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.
Panthers – Bucs
It’s hard to understand why Greg Schiano is about to be fired. He’s lost 12 of his last 13 games, he got the best cornerback in the NFL and is using him in zone coverage, his former players compare playing for him to being in Cuba, and his current players are publicly stating that they no longer believe in their coach. That’s an impressive resume. Things are looking up for Schiano though. Tampa Bay travels to Seattle this week. Mike James didn’t get a chance to do much in his first start because the Bucs fell behind early. James finished with 39 yards on 10 carries. I guess I can be thankful that I got outbid for James, because falling behind is going to be a trend in Tampa Bay as long as Schiano is on the sidelines. The good news is that that will likely only be for one more week. Back to running backs: with Mike Tolbert getting more touches and Jonathan Stewart set to return, Carolina’s backfield is a fantasy mess to avoid.
Giants – Eagles
Did you happen to start Josh Brown? If so you had the bulk of the fantasy points in this game. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and DeSean Jackson put in solid fantasy days as well, but this was the second consecutive ugly offensive game the Giants have won. The best part about this game for me was when Daryl Johnson said Peyton Hillis reminded him of Mike Alstott. Really, Moose? Just like every white receiver on the planet—even if he’s 6’4″—reminds commentators of Wes Welker? I’m dying for there to be another white cornerback so I can hear, “He reminds me a lot of Jason Sehorn.” I guess all us white guys really do look alike.
49ers – Jaguars
I’m going to call it right now: The Jaguars will go 0-16. I always think a team will squeeze out a win at some point but I just can’t comprehend it with Jacksonville. I believe any other team can play their worst game and still beat the Jaguars by 10 points. The only good news is that Maurice Jones-Drew is finally showing signs of fantasy life. He racked up 122 total yards on 25 touches Sunday. I should probably take him off the bench now but then I would have to keep a straight face as I tell people that I’m starting a Jaguar. Colin Kaepernick ran for 54 yards and two scores on seven carries. To be honest, he could have run for 200 yards because the Jaguars fell for his option fake every single time. Luckily for the 49ers they were up by 21 before kickoff, so they didn’t need to risk running their quarterback that much.
Cowboys – Lions
We should all take a second to tip our hats to Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Oh sure, through eight weeks the Dallas defense has allowed four 400-yard passers, a 300-yard receiver and a franchise record for yards in a game (623), but Kiffin did manage to shut down Philadelphia’s offense with its backup quarterback. Let’s give Jerry Jones a round of applause for making another great coaching hire. Yes, Jones hires the coaches, not Jason Garrett. In other news, Dallas has won just one playoff game in the last 16 years. If you have any quarterback worth his salt going up against this Cowboys’ defense, expect a huge game out him. Moving forward, the Lions will benefit from the return of Nate Burleson because when they face a defensive coordinator that knows how to make an in-game adjustment, it will be more difficult for Megatron to catch 14 balls on 16 targets for the second most yards in NFL history. Burleson had 19 receptions in three games before getting hurt.
Browns – Chiefs
So apparently anyone who plays quarterback in Cleveland can do a decent job as long as that person isn’t Brandon Weeden? Jason Campbell certainly isn’t Bernie Kosar but he wasn’t as inept as Weeden either. Josh Gordon put up huge numbers. It will be interesting to see if the Browns move him or not this week. I hope for their sake they don’t. Cleveland already picked up a first-round pick after fleecing the Colts on the Trent Richardson deal. There’s no reason to get rid of all their good, young talent. For the first time in weeks, Jamaal Charles wasn’t the only Chiefs offensive player with fantasy relevance. Dexter McCluster caught seven passes for 67 yards and a score. How many people started him?
Dolphins – Patriots
I’ve gone as far as I can with Tom Brady. I’m telling you this because now that I’m benching him, you should get Brady in your lineup. I just can’t keep starting a QB that no longer has a chance to get me 20 fantasy points. The only two Patriots that had any fantasy relevance on Sunday were Stevan Ridley and Aaron Dobson. Brady isn’t just killing his own fantasy value; his poor start is killing the fantasy value of the entire Patriots offense right now. I don’t know how injured his hand is but those images certainly didn’t look good. The Dolphins finally decided to give Lamar Miller more than seven carries and he gained 89 yards on 18 carries. They should try that more often.
Bills – Saints
My God, is there a tougher human being on the planet than Bad Thad Lewis? I saw him take at least five hits on Sunday that would have put most people in the hospital. I have to hand it to this Bills team and first-year coach Doug Marrone, they fight every week. Even against the Saints they wouldn’t go away quietly, despite being outmatched on the road. Kenny Stills exploded in this game for 129 yards and two touchdowns. I really like Stills in dynasty leagues. He was a big-time player at Oklahoma before injuries and some off-the-field issues sidetracked him. If he keeps his head on straight, Stills has a bright NFL future. Jimmy Graham was obviously not 100 percent Sunday. However, he made the most of his three catches as two went for touchdowns. Darn, I wish I drafted him.
Steelers – Raiders
Terrelle Pryor scored on a 93-yard run early and the Raiders never looked back. Oakland hung on despite Pryor not really doing much after his long run. He totaled only 101 yards for the rest of the game. For all the talk of Le’Veon Bell he really hasn’t done much on the ground. He scored a short touchdown on Sunday but it was another 13-carry, 24-yard performance out of Bell. Luckily he caught five passes as well to salvage a decent fantasy day, but hopefully he starts finding more running lanes in the future. It’s not really Bell’s fault though. The Steelers’ offensive line is terrible.
Jets – Bengals
I considered for a second benching Brady in favor of the hot Andy Dalton but figured I would give it one more week because Dalton was facing a tough Jets defense. It goes to show what I know. While Brady looked like my two-year old son trying to throw a football, Dalton went for 325 yards and five touchdowns. Dalton has now recorded three straight 300-yard games and has thrown 11 touchdowns in that span. So Andy Dalton is my new Tom Brady. Amazingly, four of Dalton’s five scores went to Marvin Jones. A few weeks ago I called Jones a hump. Again, shows what I know. Since that time Jones has been the most improved receiver in the NFL. Last week I said to keep an eye on David Nelson, but after 12 receptions for 160 yards in two games, you may want to grab him off the waiver wire.
Redskins – Broncos
It’s amazing but the Broncos didn’t play that well. Peyton Manning was banged up and threw three interceptions, yet they still beat Washington 45-21. The thing I would be concerned with is that it’s pretty obvious Manning is struggling with those ankle injuries. Even though his bye week is coming up, Manning is 37 and we’re only halfway through the season. Also, remember that Denver’s offensive line is banged up too. The Broncos want to get Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson more involved in the offense in the coming weeks to keep Knowshon Moreno fresh. Ball had 11 carries on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if Denver runs the ball more over the second half of the season to limit the hits on Manning, because he has taken quite a beating over the first eight games.
Falcons – Cardinals
With Rashard Mendenhall injured, Andre Ellington got the start and gained 154 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run. Ellington is clearly the most talented running back in Arizona and should finally start getting 20 touches a game moving forward. Harry Douglas had another big game and Drew Davis caught seven passes for 77 yards and a score. Matt Ryan did throw the ball 61 times in this game, but there’s another receiver I want to mention. Darius Johnson caught four balls for 40 yards and saw nine targets. Johnson was my top deep sleeper in the draft coming out of SMU. He started the year on Atlanta’s practice squad. There may not be room for Johnson when Roddy White comes back, but with another injury, you never know. Johnson has already gone from absolutely no fantasy value to nine targets, so keep an eye on him.
Packers – Vikings
Adrian Peterson should have received two MVP awards last year. He really did have a season for the ages. How in the heck did that team win 10 games? Leslie Frazier is a miserable coach and there’s little talent on this Vikings squad outside of AP. The Packers are going to be tough with that battering ram Eddie Lacy to go along with Aaron Rodgers. Lacy ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. The Vikings currently have two first-round quarterbacks on their roster. Unfortunately for them, those two quarterbacks are Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman. So guess what Minnesota has to select in Round 1 of next year’s draft.
Seahawks – Rams
It was a defensive kind of night in St. Louis as Russell Wilson was harassed all game long by the Rams’ defense. Wilson was sacked seven times but was still able to find Golden Tate for two scores. I actually went into this game tied in a match-up. I had Zac Stacy and my opponent had Marshawn Lynch. Luckily for me my running back didn’t flip off his coaching staff last week. Apparently Pete Carroll isn’t happy with Lynch because not only did he have just eight carries in a tight game but Lynch didn’t even see a touch near the goal line. Instead, Carroll decided to let his 200-pound franchise quarterback take more punishment. It was odd playcalling to say the least but expect Lynch to get a lot more than eight carries next week against Tampa Bay.