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.
Colts – Titans
At some point the Colts had to realize Trent Richardson was killing their offense, and Thursday night was that point. While Richardson was slogging to 22 yards on eight carries, Donald Brown racked up 80 yards and two scores on 14 carries. Like I said last week, Richardson has finally earned the right to be called a RB2. He’s now a RB2 on his own team. Delanie Walker is starting to become a solid option for those searching for a TE. Walker has now scored double-digit fantasy points in PPR leagues in three of his last four games. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks for the tight end more than Jake Locker, so Walker is worth picking up if you’re thin at that position.
Jets – Bills
The Bills’ defense dominated, recording four sacks and causing four turnovers. Of course, the entire world should have seen this coming because this was the Jets’ scheduled week to play poorly. Baltimore is in big trouble on Sunday because it’s the Jets’ week to play great. Buffalo’s offense didn’t have to do much but E.J. Manuel played well, completing 20 of 28 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Backups Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham were productive starting for the injured Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods. The duo combined for eight receptions, 155 yards and two touchdowns. Doug Marrone deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done in his first year with the Bills.
Cardinals – Jaguars
After getting their first win of the season, the Jaguars went back to being the Jaguars. Carson Palmer lit up the Jacksonville defense for 419 yards and two touchdowns. One of the reasons for Palmer’s big day was because Arizona couldn’t run the ball at all. The Cardinals rushed 24 times for 14 yards. The Jaguars didn’t do much better, rushing 16 times for 31 yards. Michael Floyd was questionable much of the week. He looked healthy on Sunday. Floyd caught six passes for 193 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown.
Raiders – Texans
Matt McGloin made an impressive NFL debut by throwing for 197 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. It’s still too early to tell if McGloin is the real deal, but he had an excellent coach at Penn State in Bill O’Brien to prepare him for the NFL. Rashad Jennings ran for 150 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders have a Trent Richardson situation. There doesn’t seem to be any holes when Darren McFadden is in the game, but for some reason Jennings finds holes to run through when he plays. It must be that the offensive line only likes to block for Jennings. The Texans benched Case Keenum in favor of Matt Schaub and still lost. Who are the fans going to threaten now?
Lions – Steelers
This was a wild game. The only thing I can say is I’ve seen enough of Calvin Johnson for one season. I went up against Megatron when he faced the Cowboys and again last week when he caught six balls for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Stafford threw 46 times for 362 and two touchdowns, while Ben Roethlisberger threw 45 times for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Antonio Brown continues to be a target and reception monster, while Jerricho Cotchery found the end zone again. That’s now five touchdowns for Cotchery in the last three games.
Falcons – Buccaneers
If the Falcons and Jaguars were to play, I think I would go with Jacksonville. Atlanta is playing some God-awful football, but luckily for Harry Douglas owners he continues to put up strong fantasy numbers. There’s very little to like about the Falcons right now unless you have a fantasy player going up against their defense. Apparently Bobby Rainey will be replacing Mike James. Rainey ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. He also scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass. Meanwhile, Brian Leonard was a non-factor. Rainey is still owned in only 54 percent of leagues. That obviously won’t be the case come Wednesday. Mike Glennon continues to play well, despite being thrown into the fire as a rookie. He’s putting up strong QB2 numbers on a consistent basis.
Ravens – Bears
In a game that took about 10 hours to play, Ray Rice got his revenge on me. I’ve been smashing Rice for a year and a half now and I played against him this week. Rice gained 131 yards and a touchdown after coming into the game with 289 yards on the season. Although, I’m guessing that has more to do with the Bears’ abysmal defense than me. Alshon Jeffery continues to dominate and Josh McCown did just enough to get a win in ugly conditions. Joe Flacco is having a miserable season. I mentioned above that the Jets are scheduled to play well this week against Baltimore. Gang Greene’s defense will eat the Ravens’ offensive line and Flacco alive.
Browns – Bengals
The Bengals gained only 224 yards of total offense against Cleveland but they didn’t have to do much because Cincinnati’s defense dominated the game. The Bengals’ DST scored two touchdowns, caused four turnovers and registered four sacks. Andy Dalton only threw for 93 yards. He did toss three scores but none of those yards or touchdowns went to A.J. Green, who only caught two passes for seven yards. The Browns tried phasing Willis McGahee out of the offense but Chris Ogbonnaya fumbled twice. That could open the door for Fozzy Whittaker to see more touches going forward.
Redskins – Eagles
Nick Foles continues to play well and put up strong numbers. He didn’t throw for any touchdowns against Washington but accounted for 345 total yards and a score on the ground. I know that’s a pretty good fantasy day because I played against Foles in one of my leagues. Riley Cooper was finally held in check, catching only three passes for 37 yards, although he came up just inches short of scoring another touchdown. Robert Griffin isn’t having an awful fantasy season but he is struggling on the field. The interception he threw at the end of the game was inexcusable.
Vikings – Seahawks
Percy Harvin made his debut for the Seahawks on Sunday. He caught only one pass for 17 yards but it was a good sign for the owners who held on to Harvin to see him out there. By the time fantasy playoffs roll around, Harvin will be an asset to owners. The Seattle defense held Adrian Peterson to 65 yards on 21 carries. Other than Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, the two top fantasy performers from this game were Darius Wright and Doug Baldwin. So the story is that the Seahawks moved to 10-1 and Harvin made his debut.
49ers – Saints
The 49ers’ defense played well but their offense was held to fewer than 200 yards for the second consecutive game. Colin Kaepernick isn’t playing well but it’s hard to place all the blame on him. Defenses are double-teaming Vernon Davis on most plays and shifting coverage to Anquan Boldin. Why? Because their other receiver is Jonathan Baldwin and he shouldn’t be in the NFL. The 49ers are simply lacking playmakers on offense right now and they’re an easy team to defend. One week after rushing for 145 yards, Mark Ingram went back to his usual stat line of six carries for 25 yards. That’s what happens when you’re not playing Monte Kiffin’s joke defense in Dallas. Like most players in the NFL, Ingram had his best game of the year against the Cowboys.
Chargers – Dolphins
This was a weird offensive game for the Chargers because Philip Rivers threw for almost 300 yards but neither Keenan Allen nor Danny Woodhead were much of a factor. Allen left late with a knee injury but only caught three passes for 45 yards. Woodhead, meanwhile, totaled just 37 yards. Rivers spread the ball around to nine different receivers, while Ryan Mathews did the damage on the ground with 127 yards. Lamar Miller looked like he was about to break out a couple of weeks ago. Instead, he’s back to getting 17 yards on four carries. We’re at the point now that if you’re still starting a Miami running back, you’ve obviously given up on the fantasy season.
Packers – Giants
Scott Tolzien threw three interceptions but he played about as well as can be expected for a guy who was just signed off the practice squad and making his first start. The bottom line is that Green Bay’s offense is going to be in trouble until Aaron Rodgers returns unless they play the Cowboys. Remember when Hakeem Nicks was a No. 1 receiver? That guy used to dominate; now he looks like he doesn’t even want to be out on the field. Nicks had another ho-hum four-catch, 50-yard performance on Sunday. The good news for Nicks is that he does get to face Dallas’s defense this week, so a breakout game is likely.
Chiefs – Broncos
With all due respect to Peyton Manning, if I had an MVP vote I think I would have to split it between Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs defense. How that team went 9-0 with Alex Smith at quarterback is beyond me. That guy is tough to watch. Smith actually makes me angry at times with all his stupid checkdowns and the way he runs out of the pocket when there’s barely any pressure. The Chiefs won’t win a darn thing with him under center. I’ve always suspected John Fox hated me with the way he drafted running backs I loved in college and then never used them. Now I have my proof. Jack Del Rio takes over and Montee Ball scores two touchdowns. Expect to see Ball get 10-12 carries a game from here on in as the Broncos try to keep Knowshon Moreno fresh for the playoffs.
Patriots – Panthers
This game lived up to its billing, going down to the final controversial seconds. I own Shane Vereen and have been chomping at the bit for him to return. Vereen made a splash in his first game back by catching eight passes for 65 yards on 11 targets. Vereen owners got the added bonus of Stevan Ridley fumbling again. Vereen is always going to have value regardless of Ridley because of his ability as a receiver. However, Ridley is one more fumble away from barely seeing the ball anymore. Bill Belichick isn’t going to put that guy out on the field in the playoffs if he keeps putting the ball on the ground. Cam Newton played one of his better games of the year, gaining 271 total yards and scoring three touchdowns. He had to put the offense on his shoulders because Carolina couldn’t run the ball a lick.