Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
Doug Martin – Concussion
Damien Williams – Shoulder
Greg Olsen – Foot
Amari Cooper – Concussion
Michael Crabtree – Ejected
Paxton Lynch – Ankle
Luke Wilson – Concussion
Doug Martin – Left with a concussion but the Buccaneers were already behind and rushing the ball wasn’t in the cards. Peyton Barber scored twice but only totaled seven yards on five runs versus the Falcons. But Jacquizz Rodgers (8-31) was the main replacement and even added a catch for six yards.
The Bucs play in Green Bay next week then host the Lions. Rodgers is worth an add for the Martin owner but he’ll have limited production. Rodgers is 5-7 and 190 pounds. Barber is 5-11 and 225 yards. Rodgers will likely get pulled again at the goal line.
Damien Williams – He injured his shoulder and seemed to be in much pain. If he is out this week, Kenyan Drake should take the primary job with little interference. Drake ran for only 20 yards on nine runs in New England but has been effective in recent games. This week the Fins face the Broncos which is less than ideal but Drake also offers receiving ability.
Oakland Wideouts – This could be interesting. Michael Crabtree was ejected for yet another bout of fisticuffs with Aqib Talib and there is at least some concern that the NFL might elect to suspend him for a game. Amari Cooper suffered a brutal hit and left with a concussion (at the least). The Raiders may be missing one or both of their starting wideouts next week versus the Giants.
Cordarrelle Patterson (3-72) and Johnny Holton (2-53) replaced the pair with good results considering they were playing the Broncos. Jared Cook was also moved outside like a wideout though he only had one catch. The Giants are missing CB Janoris Jenkins so passing would be easier but 1:1 replacements for Crabtree (potentially) and Cooper (likely) are hard to name. Once both wideouts were out, the Raiders went to mixing receivers on both sides.
This was a week for monster wideout performances.
Keenan Allen (11-172, TD)
Julio Jones (12-253, 2 TD)
Antonio Brown (10-169, 2 TD)
Robby Anderson (6-146, 2 TD)
Marvin Jones (6-109, 2 TD)
Hunter Henry – Three games with 25 yards or less drove away all owners. Henry delivered with five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. He plays the Browns this week and they are weak against the position. Everyone is going to start him again and everyone will keep their fingers crossed.
Evan Engram – The most productive rookie tight end flopped with only three catches for 18 yards against the Redskins. Without Sterling Shepard to concern the defense, they focused on him since he is the only other weapon of any note. Giants only threw for 113 yards so expect more defenses to pay attention to Engram.
Samaje Perine – Have to wonder if the rookie is making a case for a lot of work next year. He ran for 117 yards and a score on 23 carries in New Orleans in Week 11 and then gained 100 yards on 24 carries versus the Giants along with three catches for 30 yards. It is a road game this week but the Cowboys aren’t packing heat lately.
Vernon Davis – No catch versus the Giants was a shock. Davis had been rock solid for 60 to 70 yards per game and faced the Giants weak defense versus tight ends. Made me watch the game again. He was open at times. He was always on the field. The Giants did not commit anything special against him. They just did not throw to him. It happens. And it hurts.
Corey Davis – Disappointing when Rishard Matthews is out but the rookie only caught four passes for 39 yards. Facing the Colts should have been more productive and it wasn’t like the rushing offense took over. The premier rookie wideout currently averages just 10.8 yards per catch. All he can do is catch what is thrown his way. He caught all four targets against the Colts.
Zay Jones – There is still hope for the struggling rookie wideout. He was thrown ten targets this week and caught three for 33 yards including the only touchdown by the Bills. Next three games are all at home – Patriots, Colts, and Dolphins.
Alex Smith – That “new Alex” has looked a lot like the old one for the last month and throwing for only 199 yards and one score at home versus the Bills is only the latest failure to meet expectations. He faces the Jets in New York this week but then plays three home games during the fantasy playoffs – Raiders, Chargers, and Dolphins. His production is still worrisome but he’s ending a stretch of road games and/or good defenses.
Robby Anderson – Has to be one of the biggest surprises of 2017. The undrafted second-year player already scored in four straight games. On Sunday, all he did was to catch a season-best six passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. That six scores over the last five weeks. And this week he’s at home versus the Chiefs.
Jimmy Garoppolo – C.J. Beathard left the loss to the Seahawks with a knee injury but may only have a sprain. Garappolo came in and completed his two passes that ended the game – one being a 10-yard touchdown to Louis Murphy. Beathard is no lock to be healthy this week and maybe not a lock to start even if he was. The 49ers next opponents are the Bears, Texans, and Titans. Not a bad stretch to start working on next year.
Ricky Seals-Jones – Now that the league waiver wire may be closed, it appears that Week 11 was not a fluke. The undrafted rookie caught three passes for 54 yards and two scores against the Texans. This week, it was four receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown. More important – he led the team in targets and catches. Facing the Jaguars does limit the wide receivers but RSJ is truly an “out of nowhere” find starting in Week 10.
Alvin Kamara – Even though Mark Ingram was limited to only 31 yards on 11 carries, the rookie turned five runs into 87 yards and a touchdown thanks to a 74-yard score. He was also the Saints leading receiver with 101 yards and another touchdown on six receptions. He only had 11 touches but gained 188 yards and two scores.
Cooper Kupp – With Robert Woods out, both Kupp (8-116) and Sammy Watkins (4-82, TD) were more productive than usual. It bodes well that Woods absence sparked a career-best game for Kupp.
Jamaal Williams – The rookie is taking advantage of Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones being out. He still has not rushed for more than 67 yards in a game but has added four receptions to his totals for the last two games. Williams comes off a career-best 66 rushing yards on 21 carries and four catches for 69 yards and touchdowns as both a rusher and receiver.
MIA 17, NE 35
No surprises here with Tom Brady throwing for 227 yards and four touchdowns that mostly benefitted Brandon Cooks (6-83, TD) and Rob Gronkowski (5-82, 2 TD). Dion Lewis ran for 112 yards but Rex Burkhead (13-50, TD) scored. The Fins had no rushing game, lost Damien Williams and Jarvis Landry (8-70) was the only relevant receiver. The 9-2 Patriots head to Buffalo this week and the 4-7 Dolphins host the Broncos.
TB 20, ATL 34
Julio Jones was almost the entire game with 12 catches for 253 yards and two scores. Tevin Coleman (19-97, 2 TD) doesn’t miss Devonta Freeman at all. Mohamed Sanu (8-64) threw a 51-yard score to Jones. Doug Martin left with a concussion and Peyton Barber scored twice in his lace. But the Bucs trailed 27-6 before the Falcons lost interest. Mike Evans (6-78) and DeSean Jackson (8-60) were the best Bucs receivers but never scored. The 4-7 Buccaneers head to Green Back this weekend and the 7-4 Falcons host the Vikings.
CLE 16, CIN 30
No big surprises here and the best part was that the Bengals were not good enough to take the Browns lightly. Andy Dalton threw for 214 yards and two scores though A.J. Green only managed 66 yards on five catches. Joe Mixon ran for 114 yards and one score plus caught three passes for 51 yards. DeShone Kizer threw for 268 yards but his only score was on a run. Isaiah Crowell ran for 95 yards on 16 carries for one of his best efforts of the year. Corey Coleman led the Browns with 64 yards on three catches. The 0-11 Browns visit the Chargers this week while the 5-6 Bengals host the Steelers.
TEN 20, IND 16
So much promise for someone to have a big game and yet no one did. Marcus Mariota only passed for 184 yards and one score and two interceptions. Derrick Henry ran for 79 yards but DeMarco Murray scored despite only gaining nine yards on 12 runs. Delanie Walker (4-63, TD) was the top receiver for the Titans. Jacoby Brissett only threw for 196 yards and no scores with Jack Doyle (7-94) as the only receiver with more than 35 yards. Frank Gore (17-62, TD) scored once but this game was devoid of any difference-making performances. The 7-4 Titans host the Texans this week and the 3-8 Colts visit the Jaguars.
BUF 16, KC 10
Hard to remember back when the Chiefs had the best record in the NFL. Alex “Yes, the game manager” Smith only threw for 199 yards and one score along with one comeback-killing interception. Kareem Hunt ran for 17 yards on 11 carries and caught his only pass in the game. Tyreek Hill (7-41) was the top receiver for the Chiefs and this offense has just gone cold. It peaked by mid-season and now looks as ineffective as it ever has. Tyrod Taylor passed for 183 yards and one score to Zay Jones (3-33) but nothing else really worked well. LeSean McCoy only totaled 79 yards as a disappointment. There were just 26 points in the entire game. That said more about the offenses than the defenses. The 6-5 Bills host the Patriots this week while the 6-5 Chiefs visit the Jets.
CHI 3, PHI 31
Yeah, maybe this would be a good time to reserve the hotel room to attend the NFC Championship game. These Eagles are on fire. Carson Wentz passed for 227 yards and three touchdowns while Zach Ertz (10-103, TD) led the team and Alshon Jeffery (5-52, TD) got to stick it to his old team. LeGarrette Blount ran for 97 yards on 17 carries as the top rusher. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 147 yards and two interceptions while as a team, the Bears rushed for six yards only because Trubisky had a late game 11-yard run. This was never close, never competitive and kinda scary unless you are an Eagles fan. The 3-8 Bears host the 49ers this week for a reason to smile while the 10-1 Eagles head to Seattle.
SEA 24, SF 13
Even against the 49ers, Russell Wilson carried the team to victory by throwing for 228 yards and two scores plus rushing in a touchdown. Jimmy Graham (3-34, TD) was the best fantasy start on the team aside from Wilson. Eddie Lacy was given 17 carries but only gained 46 yards. C.J. Beathard was forced out and the Jimmy Garoppolo era started with two completions and a 10-yard touchdown on the final play of the game. Only Marquise Goodwin (4-78) gained more than 35 receiving yards for the 49ers. Carlos Hyde totaled 68 yards as a disappointment compared to their first meeting. Now the 7-4 Seahawks host the red-hot Eagles and the 1-10 49ers visit the Bears.
JAC 24, ARI 27
Phil Dawson won this with a 57-yard field goal with one second left on the clock as the longest field goal in his 18-year career. The Jaguars had little offense with only 160 passing yards and only 25 rushing yards from Leonard Fournette. But Blake Bortles ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns to keep them in the game long enough for the Jags defense to blow it for them by letting Blaine Gabbert to gain 22 yards in 12 seconds to allow the long kick attempt. Gabbert passed for 241 yards and two scores on the Jags and once again it was Ricky Seals-Jones (4-72, TD) as the lead receiver and Jaron Brown caught one pass for a 52-yard touchdown. Adrian Peterson ran for 79 yards and added 20 more as a receiver. Now the 7-4 Jaguars host the Colts and the 5-6 Cardinals welcome the Rams.
NO 20, LAR 26
The Saints defense missed CB Marshon Lattimore when Jared Goff passed for 354 yards and two touchdowns with Cooper Kupp (8-116) and Sammy Watkins (4-82, TD) as the top receivers. Todd Gurley totaled 128 yards but did not score. Drew Brees passed for 246 yards and one score to Alvin Kamara who caught six passes for 101 yards and ran for 87 yards and another touchdown on just five carries. Mark Ingram was limited to only 31 yards and Michael Thomas netted just 52 yards. Now the 8-3 Saints host the Panthers and the 8-3 Rams head to Arizona.
DEN 14, OAK 21
Ends up that Paxton Lynch was not a secret weapon when he only threw for 41 yards and one interception before leaving with a concussion. Trevor Siemian passed for 149 yards and two scores but no Broncos receiver gained more than 48 yards. No running back totaled more than 12 yards. The Denver offense just gets worse. Derek Carr passed for 253 yards and two scores but Michael Crabtree was suspended and Amari Cooper was concussed and no one would have started any other wideout from Oakland. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 67 yards and score. Now the 3-8 Broncos head to Miami and the 5-6 Raiders host the Giants.
CAR 35, NYJ 27
Game of the week contender. The Panthers scored on returns of a punt and fumble. Cam Newton only passed for 168 yards but most of that went to Devin Funchess (7-108). Christian McCaffrey (7-62) was the top rusher though Jonathan Stewart (15-26, TD) was given more work and allowed to punch in the short score. Josh McCown threw for 307 yards and three scores divided up between Robbie Anderson (6-146, 2 TD) and Jermaine Kearse (7-105, TD). As usual, the Jets rushing game was mediocre and divided into three. The 8-3 Panthers head to New Orleans this week and the 4-7 Jets host the Chiefs.
Huddle player of the week
Julio Jones – It was a big week for wide receivers but none so much as Jones who turned in 12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns. And that was only his third highest yardage in a single game (2016 – 300, 2014 – 259). Jones rolled up about 50.8 points in a PPR league. That helps your weekly score significantly. He averaged 20.1 yards per catch for 12 receptions. Jones was slated to become more of a red zone target this year and score more touchdowns. But he only had one up until Sunday when he tripled his season total.
Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
|QB||Case Keenum||302||3||QB||Dak Prescott||179||0|
|RB||Rex Burkhead||53||2||RB||Kareem Hunt||26||0|
|RB||Peyton Barber||7||2||RB||Jordan Howard||19||0|
|WR||Jermaine Kearse||105||1||WR||Michael Crabtree||0||0|
|WR||Mohamed Sanu||105||1||WR||T.Y. Hilton||15||0|
|WR||Cody Latimer||48||1||WR||Larry Fitzgerald||12||0|
|TE||Ricky Seals-Jones||72||1||TE||Vernon Davis||0||0|
|PK||Phil Dawson||1 XP 4 FG||PK||Dan Bailey||0|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 134||Huddle Fantasy Points = 12|
Sunday’s couch commentary
We’ve had good weather so far and this week the passing stats were very high. Wideouts are supposed to fade as the season starts to wind down and that has not happened. The rushing stats are not nearly as high s they would normally be and only three backs topped 100 rushing yards – Samaje Perine had exactly 100 and Joe Mixon was the best with only 114 yards. There were nine wideouts with more than 100 yards.
Packers 28, Steelers 31
This was much more competitive than expected. The Steelers may have played down to the Packers level with Bengals and Ravens up next. But it took everything they had to come away with the win. The Steelers led 28-21 with 8:42 left in the fourth quarter. The Packers drove from their own 23-yard line to tie the game with 2:08 left to play.
The Steelers stalled at the Packers 46-yard line. The Packers went four and out with a punt fielded by the Steelers at their own 30-yard line with only 27 seconds left. Two passes to Antonio Brown gained 37 yards and then Bell lost two yards. Chris Boswell kicked the 53-yard field goal to win the game as time expired.
Brett Hundley passed for 245 yards and three scores. Davante Adams (5-82, TD) is still his preferred target and Randall Cobb (4-69, TD) had his first notable performance with Hundley. Sadly, Jordy Nelson (3-11) lost all value.
Jamaal Williams ran for 66 yards and a score and added four catches for 69 yards and a second touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns. Antonio Brown caught ten passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell ran for 95 yards and caught a career-best 12 passes for 88 yards. With JuJu Smith-Schuster out, Martavis Bryant scored but only gained 40 yards on four catches.
Fantasy playoffs are coming into view and some of the bigger contests start their playoffs this week. It’s great that individual fantasy scores are so high for the wide receivers right when winning is all important to reach your playoffs.
But – you gotta own and start ’em for it to matter.
Now get back to work…