Mon Nov 5 8:32 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Thomas dials up big game
The huge fantasy performances weren't quite as prevalent this week but the players that had big games had really big games. There were two four-touchdown games from quarterbacks and one receiver hit the 200-yard mark. The bigger story of the fantasy week was fantasy defenses scoring some big-time points. There were two defenses that absolutely dominated their games and were huge factors for fantasy teams. This is rare and should be enjoyed by fantasy owners. It is good to get points from unexpected sources.
49ers 34, Raiders 3
Fantasy Stud: Nick Mullens. The undrafted free agent was forced into action and showed great in his first NFL start. He was near flawless most of the game, going 16-of-22 for 262 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Mullens proved he can start and might be a help to fantasy teams in the right matchup.
Fantasy Dud: Derek Carr. Carr wasn't terrible in his game but the entire team really struggled, leading to a terrible fantasy game for Carr. He was 16-of-21 for 171 yards without a touchdown or an interception. The Raiders are a mess as a team, so Carr is a shaky play going forward for fantasy teams.
Game Notes: Raheem Mostert had a great showing but broke his arm in the game and likely will miss the rest of the year. He suffered a nasty break. Mostert had seven carries for 86 yards and a touchdowns before the injury.
George Kittle had his second 100-yard game of the season, catching four passes for 108 yards and a score. He is having a breakout year, having 41 catches for 692 yards.
Vikings 24, Lions 9
Fantasy Stud: Dalvin Cook. Cook didn't play a full workload but still produced great numbers in his limited role. He led the team in rushing, running 10 times for 89 yards. He also had four receptions for 20 yard, giving him 109 total yards. Cook should just get better going forward as his workload increases. This was a very encouraging game for his fantasy owners.
Fantasy Dud: Matthew Stafford. Stafford was a disaster in this one as the offensive line gave him next to no time to throw. Stafford didn't even throw for 200 yards and failed to score a touchdown. He was 25-of-36 for 199 yards. This offensive line needs to get better in a hurry if the Lions want to get much done in the passing game.
Game Notes: Adam Thielen failed to hit the 100-yard mark for the first time this year. He did score a touchdown, though. Thielen had four receptions for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Marvin Jones led the Lions in receiving yard, catchings six passes for 66 yards. Jones has 13 receptions his last two games.
Dolphins 13, Jets 6
Fantasy Stud: Dolphins defense. The Dolphins defense put up some points in this one, picking off four passes. The defense also scored the only touchdown in the game, returning one of their interceptions 25 yards for a score. Miami also had four sacks. It was quite an impressive performance for a defense that has really played well much of the year.
Fantasy Dud: Sam Darnold. Darnold had his worst game as a pro, going 21-of-39 for 229 yards with four interceptions. This was just the second time all year Darnold failed to score a touchdown in a game. He is having a decent year but needs some help around him to be a fantasy factor.
Game Notes: Elijah McGuire returned from Injured Reserve this week and got a lot of work in his first game back. He ran eight times for 31 yards and caught three passes for 37 yards.
DeVante Parker fell on his face once again after his huge showing last week. Parker had just a catch for eight yards, getting targeted just twice in the game.
Steelers 23, Ravens 17
Fantasy Stud: James Conner. Conner had his usual huge total yardage game. He ran 24 times for 107 yards, and caught seven passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. So he had 163 total yards and a score. Conner has four straight 100-yard games and is now over 1,000 total yards for the year. He is having a spectacular, breakout year.
Fantasy Dud: John Brown. Brown was a disappointment for his fantasy owners, especially if you consider his big game against this same team earlier this year. Brown had just three catches for 17 yards. Brown has cooled some in recent weeks, having fewer than 30 yards three of four games. He is a little hard to trust right now for fantasy owners.
Game Notes: Alex Collins scored a touchdown for the third time in four games. He ran nine times for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger had a strong game against a good defense. He was 28-of-47 for 270 yards and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). He has four three-touchdown games.
Bears 41, Bills 9
Fantasy Stud: Bears defense. Chicago had a dominating performance for fantasy teams, carrying many to victory all by themselves. This unit scored two return touchdowns, recorded for sacks, had three interceptions, and recovered a fumble. It was one of the best fantasy defensive performances of recent seasons.
Fantasy Dud: LeSean McCoy. McCoy had another poor showing for his fantasy teams. He had 11 carries but managed just 13 yards. He also caught four passes for 19 yards. So in his last two games, McCoy has run 13 times for 26 yards his last two games. McCoy belongs on fantasy benches right now.
Game Notes: Nathan Peterman had another game to forget as the starter for the Bills. He was 31-of-49 for 189 yards with three interceptions.
Jordan Howard ran 14 times for 47 yards and two touchdowns. Howard has touchdowns three straight games.
Chiefs 37, Browns 21
Fantasy Stud: Kareem Hunt. Hunt had another one of his monster fantasy performances. He ran 17 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a pass for a 50-yards touchdown. He had 141 total yards and three scores. Hunt is up to 13 scores for the year, having touchdowns eight straight games. His only game without a score came in Week 1.
Fantasy Dud: Jarvis Landry. There were very few poor fantasy showings in this one. Landry didn't have a bad game by any means, but his owners probably thought he was going to produce a little better in this great matchup. Landry had six catches for 50 yards, producing pretty mediocre numbers. This is the fourth game of the season Landry had 50 or fewer yards.
Game Notes: Duke Johnson had his best game of the year, catching nine passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns. This was his first game all season with more than four receptions.
Nick Chubb found the end zone for the second time in three games. He ran 22 times for 85 yards and a core. Both his rush attempts and yards were season highs for Chubb.
Falcons 38, Redskins 14
Fantasy Stud: Tevin Coleman. Coleman had his best game of the season. He ran 13 times for 88 yards, and caught five passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 156 total yards and two scores. Coleman has really picked up his play lately, having touchdowns three straight games.
Fantasy Dud: Adrian Peterson. Peterson had a rare down performance for this year, running nine times for just 17 yards against a bad Falcons rush defense. This was an unexpected fantasy performance, especially if you consider how well Peterson had played in recent weeks. Hopefully, this isn't a sign that Peterson is slowing down some.
Game Notes: Maurice Harris had his best game as a pro, leading the Redskins in receiving. He had 10 receptions for 124 yards. Harris did not have more than 50 yards in a game before this big performance.
Julio Jones finally found the end zone, scoring for the first time this year. He had seven receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. Jones has three straight 100-yards games and five total this year.
Panthers 42, Bucs 28
Fantasy Stud: Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey enjoyed his best fantasy game of the season. He ran 17 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 78 yards and a score. McCaffrey finished with 157 total yards and two scores. McCaffrey is up to 880 total yards for the year.
Fantasy Dud: Mike Evans. Evans was a big bust for fantasy teams, catching just a pass for 16 yards. You didn't see this game coming from Evans, who had two straight 100-yard games before this one. It was his first game all year with fewer than 58 yards. Evans will be just fine going forward but this game likely hurt many of his owners.
Game Notes: Ryan Fitzpatrick started slow but finished well for his owners. He was 24-of-40 for 243 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. This was his third four-touchdown game.
Greg Olsen found the end zone for the third straight game. He caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. His catches and yards were season highs.
Texans 19, Broncos 17
Fantasy Stud: DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins had another huge game, hitting double-digit receptions and the 100-yard mark. Hopkins had 10 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. Hopkins has four 100-yard games this year and seven touchdowns. He continues to produce as well as any fantasy receiver in the game.
Fantasy Dud: Lamar Miller. Miller cooled off in a big way in this contest. He ran 12 times for just 21 yards. He also caught two passes for 27 yards, giving him 48 yards on 13 touches. Miller had two straight 100-yard games before this poor showing. This is the fourth game of the season for him with fewer than 50-rushing yards.
Game Notes: Demaryius Thomas had a decent showing in his first game with the Texans. He caught three passes for 61 yards and played much of the game.
Jeff Heuerman was a big surprise for the Broncos, leading the way at receiver for the team. He caught 10 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. This game was just his second all year with more than 25 yards.
Chargers 25, Seahawks 17
Fantasy Stud: Melvin Gordon. Gordon was iffy to play but played and played very well once again. He ran 16 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for 10 yards. This was his third 100-yard game of the year. Gordon also has 10 total touchdowns. He has been an elite fantasy back all season.
Fantasy Dud: Tyler Lockett. Lockett had just three catches for 22 yards. Lockett had touchdowns three straight games before this game. He has fewer than 35 yards three straight games, looking more like a touchdown dependent fantasy player. He has high touchdown potential, though, with scores in six of eight games.
Game Notes: Doug Baldwin finally had a decent game. He caught four passes for 77 yards. This was just his second game of the season with more than 50 yards.
Chris Carson was active but didn't get a ton of work. He ran eight times for 40 yards while Mike Davis had 15 carries for 62 yards. Carson should get more work as he gets healthier.
Saints 45, Rams 35
Fantasy Stud: Michael Thomas. Thomas had one of the best games for a fantasy receiver this season. He was unstoppable, having 12 receptions for 211 yards and a touchdown. Thomas has four games with double-digit receptions and three 100-yard games. If his season ended right now, most receivers would be thrilled with his numbers. Thomas is well on his way to a monster season.
Fantasy Dud: Mark Ingram. Ingram was one of the few fantasy players in this game that did nothing. He ran nine times for 30 yards and caught just a pass for three yards. Ingram also lost a fumble, which hurt his fantasy numbers even more. Ingram hasn't been off the charts productive since his return from suspension. Hopefully, he starts producing better in the coming weeks.
Game Notes: Cooper Kupp returned from his knee injury and looked just fine. He caught five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Kupp has six touchdowns in six games and at least four receptions every game.
Drew Brees had a tremendous game, going 25-of-36 for 346 yards and four touchdowns without a turnover. Brees has four three-touchdown games this season.
Patriots 31, Packers 17
Fantasy Stud: James White. White continues his torrid pace for fantasy teams. He ran 12 times for just 31 yards but scored two rushing touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 72 yards, giving him 103 total yards and two scores. White has touchdowns three straight and 10 total scores this year. He is among the elite fantasy backs in the game right now.
Fantasy Dud: Chris Hogan. Hogan went without a catch for the first time all season. He was targeted just once in the game. This was a really disappointing showing because Hogan was making a few more plays in recent games. He had 49 or more yards three straight. Hogan is a hard guy for fantasy teams to play because of his inconsistent play this year. This game might have done him in for the rest of the year for fantasy teams.
Game Notes: Cordarrelle Patterson led the Patriots in rushing, running 11 times for 61 yards. He continues to make the most of his chances as a running back for the Patriots.
Josh Gordon hit the 100-yard mark for the second time in three games. He caught five passes fro 130 yards and a score. He was targeted a season-high 10 times in the game.
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.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (hip) has progressed in his rehab without setbacks since suffering a hip injury in October, according to a league source. Doctors have ruled out surgery once and for all for Wilson and has raised hope that he will be able to get back on the field this spring. The belief is that Wilson will be ready for the start of the offseason program in April. Wilson ranked third on the team in touchdowns (four receiving and one passing) despite missing nine games, and his yards-per-catch average (15.0) led the team. Although Miami's quarterback situation is up in the air, Wilson should have a prominent place in the team's offense next year regardless.
The New York Jets officially hired Dowell Loggains as their next offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach on Wednesday. Loggains has worked under head coach Adam Gase in both Chicago and Miami. With Gase likely running the show on offense, Loggains' main task will be to continue the development of quarterback Sam Darnold, who was very up and down in his rookie season. The Jets ranked 29th in yards per game (299.2), 25th in passing yards (197.8), 26th in rushing yards (101.4) and 23rd in the league in points per game (20.8) in 2018.
The Arizona Cardinals signed veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to a one-year deal on Wednesday so that he can return for a 16th season. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Fitzgerald will turn 36 at the end of August but will remain the No. 1 wideout on the team because of his experience. His numbers took a hit in one of the worst offenses in the NFL in 2018, but he still led the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (734) and touchdowns (six). While Fitz can still make an impact on the field, he'll be returning to his third head coach in three years, but the addition of Kliff Kingsbury could improve the offense moving forward. We won't say for sure that Fitzgerald will return to the 1,000-yard mark, but he should be a serviceable WR3 at the very least.
Former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is expected to land with the New England Patriots in a top defensive role when linebackers coach Brian Flores heading to the Miami Dolphins.
Former New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has emerged as the favorite to be hired as Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator, according to sources.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, that he'll return for the 2019 season.
Fantasy Spin: Fitz had a 69-734-6 season, which was well below the 100-catch, 1,000-yard seasons the three years previously. The rookie quarterback was part of the problem, but he doesn't have much more upside next season. He's still a PPR asset, but he'll be a mid-round option as a WR3.
Updating an earlier report, Arizona Cardinals impending free-agent WR Larry Fitzgerald re-signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson (hip) is on schedule with his recovery from an October hip injury that landed him on IR and could be at full speed when the team's offseason workout program begins in April.
Fantasy Spin: After four largely nondescript seasons in Kansas City, Wilson flashed some playmaking ability before getting injured against the Lions. There are far too many variables in Miami for an accurate read on Wilson's fantasy prospects for 2019, but he did enough last year to warrant your attention.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles would be eligible to be franchise or transition tagged and then traded if the team decides not to pick up his option, which ESPN's Chris Mortensen believes is a possibility as doing so would allow the Eagles to influence Foles' destination.
Fantasy Spin: Mortensen indicates such a move would prevent Foles from going to a division rival, but it's all speculation at this point. While it's far from a sure thing, Foles could have some fantasy value in the right situation.
Oakland Raiders CB Daryl Worley (shoulder) had successful surgery on his ailing shoulder last week, according to head coach Jon Gruden.
Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Crabtree is likely to be released in the offseason, according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec.
Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent WR Cole Beasley claimed Tuesday, Jan. 22, that the Dallas front office encourages the coaching staff to get the football to certain players. 'I haven't been a huge priority in that regard. Maybe that will change but I'm not sure,' Beasley said.
Fantasy Spin: Beasley's frustrations are evident and understandable, although Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Gallup are all bigger, more talented threats with the ball. Beasley does have a role to play and put together his second best season from a statistical standpoint. That being said, he's only a mid- to late-round PPR flier if he stays in Dallas.
Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team is "optimistic" that quarterback Alex Smith (leg) will be ready for the start of the 2019 season, but he also said "we'll see." In his first year with Washington, Smith was a disappointment, throwing for 2,108 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions with an 85.7 QB rating in 10 games before his gruesome leg injury. He'll be heading into his age-35 season and is unlikely to be ready for training camp or the regular season, so he's one to avoid for fantasy purposes. The 'Skins are in dire need of a long-term quarterback.
The Kansas City Chiefs relieved defensive coordinator Bob Sutton of his duties on Tuesday. Sutton was head coach Andy Reid's defensive coordinator for all six of his years in KC, but the Chiefs defense continued to trend downward in 2018 and was their Achilles heel in the AFC Championship loss to the Patriots last weekend. Defensive end Chris Jones -- third in the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2018 -- and linebacker Dee Ford are the linchpins of this defense, but they must improve their talent in the secondary. The Chiefs ranked 31st in yards allowed per game (405.5), 31st in passing yards allowed (273.4), 27th in rushing yards allowed (132.1), 24th in points allowed (26.3) and tied for eighth in takeaways (27) in 2018.
Oakland Raiders impending free-agent TE Jared Cook will be re-signed if head coach Jon Gruden has his way, but Gruden admitted that Cook will be a popular name on the free-agent market.
Fantasy Spin: Cook was one of the few bright spots for the Raiders this season, and maybe the lone bright spot. He's a top-five fantasy tight end candidate now after finishing 2018 as the TE5.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones led all receivers with 24 receptions for first downs on 30 third-down targets this past season.
Fantasy Spin: Despite a slow start in the TD department (none in his first seven games) Jones also wound up leading the league in receiving yards (1,677) for the second time in the last four seasons. And even with Jones turning 30 this offseason (on Super Bowl Sunday), he remains an elite WR1 in all fantasy formats.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the team is unsure if impending free-agent running back Marshawn Lynch plans to play in 2019. Gruden said "we'd love to have him back" if he decides to play another season. Beast Mode will turn 33 in April and is coming off a season in which he played in just six games due to injury. Lynch ran 90 times for 376 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and three scores. Even if Lynch returns, he'd be more of a low-upside, injury-risk RB2 for Oakland that is more attractive in standard-scoring leagues.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the team would like to re-sign impending free-agent tight end Jared Cook, but he knows the market for his services will be competitive. He'll be in high demand after he set career highs across the board in catches (68), targets (101), yards (896) and touchdowns (six) for the Raiders. Given the sad state of the tight end position in fantasy, Cook was a strong TE1 this year and will likely be drafted as one again this year, depending on where he lands. Staying in Oakland might be the best for his value.
The Cincinnati Bengals are hiring former Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan as their next offensive coordinator. Callahan has never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL but has been a QBs coach since 2015. He'll oversee an offense that could easily bounce back after serious injuries to quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green derailed them in 2018. Cincinnati finished 26th in yards per game (310.8), 24th in passing yards per game (205.6), 21st in rushing yards per game (105.1) and 17th in points per game (23.0) in 2018.
Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch, an impending free agent this offseason, hasn't announced whether he plans on playing in 2019, but if he does, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday, Jan. 22, that 'we'd love to have him back.'
Fantasy Spin: Lynch will be 33 by the time next season rolls around, but he'd still be a fantasy RB2 consideration if were to be projected to be the primary RB in Oakland.