Running down Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Eagles 37, Redskins 34
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
If Jordan Matthews was still available in your league, the rookie wideout won’t be this week after hauling in a pair of touchdown catches among his eight receptions for 58 yards. He was targeted nine times and looks to be the Eagles’ best pass-catching option not named Jeremy Maclin.
Extra points: Speaking of Maclin, he led Philly with 153 yards and a TD on eight grabs as he was targeted a team-high 10 times by Nick Foles who threw for 325 yards and doubled his season TD pass total by tossing a trio of scoring strikes. … Of course none of this is any consolation for LeSean MCoy and Darren Sproles owners as the two RBs stunningly combined for only 21 rushes for 42 yards, three catches for 30 yards (all by Sproles) and a fumble. … For D.C., the Offense-is-Better-With-Kirk Cousins momentum shifted into high gear after a 30-of-48, 427-yard, three-TD, one-pick performance by the QB. … WRs Pierre Garcon (11-138, TD, 16 targets) and DeSean Jackson (5-117, TD, 11 targets) were the big pass-catching beneficiaries. You just knew Jackson would have something special for his former fans in Philly. … Alfred Morris (23-77) didn’t score but FB Darrel Young (1-1 rushing, 1-4 receiving) did for the third straight game.
Giants 30, Texans 17
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Arian Foster (hamstring) didn’t play, but Rashad Jennings sure did, and he shredded the Houston D with a career-high 176 rushing yards and a TD on 34 carries. With Foster out, it was rookie Alfred Blue with the clear edge in touches (14-2) and total yards (88-36) over Jonathan Grimes.
Extra points: For once, Eli Manning (21-of-28, 234 yards, 2 TDs) was the QB without a turnover as the Texans’ Ryan Fitzpatrick (289 passing yards, 34 rushing, 1 TD apiece) was picked off three times. … Meanwhile, there was a Victor Cruz sighting – in the end zone no less – as the WR finished with five catches for 107 yards and a TD to end a 12-game scoreless streak. … Meanwhile, the TD-less streak for Andre Johnson (4-24, team-high 11 targets) hit 10 straight games as second-year WR DeAndre Hopkins (9 targets, 6-116) and newcomer Damaris Johnson (2, 2-56, TD) hogged the Houston WR fantasy points.
Saints 20, Vikings 9
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Drew Brees was back home in the dome, but while his 27-of-35, 293-yard, 2-TD outing was certainly top-10 fantasy worthy, it still fell short of the QB’s own lofty home standards, as he failed to throw for either 300 yards or three TDs for the first time in his last 13 games in the Big Easy.
Extra points: Khiry Robinson got the bulk of the rushing attempts (18-69) in Mark Ingram’s absence, but it was Pierre Thomas (8-30, 3-21 receiving) who scored on a short TD run. … Rookie wideout Brandin Cooks (10 targets, 8-74) and TE Jimmy Graham (8, 6-54) led N.O. in both targets and receptions, but Brees’ TD tosses went to reserve TE Josh Hill (2-48) and WR Marques Colston (2-25), who bounced back from a rare no-catch outing a week ago. … For Minny, it’s now officially Teddy (Bridgewater) Time. Starting QB Matt Cassel (5-10, 53 yards) went down with a broken foot early in the second quarter and was replaced by the first-round pick, who finished 12-of-20 for 150 yards and 6-27 rushing but couldn’t get the Vikes into the end zone, either. … Matt Asiata (12-35 rushing, 3-36 receiving) continues to get the bulk of rushing duties, while WR Cordarrelle Patterson (4-61 receiving, 1-minus-7 rushing) had his second straight quiet game after his 18-point fantasy day in the opener. … TE Kyle Rudolph also had another unimpressive outing (3-27 on 5 targets) and now will need an MRI on his injured groin.
Bengals 33, Titans 7
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Cincy used the Mohamed Sanu-to-Andy Dalton connection for its only aerial TD. Yeah, you read that right as the QB handed it off to the wideout and outduelled a DB to haul in the throwback pass before taking it 18 yards for the score on the final play of the first quarter. It semi-salvaged otherwise disappointing fantasy days for Dalton (163 passing yards) and Sanu (5-44 on 8 targets).
Extra points: Speaking of fantasy-salvage efforts, Giovanni Bernard gained only 54 total yards on 15 touches, but found the end zone twice, while rookie Jeremy Hill (7-39) rushed for a second-half TD for the second straight week. … By the way, no worries about A.J. Green and his ailing foot as the WR had a healthy six catches for 102 yards on a team-high nine targets and now gets a bye week to rest. … For the Titans, it was as bleak as the final score suggests as Jake Locker (185 yards passing, 50 rushing, 2 interceptions), Delanie Walker (5-54), Kendall Wright (5-44 on 10 targets) and Justin Hunter (3-37) were all held in check. … Rookie Bishop Sankey led the Titans in rushing with a 10-61 effort, but Shonn Greene (10-33) scored Tennessee’s only TD. … And yeah, this Cincy D (6 interceptions, league-low 33 points allowed in 3 games) is for real.
Ravens 23, Browns 21
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
Baltimore got the win and may have found a new starting RB in rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (18-91, TD), but lost starting TE Dennis Pitta (3-12) to a potential season-ending hip injury.
Extra points: As for the Ravens’ WRs, it was more of the same with Triple-S, Steve Smith Sr. (5-101 on 7 targets) coming up big and Torrey Smith (2-25) faltering despite a more concerted effort to get him the ball (team-high 8 targets). … For the Browns, rookie RBs Isaiah Crowell (11-55, TD) and Terrance West (12-36, TD) continue to produce in place of the injured Ben Tate, while WRs Andrew Hawkins (7-87, 10 targets) and Miles Austin (6-51, TD) did likewise in the stead of the suspended Josh Gordon. TE Jordan Cameron was back after missing Week 2 with a bum shoulder, but he caught only one pass for 23 yards on a trio of targets.
Lions 19, Packers 7
Ford Field, Detroit
Fantasy points aplenty were expected here, but who had the Detroit D (TD, safety, fumble recovery, 2 sacks, 7 points allowed) leading the way?
Extra points: That, of course, means struggles and off-days all around for the likes of Aaron Rodgers (162 yards, TD), Matthew Stafford (246 yards, 2 picks), Eddie Lacy (45 total yards, fumble), Jordy Nelson (5-59, 7 targets), Joique Bell (15-33 rushing) and Calvin Johnson (6-82, 10 targets) – especially by his Megatronian standards. … The Lions’ Reggie Bush (18 touches-99 total yards) and Packers’ TE Andrew Quarless (4-43) scored the contest’s only two offensive TDs. … Adding injury to insult for the Pack, LB Clay Matthews departed early with a groin.
Colts 44, Jaguars 17
EverBank Field, Jacksonville
Andrew Luck has earned plaudits as the best young QB in the game, and now his fantasy figures are starting to catch up in a hurry – especially after the nice little 31-of-39, 370-yard, four-TD bump on Sunday.
Extra points: Luck’s TD tosses went to Hakeem Nicks (4-50), Ahmad Bradshaw (2-18), and TEs Coby Fleener (4-49) and Dwayne Allen (4-43). WR T.Y. Hilton (5-80) led Indy in receiving despite leaving in the second quarter with an ankle injury. … Trent Richardson (17-80 yards) had more touches than Bradshaw (11-83) for the third time in as many games this season, but the latter did more with less for the third time in as many outings and now has three TDs (all via the air) to Richardson’s none this season. … The Jags, meanwhile, jump-started the Blake Bortles Era after a two-first-down, 55-total-yard scoreless first half under Chad Henne (4-of-7, 33 yards), and the third overall pick finished a respectable 14-of-24 for 223 yards, two TDs and two picks with 30 yards rushing. … A pair of Robinsons – RB Denard (8-33) and rookie WR Allen (7-79, 10 targets) – led J’ville in rushing and receiving, respectively, while WRs Allen Hurns (1-63) and Cecil Shorts (5-35) caught Bortles’ TD throws.
Patriots 16, Raiders 9
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Hey, Gronk (3-44) scored and Julian Edelman (10-84) lived up to his elite PPR standards yet again. But that was about the extent of the fantasy highlights here in a decidedly ho-hum home win for the Pats.
Extra points: Tom Brady had his best fantasy game of the year (24-of-37 for 234 yards and the TD) but that, of course, was nowhere near QB1 territory once again. … The N.E. ground game, led by Stevan Ridley (19-54) and Shane Vereen (7-20), also underwhelmed. … Rookie QB Derek Carr (21-of-34, 174 yards, interception) isn’t killing the Silver & Black, but he’s not exactly lighting up the scoreboard, either as the Raiders have put up a league-worst 37 points so far. … With MJD (hand) inactive for a second straight game, Darren McFadden (22-65) led Oakland in yards from scrimmage. WR Rod Streater (3-32) departed with a foot fracture in the second quarter.
Cowboys 34, Rams 31
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
After a 24-100, one-TD effort on the ground here, DeMarco Murray is now three-for-three this season in 100-yard rushing games, contests with a rushing TD and, unfortunately, a lost fumble. But throw in his good health to date, and his fantasy owners are counting their blessings.
Extra points: Tony Romo overcame a slow start and a 21-0 second-quarter deficit to rally the ‘Boys with an 18-of-23, 217-yard, two-TD effort. … Dez Bryant (6-89, TD), of course, paced the Dallas pass-catchers, while Terrance Williams (2-32) also hauled in a TD catch. Jason Witten had his best fantasy day of the season, but with that consisting of four catches for 49 yards shows how slow it’s been for the perennial Pro Bowler. … Rams’ second-year QB Austin Davis (30-of-42, 327 yards, 3 TDs) had his finest fantasy moment, but he hurt the Rams with two costly interceptions. … Zac Stacy had 121 yards on 17 touches, but couldn’t find his way into the end zone. TE Lance Kendricks (6-29) and WRs Brian Quick (2-62) and Austin Pettis (3-28) had the Rams’ TD catches with WR Tavon Austin missing the game with a knee injury
Chargers 22, Bills 10
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, N.Y.
What once was three-headed San Diego RBBC has dwindled alarmingly in three games, and Donald Brown is suddenly the last back standing after Ryan Mathews (knee) missed the game and Danny Woodhead going down with a season-ending broken leg/high-ankle sprain in the first quarter Sunday. Brown got a career-high 31 rushing attempts (for 62 yards) and caught five passes for 27 yards.
Extra points: Following his three-TD outing in Week 2, TE Antonio Gates quietly caught his only target for 8 yards, while Ladarius Green had four catches for 64 yards. Go figure. … WR Eddie Royal (4-42) had his annual breakout, catching both of Philip Rivers’ (256 yards) TD passes. … For the Bills, Fred Jackson led the squad in rushing (6-34) and receiving (8-78, TD), but C.J. Spiller (13 touches-62 yards) and Sammy Watkins (2-19) were fantasy no-shows.
Cardinals 24, 49ers 14
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
If the Eagles’ Matthews isn’t available on your waiver wire, Cards’ rookie John Brown might be. He had a modest four catches for 52 yards in this one, but two of those went for TDs and he now has three scoring grabs on the season – three more than Larry Fitzgerald (3-34 Sunday) and Michael Floyd (5-114) combined this season.
Extra points: Andre Ellington (75 total yards) also hasn’t found the end zone this season, but he continues to dominate the Arizona RB touches, logging 21 of the 23 in this contest. … For the Niners, Carlos Hyde (5 touches-11 yards) and Michael Crabtree (11-84) scored TDs, but Colin Kaepernick couldn’t guide San Fran into the end zone in the second half despite throwing for 245 yards and rushing for a team-high 54 yards on 13 carries in the game. … With Vernon Davis (ankle) inactive, Stevie Johnson led the Niners with 103 receiving yards on nine catches, but Frank Gore shockingly had only six rushing attempts (for 10 yards).
Seahawks 26, Broncos 20 (OT)
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Despite strong showings by both defenses, Peyton Manning (31-of-49, 303 yards, 2 TDs, interception) and Russell Wilson (24-of-34, 258 yards, 2 TDs, pick, 9-40 rushing) managed to deliver for their fantasy owners, and so did Marshawn Lynch (26-88 rushing, 3-40 receiving, 2 TDs) who capped the festivities with a 6-yard scoring run in OT. Now, if only this had been the actual Super Bowl last February.
Extra points: Doug Baldwin (4-56) led the Seahawks in receiving yards, while Percy Harvin (7-42) paced the squad in receptions and targets (9), but Wilson continues to spread the ball around with no fewer than 11 players catching passes. … Montee Ball (14-38, 2-6) found little room to run after losing a fumble on the Broncos’ first play from scrimmage, and Demaryius Thomas (4-31, 2-point conversion catch) struggled mightily until salvaging a the slimmest of somethings late. … Meanwhile, Emmanuel Sanders (11-149, 15 targets) set career highs in receptions and receiving yards for the second straight week, Julius Thomas (3-17) found the end zone for this fifth time this season and Wes Welker (6-60 9 targets) showed little rust in his 2014 debut.
Chiefs 34, Dolphins 15
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
There was no Jamaal Charles (out with a high-ankle sprain) or Knowshon Moreno (inactive with his dislocated elbow) but there were plenty of fantasy RB points to be had in South Beach with K.C.’s Knile Davis (32-132, TD) and Joe McKnight (6-64 2 TDs receiving) and Miami’s Lamar Miller (19 touches-132 total yards) all having big afternoons.
Extra points: Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith also came up big (186 yards & 3 TDs passing, 17 rushing yards), but his Miami QB counterpart, Ryan Tannehill, was anything but, connecting on fewer than 50 percent of his passing attempts (21-of-43) for 205 yards and one TD. … Mike Wallace (5-74) was the Fins’ top pass catcher, but Brian Hartline (3-25) accounted for the team’s lone TD. … K.C. TE Travis Kelce (3-36) had his first NFL TD catch.
Steelers 37, Panthers 19
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Carolina had allowed 172 rushing yards in its first two games, but the Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell (21-147) and LeGarrette Blount (10-118, TD) ran over, around and through the Panthers as Pittsburgh rolled up 264 yards on 34 carries.
Extra points: Ben Roethlisberger only threw for 196 yards but, as usual, had things clicking with wideout Antonio Brown to the tune of 10 completions in 10 targets for 90 yards and a pair of 7-yard scoring receptions. … TE Heath Miller (4-51) and WR Markus Wheaton (4-35) were each targeted five times apiece. … For the hosts, rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin showed a Sunday night audience that he’s the real deal, catching eight of his team-high 11 targets for 115 yards and a TD. TE Greg Olsen (5-69) also had a TD reception. … Meanwhile, Cam Newton (24-of-35, 250 yards, TD; 2-7 rushing) lost a fumble and was harassed and hobbling most of the night before giving way late to Derek Anderson (5-of-6, 80 yards), who threw the late scoring pass to Benjamin. … The Carolina ground game? Don’t ask as Jonathan Stewart (5-31) and Mike Tolbert (3-4) went nowhere in place of injured starter DeAngelo Williams.