Running down Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Browns 31, Steelers 10
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
Terrance West owners missed out on a big fantasy day for Browns’ RBs as Ben Tate (25-78-2 TDs) and Isaiah Crowell (11-71-1) both came through. Crowell, however, did have some issues keeping a grip on the ball, fumbling twice and losing one. West, Cleveland’s leading rusher entering the contest, was a healthy scratch.
Extra points: With the ground game cranked up, Brian Hoyer only needed to throw 17 passes, and completed eight for 217 yards and a TD to TE Jordan Cameron, who awoke from his early-season doldrums to catch three passes for 102 yards on a team-high five targets. … No other Cleveland pass-catcher had more than two receptions or 31 yards. … Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell (18-82 rushing, 4-23) topped 100 total yards for the sixth time in six games this season but hasn’t found his way into the end zone since Week 1. … Ben Roethlisberger, who usually dominates the Browns, was a disappointing 21-of-42 for 228 yards, a TD and an interception. … Lance Moore (1-26) caught the TD toss, while – surprise — Antonio Brown (7-118) led the team in catches and yards. … Fellow wideout Markus Wheaton actually led Pittsburgh in targets with 11 but only finished with four receptions for 33 yards. TE Heath Miller (2-19 on 4 targets) was also quiet.
Patriots 37, Bills 22
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, N.Y.
Those fantasy GMs who bought into the Tom Brady-is-Back narrative after his Week 5 showing were rewarded with a 361-yard, four-TD performance Sunday. On the receiving end, Julian Edelman (9-91) and Rob Gronkowski (7-94) led the way with 12 and nine targets, respectively, but relatively unheralded pass-catchers Brandon LaFell (4-97-2 TDs) , Brian Tyms (1-43-1) and TE Tim Wright (1-1-1) accounted for the TD grabs on a combined nine targets.
Extra points: Meanwhile, the N.E. ground game went nowhere. Stevan Ridley led the way with all of 23 yards on 10 carries but left in the third quarter with what looked to be a serious knee injury. Shane Vereen (5-4 rushing, 1-3 receiving) wasn’t a big part of the game plan for whatever reason. … For the hosts, Kyle Orton finished 24-of-38, fell a yard short of a second straight 300-yard passing game and tossed TD passes to WRs Robert Woods (7-78 on a team-most 10 targets) and Chris Hogan (6-52 on 6 targets). Orton, however, also threw an interception and lost a fumble. … WR Sammy Watkins only was targeted three times and finished with two catches for 27 yards. … TE Scott Chandler, meanwhile, was targeted nine times and had six receptions for 105 yards – the first 100-yard receiving game by a Buffalo TE since Pete Metzelaars in 1992. … Fred Jackson scored a TD to salvage a 43 total-yard effort on 14 touches, while the C.J. Spiller owners still starting the RB were left frustrated again after a six-carry 19-yard, no-catch effort.
Bengals 37, Panthers 37
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Top-five fantasy QB Cam Newton, missing in action in the first five games, showed up in force Sunday, hitting season highs through the air (29-of-46, 284 yards, 2 TDs) and on the ground (17-107, TD). Newton came into the contest with only 42 rushing yards and no TDs on 14 carries but the designed runs were back, replacing the unwillingness to push his surgically-repaired ankle.
Extra points: Cincy counterpart Andy Dalton made do without the injured A.J. Green, finishing 34-of-44 for a season-high 323 yards, two TDs and a pair of picks. … As expected, Mohamed Sanu was his top target, garnering 15 passes and finishing with 11 receptions for 120 yards and a TD. Fellow wideout Brandon Tate (4-38) caught Dalton’s other scoring toss. … On the ground, Giovanni Bernard (22 touches-157 total yards) and Jeremy Hill (12-35) both scored for the third time in four games. Bernard did depart briefly with a shoulder issue in the third quarter, but returned to finish out the game. … For the Panthers, TE Greg Olsen (6-62), WR Kelvin Benjamin (7-49) and RB Fozzy Whittaker (11 touches-52 yards) accounted for the team’s other three scores. … Newton, however, rolled up 107 of the team’s 147 rushing yards with Whittaker (9-25) and Darrin Reaves (8-15) bottled up.
Titans 16, Jaguars 14
LP Field, Nashville
Host Tennessee got the win, but the Jags fielded the most fantasy start-worthy performers between rookie QB Blake Bortles (32-of-46 for a season-high 336 yards, TD, interception), WR Cecil Shorts (10-103 on 16 targets) and TE Clay Harbor (3-91, TD).
Extra points: For the Titans, Charlie Whitehurst started for the injured Jake Locker for the second time in three weeks, but could only muster 233 yards with no scores. … With Shonn Greene injured and inactive, rookie Bishop Sankey (18-61 rushing 1-7 receiving) saw his most extensive work of the season, but Jackie Battle (1-1) vultured the team’s lone TD of the game. … WR Justin Hunter (3-77) and TE Delanie Walker (3-57 on a team-high 8 targets) topped Tennessee in receiving yards, while wideout Kendall Wright (1-6) was only targeted once after getting fantasy GMs excited with two TD catches a week ago.
Packers 27, Dolphins 24
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
Packers fans and Aaron Rodgers’ fantasy owners are most definitely relaxed now as the QB threw for 264 yards and put up his third straight game with three or more touchdown passes, including the game-winning 4-yard score to TE Andrew Quarless (2-11) with 3 seconds remaining.
Extra points: Wideouts Jordy Nelson (9-107 on 16 targets) and Randall Cobb (5-58) were on the receiving end of Rodgers’ other two TD tosses and now have 12 receiving TDs between them. It should also be noted that rookie WR Devante Adams (6-77) finished with the second-most targets (8) on the team. … On the ground, Eddie Lacy (14-40) was held in check and barely held off Rodgers (7-34) for the team rushing lead. No. 2 back James Starks did get 10 touches and had 42 total yards. … For the Fish, Ryan Tannehill was, well Ryan Tannehill throwing for 244 yards, two TDs and two picks. He did, though, rush for 49 yards on three carries thanks to one 40-yard read-option keeper. … Lamar Miller rushed for a team-high 53 yards and a TD on 14 carries and added 40 more on three receptions but also lost a fumble. Knowshon Moreno returned with his injured elbow in a brace but netted only 10 yards on six rushes and had one catch for 8 yards. … Rookie WR Jarvis Landry led Miami with a season-high six receptions for 75 yards and a score, while Mike Wallace caught six of his team-leading nine targets for 67 yards and a TD.
Lions 17, Vikings 3
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
With Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush both sidelined with ankle injuries, the Lions still featured a fantasy headliner, and it had nothing to do with offense. Yeah, this Detroit D is for real, dominating the Vikes with eight sacks, three forced turnovers and only a fourth-quarter field goal allowed.
Extra points: With no Megatron and Golden Tate (7-44 on game-high 12 targets) held in check, Matthew Stafford threw for a season-low 185 yards and one TD, a 9-yard pass to RB Theo Riddick. … Speaking of Riddick, he did most of his damage as a pass-catcher (5-75) before departing with a hamstring injury. That left Joique Bell, back from a concussion, to rush for a team-most 74 yards and a TD and add 23 more yards on a pair of catches. … Meanwhile, the team’s inexplicable place-kicking woes continued as Matt Prater missed two of his three field-goal attempts in his Detroit debut. … For the Vikes, rookie Teddy Bridgewater threw for only 188 yards and tossed a trio of picks, while rushing for only 11 yards on three attempts. … Jerick McKinnon got the start at RB and led the Purple in rushing (11-40) and receiving (6-42), while backfield mate Matt Asiata (2-minus-5 rushing, 1-18 receiving) was a disaster. … WRs Greg Jennings (3-33), Cordarrelle Patterson (2-15) and Jarius Wright (4-17) didn’t get a whole lot out of a combined 20 targets.
Broncos 31, Jets 17
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
After looking flustered and off-target early, Peyton Manning bounced back nicely to throw for 237 yards and three TDs. As usual, the Thomas boys, Julius (4-51-2 TDs) and Demaryius (10-124-1), reeled in all three scores.
Extra points: Ronnie Hillman dominated the touches (27) in Montee Ball’s first game out, and rushed for a career-high 100 yards and added 16 more through the air on three catches. Undrafted rookie Juwan Thompson rushed for 38 yards on the remaining eight RB touches. … Meanwhile, WRs Emmanuel Sanders (3-38) and Wes Welker (1-8) disappointed a week after catching seven passes apiece. … The Jets? Hey, they scored this week with Geno Smith (190 yards, interception) connecting with TE Jace Amaro (10-68 on team-most 12 targets) and WR Eric Decker (6-54, 10 targets) on TD passes. … Chris Ivory (8-7) and Chris Johnson (3-9), though, were completely bottled up in the backfield, and Smith was the team’s leading rusher with all of 11 yards on two carries.
Ravens 48, Buccaneers 17
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
At least if you were facing Joe Flacco, you knew your fantasy fate early as he threw four of his career-high five TD passes in the first quarter. He finished 21-of-29 for 306 yards and didn’t commit a turnover.
Extra points: Flacco’s first two TD tosses went to Torrey Smith (4-51), tripling his season total, and his next two were caught by unknown wideouts Kamar Aiken (2-20) and Michael Campanaro (2-28). Steve Smith Sr. (5-110) then restored some fantasy normalcy by snaring the fifth and final scoring pass in the second quarter. … For anyone still wondering, Justin Forsett (14-111) is the only Ravens’ RB worth using as Bernard Pierce (15-32) and Lorenzo Taliaferro (2-29) did little. … The same applies to TE Owen Daniels (2-34) who was only targeted three times. … For the host Bucs, Mike Glennon continues to up decent numbers (314 passing yards, 2 TDs, pick) in defeat. His scoring throws went to wideouts Louis Murphy (7-72) and Mike Evans (4-55), while Vincent Jackson (4-66) led the team in targets with 13. Murphy has accumulated 16 catches for 206 yards and two TDs in his three games since signing with the team. … Doug Martin got 12 RB touches to Bobby Rainey’s seven, but didn’t do much with them in gaining 48 total yards.
Chargers 31, Raiders 28
O.co Coliseum; Oakland, Calif.
West of Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers is having the best QB season – fantasy and reality – in the league, and more evidence was presented here with 313 yards and a trio of touchdowns in the Black Hole. For anyone counting, Rivers now has tossed 28 TD passes and only five picks in his last 12 regular-season games.
Extra points: Yeah, it was the Raiders’ D, but this Branden Oliver looks like the real fantasy deal, piling up 101 rushing yards, 23 more on four catches and a TD. … As has become custom with the Bolts, the leading pass-catchers were again somewhat surprising as WR Malcom Floyd (5-103, TD), TE Ladarius Green (4-60) and WR Eddie Royal (2-49, TD) led the way. TE Antonio Gates (3-27) also scored, while the sophomore struggles continue for Keenan Allen (3-27). … For most of the contest, rookie Derek Carr matched Rivers pass for pass, throwing for 282 yards and four scores to double his career TD total, but predictably, it didn’t end well with a late interception that halted the upset bid. … WR Andre Holmes (4-121, 2 TDs) had a career fantasy day on a team-high eight targets, while fellow wideout James Jones (5-56, TD) continues to produce. … On the ground, Darren McFadden received 16 of the Raiders’ 23 RB touches and produced a season-high 86 total yards.
Bears 27, Falcons 13
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Fantasy fireworks were generally expected here, but only the Bears came through with usual suspects Jay Cutler (381 yards, TD), Matt Forte (17-80 rushing, 10-77 receiving, 2 TDs), Alshon Jeffery (5-136) and Brandon Marshall (6-113) all excelling. And, hey for a change, Cutler didn’t turn the ball over.
Extra points: For the Falcons, it was just the opposite, with Matt Ryan (19-of-37, 271, TD, interception), Steven Jackson (6-25) and WRs Julio Jones (4-68) and Roddy White (3-40) all underwhelming. … Big-play RB Antone Smith struck again, scoring on a 41-yard reception for Atlanta’s lone TD – his fifth of the season – and accumulating a team-leading 69 yards from scrimmage, but he still only wound up with six touches.
Cowboys 30, Seahawks 23
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
DeMarco Murray and the Dallas ground game aced their toughest test of the season, trampling the defending champs on their home turf. Murray (29-115, TD) topped the century mark for the sixth time in six outings and also added a team-high six receptions for 31 yards.
Extra points: Tony Romo (250 yards, 2 TDs, fumble) continues to produce decent complementary numbers, with TEs Jason Witten (2-24) and Gavin Escobar (1-2) hauling in the TDs. … WRs Terrance Williams (2-70) and Dez Bryant (4-63) topped the team in receiving yards but were kept out of the end zone for a change. … The Seahawks, meanwhile, gained all of 206 total yards with Russell Wilson (14-of-28, 126 yards, interception; 2-12, TD rushing) taking a sizable step back following his magical Monday night performance a week ago. … Marshawn Lynch (10-61, 1-1) failed to score a TD for the first time in nine games dating back to last season, while WR Jermaine Kearse (3-62) led Seattle in receiving on a team-high seven targets.
Cardinals 30, Redskins 20
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
Carson Palmer solved the Cards’ QB quandary, getting final clearance Sunday and playing for the first time since the season opener. And while he didn’t put up especially huge fantasy numbers (250 yards, 2 TDs) himself, he did help return WRs Larry Fitzgerald (6-98, TD) and Michael Floyd (4-47, TD) to fantasy relevance.
Extra points: Andre Ellington continues to hog the Arizona RB touches, logging 25 for 93 yards. … For the visitors, good and bad Kirk Cousins showed up in the desert, throwing for 354 yards and two scores, but also tossing a trio of interceptions. … RB Alfred Morris (13-41 rushing, 1-14 receiving) failed to reach 100 total yards for the sixth time in six games this season, while DeSean Jackson (3-115) and Pierre Garcon (4-31) had the TD catches. … A D.C. bright spot was the return of TE Jordan Reed, who played for the first time since the opener and finished with eight catches for 92 yards among his team-leading 11 targets.
Eagles 27, Giants 0
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
LeSean McCoy is still stuck on one TD, but he finally delivered a 100-yard rushing game, rolling up 149 yards on 22 carries. Darren Sproles (7-39) did find his way into the end zone, but his night came to an early end as he left with a knee issue in the third quarter.
Extra points: It was an ugly night for the Giants, but by far the worst scene was WR Victor Cruz leaving on a cart in tears after rupturing his patellar tendon while leaping and twisting to catch a pass in the end zone in the third quarter. He finished with two catches for 16 yards on three targets. … Eli Manning, who had thrown for 10 TDs over the last four games, wound up with a season-low 151 passing yards and was sacked six times. … Rookie Andre Williams (16-58) and Rueben Randle (5-58) led N.Y. in rushing and receiving, respectively, while TE Larry Donnell (1-6 on 2 targets) did nothing for a second straight week. … For Philly, Nick Foles (248 yards, 2 TDs, 2 picks) didn’t exactly light it up but connected with TEs Zach Ertz (3-47) and James Casey (1-26) on his scoring throws. … Meanwhile, Jeremy Maclin (2-16, 3 targets) had his quietest outing of the season. … The Eagles’ top-ranked fantasy D didn’t add to its league-leading seven return scores but did record eight sacks, recovered a fumble and pitched the franchise’s first shutout since 1996.