Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
QB Daniel Jones – Benched
QB Matthew Stafford – Ribs
QB Alex Smith – Calf
QB Brandon Allen – Knee
TE Noah Fant – Illness
TE Mike Gesicki – Shoulder
WR Devante Parker – Leg
WR Jakeem Grant – Leg
WR Deebo Samuel – Hamstring
WR Mike Williams – Back
It just feels like I missed someone when I could not locate any injured running backs.
QB Daniel Jones (NYG)– While technically he was benched after a dismal showing against the Cardinals, Jones was rushed back too early from his hamstring injury in the belief he gave the Giants their best chance to win. That may have still been true, given the lack of success of Colt McCoy. The Giants host the Browns this week and cannot afford any more losses. A home game usually helps, but neither Jones nor McCoy are relevant in fantasy for now.
QB Matt Stafford (DET)– Stafford was crushed in an awkward position when he ran the ball against the Packers and injured his ribs. The severity should be known as early as Monday and the Lions have an enticing matchup at the Titans this week. Chase Daniels would replace him if he missed any time but that doesn’t offer much confidence that the passing game can maintain its average stats.
QB Alex Smith (WAS)– Injured his calf but X-rays were negative and early speculation is that it is not serious. The Football Team hosts the Seahawks this week which usually benefits the passing game. Smith should return, but if he doesn’t, Dwayne Haskins just reminded everyone why he was benched.
TE Noah Fant (DEN) Left the game with a stomach bug and was replaced by Troy Fumagalli who led the team with five targets. He caught four for 53 yards and Nick Vannett ended with four catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. Fant is expected back this week but just missed out on eight catches for 73 yards and a score that the other Denver tight ends produced.
TE Mike Gesicki (MIA)– Already scored twice on his five receptions for 65 yards in the loss to the Chiefs, Gesicki was dragged down on a tackle late in the game and landed heavily on his right shoulder. He did not move his right arm as he went to the locker room, which is not a good sign for this week versus the Patriots. Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe would just split up the workload if Gesicki remains out. After the game, Tua Tagovailoa said that he saw Gesicki and that he was “really hurting.”
WR DeVante Parker (MIA)– Left the loss to the Chiefs in the second quarter with a leg injury. He later returned to the sideline but never re-entered the game. Jakeem Grant also left the game with a leg injury. Added to the loss of Gesicki, the Fins receiving corps was largely stripped of starters. Parker is the only fantasy-relevant wideout and his status should be better known on Monday.
WR Deebo Samuel (SF) – Only lasted for one play in the loss to the Football Team and left with a hamstring injury. HC Kyle Shanahan said that it “didn’t look good.” Samuel has already missed previous games with a hamstring issue and there is a concern that this time could end his 2020 season. Brandon Aiyuk blew up with ten catches for 119 yards in his absence and Kendrick Bourne (3-42) saw seven targets replacing Samuel. If he misses any games or the rest of the season, Aiyuk stands to benefit the most as the only remaining weapon of any note in the passing offense.
WR Mike Williams (LAC) – Left with a back injury on the opening drive and was replaced by Tyron Johnson, who caught 6-of-7 for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. The Chargers play on Thursday night, so Williams won’t have much time to heal.
Free Agents, Flops and Other Notables
WR KJ Hamler (DEN) – The rookie has had a quiet first season with only one touchdown coming into Week 14. He led the team against the Panthers with 86 yards and two touchdowns on just two catches – 37 and 49-yard scores. The 2.14 pick out of Penn State is small at only 5-8 and 178 pounds but he runs a 4.27/40 and was drafted to run deep routes just as he did this week.
RB Duke Johnson (HOU) – The beatdown by the Bears prevented Johnson from doing much as a rusher (7-38) but at least he added 53 yards on his two receptions. Buddy Howell (11-42) led the backfield only because he finished the game after the Texans surrendered. Next week is at the Colts, where the receiving ability will be relied on again.
RB David Montgomery (CHI) – What would the NFL be like without a weekly rant about the usage of Montgomery? He ran for an 80-yard touchdown in the first quarter and the Bears won 7-36 and led 7-30 at the half. And yet Montgomery was limited to 11 carries for 113 yards. Special teams gimmick Cordarrelle Patterson ran six times for 26 yards. That’s two weeks of great production from Montgomery who may never know what a workhorse is. He even added 42 yards on just three catches. What are they saving him for?
WR A.J. Green (CIN) – Faced the Cowboys very average secondary and Green led the Bengals with six catches for 62 yards and caught the only Bengals’ touchdown. He’s doing himself a big favor since he’s due to be looking for a new employer in 2021.
QB Gardner Minshew (JAC) – Mike Glennon got the hook in the loss to the Titans and Minshew entered the game midway in the third quarter. He threw for 178 yards and a score in the final 21 minutes of the game. The Jags play in Baltimore next week, so he’s not likely to save anyone in fantasy playoffs.
QB Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) – He did throw 48 passes in the loss to the Chiefs, but he completed 28 for 316 yards and two touchdowns. And he did that without Preston Williams (IR) or Devante Parker (injured). He threw to 11 different receivers and made use of Lynn Bowden (7-82) and Mack Hollins (5-66). What’s he going to be like in 2021 when he has a full set of receivers? He also ran for 24 yards and a touchdown.
TE Dan Arnold (ARI) – The Cardinals haven’t used the tight ends much as receivers for years (maybe decades). But Arnold caught a touchdown in Week 11 at Seattle. Had just one catch in Week 12. Then he turned two receptions into touchdowns against the Rams. And on Sunday, he caught another score in the win over the Giants. He scored four touchdowns over his last four games played. All Cardinals’ wideouts combined for just one touchdown over the last four games. And Arnold has four.
TE Irv Smith (MIN) – With Kyle Rudolph out this week, Smith led the Vikings with 63 yards on four catches and one touchdown – their only passing score. The Buccaneers all but shut down the Vikings’ wide receivers somehow, but Smith stepped up and even Tyler Conklin ended with five catches for 40 yards.
RB Leonard Fournette (TB) – He was a healthy scratch against the Vikings. Ronald Jones ran for 80 yards and one touchdown on 18 rushes and had one catch for a moderate game. Interesting was that they allowed LeSean McCoy to run four times for 32 yards and threw him a pass as well. That was McCoy’s first action since Week 6. This feels like more of a negative for Fournette than a positive for McCoy.
RB Jonathan Taylor (IND) – The rookie saw moderate use in a committee backfield this year and fell below ten touches a few times around mid-season. He’s apparently on the same plan as Cam Akers since Taylor ran for over 90 yards in Weeks 11 and 13. And on Sunday, he ravaged the Raiders with 20 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-yard scoring run during the third quarter. Nyheim Hines still ran the ball seven times for 58 yards, but Taylor is reliable again after three impressive weeks.
RB Josh Jacobs (LV) – This is an issue with fantasy leaguers at the least. And maybe a few gambling types as well. Jacobs was a game-time call against the Colts with an ankle injury. He had an Instagram post that said “SORRY GUYS IM NOT PLAYING TODAY.” But he was active and did indeed play, gaining 49 yards on 13 rushes and adding three catches for 25 yards. He was apparently trolling fantasy owners.
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) – The Falcons quarterback struggled this year and the loss of their head coach back in Week 5 further signaled the team’s dysfunction. But he failed to throw any scores in his two previous road games and at the Chargers, he had to settled for just 224 yards and one touchdown – plus three interceptions. Calvin Ridley (8-124, TD) managed to remain a top receiver but Julio Jones missed his third game of the year. Ryan was the No. 6 fantasy quarterback last year with 4,446 yards and 27 touchdowns. His decline has been very steep.
RB Alvin Kamara (NO) – He rushed for 50 yards and a score on 11 carries in the loss to the Eagles. But highly favorable was that his ten targets led the offense and he caught seven for 44 yards. His role as a receiver had been missing since Taysom Hill took over.
QB Jalen Hurts (PHI) – The Eagles rookie was given the start over Carson Wentz and proceeded to beat the Saints (or at the least, was there while the Saints lost). He passed for 167 yards and one score to Alshon Jeffery. He threw no interceptions but lost one fumble. And he rushed for 106 yards on 18 runs. That was just 13 yards short of Lamar Jackson’s NFL record 119 yards in the first start for a quarterback.
RB Miles Sanders (PHI) – Quite the day for the second-year running back. He had not scored since Week 5 and battled a knee injury this year. The last two weeks saw him with only eight and ten touches for minimal yardage. But against the Saints and their No. 2 ranked rushing defense, he ran for 115 yards and two scores on 14 carries and added four catches for 21 yards.
Huddle player of the week
Derrick Henry – He ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and added two receptions for seven yards in the win over the Jaguars. He should be the NFL MVP this year. This is the third time this season that he’s been the highest-scoring fantasy player in the NFL. With three games left to play, Henry leads the NFL with 297 carries for 1,532 yards and 14 touchdowns. That is a pace to end with 365 carries for 1,885 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
|QB||Tua Tagovailoa||316-24||3||QB||Matt Ryan||224-3||1|
|WR||KJ Hamler||2-86||2||WR||DeVante Parker||0||0|
|WR||Brandon Aiyuk||10-118||0||WR||Terry McLaurin||2-24||0|
|WR||Nelson Agholor||5-100||1||WR||Adam Thielen||3-39||0|
|TE||Irv Smith||4-63||1||TE||Evan Engram||2-18||0|
|PK||Rodrigo Blankenship||5 XP 3 FG||PK||Will Lutz||3 XP|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 153||Huddle Fantasy Points = 41|
Now get back to work…