As we enter Week 9, when six teams are on their bye weeks, there are a few cool streaks and stats worth giving a nod.
We have seen an offensive touchdown in 11 straight games from Todd Gurley. The NFL record is 18, held by LaDainian Tomlinson (2004-05).
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, 45, now has 2,547 career points, passing Morten Andersen (2,544) for the most points in NFL history.
The Patrick Mahomes Tracker now has him up to five career games with at least four TD passes, which comes in second since the 1970 merger behind Dan Marino’s six through two seasons of play. It seems inevitable Mahomes will match or exceed Marino’s number this year.
15: The number of career touchdowns by the Washington Redskins’ Adrian Peterson that spanned at least 50 yards, tying Barry Sanders for the most all time by a running back. At 33, Peterson finished with 149 rushing yards Sunday, leading the week, and tied for the third most in a game in NFL history by a player at least 33 years old. The only players with more at that age were John Riggins (165) and John Henry Johnson (200), according to
@EliasSports. There is no reason to get away from him, but his age and violent style open Peterson up to an increased chance of injury. It would be wise to handcuff Samaje Perine sooner than later.
It has been a wild season for Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen. In the last four games, he has averaged 13 touches, 122 offensive yards, 9.4 yards per touch and four touchdowns. The three previous outings looked like this: 7 touches per game, 44.7 yards, 6.7 yards per touch and no scores. During the successful window, he faced Tampa Bay, Miami, New England and the New York Jets — hardly great defenses. The upcoming schedule doesn’t get much more difficult, with meetings against Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota and Detroit again in the next month. Continue to ride the hot hand.
Assuming Eli Manning survives the bye week as the starter, which I fully expect will be the case, he has a pair of strong fantasy matchups ahead. The New York Giants face San Francisco and Tampa Bay immediately following the Week 9 break, which could extend his small streak of consecutive 300-plus-yard games to four. The current back-to-back efforts mark the first time since Weeks 2-3 of 2016 in which he has done such. Depending how the bye week shakes out, at least the Giants will have added time to prepare for the 49ers.
Looking for buy-low trade or stash targets? These players are among those with the best remaining strength of schedule at their positions: Joe Flacco, Dak Prescott, Case Keenum, Eli Manning, Jalen Richard/Doug Martin, Rashaad Penny, Javorius Allen, Willie Snead, D.J. Moore, Christian Kirk, Cooper Kupp, Tre’Quan Smith, Keke Coutee, David Njoku, Benjamin Watson, Jeff Heuerman, Ricky Seals-Jones.
Two reasons must play a role when evaluating DeVante Parker. The Miami Dolphins receiver racked up 134 yards on six catches, including 46-yard catch as a result of a ball ricocheting off a helmet into his arms in Week 8. Remove this play and he finished with a respectable but underwhelming 5-88-0 line. There has been considerable chatter regarding him being shipped to another team before Tuesday’s trade deadline, and this performance could be just the audition he needed. At some point, if Parker stays, Kenny Stills will return and relegate him to a reserve role. In the event Parker is dealt, he then has to start fresh during the midpoint of the season. Either way, the universe aligned for one night in his career.
Entering Week 8, the Seattle Seahawks ranked among the best defenses of wideouts in fantasy football since Week 1. However, a closer look revealed it was all matchup-driven after facing Chicago, Dallas, Arizona, the Los Angeles Rams and Oakland. We told you on the Huddle Up! Podcast last week do not to be afraid of playing Detroit receivers, even though the trio had been just average of late. Marvin Jones’ 30.7 PPR points and Golden Tate’s 12.3 validate the idea of this secondary being overrated. The defense focused on keeping Kenny Golladay from hitting a home run, and that worked, so perhaps there’s something to identifying the player this unit may be most afraid of on a weekly basis — kind of like how New England does it. The next three games, against LAC, LAR and GB, will truly expose this secondary as being fraudulent.
Just a few words on Seahawks tight end Ed Dickson … he made his season debut and went for two for 54 and one TD. While the position has been thin this year, don’t feel overly interested in playing him beyond Week 9. He’s a wild flier for a touchdown against a Los Angeles Chargers defense that has given up three touchdowns in its last four games to the position. We have a career worth of footage to know Dickson tends to flash and never can string it together.
With six teams on vacation next week, there are several players entering fantasy lineups with whom we may not find particular comfort. Plug your nose and consider the following options: QB C.J. Beathard vs. Oakland, WR Anthony Miller at Buffalo, WR Jermaine Kearse at Miami, TE Austin Hooper at Washington, TE Chris Herndon at Miami, WR Tajae Sharpe at Dallas. Opportunity plus matchup generally equals acceptable return on investment.
Fantasy football owners need to sit running back Matt Breida until he’s healthy, even if San Fran won’t do it. He ran 16 times for just 42 yards in Week 8 against one of the worst defenses of his position in fantasy — after exiting early the prior game when Breida aggravated his ankle injury. This backfield split is frustrating if you handcuffed Alfred Morris or Raheem Mostert to the oft-injured Breida. For now, it is best to shy away entirely.
This one intrigues me a little. Philadelphia gave rookie rusher Josh Adams four carries in Week 7, and he acquitted himself well enough with a 4.2 yards-per-tote average. In London, vs. the Jaguars, Adams saw his workload jump to 10 touches, going for 61 yards on his nine runs — 6.8 per handle. His frame (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) gives this backfield much-needed size after the loss of Jay Ajayi. Philly enters its bye, but gamers need to stash Adams despite the uneven upcoming schedule.
Fantasy aside for a moment: The New York Giants need to blow this up completely after the season, though it would not be a huge problem if it was done during the Week 9 bye. It would send a message. With my preference to wait, fire first-year head coach Pat Shurmur after the season and pursue former Giants tight end and current assistant to Sean Payton, Dan Campbell. He knows how to handle the local-area media and is the type of personality capable of corralling superstars’ egos. Given Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract’s structure, the Giants would take a ridiculous cap hit in dead money by trading him that would take priority over the desire to send a message of cultural change. It wouldn’t be financially prudent to trade him in the offseason leading up to 2020.
Changing quarterbacks in 2018 may feel necessary, although my fear would be that if Kyle Lauletta truly is New York’s future starter, throwing him out there now could destroy his confidence and/or body with the laughably sad way this offensive line is blocking. We often hear Manning needs to get rid of it sooner, but his average time to throw (removing sacks) is 2.6 seconds, or tied for sixth fastest. This reflects two things: pressure faced and quick thinking on his part. You can bet a small-school rookie won’t react as fast. The real problem with Manning has been a lack of downfield shots. Only four QBs have been worse in average intended air yards per attempt.