two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, so obviously it didn’t produce one noteworthy fantasy player. Two things came out of this game for fantasy owners: the injury to DeMarco Murray, who hurts himself blowing his nose, and the fact that Robert Griffin simply isn’t the same. Griffin’s throws are all over the place and he’s sitting in the pocket way too long. It will be interesting to see where the Redskins go from here. I mean other than nowhere. The NFC East is like a tree that falls in the woods. If a team wins this division, does anyone really care?
Colts – Chargers
Wow, first Riley Cooper has a 100-yard receiving day and then Ryan Mathews goes over 100 yards rushing in the same week. Did anyone check to see if the world is supposed to end? Keenan Allen looks like the real deal. Luckily I got him in one of my leagues. I may have to start him over Demaryius Thomas soon. Hey, one guy gets 12 targets a game and the other is being used as a decoy. Ah, I don’t have the marbles. I feel like Danny Woodhead did nothing and at the end of the game he still scored 12 fantasy points in PPR leagues. In all seriousness, if you were drafting over in a PPR league would you take Woodhead or Trent Richardson first? If you said Richardson I would love to see if you said it with a straight face.