A quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games from a fantasy perspective.
LV 6, ATL 43
The wheels fell off the Raiders wagon and the same team that beat the Chiefs once and almost twice was never remotely in this beat down. Derek Carr passed for 215 yards and one interception while Hunter Renfrow (7-73) and Henry Ruggs (3-56) were the top receivers. Josh Jacobs only ran seven times for 27 yards. The Raiders looked like their loss to the Chiefs last week just took it out of them and they mailed this in. Carr lost three fumbles and Jacobs fumbled once as well.
The Falcons were already without Todd Gurley and Julio Jones, but no matter. Ito Smith (12-65, TD) and Brian Hill (13-55) both had no trouble running the ball. Matt Ryan only needed to throw for 185 yards and two scores with Calvin Ridley (6-50, TD) and Hayden Hurst (4-48) were the top receivers. The Falcons even ran in an interception for a touchdown alone with Younghoe Koo kicking five field goals. The 6-5 Raiders travel to play the Jets this week, while the 4-7 Falcons host the Saints.
LAC 17, BUF 27
The Bills led throughout this matchup and ruined the return of Austin Ekeler, who was not limited in any way. He ran for 44 yards on 14 carries and was the leading receiver with 11 receptions for 85 yards. Justin Herbert passed for 316 yards and one score to Keenan Allen (4-40, TD) but most of the yardage was late in the game. Hunter Henry (7-67) and Tyron Johnson (2-63) both turned in better-than-average production and Johnson hauled in a 55-yard Hail Mary pass that came up a few yards short. Joshua Kelley ran in the touchdown on his seven rushes for 35 yards, but broke a 33-yard run to pump up his stats.
Josh Allen threw for just 157 yards and one score while Cole Beasley also tossed a 20-yard touchdown to Gabriel Davis (3-79, TD) who was a great replacement for John Brown. Stefon Diggs (7-39) was the next best receiver but the Bills ran the ball 30 times. Devin Singletary (11-82) and Zack Moss (9-59) were both effective but Allen (9-31, TD) ran in the only rushing score. The 3-8 Chargers host the Patriots this week while the 8-3 Bills head to San Francisco.
NYG 19, CIN 17
This matchup was every bit as unexciting as expected. By the end, it was a duel between Brandon Allen vs. Colt McCoy with all the firewords that suggests. Wayne Gallman (24-94, TD) turned in a nice day rushing and Evan Engram (6-129) even gained 53 yards on one catch. There were no passing scores and Graham Gano kicked four field goals to take the win.
Brandon Allen only passed for 136 yards but included a touchdown to Tee Higgins (5-44, TD) with two minutes left to bring the score closer. Life without the rookie Joe Burrows does not look to be very productive. Giovani Bernard ran for 32 yards on eight carries and no Bengals player gained more than the 49 total yards by Bernard. On the plus – opponents will play down to the Bengals. On the minus – still won’t matter. The 4-7 Giants head to Seattle this week while the 2-8-1 Bengals travel to Miami.
TEN 45, IND 26
This was 14-14 in the second quarter before it all broke open for the Titans. Derrick Henry once again had a monster performance with 178 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill passed for 221 yards and one score to AJ Brown (4-98) that included a 69-yard catch and score. Brown even turned in a 42-yard touchdown on a kickoff return when the Colts were attempting an onside kick. This was just a romp by the Titans that took advantage of defensive absences of the Colts.
Philip Rivers passed for 295 yards and two scores including T.Y. Hilton leading the team with 81 yards on four catches along with his first touchdown of the season. Since Jonathan Taylor was out, Nyhem Hines ran for 29 yards on ten carries and caught eight passes for 66 yards. No other Colt receiver gained more than 42 yards. This was just another game where Henry ran over their opponent who could not stop him. The win sends the 8-3 Titans home to face the Browns while the 7-4 Colts head to Houston.
CLE 27, JAC 25
This was closer than their records in the standings would have suggested. Baker Mayfield passed for 258 yards and two scores while Jarvis Landry finally had a big game with eight catches for 143 yards and a score but no other receivers topped three catches or 32 yards. Nick Chubb predictably ran for 144 yards and a score on 19 carries plus added 32 yards on three catches while Kareem Hunt gained 62 yards on ten rushes. The Browns trailed 17-19 in the third quarter before mounting a late comeback to win.
Mike Glennon’s first start produced 235 passing yards and two scores with the rookie Collin Johnson (4-96, TD) led the team while replacing DJ Chark. No other receiver gained over 44 yards. James Robinson ran for 128 yards and a score on 22 carries and added 31 yards on five catches while cementing his wing in the Undrafted Rookie Running Back Hall of Fame. The 8-3 Browns enjoy their first non-losing season in 12 years and head to Tennessee. The 1-10 Jaguars play at the Vikings this week.
ARI 17, NE 20
Not a lot of offense on either side in this one. Kyler Murray only passed for 170 yards and one interception while rushing for 31 yards on five runs. DeAndre Hopkins was held to five catches for 55 yards while no other receiver gained more than 33 yards. Kenyan Drake scored twice on his 22 rushes for 78 yards but this was nothing like the electric offense we’ve seen this year. The Cardinals took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter but did not score again until the middle of the fourth quarter when they tied the score, 17-17.
The Patriots were little better. Cam Newton only threw for 84 yards and two interceptions and ran for 46 yards on nine rushes. Jakobi Meyers (5-52) and Damiere Byrd (3-33) consumed all of the passing other than James White losing a yard on his only catch. Damien Harris (14-47) and White (5-18, 2 TD) were the only running backs and they allowed White to take the two touchdown runs. The Cardinals missed a 45-yard field goal attempt with 1:52 left to play and the Patriots got into field goal range mostly thanks to an unneccessary roughness call after Newton ran for 14 yards. Nick Folk kicked the 50-yard field goal for the win.
MIA 20, NYJ 3
Thank goodness HC Adam Gase took the play-calling duties back. Sam Darnold passed for 197 yards and two interceptions with a QB rating of 51.0. Breshad Perriman (4-79), Denzel Mims (4-67), and Jamison Crowder (3-31) took care of the receiving-but-not-scoring chores. Frank Gore ran for 74 yards on 18 carries. The Jets’ lone field goal came in the first six minutes of the game. Then 54 minutes of the Jets not scoring, but with a different play caller not calling scoring plays.
Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced the injured Tua Tagovailoa and threw for 257 yards and two scores. Devante Parker (8-119) was the only receiver with more than 35 yards but both Mike Gesicki (2-35, TD) and Adam Shaheen (1-7, TD) handled the touchdowns. With Salvon Ahmed out, DeAndre Washington (13-49) and Matt Breida (8-36) handled the backfield duties. This was a yawner chock-full of replacement players. The 7-4 Dolphins host the Bengals this weekend while the 0-11 Jets host the winning Raiders.
NO 31, DEN 3
It was everything we expected. This should be the game of the week if only because when has a practice squad wide receiver been given a chance to start a game as the quarterback? Kendall Hinton maybe a record holder now that he started an entire game and yet threw more interceptions (2) than he had completions (1). Noah Fant (1-9) was the leading receiver. Royce Freeman (8-50), Melvin Gordon (12-31) and Phillip Lindsay (9-20) shared the rushing workload but this game was over when someone for the Broncos said, “Hey, I know! There’s a guy on the practice squad…”
Taysom Hill only passed for 78 yards and one interception though he rushed for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Thomas (4-50) was the only receiver with more than one reception. Latavius Murray ran for 124 yards and two scores on 19 carries while Alvin Kamara fantasy owners got back only 54 rushing yards on 11 runs and he now has one career catch from Hill for a new of a one-yard loss. The 9-2 Saints head to Atlanta this week while the 4-7 Broncos head to Kansas City. Hopefully with a new (or used) quarterback that can throw more completions than interceptions. But – kinda fun to watch. A game with one completion? In good weather?
SF 23, LAR 20
The NFL is hard enough to forecast without this sort of game. The Rams had everything to win and were at home. The 49ers did get Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and Deebo Samuels back. Their offense didn’t do that much with Nick Mullens passing for 252 yards and one interception, and Samuel (11-133) as the only receiver with more than 34 yards. Mostert ran for 43 yards on 16 carries with one score while Wilson gained 43 yards on 12 rushes. Each side had a defensive touchdown.
Jared Goff only passed for 198 yards and two interceptions. Robert Woods (7-80) and Cooper Kupp (2-41) lead the Rams, while the only spark came from Cam Akers (9-84, TD) because he broke a 61-yard run in the fourth quarter and they allowed him to punch in the touchdown. Darrell Henderson (10-19) and Malcolm Brown (3-4) also contributed and next week, they’ll go back to the same coin-flip rotation in the backfield. The 5-6 49ers were supposed to host the Bills this week but are in search of a new place to play for a few weeks since San Jose shut down all college and pro sports for at least two weeks. The 7-4 Rams have to play in Arizona this week.
KC 27, TB 24
Game-o-the-Week contender. The Chiefs led 27-10 entering the fourth quarter but the Buccaneers turned to Mike Evans for two touchdowns and a 27-24 deficit with four minutes left to play but never got the ball back. Tom Brady passed for 345 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. Rob Gronkowski (6-106), Chris Godwin (8-97), and Mike Evans (3-50, 2 TD) all rewarded fantasy owners. Ronald Jones ran for 66 yards on nine carries and added a 37-yard touchdown catch. The two interceptions were costly since both were on the Chiefs’ side of the field.
Patrick Mahomes passed for 462 yards and three touchdowns that all ended up with Tyreek Hill (13-269, 3 TD). Travis Kelce caught eight passes for 82 yards but no other Chiefs’ receiver gained more than 38 yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for just 37 yards on 11carries while Le’Veon Bell was limited to 22 yards on five rushes. It doesn’t matter that the Chiefs rely so heavily on two players when no one can stop them. The 10-1 Chiefs host the Broncos while the 7-5 Buccaneers go onto their bye.
CHI 25, GB 41
The final game of the day was never close. The Packers jumped out to a 27-3 lead in the second quarter and then coasted their way to the win. David Montgomery broke off a 57-yard run and ended with 103 yards on 11 carries, plus five receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown for his best fantasy showing of the year. Mitchell Trubisky returned as the starter and passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions but most of that was in the second half when the Packers no longer cared as much. Allen Robinson caught eight passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns but no other receiver gained more than 34 yards. The Bears’ defense is typically better so opponents don’t get so far ahead that they give up that much trash time production.
Aaron Jones ran for 90 yards on 17 carries while Jamaal Williams gained 73 yards on 17 rushes with one touchdown. Aaron Rodgers was in top form, completing 21-of-29 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns. Robert Tonyan (5-67, TD) and Davante Adams (6-61, TD) were the only Packers with more than 39 yards. It gave the 5-6 Bears their fifth-straight loss but they host the Lions this week. The 8-3 Packers welcome the Eagles to Green Bay.
CAR 27, MIN 28
The Panthers led this 24-13 in the fourth quarter but the Vikings drove the field and Kirk Cousins found Justin Jefferson for a 10-yard touchdown plus a two-point conversion to Obisi Johnson to make it 24-21. The Panthers reached the MIN-9 yard line with 2:10 left to play but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal and a 27-21 lead. The Vikings had the ball with 1:51 left to play on their own 35-yard line. Cousins threw five straight completions to reach the CAR-10 yard line with 1:03 left to play. After one incompletion, he hit Chad Beebe for a touchdown and the 28-27 lead. The Panthers ended with a 54-yard field goal attempt that as no good.
Teddy Bridgewater passed for 267 yards and one score to Robby Anderson (4-94, TD). Curtis Samuel (5-72) and D.J. Moore (4-61) were big contributors though Moore left injured. Mike Davis ran for 55 yards on 15 rushes and added three receptions for 24 yards. The only reason the Panthers were in this was thanks to rookie linebacker Jeremy Chinn returning two fumbles for touchdowns on successive plays.
Dalvin Cook ran for 61 yards on 18 carries and added four catches for 21 yards. Kirk Cousins passed for 307 yards and three scores split between Justin Jefferson (7-70, 2 TD) and Chad Beebe (7-63, TD). Obisi Johnson (7-74) and Kyle Rudolph (7-68) also contributed with a total of five different receivers catching exactly seven passes. Cousins won this game while Cook was ineffective and banged up. The 4-8 Panthers go onto their bye while the 5-6 Vikings host the Jaguars.