San Diego Chargers 21, Denver Broncos 13
Triple H, Hunter (Hurst) Henry, scored his third touchdown in consecutive games Thursday night and appears to be a legitimate TE1 going forward. Antonio Gates’ snap count went up from 18-to-31 but Hunter Henry still saw more, with 45. It appears as though they’ll be using both guys going forward, while they may frustrate owners by trading off big games, they’re both useable in a shallow TE market.
For the second week in a row, Devontae Booker outperformed C.J. Anderson. Despite out-snapping Booker 57-15, Anderson had less yards (46-37) on twice as many carries (10-5). However, Anderson did have a 20-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter called back due to holding that would’ve made his line look a lot better. With this being a long week – Broncos don’t play again until Monday – there’s a chance we see Booker have a bigger part in the game plan next week. If Booker’s still available in your league, he’d be my #1 waiver wire target. I’m probably still rolling with Anderson next week in my lineup, but I don’t view him as an automatic start right now, he hasn’t broke 50 yards rushing in a game since Week 2.
Buffalo Bills 45, San Francisco 49ers 16
LeSean McCoy was the story of this game with 19 carries for 140 yards and THREE touchdowns. He did have a scare where he went down grabbing his knee in the second quarter – friendly reminder if you’re a McCoy owner to handcuff him by grabbing Mike Gillislee – but he did finish the game. He’s been one of the best fantasy football players this year and I don’t expect that to stop. Charles Clay has caught five passes in four of his last five games. He’s worth a look as a streaming option (hi, Greg Olsen owners) as he’s become more involved in the passing game.
Colin Kaepernick received his first start of the year and had a solid fantasy day with 187 yards passing, one touchdown and added 66 yards rushing. That’s good for 17 points in standard leagues. His rushing ability will give him a built-in high floor and will be worth streaming during bye weeks if he has a plus matchup (he has New Orleans Week 9). The return of Kaepernick appears to be good news for Torrey Smith. After receiving seven targets in the last three games combined, Smith received seven targets on Sunday and turned that into three catches for 76 yards and one touchdown. While I don’t view him as a must-add – the 49ers passing game, will likely, still be inconsistent – I do think Kaepernick returns Smith back to fantasy relevancy and is someone to monitor going forward as the 49ers have stated they need to get Smith more involved.
Detroit Lions 31, St. Louis Rams 28
Golden Tate finally broke through this week with a career-high 165 yards (he entered the game with 134 yards total) on eight catches and scored a touchdown. While I don’t think he’s back to his old ways, I do think this is an encouraging performance for Tate owners that he may be able to turn his season around. If he was dropped in your leagues, I’d grab him. According to Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus, Zach Zenner dominated the snaps in the backfield Sunday with Theo Riddick out (ankle), 46-12 over Justin Forsett, who played in his first game with the Lions. I don’t expect this to continue as Riddick should be back next weekend and Forsett should see more snaps as he gets comfortable with the playbook. Forsett is a hold in deeper leagues if you need a RB as he may take the Abdullah role, but otherwise I don’t expect much fantasy production from the Lions backfield outside of Riddick.
Kenny Britt had a big game with seven receptions for 136 yards and scored his first two touchdowns. Britt has been quietly productive this season – he’s ninth in the league in receiving yards – and appears to be a player that we should take seriously going forward. If you’re looking for receiver help, he’s a guy to add this week. While he’ll be tough to trust in some match ups due to the nature of the Rams passing game, I can see Britt returning WR3 value going forward, which can be useful during these bye weeks.
Washington Redskins 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20
Despite the absence of Jordan Reed (concussion), Kirk Cousins turned in a solid game with 263 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Cousins is on the streaming radar next week when he travels to Detroit. Reed hasn't been ruled out of Week 7 but we'll have to check his status during the week, he's in concussion protocol. Matt Jones bounced back with nice game with 16 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown. The news from this week, though, is he didn’t dominate the touches like we saw the first month of the season. Robert Kelley (5 for 59) and Chris Thompson (9 for 37) saw more snaps and touches Sunday. This is something for Jones’ owners to monitor over the next few weeks. If he isn’t getting volume, his value would take a hit.
This game was tougher to judge from the Eagles standpoint thanks to two touchdowns from the D/ST (kickoff return and an interception return) which caused Washington to dominate the time of possession 34:13-25:47. Ryan Mathews only played 11 snaps Sunday, Wendall Smallwood played 10, and Darren Sproles played 23. This situation has turned into an unpredictable committee, making all involved tough to trust going forward. Could be something, could be nothing, but Dorial Green-Beckham played 81% of the snaps on Sunday. He’s a player to monitor going forward as he has the talent to breakout in any week.
Tennessee Titans 28, Cleveland Browns 26
Marcus Mariota had another big game with 284 yards passing, three touchdowns, one interception and added 64 yards rushing. With Indianapolis (twice), Jacksonville, San Diego and Green Bay being his next five games, Mariota could really get on a roll. He’s a QB to add if he’s still available if you’re looking for a quality streamer the next few weeks. DeMarco Murray had a disappointing day in a great matchup finishing with 65 yards on 21 carries but did salvage his day with a touchdown. However, he dominated touches once again over Derrick Henry, who only received four touches. Henry is only a handcuff at the moment. Kendall Wright had a big game with eight catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. However, he only played 22-of-62 snaps. I'd leave him on the wire until we see him receive consistent playing time.
Terrelle Pryor had another big game with nine catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns. He led the team in targets (13) and saw a couple snaps at QB, completing one pass for one yard. His usage as the focal point of this offense has made him a WR2 each week. Quick note, it's been reported that Pryor is dealing with a hamstring injury. Monitor his status throughout the week as his status for next weekend is up in the air. Isaiah Crowell had another down game with nine carries for 16 yards. He’s cooled off dramatically from the first four weeks leaving him as a boom-or-bust matchup based starter/flex play.
New York Giants 27, Baltimore Ravens 23
Odell Beckham Jr. explosion. We’ve been waiting and it finally happened on Sunday when OBJ caught eight passes for a career-high 222 yards (211 in the 2nd half alone) and two touchdowns. According to Rotoworld.com, Beckham is now on pace for a career-high 1,549 yards, which is saying something considering he only had 27 yards in Week 3. Hope you were able to buy when you could. Eli Manning had a season-high 403 yards to go with three touchdowns and two interceptions, showing why I was so high on him going into the season. If Beckham is rolling like he was Sunday, Eli will have big weeks. However, he’s likely to be an inconsistent option based on what we’ve seen so far this year.
Terrance West (from Towson University!) had another nice game with 23 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He appears to have locked down the lead back role in this offense with his play, which is bad news for Kenneth Dixon. West is a RB2 in a tough matchup against the Jets defense next week. Dixon is still a hold if you can – still think his role grows after their bye Week 8 – but he’s not a must hold because it would be tough for him to take the job from West with his performance this season. Best-case scenario, he carves out a role in the passing game and remains a quality handcuff behind West. His value is higher for keeper or dynasty leagues.
New Orleans Saints 41, Carolina Panthers 38
Brandin Cooks bounced back with a huge game with seven catches for 173 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Cooks now holds the two longest touchdowns this season. He’ll have some down weeks as Drew Brees likes to spread the ball around but his upside is tremendous in this high-powered offense. Coby Fleener had a big game, also, with six catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing oddly enough). It appears the bye week helped Fleener and Brees get on the same page. Fleener will be a top-10 TE option next week against the Chiefs.
Cam Newton returned from his concussion and appeared to be the guy we all know. He threw for 322 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, he also scored at the goal line – which some were worried that wouldn’t happen after his concussion. With the Panther’s defense taking a big step backwards this season, Newton will find himself in many more shootouts this season, which will keep him in the top-5 QB scorers on most weeks. Jonathan Stewart returned from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out since Week 2. He looked good with 19 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Stewart returns to RB2 status. Cameron Artis-Payne was a healthy inactive with Stewart back. He’s a handcuff in case of a Stewart injury, but doesn’t have any standalone value.
Jacksonville Jaguars 17, Chicago Bears 16
Just when I thought T.J. Yeldon had secured the lead back role, Chris Ivory out-touches Yeldon 13-7 on Sunday. Ivory was also able to find the end zone, scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter. This backfield will be tough to predict from week-to-week and is probably best avoided when you can. Allen Robinson had another disappointing game with only three catches for 49 yards in a great matchup. He nearly had a touchdown in the first quarter but it appeared to bounce off of him and into a defender’s arms for an interception. I’m not concerned just yet as Robinson has another great matchup next week against the Raiders, who ranked 31st in the league against the pass going into Week 6.
Cameron Meredith is the real deal after posting another big game of 11 catches for 113 yards. He led the Bears in targets for the second consecutive game and looks to be Brian Hoyer’s go-to guy. He’s a high-end WR3 option Thursday night against the Packers. Alshon Jeffrey had a solid PPR game with seven catches for 93 yards. It was nice to see him receive 13 targets but disappointing he still hasn’t scored. However, he’s 10th in the league in receiving yards giving him a weekly WR2 floor, with WR1 upside when the touchdowns start to come in.
Miami Dolphins 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 15
Jay Ajayi had a big game with 204 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, a surprising performance in a game where Arian Foster was declared active prior to the game. I’m not sure what this means going forward – the rain may have caused the Dolphins to be conservative with Foster’s usage coming off a groin injury – but it’s noteworthy. My best guess is that Foster is back as the lead back next week with Ajayi being mixed in. The Dolphins backfield will be tough to trust until we start to see consistent production. Jarvis Landry had a nice bounce back game with seven catches for 91 yards. He’s a high-end WR2 in PPR leagues, but more of a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 in standard leagues due to his lack of touchdowns.
The news of this game for Pittsburgh is Ben Roethlisberger getting surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. It’s reportedly a “cleanup procedure” according to Pro Football Talk, which they’re hoping will allow him to come back after their bye in Week 8, causing him to miss just the one game. However, losing Big Ben hurts the value of all the Steelers skill position players next weekend. While I’m still playing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, I’d look elsewhere if you have Sammie Coates, Eli Rogers, Jesse James or Markus Wheaton. Coates played Sunday despite having a broken index finger, unfortunately he caught zero passes on four targets. Better days will be ahead for Coates but he’s not an option I’d trust until Big Ben returns.
New England Patriots 35, Cincinnati Bengals 17
Tom Brady’s “Angry Brady” tour continued Sunday with 376 yards and three touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski had a career-high 162 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown, showing he’s over the hamstring injury that sidelined him at the beginning of the season. James White had a big game, also, with eight catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t get much work on the ground as usual but his work in the receiving game makes him a reliable RB2 in PPR leagues. Julian Edelman had another disappointing game with four receptions for 30 yards. The Patriots offense is tough to predict outside of Gronk but Edelman has earned a long enough leash the last few years to have faith he’ll turn it around. I’d view him as a high-upside WR3 next week against Pittsburgh.
Giovani Bernard led the Bengals backfield on Sunday with 15 carries for 49 yards and four receptions for 45 yards. His day would’ve been better but he was stuffed at the goal line multiple times in the first half. Jeremy Hill operated as the second back with 13 carries for 38 yards. The Bengals have a plus matchup against the Browns next weekend but Hill is tough to trust, as he’s become primarily touchdown dependent these days. Bernard is a RB2 in PPR leagues next week.
Kansas City Chiefs 26, Oakland Raiders 10
Jamaal Charles saw more work Sunday but was the clear second back behind Spencer Ware. Charles finished with nine carries for 33 yards and a touchdown, Ware had 24 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown. I don’t believe this will always be the case – the heavy rain may have caused the Chiefs to be conservative with Charles since he's recovering from an ACL injury – but it’s clear they plan on using both backs often. I expect the touches to be more 50/50 when Charles is back at 100% with Ware getting goal line touches and Charles getting work in the passing game. Both will be RB2 options against the Saints.
DeAndre Washington received the majority of the carries with Latavius Murray (turf toe) missing another game, he finished with 10 carries for 49 yards as the Raiders were playing from behind most of the afternoon. Jalen Richard didn’t have much production but did see work in the passing game. Both will be tough to trust RB3/flex options against the Jaguars next week if Murray misses more time.
Seattle Seahawks 26, Atlanta Falcons 24
Christine Michael had another solid game with 18 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns. With Thomas Rawls still expected to miss a couple more games, Michael will continue to be low-end RB1. Jimmy Graham had another nice game with six catches for 89 yards. He’s really found his stride in this offense and is a solid TE1 going forward. Russell Wilson had a disappointing game in a nice matchup with 270 yards passing and no touchdowns. Wilson started slow last year and had a big second half so owners should stay patient for the time being.
Matt Ryan continues to his huge year with 335 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against one of the best pass defenses in the entire league. Ryan has proved to be matchup proof and is a must start regardless of the opponent going forward. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman had quiet games against a tough defense. They’ll both be back in RB2 status next week against the Chargers.
Dallas Cowboys 30, Green Bay Packers 16
Ezekiel Elliott had another big game with 28 carries for 157 yards. He leads the league in rushing yards with 703, that’s 116 more yards than second (McCoy). No reason to believe he slows down, either. Cole Beasley had another nice game with six catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. As long as Dak Prescott is the QB, Beasley will continue to have WR3 value in PPR leagues. Speaking of Prescott, he’s scored at least 17 points in standard leagues in every week since Week 1. He’s currently the #7 fantasy QB and remains a high-floor option until Romo returns.
It was Eddie Lacy’s show with James Starks (knee) out due to injury but seemed to still be having issues with his ankle. However, he did receive 17 carries and with Starks out, is slated to continue having heavy workloads. He’s a quality RB2 based on volume but with the offense struggling as a whole, he’ll be difficult to count on for touchdowns until the situation improves. Ty Montgomery caught 10 passes for 98 yards as his role increased with Starks out and Davante Adams going down with an injury. He’s worth a pick up in deeper leagues in the event Adams misses time.
Houston Texans 26, Indianapolis Colts 23
It took longer than expected but Lamar Miller broke out in a big way with 24 carries for 149 yards, three receptions for 29 yards and two total touchdowns. His workload has been consistently high this year, nice to see him finally get in the end zone. He’ll be a RB1 against Denver that’s given up the 10th most points to RBs. Will Fuller was active but didn’t play a snap Sunday night. He’s nursing a hamstring injury and the fact he was suited up in case of an emergency, leads me to believe he’ll be ready to go next weekend against Denver.
Frank Gore became the first Colts running back to rush for 100 yards in a game since 2012. While he hasn’t put up any huge performances in a couple years, Gore has still been a quality RB, scoring double digits in four-of-six games this season. He’s a low-end RB2 next week against the Titans. Phillip Dorsett left Sunday night’s game with a hamstring injury. If he were to miss any time, Chester Rogers would be the next man up, opposite T.Y. Hilton.