Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
LeSean McCoy – Re-aggravated Ankle
Jerrick McKinnon – Ankle
Geno Smith – Knee
Cody Kessler – Concussion
Jaron Brown – Knee
Tevin Coleman – Hamstring
Week 7 did not leave any significant injuries in its wake but fantasy leaguers will have to deal with the first time that six teams will be on bye. The Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers and 49ers get the week off to heal their wounded and that will make the waiver wire come to life as fantasy teams seek to substitute missing starters.
Check the Wire
WR Davante Adams (Packers) – He caught a score in three of the last four games and in the win over the Bears, Adams ended with a career best 132 yards and two touchdowns. His 13 receptions was a single-game record for the Packers. With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb taking the bigger focus by the defense, Adams is consistently scoring if not producing big yardage. Best yet – the Packers will host the Falcons who tend to promote shootouts every game.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings) – Hard to rely on but Patterson not only scored in each of the last two games, his seven catches for 67 yards in the win over the Eagles was a team high. Patterson faces the same Bears that just allowed Davante Adams his big day. Patterson was locked as the flanker last week while Adams shifted sides often but did have success on when lining up on the right.
WR Marquise Goodwin (Bills) – The extensive injuries to the Bills receivers pressed the speedy Goodwin into a start in the loss to the Dolphins. He ended with a team high four catches for 93 yards and caught the lone touchdown. With LeSean McCoy hobbled again and the Bill hosting the Patriots this week, it is a safe bet that there will be plenty of passes thrown and Goodwin is the best of the bunch. Remember – trash time counts the same as game-winning play.
WR Russell Shephard (Buccaneers) – When Vincent Jackson was placed onto injured reserve, they promoted up Russell Shephard. He ended with a career best five catches for 77 yards and scored once in the win over the 49ers. The best part about him being a new starter is that the Buccaneers will be hosting the Raiders this week.
TE Vernon Davis (Redskins) – Jordan Reed was out with a concussion in the loss to the Lions. Davis replaced him capably with six catches for 79 yards and caught every pass thrown to him. He travels to London this week to face the Bengals that have one of the best defenses against wide receivers and yet one of the worst versus tight ends. If Reed is still out, Davis needs to be considered.
Lightning Does Strike Twice
It is rare enough for a player to suddenly post a huge game. It is much rarer to do that twice in a row.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Buccaneers) – The replacement for Charles Sims ran for 101 yards in the win over the Panthers and added five catches for 28 yards. After the Week 6 bye, Rodgers took the start again and rolled over the 49ers with 154 yards on 26 carries and one reception for nine yards. He not only blew up in his first two starts, but they are the two best games of his six-year career.
WR Golden Tate (Lions) – After logging a team-high 99 catches for 1331 yards in 2014, Tate faded back to only 813 yards last year while Calvin Johnson excelled during his final season. Marvin Jones seemed to be the next great Detroit receiver through the first three weeks of 2015 but has since cooled. Tate never gained more than 41 yards in a game this season until Week 6 when he burned the Rams with eight catches for 165 yards and one score. In Week 7, he once again led the Lions with six receptions for 93 yards. Jones totaled just six catches for 104 yards over those two games.
RB Jay Ajayi (Dolphins) – Through the first 13 active games of his career, Jay Ajayi never gained more than 48 rushing yards. He was inactive in nine games. Through Week 5 of 2015, he averaged just 29 yards per game. And then against the Steelers, he ran 25 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns. In the win over the Bills for Week 7, he once again ran for 214 yards and one score on 29 rushing attempts. Ajayi exactly matched the total of his first 13 career games with his Week 6 performance and then doubled that again. He is only the fourth player in NFL history to record back-to-back 200 yard rushing efforts and the first to still technically never have had a 100 yard performance.
We Never Said Never
The Los Angeles Rams used the first overall draft pick on quarterback Jared Goff. A less than impressive preseason led to the team opting for Case Keenum as the starter with a chance for Goff to learn the game from the sidelines as a rookie. And that was easy enough when the Rams were 3-1.
But the Rams lost their last three games which all ended on an interception thrown by Keenum who totaled seven picks over those weeks. At 3-4 and with the season starting to slide away, Goff will at least be considered over the Rams Week 8 bye. The next opponents are the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins and Saints before the schedule turns very tough. Any more losses and the Rams will need to “look like we are still trying to find a way to win.”
Failure to Launch
Jamaal Charles owners were teased with the nine rushes for 33 yards and one score in Oakland for Week 6. But Charles re-aggravated his knee injury and the win over the Saints only saw him with one carry for no gain. Spencer Ware had already rushed for 131 yards and a score when Charles had his only start. He followed that up with 77 yards on 17 runs plus 54 yards and a score on two receptions on Sunday. Jamaal Charles owners will likely never again draft a running back coming off knee surgery while the Ware owners look forward to the next four games against the Colts, Jaguars, Panthers and Buccaneers.
Killed in Committee
It’s hard enough to find a running back that offers consistently solid production and painful when that ends.
Washington Redskins – Just when it seemed safe to start Matt Jones, he turns in one of his worst performances. After rushing for 135 yards and one score against the Eagles in Week 6, Jones was held to only ten runs for 27 yards by the Lions. And Chris Thompson stepped up with 12 runs for 73 yards and seven catches for 40 yards – both season highs. Robert Kelley only had one catch for one yard but that was the only touchdown scored by a running back.
Chicago Bears – Jordan Howard was producing serviceable stats each week and even scored once in Week 6. But his 15 carries for 34 yards in that loss to the Jaguars was eclipsed by Ka’Deem Carey’s 50 yards on nine runs. In the loss in Green Bay in Week 7, Howard was down to only seven runs for 22 yards while Carey gained 48 yards on ten runs. And now neither back is producing enough to merit a fantasy start.
San Francisco 49ers – Carlos Hyde was the only consistently good performer for the 49ers and gained 429 yards and six scores on 109 carries over the initial six games plus added 12 receptions for 66 yards. When he was taken out this week by a shoulder injury, the gamblers stepped in to guess which replacement back would reap the reward. Ends up – no one would. Mike Davis scored once but only ran for 21 yards. DuJuan Harris ran for 39 yards and caught two passes for 18 yards. Shaun Draughn totaled 53 yards and one score. Individually, they flirted with moderate production in a home game against a soft defense. Collectively, they would be just Carlos Hyde.
NYG 17, LA 10
It was everything we hate about London games. Only two offensive touchdowns in the entire game. No runner with more than 57 yards. Biggest star of Odell Beckham with just five catches for 49 yards. Eli Manning (196 yards) again crawling under a rock. Case Keenum one score and four interceptions. Worse yet, it started at 6:30 AM PST. This was supposed to sell Brits on watching american football? Now both the Giants and Rams head to their bye week.
CLE 17, CIN 31
No surprises. Jeremy Hill (9-168, TD) was great and A.J. Green (8-169, TD) once again had his monster game against a weak secondary. Andy Dalton threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns lost yet another quarterback and dropped down to Kevin Hogan who passed for 100 yards but ran for 102 yards. Terrelle Pryor (2-18) played like a guy who was injured. If only the Browns could play everyone, every week. The Bengals host the Redskins this week while the Browns welcome the Jets.
WAS 17, DET 20
Certainly a fantasy yawner. Both quarterbacks with one passing touchdown though Cousins threw for 301 and ran in a score as well. Matt Jones (10-27) remains a pumpkin in road games but Jamison Crowder (7-108) was good and Vernon Davis (6-79) did his best Jordan Reed impression. The Lions have no rushing offense but both Marvin Jones (4-94) and Golden Tate (6-93) are showing up big in the same game. The Redskins travel to Cincy this week and the Lions head to Houston.
OAK 33, JAX 16
The Jaguars have lost all magic on the passing game from last year. Hosting the Raiders and still Blake Bortles only passed for 246 yards and one score to Julius Thomas who no one trusts anymore. Allen Hurns (4-45) and Allen Robinson (2-9) are vying to become the first tandem to go from top 5 to bottom 5 in just one year. And this was maybe their easiest matchup of the season. The Raiders had most of their production come from Latavius Murray (18-59, 2 TD) and Michael Crabtree (8-96, TD) but Amari Cooper (4-29) yet again disappeared in a road game. Now the Raiders head back to Florida to face the Buccaneers and the Jaguars travel to Tennessee.
NO 21, KC 27
Sure, they lose. But Drew Brees (367 yards, 3 TD) still delivers. Mike Thomas (10-130), Willie Snead (9-87), Brandin Cooks (7-58, TD) and Mike Ingram (82 yards, TD) all were good fantasy plays. Jamaal Charles ran once for no gain while Spencer Ware was both the leading rusher (17-77) and receiver (2-54, TD) and no other Chiefs had more than 40 yards as a receiver. Against the Saints no less. The Saints host the Seahawks this week and the Chiefs head to Indianapolis.
BUF 25. MIA 28
This was a “go figure” sort of game. First of all, the Dolphins won. And mostly because Jay Ajayi ran for 214 yards and one score. Again. Kenny Stills (5-100, TD) was the play that no one made and Jarvis Landry (5-78) was “okay”. The problem with this game was that LeSean McCoy still started but only ran for 11 yards on eight carries and Mike Gillislee was left with only five runs for 20 yards. Of course, McCoy re-injured his gimpy hamstring so this scenario may repeat this week. The only decent Bills receiver was Marquise Goodwin (4-93, TD) but that breaks the string of no wideouts mattering this year. The surprising Dolphins go onto their bye and the “we did not need this” Bills have to host the Patriots.
BAL 16, NYJ 24
And we’re back to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Geno Smith hurt his knee but there were only three fantasy plays in this game and none of them were Brandon Marshall (3-39). Matt Forte ran for 100 yards and a score plus had four catches for 54 yards and another touchdown. Quincy Enunwa scored on his two catches for 73 yards. And Mike Wallace caught ten passes for 120 yards. The Jets broke their four game losing streak while the Ravens extended theirs to four games. Now the Ravens head to their bye week and the Jets travel to Cleveland with the promise of starting an actual winning streak.
MIN 10, PHI 21
Out go the lights. The Vikings are the final team to lose a game and it came sort of like we expected all Vikings games to be after Adrian Peterson was gone. The defense did not score and that left Sam Bradford (224 yards, TD) to battle against a good defense. Cordarrelle Patterson (7-67, TD) was the best wideout in the entire game. Carson Wentz only passed for 138 yards and one score and no Eagles receiver had more than 39 yards. The Vikes defense did a good job but they never scored and their offense alone is not good enough. The Vikings head to Chicago this week and the Eagles get their big matchup in Dallas.
IND 34, TEN 26
This was one of the better games of the week. Andrew Luck threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns with T.Y. Hilton (7-133, TD) and Jack Doyle (9-78, TD) as the top receivers and Frank Gore totaled 83 yards with one touchdown. Marcus Mariota (232 yards, 2 TD) went back to ignoring wideouts with Delanie Walker (7-84, TD) as the top receiver while DeMarco Murray totaled 127 yards and scored as well. The best players were the best scorers and that’s all you can hope for when you make your weekly starts. The Colts host the Chiefs this week and the Titans welcome the Buccaneers.
TB 34, SF 17
The 49ers are another team we should all be glad is in the league. Jameis Winston (269 yards, 3 TD) and Mike Evans (8-96, 2 TD) had predictably good games and Jacquizz Rodgers (26-154) once again delighted those waiver wire hounds who took a shot. Colin Kaepernick took a virtual knee when he only passed for 143 yards and one score but ran for 84 yards. No other rusher had more than 39 yards though Mike Davis (7-21) scored once. Kaepernick completed only seven passes between four wideouts that never totaled more than 15 yards each.
NE 27 , PIT 16
The Steelers did well enough to get 281 yards and one score from Landry Jones and Antonio Brown (7-106) was still the best and really only fantasy play at receiver. Le’Veon Bell totaled 149 yards with ten receptions but never scored. The problem was that no one else did much for the Steelers. Tom Brady was held to only 222 yards and two scores mostly because LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Julian Edelman (9-60) finally showed up and Rob Gronkowski (4-93, TD) led all receivers. James White had no rushes and only two catches but again caught a touchdown. Now the Patriots head to Buffalo to face the team that shut them out at home and the Steelers take a much needed bye.
SD 33, ATL 30
This was the game of the week and really should be since it had the highest total score. And the improbable happened with the Chargers winning on the road and the Falcons losing their last two. The Chargers trailed 17-27 at the half but rallied with a ten point fourth-quarter and eventual field goal to win in overtime. Philip Rivers passed for 371 yards and a score to Melvin Gordon who totaled three touchdowns and 118 yards. Tyrell Williams (7-140) was the only decent play at receiver and Hunter Henry only managed one catch. Matt Ryan passed for 273 yards and a score that mostly went to Julio Jones (9-174). Devonta Freeman totaled 100 yards and Tevin Coleman had 74 yards and a score before leaving with a hamstring issue.
Huddle Player of the Week
Melvin Gordon – His biggest calling card from his rookie year was that he never scored on any of his 158 touches. This year he already has ten touchdowns to lead all running backs. Gordon ran for 68 yards and two scores in Atlanta and caught six passes for 53 yards and a third touchdown in a game that was won by three points in overtime. For a guy that was just part of a committee backfield with Danny Woodhead, Gordon has made huge strides this year.
Drama 101 – Somebody has to Laugh, Somebody has to Cry
|QB||Tyrod Taylor||221/35||2||QB||Matt Ryan||273/8||1|
|RB||Shaun Draughn||53||1||RB||Terrance West||10||0|
|RB||Rashad Jennings||49||1||RB||Jordan Howard||22||0|
|WR||Kenny Stills||100||1||WR||Jordy Nelson||9||0|
|WR||Marquise Goodwin||93||1||WR||Allen Robinson||9||0|
|WR||Russell Shephard||77||1||WR||Amari Cooper||29||0|
|TE||Jack Doyle||78||1||TE||Martellus Bennett||5||0|
|PK||Josh Lambo||4 FG 3 XP||PK||Stephen Gostowski||3 XP|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 122||Huddle Fantasy Points = 24|
Sunday’s Couch Commentary
We didn’t have any very significant injuries this week other than LeSean McCoy re-aggravating his ankle injury which in turn will likely mean another game time decision this week. We’re at mid-season and starting to see new players turning in big games and some of those hot properties that started the year are fading. And it is not at all unusual that one or two very significant players are going to pop up over the next couple of weeks that then leads a fantasy team to their championship. It may already be over for the worse and most unfortunate teams in your league but even those that seem mediocre right now could have a timely turn around.
Seahawks 6, Cardinals 6
Wow. Just wow. This was as hard fought of a defensive game as you can see. Fantasy scoring aside, you had to appreciate what each defense accomplished. The visiting Seahawks gave up 342 passing yards to Carson Palmer but no touchdowns. David Johnson combined for 171 total yards and eight receptions but did not score. Larry Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 70 yards and did not score.
Russell Wilson threw for 225 yards and no score. Doug Baldwin was best of the bunch with 69 yards on six catches while Jimmy Graham ended with 53 yards on five catches and 3-35 came in overtime. This game was 3-0 until only 4:05 was left in the game and Steven Hauschka hit a 40-yard field goal to tie.
In overtime, the Cardinals won the coin toss and elected to receive. They reached the SEA-27 before stalling and Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 36-yard field goal for a 6-3 advantage. But – Seattle was to get their chance since the Cardinals failed to score a touchdown.
The Seahawks marched down to the ARI-18 when their drive stalled. Steven Hauschka kicked the 36-yard field goal to tie.
The Cardinals would reach the SEA-5 when J.J. Nelson gained 40 yards on a third-and-seven. Johnson ran to the one-yard line but was stuffed on third down. After a delay of game penalty, Catanzaro hit
the game winner and celebrated the left upright on his 24-yard attempt to keep the Seahawks alive.
Seattle went from their own 20-yard-line to reach the ARI-9 with 54 seconds left. They drained it down with a run by Christine Michael to center the ball and with 11 seconds, Hauschka
became the game winner hooked it left and missed a 28-yard field goal.
And so now we get to use that extra column on every standings. It was a surprisingly good roller coaster game and it showed that you can never take anything for granted. For a game without a touchdown, it was shout-worthy in many spots.
Sometimes you just end up where you started. And a whole lot can happen that a score can never reflect.
Now get back to work…