Fantasy Football Strategy, Advice, and Commentary
By: Dave Stringer — October 25, 2013 @ 2:00 pm
A trade of Josh Gordon is unlikely.
1. Usually when there is smoke, there is fire but that may not be the case with the constant trade rumors flying around Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon has been on a tear since returning from a two-game suspension, catching 27 passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns over the last five weeks. In essence, he has played so well that he has made it nearly impossible for Cleveland to move him. A 2nd round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft, Gordon has elite physical skills that are not matched by his level of maturity. With two strikes against him in the league’s substance abuse program, another failed test will likely result in a year long suspension. That makes it unlikely that another team will offer the Browns a 1st or 2nd round pick to acquire his services although his upside and recent production compel Cleveland to hold onto him unless they receive such an offer. Add it all up and the odds are strong that fantasy leaguers can go ahead and assume he will remain in Cleveland for the duration of the 2013 season.
2. Sticking in the AFC North, Bengals third-year quarterback Andy Dalton is on the most impressive run of his young career with 709 passing yards and six touchdowns over the past two games. Long criticized for his inability to consistently connect on deep passes, Dalton connected with A.J. Green for an 82-yard catch and run touchdown this week and is averaging a career-high 7.7 yards per attempt which ranks 10th in the league. With a surrounding cast of young skilled position players, Dalton’s stock in keeper leagues is on the upswing.
3. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is currently ranked 3rd in FPts/G but his owners have to be asking themselves when the carnage around him starts to affect his production. With Randall Cobb on short term injured reserve, James Jones likely to miss his second consecutive game due to a knee injury and tight end Jermichael Finley out indefinitely with a bruised spinal cord suffered on a frightening looking play this week, Rodgers no longer has the weapons at his disposal that he is accustomed to having. With Jarrett Boykin (nine career receptions) starting at wide receiver and Andrew Quarless (28 career receptions) subbing in for Finley, Rodgers could be in line for a number of sub-300 yard passing games. His owners will have to hope that he pads his fantasy production with touchdown passes and in the ground game.
4. Jets quarterback Geno Smith has been surprisingly productive in his rookie campaign, throwing for 1,723 yards with eight passing touchdowns and two rushing scores over the first seven games of his career. He has topped 200 passing yards in every game but one (he had 199 yards against the Falcons) and has thrown touchdown passes in five of seven games. While those numbers aren’t earth shattering, they are impressive especially considering that he has been without the team’s leading receiver in Santonio Holmes and fellow wide receiver Stephen Hill has been slowed due to a concussion. Hill, second-year player Jeremy Kerley and Bills castoff David Nelson have lead a no name group of receivers and that may continue for the foreseeable future with Holmes stating this week that he had no idea when he would return to the lineup. Hill and Kerley rate as sneaky additions if you are looking for fill ins at the wide receiver position in larger leagues.
5. Brett Favre to the Rams tells you all you need to know about Kellen Clemen’s viability as St. Louis’ starting quarterback over the balance of the season. Outside of running back Zac Stacy, who rates as no better than a flex play or bye week fill in, the Rams don’t have a single player that should see the starting lineup of a 12-team fantasy league.
6. Watching Thursday night’s Panthers-Bucs game, it was hard not to come to the conclusion that Carolina has done a very poor job of managing their salary cap. Despite having DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart locked up on lucrative long-term deals, the Panthers signed Mike Tolbert to a multi-year contract prior to the 2012 season. While that is an impressive array of talent at the running back position, the salary cap space used to acquire it could have been better spent at the wide receiver position where an aging Steve Smith starts alongside Brandon LaFell with Ted Ginn Jr. in reserve. With Smith in his 13th season and averaging a very pedestrian 10.5 yard per reception, Carolina must replenish their wide receiver depth chart or else they risk wasting some of the best years of quarterback Cam Newton’s career. While Newton is clearly a fantasy stud, his upside is limited by the team’s lack of explosive weapons in the passing game.
7. The Lions released backup tight end Tony Scheffler this week, crystallizing their obvious desire to hand that role over to 2013 undrafted rookie free agent Joseph Fauria. Fauria has been a surprise with eight receptions for 81 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 targets. With the team’s wide receivers not named Calvin Johnson having underwhelming performances in 2013 and tight end Brandon Pettigrew in the final year of his rookie contract, Fauria, who has solid size at 6’7” and 255 pounds, could make another move up the depth chart in 2014. Dynasty leaguers might want to use stash him on the back of their roster in the event the disappointing Pettigrew is not re-signed.
By: Dave Stringer — October 23, 2013 @ 1:50 pm
Dalton heading into QB1 territory?
Andy Dalton, Bengals
Is Dalton ready to emerge as a solid QB1? Maybe. Over the past two weeks, he has thrown for 709 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Sure, it was against the Bills 22nd ranked pass defense and the Lions 27th ranked unit but the Bengals face five pass defenses ranked 12th or worst over their next eight games.
Josh McCown, Bears
Only if you’re truly desperate.
Tom Brady, Patriots
After passing for at least one touchdown in 52 consecutive games, Brady has now failed to throw for a touchdown in two of his last three games. The return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the lineup was supposed to help cure what ails the Patriots passing game but that didn’t happen this week. In his last three games, Brady has thrown for 694 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 51.2% of his passes.
Sam Bradford, Rams
Out for the year.
Brandon Weeden, Browns
The Browns have yet to compile a win in 2013 with Weeden as their starter and he was awful this week against the Packers with just 149 yards and a touchdown on 42 attempts. A trip to the bench will give Jason Campbell the start in Week 8.
Chris Ivory, Jets
Ivory had his most extensive use of the season this week with 34 carries for 104 yards in the Jets overtime win over the Patriots. While the Jets claimed that the game plan was to use Ivory’s hard charging running style against a banged up New England front seven, it’s worth noting that Bilal Powell is becoming an afterthought in the Jets offensive game planning (see below). The upcoming schedule looks rough but Ivory will rate as a decent flex option provided he takes over the starting role, which seems likely.
Mike James, Buccaneers
Meet the Buccaneers new starting running back. That is, unless they sign a veteran off the scrap heap but with a Thursday night game, James gets at least a week to prove that he is Da’ Man. He figures to take over for Doug Martin (see below) and the rookie 2013 6th round pick didn’t look horrible this week against the Falcons with 45 yards on 14 carries.
Roy Helu, Redskins
Reading Helu’s stat line of 11 carries for 41 yards and three touchdowns, you might jump to the conclusion that Alfred Morris was injured this week but that wasn’t the case. It was more a case of the Redskins coming out with a package of plays that Helu plays in and that package being effective against the Bears. That being said, look for the Redskins to continue using Helu in the red zone until opposing defenses figure out how to shut him down.
C.J. Spiller, Bills
With Spiller seemingly ready to handle a full load this week against the Dolphins, he totaled just nine touches to 15 for Fred Jackson. Not good but even worse was what he did with his touches, gaining just seven yards. Spiller is certainly in the running for Fantasy Bust of the Year as he has just 410 total yards, 15 receptions and a single touchdown in seven games. The schedule looks nice but if I’m a Spiller owner, I’m ready to cut bait if I get a decent offer for him.
Trent Richardson, Colts
Two questions. One, why did the Colts trade for Richardson? Two, how is it that Donald Brown isn’t starting? If you watched the Colts-Broncos game this week and came away with the opinion that Richardson is the superior player, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.
Bilal Powell, Jets
Over the past five weeks, Powell’s touches have declined from 29 to 17 to 13 to 12 to just three this week. That looks like a pattern. And it’s a pattern that has killed any fantasy value he had.
Doug Martin, Bucs & Arian Foster, Texans
Foster suffered a hamstring injury but with the Texans on a Week 8 bye, he might not miss any time. That won’t be the case with Martin who went down with a shoulder injury in the Bucs loss to the Falcons and left the stadium with his arm in a sling. He may be out for the year with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins
It looks like it is officially a timeshare in Miami. Not what Miller owners were hoping for entering the season.
Harry Douglas, Falcons
Turns out Douglas is better than I gave him credit for. With the Bucs refusing to put Darrelle Revis on him, Douglas had a career day with seven receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Drew Davis had one target and Kevin Cone didn’t get any. Looks like Douglas is the lead man in Atlanta until Roddy White returns.
Jarrett Boykin, Packers
Gets the Moving Up treatment two weeks in a row courtesy of his eight receptions, 103 yards and one touchdown performance this week against the Browns.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Colts
DHB has been a bit of a flop in his first year in Indianapolis, catching 18 of his 35 targets for 190 yards and a touchdown during his first seven games with the Colts. However, he was solid this week with a four-reception, 44-yard, one-touchdown performance (he also chipped in a 30 yard run) and Reggie Wayne is out for the season with a torn ACL. That sounds like opportunity for the former 1st round pick
Mike Brown, Jaguars
For deep leaguers only. Brown has nine receptions for 169 yards over the past two weeks but there is a decent chance he will lose playing time to Ace Sanders once the rookie returns from a concussion. If you need a bye week filler in large league, you could do worse than Brown.
Victor Cruz, Giants
Opposing defenses seem to have slid their coverage towards Cruz over the last three weeks. He is still getting plenty of targets (24 in those games) but the big plays have dried up as he has put up just 166 yards and failed to find the end zone.
Nate Washington, Titans
Washington appeared on the verge of reclaiming his role as the Titans leading wide receiver after his four-reception, 105-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 4. In the three games since then, he has seven receptions for 107 yards and no touchdowns.
Austin Pettis, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Rams
Hey, Kellen Clemens is at quarterback. I’m not even sure he can pile up production in garbage time. Up next are the Seahawks.
Miles Austin, Cowboys
Either Austin’s hamstring is still bothering him or he is being phased out in Dallas. He was targeted just three times this week after being targeted four times in Week 6. He failed to catch a pass in either game and has just 125 receiving yards and no touchdowns in five games this year.
Jordan Reed, Redskins
Reed was lights out this week against the Bears, catching all nine of his targets for 134 yards and a touchdown. The rookie 3rd round pick has a stranglehold on the tight end position and is averaging a very respectable 8.4 FPts/G despite seeing limited action early in the season.
Robert Housler, Cardinals
Housler has been quietly effective over the past two weeks, catching four of his five targets for 32 yards against the 49ers in Week 6 and all seven of his targets this week against the Seahawks for 53 yards. Look for him to be a bigger part of the Cardinals offensive game plan over the next few weeks as head coach Bruce Arians uses him on short and intermediate routes to help slow down opposing pass rushers.
Greg Olsen, Panthers
Since there are no really great options to have Moving Down at tight end this week Olsen gets the nod courtesy of his lack of production over the Panthers last two games (six receptions for 56 yards and no touchdowns) as well as his inability to find the end zone thus far in 2013 (just one touchdown).
By: Thomas Casale — October 22, 2013 @ 8:44 am
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.
Seahawks – Cardinals
I still believe Bruce Arians is a good hire for Arizona but right now he doesn’t have the horses on the offensive line or at quarterback to make his offense run consistently. The Cardinals have talent at the skill positions but when they face a defense like Seattle their line is simply overmatched. It’s nice to know that while Chris Johnson may not care about fantasy owners, Marshawn Lynch is thinking about us. He was so “upset” the Seattle coaches called a pass play at the one-yard line that he turned around and gave them the one-finger salute. Knowing the way Pete Carroll runs things, my guess is it was done in a joking manner, but you never know with Lynch. I guess the coaches just figured the tight end would be open. Arizona gave up two more touchdowns to tight ends on Thursday night. Through seven games, the numbers Arizona has allowed to opposing tight ends are in the historically bad neighborhood.
Danny Woodhead is fantasy gold in PPR leagues.
Chargers – Jaguars
I have Justin Blackmon in one of my leagues and I kind of want to trade him, only because I feel like taking a shower for starting a Jaguar. This team is so bad right now they’re hard to watch. I joked that Keenan Allen should fake an injury because every San Diego receiver gets hurt, and then he actually got injured on Sunday. Luckily, he returned to the game, but his absence ruined what was a strong start to another big fantasy day. I’ll say it again: I felt like Danny Woodhead didn’t do much, and then at the end of the game he had four receptions, 76 yards and a touchdown. The great thing about Woodhead is that he can still have a big fantasy day in a game where Ryan Mathews rushes for 110 yards and a score. The guy is fantasy gold in PPR leagues.
Bengals – Lions
This game included two of the NFL’s top receivers: Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green. It was almost a dead heat as Green caught six passes for 155 yards and a score on eight targets while Megatron caught nine balls for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets. Both Matthew Stafford and Andy Dalton threw for over 350 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The only losers in this contest were the running games and the defenses, although the Bengals are used to that, considering they still give BenJarvus Green-Ellis double-digit carries.
Rams – Panthers
The big story from this game is the injury to Sam Bradford. Who will Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer find to throw all those 4-yard passes if Bradford is out? Apparently the guy will be Kellen Clemens. How can he still be in the NFL? Do you know how long ago it was that I used to watch him play at Oregon? Talk about someone who should thank his lucky stars over the life he’s been given. No player in NFL history has been worse and had a longer career than Clemens. So yes, the Rams’ offense can get worse, in case you were wondering. I hope you aren’t playing against the Seahawks’ defense this week.
Bills – Dolphins
These are two of the more perplexing teams in the NFL. If you play in one of those picks contests, games involving Buffalo and Miami are usually tough to pick because they’re both hard teams to read. Miami started out 3-0 and have since lost three straight. Buffalo had been terrible on the road and is now playing a quarterback off its practice squad, but they almost upset Cincinnati and then beat Miami. Hey, let’s hear it for C.J. Spiller though. He really gutted it out with six carries for 11 yards. I don’t think we need to hold nominations for the biggest fantasy bust of 2013. Spiller already has that award locked up. Oh wait, Trent Richardson and Ray Rice really want a piece of that award too.
Patriots – Jets
Rob Gronkowski made his much-awaited 2013 debut and delivered with eight catches for 114 yards on 17 targets. Gronk might have caught more passes but Tom Brady is just off right now. I have Brady in a league and at this point I may drop him for Thad Lewis for Christ’s sake. I’m sure everyone started Chris Ivory expecting him to get 34 carries for 104 yards. If you don’t get headaches, try figuring out the Jets’ backfield from week-to-week. David Nelson is a guy to watch. He was on the verge of becoming a productive slot receiver in Buffalo before injuries derailed his career.
Cowboys – Eagles
You get these two teams together and a defensive slugfest is just bound to break out. Nick Foles may have played the worst game of any starting quarterback in 10 years. It was so bad I feel like Mike Vick threatened him to play poorly to avoid a quarterback controversy. Regardless of what you think of Foles, that performance was head-scratching. Dallas didn’t do much on offense either but they didn’t have to. I said before that Joseph Randle is average. He was average on Sunday. Terrance Williams has now scored in three straight games. I bought a carton of milk and Miles Austin’s picture wasn’t on it. Apparently he was found and no one cares.
Bears – Redskins
Well, either the Bears’ offense doesn’t miss Jay Cutler or Washington’s defense is just awful. Cutler left with a torn groin and Josh McCown replaced him to throw for 204 yards and a touchdown. McCown also added 33 yards on the ground. Alshon Jeffery continues to dominate. He had his third 100-yard game on Sunday and is on pace for a 1000-yard season as I predicted back in the summer. See, I’m not always wrong. The Redskins haven’t had a good tight end in a while. They do now in Jordan Reed. Alfred Morris ran for 95 yards on 19 carries but Roy Helu scored three touchdowns. Mike Shanahan is back.
Buccaneers – Falcons
I picked up Harry Douglas in all of my leagues. Unfortunately, I didn’t start him in any of them. I thought people were slow to grab Douglas. Think about the trash owners have on their rosters. Douglas was at least worth a stash. With Julio Jones and Roddy White both out, Douglas exploded for 149 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. He won’t do that every week but he’s worth a roster spot. I’m guessing that won’t be an issue this week. The Bucs are a mess and now Doug Martin is hurt. Although, that may be a blessing in disguise for Martin owners because his fantasy value was about dried up anyway. At least now you won’t have to bang your head against the wall every week.
49ers – Titans
Let me take you back to August. Remember in a lot of drafts when people were taking Colin Kaepernick over Peyton Manning? Wouldn’t it be great if we could play a month, turn back the clock and then re-draft? Then I wouldn’t take C.J. Spiller, even if he was on the board in Round 10. Kaepernick, who many of us (including me) thought would be one of the more spectacular quarterbacks in the NFL, has turned into a game manager. So basically he’s a more mobile version of Alex Smith with a stronger arm. Whatever he is, if you drafted Kaepernick over Peyton you must be sick. Luckily for me, I have Brady, so I’m beyond sick. Oh, and I said I would mention if Chris Johnson did something. He finally did something. It only took seven weeks. Congratulations.
Ravens – Steelers
There’s nothing better than writing about a game where Shaun Suisham is the fantasy star. Actually, I really don’t have anything to say about this game other than starting Ray Rice is almost like starting a player on a bye week. A guy in my league just offered Rice for a glazed donut. I wouldn’t do that deal and I’m a Type I diabetic.
Browns – Packers
The Packers with all of their injuries may not be rolling on offense yet, but they had more than enough to dispose of the Browns. Eddie Lacy continues to run well and Jarrett Boykin had a big game catching eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Weeden stinks. He’s one of those players that’s so bad I want to punch him when I watch him, despite the fact that he’s done nothing to me personally. The only thing I can think of when I watch Weeden is “How bad is Jason Campbell?” Of course, I know the answer to that question, so I’m really just amusing myself.
Texans – Chiefs
Case Keenum got his first career start and played pretty well, connecting on 15 of 25 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown in one of the NFL’s toughest environments. Some people think there’s a quarterback controversy. I don’t. Keenum has earned another start in my opinion, after his performance against one of the NFL’s best defenses. As usual, the Chiefs’ offensive statistics were basically Jamaal Charles and a bunch of average performances. You either start Charles or the Chiefs’ defense, or don’t expect much fantasy-wise from anyone wearing a Kansas City uniform.
Broncos – Colts
I could talk about a lot of different things from this game but I want to discuss the myth that is Trent Richardson. Did you know that in 21 career games Richardson has reached 70 yards rushing only seven times? Did you also know he hasn’t reached that mark since Week 13 of last season? Yet, for some reason, we keep treating this guy like he’s an RB1 or RB2 instead of a player who should be benched most weeks. Richardson is averaging 43 yards per game in 2013 and he’s scored twice. He’s the 30th-ranked RB in PPR leagues, and that doesn’t even include guys like Eddie Lacy, Stevan Ridley, C.J. Spiller, Le’Veon Bell and Zac Stacy, who have either been hurt or just started playing. In reality, Richardson isn’t only far from being a RB2, he’s barely hanging on to RB3 status right now. Things can turn around, but after seven games Richardson has been a big disappointment and an average running back dating back 13 games. And that’s behind two different offensive lines. Those are just the facts.
Giants – Vikings
This game had “stink” written all over it and it certainly delivered. Josh Freeman had no business being on an NFL field. If the Vikings’ organization had any self-respect they would give Leslie Frazier the Lane Kiffin treatment and fire him as soon as the plane touches down in Minnesota. I think Frazier is the worst coach in the NFL even though he fell backwards into 10 wins last season, so I’m not surprised he’s destroying the Vikings just one year later. He will get fired. It’s going to happen because Frazier can’t coach, so Minnesota may as well save itself the time and trouble and do it now. The lone interesting fantasy nugget came courtesy of Peyton Hillis who out gained Adrian Peterson on the night. Hillis’ 18-36-1 and 5-45 stat line was good enough to rank him 12th among fantasy running backs for the week.
By: Doug Orth — October 21, 2013 @ 9:53 am
RGIII is back to his running ways.
The United States government brought a close to its shutdown this week and the Washington Redskins ended their own unproductive stretch in the nation’s capital when they outlasted the Chicago Bears in what was a fantasy-point bonanza. Washington QB Robert Griffin III, who began to show his rookie form last week, put together the kind of performance that became the norm last season with 298 yards passing, 84 yards rushing and two scores. Griffin may not be all the way back until next year, but he will continue to be an every-week start in all leagues.
Bears RB Matt Forte (109 total yards and career-high three rushing touchdowns) had four carries for nine yards and a TD at halftime, but continued his push to the top of the fantasy football mountain at his position. With Chicago playing the last two-plus quarters without QB Jay Cutler (groin), Forte almost singlehandedly carried the offense – becoming the first Bear since Rashaan Salaam in 1995 to run for three touchdowns in the same game.
Redskins rookie TE Jordan Reed (nine receptions, 134 yards and a score), who was already beginning to emerge as a low-end TE1 option in PPR leagues as a player with the ability to create mismatches in the same way Aaron Hernandez did in New England, has likely ascended into an every-week fantasy starter – regardless of format. Washington RB Roy Helu Jr. (48 total yards and three rushing TDs) overshadowed starter Alfred Morris (95 rushing yards) and may have forced his way into more playing time as a result.
Other Week 7 fantasy highlights:
– The story of the week was supposed to be how TE Rob Gronkowski‘s return was going to spark the New England Patriots’ offense and, more specifically, QB Tom Brady‘s return to fantasy prominence. Gronkowski (eight catches, 114 yards) came on with some big plays late and rewarded his owners after a six-week layoff, but Brady (228 yards and an interception) was held without a touchdown for the second time in three games in a loss to the New York Jets
– The Atlanta Falcons might have been without their top two receivers, but that didn’t keep two other wideouts from putting up Roddy White and Julio Jones-like numbers in the Georgia Dome. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (10 catches, 138 yards and two touchdowns) scored two times for the second straight week while Falcons WR Harry Douglas burned the Bucs for seven receptions, 149 yards and a touchdown. While the effort doesn’t mean Douglas is an every-week starter, owners can feel better about using him going forward.
– It may be time to start giving Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton (372 yards and three touchdowns) a little bit of credit after his second straight 300-yard, three-TD performance. In addition to going toe-to-toe with Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (357 yards and three scores) in fantasy box scores, Dalton helped silence his critics with an 82-yard scoring strike to WR A.J. Green (six catches, 155 yards and a score). Lions WR Calvin Johnson announced his return to fantasy prominence as well after dealing with a recent knee injury, grabbing nine balls for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
– Two running backs who may have become fantasy afterthoughts – the San Diego Chargers’ Ryan Mathews (110 rushing yards and a touchdown) and the Jets’ Chris Ivory (104 rushing yards) took advantage of soft matchups in wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Patriots, respectively. Both backs are long on talent and short on durability, giving their owners a nice week-long window with which to trade the injury-prone players for upgrades at other positions.
– In addition to Cutler, owners will need to keep an eye out for a handful of prominent injured fantasy players over the next week. Bucs RB Doug Martin was forced from the game after suffering a shoulder injury, Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles left with a concussion and St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford did not return after a left leg injury. While Rams backup QB Kellen Clemens can be left on waivers, owners may need to consider Bucs RB Mike James or Eagles rookie QB Matt Barkley (assuming Michael Vick is still sidelined by his hamstring next week).
By: Dave Stringer — October 18, 2013 @ 3:42 pm
The Texans have more issues than just their quarterback play.
1. Come on, Texans fans. Don’t cheer an injury to your quarterback even if he has been struggling. While Matt Schaub will never be considered an elite quarterback, he has a solid 46-40 record as the Texans starter and led the team to their first .500 season, their first winning season, their first playoff berth, their first division title and their first playoff win. He has played in the Pro Bowl and clearly is the Texans best option to make a playoff run in 2013. There isn’t a franchise passing record that he doesn’t own. Don’t kick a man when he’s down and giving his best effort. This team has more issues than just its play at quarterback.
2. Come on, Jim Irsay. Really? Irsay, the Colts owner who never misses an opportunity to put himself in the spotlight, this week lamented the fact that Indianapolis only won one Super Bowl during Peyton Manning’s illustrious 14-year career as a Colt. Even if Irsay’s comments were fully or partially directed at former president Bill Polian, his decision to air his dirty laundry during the week of Manning’s return to Indianapolis as the Broncos face the Colts was unnecessary and insensitive. And let’s face it, if Irsay weren’t so eager to be front and center so often, he may have been given the benefit of the doubt in this situation. However, that’s the not the case and even if his target was Polian, this was still a classless move.
3. Come on, Brandon Weeden. You’re not Brett Favre or Doug Flutie or any other really athletic quarterback. You’re not athletic enough to flip the ball 25 yards backhanded and high enough to get it over a defensive back. While Weeden’s performance has improved this season, it is these types of plays that will likely convince the Browns to go in another direction in 2014. Dynasty leaguers can safely part ways with Weeden since it seems clear that he will lose his starting role next season.
4. Come on, Jabari Greer. Your team has a chance to win on the road against the Patriots and on the game’s deciding play, you line up too close to the line of scrimmage, then you get caught looking into the backfield and then you miss time your leap, allowing Kenbrell Thompkins to score the game winning touchdown.
5. Come on, Emmanuel Sanders. In the midst of one of the Steelers worst seasons in recent memory with the team at 0-4, Sanders did a flip into the end zone this week during Pittsburgh’s 19-6 win over the game but overmatched Jets. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin promptly voiced his displeasure over Sanders showboating. Hey, when you are a highly touted former 3rd round pick that has taken four years to emerge as a starter and you have scored five touchdowns during your first three and a half years in the league, you take whatever opportunity you can get to bring attention to yourself. The lack of touchdown production and Sanders’ diminished role in the offense with running back Le’Veon Bell and tight end Heath Miller returning to full health are reasons to keep him off your fantasy squad.
6. With reports indicating that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play, fantasy owners are anxiously awaiting to see how Tom Brady doles out the targets with his top threat back in the lineup. The team has a trio of solid slot receivers in Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Austin Collie but Amendola’s heavy usage during his time in the line up (27 targets in what amounts to roughly two full games) are a clear indication that the team has big plans for him. Edelman is the team’s second best option out of the slot with Collie getting a pair of targets in his first game action this week. Rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and 2nd round pick Aaron Dobson have been target machines (49 and 37 respectively) but one or both of them will likely lose playing time with Gronkowski healthy. While Thompkins has the better numbers currently with 21 receptions for 318 yards and four touchdowns, he has hauled in just 42.8% of his targets while displaying shaky hands. Dobson hasn’t been as explosive with 19 receptions for 230 yards and a touchdown while also suffering several drops. However, he has caught 51.3% of his passes and clearly possesses outstanding speed and plenty of upside. If you want to roll the dice on which rookie produces more down the stretch, Dobson is the bet you want to make.
7. Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy has put together a pair of solid games since his return from a concussion. He had 23 carries in each game, totalling 219 rushing yards but failing to score. He rates as a great buy low, buy now candidate given Green Bay’s injury issues at wide receiver. With Randall Cobb being placed on short term injured reserve and James Jones expected to miss at least this week with a sprained MCL, the Packers are down to Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin as their starting wide receivers with undrafted rookie free agent Myles White just called up from the practice squad. Even if tight end Jermichael Finley assumes some responsibilities at wide receiver, the Packers figure to run the ball plenty until Jones returns to the lineup. That figures to translate into a heavy workload for Lacy and once he starts finding the end zone, his fantasy value will skyrocket.
By: Dave Stringer — October 16, 2013 @ 10:31 am
Josh Freeman, Vikings
Matt Cassel turned into Christian Ponder’s non-identical twin this week against the Panthers so it’s a pretty safe bet that Freeman will be under center for the Vikings once he gets up to speed with the team’s playbook. It could be this week against the Giants.
Nick Foles, Eagles
Subbing in for an injured Michael Vick, Foles was effective against a solid Bucs secondary, throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns. His performance may have planted some seeds of doubt as to whether Vick is immediately inserted into the starting lineup once he returns from an injured hamstring.
Thaddeus Lewis, Bills
For emergency only (216 yards with two touchdown passes this week as well as 17 yards and a score on the ground).
Andrew Luck’s QB1 status is hanging on by a thread.
Andrew Luck, Colts
Last year’s rookie sensation (4,374 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and five scores on the ground) is this year’s fantasy bust. Luck is on pace to finish the season with 3,611 passing yards, 18.6 touchdown passes and 5.3 rushing touchdowns. Over the Colts final 10 games, they face six passing defenses ranked in the top 10.
Brandon Jacobs, Giants
Well, David Wilson is hurt and the coaching staff doesn’t trust Da’Rel Scott (cut twice already this season) and rookie 7th round pick Michael Cox (no carries). Jacobs put up the best performance of any Giants back this season by carrying the rock 22 times for 106 yards and a pair of scores against the Bears. With Eli struggling, look for another 20-touch performance this week against the Vikings. The Giants only face three top 10 rushing defenses over the balance of the season.
Lance Dunbar, Cowboys
Sure, he’s out with a hamstring injury but Dunbar probably rates as the Cowboys top backup running back when he returns to health. With DeMarco Murray out for an unspecified amount of time with a sprained MCL, Dunbar is likely in line for some starts. Unfortunately, the Cowboys tend to rely heavily on the pass when Murray is out and Dunbar will likely split the role with rookie 5th round pick Joseph Randle. The Cowboys face two top 10 rushing defenses the rest of the way.
Joseph Randle, Cowboys
I like Dunbar more but Randle is worth an add. Unfortunately, he doesn’t look like a guy who is ready to be a steady contributor.
Zac Stacy, Rams
Making note of the fact that after splitting the workload last week, Stacy had 20 touches this week against the Texans and Daryl Richardson had just four. While the Rams had a big lead for most of the game and Stacy is better suited to running out the clock, the discrepancy in the workload seems to indicate that Richardson will be relegated to a change of pace and pass receiving role unless Stacy struggles.
Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Some times players are benched because they have played poorly, some times it is because their backups are better and some times it is a combination of the two. With LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden having done little, it seems Ridley was benched to send him a message (i.e. run hard and don’t fumble). This week, he had his best game of the year with 20 carries for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns. When Shane Vereen comes back, we will get to see if Ridley gets benched because his backup is better. That isn’t the case at the moment.
DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
As gramma used to say, “Davey, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” Let’s apply that to Murray’s injury history. Sometimes, things are predictable.
Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals
It is looking more and more like Mendenhall is in a full on timeshare with rookie Andre Ellington. That would be fine if he were finding the end zone on a regular basis but he isn’t with just two touchdowns in six games.
Willis McGahee, Browns
Either McGahee needs some time to round into form or else he’s finished. With 59 carries in four games, he has had enough time to get up to speed but he’s averaging a measly 2.8 yards per carry. At some point, the Browns will see what else they have at the postion.
Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
Blackmon has been a monster in his first two games of the season, hauling in 19 of his 29 targets for 326 yards and a touchdown. Six weeks into the season, Blackmon is the 45th ranked fantasy wide receiver. Not bad. Cecil Shorts suffered a sprained shoulder (or sprained sternoclavicular joint if you want to be specific) putting him in doubt for this week.
Denarius Moore, Raiders
Moore is a streaky player and he’s currently lighting it up. At least for him. With three touchdowns in his last four games, Moore is chipping in scores on an almost weekly basis despite playing in the Raiders suspect offense. He also has 20 receptions for 356 yards over the last four games, as he makes a run for WR2 status. The schedule shows the Raiders playing five of the league’s top 12 passing defenses and five ranked 20th or worst over the balance of the season. At least you will know when to start him.
Rueben Randle, Giants
Randle proved this week that he isn’t a polished product but he does have three touchdowns over the past two weeks and there are reports the Giants are getting ready to unload Hakeem Nicks, who does not appear to be in their plans for next season (unless he signs a below market contract). It’s also worth noting that Randle has been targeted 41 times this year to 45 for Nicks.
Kris Durham, Lions
With Patrick Edwards having been released and Ryan Broyles averaging two targets a game, Durham is the Lions second receiver behind Calvin Johnson. And his 13 targets this week prove that. It’s also pretty clear that Johnson’s knee is more of an issue than the Lions are letting on. That means Durham’s eight-reception, 83-yard performance this week could be a precursor of his weekly production for the next few games.
Brandon LaFell, Panthers
During his first three years in the league, LaFell has proven to be nothing special. However, he is on a hot streak with 11 receptions for 207 and three touchdowns over his past three games. Carolina faces pass defenses ranked 16th or lower in each of the next three weeks.
Jarrett Boykin, Packers
Well, his performance this week wasn’t anything special with one reception on six targets and a pair of drops. But he did manage to take his reception for 43 yards, the Packers like him and they don’t have many options at the moment with Randall Cobb out for an extended period and James Jones looking doubtful for this week.
Danny Amendola, Patriots
I’ve been calling him Little Danny Amendola since he signed with the Patriots and he keeps on making me look good. This week’s injury for Amendola was a concussion on a play where he was completely rocked. I don’t know if he will play next week but it doesn’t look good and if he does, I can’t tell you what type of injury he will suffer. I just know there’s a good chance it will be something. With Amendola, it’s always something. Remember Gramma’s saying?
Marques Colston, Saints
Colston looks like he is either injured or lost a step. With the Patriots focused on shutting down Jimmy Graham, Colston had a pile of single coverage this week but only finished the day with a single reception for 11 yards. Over the past two weeks, Drew Brees has targeted him just five times and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1.
Chris Givens, Rams
A breakout candidate after catching 42 passes for 698 yards and three touchdowns during his final 13 games as a rookie in 2012, Givens can’t seem to get on the same page as quarterback Sam Bradford. Possessed with outstanding speed, Givens failed to haul in a long pass that would have resulted in a touchdown this week and how has just four receptions for 36 yards over his past two games. Worse yet, he has caught just 17 of his 38 targets in 2013. At some point, St. Louis will start taking away his playing time in favor of Austin Pettis, Brian Quick or rookie 3rd round pick Stedman Bailey.
Vernon Davis, 49ers
It’s not fair to say that Davis is maddeningly inconsistent because he is a true professional. But it is fair to say that his usage in the 49ers offensive game plans has been maddeningly inconsistent. That might be about to change. With San Francisco’s wide receivers struggling, Davis caught eight passes for 180 yards and a pair of scores giving him 11 receptions for 268 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games. He has also now scored in three straight contests. Look for Davis to get plenty of targets over the next few weeks.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Lukewarm endorsement. Fine as your TE2 but too touchdown dependent as your TE1. Rudolph set single game career highs in receptions with nine and yards with 97 (his previous high was 67) while matching his career high in targets with 11. He also scored in the Vikings blowout loss so this is clearly a case of garbage time production. If you believe that checkdown artists Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder will remain under center, Rudolph isn’t a bad player to own. If Josh Freeman takes over at quarterback, it’s a different situation.
Joseph Fauria, Lions and Lance Kendricks, Rams
Fauria, an undrafted rookie free agent, took all three of his targets to the house this week, giving him five touchdowns on the season… on seven receptions and nine targets. Kendricks scored this week against the Texans giving him a touchdown in each of his last three games. Chasing touchdowns? Yes. But when the byes hit, that’s not necessarily a bad thing at the tight end position.
Tim Wright, Bucs
First off, at 220 pounds, Wright isn’t your prototypical tight end. However, that is how he is listed and he has caught 12 of his 15 targets for 132 yards over the past two weeks. Mike Williams’ absence helped his cause this week but Wright is a guy to watch over the next few weeks.
Jimmy Graham, Saints
Leading the league (not just tight ends but the entire league) in receiving yards entering the Saints Week 6 matchup against the Patriots, Graham put up a doughnut and suffered a foot injury. With New Orleans on a bye this week, Graham gets an extra week to heal but the blueprint is now out there for teams to slow him down although not all teams have a cornerback with Aqib Talib’s physical characteristics and experience.
By: Thomas Casale — October 15, 2013 @ 1:09 am
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.
Heath Miller: What knee injury?
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.
By: Doug Orth — October 14, 2013 @ 1:48 pm
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Nick Foles is making his case to be the Eagles starting quarterback.
At the beginning of the week, Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly left open the possibility that Nick Foles could supplant Michael Vick as the starting quarterback. While Foles didn’t go 100-for-100 with 27 touchdown passes as Kelly stated in his press conference, the rookie coach was probably quite pleased with his backup signal-caller, who went 22-for-31 for 296 yards and four total touchdowns (including a rushing score).
With Foles in fine form, receiver Riley Cooper exploded for a career-high 120 yards, receiver DeSean Jackson scored twice and running back LeSean McCoy added 171 total yards against a respectable Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Vick told reporters on Saturday that “it’s going to be a long road” back to health from the hamstring injury that forced him out of the game in Week 5.
The Q: Should Foles stay as starter?
While it seems unlikely Vick will lose his job, Foles could make it interesting with a similar effort in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Other Week 6 fantasy highlights:
– Owners need to recognize that although Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton cannot be special every week, he is more than capable of performing at an elite level – especially when he has a favorable matchup. The third-year signal-caller did most of his damage over the first three quarters against a listless Minnesota Vikings defense, throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns while adding 30 yards and another score on the ground.
– A couple of players likely drawing the ire of their owners entering Week 6 finally came through in a big way. With running mate Mike Williams out due to a hamstring, Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson (nine catches, 114 yards and two scores) shredded a leaky Eagles’ secondary. Similarly, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (nine receptions, 97 yards and a TD) tore apart a Carolina Panthers defense that entered the game giving up the second-fewest points per game to the position. Regardless, after two interceptions from quarterback Matt Cassel, Minnesota fans are probably counting the minutes until Josh Freeman is named the starter.
– To steal a tired old line, Houston … we do have a problem. Fantasy owners will probably take no issue with the bottom lines of running back Arian Foster (198 total yards) and wide receiver Andre Johnson (seven catches, 88 yards), but the Texans have become a turnover machine. Backup T.J. Yates took over for injured quarterback Matt Schaub in the third quarter and picked up where he left off, throwing two interceptions. The first of those miscues led to the fifth straight game the Texans have seen an interception returned for a touchdown against them.
– Unlike Houston, the Green Bay Packers overcame adversity on their way to a victory over the Baltimore Ravens, but it may have come at a steep price. Wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb were lost to knee injuries, with Cobb potentially suffering the more serious of the two. WR Jordy Nelson (four catches, 113 yards and a TD) predictably excelled in their absence, but owners in need of receiving help may need to get waiver claims ready for Jarrett Boykin – the Packers’ fourth receiver – this week.
– Speaking of potential impact fantasy free agents, two Detroit Lions also figure to be hot commodities. Undrafted rookie free agent tight end Joseph Fauria turned all three of his catches into touchdowns while receiver Kris Durham added eight receptions for 83 yards as Calvin Johnson (three catches, 25 yards) continued to be limited by the knee injury that caused him to miss Week 5. QB Matthew Stafford – also Durham’s college teammate – lit up a very good Cleveland Browns defense for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
– Taking advantage of an injured Buffalo Bills secondary, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (337 yards passing and three touchdowns) and receiver A.J. Green (six catches, 103 yards and a score) found their connection after a rough patch. Giovani Bernard (100 total yards and a receiving TD) gave his owners a worthwhile fantasy day, but fellow running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (86 rushing yards) outgained him on the ground for the second straight week, likely further delaying the rookie’s possible ascension to a feature-back role.
– Most will remember St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (117 passing yards and three touchdowns) for the dreadful performance he posted on a Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago, but he has thrown for three scores in three of his six games this season. Bradford still has the feel of a matchup-based quarterback in fantasy and some difficult defenses ahead of him, but he is showing he can deliver when the Rams give him some time in the pocket.
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