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Draft Masters - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 7

Studs and Duds: Week 1

Mon Sep 13 8:56am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Murray comes up huge Week 1


Well, that was a lot of fun. It was quite the first week of the regular season. We had several top fantasy performances and great games along the way. There were some big surprises, too, seeing one teams many thought would have a good season get off to slow starts. I was shocked to see both the Packers and Titans play so badly in Week 1. Remember, it is a long season, so don’t overreact to a week of games. Things tend to even out, especially with the good players. But with that said, don’t discount what happened, including the surprise performances. These players might be factors all season.

Bucs 31, Cowboys 29

Fantasy Stud: Amari Cooper. Cooper had a monster game, catching 13 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. He even got off to a slow start to the game before piling up the yards and catches in the second half. He is Prescott’s safety net and is going to rack up the catches once again this season.

Fantasy Dud: Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott had a terrible first week of the season. He ran 11 times for 33 yards and caught two passes for six yards. Don’t get too down on him, though. He did face arguably the best rush defense in football. And on a positive note, he looked slimmed down and in great shape, showing some explosion on the few runs he had room to run. Expect him to get going in the coming weeks.

Game Notes: Michael Gallup was off to a good start but left because of an ankle injury. He is expected to be sidelined multiple weeks because of the injury. He had four receptions for 36 yards before getting hurt.

Dak Prescott showed no issues from his arm injury in the preseason. He looked tremendous, going 42-of-58 for 403 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Fantasy Stud: Jalen Hurts. Hurts got off to a great start to his first season as full-time starter. He was 27-of-35 for 264 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. He also ran seven times for 62 yards, showing his big-time dual threat ability. If his is any indication on how his season might go, it was a great sign for fantasy teams.

Fantasy Dud: Matt Ryan. This seemed like a pretty good matchup for Ryan on paper but that didn’t come to fruition for Ryan. He failed to score a touchdown or throw for 200 yards. He was 21-of-35 for 164 yards. The Falcons have a new offense this year, so there could be some growing pains along the way for Ryan.

Game Notes: DeVonta Smith led the Eagles in receiving, catching six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. The rookie looks like the favorite target of Hurts, which is a great sign for his future.

Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t start or lead the Falcons in carries but was the leading rusher for the team. He ran seven times for 54 yards compared to 15 carries for 49 yards for starter Mike Davis.

Steelers 23, Bills 16

Fantasy Stud: Gabriel Davis. Davis scored the lone touchdown for the Bills offense. He had two receptions for 40 yard and a score. Davis might not start for the Bills but is going to get his chances for this pass-first offense, especially in the red zone. He could be setup for a breakout second season.

Fantasy Dud: Najee Harris. There were a lot of fantasy disappointments in this gam but Harris gets the “dud” honors. He ran 16 times for 45 yards and caught a pass for four yards. He had just 49 total yards on 17 touches. The good news is he got a lot of work. The bad news is he didn’t have much room to run.

Game Notes: Zach Moss was a surprise healthy scratch. This gave Devin Singletary the start and most of the carries at running back. Singletary played well, rushing 11 times for 72 yard, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He also had three receptions for eight yards.

Bengals 27, Vikings 24

Fantasy Stud: Ja’Marr Chase. Chase might have been a bust in the preseason but he quickly put that behind him in his first NFL game. He had five receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, including a 50-yard touchdown reception. It was an impressive showing for the talented rookie. For those of you worried about his preseason showing, worry no more.

Fantasy Dud: Tyler Boyd. Boyd was pretty quiet for the Bengals, watching his teammates at receiver each scoring touchdowns. He had just three receptions for 32 yards. He will have his big games but might have a few more like this along the way, competing with two other really talented receivers for targets.

Game Notes: Joe Burrow looked very good in his first game since his ACL injury. He was 20-of-27 for 261 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover.

Joe Mixon hit the 100-yard mark. He ran 29 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 23 yards, giving him 150 total yards and a score in the game.

49ers 41, Lions 33

Fantasy Stud: Deebo Samuel. Samuel led the way at receiver for the 49ers in this one. He had a huge game, catching nine passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. He did lose a fumble in the game, which was his only blemish. Samuel is a super talented but injuries have dogged him to start his career. If he can stay healthy, he might have a huge season for the 49ers.

Fantasy Dud: Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers scored 41 points and topped 300-passing yards, but Aiyuk didn’t even catch a pass in the game. This was a big surprise. We wouldn’t panic too much over just a game but this is a situation to monitor going forward.

Game Notes: Raheem Mostert injured his knee early in the game and did not return. Eli Mitchell got most of the work the rest of the way, rushing 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown. Keep an eye on the notes for the latest on Mostert.

D’Andre Swift didn’t start but had the most carries for the Lions. He ran 11 times for 39 yards while Jamaal Williams had 11 carries for 39 yards. Swift had eight receptions for 65 yards and a  score in the passing game. Williams also was a big part of the passing game, finishing with eight receptions for 56 yards.

Cardinals 38, Titans 13

Fantasy Stud: Kyler Murray. Murray showed why he might be the top fantasy quarterback in the game this season. He scored five total touchdowns on the road against the Titans. It was quite the showing. He was 21-of-32 for 289 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. He also ran five times for 20 yards and another score.

Fantasy Dud: Derrick Henry. Henry did not have his usual showing, running 17 times for 58 yards. He had three receptions for 19 yards. The Titans getting down big didn’t help matters for Henry, limiting his work a little. Henry will be fine but this showing was a disappointing one for fantasy teams.

Game Notes: Chase Edmonds and James Conner pretty much split the carries at running back. Edmonds had 12 carries for 63 yards while Conner ran 16 times for 53 yards. Edmonds was a bigger factor in the pass game, though, having four receptions for 43 yards. Edmonds had 106 total yards.

Christian Kirk scored two touchdowns. He had five receptions for 70 yards and two scores. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense, but Kirk is certainly in the mix for weekly work.

Seahawks 28, Colts 16

Fantasy Stud: Russell Wilson. Wilson was really sharp in the opener. He missed on just five passes and scored four touchdowns. He was 18-of-23 for 254 yards and four touchdowns without a turnover. Wilson looked as good as every, looking like a player ready for another big season.

Fantasy Dud: Michael Pittman. Pittman was a bit of a bust in what seemed like a good matchup for him. He had three receptions for 29 yards. He watched teammate Zach Pascal outproduce him. Pittman seems ready to take a step forward this year but this game wasn’t a great indicator of the happening.

Game Notes: Jonathan Taylor didn’t have big numbers but led the team in both rushing and receiving. He had 17 carries for 56 yards and caught six passes for 60 yard. Taylor had 116 total yards.

Tyler Lockett had multiple touchdowns and hit the 100-yard mark. He finished with four receptions for 100 yards and two scores.

Chargers 20, Washington 16

Fantasy Stud: Mike Williams. Williams was a big part of the offense, catching eight passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. He was the only Chargers receiver to catch a touchdown pass. Williams hasn’t posted that huge season yet but maybe that comes this year. He certainly has the talent to produce big if all goes well for him.

Fantasy Dud: Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick didn’t last long because of injury, which made him a big dud for any team that used him. He was just 3-of-6 for 13 yards. Backup Taylor Heinicke played pretty well in relief, going 11-of-15 for 122 yards and a touchdown. He moved the offense pretty well but couldn’t get the win.

Game Notes: Justin Herbert didn’t post huge numbers but did well against a really good Washington defense. He was 31-of-47 for 337 yards and a touchdown with an interception.

Austin Ekeler was able to play and got plenty of carries. He had 15 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he didn’t catch a pass, which is rare for Ekeler.

Panthers 19, Jets 14

Fantasy Stud: Corey Davis. Davis continued his strong play from the preseason to the first game of the year, showing he is the favorite target of rookie Zach Wilson. Davis had five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Davis had his best season to date last year but could best that this season as the No. 1 option for his new team.

Fantasy Dud: Terrace Marshall. A lot of people had high hopes for Marshall this first week of the season but he was pretty quiet, as the No. 3 receiver for the Panthers. Marshall had three receptions for 26 yards. He will have some big games this year but this clearly wasn’t one of those.

Game Notes: Christian McCaffrey showed why he was everyone’s No. 1 pick this year, posting big numbers as a runner and receiver. He had 21 carries for 98 yards and nine receptions for 89 yards. McCaffrey had 197 total yards.

Tevin Coleman led the Jets in rushing but didn’t do much with those chances as the entire running game struggled. Coleman had nine carries for 24 yards. Ty Johnson ran for times for 15 yards while rookie Michael Carter had four carries for six yards.

Texans 37, Jaguars 21

Fantasy Stud: Tyrod Taylor. Taylor had a good start to his season and showed fantasy owners he has some value as a spot play. He was 21-of-33 for 291 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover. He also ran four times for 40 yards. Taylor is a dual threat with big-game ability for fantasy teams. 

Fantasy Dud: James Robinson. Robinson had a really poor showing in what seemed a prime matchup for him. He ran five times for 25 yards, seeing backup Carlos Hyde have more success on the ground (nine carries for 44 yards). Robinson also had three receptions for 29 yards. It was not a good start to the season for Robinson.

Game Notes: Three backs had carries for the Texans but Mark Ingram clearly led the way, rushing 26 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. He looks like the back to own in that offense right now. 

Dolphins 17, Patriots 16

Fantasy Stud: Nelson Agholor. Agholor had a fine debut with the Patriots, leading their team in receiving. He even found the end zone, catching five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Agholor can be hit or miss but this start is a plus for him. Maybe he will be a little more consistent this year.

Fantasy Dud: Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson is another good example of why you can’t put too much stock into the preseason. Stevenson had just a carry for two yards and a catch for nine yards. He barely saw the field, watching Damien Harris get about all the carries at running back.

Game Notes: Damien Harris had a great game until his fumble late in the game, which might have cost the Patriots the game. You have to wonder how that will impact him with the coaching staff going forward. But besides that, Harris ran 23 times for 100 yards and caught two passes for 17 yards.

Myles Gaskin had a solid game as the lead back for the Dolphins. He ran nine times for 49 yards and caught five passes for 27 yards. His ability as a runner and receiver gives him high fantasy potential this season.

Chiefs 33, Browns 29

Fantasy Stud: Tyreek Hill. There were a lot of studs in this game, but Hill gets the nod here. His numbers were off the charts, finishing with 11 receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown. He is off to another great start and could make a run at top fantasy receiver this season.

Fantasy Dud: Baker Mayfield. Mayfield didn’t have a bad game overall but not a good fantasy performance. He failed to score a touchdown and turned the ball over at the end of the game. He was 21-of-28 for 319 yards with an interception. Mayfield is going to have some big games this year but could be erratic like this much of the season in a run-first offense.

Game Notes: Patrick Mahomes scored four total touchdowns without a turnover. It was a typical huge game for Mahomes, going 27-of-36 for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran five times for 18 yards with a score.

Travis Kelce found the end zone two times. He had six receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Kelce looked as good as ever.

Saints 38, Packers 3

Fantasy Stud: Jameis Winston. Winston didn’t have to throw the ball a ton but sure made the most of his chances. Winston didn’t even throw for 150 yards but had five passing touchdowns. Winston was 14-of-20 for 148 yards and five touchdowns without a turnover. It was quite the performance from Winston, giving the Saints hope he can be a great replacement for Drew Brees.

Fantasy Dud: Aaron Rodgers. There were a lot of Packers to pick for the dud, but we will give it to Rodgers. He did not score a touchdown and turned the ball over twice. Rodgers was 15-of-28 for 133 yards with two interceptions. Rodgers will get it going but this game was a real downer for his fantasy owners.

Game Notes: Aaron Jones was just as bad as Rogers, rushing five times for just nine yards. He had two receptions for 13 yards, giving him just 22 total yards on seven touches.

Juwan Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Saints. He had three receptions for 21 yards and two scores, proving to be a legit target in the red zone.

Broncos 27, Giants 13

Fantasy Stud: Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater was solid in his first start with the Broncos. He moved the offense well and didn’t turn the ball over. He was 28-of-36 for 264 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover. He is not an every-week starter by any means but certainly has some spot start potential in this offense. The Broncos have some good options to work with offensively.

Fantasy Dud: Saquon Barkley. Barkley was able to play and led the team in carries but had little room to do much. He ran 10 times for 26 yards and caught a pass for a yard. The good news is he had double-digit touches and looked healthy. The bad news is the Giants looked pretty awful and the offensive line continues to have issues.

Game Notes: Jerry Jeudy was having a great game but was injured and carted off the field. Keep an eye on the player notes for the latest but the injury didn’t look good. He had six receptions for 72 yards.

Kenny Golladay played on his injury hamstring and looked healthy. He has four receptions for 64 yards and should get stronger going forward.

Rams 34, Bears 14

Fantasy Stud: Matthew Stafford. Stafford showed why the Rams traded to get him, coming up big in his first game with his new team. He was 20-of-26 for 321 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He has a chance to post career best numbers in this offense. Let’s hope he can stay healthy.

Fantasy Dud: Allen Robinson. Robinson did not have his usual big game, getting held in check by a good Rams secondary. He had six receptions but managed just 35 yards. He will get better in more favorable matchups. This game was not a good start to his season, though, especially if you had him as your WR1.

Game Notes: David Montgomery was a bright spot for the Bears, hitting the 100-yard mark against a team that didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher all last season. Montgomery ran 16 times for 108 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for 10 yards.

Justin Fields didn’t start but did get on the field some. He was 2-of-2 passing the ball for 10 yards and ran in one of the Bears two touchdowns. He scored on a three-yard run. Andy Dalton wasn’t bad in the game, going 27-of-38 for 206 yards with an interception, but you would have to think Fields will be in there sooner than later.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Player Notes
Tua Tagovailoa Oct 22 11:20am ET
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Head coach Brian Flores spoke to reporters Friday morning, expressing confidence in Tua Tagovailoa as his starting signal-caller amid trade rumors that have swirled this week. Tagovailoa was involved in some reports suggesting a three-team deal involving the Texans and star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been on the trade block. Flores seemed to dismiss those reports, stating that the team is pleased with their current quarterback situation. Tagovailoa had his best game of the year last week, completing 33 of 47 passes for 329 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, adding 22 yards on the ground. The vote of confidence from the organization could serve him well heading into a favorable matchup against a poor Falcons defense.

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Tommy Tremble Oct 22 11:00am ET
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Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas and tight end Tommy Tremble will take on the Giants in Week 7. Both players split the playing time relatively evenly last week, as Thomas played 54 percent of the snaps compared to Tremble's 51 percent. The Giants have allowed four touchdowns to the position, so one of these two could find the end zone in Week 7. Given that the Panthers have shown some creativity with Tremble at the goal-line, he looks like the slightly better bet of the two to produce a decent line.

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Parris Campbell Oct 22 11:00am ET
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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (foot) underwent foot surgery on Friday and could miss the rest of the season. The 24-year-old exited Monday's win over the Texans early with a foot injury. He was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Campbell caught 10-of-17 targets for 162 yards and the one touchdown in five games this year. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Campbell underwent surgery on Friday, potentially ending his season. While Campbell is sidelined, T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, and Michael Pittman should see an uptick in targets.

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Aaron Jones Oct 22 10:40am ET
Aaron Jones

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Robby Anderson Oct 22 10:10am ET
Robby Anderson

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson has struggled this season heading into a favorable matchup against the Giants. Anderson has caught just 15 of 40 targets for 190 yards and two touchdowns, posting a career-worst 37.5 percent catch rate. However, 29 of those 40 targets have come in the past three weeks, as the speedy wideout has seen his involvement in the offense skyrocket with Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) sidelined. Anderson should remain heavily involved with fellow receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. (head) trending in the wrong direction for Sunday's game. With a potentially elite target share incoming and a matchup against a Giants defense that has allowed the eighth-most touchdowns to wideouts on tap- Anderson could be poised for his best game of the year.

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Aaron Rodgers Oct 22 10:00am ET
Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could have another massive fantasy day in Week 7 against the Washington Football Team. Washington has been unable to stop the pass and has given up the most yards through the air. The future Hall of Famer has been terrific in 2021, throwing for 1,436 yards and a 12:3 TD: INT ratio along with 27 rushing yards and two scores over six games in 2021. Rodgers is a surefire QB1 and is set to finish as a top-5 fantasy QB in a plus matchup against Washington.

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D.J. Moore Oct 22 9:50am ET
D.J. Moore

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Chuba Hubbard Oct 22 9:40am ET
Chuba Hubbard

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Sam Darnold Oct 22 9:10am ET
Sam Darnold

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Chase McLaughlin Oct 22 6:10am ET
Chase McLaughlin

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Myles Garrett Oct 22 6:10am ET
Myles Garrett

The Cleveland Browns defense played well in a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 7's Thursday night game. Cleveland held the Broncos to 223 yards of total offense while picking up two sacks and an interception in the win. The Browns were led by Myles Garrett, who posted 1.5 sacks, with Jadeveon Clowney chipping in on the second sack. It wasn't all good news, however, as the team lost top cornerback Denzel Ward to a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter. Ward is headed for an MRI on Friday. Cleveland now has 10 days to rest up before an important divisional game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8.

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Austin Hooper Oct 22 6:00am ET
Austin Hooper

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David Njoku Oct 22 6:00am ET
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Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku caught both of his targets for 18 yards in a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 7's Thursday Night Football game. Njoku showed his athleticism on a short screen pass on a third-and-nine in which he exploded up the field for a first down on a 12-yard gain, but he was mostly quiet after that. The veteran tight end hasn't done much since going off for 149 yards and a touchdown in Week 5, having corralled just three balls in the two games since. He will look for another big outing in Week 8's important divisional clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Donovan Peoples-Jones Oct 22 6:00am ET
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Jarvis Landry Oct 22 5:50am ET
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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught five of eight targets for 37 yards in a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 7. Landry was making his first appearance since Week 2 when he sprained his knee and instantly stepped in to lead the team in targets in the Thursday night win. The veteran wideout did provide a scare late in the game as he had to limp off of the field following his final catch of the game. He appeared to be in significant pain while being attended to by trainers on the sidelines but he eventually was able to return to action. Head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters after the game that Landry was shaken up on the play and that he will be okay. Landry now has 10 days to rest before Cleveland takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8.

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Sony Michel Oct 22 5:50am ET
Sony Michel

Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (shoulder) was a limited participant at Thursday's practice. He missed Wednesday's practice with a shoulder issue and was spotted in a red non-contact jersey on Thursday. The former New England Patriot has rushed for 205 rushing yards and a touchdown while hauling in four passes for 20 yards in his six games in 2021. Michel is the clear backup to Darrell Henderson Jr. and is a borderline flex play at best in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions. Fantasy managers should check Friday's injury report for Michel's official status as the 26-year-old is considered questionable for Week 7.

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Demetric Felton Oct 22 5:40am ET
Demetric Felton

Cleveland Browns running back Demetric Felton carried the ball twice for 13 yards and added three receptions for 21 yards in a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 7's Thursday Night Football contest. Felton showed explosiveness on his limited touches but mostly stood by and watched as teammate D'Ernest Johnson operated as the team's lead back in the win. The carries were the first of Felton's NFL career while he now has 11 receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown through six games. Considering his usage on Thursday night, Felton is unlikely to see a very large role in Week 8 when the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Oct 22 5:40am ET
Odell Beckham Jr.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught two of six targets for 23 yards in a Week 7 win over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Beckham, who was originally not expected to play through a shoulder injury, seemed to be affected by the issue as he committed a drop and slipped on another incompletion that most likely would have been caught had he remained on his feet. Beckham also aggravated his shoulder injury trying to make a diving catch and appeared to be in considerable pain, although he was able to return to the contest after halftime. Trending in the wrong direction, Beckham will be a shaky flex option in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but at least he gets 10 days to heal up now.

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D'Ernest Johnson Oct 22 5:30am ET
D'Ernest Johnson

Cleveland Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson turned in an excellent performance in a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 7's Thursday night game. Johnson carried the ball 22 times for 146 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on two catches in the win. The veteran back found the end zone on a four-yard run to cap off his team's first drive of the game. Johnson showed nice burst, agility, and power while running around and through attempted tackles in the win on Thursday evening. The Browns could be getting Nick Chubb (calf) back ahead of their Week 8 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers but Johnson should remain in the mix with Kareem Hunt (calf) still on the injured reserve list. Either way, Johnson needs to be rostered in all leagues moving forward.

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Case Keenum Oct 22 5:20am ET
Case Keenum

Cleveland Browns quarterback Case Keenum completed 21 of 33 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown in a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 7's Thursday Night Football game. Keenum, who drew the start with Baker Mayfield reportedly dealing with a fracture and a torn labrum in his left shoulder, mostly played well for Cleveland. His lone touchdown pass was a one-yard toss to fullback Johnny Stanton. He did dodge a bullet when the Browns recovered his fumble into the Denver end zone on a rushing attempt. With news coming out that Mayfield's shoulder injury is worse than initially reported, it wouldn't be a big surprise to see Keenum back out there in Week 8 when the Browns face the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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