Running down Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Bills 29, Dolphins 10
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, N.Y.
So there’s the fourth overall pick in the draft. Following a ho-hum three-catch, 31-yard outing in Week 1 in which he was hampered by sore ribs, Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins was targeted a game-high 11 times Sunday and responded with eight catches, 117 yards and a TD.
Extra points: In the backfield, Fred Jackson had one more touch (14-13) than C.J. Spiller, but Spiller had more total yards (79-51) and also got you six points if your league counts special-teams TDs (102-yard kickoff return). … The Buffalo D came up with its second straight strong outing, recording four sacks, forcing four turnovers and allowing only 3.9 yards per play … Meanwhile, the defeat was only part of the bad news for the Dolphins, who got a 7-yard TD catch from Mike Wallace (5-56), but lost RB Knowshon Moreno (1-4) to a dislocated elbow in the first quarter. Moreno, the league’s rushing leader after Week 1, could miss up to 2 months. Lamar Miller responded with only 53 yards on 11 touches.
Redskins 41, Jaguars 10
FedEx Field; Landover, Md.
The day’s injury carnage effectively started here as RGIII (2-3-250 yards; 2-22 rushing) went down with a painful-looking dislocated ankle after throwing a pass early in the first quarter. Kirk Cousins came in and immediately directed a pair of TD drives. He finished 22-of-33 for 250 yards, two TDs and a pick.
Extra points: Alfred Morris (22-85) and Silas Redd (8-41) rushed for D.C. TDs, with Morris finding paydirt twice, while backup TE Niles Paul (8-99, TD on team-high 11 targets) led the team in receiving yards for the second straight week in place of injured starter Jordan Reed (hammy). … The Jags? A disaster with 148 total yards, a turnover and 10 sacks allowed. RB Toby Gerhart (7-8) went nowhere for the second straight week while TE Marcedes Lewis (2-71) provided the lone TD on a 63-yard reception. … Oh, and Week 1 surprise Allen Hurns caught only two passes for 13 yards on six targets and suffered an ankle injury on the meaningless final play of the game.
Cowboys 26, Titans 10
LP Field, Nashville
The Chiefs didn’t test the Titans in Week 1 with Jamaal Charles inexplicably getting only seven carries, but the Cowboys simply unleashed DeMarco Murray on Sunday, handing him the ball a career-high 29 times. The RB responded by reeling off 167 rushing yards and a score, bouncing back rather nicely from an early fumble. He now has rushed for 285 yards – a franchise high-water mark for the opening two games of a season.
Extra points: Tony Romo had an uneventful afternoon (19-29, 176 yards) after his three-pick performance a week ago, and 10 of his 19 completions, including his only TD pass, went to Dez Bryant, who shook off an early-game shoulder scare to finish with 103 yards. … TE Jason Witten, meanwhile, was quiet (4-32 on 7 targets) for the second straight week. … Tennessee QB Jake Locker (18-34, 234 yards, TD, pick) couldn’t match his strong Week 1 showing, but that didn’t stop TE Delanie Walker (10-142, TD) from finding the end zone for the second consecutive game. Veteran Shonn Greene (5-40) again led the team in rushing, but the Titans only ran the ball 13 times overall.
Cardinals 25, Giants 14
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Drew Stanton was Arizona’s surprise starter at QB after Carson Palmer was ruled out earlier in the day with a shoulder issue, and he struggled through a 14-for-29, 167-yard, no-TD effort in his first start since 2010.
Extra points: Some of the Larry Fitzgerald angst, though, was quelled with the wideout finishing with a team-leading six receptions for 51 yards on 10 targets and narrowly missing out on an early TD grab. … Andre Ellington and his sore foot received 15 of the Cards’ 25 RB carries and he finished with 91 yards and 10 more on a reception. However, it was Jonathan Dwyer (9-31) who scored the team’s lone offensive TD on a 1-yard first-quarter run. … The G-Men, meanwhile, improved on their Week 1 disaster in Detroit with Eli Manning completing 26 of 39 passes for 277 yards and scoring tosses to Rueben Randle (4-39) and TE Daniel Fells (1-1), but N.Y. still gave away four turnovers. … The struggles also continue for WR Victor Cruz (5-60 on 10 targets), who now has gone 12 straight games without a TD reception.
Patriots 30, Vikings 7
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
It didn’t start out that way with backup Matt Asiata capping the Vikes’ opening drive with a 25-yard scoring reception, but no Adrian Peterson was a big problem for the Vikings, who rushed for only 54 yards and averaged only 2.8 yards per carry. Asiata finished with 36 rushing yards on 13 attempts and caught a team-high five passes for 48 yards, while third-round pick Jerick McKinnon (2-7 rushing, 2-5 receiving) was hardly used.
Extra points: After a light Week 1, RB Stevan Ridley accounted for 25 of the Pats’ 37 rushes and finished with 101 yards and a TD. Shane Vereen, meanwhile, had only six rushes for 40 yards and a single reception for no gain. It’s the N.E. RBs we’re talking about here so don’t try to make any sense out of this. … Julian Edelman led the Pats’ WRs with six catches for 61 yards and a TD – marking his 10th consecutive game, including the 2013 postseason, with six or more catches – but that didn’t mean Tom Brady (15-of-22, 149 yards, TD) delivered for those who started him. … The Pats’ D, meanwhile, recorded six sacks, picked off Matt Cassel (19-36, 202 yards, TD) four times and took a blocked field goal to the house late in the first half.
Browns 26, Saints 24
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
The Browns’ big-name fantasy players, RB Ben Tate (knee) and TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) were both game-day inactives, but Cleveland still managed to come out ahead in a back-and-forth tussle with the Saints. Brian Hoyer directed the game-winning 85-yard drive but it wasn’t necessarily reflected on the fantasy stat sheet with 204 passing yards and a single TD.
Extra points: Terrance West (21-90, TD) topped fellow rookie RB Isaiah Crowell (12-57) in touches, total yards and fantasy points, while WRs Miles Austin (6-44, TD) and Andrew Hawkins (6-70) paced the Cleveland pass-catchers. … Like the rest of his Saints’ offensive teammates, TE Jimmy Graham started slow but finished with a flourish (10-118, 2 TDs) for his league-leading sixth multi-TD-catch game since the start of the 2013 season. WR Marques Colston, however, never got anything going, finishing with zeros across the board, while rookie wideout Brandin Cooks (3-17) hardly fared much better. … On the ground, Mark Ingram (14 touches-104 yards, TD) continues to look like the Saints’ best back.
Bengals 24, Falcons 10
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Cincy RB Giovanni Bernard (27-90, TD rushing & 5-79 receiving) continues to produce big time for his fantasy owners, but the Bengals’ other fantasy stud, WR A.J. Green, left early with what was later called a foot-ligament strain and wasn’t even in long enough to be targeted Sunday.
Extra points: In addition to Bernard’s 32 touches, the Bengals still found 17 for rookie RB Jeremy Hill, who finished with 96 total yards and scored his first NFL TD, while Mohamed Sanu led the squad with 84 receiving yards and a TD on three catches. … Andy Dalton didn’t decide many fantasy matchups but was an efficient 15-of-23 passing for 252 yards and the TD toss. … Meanwhile, Matt Ryan barely threw for half of his Week 1-leading 448 yards, finishing 24-of-44 for 231 yards, a TD and a trio of picks. Steven Jackson (11-46) led the Birds’ rushers, while Julio Jones (7-88, TD on 13 targets) topped the team’s pass-catchers.
Panthers 24, Lions 7
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Cam Newton came through with a strong outing (281 yards, TD passing; 4-19 rushing) in his 2014 debut, while the Carolina D did the rest, forcing three turnovers and notching four sacks while limiting the Lions to a single touchdown.
Extra points: RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) couldn’t go for the Panthers, leaving the starting duties to long-time running mate Jonathan Stewart , who made a 37-total-yard day look a whole lot better by tacking on a 2-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth quarter. … TE Greg Olsen (6-72-1) – who else? – led the Panthers in receiving, but Newton’s lone TD pass was snared by wideout Jason Avant (5-54). Meanwhile, rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin was targeted a team-high eight times but struggled with drops and finished with two catches for 46 yards. … Matthew Stafford (291 yards, TD, pick) came close but couldn’t connect with Calvin Johnson (6-83, 13 targets) for a score, while Joique Bell (10-36 rushing, 6-61 receiving) led all Lions in yards from scrimmage. Detroit’s lone TD? Scored by FB Jed Collins, naturally, on a 1-yard reception.
Rams 19, Buccaneers 17
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
The Rams rebounded from their Week 1 woes with a road win, and RB Zac Stacy (19-71, TD) and kicker Greg Zuerlein (four FGs) served as the fantasy standouts.
Extra points: Per coaching decision, second-year QB Austin Davis got his first NFL start, and did just fine, completing 22-of-29 passes for 235 yards without a turnover. Brian Quick (7-74 on 9 targets) was the team’s leading receiver for the second-straight week. … Doug Martin (knee) was inactive, but Bobby Rainey (22-144) and QB Josh McCown (2-6, 2 TDs) more than picked up the rushing slack. … McCown, though, wasn’t as proficient through the air (179 yards, no TDs, interception) with WRs Vincent Jackson (4-51) and Mike Evans (4-49) serving as his top pass-catchers.
Chargers 30, Seahawks 21
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
So who had Philip Rivers (28-of-37, 284 yards, 3 TDs) and Antonio Gates (7-96, 3 TDs) finishing among the fantasy studs while slicing up the Seattle D? Yeah, that happened Sunday with the Bolts piling up 26 first downs, 377 total yards and a whopping 42:15-17:45 advantage in possession time.
Extra points: It wasn’t all good news, though, for San Diego which saw starting RB Ryan Mathews (11-31 rushing, 2-26 receiving) depart after suffering a third-quarter knee injury. … For the ‘Hawks, Russell Wilson threw for 202 yards and two TDs and ran for 18 yards on two carries. … Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch only carried six times, but gained 36 yards and salvaged his fantasy day with a receiving TD and 27 yards on four catches. Thanks to a 51-yard TD run that wasn’t – hello, replay command center? – WR Percy Harvin led Seattle with 45 rushing yards on two carries, while wideout Jermaine Kearse paced the squad in catches (4) and receiving yards (61).
Texans 30, Raiders 14
O.Co Coliseum, Oakland
J.J. Watt’s IDP-league owners didn’t get any tackles or sacks from the DE, just a 1-yard TD reception to open the Houston rout in the Black Hole.
Extra points: Arian Foster (28-138, TD rushing) had at least 29 touches and 120 total yards for the second straight week, and WR DeAndre Hopkins (3-22) found the end zone again while Andre Johnson (6-74) didn’t. … For the Silver & Black, Derek Carr threw for 263 yards, a late-game TD and led the team with 58 rushing yards on four scrambles. … Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) was inactive, and Darren McFadden stepped in with 68 total yards and a TD on 14 touches. … James Jones (9-112) had a garbage-time TD grab for the second consecutive outing, but, hey, it all adds up the same in the end.
Packers 31, Jets 24
Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wis.
The Jets jumped out to a 21-3 second-quarter lead, but that only set the stage for huge fantasy days for Aaron Rodgers (25-of-42, 346, 3 TDs), and WRs Jordy Nelson (9-coreer-high 209-1) and Randall Cobb (5-39, 2 TDs).
Extra points: Eddie Lacy? Not so much as the RB finished with a pedestrian 43 rushing on 13 carries and two receptions for 18 yards. … For the visitors, Geno Smith threw for 176 yards and a TD and ran for 26 yards and another TD. He should’ve also had a game-tying TD pass late in the contest, but an untimely Rex Ryan timeout call negated that. … Chris Ivory (13-43, TD) was New York’s leading rusher, while Chris Johnson (12-21) struggled. … Eric Decker (4-63, TD) paced the team in receiving on seven targets before leaving with a fourth-quarter hamstring issue.
Broncos 24, Chiefs 17
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Another game, more fantasy injury carnage with K.C. stud Jamaal Charles seeing his afternoon end with an ankle injury on his third touch of the game. He finished with two carries for 4 yards and a reception for eight more, before Knile Davis (22-79, 2 TDs rushing; 6-26 receiving) finished up with a huge, Charles-like day.
Extra points: For the second straight game, Peyton Manning put up a trio of first-half touchdown passes, only to be kept out of the end zone for the remainder of the contest. Demaryius Thomas (5-62) and TEs Julius Thomas (4-39) and Jacob Tamme (1-4) were on the receiving end of the TD tosses, while Emmanuel Sanders (8-108 on team-high 9 targets), believe it or not, posted his first career 100-yard receiving game. … Alex Smith had a good day throwing (26-of-42, 255 yards) and running (5-42) in helping K.C. dominate the Denver D and the time of possession, but couldn’t produce a TD for his fantasy owners. … TE Travis Kelce (4-81) easily led the Chiefs in receiving yardage, while WR Dwayne Bowe (3-40) didn’t do much in his 2014 debut.
Bears 28, 49ers 20
Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.
Game-time decision? Those fantasy GMs who stuck with Brandon Marshall and his injured ankle in the Sunday night tilt were rewarded with five catches, 48 yards and three touchdowns as Chicago rallied to wreck the Niners’ opening night their new digs. Fellow wideout Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) also played but finished with a modest three receptions for 47 yards on six targets.
Extra points: Jay Cutler threw for only 176 yards, but had a quartet of TD tosses and didn’t turn the ball over, but Matt Forte (12-21 rushing, 5-15 receiving) was bottled up. … There were four QB turnovers in the game, and they all belonged to Colin Kaepernick who tossed three interceptions and fumbled once while throwing for 248 yards and a TD and pacing San Fran with 66 rushing yards on nine attempts. … Frank Gore (13-63) found the end zone, and so did WR Michael Crabtree, who led the Niners with seven catches for 82 yards on nine targets. TE Vernon Davis caught three passes for 39 yards before departing with a fourth-quarter ankle injury.