Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals
RED HOT: Emmanuel Sanders, Phillip Lindsay, Broncos D
ICE COLD: Case Keenum, Josh Rosen, David Johnson
Ah yes, the Thursday night blowout. Seems to be the case for most of these TNF games. Denver dominated this game from beginning to end. Emmanuel Sanders has made his presence felt all year in fantasy. He showed off his arm with a TD pass to Courtland Sutton and had 6 catches for 102 yards and a receiving touchdown.
Nothing went right for the Cardinals’ offense in this game. David Johnson was a fantasy disappointment once again, and Von Miller was in the backfield all night. Larry Fitzgerald did finally find the end zone, but he’s still going to be hard to trust going forward.
Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers
RED HOT: Philip Rivers, Tyrell Williams, Dion Lewis
ICE COLD: not too many terrible performances, but several lukewarm ones (Allen, Mariota, Ekeler, Henry)
Hey, another London game! It’s really cool to be able to wake up and watch NFL games first thing in the morning. What’s not cool is when you forget that Melvin Gordon was a game-time decision, and you didn’t have time to take him out of your lineup before the game started.
Bloody hell! So, no Gordon… that means that Ekeler is in line for a monster game, right? Well, not really. He did have 5 receptions but not many yards through the air or on the ground. The Rivers-to-Williams Bomb Show continued on the first offensive play from the Chargers, when they connected for a 75-yard touchdown.
Tyrell Williams is one of these guys that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and then next week he’ll have 2 catches for 12 yards. Hard to trust him yet. Give me one more game like this, and I’ll be on board.
The Titans offense was a trainwreck for most of this game (as it has been all year), but they pulled it together in the 4th quarter. If, for some crazy-ass reason, you had Derrick Henry in your lineup, he did get you a touchdown, but also…what are you doing with your life? Don’t start that guy unless your league gives extra points for being enormous.
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles
RED HOT: Cam Newton, Devin Funchess, Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery
ICE COLD: The Eagles’ backfield
For it to be a relatively low-scoring game on the scoreboard, it was pretty good for most of the relevant fantasy players. Cam Newton had a couple of passing touchdowns and almost 50 yards rushing. Funchess had 6 catches and a touchdown. McCaffrey had a decent PPR day with 6 catches and 80 total yards. Even Greg Olsen got a touchdown despite doing nothing else all game.
The Eagles are having trouble on the ground, which is one reason they couldn’t put this game away. Wentz had a great game–over 300 yards, two touchdowns, and zero picks. Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery didn’t disappoint fantasy owners. They had 11 and 10 targets, respectively. Jeffery is almost at must-start status now. He’s averaging 10 targets, 6 catches, and a touchdown per game since he’s come back from injury.
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts
RED HOT: Captain Andrew Luck, Marlon Mack, TY Hilton, Colts D
ICE COLD: Derek Anderson, Eric Ebron
Dearest mother, this was a beatdown. Let’s face it, the Bills and their fans weren’t feeling great about this team anyway, but yikes. Shady McCoy went down super early in this game. It looked like his ankle twisted the wrong way, and he also slammed his head on the turf. It’s been a less-than-stellar year for us McCoy owners, and it looks like it’s going to get worse for a while. Chris Ivory came in and did a decent job, but this offense is so abysmal, he’s probably not even worth adding. Derek Anderson was added to the roster about 7 minutes ago, so obviously he wasn’t going to thrive. It was a three-interception day for him.
A lot went right for Indianapolis. Andrew Luck finally didn’t have to throw 932 passes in a game. He only had 23 attempts, and 4 of those connected for touchdowns. TY Hilton got 2 of those and continues to be a red zone target for Luck. Welcome back, Marlon Mack. In my Sunday morning post, I mentioned him as someone to add if you can. He’s finally paying off for those of us who took a chance on him in the draft. 126 yards on the ground and 2 total touchdowns. Ebron was quiet in this one as Swoope got the TE touchdown.
Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RED HOT: Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield
ICE COLD: Duke Johnson, Cameron Brate
For a while, it looked like the Browns weren’t going to be able to do anything against the Bucs, but they just kept getting closer and closer, eventually forcing overtime but losing on a 59-yard field goal. Baker Mayfield played well with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Carlos Hyde was traded on Friday, so that vaulted Nick Chubb into the starter role. He had a pretty good first outing with 80 yards and a touchdown. Duke Johnson didn’t do much, so we should be seeing more and more of Chubb. Jarvis Landry was a PPR monster, as usual, and David Njoku caught a TD for the second week in a row.
I listed Winston in the red hot category simply because he threw for a ton of yards and had a rushing touchdown as well. He did have his share of issues in this game, though, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. He needs to tighten that up. The Bucs play Cincinnati next week, so you can feel confident putting him in your lineup again. Mike Evans had 11 targets and 107 yards but didn’t find the end zone. Desean Jackson did score a rushing touchdown.
Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins
RED HOT: Kerryon Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Michael Roberts, Brock Osweiler, Danny Amendola, Kenyan Drake
ICE COLD: All the Lions receivers you actually did start, Frank Gore, Albert Wilson
The Lions won this game the way they NEVER win games. They ran the ball 30 times! Kerryon Johnson has emerged as the future of the Lions backfield. He had 158 yards, averaging 8.3 per carry. Stafford threw for two touchdowns, both to…. Ahem…. Michael Roberts? Who the hell is Michael Roberts? Tate, Golladay, and Marvin Jones did basically nothing in this game, but they should bounce back.
Brock Osweiler has been a serviceable QB for the Dolphins in Tannehill’s absence. He threw a couple TDs in this one without turning the ball over, and he made friends with Danny Amendola, who went 6/84/1. Kenyan Drake had a long touchdown run, while Frank Gore churned out a whopping 29 yards on the ground. No explosive plays from Albert Wilson in this one, so if you picked him up after his monster game last week, you’re feeling pretty disappointed.
Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets
RED HOT: Adam freakin’ Thielen, Kirk Cousins, Latavius Murray, Vikings D
ICE COLD: Stefon Diggs, Sam Darnold, Isaiah Crowell, Jermaine Kearse
The Vikings have been inconsistent this year, but they handled the Jets at MetLife without much trouble.
Adam Thielen is being called the best WR in football by many these days, and his stats are certainly backing it up. He’s had over 100 yards every game so far. He’s catching almost everything thrown his way. Ten targets resulted in nine receptions and a touchdown against NYJ. Latavius Murray is making the most of his opportunity right now. He had 2 TDs last week and then did the same again on Sunday. Stefon Diggs was targeted 14 times, but he only had 33 yards on 8 catches in this game.
The Vikings defense smothered the Jets. Sam Darnold was a horrid 17/42 with 3 interceptions. The Jets couldn’t get any traction rushing or passing. Not much to say about their offense except that their leading receiver was Trenton Cannon….. Yeah, me either. Maybe they should have hung onto Terrelle Pryor.
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears
RED HOT: Tom Brady, James White, Mitch Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Trey Burton
ICE COLD: Sony Michel (hurt), Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel
The Patriots’ offense came out humming on their first drive. It was a steady dose of Sony Michel runs and short passes to Edelman that moved the chains all the way down the field, and Edelman eventually got the TD grab. Michel got hurt shortly after, left the game, and never returned.
After that, for New England, it was a lot of James White. He had 8 catches, almost 100 total yards, and 2 touchdowns. Josh Gordon is getting a lot of looks from Tom Brady these days, and you can see just how special he is when he gets the ball in his hands. If you took a chance on Gordon in your league, you have to be ecstatic. The Patriots’ offense is incredibly explosive, and Gordon will have many chances for touchdowns in the coming weeks.
Mitch Trubisky has wheels! This guy was running all over the Pats on Sunday. He finished with 81 yards rushing and a touchdown to go with his 333 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. His future looks pretty bright. That offense is dynamic and keeps getting better. Trey Burton moved the sticks a ton and Tarik Cohen was all over the place, as usual. Both had receiving touchdowns.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
RED HOT: Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, TJ Yeldon
ICE COLD: Deshaun Watson, Blake Bortles, Keke Coutee, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook
Oh, how far the Jaguars have fallen. When they beat the Patriots just a few weeks ago, it looked like they would be one of the top contenders in the AFC once again. Now, they are in a downward spiral.
Blake Bortles was benched in favor of Cody Kessler after losing two fumbles. Chance are, you probably didn’t have Bortles in your lineup anyway. If you did, I’m sorry. Yeldon didn’t have a very good game on the ground, but he did have 5 catches and a receiving touchdown. No other Jags did jack squat except Moncrief, who had 7 catches for 76 yards.
Lamar Miller found his way back to fantasy relevance, notching 100 yards and a touchdown. He’s been one of the more frustrating fantasy players to own the last few seasons. Most of the time, he doesn’t get enough touches to be a factor, but he got 22 carries in this one. We’ll see if that’s a trend going forward, but I wouldn’t set my expectations too high. Deshaun Watson still doesn’t look like Deshaun Watson–completing 50% of his passes for 139 yards. DeAndre Hopkins did manage to get his weekly touchdown.
New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens
RED HOT: Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Ben Watson, Michael Thomas, Joe Flacco, John Brown
ICE COLD: Mark Ingram, Alex Collins
So, is everyone done panicking about Alvin Kamara now? Mark Ingram got most of the work back, and so many people were ready to give up on Kamara. R-E-L-A-X. He’s still the same dynamic playmaker he has been. Drew Brees and Michael Thomas did their usual thing, connecting for a touchdown. The Saints played a mostly clean game and were able to take down the Ravens (with an extra thanks to Justin Tucker for missing the XP that would have tied the game).
Joe Flacco had a solid game for Baltimore, 279 yards and 2 touchdowns. They didn’t really commit to the running game in this one–only 11 carries for Alex Collins totaling 39 yards. John Brown is the deep threat the Ravens have been missing for a while. He hauled in a 56-yard reception in this one and a touchdown. He may be back to his early-season form.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
RED HOT: Todd Gurley (of course), Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, George Kittle, Rams D
ICE COLD: Matt Breida, Marquise Goodwin
Todd Gurley will single-handedly win fantasy football championships for people this year. That’s how good he is. Three touchdowns for TGIII. It’s more expected than surprising now for Gurley to find the end zone multiple times per game. Jared Goff had over 200 yards and a couple of TDs–one to Gurley and the other to Brandin Cooks. The Rams’ offense is phenomenal, even without Cooper Kupp. The Rams’ defense is dominating. Hard to imagine this team not going very deep into the playoffs this year.
The 49ers walked into a nightmare on Sunday. Aaron Donald got 4 sacks by himself. CJ Beathard didn’t look like the same QB that played at Lambeau last week–I guess the Rams’ defense can do that to a QB. Marquise Goodwin was invisible for most of this game, which was a major letdown to everyone who decided to take a risk and start him this week. It’s hard to trust him until we see more good games. Also, the Niners seem to be handing off to a different RB every play. They really like this Raheem Mostert kid. Carries were split pretty evenly between him, Morris, and Matt Breida. The only 49er I’m starting in the immediate future is George Kittle who went 5/98/1.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
RED HOT: Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup, Adrian Peterson
ICE COLD: Ezekiel Elliott, Alex Smith, Redskins’ receivers
Nothing too flashy about this game. Just a hard-fought, NFC East battle.
Dak Prescott had a good game with his legs for the second consecutive week, as he dove into the end zone for 6 late in this game. He also threw for 273 and a TD to Michael Gallup. Zeke Elliott was a non-factor. He was gobbled up by Washington’s defense and only able to muster 33 yards.
The Redskins gave the Cowboys a steady diet of Adrian Peterson–24 carries for 99 yards. Most people had written Peterson off in the fantasy world, but he’s back and still looking strong. Alex Smith didn’t have to throw too much in this one, therefore, his stats and those of his receivers were not great.
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
RED HOT: Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, AJ Green
ICE COLD: Andy Dalton, Tyler Boyd
Start all of your Chiefs forever! Seriously. This offense is ungodly. Are you kidding me, Patrick Mahomes?? Another stellar game: 358 yards & 4 touchdowns. Kareem Hunt got into the end zone 3 times and looked incredible in this game–141 total yards for him. Tyreek Hill dropped a wide-open TD but still had one that counted. They move the ball at will and are going to be a nightmare for every team.
Not much to say about the Bengals. AJ Green had a good game, so fantasy owners are happy with him, but that’s about the only Bengal that will bring joy in the fantasy world this week.