Tunnel vision of Week 9

Tunnel vision of Week 9

Game Analysis

Tunnel vision of Week 9

Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts

SUNDAY SALUTES
Quarterbacks Yards P/R TD
Tyrod Taylor 285/35 3
Russell Wilson 297/77 2
Jared Goff 311 4
Dak Prescott 249/27 3
Carson Wentz 199/8 4
Running Backs Yards TD
Alvin Kamara 152 2
Corey Clement 66 3
Matt Forte 96 2
Todd Gurley 104 2
Carlos Hyde 125 0
Wide Receivers Yards TD
T.Y. Hilton 175 2
Alshon Jeffery 84 2
Doug Baldwin 108 1
Terrance Williams 141 0
Robert Woods 70 2
Tight Ends Yards TD
Travis Kelce 73 1
Evan Engram 70 1
Julius Thomas 84 1
Jared Cook 126 0
Trey Burton 41 1
Placekickers XP FG
Greg Zuerlein 6 3
Brandon McManus 2 3
Josh Lambo 2 3
Chandler Catanzaro 4 2
Jake Elliot 6 1
Defense Sck/TO TD
Saints 4/1 1
Jaguars 2/0 1
Cardinals 5/2 0
Jets 6/3 0
Texans 3/1 1

Ryan Griffin – Concussion
Jameis Winston – Shoulder
Julio Jones – Hip
A.J. Green – Ejection
George Kittle – Leg
Carlos Hyde – Ejection
Kyle Juszczyk – Neck
Trent Taylor – Ribs
Eddie Lacy – Groin
Dez Bryant – Ankle
Terrance Williams – Knee

Chasing ambulances

Jameis Winston – He’s played through a sprained AC joint in his shoulder for two weeks, and he hasn’t been any benefit to the team. He threw for 210 yards and two interceptions against the Panthers in Week 8 and then was pulled at halftime in the Saints matchup having only completed 7 of 13 passes for 67 yards. He needs to let his shoulder heal. If he does, then Ryan Fitzpatrick starts against the same Jets that let Tyrod Taylor throw for 285 yards and two scores.

Eddie Lacy – Named as the primary back, Lacy was destined to take the biggest chunk of carries but injured his groin after only six runs for 20 yards in the loss to the Redskins. Thomas Rawls ran for 39 yards on nine carries – better at least compared to Lacy. Should Lacy not play in Week 10 – and there seem to be few reasons to regardless of healthy – then Rawls will get the heavier load in Arizona this week.

Chasing paddy wagons

Carlos Hyde and A.J. Green were ejected from their respective games for fighting and throwing punches. Mike Evans was not ejected despite his actions being no less flagrant than Hyde or Green. The trio will likely be fined but the question is if they get suspended – including Evans.

The weekend had other non-fantasy relevant ejections and it proved to be a testy set of matchups. The NFL could elect to make one or more an example and suspend any of the three. And all are critical to the success of their offenses. This is not a direction the league will tolerate.

Notable performances

Deonte Thompson – The Bills acquired Kelvin Benjamin and will make him the “X” receiver (split end). Jordan Mathews plays in the slot and Thompson was the “Z” (flanker). Zay Jones played the “X” last week when he scored his first touchdown and ended 6-53 against the Jets. With Benjamin playing this week, it will cause both Jones and Thompson to share the spot.  Thompson led the Bills with seven catches for 81 yards and a score. Though both Thompson and Jones had their best stat lines, they will both see less playing time with Benjamin on board.

Cam Newton – His shoulder has been an issue all year and the passing stats were already in decline. With the leading receiver Kelvin Benjamin gone, Newton turned in his worst passing game of the year – 134 yards and no scores. He ran for 86 yards and one touchdown but his receivers are not filling the void left by Benjamin. Devin Funchess (5-86) was respectable enough as the new No. 1 wideout, but Curtis Samuel (3-23) and Russell Shepard (no catches) are not likely to make any difference this year. The Panthers also ran the ball 26 times not counting what Newton did (9-86, TD).  Bottom line – losing Benjamin is likely to make Newton worth even less as a passer.

Tom Savage – The loss of Deshaun Watson is catastrophic. Tom Savage threw for 219 yards and one score in the loss to the visiting Colts. The encouraging news is that Savage threw 16 passes to DeAndre Hopkins (6-86, TD). The disappointing news is that Will Fuller (2-32) is no longer the automatic two-touchdowns we’ve been used to seeing. And that was during the loss to the visiting Colts. At least there’s still Week 14 when the 49ers visit.

Chris Ivory – Leonard Fournette was a surprise – nay shocking – inactive on Sunday. He missed a team photo at the least and was rumored to miss a team meeting and a therapy session. That left Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon to fill in. In Week 7, Fournette was out and Ivory ran for 47 yards on 17carries with one touchdown. Yeldon ran for 122 yards on nine carries with one score and caught two passes for 22 yards. Afterwards, HC Doug Marrone said that Yeldon deserved more work. But it didn’t happen.  Yeldon ran 11 times for 41 yards and had two catches for 11 yards. But Ivory ran 20 times for 70 yards and caught three passes for 34 yards. So Fournette owners – throw Yeldon back and grab Ivory.

Doug Martin –  Just as troubling as the decline in the passing, Martin’s role in the backfield prompts concern. He’s been good enough at home with over 70 total yards each time but on the road, he’s been no advantage. On Sunday, he was held to only seven yards on eight carries while Peyton Barber was given 11 runs to gain 34 yards. Martin was never thrown a pass while Barber caught two for 20 yards. At the least, Barber appears to have passed Jacquizz Rodgers as the No. 2 back. This week against the visiting Jets will be interesting because Martin hasn’t been effective in three games.

NY Giants – They had the look of a team that quit. They surrendered 311 yards and four scores to Jared Goff and were burned for long scores by both Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. The entirety of the Giants passing game has contracted to just Even Engram and Sterling Shepard and the offense is not moving the ball.  They crumbled in a home game and there’s speculation that HC Ben  McAdoo lost the team. Giving up 51 points at home is no way to keep your job.

Brock Osweiler – He threw for 208 yards and one score with two interceptions. He had a QB rating of 53.4 compared to the 118.7 that Carson Wentz had in the same game. He’s no answer but he wasn’t expected to be. At least he maintained stats for Demaryius Thomas (8-70, TD) but no one else. The Broncos only rushed for 35 yards on 19 carries since the Eagles felt free to stack the line. The Broncos may start Paxton Lynch this week against the Patriots but the fantasy prospects for all Broncos remain low.

Jay Ajayi – His debut in Philadelphia went well with 77 yards and a score on eight carries including a 46-yard touchdown run. But LeGarrette Blount ran for 37 yards on nine carries and Corey Clement ran 12 times for 51 yards and scored twice plus caught a 15-yard pass for a third touchdown. Even Wendell Smallwood ran five times for 25 yards. The Eagles are on bye this week but when they return, it will be an even bigger headache forecasting which back will receive whatever workload. There may not be 34 carries to divvy up each week. Ajayi looked great but he may not receive much more than the eight carries he had this week. This is the worst of all situations – a committee backfield that works.

Corey Davis – The top-drafted rookie wideout returned to play this week after nursing a hamstring strain for the last seven weeks. He was limited to only two catches for 28 yards on his five targets. In fairness, only Rishard Matthews had more targets (7) but the hot rookie is essentially starting over with only one other full game back in the season opener. He faces strong secondaries of the Bengals and Steelers next as well.

Drew Stanton – Carson Palmer is on injured reserve and Stanton comes off his first start. He passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in the win over the 49ers.That worked out best for Larry Fitzgerald (5-70) though he typically had monster games when facing them.  No other receivers had fantasy-relevant production.

Adrian Peterson – While he flopped in Los Angeles against the Rams, he ran for 134 yards and two scores in his Arizona debut in Week 6. Peterson was again called on with a heavy workload when he rushed 37 times for 159 yards in the win over the 49ers. With Palmer out and every reason to protect Stanton, Peterson ran for a  career high. That bodes well for the rest of the season.

Cole Beasley – The diminutive slot receiver only caught four passes for 24 yards but two went for touchdowns. With Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant both leaving the game injured. Beasley may figure in even more this week in Atlanta.

Jared Cook – He caught eight passes for 126 yards in the win over the Dolphins and that’s the second time in three weeks that he broke the century mark. The Raiders have been desperate to expand the receivers beyond just Michael Crabtree scoring touchdowns and Amari Cooper dropping passes. Cook is stepping up into that role.

Devante Parker – He left in Week 5 with an ankle sprain but returned on Sunday to catch five passes for 76 yards. That’s right in line with all other starts that ranged between 69 and 85 yards. He’s scored only once so far but has offered solid yardage and receptions in every game.

Sunday Snippets

ATL 17, CAR 20
Cam Newton won but only threw for 137 yards and no scores. He ran for 86 yards and a score along with Christian McCaffrey who totaled 94 yards along with his rushing touchdown. Living without Kelvin Benjamin is good for Devin Funchess (5-86) but no other receivers. Matt Ryan passed for 313 yards and two scores but the only decent fantasy player was Julio Jones (6-118) who dropped – DROPPED – what would have been the winning score. This game felt like it should have been a lot more points. The 4-4 Falcons host the Cowboys this week while the 6-3 Panthers welcome the Dolphins.

IND 20, HOU 14
Well… how about those Astros! The difference between having Deshaun Watson and not is like the difference between going to war with a gun or a whiffle ball bat. Tom Savage passed for 219 yards and one score but most of that came late and in the end, he could not pull out the comeback. The lone positive is that DeAndre Hopkins (6-86, TD) still produced but Will Fuller (2-32) is back to sweeping out the chimney for his evil stepmother. Jacoby Brissett passes for 308 yards and two scores that both went to T.Y. Hilton (5-175, 2 TD) The win sends the 3-6 Colts back home to host the Steelers and the 3-5 Texans head west to play the Rams. But man – how about those Astros!

CIN 7,  JAX 23
Leonard Fournette was inactive when he discovered that no, he cannot take a day off whenever he wants. No matter. The Jaguars defense was enough to win this game and the Bengals cannot withstand A.J. Green being ejected. Andy Dalton only passed for 136 yards Joe Mixon saved a disaster by scoring a touchdown along with his 46  total yards.  Chris Ivory totaled 104 yards and Marqise Lee (8-75, TD) had the rare good game. But this was a low scoring affair that only had the Jaguars defense as a reliable fantasy play. The 3-5 Bengals head to Tennessee while the 5-3 Jaguars host the Chargers.

TB 10, NO 30
It just seems so wrong when the Saints hold their opponent to only 135 passing yards and one touchdown. The Buccaneers lost Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t any better. No receiver gained more than two catches or 25 yards.  Doug Martin ran for seven yards. Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and two scores while Alvin Kamara ran for 68 and caught six passes for 84 yards with a total of two touchdowns. Ted Ginn (4-59, TD) was the only decent start since Michael Thomas (6-85) failed to score. The 2-6 Buccaneers host the Jets this week and the 6-2 Saints head to Buffalo.

LA 51,  NYG 17

The Giants offense is so bad that now their defense doesn’t work. Jared Goff passed for 311 yards and four touchdowns and even sat out the end of the game. Robert Woods (4-70, 2 TD) and Sammy Watkins (1-67, TD) led the scoring while Todd Gurley settled for 104 total yards and two touchdowns. Eli Manning threw for 220 yards and two scores but had several errant passes and was lucky to only throw one interception. Evan Engram (4-70, TD) and Sterling Shepard (5-70) were the only notable receivers and that should be true for throughout the rest of the season. Now the 1-7 Giants head to San Francisco where a second win is at least possible. And the 6-2 Rams host the suddenly reeling Texans.

BAL 20, TEN 23
The Ravens made a game of this with a final touchdown with 46 seconds left to play. Joe Flacco threw for 261 yards and two scores but with two interceptions. Jeremy Maclin (8-98) and Javorius Allen (7-44, TD as a receiver, 21 yards as a rusher).  Marcus Mariota passed for 218 yards and two scores with Ryan Matthews (4-70, TD) as the best play. Derrick Henry (8-26, TD) and DeMarco Murray (9-19) had little running room but at least Henry scored.  This was another ho-hum game. The 4-5 Ravens head into their bye while the 5-3 Titans host the Bengals.

WAS 17, SEA 14
Another ho-hum game. The Redskins took the win with two scores from Rob Kelley who only gained 18 yards on 14 runs. Vernon Davis (6-72) was the only decent receiver. The Seahawks opened the game with a safety but lost in part to the two interceptions thrown by Russell Wilson who passed for 297 yards and two scores and was the leading rusher with 77 yards. Doug Baldwin (7-108, TD) was the only notable receiver. Neither team could run but the Seahawks balanced better passing with the turnovers. The 4-4 Redskins host the Vikings this week and the 5-3 Seahawks head to Arizona.

ARI 20, SF 10
No surprise here, including the lack of points. Drew Stanton passed for 201 yards and two scores while Larry Fitzgerald (5-70) was the top receiver. Adrian Peterson ran 37 times for 159 yards as the Cards pounded the 49ers. C.J. Beathard threw for 294 yards and one interception. But the only good fantasy play was Carlos Hyde with 41 rush yards and a team-high nine receptions for 84 yards.  That may be true in each game for the rest of the year. Now the 4-4 Cardinals host the Seahawks and the 0-9 49ers  host the Giants for their best shot at an actual win of the year.

KC 17, DAL 28
The Cowboys may have saved their season with this win. For the second week in a row, Kareem Hunt (61 total yards) was held below 100 yards. Alex Smith threw for 263 yards and two scores that were divided by Travis Kelce (7-73, TD) and Tyreek Hill (2-64, TD) but 56 of those passing yards came on the improbable 56-yard touchdown on the last play of the first half. Dak Prescott threw for 249 yards and two scores and added 27 yards and a touchdown on his three runs. Terrance Williams (9-141) had a freakishly good game while Cole Beasley (4-24, 2 TD) caught the scores. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 93 yards and one score in his last game before suspension. The 6-3 Chiefs head into the bye and the 5-3 Cowboys travel to Atlanta.

OAK 27, MIA24
Not a bad game considering the opponents. Derek Carr passed for 300 yards and one score while Jared Cook (8-126) had his best performance in five years. Marshawn Lynch (14-57, 2 TD)  returned from suspension to score twice. Amari Cooper (4-58) and Michael Crabtree (3-40) were not major factors. Jay Cutler threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns for his best effort since 2014. Davante Parker (5-76) is back and Julius Thomas (6-84, TD) ended with his best effort since 2015. Kenyan Drake (104 total yards) and Damien Williams (62 total yards, TD) split what one Jay Ajayi would have done. The 3-5 Raiders head into their bye and the 4-3 Dolphins travel to Carolina.

Huddle player of the week

T.Y Hilton  –  No player defines hot and cold like T.Y. Hilton who totaled only five catches for 61 yards over his last three games combined.  The game before that? Seven catches for 177 yards versus the 49ers.  This week – five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns. It only happens about once every month, but Hilton can lay down major fantasy points if only occasionally.

Salute!

Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Tyrod Taylor 320 3 QB Jameis Winston 67 0
RB Matt Forte 96 2 RB Doug Martin 7 0
RB Corey Clement 66 3 RB LeSean  McCoy 25 0
WR Terrance Williams 141 0 WR A.J. Green 6 0
WR Deonte Thompson 81 1 WR Mike Evans 13 0
WR Cole Beasley 24 2 WR Will Fuller 32 0
TE Trey Burton 41 1 TE Jason Witten 5 0
PK Greg Zuerlein 3 FG 6  XP PK Blair Walsh nada
Huddle Fantasy Points = 142 Huddle Fantasy Points = 8

Sunday’s couch commentary

While six games ended with 40 total points or less,  there were six teams with 27 points or more and even two with exactly 51 points. This was the week with many fights and ejections of fantasy stars. No quarterback passed for more than 313 yards and the highest scoring players were Tyrod Taylor, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Jay Cutler and Jacoby Brissett. This of that next time you want to burn an early draft pick on a quarterback.

The Game-o-the-Week

Broncos 23, Eagles 51

This wasn’t close. At one point, the Eagles led 44-9 in the fourth quarter. And the Broncos had a dominating run defense and one of the top secondaries in the NFL. At least they did before they reached Philly.

By the time the beatdown was over, Carson Wentz had thrown for 199 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the game on the sidelines. Alshon Jeffery (6-84, 2 TD) and Trey Burton (2-42, TD) were the top receivers. Jay Ajayi ran for 77 yards and a score on eight carries. LeGarrette Blount ended with 37 yards on nine runs and Corey Clement ran 12 times to gain 51 yards and two scores plus caught a 15-yard pass. No player had a monster game besides Clement and Jeffery and there were 51 points to distribute. Five players scored at least once.

Brock Osweiler threw for 208 yards and a score but only Demaryius Thomas (8-70, TD) mattered. The Broncos had almost no rushing effort and ran just 19 times as a team.

It was a statement game by the Eagles facing what had been a very good defense. The Eagles go into their bye while the Broncos host the Patriots.

The season is past the halfway mark and fantasy playoffs are on the horizon in a month or so. We just made it through a week without losing any major players. Even better, we have the Ezekiel Elliott saga wrapping up finally this week.

Yeah. I don’t buy it either.

Now get back to work…

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