A tip of the cap to Larry Fitzgerald. One of the game’s good guys moved into second place on the all-time receiving yardage list. He passed Terrell Owens in what becomes yet another in the long list of accomplishments leading up to Fitz’s eventual trip to Canton.
In other news, that Jerry Rice guy sure was something, huh?
Here’s a quirky, once-in-a-generation statistic that means nothing of consequence, but I’m including it anyway.
Incidentally, Brady joined Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks aged 40-plus with a reception.
Speaking of Favre, Drew Brees knocked him out of the No. 2 spot for most career touchdown passes. Brees could surpass Peyton Manning for the all-time mark in 2019.
The best possible thing that happened to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield this season was the firing of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. I was skeptical of the latter’s dismissal, but it clearly was for the best. In the two games without this destructive duo, Mayfield has thrown for 513 yards and five touchdowns on 74.2 percent passing. More impressively, the rookie has been sacked twice and has tossed just one pick over those 62 attempts. The Browns promoted Freddie Kitchens to the offensive coordinator position after Haley was given the boot, and the quarterback-minded playcaller has put Mayfield in optimal situations to succeed. While the numbers probably won’t be huge any given week, Mayfield is a roster-worthy spot-starter with the fifth-best remaining schedule in fantasy. There’s a legit chance Gregg Williams is the full-time head coach after the season and, if all goes well, the same could be said about removing the interim label from Kitchens’ title.
Mike Evans is the only receiver in Tampa to play more snaps in the past three games than Adam Humphries, and it isn’t even close. He was addressed in this space last week, so I won’t spend much time rehashing the details, but any receiver seeing 75-plus percent of his team’s offensive plays each week is worthy of a fantasy spot, particularly when the defense is as bad as that of the Bucs. His returns weren’t impressive vs. Washington, but the entire offense failed to capitalize. Don’t hold this against Humphries in PPR leagues with six teams off this week.
While several teams have done it in similar fashion against the New York Jets in 2018, LeSean McCoy‘s big game should encourage owners. This defense has been mostly awful at slowing running backs of all varieties in 2018. Aside from a few blips, like that wasted opportunity by Kenyan Drake in Week 9, the position has gashed the Jets for at least 17 points in six of the team’s 10 outings. Detroit in Week 1, Phillip Lindsay in Week 5, Marlon Mack in Week 6, and the aforementioned Drake’s second attempt in Week 9 were they only unimpressive efforts. McCoy faces a bright schedule the rest of the way, and quarterback play is about the only reason to not want to be on board. Upcoming after the Week 11 bye: Jacksonville (meh), Miami, the Jets again, Detroit, New England (and a Week 17 treat vs. Miami once more, provided you’re playing fantasy then). In a late-season attempt at salvaging his fantasy season, the prolific McCoy has a chance to go out with a bang.
Every team is entitled to a bad day at the office. It would have been better if Mike Evans didn’t drop a sure touchdown, and it’s not for a lack of trying after five trips inside of the opposing 20-yard line. This is a fluke, mainly because of the sheer ineptitude displayed — we won’t see that one rivaled anytime soon. However, the reality is this is closer to the norm than not for this Buccaneers team. Only 11 squads rank as being less efficient in the red zone. The most interesting part of this blunder is that head coach Dirk Koetter took over the playcalling duties ahead of the game … he might want to reconsider before Week 11.
The Los Angeles Rams gave up 273 rushing yards in Week 10 to the Seattle Seahawks. It’s not a fluke that Seattle is effective at running the ball, but to think this is automatically a strong matchup for running backs is short-sighted. Russell Wilson accounted for 92 of the yards, and outside of Alvin Kamara, no fantasy back has gone for more than Rashaad Penny’s 16.8 points vs. LA in 2018. Penny is just the second 100-yard rusher allowed by the Rams this year, and the other was … Seattle’s Chris Carson. Mike Davis also was effective in both of the Seattle games. Kansas City this week will pose a threat to this defense on the ground. After the Week 12 bye, Los Angeles plays modestly capable rushing offenses in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Arizona and San Fran. Be skeptical of starting backs from any of those offenses.
The Week 11 bye couldn’t come at a better time for the shaky New England Patriots. Julian Edelman suffered an ankle injury in the loss to the Tennessee Titans, and Rob Gronkowski missed another contest. Sony Michel was said to be healthy, but he looked a step off and was ineffective in his return from a two-game absence. The offensive line gets a shot to rest up, as well, and this defense will have an opportunity to get back to basics. The good and bad, depending on where you sit, is this defense doesn’t have the necessary personnel to thrive like past versions of the Pats. It will continue to struggle due to a lack of talent up front and the inability to consistently get to the quarterback. That is good for the offense, to a degree. It means more passing, but as we’ve seen with the loss of Gronk and Edelman at various points this year, Tom Brady is quite average without them in fantasy. Consider the lopsided loss to Tennessee for what it was: a confluence of events that worked perfectly against the Patriots. On the road, vs. a tough matchup defensively, facing a team and coaching staff comprised of former Patriots … it shouldn’t be as surprising as it seems. And it’s also not time to sound the alarm.
The season-ending knee injury suffered by Rams wideout Cooper Kupp opens a key role for Josh Reynolds in the passing game. He’s not as polished as the man he replaces, making erratic play a concern, but there are plenty of looks to be absorbed. Reynolds has played 20 percent of his limited action from the slot, a place where Kupp thrived. The inexperienced wideout will be shielded from added attention by the trio of Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley. Gamers in all conventional formats should be inclined to add Reynolds this week.
The New Orleans Saints love Brandon Marshall as their consolation prize after losing Dez Bryant to injury as fast as he entered the picture. Fantasy owners shouldn’t share that kind of appreciation — or any, really — for the well-traveled Marshall. He will find his way into the end zone once or twice the rest of the way, but after what looked like a rejuvenated version of Marshall early in his Seattle tenure was quickly dashed with the lead-footed, unable-to-separate version of what we’d seen him become in recent years. Calculating when he will have fantasy utility on a weekly basis is a fool’s errand. Find someone else for a roster spot. Really, anyone else will do.
I have nothing to add other than this cracked me up to no end … and it’s way better than “Omaha.”