|Najee Harris||14-40 rush
|Kareem Hunt||10-81 rush
|James Robinson||15-88 rush
|D’Andre Swift||14-47 rush
|Peyton Barber||23-111 rush
|Broncos||5 – 2||0|
|Cardinals||2 – 4||1|
|Browns||9 – 0||0|
|Saints||2 – 3||1|
|Dolphins||3 – 1||1|
Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts
Nothing appeared serious with these, though a few might miss some games.
QB Justin Herbert – Hand (returned)
QB Justin Fields – Hand (returned)
RB James White – Hip
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster – Ribs
WR Sterling Shepard – Hamstring
WR Darius Slayton – Hamstring
WR AJ Brown – Hamstring
WR Elijah Moore – Concussion
TE Rob Gronkowski – Ribs (returned)
RB James White (NE) – Injured his hip and stayed down for a while. He was carted off the field and immediately ruled out. Bill Belichick was more communicative than usual when asked about White’s status and he replied, “We’ll see.” It appeared to be a serious injury.
The only other running back with receptions was Brandin Bolden, who caught three of four targets for 23 yards. There’s no certainty about what the Patriots will do if he misses time. With White out, Mac Jones threw more to his wideouts in the loss to the Saints.
WR AJ Brown (TEN) – Suffered a hamstring injury at the start of the game and was ruled out. He wasn’t in his uniform in the second half. His replacement was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who led the Titans with four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. He’ll stand to inherit the job if Brown’s hamstring forces him to miss any time.
Westbrook-Ikhine was signed last year as an undrafted rookie free agent from Indiana. The Titans’ next two games are on the road at the Jets and Jaguars. The need to throw likely will not be great in those matchups.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) – Injured his ribs and left the loss to the Bengals in the third quarter. It wasn’t apparent when he was injured, and Diontae Johnson was already missing with a knee injury. James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud would see more work if Johnson and Smith-Schuster were to miss time. But the offense is already struggling, and both Washington (3-20) and McCloud (3-33) were marginally productive against the Bengals.
Free Agents, Flops and Other Notables
RB Zack Moss (BUF) – And we’re back to late 2020, when Moss was the better back than Devin Singletary. He gained 60 yards on 13 runs and caught three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown in the win over Washington. Singletary totaled only 26 yards on 11 rushes and gained nothing on his one catch. While Moss benefitted from the Bills getting a big lead, they host the Texans this week.
QB Justin Fields (CHI) – His debut as a starter went about as bad as it possibly could. He completed 6-of-20 for 68 yards and only gained 12 yards on three rushes. No receiver was better than Allen Robinson’s two catches for 27 yards. The Lions are coming to town this week, but all of the Bears are risky fantasy options until Fields shows that he can get the offense working.
WR Odell Beckham (CLE) – His 2021 debut saw him lead the Browns with five receptions for 77 yards in the easy win over the Bears. Jarvis Landry is on injured reserve, at least for now, so Beckham’s return was welcomed. But the Browns didn’t need to throw much in the game, and the next two weeks will be on the road at the Vikings and Chargers, where the rushing offense alone will not be enough to get a win. It was good to see Beckham back after his torn ACL of last year, and yet troubling that no other receivers caught more than two passes on Sunday.
WR A.J. Green (ARI) – DeAndre Hopkins was limited with a rib injury and only caught three passes for 21 yards. But Green led the Cardinals with five catches for 112 yards in the win over the Jaguars. Christian Kirk (7-104) also delivered. Green caught a touchdown last week, so he’s becoming more involved in the offense. The next two opponents are the Rams and 49ers, so Green’s improvement may stall for a few weeks.
RB James Robinson (JAC) – The Cardinals visited in Week 3, and Robinson finally looked like vintage-2020 when he ran for 88 yards and a score on 15 carries and caught six passes for 46 yards. Carlos Hyde ran eight times for 44 yards and never had a target.
WR Mike Williams (LAC) – Justin Herbert has a new best friend called Mike. Williams already surprised with scores in each of the first two games. He followed that up with his best effort yet – seven catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns at the Chiefs where he was an instrumental part of the upset.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) – Finally was more than mediocre when he ran for 100 yards and caught two passes for nine yards and a score in the loss to the Chargers.
QB Jameis Winston (NO) – The Saints beat the Patriots, and Winston threw two scores, but he only passed for 128 yards and completed 13-of-21. His last full season as a starter was when he threw for over 5,000 yards. His current pace would end with only 2,193 yards in a 17-game season.
RB Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL) – He only ran for 20 yards on seven carries, but he led the Falcons with 82 yards on six catches. He plays against the visiting Football Team and Jets before their Week 6 bye, so his role as a receiver should continue.
RB Saquon Barkley (NYG) – He was sidelined temporarily, but Barkley was closer to his old form in the loss to the Falcons. He ran for 51 yards on 16 carries and scored a one-yard touchdown. He also added six catches for 43. Considering how badly the Giants offensive line is blocking, Barkley’s getting very close to no longer having any limitation.
RB Najee Harris (PIT) – While the rookie ran for only 40 yards on 14 rushes, he led the Steelers with 14 catches for 102 yards. His increased usage coincided with the absence of Diontae Johnson.
RB Michael Carter (NYJ) – There’s nothing with fantasy value on the Jets so far, but at least Carter was given nine rushes and three targets in the loss to the Broncos. Tevin Coleman was out, and Ty Johnson only ran the ball three times. He’ll face softer defenses in the Titans and Falcons next, but at current rate, he won’t see the volume he needs to become a fantasy option. But worth tracking these next two weeks.
TE Mike Gesicki (MIA) – Perhaps it was the switch to Jacoby Brissett, but Gesicki totaled just three catches for 41 yards after the first two games. In Week 3, he posted ten catches for 86 yards to lead the Dolphins in their overtime loss to the Raiders.
WR Jaylen Waddle (MIA) – It is comforting to know that even a quarterback change doesn’t impact how badly the Dolphins want to connect with Waddle. He only gained 58 yards but caught 12 of the team-high 13 targets. The upcoming schedule is one of the lighter ones in the league.
WR Bryan Edwards (LV) – He led the Raiders with 89 yards on three catches in the win over the Dolphins. That included a 34-yard catch deep in overtime that kicked off the winning drive. He’s only caught three or four passes in each game, but he’s also made the critical catches to help the three-game winning streak of the Raiders. More notable, those all came against the good secondaries of the Ravens, Steelers, and Dolphins. He’s become a reliable part of the passing scheme, and the schedule continues to face better than average defenses.
RB Peyton Barber (LV) – In his second game as a Raider, Barber replaced Josh Jacobs and ran for 111 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, plus caught three of five targets for 31 yards. Kenyan Drake remains the third-down back with just eight runs for 24 yards and three receptions for 31 yards. The Raiders paid the big bucks to bring on Drake, but they turned to Barber to be the primary running back with Jacobs out.
RB Sony Michel (LAR) – With Darrell Henderson out, the Rams relied exclusively on Michel as the primary back with 20 carries for 67 yards in the win over the Patriots. He added three catches for 12 yards while Jake Funk only handled one carry. He faces an average rush defense when the Cardinals visit this week.
RB Alexander Mattison (MIN) – And that’s why you get the handcuff. Dalvin Cook was inactive this week, and Alexander Mattison ran for 112 yards on 26 rushes and caught six passes for 59 yards in a very Cook-ish performance. If Cook remains out, the Vikings host the Browns and Lions over the next two weeks.
TE Tyler Conklin (MIN) – The Vikings only totaled six catches for 56 yards to tight ends over the first two weeks. But Conklin came around for the Seahawks, catching a career-best seven passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. It was the second score in his four years in the NFL. If the Vikings face a defense that is weak versus tight ends, Conklin is an option.
RB Trey Sermon, FB Kyle Juszczyk (SF) – The rookie had his first NFL start and ended with 31 yards and a touchdown on ten carries, plus two catches for three yards. It wasn’t nearly as impressive as Elijah Mitchell, but it also wasn’t against the Lions. Even with Mitchell out and JaMycal Hasty on injured reserve, the 49ers also relied on fullback Kyle Juszczyk for five rushes for 14 yards and four catches for 37 yards and almost the winning touchdown.
TE Dawson Knox (BUF) – Scored for the second week in a row and gained 49 yards on four catches in the win over Washington. Knox caught four passes for over 40 yards in the two home games this year, and his week host the visiting Texans, who are ranked No. 29 versus the position.
Huddle player of the week
Justin Tucker – He’s been the ultimate fantasy kicker for several years and was already considered one of the best kickers, if not THE best kicker, in NFL history. Wonder no more. Tucker walked off the field in Detroit after he kicked a 66-yard field goal that hit the cross bar, bounced up and then fell over for the score. What better way to break an all-time NFL record?
Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
|QB||Taylor Heinicke||243||3||QB||Russell Wilson||298||1|
|RB||Peyton Barber||107||1||RB||Christian McCaffrey||40||0|
|RB||Alexander Mattison||171||0||RB||David Montgomery||55||0|
|WR||Kendrick Bourne||96||1||WR||Sterling Shepard||16||0|
|WR||DeSean Jackson||120||1||WR||DeAndre Hopkins||21||0|
|WR||Hunter Renfrow||77||1||WR||Tyler Lockett||31||0|
|TE||Tyler Conkin||70||1||TE||T.J. Hockenson||10||0|
|PK||Justin Tucker||1 XP 4 FG||PK||Harrison Butker||3 XP 1 FG|
|Huddle Fantasy Points = 129||Huddle Fantasy Points = 23|
Now get back to work…