It may not have been a huge week for wide receivers, but it was definitely a huge week for running backs. In the early games, we had a handful of running backs that were able to score twice. As I’m writing this very paragraph, Alvin Kamara scored his second touchdown of the game. As the weather gets colder in a large chunk of the country, we might see this more and more. The pass catching running back is so valuable, even in standard leagues. In a dynasty auction league, I got Christian McCaffery for dirt cheap just because it isn’t PPR. Granted, I’d appreciate the points for catches, but McCaffery is so dynamic that he can still win weeks for me. We have 5 games to get to this week and a lot to talk about.
The result wasn’t what the Browns were looking for, but I am excited about what I saw from their offense without Hue Jackson ruining everything. Duke Johnson FINALLY was involved in the passing game and scored a couple of touchdowns. He caught 9 balls for 78 yards. Baker Mayfield wasn’t able to find anybody else in the end zone, but he completed 29 passes for 297 yards. Antonio Callaway, David Njoku, and Jarvis Landry all saw at least 5 targets and 50 yards. Nick Chubb had another effective day to go along with his heavy volume. He rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Kareem Hunt is absolutely dominating and is probably the closest thing there is to owning Todd Gurley at this point. Hunt had over 140 all-purpose yards and scored 3 touchdowns. The best part for the Chiefs, Hunt only touched the ball 18 times. Keep those legs fresh. Travis Kelce was a force in the red zone. He scored two touchdowns on his way to 99 yards. Tyreek Hill wasn’t a factor in the second half, but did manage 69 yards on 4 catches in the first half. The Chiefs being so good is actually hurting Hill’s fantasy value. They don’t tend to target him as much when they have the game in hand. Sammy Watkins also caught all 5 of his targets for 62 yards. What else can anybody say about Pat Mahomes? He makes plays that no other quarterback in football can. His arm angles, and foot positioning that he can make perfect throws from is unbelievable. 375 yards and 3 touchdowns is just another day at the office.
Tampa Bay is a miserably bad football team, but that is beneficial for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes trying to claw his team back from a huge deficit. DeSean Jackson is noticeably not playing a lot of snaps and it’s very annoying. But, you can justify Adam Humpries seeing a lot of snaps as a security blanket for whatever quarterback is under center. Mike Evans spent the entire game being shut down by James Bradberry. Bradberry was in Evans’ grill all day, he really didn’t stand a chance. O.J. Howard caught two touchdown passes on very similar plays from the 3 yard-line. He was also able to bring in a big 31 yard reception in the 2nd half. Howard is a lock for TE1 every week at this point.
Cam Newton had a decent fantasy day, but it feels like it should have been a lot bigger. The Panther’s first four touchdowns were rushing touchdowns and none of them were from Cam. He did find Greg Olsen for a touchdown late in the first half and Curtis Samuel in the second half. D.J. Moore saw a lot of snaps but not a lot of love. He caught one ball for 16 yards but he did have a nice 32 yard run. I expect bigger weeks ahead for him with a very cushy schedule coming up. Christian McCaffery was an absolute force while scoring two touchdowns in the first half. He also led the team in receiving while leaping over a Buccaneer on one of those receptions.
I was blown away by the result of this game. I didn’t want anything to do with the Falcons backfield because of how well Washington has been playing against opposing running backs. Both Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith had big games and combined for 3 touchdowns. Pop the champagne! Guess who finally scored a touchdown? Julio Jones did. Julio led the Falcons with 10 targets on his way to 7 catches for 121 yards. Calvin Ridley also made his return to the end zone for the first time in a few weeks. Ridley nearly doubled Sanu in targets as well.
Even Alex Smith can throw for 300 yards against the Falcons. Maurice Harris, who is an emerging name in Washington, led the Redskins with 12 targets and caught 10 of them for 124 yards. Vernon Davis led Jordan read in catches, yards, and targets on Sunday and that is an unfortunate result for Jordan Reed truthers. Hey, at least he’s staying on the field. The Falcons shut down Adrian Peterson and held him to under two yards per carry. His 3 catches for 16 yards didn’t get him very far, either. Kapri Bibbs was the only Redskin to score on the ground.
With Stefon Diggs out, Adam Thielen wasn’t able to shake double coverage to continue his torrid 100-yard game pace. It sounds like Thielen was also playing through a minor calf injury, which doesn’t help. Thielen still scored a touchdown in his worst game of the season. That’s absolutely ridiculous. There wasn’t a lot going on for the Vikings in the passing game in general. Kirk Cousins only completed 18 passes but that was more than enough for a comfortable Vikings victory. Even on a snap count, Dalvin Cook was a huge factor. Cook busted off a huge 70-yard run that was finished of with a Vikings touchdown. Latavius Murray was the only running back to score for the Vikings.
There was nothing going on for the Lion’s offense. Kerryon Johnson only rushed for 37 yards and Kenny Golladay simply wasn’t a factor. Marvin Jones was the only Lions receiver with any game of note. Nothing good happens when your quarterback is sacked 10 times.
People are complaining that fantasy football is unfair for people who don’t own Todd Gurley. Uhh. Have you seen James Conner? Another game, another pile of yardage and a touchdown. Antonio Brown scored a touchdown in an otherwise quiet game. 15 ppr points is still pretty useful. JuJu Smith-Schuster led the game with 78 receiving yards. Willie Snead once again led the Ravens in receptions and yards. Alex Collins didn’t gain much yardage, but he was able to score another touchdown and add it to his total.