It was a tough day to be a kicker but everything else on Sunday was a lot of fun. I remember at this time last season, the play on the football field was sub par and there weren’t very many close games. Now, the quarterback numbers are outrageous, the games have been pretty close and well played, and the players are better protected. There are still a lot of flags, but that will work itself out when the referees gain more experience with the new rules. Speaking of new, on Mondays, you can now wake up to me breaking down the fantasy numbers for six games. Reid will also pick six games to break down and that will come out around lunch time for the East coast folks. Let’s start with an absolute shootout.
I hope that every Chiefs game is like this. Pat Mahomes has been so fun to watch in his second and third starts in the league. Through the first half, it looked like Tyreek Hill wasn’t going to get in on the fun. After being shut out in the first half, Hill took advantage of a weak secondary to the tune of 5 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. After causing panic for owners who used a high draft pick on him, Travis Kelce turned 10 targets into 7 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Sammy Watkins ended up being the second most targeted player on the Chiefs and turned it into a 100 yard day. He also had a carry that went for 31 yards. Kareem Hunt broke his fantasy football silence from week 1 and found the end zone on a 5-yard screen pass. Hunt’s stat line is still not what owners who drafted him in the first round are looking for, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Ben Roethlisberger also had a monster day. Why wouldn’t he? He was playing in his own stadium. JuJu Smith-Schuster had another huge game and paced the Steelers in targets with 19. Antonio Brown didn’t have the day that owners are looking for, but when you realize that he saw 17 targets, it’s nothing to worry about going forward. Keep an eye on James Washington the next couple of weeks. He might even be a speculative add this week. He only caught one pass, which ended up being a touchdown, but he saw 5 targets. With the numbers that Roethlisberger can put up, this offense can definitely support three relevant fantasy football receivers. James Conner was able to find pay dirt but his numbers were nowhere near what they were last week. He did catch all 5 of his targets for 48 yards, but his 17 yards on the ground left a lot to be desired. Running the ball didn’t fit the game script after the Steelers fell into a 21 point hole pretty early so it’s nothing to worry about going forward. I’m glad I ranked him in the teens among running backs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is on fire. I will spare you my insufferable musings about how well he is performing and just leave it at that. I have to stop fading DeSean Jackson in my rankings. They are actually using him. Taking the playbook out of Dirk Koetter’s hands and letting Todd Monkin handle the play calling has been a life saver. Despite making two awful mistakes, Mike Evans had a pretty good fantasy day. He paced the Buccaneers with 12 targets. Chris Godwin had another good day and found the end zone for the second week in a row. I have been wrong to this point about Peyton Barber, but we have to remember how good the Eagles are against the run. Peyton Barber should see more success going forward.
Zach Ertz was another ‘elite’ tight end that had a bounce back day. He wasn’t able to find the end zone, but he led the team in targets and turned 11 catches into 94 yards. Jay Ajayi didn’t play most of the first half because of an injury. He was able to find the end zone and I still like him a lot going forward. Nelson Agholor was able to up his YPC after a head-scratcher of a box score last week. He also found the end zone to go along with his 88 yards.
We seriously need to find a way to ban kickers. The Vikings should have won this game twice in overtime. As far as fantasy football goes, Kirk Cousins was incredible in the fourth quarter and in overtime and ended up being a top-5 scoring quarterback for the week. This is the kind of game that Rudy’s Stackonator is built for. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs both had huge games catching the ball. Both saw 13 targets and Stefon Diggs found the end zone twice and had 128 yards receiving. Adam Thielen caught 11 balls for 131 yards and a touchdown himself. Kyle Rudolph continues to look like a value at the tight end position. He caught 7 of his 8 targets for 72 yards. Dalvin Cook had 90 all-purpose yards and it would have looked a lot better if he would have found the end zone.
Jamaal Williams continued to be flex-worthy at best. He didn’t find the end zone and had just over 70 yards. I guess that’s only two points less than Dalvin Cook, who was a first or second round pick. Davante Adams had a much better day than many anticipated. He caught 8 balls for 64 yards and a touchdown against a great secondary. Jimmy Graham made an appearance as he caught 6 balls for 95 yards. Unfortunately, he had a touchdown called back. Aaron Rodgers 281 yards and 1 touchdown was table scraps compared to what other quarterbacks were able to do today but he gutted it out on one good leg.
Tevin Coleman had a good day replacing Devonta Freeman as he ran for 107 yards, but was unable to find the end zone against a stout Carolina run defense. I had him as my 12th overall running back this week, and that was probably pretty close. Ito Smith saw some work and looked pretty good. He had 9 carries for 47 yards. Matt Ryan STILL can’t get Julio Jones the ball in the red zone. It’s so frustrating and it’s the reason that he wasn’t being taken in the first round. It was overall a pretty quiet day for Jones but Calvin Ridley had his first catch and his first touchdown in the same game. Matt Ryan had four total touchdowns with two of them being on the ground which is huge for fantasy points. Mohamed was a non-factor.
On the Carolina side of the ball, Christian McCaffery had over 100 yards receiving and added 37 yards on the ground. After Cam Newton took an absolutely vicious and unnecessary hit, he turned into Superman finding the end zone three times and throwing for 335 yards. Devin Funchess saw 9 targets and turned it into 7 catches for 77 yards. It turns out that Ian Thomas isn’t quite Greg Olsen. Thomas two out of his three targets for 20 yards.
Either the Colts defense is better than we thought it is or the Redskins offense is really bad. I guess both can be true at the same time and that’s probably the case. I was big on Alex Smith this week but my ranking was kind of conservative compared to some. Adrian Peterson came back to Earth in a big way but nobody on the Redskin’s offense couldn’t muster anything. Chris Thompson was the best part of the Redskins offense as he caught 13 balls for 92 yards.
On the Colt’s side of the ball, Marlon Mack’s return apparently lit a fire under Jordan Wilkin’s ass. Wilkins looked the best that he has to this point averaging over 6 yards per carry on 10 carries. Andrew Luck didn’t have a great day but nobody is happier about him being back than T.Y. Hilton. Hilton scored a touchdown for the second game in a row and ended up with 7 catches for 83 yards. T.Y. Hilton had 6 more targets than anyone else on the Colts. Jack Doyle was second on the team with 5.
Phillip Lindsay looks like he is the back to own in Denver. I just didn’t see this kind of start coming for Royce Freeman. He has looked like a world-beater since college and now he is getting simply outperformed by Lindsay. Emmanuel Sanders was again the brightest spot of Denver’s passing game.
On the other side of the ball, maybe things aren’t as bleak as they seem in the Gruden era. Amari Cooper went for over 100 yards on 9 catches. HE CAUGHT ALL 9 OF HIS TARGETS! What is this world coming to? Jared Cook came back to Earth catching 4 balls for just under 50 yards. Jordy Nelson is still a non-factor in fantasy football. Marshawn Lynch continues to be who we think he is. An enormous whale who will fall into the end zone in more games than he doesn’t.
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