A rundown of Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Jaguars 34, Bills 31
Wembley Stadium, London
It was billed as a breakthrough live stream of an NFL game, but it sunk to the depths of a gridiron sloppiness webinar as the Jags and Bills combined for five turnovers, including three returned for touchdowns, and 20 penalties.
Extra points: Fantasy-wise, those who started either one of J’ville’s WR Allens came out just fine as Allen Robinson caught six of his team-high nine targets for 98 yards and a TD while Allen Hurns had two grabs for 53 yards and a score. That accounted for the bulk of Blake Bortles’ fantasy production as he finished 13 of 29 for 182 yards, two TDs and an interception – the seventh pick-six of his 21-game career. … Meanwhile those who jumped on the Julius Thomas bandwagon following his big Week 6, saw the tight end catch one of his five targets for a whole four yards. … On the ground, rookie T.J. Yeldon returned after missing Week 6 and ran for a career-high 115 yards and his first rushing TD on 20 carries. It could’ve – and should’ve – been even better, though, had the Jags not inexplicably decided to give Toby Gerhart (6-8 rushing) four failed cracks at the end zone from the Buffalo 1-yard line in the third quarter. … For the Bills, EJ Manuel looks as if he finished with a decent day, going 24 of 42 for 298 yards, two TDs and 38 rushing yards on eight carries. But anyone who live streamed his three-turnovers-in-three-possession stretch in the second quarter knows better. … With Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin out, WR Robert Woods was targeted a game-high 13 times and finished with nine receptions, 84 yards and a TD grab. Fellow wideout Marcus Easley had the Bills’ other scoring reception – a 58-yarder – but that helped next to no one as it was his first catch of the season. … Meanwhile, TE Charles Clay finished with only three receptions for 26 yards. … LeSean McCoy topped 100 total yards with 68 rushing and 36 on a pair of receptions but failed to find the end zone and instead coughed up a costly fumble inside the Jacksonville 5-yard line.
Redskins 31, Buccaneers 30
FedEx Field; Landover, Md.
The Bucs jumped out to a 24-0 lead in this one, but that only set the stage for a monumental Kirk Cousins comeback – and one of the league’s banner fantasy days – as the D.C. QB ran for a second-quarter TD and threw for three second-half scores as the home team recorded the largest comeback win in franchise history. Cousins finished 33 of 40 for 317 yards, the three TDs and one lost fumble.
Extra points: TE Jordan Reed was back after a two-game concussion absence and caught 11 of his game-high 13 targets for 72 yards and two TDs – the second of which completed the comeback with 24 seconds remaining. … WR Ryan Grant (3-54) caught Cousins’ other scoring toss while rookie Matt Jones (9-29 rushing, 3-22 receiving) paced a still-struggling Washington ground game. … For the Bucs, Mike Evans broke out big time with an 8-164-1 effort on 12 targets as compatriots Vincent Jackson (1-13) and Louis Murphy (1-29) left early with injuries. … Rookie WR Donteea Dye (1-7) made his first pro catch count, snaring the other scoring pass from Jameis Winston, who finished 21 of 29 for 297 yards and two TDs. … Doug Martin, meanwhile, continues to tear it up, recording his third straight game with 100-or-more rushing yards (19-136) and 30-plus receiving yards (3-35). No. 2 back Charles Sims (10-49, 2-17) also continues to be involved one way or the other.
Falcons 10, Titans 7
Nissan Stadium, Nashville
As you can see, there were only two touchdowns scored in this one, and the day’s biggest ing with at least 130 total yards (25-116, 2-14) for the fifth straight outing.
Extra points: Teammate Julio Jones (9-92 on a game-most 17 targets) did catch a TD pass for the first time since Week 3 as Matt Ryan muddled through a 22-of-38, 251-yard outing with two picks. WR Leonard Hankerson left in the second quarter with a hamstring injury before he could even draw a target. … … On the subject of muddling performances, Zach Mettenberger started in place of the injured Marcus Mariota and finished 22 of 35 for 187 yards, a TD and two interceptions. … WR Kendall Wright (4-46) accounted for the home team’s only TD while TE Delanie Walker led the squad in targets (nine), receptions (seven) and receiving yards (55). … Antonio Andrews (10-57) led the Titans in rushing as Bishop Sankey continues to fade away, failing to get a rushing attempt and garnering only one target.
Saints 27, Colts 21
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
The Saints held on for the win after jumping out to a shocking 27-0 lead, but that worked out just fine for the fantasy owners of Andrew Luck (23 of 44, 333 yards, three TDs, two interceptions) and WR T.Y. Hilton (4-150-2 on 15 targets) as the Colts were forced to go almost exclusively to the air. Fellow WR Donte Moncrief (4-34) reeled in Luck’s other TD toss.
Extra points: The Saints, meanwhile, dominated the rushing stats as Mark Ingram (14-143, 2-5) ran for one TD, and Khiry Robinson (14-28, 1-3) had two others. … WR Brandin Cooks (6-81 on a team-high 13 targets) led the Saints in receiving, but it was Michael Hoomanawanui (5-31) catching the lone TD pass from Drew Brees (28 of 44, 255 yards, interception) and not Week 6 stud Benjamin Watson (4-59). … Meanwhile, WRs Willie Snead (3-25), Marques Colston (1-20) and Brandon Coleman (1-24) were scarcely heard from. … Indy RB Frank Gore (9-43, 5-32) managed to grind out 75 total yards despite the unfavorable game-flow shift.
Vikings 28, Lions 19
Ford Field, Detroit
Matthew Stafford (18 of 26, 256 yards, 2 TDs) and Calvin Johnson (5-86-1 on 7 targets) looked as if they were going to pick up where they left off in their stellar Week 6 as they hooked up on a scoring pass on the first drive of the game, but both cooled off considerably as the Vikings took control for the season sweep.
Extra points: Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, put up his best fantasy figures of the season, completing 25-of-35 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns, connecting up with fast-emerging WR Stefon Diggs (6-108 on a game-high 9 targets) and TE Kyle Rudolph (2-10) on his scoring passes. … Meanwhile, WRs Mike Wallace (4-36) and Charles Johnson (1-21) weren’t able to do much on a combined seven targets. … And whether he swallowed a plug of tobacco on a choppy team flight or ate some bad shrimp, Adrian Peterson (19-98, 3-12) shook off a Saturday illness and was able to top 100 total yards for the first time in three games. He did, however, fail to get into the end zone for the second straight week. … TE Eric Ebron was back after a two-game injury absence and finished with a team-leading 89 receiving yards, catching all five of his targets and Stafford’s other TD pass while, for what it’s worth, Ameer Abdullah (8-40) and the back-in-action Joique Bell (3-21) paced the Lions on the ground. … Finally, your top fantasy kicker of the weekend was the Vikes’ Blair Walsh, who hit all five of his field-goal attempts, including a pair of 50-yarders.
Chiefs 23, Steelers 13
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
It took a week, but Charcandrick West (22-110-1, 2-19) established himself as the new lead back for the post-Jamaal-Charles-injury Chiefs. Knile Davis? One carry for two yards.
Extra points: For the Steelers, there was still no Ben Roethlisberger, but WR Antonio Brown finally had a decent game, catching six passes for a game-high 124 yards on eight targets. It was fellow wideout and TD-magnet Martavis Bryant, though, who had the Steelers’ lone touchdown among his three receptions for 45 yards. … Landry Jones made his first pro start after his heroics off the bench a week ago but didn’t exactly enjoy the same success this time out, completing 16-of-29 passes for 209 yards, a TD and three turnovers, including a pair of picks. … Le’Veon Bell (17-121, 4-16) failed to score for the second straight week but notched his fourth game with 100 total yards or more in five outings this season. … For the Chiefs, WR Jeremy Maclin was held out as a precaution following his Week 6 concussion, and TE Travis Kelce (5-73) led the team in receiving yardage while rookie WR Chris Conley (6-63 on a team-most 7 targets) had his first pro TD catch, hauling in a win-clinching 6-yard pass from Alex Smith (251 yards, TD, no turnovers) in the fourth quarter.
Rams 24, Browns 6
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
That’s now three straight 100-yard rushing games for Rams rookie Todd Gurley, who racked up a career-high 163 total yards (19-128, 4-35) and scored his first two NFL TDs here Sunday to take full advantage of the league’s worst run defense.
Extra points: Those proved to be the only offensive TDs for the Rams, who opened the scoring with Rodney McLeod’s 20-yard fumble return. St. Louis recovered four Cleveland fumbles in all and recorded four sacks while limiting the Browns to a pair of Travis Coons field goals. … As a result, we hope you weren’t expecting much from Nick Foles (163 yards) and the Rams’ aerial game. WR Tavon Austin was targeted a team-high seven times and paced the squad with 43 yards on four catches. As usual, he also chipped in a 21-yard run. … Josh McCown completed 26-of-32 passes for 270 yards, but fumbled twice before leaving with an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder in the fourth quarter. Johnny Manziel (4 of 5, 27 yards) finished up and might be in line to start next week. … Even amid the Rams’ defensive dominance, TE Gary Barnidge (6-101) still managed to get his on a team-high-matching seven targets. … Robert Turbin (5-30) led the Browns in rushing, while rookie Duke Johnson Jr. (6-17 rushing) continues to do his best work coming out of the backfield as a pass-catcher, snaring all seven of his targets for 73 yards. Fellow back Isaiah Crowell, meanwhile, finished with an ugly nine yards on eight carries.
Dolphins 44, Texans 26
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
The Dolphins jumped out to a 41-0 lead late in the second quarter and won in a rout and that makes the reported season-ending Achilles tear suffered by Texans’ RB Arian Foster in fourth-quarter garbage time all the more hurtful and confounding. Foster’s parting gift was a 125-total-yard effort with a pair of TDs before suffering the injury on a non-contact play.
Extra points: Meanwhile, these Dolphins kind of seem to be responding to this coaching change, and on Sunday, the owners of Ryan Tannehill (18 of 19 for 282 yards and four TDs), Lamar Miller (14-175-1, 3-61-1) and Jarvis Landry (5-83-2) reaped the fantasy rewards. WR Rishard Matthews (3-75) caught Tannehill’s other TD toss. … If you started the Dolphins’ defense, you did OK too with four sacks and a pick-six by Reshad Jones, his second in as many weeks. … For the Texans, DeAndre Hopkins (6-50 on 12 targets) was quiet for a change and fellow WR Cecil Shorts sat out, making for a huge, garbage-time afternoon for Nate Washington (9-127 on a game-high 16 targets). … That meant another decent game in the end for Brian Hoyer (273 yards, three TDs, one pick).
Patriots 30, Jets 23
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
So what’s the best way to beat the formidable Jets defense? The Patriots’ formula Sunday involved 57 passes and only nine rushing attempts, making for another huge day for Tom Brady (34 of 54, 355 yards, 2 TDs; 4-15-1 rushing) and targets Rob Gronkowski (11-108-1) and Danny Amendola (8-86-1). Gronk was targeted a game-most 16 times.
Extra points: RB Dion Lewis was a bit of a surprise inactive with an abdominal injury, but that didn’t exactly translate into much production for fellow RBs LeGarrette Blount (3-minus-3) and James White (2-4, 3-26) as Brady finished as the team’s leading rusher for the first time in his career. … WR Julian Edelman had a quiet 5-54 afternoon, and fellow wideout Brandon LaFell (2-25) struggled with a bevy of drops among his eight targets in his season debut. … For the Jets, Chris Ivory was in and out early with what looked to be a left-hamstring issue, and he finished with only 41 yards on 17 carries and 12 yards on two receptions. He did, though, reel in a third-quarter TD pass to salvage his fantasy day. … It was one of two TD passes for Ryan Fitzpatrick (22 of 39, 295 yards; 5-29 rushing, fumble) who also connected with wideout Jeremy Kerley (3-27) on a short scoring pass. … Eric Decker (6-94) and Brandon Marshall (4-67) had relatively quiet low-key days considering they attracted almost half (19) of Fitzpatrick’s 39 targets.
Raiders 37, Chargers 29
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Derek Carr and top targets Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree became the latest to take advantage of the Chargers’ pushover defense as the Silver & Black raced out to a 37-6 lead. Carr completed 24-of-31 throws for 289 yards and a trio of TDs – one each to Cooper (5-133) and Crabtree (6-63) and the other to rookie TE Clive Walford (2-42). Crabtree led the team in targets with eight.
Extra points: On the ground, Latavius Murray (15-85) found his way into the end zone for first time since Week 3. … For the Bolts, Philip Rivers aired it out another 58 times – making for a whopping 123 passing attempts over the last two games – and completed 38 for 336 yards and three second-half TDs following two first-half interceptions. … With TE Antonio Gates inactive after his Week 6 knee injury, RB Danny Woodhead (career-high 11 receptions for 75 yards and two TDs), WR Keenan Allen (9-89 on a game-high 13 targets) and TE Ladarius Green (4-45-1) were Rivers’ go-to targets. … Branden Oliver (9-35, 6-39) led the Chargers in rushing as rookie Melvin Gordon (7-29) continues to flounder and fluster.
Giants 27, Cowboys 20
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
The Giants got revenge and the big divisional win, but fantasy production was hard to come by as backup RB Orleans Darkwa – a player with a name straight out of a Star Wars script – scored the team’s only offensive TD and finished second on the squad with 48 rushing yards. The other N.Y. TDs came courtesy a of a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie pick-six and ex-Cowboy Dwayne Harris’ deciding 100-yard kickoff return.
Extra points: Meanwhile, Eli Manning threw for 170 yards without a TD or interception and Shane Vereen (4-56) and Rueben Randle (2-68) led the G-Men in rushing and receiving, respectively. Odell Beckham Jr. did play but had his second dud of a performance (4-35 on six targets) against the Cowboys this season. … For the visitors, Darren McFadden had his best rushing outing in four years with 152 yards and a TD on 29 carries and added 10 yards on a pair of receptions after starter Joseph Randle (2-24) departed early with a back issue. There was a lot of pre-game hype surrounding Christine Michael, but it never materialized (as usual) as he finished with 18 yards on five carries and had a 2-yard reception. … Old reliable Jason Witten (6-73) was hot early, but cooled off late in another disappointing performance (and loss) for a Cowboys backup QB, this one the Dallas debut of Matt Cassel (17 of 27, 227 yards, TD, three interceptions). … WR Terrance Williams (4-70) was targeted a team-most seven times, but it was reserve wideout Devin Street (1-25) who was on the receiving end of Cassel’s TD toss.
Panthers 27, Eagles 16
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Cam Newton didn’t put up Superman fantasy numbers by any means, but his 197 yards and TD passing and 20 yards and TD on the ground were enough to overcome three interceptions and help boost the Panthers to 6-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Extra points: Jonathan Stewart (24-125) topped the century mark for the first time this season, but it was Mike Tolbert (3-16-1, 1-2-1) who vultured the Panthers’ other two TDs. … TE Greg Olsen (3-65 on five targets) and WR Ted Ginn Jr. (5-59 on eight targets) paced the Panthers’ pass-catchers. … For the Eagles, it was another herky-jerky offensive struggle that produced only one TD. The passing game remains particularly ragged as Sam Bradford finished 26 of 46 for 205 yards and an interception, with TE Zach Ertz (5-63), Miles Austin (4-52) and Darren Sproles (5-31) serving as his most productive targets. … There were plenty of drops to go around once again, including a few for slumping wideout Jordan Matthews (3-14 on seven targets). … On the ground, Ryan Mathews (6-97, 3-24) scored Philly’s only TD on a 63-yard sprint while running mate DeMarco Murray (18-65, 2-5) cooled off after trending upward the past few games.