Here’s a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games from a fantasy perspective.
TB 30, ATL 17
Not many surprises here, other than Leonard Fournette (13-44) doing little as a runner but still producing as a receiver with seven catches for 48 yards and one score. Tom Brady passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns on a day where all the receivers enjoyed solid performances. That includes Chris Godwin (15-143), Mike Evans (7-99), and Rob Gronkowski (4-58, 2 TD). They led just 20-17 at the half but then it was all Tampa Bay in the second half. The 9-3 Buccaneers host the Bills in a must-watch matchup for Week 14.
When the only offensive score is from Mike Davis (4-32, TD), chances are the game went very poorly. Matt Ryan passed for 297 yards and no scores, with Russell Gage (11-130) having a surprisingly productive effort but Kyle Pitts (4-48) still unable to shake the double coverage. Cordarrelle Patterson ran for 78 yards on 13 rushes but was held to only three catches for 18 yards. The Falcons received the standard Pick-Six thrown by Tom Brady but couldn’t manufacture enough offense to stay in the game. The loss drops the Falcons to 5-7 and they play in Carolina this week.
ARI 33, CHI 22
Despite the breezy, cold weather, the game provided the two things that fantasy owners wanted to see – Kyler Murray throwing for 123 yards and two scores plus rushing in two more on his ten runs for 59 yards. And DeAndre Hopkins is back on the field with a touchdown on his two catches for 32 yards. James Conner ran for 75 yards on 20 rushes and led the team with 36 yards on two receptions and a score. This game was never close and the Bears tacked on a late touchdown to make it look closer than it was. The 10-2 Cardinals looked sharp with Murray and Hopkins back even in the bad conditions and host the Rams in a big NFC West matchup for this weekend.
The Bears went to Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback since Justin Fields was, you know, not feeling well. But Dalton only passed for 229 yards and two scores with four interceptions. Jakeem Grant (5-62, TD) and Jimmy Graham (1-1, TD) handled the touchdowns, but the only fantasy-relevant player was David Montgomery (21-90, TD) who also caught a team-high eight passes for 51 yards. The Bears were never really in this, and the four interceptions made sure of it. The Bears fall to 4-8 and travel to Green Bay, where life is not likely to improve.
LAC 41, CIN 22
This was a game that was played in thirds. The Chargers jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the second quarter, then the Bengals fought back to 24-22, then the Chargers owned the fourth quarter. Justin Herbert passed for 317 yards and three scores between Jalen Guyton (4-90, TD) and Keenan Allen (5-34, 2 TD) while Mike Williams was “on again” and led the receivers with 110 yards on five catches. Austin Ekeler only gained 59 yards on 14 rushes with one score and added five receptions for 45 more yards. The win lifts the Chargers to 7-5 and they host the Chargers this week.
The biggest surprise was Joe Mixon only gaining 54 yards on 19 rushes but he scored once. Joe Burrow threw for 300 yards and one score but had two interceptions. Tee Higgins (9-138, TD) was the top receiver and even Tyler Boyd (5-85) gained more than Ja’Marr Chase (5-52). The Bengals fell behind from the start and never got any offensive rhythm going since they played from behind the entire game. The loss drops them to 7-5 and they host the 49ers for Week 14.
IND 31, HOU 0
This matchup wasn’t close as the score suggests. While the Texans kept the first meeting closer when they lost 31-3 in Week 6 at the Colts, they couldn’t muster that one field goal this time. Jonathan Taylor, happy to play in the AFC South, ran for 143 yards and two scores on 32 carries while Carson Wentz threw for 158 yards and one score to Ashton Dulin (1-2, TD) who repeated last week when he scored on his only catch in that game. Michael Pittman (6-77) was the only notable receiver on a day that was, once again, all about handing off the ball to Taylor. The 7-6 Colts head onto their bye where Jonathan Taylor has earned some rest.
Technically, this is a professional football team. Tyrod Taylor was benched and Davis Mills just repeated the same level of production that combined for 94 passing yards with one interception. Brandin Cooks was the top receiver though that only needed three catches for 38 yards. Rex Burkhead was the primary rusher with eight runs for 30 yards but he added a catch for 15 yards to boost his production. The 2-10 Texans host the Seahawks this week. There is still hope for the No. 1 seed with the Lions winning on Sunday.
NYG 9, MIA 20
This snooze-fest was only 6-10 entering the fourth quarter and the Giants never scored an actual touchdown. Mike Glennon replaced the inactive Daniel Jones but only passed for 187 yards and one interception, so no change there. Even Engram (4-61) and Kenny Golladay (3-37) were the top receivers while the player formerly known as Saquon Barkley ran for 55 yards on 11 carries and added six receptions for 19 yards. Any positives from beating the Eagles in Week 12 are gone with the Giants offense sputtering even worse without Daniel Jones. They fall to 4-8 and head to Los Angeles to face the Chargers this week.
The Dolphins weren’t pretty in this one. And there weren’t many fantasy points created. But the Dolphins won their fifth-straight game which is the longest win streak in the NFL other than the Patriots. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 244 yards and two scores while Jaylen Waddle (9-90) continues his quest for the rookie reception record. DeVante Parker was activated from injured reserve and turned in five catches for 62 yards as the next best receiver. Miles Gaskin only gained 44 yards on his 15 carries and even Salvon Ahmed was given eight carries to gain 23 yards. Not much to see here other than yet another win. The 6-7 Dolphins head onto their bye, wishing they had thought of this winning thing earlier this season.
PHI 33, NYJ 18
No surprises, but swapping out Jalen Hurts for Gardner Minshew led to better passing, at least for Dallas Goedert (6-105, 2 TD). While Minshew only threw for 242 yards, he had no turnovers and registered a 133.7 QB rating. For comparison’s sake, realize that Hurts only had a 17.5 QB rating in the Week 12 loss to the Giants. He had three interceptions, so just keeping the ball made Minshew look better. Quez Watkins (3-60) was the next best receiver though DeVonta Smith was held to only two catches for 15 yards. Miles Sanders gained 120 yards on 24 carries but Kenneth Gainwell (12-54, TD) ran in an 18-yard touchdown. While they were playing the Jets, it was on the road and Minshew made the offense click. The Eagles rise to 6-7 and enter their bye to rethink the quarterback situation.
The Jets led this 18-14 in the second quarter but never scored again. Zach Wilson passed for 226 yards and two scores with Elijah Moore (6-77, TD) and Jamison Crowder (4-62) as the only receivers with more than 19 yards. Tevin Coleman (11-58) ran better than usual and even added three catches for 19 yards but the Jets fell behind progressively more and more and couldn’t generate the passing to stay in the game. The loss drops the Jets to 3-9 and they host the Saints this week.
JAC 7, LA 37
The Rams ended their three-game losing streak by pummeling the visiting Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence was limited to only 145 passing yards and Laquon Treadwell (4-62) was the only receiver with more than 30 yards. James Robinson (8-24) was active but shared the backfield with Carlos Hyde (9-24, TD). The Jaguars were never really in this matchup and lost their fourth-straight game. They fall to just 2-9 and head to Tennessee for Week 14.
Darrell Henderson was a scratch and Sony Michel (24-121, TD) enjoyed his best performance as a Ram. Matt Stafford passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns with Cooper Kupp (8-129, TD), Van Jefferson (6-41, TD), and Odell Beckham (2-28, TD) taking the scoring passes. The Rams get back on the winning track and all the right fantasy starters posted solid performances. The win lifts them to 8-4 and they head to Arizona for maybe the most important game of the year.
WAS 17, LV 15
Sadly low-scoring, but at least the game was tight throughout and experienced a mini-scoring burst when they entered the fourth quarter at 7-6. Washington secured the win with a long final drive that ended with a 48-yard field goal with only 37 seconds left. Taylor Heinicke passed for 196 yards and two scores between Logan Thomas (3-48, TD) and Antonio Gibson (5-23, TD) but Terry McLaurin (3-22) was held to his worst performance of the season. Gibson was effective as a rusher as well with 88 yards on 23 carries. It didn’t take a lot of points to win this game, and Washington held off the Raiders at the end. Washington rises to 5-6 and hosts the Cowboys for Week 14.
The Raiders’ offense was limited to three field goals and a touchdown run by Josh Jacobs (13-52, TD) who also caught nine passes for 38 yards. Derek Carr threw for 249 yards and no scores, with Hunter Renfrow (9-102) as the only receiver with more than 34 yards. Darren Waller was out, but Frank Moreau (1-34) didn’t do much as a replacement. The Raiders looked like they left their offense back in Dallas on Thanksgiving. They fall to 6-7 and head to Kansas City for a critical AFC West matchup.
BAL 19, PIT 20
Yet another low-scoring affair that ended in the final minute when the Ravens drove the field, scored a touchdown with only 12 seconds left but elected to go for two points instead of kicking the automatic extra point. Hint – it did not end well. Lamar Jackson ran for 55 yards on eight rushes and passed for 253 yards and a score to Sammy Watkins (4-39, TD) that should have tied the game. Devonta Freeman was the top fantasy play with 52 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, plus five catches for 45 yards. The loss drops the Ravens to 8-4 and they head to Cleveland for Week 14.
The Steelers end a three-game losing streak by the slimmest of margins. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 236 yards and two scores that both ended up with Diontae Johnson (8-105, 2 TD) while Chase Claypool only managed 52 yards on two catches as the next best receiver. Najee Harris ran for 71 yards on 21 carries and added five receptions for 36 yards. At 6-5-1, the Steelers keep dimming playoff hopes alive and play at the Vikings this week.
SF 23, SEA 30
The 49ers’ three-game winning streak ended when the Seahawks took over in the second half after trailing 17-7. Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 299 yards and two scores but also tossed two interceptions. George Kittle blew up with nine receptions for 181 yards and two scores, while Brandon Aiyuk (3-55) was limited in this first game without Deebo Samuel. Elijah Mitchell (22-66, TD) found it tougher to run and couldn’t make a difference this week. The loss drops the 49ers to 6-6 and they have little margin for more losses if they can remain in contention for a wild card. They head to Cincinnati this week.
The Seahawks end their two-game slide by sweeping the 49ers this year. Russell Wilson threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns between Tyler Lockett (7-68, TD) and Dee Eskridge (3-35, TD) who caught his first NFL score. Travis Homer opened the game with a 73-yard touchdown on a fake punt but the Seahawks did little else on the ground, with Adrian Peterson (11-16, TD) and Rashaad Penny (10-35) sharing the carries ineffectively. DK Metcalf was limited to five catches for 60 yards. The 4-7 Seahawks head to Houston for another chance to notch a win.
DEN 9, KC 22
The Broncos were little more than Javonte Williams who rushed for 102 yards on 23 carries and caught a team-high six passes for 76 yards and the lone Denver touchdown. Teddy Bridgewater did himself no favors with 257 yards and one fourth-quarter touchdown with two interceptions. Jerry Jeudy (4-77) was the only receiver with more than 33 yards and all other wideouts combined for just four catches and 31 yards. The loss drops the Broncos to 6-6 and they host the Lions for a chance to get above .500 on the season.
The Chiefs won, but all of their fantasy stars were flops. Patrick Mahomes threw for just 184 yards and one interception. Travis Kelce (3-27) and Tyreek Hill (2-22) were nonfactors. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (14-54) added three catches for 28 yards but Darrel Williams led the team with three receptions for 60 yards. Mahomes rushed in one touchdown to upgrade the fantasy disaster to just a fantasy disappointment. The 8-4 Chiefs win their fifth-straight game and host the Raiders for Week 14.
MIN 27, DET 29
The Vikings did what no other team was able to do this year. They lost to the Lions. They even led 27-23 with only 1:50 left to play and the Lions had no timeouts left. That wonderful prevent defense allowed the Lions to march down the field with no timeouts and throw the winning score to Josh Reynolds on the final play of the game. Kirk Cousins passed for 340 yards and two scores between Justin Jefferson (11-182, TD) and K.J. Osborn, TD) with Tyler Conklin (7-56) enjoying one of his best performances. Adam Thielen was lost at the start of the game, but Alexander Mattison (22-90, TD) ran well and added three catches for 34 yards. The collapse of the Vikings’ defense is what lost the game for the 5-7 Vikings that host the Steelers this week.
The Lions won
the freaking Super Bowl their first game of the year on a touchdown throw to Amon-Ra St. Brown (10-86, TD) for a very memorable first touchdown in the NFL for the rookie. Jared Goff, twiddling his thumbs on most fantasy waiver wires, threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns which was the same number of touchdowns from his previous six games combined. Josh Reynolds (4-69) and T.J. Hockenson (4-49, TD) both had better games than usual while Jamaal Williams (17-71) replaced D’Andre Swift who missed all the fun. The win rockets the 1-10-1 Lions up the standings to the No. 16 seed in the NFC and they play in Denver this week.