It’s funny how things work out. As far as I can remember this season has been the most unpredictable both in fantasy and in actuality. An injury to a QB apparently means he is going to have a career day. Somehow Reggie Wayne and Mike Williams aren’t fantasy relevant. Oh, and we have a Tebow sighting in Denver. Tides a turnin’.
Bills 31 – Eagles 24
Game Studs: Michael Vick, Fred Jackson
DeSean Jackson owners had to be a nervous wreck this game. Jackson was all but absent until the second half when Vick remembered his number. Jason Avant was the surprise of the game bringing in 9 catches for just under 140 yards. He has officially earned flex status in deeper leagues. LeSean McCoy wasn’t great but good enough for fantasy owners. He was more apart of the passing game with 4 catches for 27 yards. Still a top 10 back. Mike Vick posted good fantasy numbers but he didn’t leave the game healthy. He took hit after hit and he looked battered after quite a few plays.
The Bills should have blown this game open but somehow Vick and ‘The Dream Team’ found a way back in late. Fred Jackson is just on unhuman level and is a huge part of the passing game. Buffalo used the ground and pound strategy against a terrible Eagles run defense and were successful. This game plan hurt owners of the Bill’s passing game but don’t think too much of it, the game plan just didn’t lend itself to the pass. David Nelson was absent though, 0 points in standard leagues (one catch for four yards). Buffalo has a great match-up next week against a weak Giants defense. Look for a strong rebound from Fitz and gang.
Late breaking news: Donald Jones is out indefinitely. Find a suitable alternative.
Chargers 29 – Broncos 24
Game Studs: N/A
Absolute surprise of the week, Tim Tebow came in for Kyle Orton to start the second half. He clearly is just a crowd pleaser as he isn’t a great quarterback. But he sure can run the ball. On a designed quarterback run Tebow scored, untouched, possibly cementing his spot as starter; see play here. Broncos are on a bye, but if he starts Week 7 he is a good enough fill-in. Other then Tebow, the only other bright spot was Willis McGahee who is clearly the starter in Denver. He was the only back to record a rush. No receivers had fantasy relevant days. Sour situation in Denver for all. The only hope for Lloyd owners is more of this.
Phillip Rivers’ average year continued. I didn’t recommend too many people start him and I still stand by that. Vincent Jackson was quiet but he wasn’t 100% so just assume that was all it was. Jackson is still a WR1 moving forward. Malcom Floyd had the lone touchdown for the Chargers on a 42 yard pass and catch. He only had 3 catches. Floyd is a flex play at best. Ryan Matthews looked good but Mike Tolbert didn’t even surpass 50 total yards. Another fantasy reality check.
Patriots 30 – Jets 21
Game Studs: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Mr. Green-Ellis proved all the analysts wrong by tearing apart the Jets’ defense. He posted 27 rushes for 136 yards and two scores. Wow. Stevan Ridley was quieted. Still siting on Ridley for the time being but he shouldn’t be started until further notice. Welker had an ‘off-day’ by his standards. Only 5 catches for 124 yards and no scores (this play was most of it). Revis Island is real. Neither Patriot tight-end had a good day which isn’t a good sign going forward. Both are low-end TE1 options.
Nothing new to report on the Jets as they are finding it difficult to get anything done on offense. They had a very favorable match-up this week and were unable to produce a lot. Shonn Greene had most of the carries and even found pay dirt. Greene didn’t look explosive at all. Neither Greene or Tomlinson are anywhere near must-starts until the Jets’ can get a passing game going.
49ers 48 – Bucs 3
Game Studs: Alex Smith, SF D/ST, Frank Gore
Hopefully you weren’t expecting much from the Buccaneer’s offense. All the play makers looked bad, Josh Freeman was replaced by Josh Johnson late but his started status shouldn’t be under question. Find other options unless the match-up really calls for it for all Tampa Bay players. Only Blount is worth a start as it stands.
Some how the 49ers put him 48 real life points but still looked mediocre doing it. Alex Smith only had 11 completions, but three of them were touch downs. He still isn’t a great option moving forward. Vernon Davis had a similar day, three catches with two of them being touchdowns. San Francisco leaned heavily on the run which was a match-up problem for the Bucs all day. Frank Gore is apparently fully healthy gaining 125 yards on just 20 touches; Gore had one touchdown. Interesting stat, seven players had rushing attempts for the 49ers while only five had catches.
Raiders 25 – Texans 20
Game Studs: Sebastian Janikowski, Matt Schaub
If you haven’t heard the news, Sebastion Janikowski is one of the greatest kickers of all time. Three field goals over 50 and one over 40. You just don’t see that often. If you used Jason Campbell as a fill-in you can’t be upset. He had two touchdowns and an interception and did about as expected. The Texans did a great job of stopping the run. McFadden and Bush combined for just 60 yards on 20 carries. Very sentimental win for Oakland and much deserved. Darius Heyward-Bey posted great numbers again. His speed really showed on his 34 yard touchdown pass where he blew by the secondary.
As expected Owen Daniels saw a majority of the targets but not expected was Arian Foster’s heavy involvement in the passing game. Foster had fve catches for well over 100 yards while remaining quiet on the ground. Jacoby Jones had a whooping one catch for 9 yards. Kevin Walter looked great. He is the guy to own until Andre Johnson returns.
Bengals 30 – Jaguars 20
Game Studs: N/A
Andy Dalton does enough to keep A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham relevant. He is a fill-in at best but you are definitely starting Green and Gresham on most teams. Cedric Benson was bad and we are probably seeing a suspension coming up. I’m not saying cut ties, but you won’t be calling his number any time soon. He recorded a dismal 53 yards on 24 carries.
Story of the game was Jason Hill. Out of no where he leads the game in receiving yards with 110 on five catches with a score. I smell a lot of waiver-wire adds this week. Not saying I recommend it but I’ll be forced to slap a one or two-star tag on my Tuesday waiver-wire pick-up entry. Maurice Jones-Drew did enough to not dissatisfy fantasy owners but it wasn’t a stellar day. Just 84 yards and a score, which for MJD is an off day. Not like you’re sitting him anytime soon though. Mike Thomas is losing fantasy value, those hoping his new contract would inspire him weren’t too happy (3-53-0).
Saints 30 – Panthers 27
Game Studs: Drew Brees, Cam Newton
Starting to see Brees get more consistent as the year goes on. He looked better then he has all season and must love having all his weapons healthy. He’s back to must-start status if he wasn’t already there. Darren Sproles didn’t shock and awe like he has the ability to. He had 11 carries combined with 5 catches for 91 total yards. Ingram had the lone rushing touchdown but Sproles saw a lot more plays. For those thinking of sticking Pierre Thomas back in your line-ups, hes not going to catch touchdown passes every week, which he needs to be worthy of a start. I’d start Sproles or Ingram over Thomas without thinking.
And we have lift off for DeAngelo Williams. His 69 yard rushing option was a thing of beauty. Jonathan Stewart was non-existent most the game. Williams definitely looks like the back to own in Carolina for the time being. Cam Newton had three touchdowns (two in the air). Hopefully this keeps up. Newton was able to connect with Steve Smith and Greg Olsen for scores, his two most reliable targets.
Steelers 38 – Titans 17
Game Studs: Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward
Just when you think you have both these teams figured out reality sets in. Steelers have looked off and their quarterback was hurt, so it was a virtual certainty Tennessee would walk all over them. Oops. No one told the Steelers though. Big Ben had five touchdown passes two to Hines Ward and one to Mike Wallace. Hard to take this game with a grain of salt as the Titans defense is for real. Isaac Redman was disappointing as the lead back. In fact, Jonathan Dwyer, a relative no-name, led the team in rushing with a fantastic 76 yard rush. Best of his career.
Tennessee wasn’t awful as the score would indicate. Matt Hasselbeck, Nate Washington, and Chris Johnson didn’t kill you. Damian Williams led the team in catches and yards and had the lone score. He’s an interesting flex play moving forward. Minor recommendation in deep leagues. Jared Cook had his best showing of the season yards wise getting 59 yards on four catches. This game doesn’t really change anything: start CJ2K, and Hasselbeck / Washington / Cook are fill-ins.
Chiefs 28 – Colts 24
Game Studs: Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe, Curtis Painter, Pierre Garcon
This is the final warning for those who are still benching Pierre Garcon. Last week I hinted that his chemistry with Painter is incredible and that his two touchdowns last week were for real. Well, turns out, I was right. Curtis Painter and Pierre Garcon aren’t the next Young / Rice but perhaps a Culpepper / Moss comparison would be sufficient. Garcon finished with five catches for 125 yards and two scores; Reggie Wayne had a four catches for 77 yards day. Also, it’s official, the Colts have no running game. Joseph Addai went down early in the game and didn’t return. Don’t expect Delone Carter to be a fantasy star anytime soon though. He’s a forced flex play at best.
Great performance from Matt Cassel which was forgotten because of an insane day from Dwayne Bowe. The Cassel-Bowe combination is back (I still can’t believe Bowe caught this). Jackie Battle has emerged as the running back to own in Kansas City. The vet had 119 yards on 19 rushes having arguably the best day of any Chiefs rusher this year. Battle will be another favorable waiver-wire add this week. Check out this play by Battle. Final note, Steve Breaston is having a great season. He added two more touchdowns on four catches. He is a reasonable flex play in deeper formats.
Vikings 34 – Cardinals 10
Game Studs: Adrian Peterson
This game quickly got out of hand for the Cardinals who were the first team to fail to let the Vikings hand them a game in the second half. Kevin Kolb was bad hurting Fitzgerald owners. Early Doucet had the best day of any Arizona receiver, but that won’t happen often. Beanie Wells at least managed a touchdown while only scavenging 60 yards on the ground. Not a great day for Cardinals owners. If you are depending on Kevin Kolb moving forward you may want to find alternatives.
If you played Adrian Peterson this week it’s likely you lost. And it isn’t your fault. There is a reason AP was taken first in a lot of leagues because he is a monster and he has finally found his mid-season form. Because of Peterson there wasn’t a cause for any sort of passing game and Percy Harvin only finished with one catch for 11 yards. Reality check for Harvin owners but it isn’t anything to truly worry about. These games happen. McNabb had no passing touchdowns but he also had no turnovers. No one really thought he was a great fantasy option anyways.
Seahawks 36 – Giants 25
Game Studs: Doug Baldwin, Eli Manning, Victor Cruz
Just when we thought Sidney Rice was a must-start we are forced to remember he is a Seahawk, and no Seahawk is ever a must-start. Doug Baldwin and Ben Obomanu both had touchdowns and out performed Rice. Tarvaris Jackson looks like he could be out for awhile leaving Charlie Whitehurst who isn’t exactly a stud. Marshawn Lynch looked good, but I guess this should have been seen ahead of time. The Giant’s aren’t the run stoppers they once were. That being said, Lynch did look good and isn’t a bad RB2 / flex play in bye-weeks. As for the receiving core of Seatle, it’s a grab bag and good luck depending on any one component.
Ah, yes. We now know who the second receiver to own in New York is, his name is Victor ‘I got this’ Cruz who seems to only make highlight reel catches; check out this catch. Seriously, if he’s open he just deflects it for an interception but if he’s double covered he lets the defender tip it to him; possible play of the year here. Time to start Cruz on a weekly basis. Somehow, Ahmad Bradshaw was unable to produce as the only back. He finished with 58 yards on 17 touches. Not what anyone was expecting. Hinder expectations going forward but he is still a RB2 starter every week.
Packers 25 – Falcons 14
Game Studs: Aaron Rodgers
Atlanta failed to score even a single point in the second half as the Packers went into shut down mode. Michael Turner doesn’t have the skill to be match-up proof and thus fell victim to strong Packers rush defense. He did get a touchdown but only managed 56 yards on 16 carries. Julio Jones was quiet after his big week (one catch). Matt Ryan looked to Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White early and often and I like that trend to continue. Julio Jones is still worth a start, but expectations should be managed as a result of this game.
Great day all around for the Packers passing game but awful day for the running game. James Starks and Ryan Grant combined for 58 yards on 19 carries with Starks seeing slightly more carries. Neither are great starts on any given week as Kuhn and Rodgers will steal a lot of goal line opportunities when they actually arrive. Look for other options unless the match-up calls for it.
That’s all the analysis for today. Check back tomorrow for waiver pick-ups and the Monday night game analysis. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for daily content (button on the right side)
*A stud is any player with 20+ points in standard leagues