Running down Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Lions 22, Falcons 21
Wembley Stadium, London
Matthew Stafford and the Lions are getting used to getting on without Megatron as the QB showed Sunday with 325-yard, 2-TD outing on the other side of the pond — his first career 300-yard passing game without Calvin Johnson.
Extra points: Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you still have a WR like Golden Tate (7-151-1 TD) able to put up Megatronic numbers. … In-and-out RB Reggie Bush was out again for the Detroit, and while Joique Bell (14-39 rushing, 2-22 receiving) disappointed, Theo Riddick (3-5, 8-74-1) had a big day, particularly in the passing game where he attracted a team-most 12 targets. … For the Falcons, it was another ho-hum aerial effort as rookie RB Devonta Freeman (1-7) and TE Bear Pascoe (1-1) caught the two TD passes thrown by Matt Ryan (228 yards), and not Roddy White (5-66) or Julio Jones (4-58), who were targeted a team-most six times apiece. … And those desperate fantasy owners who started Steven Jackson (18-60) were rewarded with a rare rushing score.
Bills 43, Jets 23
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
How about a fantasy/reality battle between QBs Kyle Orton and Geno Smith/Michael Vick? It was no contest, as the former threw for 238 yards and four scores, while the N.Y. duo was a horrific 20-of-44 for 158 yards, no TDs, four interceptions and two lost fumbles. Three of the four picks were thrown by Smith, who finished 2-of-8 for 5 yards before being benched.
Extra points: All the waiver-wire hubbub over Buffalo RBs Anthony Dixon (22-44) and Bryce Brown (7-15) didn’t amount to much of anything here, but WRs Sammy Watkins (3-157) and Robert Woods (3-50) and TEs Scott Chandler (1-12) and Lee Smith (2-5) all hauled in scoring receptions. … For the Jets, newly acquired Percy Havin only caught three of his nine targets for 22 yards and rushed four times for 28 yards. … Chris Ivory, meanwhile, was the team’s lone fantasy stud, rushing for 43 yards and two TDs on 13 carries, while TE Jace Amaro (5-51) led the Jets in receiving yards, while Eric Decker topped the squad in receptions (7) but netted all of 40 yards on a team-leading 11 targets.
Patriots 51, Bears 23
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Was Tom Brady really on league waiver wires only a month ago? If you were one of the fortunate few that swooped him up, he’s delivered 14 total TD passes and an average of 317 passing yards per game over the last four contests, boosted nicely by his 30-of-35, 354-yard, five-TD evisceration of the defenseless Bears here.
Extra points: Of course if Brady had a big day, Rob Gronkowski surely played a strong supporting role, reeling in all nine of his targets for 149 yards and three scores. Rapidly emerging wideout Brandon LaFell (11-124 on a team-high 11 targets) and TE Timothy Wright (7-61) also caught TD passes, while Julian Edelman (1-14) was scarcely noticeable on only four targets. … As for the N.E. RBs, Jonas Gray (17-86) was heavily involved, while Shane Vereen (5-22, 3-23) had his red-zone chances but couldn’t match his two-TD game of a week ago. … On the other side of the boxscore, Jay Cutler was 20-of-30 for 227 yards and turned it over twice, but did connect with Martellus Bennett (6-95), Alshon Jeffery (5-59) and Matt Forte (6-54) on scoring tosses. … Forte also rushed for 114 yards on 19 carries, topping the century mark for the first time in a month. … Speaking of the century mark, Brandon Marshall is still stuck on one 100-yard game in 2014 and hasn’t caught a TD pass in his last four games after a Darrelle Revis-affected three-catch, 35-yard effort on 10 targets here.
Seahawks 13, Panthers 9
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
For the second straight season, these two teams engaged in a defensive tussle, and fantasy numbers were rather muted as a result with Seattle TE Luke Willson (1-23) scoring the game’s only touchdown in last-minute, game-winning fashion.
Extra points: Russell Wilson cooled off considerably following his huge Week 7 outing, throwing for 199 yards, a TD and an interception while rushing for 35 yards on six carries. … Marshawn Lynch dropped a likely TD catch and remained mired in a slump with 62 rushing yards on 14 carries and one reception for 2 yards. … Doug Baldwin (6-61 on a team-high eight targets) led the Seahawks’ pass-catchers for the second straight week. … For the hosts, Cam Newton (171 passing yards, pick; 12-24 rushing, fumble) did next to nothing, while Jonathan Stewart (16-79 rushing, 3-15) had his best total-yardage outing since 2011. … Rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin (4-94 on 7 targets) continues to impress, but TE Greg Olsen (1-16 on 3 targets) looked mortal for a change.
Dolphins 27, Jaguars 13
EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville
Those who sized up the Miami-vs.-rookie-QB-Blake-Bortles matchup as a favorable fantasy start for the Dolphins’ D were handsomely rewarded with four sacks and three Bortles turnovers, including a pair of pick-sixes.
Extra points: Ryan Tannehill continues to give you decent rushing yardage (5-48), but he fell short of his recent passing numbers with a 16-of-29, 196-yard outing with a TD and an interception. … Wideout Rishard Matthews (1-3) caught Tannehill’s only scoring pass, but that didn’t help many fantasy GMs. Meanwhile, WRs Mike Wallace (2-59 on a team-high 7 targets), Jarvis Landry (3-23) and TE Charles Clay (1-1) were blah at best. … Lamar Miller (14-78, 3-21) delivered decent yardage totals but didn’t get into the end zone. … The aforementioned Bortles finished 18-of-34 for 221 yards, a TD and the two picks while losing a fumble. His scoring pass went to rookie stud Allen Robinson, who caught five passes for 82 yards on a team-high 10 targets. … The Jags’ other suddenly relevant Robinson, RB Denard (18-108), topped 100 rushing yards for the second straight game. Fellow RB Toby Gerhart (4-10, 1-3) returned after an injury absence but simply picked up where he left off in his fantasy struggles. … TE Clay Harbor caught only two passes for 27 yards on four targets.
Bengals 27, Ravens 24
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
In a game which featured plenty of key players missing in action or injured during play — including A.J. Green, Owen Daniels, healthy scratch Bernard Pierce, Giovanni Bernard (hip injury) and Torrey Smith (concussion) — Lorenzo Taliaferro (7-27, 2-42) and Andy Dalton (6-14) both ran for a pair of scores, with the latter’s second TD with a minute to play clinching the win for the hosts.
Extra points: Bernard (16-45, 2-2) did get into the end zone before departing in the fourth quarter, but was outgained by rookie Jeremy Hill (10-25, 4-28). … WR Mohamed Sanu (5-125 on a team-high 9 targets) continued to shine in Green’s absence, but Dalton (21-of-28, 266 yards, interception, fumble) didn’t throw a TD pass. … Baltimore counterpart Joe Flacco (17-of-34, 195 yards, 2 picks) also failed to toss a TD, targeting Steve Smith Sr. (3-35) and Torrey Smith (0-0) a combined 11 times without a whole lot of success. … Justin Forsett (17-68, 3-17) easily led the Baltimore backs in touches and total yards but saw Taliaferro get the two rushing scores. Taliaferro also led the Ravens in receiving yards (42) on two catches, while rookie TE Crockett Gillmore (2-23) stepped in for the injured Daniels.
Texans 30, Titans 16
LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
Arian Foster owners were partying like it was 2010 as the RB ran for 151 yards, caught four passes for 22 more and scored the team’s three touchdowns. Alfred Blue also got 15 touches and 64 yards in relief.
Extra points: DeAndre Hopkins (5-95 on 11 targets) and Andre Johnson (7-55 on a team-most 12 targets) accounted for more than two-thirds of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s targets as he threw for 227 yards and a score. … For the Titans, rookie Zach Mettenberger was a solid 27-of-41 for 299 yards, two TDs and an interception in his first pro start, hooking up with Justin Hunter (4-31 on a team-high 10 targets) and Delanie Walker (4-37) on scoring throws. … The Tennessee running game remains a fantasy wasteland with rookie Bishop Sankey setting the pace with all of 35 yards on nine carries.
Chiefs 34, Rams 7
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
Jamaal Charles’ TDs usually come in bunches, and that was the case in this one as he ran for 73 yards and two scores and added 44 additional yards on four catches. Knile Davis (16-49) actually finished with more carries and took the opening kickoff of the second half back for a score.
Extra points: Alex Smith threw for 226 yards, ran for 24 and lost a fumble, but didn’t account for a TD. … Dwayne Bowe (6-64) and Travis Kelce led K.C. in receiving on a team-high six targets apiece. … Anyone starting a St. Louis fantasy player was left disappointed as Austin Davis (160 passing yards, TD, pick), WR Kenny Britt (2-52), TE Jared Cook (1-11) and RBs Tre Mason (7-32 rushing, 1-1 receiving), Zac Stacy (5-17, 3-20) and Benny Cunningham (4-27, 1-8) all struggled. … TE Lance Kendricks (1-1) scored the Rams’ lone TD — his fourth in five games — while WR Brian Quick (1-10) departed early with a wrist injury and didn’t return. … If special-teams TDs count for defenses in your league, K.C. was a great start as it also notched seven sacks and had the interception.
Vikings 19, Buccaneers 13 (OT)
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Cordarrelle Patterson still couldn’t come up with a touchdown, but his fantasy owners had to be pleased by his season-high 12 targets and six receptions for 86 yards. He also had rushing attempt for 10 yards.
Extra points: Jerick McKinnon continues to be the RB workhorse for the Purple, carrying 16 times for 83 yards, while Matt Asiata had four rushes for a yard and caught four passes for 26 yards. … Teddy Bridgewater didn’t turn the ball over but threw for only 241 yards and a TD, which went to Greg Jennings (3-38). … Kyle Rudolph remains out, but backup TE Chase Ford caught all six targets for 61 yards here. … For the Bucs, Mike Glennon (171 yards, TD, interception) connected with rookie TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (3-26, fumble) for the team’s lone TD, while another rook, WR Mike Evans (4-78), led the squad in receiving yards. … Struggling Doug Martin (10-27, 2-minus-1) left early with an ankle injury, and Bobby Rainey (8-25, 6-41) stepped in with eight rushes for 25 yards and six catches for 41 yards. … Vincent Jackson? If you really want to know, it was an ugly 1-13 on five targets. … The Vikes’ defense was a strong fantasy start with five sacks and two forced turnovers, including Anthony Barr’s game-winning 27-yard fumble return in OT.
Cardinals 24, Eagles 20
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
It didn’t help Philly in the win column, but Nick Foles (36-of-62, 411 yards, 2 TDs, 2 picks) and Jeremy Maclin (12-187-2) factored in quite a few fantasy victories.
Extra points: Carson Palmer threw for a season-high 329 yards and two scores without a turnover. … Reports of Larry Fitzgerald’s fantasy demise were a little premature as he scorched the Eagles for seven catches for 160 yards, including an 80-yard score, on 10 targets while fellow wideout John Brown (5-119, including a 75-yard TD) awoke from his recent slumber. Brown also was targeted 10 times, making for a stunningly quiet day for Michael Floyd (0 catches on 4 targets). … No. 2 RB Stepfan Taylor left with a calf injury and didn’t touch the ball, leaving the full RB workload to Andre Ellington (23-71-1, 3-14). … LeSean McCoy (21-83, 3-14) was OK in the yardage department but Maclin hogged all the Philly TDs. … Riley Cooper (5-88) and Zach Ertz (5-48) at least got you double digits — or real close — in PPR leagues.
Browns 23, Raiders 13
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
The Browns got the win, but packed little fantasy punch aside from Andrew Hawkins‘ first TD grab of the season and his continued PPR production (7-88 on 9 targets).
Extra points: Unlike last week’s ugly loss in Jacksonville, Brian Hoyer completed more than 50 percent of his passes (19-of-28) and threw for 275 yards and a TD to put off the Johnny Manziel chatter for another week. … Ben Tate only managed 26 yards on 15 carries, but salvaged his fantasy day with a late TD, while Isaiah Crowell only got got a single carry for one yard. … Star-crossed TE Jordan Cameron (3-40 on 5 targets) couldn’t finish the game after suffering an apparent concussion. … Derek Carr completed 34-of-54 passes for 328 yards and a TD without an interception but did lose a fumble. … Carr’s TD toss went to wideout Andre Holmes (5-69), but James Jones (6-62) still led the team with 11 targets. … Darren McFadden (12-59, 4-26) remains the Silver & Black’s clear top back, but he too coughed up a fumble.
Steelers 51, Colts 34
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Hey, buckle up for this one. It starts under center where Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck combined for 66 completions, 922 passing yards and nine TDs — a team-record 522 yards and six scores belonging to the victor.
Extra points: As expected, Antonio Brown (10-133-2) and TE Heath Miller (7-112-1) paced the Pittsburgh pass-catchers, but rookie Martavis Bryant (5-83-2) and Markus Wheaton (5-56-1) also got in on the act. … Le’Veon Bell left in the second quarter with what appeared to be an ankle issue, but got it re-taped and came back to cap off yet another 100-yard total outing (24-92 rushing, 6-56 receiving). … Luck, meanwhile, added 26 rushing yards on three carries, but was also picked off twice. … With Reggie Wayne inactive, T.Y. Hilton (6-155-1) was his normal high-scoring self, but rookie wideout Donte Moncrief opened some eyes with a 7-113-1 performance on a team-high 12 targets. He came into the game with nine grabs for 103 yards. … TE Dwayne Allen had but one catch for 26 yards, but of course it went for a TD. … With the Colts falling behind early, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed only six times but picked up 35 yards and a score — his sixth in the last seven games — while catching seven passes for 52 yards. Trent Richardson was active but didn’t play with his hamstring issue. … Oh, and as if they needed a reminder, anyone hoping to ride the Colts’ recent defensive momentum was burned badly. The first-quarter loss of lock-down CB Vontae Davis can only partially explain this inexplicable reversal of fortune.
Saints 44, Packers 23
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Drew Brees was back home, and his numbers, naturally, reflected that in a 27-of-32, 311-yard, 3-TD performance without a turnover. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t half bad, either, going 28-of-39 for 418 yards, a TD and two picks while also rushing twice for 21 yards and a TD. Rodgers did appear to strain a hammy in the third quarter but remained in the game and will have a Week 9 bye to heal.
Extra points: The QBs will hog the headlines, but the two lead RBs did just fine with the Saints’ Mark Ingram rolling up a career-high 172 yards and TD on 24 carries, while Eddie Lacy also hit a career high with 123 receiving yards on eight catches and rushing for 59 yards on 13 carries. New Orleans’ Tarvaris Cadet (1-7, 4-40) got involved with Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson missing the game with injuries. … New Orleans rookie WR Brandin Cooks, meanwhile, broke out of a funk in a big way, catching six passes for 94 yards and a score and adding another TD on a 4-yard run. … TE Jimmy Graham still isn’t100 percent health-wise but his 5-59-1 line was a little bit better than the zeroes he put up a week ago. Fellow TE Josh Hill (1-2) also caught a TD, but wideouts Marques Coltson (4-59) and Kenny Stills (4-57) did not. … For the G.B. pass-catchers, Randall Cobb (5-126-1 on 7 targets) and Devante Adams (7-75 on 9 targets) led the way, but it was a quiet night for Jordy Nelson (3-25 on 5 targets).