How good has Alvin Kamara been in 2018? He joins Jim Brown as the ONLY player in NFL history with at least three games of three or more TDs at 23 years of age or younger, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Not too shabby….
Another perspective stat: In his first 16 NFL games, Deshaun Watson’s 35 touchdown passes joins him with Dan Marino and Kurt Warner as the only players to accomplish such a feat.
Philip Rivers joined the Brothers Manning and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to start 200 consecutive games. After 2018, he will have to start every game for the next five-plus seasons to catch Favre’s mark of 297 consecutive.
Due to extra teams off this past weekend, the statistical takeaways were few and far between.
18: The number of targets for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Adam Humphries in the last two games. The results: 15 grabs, 158 yards and two touchdowns — both of which came in Week 9. The upcoming schedule is favorable, including Washington, the New York Giants, San Francisco, Carolina again and New Orleans over the next five weeks. With such a miserable defense and no consistent running game ailing the Bucs, it translates into a pass-heavy recipe on offense. He saw 82 percent of the offensive snaps, compared to 48 for DeSean Jackson and 55 for Chris Godwin. Humphries is a fine weekly flex in PPR.
11 targets: It is no surprise the week Demaryius Thomas is traded away, Denver Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman sees a league-high 11 looks at his position for the week. The 6-foot-5, 254-pounder has tremendous size to offer in the red zone, and he has displayed the ability to stretch the field prior to 2018. He is far more athletic than his 8.7 yards-per-reception average this season indicates. Given the dearth of fantasy weaponry at the position, consider Heuerman a reasonable play most weeks. The three games after Denver’s Week 10 bye couldn’t be much better for fantasy success at the position. He is even worth rostering through the bye week, provided it doesn’t come at great sacrifice elsewhere.
Curtis Samuel‘s volume is extremely low — only 12 targets and two rushes in the last four games — but he has found the end zone four times. A threat in the red zone for Carolina on the ground and through the air, the second-year, do-all weapon is a fantasy consideration for owners trying to maneuver bye weeks. Let’s face it, if you’re in the boat where a low-volume guy is in play for your lineup, at least give yourself a stronger shot at finding the end zone.
The Nick Mullens story is a fun one, especially for a city in dire need of some good news from its football team, but the San Francisco 49ers’ hidden gem beat up the Oakland Raiders. Let’s not act like he shredded a premier defense. Oakland has demonstrated virtually zero ability to get to the quarterback and apply pressure, let alone actually log sacks. He is expected to draw another start and has the luxury of facing the New York Giants, the next clostest ineptitude team at recording sacks. Then there’s a bye week and a return to face Tampa Bay … Mullens will artificially become a “thing” in the NFL before being returned to reality with matchups against Seattle, Denver, Seattle again and then Chicago. If he survives that murderers’ row and continues to look the part, I’ll eat my keyboard.
Green Bay rates among the stiffest defenses against the tight end position, and it is difficult to get behind this ranking. None of the players faced managed to find the end zone vs. the Packers this year, but a loser look at the opponents leaves serious room for doubt. The only impressive performance has been the Week 6 job at limiting George Kittle to a 4-30-0 line. Otherwise, we’ve seen Green Bay take care of business against laughable tight end situations in Buffalo, Detroit, New England minus Gronk, and the Los Angeles Rams. The Redskins managed 135 yards on six catches, and Kyle Rudolph posted a 7-72-0 line in Week 2. Chicago’s offense was still finding its way in the season opener. Ahead: Miami, Seattle, Minnesota, Arizona, Atlanta, Chicago, the New York Jets and Detroit … hardly powerhouses at the position. Furthermore, the loss of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on the backend will be felt, and it’s only a matter of time before one of these subpar tight ends exploits the Packers.
It was a delight to see Dalvin Cook looking healthy and more like himself in Week 9. The Vikings enter their bye week and should be encouraged after a convincing divisional win in which their prized running back ripped off a 70-yard run. After the Week 10 vacation, which will only help Cook’s health, Minnesota returns for a stiff stretch at Chicago, vs. Green Bay, at New England and at Seattle in Week 14. Be cautiously optimistic.
It really baffles me why Denver doesn’t target Phillip Lindsay more in the receiving game. He is so dynamic in the open field, and even if his hands are only marginal, this offense could use more explosive plays by any means it can find them. After they upcoming bye, two of the next three opponents have struggled to contain pass-catching running backs, so I’m eagerly waiting to see how he is deployed in Week 11 vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Washington Redskins were smothered by a paltry Atlanta Falcons defense in Week 9, mostly due to a rash of offensive line injuries. Both offensive tackles and guards were not in the lineup by the end of the game. With left tackle Trent Williams already out for roughly a month, now right guard Brandon Scherff and been lost for the rest of the year. The same for left guard Shawn Lauvao. The strength of this team’s offense, especially the running game, comes from the front five. Looking ahead, I’m skeptical of Adrian Peterson with any matchup. He has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next, and after being unable to exploit Atlanta in Week 9, there is little reason to believe he can escape crowded backfields against Gerald McCoy and Co. Even without the decimated offensive line being problematic, Washington faces the ninth-hardest remaining schedule for running backs in fantasy. It was fun while it lasted, AD!