Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
Jay Cutler – Concussion
Chris Thompson – Broken Leg
D’Onta Foreman – Knee (ACL?)
Josh Bellamy – Concussion
Kelvin Benjamin – Knee
Robert Woods – Shoulder
Travis Benjamin – Abdominal Strain
Tyler Kroft – Hand
Chris Thompson – Early reports are that he fractured his fibula and will need surgery which means the season would be over. It appears that the Redskins lost their top two backs in the span of seven days. Samaje Perine exceeded expectations with 117 yards on 23 carries and one score but he was only used for one reception. His role as the primary rusher was already assured with Rob Kelley going onto IR.
Keith Marshall is the seventh-round pick from last year that has never played. Byron Marshall is an undrafted free agent signed by the Eagles last year and now with the Redskins. Marshall is more likely to fill in for Thompson and as such is worth a speculative add. But the loss of Thompson likely benefits Perine the most.
D’Onta Foreman – The Texans No. 2 back appears to have torn his ACL which would make him miss the rest of the season after his biggest game. His departure would give Alfred Blue a bump up the depth chart. But like with the Redskins, losing Thompson likely just means that Lamar Miller will see a bigger workload and will reassert himself as the primary rusher.
Adam Shaheen – The Bears rookie tight end only caught one pass until Zach Miller was lost for the season. Shaheen caught two passes for 39 yards in Week 10 and just ended with four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Lions. He’s working on becoming a much bigger factor for 2018. Next games are @PHI, SF, @CIN.
Corey Coleman – First game back since Week 2 and he caught six passes for 80 yards from DeShone Kizer and that was against the Jaguars secondary. Next games are @CIN, @LAC and GB.
Mike Wallace – He’s been mostly a bust this year along with the rest of the Ravens receivers. But he scored once in Week 9 before their bye when he caught four passes for 19 yards. Then this week, Wallace snared another four targets and gained 56 yards while scoring for the second straight week. He is still a risk but more interesting with the next games against the Texans and Lions.
Jamaal Williams – His first start as the primary back went well enough. He ran for 57 yards on 18 carries while Devante Mays only took three runs and lost one yard. Williams added four catches for 38 yards as the second-best receiver for the Packers. He has no real worries about sharing the ball as long as Ty Montgomery remains out. Next week at Pittsburgh won’t be easy but then he faces the Buccaneers and visits the Browns.
Jordy Nelson – Opponents have shut him down in every game since Brett Hundley took over. At home versus the Ravens, he just caught two passes for 24 yards. In the four starts of Hundley, Nelson totals 92 yards on ten catches. He’s gone from an elite wideout to no longer worthy of a start.
Ricky Seals-Jones – The undrafted Texas A&M tight end sent everyone to their game program when he caught three passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Texans. It was also Blaine Gabbert’s first start (257 yards, 3 TD). Seals-Jones went to high school in the area so at least a few people in the stands knew who he was. The 6-5, 253-pound rookie is a converted wide receiver. Jermaine Gresham only received one pass in the game. The Cardinals rarely use the position and Gresham only totals 23 catches for 237 yards and two scores on the year. It’s more notable if it happens again or if Gabbert continued to start.
O.J. Howard – The first tight end taken in the 2017 NFL draft has been mostly quiet as a rookie but comes off a three-catch, 52-yard effort with one score in the win over the Dolphins. What is just as notable is that since Ryan Fitzpatrick took over in Week 9, Cameron Brate hasn’t caught more than one pass in any game. Howard is showing up in the boxscore with Fitzpatrick but Brate has all but disappeared. It was expected that might happen in 2018 but not this season.
Samaje Perine – His first start exceeded expectations with 23 carries for 117 yards and one touchdown and he even added a nine-yard catch. As noted about Chris Thompson’s injury, Perine should see even more work as a receiver and he’s gained more confidence with the coaches. His next opponents are the Giants and Cowboys.
Nathan Peterman – The Bills rookie only completed six of 14 for 66 yards and five interceptions before getting the hook. Tyrod Taylor came in but the damage was already done. The next three opponents are the Chiefs, Patriots, and Colts. Taylor could offer fantasy value in those matchups. Hard to imagine Peterman gets another start anytime soon. He probably won’t go out and buy all the newspapers covering his debut.
Mike Williams – Keenan Allen (12-159, 2 TD) deservedly got the attention for his career-best fantasy output. But the rookie Mike Williams went from never getting more than two targets in any game to being thrown eight passes in the win over the Bills. He caught five for 38 yards and was the second-best receiver for the Chargers. He’s worth watching for the next few weeks when he faces the Cowboys, Browns, Redskins, and Chiefs.
Devontae Booker – Led all Bronco running backs with 14 rushes for 44 yards and five receptions for 54 yards. C.J. Anderson turned in 13 runs for 37 yards and one score with just two catches for 19 yards. Jamaal Charles is down to only three carries for seven yards and no catches. This is a committee backfield that is shifting so that Charles is phasing out and Booker is taking a bigger role.
Rob Gronkowski – In Mexico City, Gronk only caught three passes for 36 yards. He only had three targets. But that was not the only time he’s fallen short of expectations. He ranks only No. 12 in fantasy points starting in Week 7 and score just once in his four games and averaged only 55 yards per game in that time. Gronk ranks only fourth in receptions on his own team.
Like there’s a ball under every cup
The Eagles backfield has taken the committee approach to a new level. They ran 27 times against the Cowboys which broke down like this: Jay Ajayi (7-91), LeGarrette Blount (13-57), Corey Clement (6-50, TD), and Kenjon Barner (1-4, TD). And that was with Wendell Smallwood inactive. That was four of the top 41 running backs and yet none of the top 20.
DET 27, CHI 24
This was a game of the week contender that ended with the Lions kicking a 52-yard field goal with 1:38 left and then Mitchell Trubisky led an impressive drive to the Lions 28-yard line only to have Connor Barth miss his 46-yard attempt. Matt Stafford threw for 299 yards and two scores and Marvin Jones (4-85, TD) was the only notable receiver. Jordan Howard ran for 125 yards and one score on 15 carries but Mitchell Trubisky only totaled 179 passing yards and one score to Adam Shaheen (4-41, TD). The 6-4 Lions host the Vikings on Thursday this week and the 3-7 Bears head to Philadelphia.
JAC 19, CLE 7
This game was much closer than the score suggests since the game ended with the Jaguars recovering a fumble in the end zone. Leonard Fournette ran for 111 yards but Blake Bortles only passed for 154 yards and a score to Marcedes Lewis (2-26, TD). Corey Coleman (6-80) and Duke Johnson (4-56, TD) were the only Browns receivers with more than 15 yards. Isaiah Crowell was held to only 18 yards on 11 carries in this yawner of a game. Now the 7-3 Jaguars travel to Arizona and the 0-10 Browns play in Cincinnati.
BAL 23, GB 0
This whole Hundley thing is just not working out. He threw for 239 yards and three interceptions and somehow Devante Adams (8-126) was the only receiver with more than 35 yards. Jamaal Williams totaled 95 yards but wasn’t all that impressive doing so. Mike Wallace (4-56, TD) caught the only touchdown by the Ravens and Alex Collins (20-49) added their only rushing score. Danny Woodhead’s return only turned into 23 yards. Getting shut out in Green Bay has to make the Packers rethink their quarterback spot but options are not great. The 5-5 Ravens host the Texans this week and the 5-5 Packers travel to Pittsburgh.
ARI 21, HOU 31
Any game with 52 points is a good game and this one delivered even though it ended up as Blaine Gabbert (257 yards, 3 TD) versus Tom Savage (230 yards, 2 TD) and Adrian Peterson (14-26) versus D’onta Foreman (10-65, 2 TD). Imagine those pairings last summer. Larry Fitzgerald (9-91, TD) was the leading Cardinals receiver though Ricky Seals-Jones (3-54, 2 TD) stole the show with two scores. Lamar Miller ran for 61 yards and added a touchdown on his four catches for 22 yards. The 4-6 Cardinals host the Jaguars this week while the 4-6 Texans head to Baltimore.
TB 30, MIA 20
Doubtful that losing to a team with no defense is going to set well with HC Adam Gase. The Fins lost Jay Cutler but Matt Moore was an upgrade anyway. Kenny Stills (7-180) and Jarvis Landry (6-95, TD) did all the damage. Damien Williams broke off a 69-yard run at the start of the game but all combined the Fins only rushed for 13 more yards on 16 carries. Maybe that whole “who needs Ajayi” thing was not completely thought out. Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 275 yards and two scores with Mike Evans (5-92) the most productive. The Fins are not improving but the Buccaneers are not getting any worse and both are 4-6 now. The Fins head to New England where it will not get any better and the Buccaneers head to Atlanta.
LAR 7, MIN 24
Pretty disappointing from a fantasy sense. The Rams were held to 225 passing yards and Todd Gurley (15-37, TD) was the only scorer. Robert Woods (8-81) was better than expected though no other Rams were. Case Keenum (280 yards, TD) is not giving the Vikings any reason to swap to Teddy Bridgewater. Adam Thielen caught six passes for 123 yards and one score as the only productive receiver. Latavius Murray ran for 95 yards and two scores on 15 carries but the Vikings defense at home was once again the star of this game. The loss drops the Rams to 7-3 and they host the Saints while the 8-2 Vikings head to Detroit for Thanksgiving.
KC 9, NYG 12 OT
Every week needs at least one “well, let’s not show up and maybe we can still win” game. Here it is. The Chiefs never scored a touchdown. Alex Smith passed for 230 yards and two interceptions though Travis Kelce (8-109) and Tyreek Hill (7-68) had decent production. Kareem Hunt ran for 73 yards but only caught three passes for four yards. The only Giant with a touchdown was Orleans Darkwa (20-74, TD) but no receivers gained more than 55 yards or had more than three catches. This gas station bathroom of a game even went into overtime and the Chiefs couldn’t win. Now the 2-8 Giants travel to Washington for Thanksgiving and the 6-4 Chiefs host the Bills.
BUF 24, LAC 54
Nathan Peterman may one day be the best quarterback in the NFL but if he does, it will have been quite the trip because he started out as the worst. After completing six of 14 for 66 yards and five interceptions, Tyrod Taylor came back into the game because he doesn’t look quite so mediocre anymore. LeSean McCoy ran for 114 yards and one score while catching one pass for a 12-yard touchdown. Philip Rivers passed for 251 yards and two scores that went to Keenan Allen (12-159, 2 TD). Melvin Gordon ran for 80 yards and a score but that seemed low in a game where the Chargers scored 54 points. Now the 5-5 Bills head to Kansas City with less dissatisfaction with Tyrod Taylor and the 4-6 Chargers will play in Dallas on Thursday.
CIN 20, DEN 17
The Bengals won on the road even though the yardage was minimal. Andy Dalton passed for 154 yards but scored three touchdowns. A.J. Green (4-50, TD) was the only fantasy benefit from the Bengals. Brock Osweiler threw for 254 yards and one touchdown to Demaryius Thomas (5-64, TD) who was the only fantasy benefit from the Broncos. C.J. Anderson scored once but only gained 37 yards on 13 runs and the Broncos allowed Devonte Booker (14-44) to be the primary back (such as it is in Denver). The 4-6 Bengals host the Browns this week and the 3-7 Broncos visit the Raiders.
NE 33, OAK 8
Los Patrios patearon el culo de los Raiders. The Mexico City game was a thorough beatdown of the Raiders. Derek Carr only passed for 237 yards and one score to Amari Cooper (3-28, TD) that was a fourth-quarter trash time play. Marshawn Lynch ran for 67 yards on 11 carries but the Raiders could do little until the game was out of hand. Tom Bady passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns with Brandon Cooks (6-149, TD) and Danny Amendola (6-66, TD) the top receivers. At least this international game was played at the same time as all the other NFL games and did not require players to adjust to a radically different time zone. The 8-2 Patriots host the Dolphins this week and the 4-6 Raiders face the visiting Broncos.
PHI 37, DAL 9
The Cowboys led this 9-7 at halftime but never showed up for the second half. Carson Wentz only passed for 168 yards and two scores and Alshon Jeffery (4-67, TD) was the only notable receiver. Four different backs split up 27 carries for 202 yards and two scores without any of them having a big game. Dak Prescott comes off his worst game ever with 145 passing yards and three interceptions. Dez Bryant (8-63) could get open just not down the field. Alfred Morris (17-91) rushed well but the lack of passing doomed the Cowboys. The win cements the Eagles as the NFC East champ and a top seed in the playoffs. The 5-5 Cowboys host the Chargers on Thanksgiving while the 9-1 Eagles host the Bears.
Huddle player of the week
Antonio Brown – Once again, the best receiver in football comes through with ten catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll likely return as the No. 1 draft pick next summer.
Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
|QB||Blaine Gabbert||270||3||QB||Alex Smith||257||0|
|RB||D’Onta Foreman||78||2||RB||Adrian Peterson||49||0|
|RB||Samaje Perine||126||1||RB||DeMarco Murray||47||0|
|WR||Kenny Stills||180||1||WR||Jordy Nelson||24||0|
|WR||Danny Amendola||66||1||WR||Golden Tate||32||0|
|WR||Mike Wallace||56||1||WR||Devante Parker||26||0|
|TE||Ricky Seals-Jones||54||2||TE||Rob Gronkowski||36||0|
|PK||Nick Novak||6 XP 4 FG||PK||Greg Zuerlein||1 XP|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 147||Huddle Fantasy Points = 29|
Sunday’s couch commentary
The Falcons and Seahawks play tonight and the Seahawks need the win to remain tied with the Rams in the NFC West. The Falcons are already two games back in the NFC South with a good shot at being three back.
In the AFC, there are only five teams with a winning record. That means the wild card race will go down to the final week if not the final game. In the NFC, the Eagles (9-1), Vikings (8-2) and Saints (8-2) are clearly better than the rest though the Rams (7-3) are not far behind.
The year of shutouts continues with the Packers laying a goose egg at home against the Ravens. The Chiefs lost to the Broncos and now gave a “W” to the Giants. The Browns remain winless. The playoff race is already coming into sharp focus with six games left to play and that could result in more bottom feeders trying out new players in the coming weeks.
Redskins 31, Saints 34 OT
The Redskins led 31 to 16 with under six minutes to play and it seemed the game was over. But Drew Brees led the Saints on an eight-play drive and scored on a short pass to the tight end Josh Hill to make it 31-23 with 2:56 left to play. They held the Redskins to a four-and-out and got the ball back with 1:53 left.
It only took five plays to score a touchdown with Alvin Kamara. The two-point play also went to Kamara and they tied 31-31 with 1:05 left. The Skins reached the Saints 34-yard-line but an intentional grounding call moved them out of field goal range and they remained tied in regulation.
In overtime, the Skins went four-and-out without a score. The Saints only need two plays – a 31 and a 20 yard rush by Mark Ingram to reach the Redskins 10-yard-line where they kicked the winning field goal on first down.
Drew Brees ended with 385 yards and two scores with Michael Thomas (6-91) and Coby Fleener (5-91) as their top receivers. Mark Ingram ran for 134 yards and a score on 11 carries plus had 21 receiving yards. Alvin Kamara ran for 42 yards on eight totes and caught six passes for 74 yards and one score plus the two-point conversion.
Kirk Cousins threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns but there were no big games by a Redskins receiver. Josh Doctson (4-81) and Jamison Crowder (7-72) were tops but neither scored. Samaje Perine ran for 117 yards and one score on 23 carries in New Orleans – much better than expected. Chris Thompson was lost for the with a broken leg.
The season is starting to separate the good and bad teams. And as hard as Thursday games have been to call, we have three this week. The Vikings play at Detroit at 12:30 PM EST, the Chargers visit Dallas at 4:30 PM EST and the Giants take a trip to face the Redskins at 8:30 PM EST. And if you can eat all that turkey and stay awake for the entire Giants-Skins tilt, you are a better man than me.
Now get back to work…