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 look at what transpired in Atlanta. From a Falcons perspective we know it wasn’t good as their fifth straight loss led to a dismissal of both the coach and general manager. In most cases exactly what we expected to happen, did happen as Teddy Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns as he continues to acclimate himself quite well to Carolina. Robby Andersoncontinued the trend of opposing wide receivers having their way with Atlanta’s secondary as he caught eight passes on 13 targets for 112 yards in what his third 100-plus yard game of the season. The Panthers’ offense is proving that it can sustain two receivers quite well as DJ Moore had four receptions for 93 yards which included a 57-yard touchdown, but Anderson is still the receiver to own. As crazy it sounds, fantasy owners shouldn’t be missing Christian McCaffrey too much as Mike Davis rushed for 89 yards on Sunday while catching nine passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Despite Matt Ryan’s struggles on Sunday (226 yards and an interception) Calvin Ridley (eight receptions for 136 yards) didn’t seem to miss a beat, but with Julio Jones sidelined all of the others receivers were non-existent. It was a good sign though to see Todd Gurley turn back the clock with 14 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown along with four receptions for 29 yards.
It doesn’t matter what the Jets do offensively, as Jamison Crowder will always have value. On Sunday he once again turned in a top-notch performance with eight receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. Le’Veon Bell did return but things are just not working for him in New York. While Bell averaged 4.6 yards on 13 carries he was only targeted once in the passing game on a day that the Jets were trailing from the start. Another struggling running back in Kenyan Drake did seem to be a little better as he at least picked up a rushing touchdown along with his 60 yards on the ground. Today Kyler Murray actually wasn’t the best runner for Arizona as he gained 31 yards on nine carries while also scoring a touchdown, but it’s still hard to argue with the nine extra points. More importantly Murray had a complete afternoon as he threw for 380 yards and a touchdown while his new weapon for 2020 continued to succeed as DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.
It was a nice and quiet week injury wise until we saw Dak Precott’s ankle. First and foremost our concern is Prescott’s health and that is never an injury you want to see, but things will look different for Dallas with Andy Dalton under center. Across the field Daniel Jones has yet to really take the next step as he threw for just 222 yards but 128 of them went to Darius Slayton on eight receptions as he is fast becoming a fantasy target. Ezekiel Elliot merely did exactly what was expected of him as he rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
A solid percentage of those in survivor leagues can’t be too happy with Las Vegas’ upset victory in Kansas City. It’s crazy to say but the performance we saw from Patrick Mahomes as he threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a third is a quiet day, but the bar has been set on the high side. It is the opposite reaction of those who watched Derek Carr throw for 347 yards and three touchdowns as he continued to be undervalued in DFS. Carr spread the love around as Darren Waller led the team with five receptions (48 yards and a touchdown) with the same true in the backfield. Ultimately Devontae Booker and his seven carries for 62 yards were harmless as Josh Jacobs picked up 77 yards and touchdowns, but it is something to be aware of.
The battle of Philadelphia really went deep on the wide receiver depth chart. At least we have some experience with Chase Claypool who was selected in the second round of the draft but no one would have expected what we saw on Sunday. Claypool led the team all around as he turned his 11 targets into seven receptions for 110 yards and three touchdowns while also adding a fourth touchdown on the ground. Entering the week Travis Fulghram had two catches for 57 yards so far this season but all that changed as he emerged to a fill a void in Philadelphia’s receiving corps. Fulghram was targeted 13 times and he caught 10 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. Talk about being in a smash spot in a GPP if rostering either one of these receivers. Going forward, be aware, but we don’t want to chase what likely is their best game of the season.
The performance was nothing special and has no DFS value but we have to acknowledge the return of Alex Smith. His teammates didn’t do much to help him out as Antonio Gibson took a step back gaining just 27 yards on 11 carries although his five receptions for 24 yards did help slightly. It shouldn’t have been a shock to see Terry McLaurin shut down with just three catches for 26 yards as we have to watch him against strong defenses. While the Rams were victorious, they didn’t provide much from a fantasy perspective although Jared Goff did throw for 309 yards and two touchdowns. It was interesting though to see the division of work in Los Angeles’ backfield between Cam Akers (nine carries for 61 yards with a long of 46 yards), Darrell Henderson (15 carries for 38 yards), and Malcolm Brown (eight carries for 30 yards) with Akers the running back to own long term in a DFS situation that should be temporarily ignored.
The outcome of Baltimore’s victory over Cincinnati was never in doubt as we saw Joe Burrowcome back down to earth with just 183 passing yards while going without a touchdown. On the other side, Lamar Jackson wasn’t much better from a passing perspective with just 180 yards but he did throw for two touchdowns. The problem though is that he didn’t make up for it on the ground as Jackson carried the ball just two times for three yards. It was also notable that AJ Green was targeted just one time and didn’t catch a ball as he has become a non-factor.
Maybe firing Bill O’Brien was all Houston needed. Deshaun Watson threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns while we had a Brandin Cooks sighting. Entering the week Cooks had 10 receptions for 138 yards but things certainly improved for him on Sunday as he caught his first touchdown of the season along his eight catches for 161 yards. Will Fuller also added a touchdown and David Johnson picked up 96 yards on the ground in what was a strong day for Houston’s offense while Jacksonville failed to do much of anything offensively.
Let’s cut right to the point here as nothing worked for San Francisco offensively on Sunday. It is noteworthy though that Raheem Mostert returned to action and looked good carrying the ball 11 times for 90 yards. On Miami’s side everything appeared to work as Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 28 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns as he continues to be a useful fantasy option. With 16 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown Myles Gaskin continues to be the lead back and we had a Preston Williams sighting as he caught four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. From the tight end perspective Mike Gesicki continues to be one of the better tight end options as he caught five passes for 91 yards.
With six receptions for 69 yards, perhaps we shouldn’t be writing T.Y. Hilton off completely but we still need to see more. From a fantasy angle, things were relatively quiet between the Colts and Browns but we did get some clarity on Cleveland’s backfield. Kareem Hunt was the clear leader for the Browns has he carried the 20 times (for 72 yards) while D’Ernest Johnson had eight carries for 32 yards. Hunt preserved his fantasy value as he caught three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown and remains one of the better running backs to target.
One situation to watch heading into next week is the Minnesota backfield. We know that it is a situation to target, the question is just whether or not Dalvin Cook is healthy or it will be Alexander Mattison carrying the load. Cook gained 65 yards on 17 carries while scoring a touchdown but not to be out done, Mattison picked up 112 yards on 20 carries. From the Seattle side of things, D.K. Metcalf is proving to be the main receiving option for the Seahawks as he caught six passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
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