By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Michel posts huge numbers
Well, the games this past weekend weren't the best once again. Two were blowouts and the two other were competitive but not all that compelling. This has been a theme in the playoffs after two weeks. And the fantasy output in these games has not been of the charts. There were some bigger performances this weekend, though. A few players really carried fantasy teams to victories.
Chiefs 31, Colts 13
Fantasy Stud: Damien Williams. Williams continued his great play as the lead back for the Chiefs. He ran 25 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 25 yards, giving him 154 total yards and s score. Williams has 100-yard games two of his last three and touchdowns five straight. Williams could be playing himself into a prominent role with the team going forward. He has been great in a starting role for the Chiefs.
Fantasy Dud: Andrew Luck. Luck seemed primed for a big game against a defense that struggled much of the year. Well, it didn't play out that way with Luck struggling much of the game until finding the end zone late with the game out of hand. Luck was 19-of-36 for 203 yards and a touchdowns without an interception. Luck still had a great rebound season and seems back to his old self, which is really encouraging going forward.
Game Notes: Tyreek Hill had his usual big showing. He had eight receptions for 72 yards and ran once for a 36-yard score. He had 108 total yards and a score in the game.
Travis Kelce hit the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season. He caught seven passes for 108 yards on 10 targets.
Rams 30, Cowboys 22
Fantasy Stud: C.J. Anderson. Despite Todd Gurley back and healthy, Anderson led the way for the Rams rushing attack. He had 23 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Anderson had three straight 100-yard games and is clearly a big part of this offense even with Gurley back. Anderson is going to get his chances as long as the Rams keep dominating running the ball.
Fantasy Dud: Jared Goff. With the Rams having so much success running the ball, Goff didn't have to do much in this one. He was a bust for fantasy teams, going 15-of-28 for 186 yards without a touchdown or an interception. Goff has cooled some down the stretch, though, having one or no scores four of his last six games. He also has fewer than 200-passing yards three of those games.
Game Notes: Todd Gurley returned from his knee injury and looked near full strength. He ran 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
Michael Gallup had six receptions for 119 yards. This was the first time in his career he hit the 100-yard mark. Gallup scored touchdowns two of the last four games.
Patriots 41, Chargers 28
Fantasy Stud: Sony Michel. Michel dominated carries for the Patriots and ran all over the Chargers with his big workload. He ran 24 times for 129 yards and three touchdowns. This was his first three-touchdown game of his career. It was the fifth time he hit the 100-yard mark, though. Michel gets few catches but continues to have big rushing yardage and touchdown potential in this offense.
Fantasy Dud: Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots had a ton of success offensively, but Gronk wasn't part of the fun. He had just a catch in the game, finishing with a catch for 25 yards. This game shouldn't come as a huge shock, though, because his production has been and up and down this year. Gronk has just four games all season with more than 60 yards. He has not been the Rob Gronkowski of past seasons.
Game Notes: James White did not have a carry in the game, but led the team in receptions. He got a workout in the passing game, catching 15 passes for 97 yards. This was his third double-digit reception game of the season.
Hunter Henry made his season debut, returning from a torn ACL, but was held without a catch. He was targeted just once in the game. Antonio Gates got much of the work at tight end, catching five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown in what might have been his last game.
Saints 20, Eagles 14
Fantasy Stud: Michael Thomas. Thomas had another one of his monster games, catching 12 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown. He was the focal point of the passing game and produced huge numbers once again. This was the seventh time this season he had double-digit receptions. Thomas is proving he is one of the elite receivers in all of football.
Fantasy Dud: Nick Foles. Foles was pretty quiet in what seemed a favorable matchup for him. He was 18-of-31 for 201 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Foles had multiple touchdowns three straight games before this dud. He has put himself in prime position to land another starter's job going forward, though, because of his strong play down the stretch. Expect Foles to be starting for some team in 2019.
Game Notes: Ted Ginn had three receptions for 44 yards on seven targets. In two games since returning from injury, Ginn has eight receptions for 118 yards on 15 targets.
Alshon Jeffery led the Eagles in receiving, catching five passes for 63 yards, but had a costly drop late in the game with the Eagles driving for a possible game-winning score. The ball went right through his hands and to a Saint for an interception. Jeffery finished the season with at least five receptions five of his last six games.
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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
While Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) and defensive end J.J. Watt (knee) are starting training camp on the PUP list and will be unable to practice, their stays on those lists are expected to only last a few days. Both players are expected to return to practice soon, and while it would be a surprise if either player takes the field during the preseason, both will be fine for Week 1. Hopkins has a chance to finish as the overall WR1, while Watt is one of the most valuable IDP defensive ends in the NFL.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon recently suggested he wants to be traded if the Chargers don't offer him a contract extension, and on Monday word came that the Chargers do not currently have interest in discussing Gordon's contract situation. Yahoo's Charles Robinson reports that the Chargers are "dug in" on their current stance, which means Gordon will now have to decide if he follows through on threats to hold out. Gordon's a RB1 who should be picked in the second half of the first round if he's on the field, but this situation creates a ton of uncertainty. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are worth picking slightly sooner than their ADPs at this point because of the Gordon situation.
The Minnesota Vikings have parted ways with running back Roc Thomas, who was set to miss the first three games of the season after being suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The move isn't a huge surprise, though Minnesota is now fairly shallow at running back beyond Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison. Thomas had just 10 touches as a rookie, so it wouldn't be a shock to see him not make it onto a roster this season, especially with that looming suspension.
The New York Jets have signed tight end Ryan Griffin, who spent the past six seasons with the Houston Texans. Griffin had 24 catches for 305 yards last season. While he'll ultimately be a backup to Chris Herndon IV, Griffin could be in line for an increase in usage over the first four games while Herndon serves a suspension. Griffin could have some DFS value over that span, but he'll still be fighting for snaps during those games as well, making him a risky fantasy play with upside that likely isn't high enough to make that a risk worth taking.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (thumb) could miss the first three weeks of camp after being spotted with a brace on his left thumb. The source of the injury is a bit unknown but this is just another offensive weapon for the Patriots that will not be ready for camp. Outside of quarterback Tom Brady, Edelman is perhaps the most important piece of the Patriots offensive scheme. At this point, the injury shouldn't hamper his ability to begin the season but certainly will keep him from participating in preseason games.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning is not competing with rookie first-round QB Daniel Jones for the starting job during training camp, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck was held out of spring practices with a minor calf injury, but he is 'good to go' for training camp, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman is the unquestioned starting running back, but the team may ultimately decide to use Ito Smith, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison to replace Tevin Coleman, who left for the San Francisco 49ers in free agency this spring. 'It's a position that has good talent for us. And now to be talented as a group, it may be a combination of those roles and featuring what those guys can do best. ... That's deeper than we've been at that position for a while, and I'm looking forward to the unique stuff that the guys do have,' head coach Dan Quinn said.
Free-agent RB Orleans Darkwa (Giants) is working out for the Cleveland Browns on Monday, July 22.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Justin Evans, LB Jack Cichy, LB David Kenney and WR Xavier Ubosi were placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 22. The team also placed QB Nick Fitzgerald on the Active/Non-Football Injury List.
Free-agent WR Justin Hunter (Steelers) worked out Monday, July 22, for the New England Patriots, according to a source.
Seattle Seahawks DT Jarran Reed was suspended six games Monday, July 22, due to violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. The suspension stems from an alleged 2017 incident in which Reed was accused of assaulting a woman. He was not arrested by police.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) is still rehabbing a foot injury that kept him out of June minicamps, according to head coach Dan Quinn on Monday, July 22. Jones had a bunion removed immediately after the 2018 season and was limited to working with trainers in Monday's opening day of training camp. The absence is not related to his contract situation.
Fantasy Spin: At this stage, it's more of a "keep an eye on it" approach than time to change your draft plans. The star receiver has a history of foot problems, but this one has nothing to do with it, as far as we can tell. Jones remains an elite WR1 in all fantasy settings.
Detroit Lions DE Trey Flowers (shoulder) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 22, as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. The Lions can activate Flowers at any time, but he will not be ready for the beginning of training camp.
Free-agent SS Johnathan Cyprien (Titans) will visit the New York Giants Monday, July 22.
Free-agent SS Tre Boston (Cardinals) will visit the New York Giants Monday, July 22.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (thumb) is wearing a small brace over his left thumb, which is expected to sideline him for about three weeks.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman isn't likely to lose anything from the time off as he and Tom Brady have such a rapport. Edelman is a low-end WR2 in PPR formats as he catches a lot of passes, but they don't usually result in a ton of yardage or scoring potential.
New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will open training camp on the team's PUP list. This isn't that much of a surprise as the veteran receiver continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered last season. But the situation could have fantasy consequences in a few weeks when the Patriots must make their first cuts. If Thomas cannot practice by then, the team may be forced to keep him on the PUP list. This would make the 31-year-old ineligible for the first six regular season games and further damage the value of a player on the back-end of a very productive career.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will begin training camp on the PUP list as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. Michel will not be eligible to practice with the team and his return is up in the air at this time. The Patriots still have plenty of time to activate the second-year back before first cuts and the expectation is that he should be ready to open the season as their lead back. But players must miss six regular season games if they remain on the PUP list after first cutdowns. The hope is this is precautionary since Michel participated in the team's mandatory minicamp. It is too early to become worried about Michel's status but his situation will have to be monitored throughout training camp all the way up to fantasy drafts.
Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) continues to participate in the early portions of practice with the team before leaving to work with trainers, head coach Vic Fangio said Sunday. July 21. 'It's a slow but sure process,' Fangio said. 'Everything is good so far. He's where we expected him to be and even a little bit more.'
Fantasy Spin: While Sanders continues to make progress, it seems unlikely he is going to be top form by Week 1. If you are willing to be patient, he could become a solid WR3 by the end of the year.