ARI 17, BAL 23
That Murray kid can ball. Sure, they lost, but he threw for 349 yards in Baltimore with no turnovers. Christian Kirk (6-114) and Larry Fitzgerald (5-104) dominated their box score and producing two 100-yard receivers in Baltimore is not something a rookie should be able to do in his second game. David Johnson left with a wrist injury but returned and ran in a touchdown but only totaled 14 yards in the game.
Lamar Jackson threw for 272 yards and touchdowns for both of his tight ends Hayden Hurst (1-1, TD) and Mark Andrews (8-112, TD) who has become Jackson’s favorite target. John Brown caught eight passes for 86 yards but no other receivers managed more than 15 yards. Mark Ingram ran for 47 yards and caught two passes for 40 yards. Ingram was questionable coming into the game and left after taking a huge shot to the body. He returned later and seemed no worse for wear. The Ravens had no surprises but the Cardinals made this much more of a game than expected.
49ERS 41, CIN 17
How about that? The 49ers upset the Buccaneers in Week 1 and now spanked the Bengals – both on the road. Jimmy Garoppolo came to life with 297 yards and three touchdowns. Deebo Samuel (5-87, TD), Marquise Goodwin (3-77), TD) and Raheem Mostert (3-68, TD) all scored while George Kittle (3-54) was quieter than usual. Matt Breida ran for 121 yards while Mostert added 83 and Jeff Wilson gained 34 yards on ten carries and scored twice. The offense looked great in every facet but seriously spread the carries and catches around.
The game was never close and Andy Dalton (311 yards, 2 TD) only looked good thanks to a 66-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left to play to John Ross (4-112, TD). Tyler Boyd (10-122) also performed well as Dalton threw mostly to just the two starting wideouts. Joe Mixon wasn’t 100% entering the game and only gained 17 yards on 11 carries with three catches for 10 yards. The only plus to the Bengals this year is that they play from behind each week and Dalton’s stats get the benefit of facing a prevent defense.
LAC 10, DET 13
The score made this the lowest of the day in the NFL, but at least several of the notable fantasy starters turned in decent games. Austin Ekeler ran for 66 yards and a score plus caught six passes for 67 yards. His owners are going to be depressed once Melvin Gordon finally returns. Philip Rivers passed for 293 yards but no scores while Keenan Allen (8-98) and Mike Williams (3-83) helped the effort. Justin Jackson ran for 59 yards on seven carries thanks to a 40-yard gain but only caught one pass.
Matt Stafford threw for 245 yards and two scores between Kenny Golladay (6-117, TD) and Kevin Johnson (2-47, TD). Johnson finally showed up this year with 12 runs for 41 yards. His 88 yards and a score were much more in line with expectations and C.J. Anderson only gained eight yards on five runs which should help keep Johnson busy next week in Philadelphia. Johnson only caught the two passes put success should spell higher usage in the future.
MIN 16, GB 21
The Vikings ran into the vastly improved Packers secondary and Kirk Cousins only managed 230 yards and one score with two interceptions. Adam Thielen (5-75) was the only receiver with more than three catches. Stefon Diggs only caught one pass but it was a 49-yard touchdown. Dalvin Cook ran 20 times for 154 yards and a touchdown and he added three receptions for 37 yards and the only big performance for the team. The Vikings followed their plan to run the offense through Cook even if they lost.
Aaron Rodgers did just enough with 209 yards and two scores. Davante Adams (7-106) was the only receiver with more than 34 yards. Geronimo Allison (4-25, TD) is back into the game plan but Jimmy Graham was blanked on his two targets. Aaron Jones ran for 116 yards and a score plus added 34 yards on four receptions as the best player for the Packers. It was nothing flashy, but the Packers beat the visiting Vikings and their defense. And they did it mainly by rushing the ball.
JAC 12, HOU 13
This wasn’t an exciting game and was everything that most Jaguars matchups produce. But there was at least a few notables within the game. Gardner Minshew had his first NFL start and threw for 213 yards and one score. It is very different playing the Texans defense on the road instead of the visiting Chiefs like last week. He used his wideouts well with Chris Conley (4-73) and DJ Chark (7-55, TD) both repeated good efforts like Week 1. Leonard Fournette only gained 47 yards on 15 carries but added four receptions for 40 yards. Minshew didn’t have a big statistical game but he played well enough that the Jags could have won. He also ran for 56 yards on six rushes.
Deshaun Watson only passed for159 yards and DeAndre Hopkins was their best with only five receptions for 40 yards. Carlos Hyde was the primary rusher and gained 90 yards on 20 carries but never had a target. Duke Johnson ran for 31 yards on six rushes and missed his only target. The Jaguars defense all but shut them down but the Texans still don’t much rely on throwing to their backs. The Texans were lucky that the Jaguars went for two points on their late score and failed or this game might have ended up as a loss.
BUF 28, NYG 14
Can’t say that Eli Manning didn’t try. He passed for 250 yards and one score despite missing both starting wideouts. He connected with nine different receivers with Bennie Fowler (5-51) and Evan Engram (6-48) as the best of the
junk heap bunch. Saquon Barkley rolled up 107 yards and a score on 18 carries and added 28 more yards on three receptions. That he could produce 135 total yards as the only player the defense cares about is a testament to his immense talent.
The Bills won but no single player had a big showing. Josh Allen threw for 253 yards and a score plus ran for 21 yards and a touchdown. Cole Beasley (4-83) and John Brown (7-72) were clearly the better receivers. Once again, Frank Gore ran 19 times for 68 yards and a score while Devin Singletary was limited to just six carries and yet gained 57 yards and one touchdown. This was the expected beatdown on a Giants team that is already ravaged by injury in Week 2.
SEA 28, PIT 26
Close game and a loss for the Steelers in part because of Ben Roethlisberger getting hurt. He had only completed 8-of-15 passes for 75 yards and gave way to Mason Rudolph who threw for 112 yards and two scores. JuJu Smith-Schuster (5-84) remained the top receiver but Vance McDonald (7-38, 2 TD) came to life under Rudolph. No other receivers had more than 23 yards and may not if Roethlisberger remains out. James Conner ran for only 33 yards on 11 carries but scored once and added three catches for 12 yards.
Russell Wilson ended with 300 yards and three touchdowns. Like the Steelers, two of them went to tight end Will Dissly (5-50, 2 TD) while DK Metcalf (3-61, TD) caught the third. Tyler Lockett managed 79 yards on ten receptions. The backfield split left Rashaad Penny (10-62, TD) and Chris Carson (15-60) with good but not great production though Carson added three catches for 27 yards. It was a road win and the defense came through for the Seahawks even before Roethlisberger missed the second half.
IND 19, TEN 17
Who needs Luck? (The Colts actually but they ain’t dead without him). Jacoby Brissett passed for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Those favored T.Y. Hilton (4-43), Eric Ebron (3-25, TD) and the rookie Parris Campbell (1-12, TD). Maron Mack only gained 51 yards on 20 runs and added two catches for 12 yards. Jordan Wilkins gained 82 yards on five runs that included a 55-yard gain and the Mack owner might want to… quietly… get that handcuff. Shhh…
Marcus Mariota passed for only 154 yards and one score to the fantasy stud David Quessenberry (offensive tackle eligible). The 35-year-old Delanie Walker (‘gasp’) was the top receiver with only 39 yards on four receptions. Derrick Henry ran for 81 yards and a score on 15 carries and added two catches for 12 yards for a decent game. Which was more than any other Titan could claim. At some point, Mariota has to give way to someone else that can actually throw downfield. It may not be until 2020, but it will in all cases be in 2020.
DAL 31, WAS 21
This game met expectations plus scored a few more points. Dak Prescott ended with 269 passing yards and three touchdowns. Devin Smith (3-74, TD) was the surprise (more so for the Redskins defense) while Michael Gallup 6-68) and Amari Cooper (4-44, TD) both turned in moderately good stats. Jason Witten (4-25, TD) scored in both games since he returned. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 111 yards and a touchdown but only added two catches for nine yards.
The Redskins had almost no rushing success with Adrian Peterson gaining just 25 yards but scoring on his ten rushes. He added two catches for just seven yards. Case Keenum settled for only 221 yards and two scores but Terry McLaurin (5-62, TD) once again turned in a fantasy-relevant performance that should ensure he is scraped off the waiver wire in any leagues that did not buy into Week 1. Chris Thompson has almost no role as a rusher but turned in five receptions for 48 yards. The Skins look lethargic but at least McLaurin makes a difference and Peterson is not a liability.
KC 28, OAK 10
No surprises here other than the Sammy Watkins (6-49) owners that pictured monster games every week. Patrick Mahomes threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns because he is Patrick Mahomes. Tyreek Hill is out and his replacements were both Demarcus Robinson (6-172, 2 TD) and Mecole Hardman (4-61, TD) thereby proving that anyone starting for the Chiefs is a must-start fantasy play. Robinson only totaled 288 yards in all of 2018, so yeah, kinda a jump in production for at least this week. But LeSean McCoy totaled only 23 yards and Damien Williams only ran for eight yards but caught three passes for 48 yards.
Derek Carr only threw for 198 yards and one score with Darren Waller (6-63) and Tyrell Williams (5-46, TD) as the only receivers that mattered just like last week. Josh Jacobs ran for 99 yards on just 12 carries thanks to a late 51-yard scamper but he never had a target. The Raiders offense is already limited to what Waller, Williams, and Jacobs can produce, and most of that depends on Carr.
CHI 16, DEN 14
Great game if you only watched the final quarter. More like just the last three minutes. The Bears led 13-3 in this yawner until the Broncos settled for a field goal to make it 13-6. Then they threw a touchdown pass with 31 seconds left and missed the extra point. But a penalty on the Bears gave them another chance so they went for two points and made it 14-13 with 31 seconds left to play. The Bears kicked a 53-yard field goal to win as time expired.
Make no mistake – Mitchell Trubisky was wholly ineffectual until his 25-yard completion to set up the field goal. He only passed for 120 yards and Allen Robinson (4-41) was still the top receiver. But David Montgomery ran for 62 yards and a score while Mike Davis was limited to three carries for one yard like every Montgomery drafter was assuming.
Joe Flacco ended with 291 yards and one score to Emmanuel Sanders (11-98, TD) who was the only productive wideout. Royce Freeman (11-54) split the carries with Philip Lindsay (13-36) and both caught four passes for moderate gains. The Broncos rushing offense looked better than expected, but still not good enough. The Broncos faith that Joe Flacco was somehow the missing piece has led to a 0-2 start.
NO 9, LAR 27
Armageddon? The big No-Geaux? Drew Brees injured his thumb and never returned to the game. Brees has only missed three games in his 14 years in New Orleans even then some were being rested in Week 17. Teddy Bridgewater only completed 17-of-30 passes for 165 yards and no scores. Michael Thomas (10-89) was still the best receivers but no one else was better than three catches or 49 yards. This was not “Brees-quality” nor is it realistic to expect such if he misses more time. Alvin Kamara ran for 45 yards but only caught one pass for 15 yards.
Jared Goff passed for 283 yards and one score plus ran in one as well. Cooper Kupp (5-120) covered 66 yards on one catch only to be tackled before the goal line. Brandin Cooks ended with three catches for 74 yards and the one score. Todd Gurley ran for 63 yards and one score on 16 carries while Malcolm Brown (6-37) mostly stayed out of his way.
This wasn’t the high-points shootout hoped for thanks to the loss of Brees. That changed the trajectory of the game significantly and will continue to do so if he cannot play in Seattle this week.
PHI 20, ATL 24
The Eagles saw nearly everyone in the passing game to out for at least a series if not the game. Carson Wentz passed for 231 yards and one score to nelson Agholor (8-107, TD) who was the last man standing after both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery left in the first quarter. As usual, the committee backfield produced less than desired with Miles Sanders (10-28) and Jordan Howard (8-18) finding the rushing tough and both turned in fewer than ten yards as a receiver. Zach Ertz (8-72) was the only Eagle that turned in a predictably good fantasy performance.
The Falcons held on to win with Matt Ryan passing for 320 yards and three touchdowns including the 54-yard score to Julio Jones with two minutes left to play for the final lead. Jones (5-106, 2 TD) and Calvin Ridley (8-105, TD) dominated the box score and were the only notable receivers. Devonta Freeman ended with 64 total yards while Ito Smith tallied 45 yards. This was exactly what we wanted to see – Ryan and his two wideouts combining for monster performances.
NE 43, MIA 0
Yes, this was not a close game and no nails were bitten in the production of this gridiron massacre. But it is everything that fantasy football loves and hates.
Once again, the Dolphins swapped out quarterbacks that were placed into impossible situations with lines that don’t block, receivers that don’t get open and sometimes drop the few accurate passes that happen. Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined for 18-of-39 completions for 186 yards and four interceptions. That has rendered all Miami receivers as worthless except for undrafted Preston Williams (4-63) who may, with luck, feast on garbage time every week.
Kenyan Drake ran for only 19 yards on six carries while Kalen Ballage was held to six yards on four rushes. Mark Walton ran three times for 15 yards as a precursor to the future if the Fins are successful in dealing away Drake. Maybe the worst of all was that DeVante Parker turned a team-high seven targets into zero catches.
The great thing is that the Dolphins will face another team every week. That could be a great thing… or not.
The matchup was a blowout but Tom Brady only passed for 264 yards and two scores. Antonio Brown had his first showing as a Patriot and caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown with three coming in the first series. But Julian Edelman (4-51), Josh Gordon (2-19) and Philip Dorsett (3-39) did almost nothing. In a game win by 43 points.
Sony Michel ran for 85 yards and a touchdown but James White totaled only 29 yards – and scored once. The Patriots defense intercepted four passes. pitched a shutout and returned two interceptions for a touchdown.
Every opposing defense is going to feast on the Dolphins, but the primary running back and team defense are the only fantasy plays that are highly likely to produce big points when facing the Fins. Next week, the Dolphins play in Dallas for their first road game of the year.