I’m not sure that I understand football anymore. The Bills went on the road to play one of the best teams in the NFL without their best offensive player, a rookie quarterback, and one of the worse receiving corps I have ever seen and completely dismantled them. There are weird games every week where the game script is wonky and it just doesn’t pan out the way that we thought that it would, but this is the most lopsided upset that I can remember seeing for a 16.5 point under dog in the NFL. Reid will write up this game for you later on in the day so let’s move onto the six games that I’m reviewing for you.
The running game in Green Bay is a useless ugly mess now that Aaron Jones is back. If I wanted to own any back in this back field it would be Aaron Jones, but how do you start a back from a team that had a 6-5-4 split in carries from it’s top 3 backs? Aaron Rodgers battled through the elements to find Allison and Adams in the end zone without throwing a pick today. Randall Cobb led the team in targets today with 11 but was only able to turn it into 4 catches for 23 yards.
The biggest story from this Redskins’ has to be Adrian Peterson. I was wrong about Peterson in the preseason. I thought that he was completely washed up after seeing what he had to offer in New Orleans and Arizona last year. Opportunity allowed him to find the end zone twice today and he rushed for 120 yards in the rain. There weren’t a lot of targets to go around in Washington. Alex Smith was only able to complete 12 passes and Chris Thompson was virtually non existent on Sunday. There wasn’t anyone that was playable in Washington’s passing game besides Jordan Reed. He led the team in targets with 7 and turned them into 4 catches for 65 yards.
It was the battle of the exotic cats and the home team was able to walk away with this one. Christian McCaffery has been very busy this season without being touchdown dependent. There should be opportunities for him to find the end zone this season, but with the yardage that he is accumulating, he’s still living up to his billing. He took 28 carries for 184 yards and had the longest run of his short career of 45 yards. Devin Funchess found the end zone and continues to be a viable WR2-3 or flex play. No matter how his pieces are performing around him, Cam Newton always finds a way to be a high end fantasy quarterback. There isn’t another quarterback that I would rather have on my fantasy team inside the opponent’s 10 yard line. Newton had four touchdowns today with two of them being on the ground. Getting Greg Olsen back and D.J. Moore going would only strengthen Cam going forward.
Andy Dalton had one of his signature high-turnover games but it could have been a lot worse. A.J. Green had sort of a quiet game but was still tied for 2nd in targets on the team with 8. Waiver wire sweetheart Tyler Boyd is really having a breakout season. He caught 6 of his 7 targets for 132 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Giovanni Bernard lived up to his RB2 billing and found pay dirt on the ground while also leading the team in receiving targets.
I should have seen this game coming from Matt Ryan but I just didn’t realize how much Calvin Ridley was going to help him. Ridley led the Falcons with 8 targets and caught 7 of them for 146 yards. The Falcons may finally have a red zone target since they refuse to use Julio Jones there. If you own Ridley, I find it hard to leave him on your bench anymore and he will enter week 4 owned in only 40% of ESPN leagues. Tevin Coleman did not have the low-end RB1 game that we expect with Devonta Freeman still sidelined, but he was able to score on a catch.
Michael Thomas and Drew Brees were able to continue their dominance. Michael Thomas caught all 10 of his targets for 129 yards and Brees threw for 396 yards total with 3 touchdowns. Alvin Kamara bounced back this week to be an absolute force in the passing game. He led the team with 20 targets and caught 15 of them for 124 yards. He also added 66 yards on the ground and ended up with 190 all-purpose yards. Ben Watson has found a groove as the leading tight end for the Saints. He caugh 5 of his 6 targets for 71 yards.
Phillip Lindsay threw a punch at a Raven in the first half and scrapped any chance of having a useful fantasy day for owners. Before Lindsay left, Royce Freeman ran in a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Other than that, Freeman’s day was fairly modest as he ended up with 53 yards on the ground to go along with his touchdown. Demaryius Thomas saw a drop in targets this week but he hauled in all 5 of them for 63 yards. Emmanuel Sanders wasn’t able to do much for the Broncos through the air but he was able to take a hand-off for 35 yards and a touchdown.
John Brown led the Ravens with 86 yards receiving on 5 catches while only being outpaced by Crabtree in targets. Having more weapons has been very beneficial for Joe Flacco so far this season. It wasn’t a QB1 type of day, but Flacco threw for 277 yards and a touchdown. It could have been worse. It wasn’t the best match up for Alex Collins or Javorius Allen, but they combined for 3 touchdown and were both start-able against a pretty good defense.
Marcus Mariota entered the game in the first half despite having very little feeling in his throwing hand. He managed to eek out a win for the Titans despite only throwing for 100 yards. Derrick Henry paced the backfield with 18 carries for 57 yards. Dion Lewis only carried the ball 9 times for 26 yards. Corey Davis did not have a good game on Sunday as he dropped 2 of his 4 targets while only managing 34 yards.
With Leonard Fournette sitting for the second straight week, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant took over the backfield for Jacksonville. Yeldon led the team in yardage with 90 total yards and there wasn’t much else going on with players lining up behind the quarterback. Blake Bortles did not have his usual heroic Leonard Fournette-less performance that we are used to. That really hurt the fantasy prospects of Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook as they combined for 71 yards total.
Ryan Tannehill had a big day for the Dolphins while throwing 3 touchdown passes. He was able to find Jakeem Grant for a touchdown and he also threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Kenny Stills. I’m not worried going forward, but Kenyan Drake was completely non-existent today in the game plan. Frank Gore really wasn’t a factor either as both running backs combined for just 11 carries. Albert Wilson did it all today as he threw for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass.
Jordy Nelson came back from the dead to catch 6 balls for 173 yards and a touchdown. Just when you write him off he throws a massive stat line in your face. Jalen Richard was the second leading receiver while both Martavis Bryant and Amari Cooper were both non-factors. Marshawn Lynch continued to plod along for 60 some yards and a touchdown. Who needs 4 YPC when you can just find the end zone and get 6 fantasy points? The John Gruden experiment is not paying off to this point, the Raiders have fallen to 0-3.
Reid will stop by this afternoon to review six more games for your viewing pleasure. You can find me on twitter for all of your fantasy football needs.