Before we look forward, we must look back. The NFL season builds upon itself each week and offers up its share of highs and lows. This is on a cumulative basis but DFS gives us a fresh start each week. The key is to take everything as a learning experience while not overreacting in either direction.
Each week we will take a look at both positive and negative situations that transpired from the week prior and what it means going forward. Let’s keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg and throughout the week we will go into further detail about other players that deserve our attention for the coming slate of games. That is why you need to stick with us throughout the week.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? As a preview of what you can expect, let’s take a trip to Tampa Bay. Last week things couldn’t possibly go any worse for the Buccaneers as the Saints succeeded in generating pressure on Tom Brady. This week though Brady proved that any signs of a demise were merely a one-week blip as he threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns against Carolina. We should also note that Brady had his full complement of receiving options available to him with Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate both having a role. They combined for five catches 82 yards but with a touchdown catch each, their value is going to be dependent upon reaching the end zone. If we are going to go off this week’s performance all three wide receivers (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown) will have value each week as they combined for 19 receptions on 25 targets for 238 yards and an Evans touchdown. Ronald Jones is also the running back to target as he carried the ball 23 times for 192 yards which included a 98-yard touchdown run. From the Carolina perspective the best we can say is that it is too early to write off D.J. Moore as he was the only receiver who had any value this week with four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. We can blame poor game script on Mike Davis’ lackluster performance of seven carries for 32 yards while chipping in with four catches for another 12 yards.
This time Daniel Jones was able to make it into the end zone without falling as he led the Giants to victory against the Eagles. Jones was underwhelming from a passing perspective though as he threw for just 244 yards as Wayne Gallman accounted for New York’s other two touchdowns on the ground. The most important thing for Jones though, although he is still not a DFS option, is the fact that he didn’t turn the ball over. In case you had any doubts, the backfield clearly belongs to Gallman as he carried the ball 18 times for 53 yards. With just 208 passing yards Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense was underwhelming but Miles Sanders did rush for 85 yards on 15 carries.
Welcome back Nick Chubb. Although after the way the game ended I’m not sure how happy fantasy owners truly are with Chubb. With 19 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown there clearly weren’t any limitations on Chubb nor were there any ill effects from his injury. Chubb should have had a second touchdown as Cleveland was running out the clock on Houston but he instead stepped out of bounds at the one-yard line to preserve the victory. As someone who had the Texans getting three and half points I certainly wasn’t upset though. The good news though is that Kareem Huntcontinued to be a factor and in fact he had one of his best games of the season with 19 carries for 104 yards along with three receptions for 28 yards. Those DFS players who targeted anyone from the Texans were left disappointed as Deshaun Watson managed just 163 passing yards along with a touchdown while Duke Johnson failed to take advantage of his opportunity to control the backfield as he rushed for just 54 yards.
Washington did fall behind early before clawing back into the game to cover the spread but Alex Smith and his 390 passing yards were a nice touch. The problem though is that all three of the Washington touchdowns came on the ground as Antonio Gibson continues to be a solid value option with 45 rushing yards and two touchdowns. As per usual Terry McLaurin continued to climb up the wide receiver boards with seven receptions for 95 yards. Aside from Matthew Stafford’s three touchdowns the highlight of the afternoon for Detroit was DFS owners seeing proof that they can truly count on D’Andre Swift at running back. Swift ran with authority gaining 81 yards on 16 carries while also catching five passes for 68 yards and touchdown. The rookie passed all the tests for me this week.
From a scoreboard perspective Green Bay’s four-point victory over Jacksonville was ugly along with being stressful for those who selected them in survivor pools (excuse me as a I take a cleansing breath). From a DFS perspective Aaron Rodgers did throw for 325 yards and two touchdowns but that is not the performance of a difference maker. The disappointment for me was Aaron Jonesrushing for just 46 yards although he did add 49 yards on five receptions to salvage the afternoon in what was supposed to be a prime spot to succeed against a weak Jaguars’ defense. But don’t worry we can always count on James Robinson as the rookie gained 109 yards on 23 carries although a touchdown would have been nice.
I will line up and take all the eggs and pies you want to throw at me because it doesn’t get any worse than Drew Lock this week. So much for the value he provided coming off a strong game in Atlanta because Lock was plain old bad as he threw for 257 yards with just one touchdown while getting intercepted four times. Derek Carr continued to be a boring, bland, mistake free option as he threw for just 154 yards and no touchdowns while Josh Jacobs carried the Raiders’ offense with 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The emphasis was clearly on the ground game as Devonate Booker rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns. While he doesn’t provide consistent value, Booker is name to file away should Jacobs have to miss any time in the future.
Statistically things were pretty even between the two rookie quarterbacks in Miami but it was Tua Tagovailoa who emerged victorious with his third straight victory since he was elevated to the starting lineup. Tagovalioa completed 15 of his 25 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns, neither of which had any fantasy impact as they were caught by Jakeem Grant (the only Dolphin to catch more than two passes with four receptions) and Durham Smythe. What can’t be ignored though is the quest to figure out who exactly Salvon Ahmed is and where he came from as he carried the ball 21 times for 85 yards a touchdown. It goes without saying that the rookie is name to keep in mind for next week against Denver. For one of the rare occasions this season it was a quiet passing day for Justin Herbert as he completed just 20 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns while Keenan Allen caught just three passes for 39 yards and one of those touchdowns. Between rushing (68) and receiving (34) Kalen Ballage barely squeaked past the century mark but it is clear who is currently in control of the Chargers’ backfield.
Kyler Murray couldn’t have possibly waited any longer to throw his first touchdown pass of the game, but we just have to say wow. As time expired Murray showed off his arm strength as the threw a pass into the end zone which DeAndre Hopkins came down with for the game winning touchdown. Not like there was much doubt but it was a good sign to see Hopkins bounce back from a down game last week with seven receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. Kenyan Drakereturned from injury and with 100 yards on 16 carries showed that there is no cause for concern. On the Buffalo side Josh Allen had a solid effort with 284 passing yards and two touchdowns while also catching a touchdown with the usual receiving suspects all having good DFS games as the Bills have one of the better offenses to target each week.
It wasn’t the best of weeks for me at the quarterback position as while Jared Goff did throw for 302 yards in the Rams’ victory over Seattle, he failed to throw for a touchdown pass against one of the worst fantasy defenses in the league against quarterbacks. That meant both Cooper Kupp (five receptions for 50 yards) and Robert Woods (five for 33) were both relative non-factors while Josh Reynolds caught eight passes for 94 yards. We also had a Cam Akers sighting as he led the Rams in carries. The problem is Akers had just 10 carries for 38 yards while Malcolm Brown (two) and Darrell Henderson scored the touchdowns for the Rams. On the Seattle side we knew that things would be tough for the Seahawks offense and that held true as Russell Wilson threw for just 248 yards with two interceptions while D.K Metcalf was a true non-factor with two receptions for 28 yards.
Drew Brees left the game after halftime with a rib injury but even before that point he had only thrown for 76 yards and a touchdown in what was a game devoid of much in the way of DFS value. Alvin Kamara once again made an impact in the receiving game with seven receptions for 83 yards a touchdown while Michael Thomas failed to take the next step I was expecting as he caught just two of his seven targets for 27 yards. San Francisco did turn Jordan Reed lose with five receptions for 62 yards while Brandon Aiyuk is the 49ers’ receiver to target with seven receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Joe Burrow never stood a chance against a tough Pittsburgh defense as he threw for just 213 yards and a touchdown but Tee Higgins continued to be a bright spot for the Bengals as he caught seven passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger showed no ill effects of the missed practice time throwing for four touchdowns and 333 yards while spreading around the targets. We know the Steelers have no shortage of weapons but it certainly was a good sign to see JuJu Smith-Schuster lead the team with 13 targets catching nine passes for 77 yards and a touchdown while Diontae Johnson caught six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown with Chase Claypool added two more touchdowns.
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