Fantasy Football: Chris Johnson Highlights the AFC 'Random Thoughts' for Week 7
Here are 15 random and AFC-based deep thoughts from an entertaining, yet vexing Week 7:
1. Show me a fantasy GM who was surprised by Chris Johnson's monster day of 198 total yards (195 rushing) and two touchdowns...and I'll show you a non-admirer of The Fantasy Blog. Leading up to Sunday, I served up four midweek reminders of Johnson's previous two outings against the Bills: Per-game averages of 195 total yards and two scores.
2. Fantasy owners, do not be surprised if Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (six catches, 78 yards, two TD on Sunday) nets multiple touchdowns next week against the Rams. In his three-year career, Gronk has already pulled off that cool feat four times.
3. Let's keep Fred Jackson's fantasy day (120 total yards, one TD) in perspective. Yes, he topped C.J. Spiller (102 total yards) in yardage, touchdowns and receiving targets, but similar to Falcons receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, there's no perfect way of predicting who'll post better numbers the following Sunday. Jackson and Spiller are equal parts dynamic and interchangeable.
4. It's amazing how proficient the Jets offense can be with a healthy Dustin Keller (seven catches, 93 yards, one TD) occupying the middle third of the field. It's also nice to see the club develop a No. 1 wideout, which brings me to this: I was wrong to predict that Stephen Hill (four catches, 55 yards) would have a better day than Jeremy Kerley (seven catches, 120 yards).
5. Houston's Andre Johnson (nine catches, 86 yards vs. Baltimore) may be primed for a modest breakout after his club's Week 8 bye. In his last two outings, Johnson has averages of 8.5 catches, 81 yards and 11 targets.
6. You have to love QB Carson Palmer (312 total yards, two TDs vs. Jacksonville) in fantasy circles. No matter how bad the Raiders may look after 40 minutes of play, he'll still end up with 300 total yards and/or three touchdowns nearly every Sunday. Through six games, Palmer has reached that threshold five times.
7. Rashad Jennings (102 total yards, one TD vs. Oakland) looked great as Maurice Jones-Drew's injury replacement. Expect Jennings (seven catches, 58 yards) to be this week's most coveted waiver-wire asset in 12-team leagues...which doesn't bode well for MJD (foot).
8. My apologies to Pittsburgh's Jonathan Dwyer (122 rushing yards vs. Cincy) for thinking he was too, uh, bulky to be an effective every-down rusher in the pros.
9. Ray Rice (54 total yards vs. Houston) may be an elite-level tailback in all fantasy leagues, but he's not immune to posting mediocre stats...on a day when his club falls behind 29-3 at halftime.
10. On the flip side, Baltimore's Joe Flacco is only starter-worthy, fantasy-wise, when playing at home. Can you recall the last time an NFL quarterback mustered only 147 passing yards off 43 pass attempts?
11. I'm nine days away from dropping the claim that Titans wideout Kenny Britt (four catches, 30 yards) will finish the season as a fantasy star. Why nine days? Britt has averaged 11 targets and 0.5 touchdowns in even-numbered games...and I'm praying his sixth game (Week 8 against the Colts) bears considerably more fruit than Sunday's lackluster showing.
12. Doesn't it seem like Browns receiver Josh Gordon catches two balls and scores one touchdown every week? The only difference from Sunday: Gordon's 10 targets were a season high. (Yes, I'm taking the positive from that stat...while conveniently ignoring the awful catch-to-target ratio.)
13. Sunday marked the eighth time in five seasons that tight end Owen Daniels (seven catches, 59 yards, one TD) collected double-digit targets. Counting his team's 43-13 demolition of the Ravens, the Texans are now 2-6 (since 2008) in Daniels' biggest target days.
14. Just think of the damage Steelers wideout Mike Wallace (eight catches, 52 yards) could have inflicted if he hadn't dropped three or four eminently catchable balls against the Bengals.
The last time Wallace registered 15-plus targets: Super Bowl XLV (nine catches, 89 yards and one TD).
15. Bengals stars Andy Dalton (108 yards passing, one TD) and A.J. Green (one catch, eight yards, one TD) get a relative free pass from Sunday's offensive debacle. (Cincy collected 185 total yards and 11 first downs against Pittsburgh.)
But there is one big caveat: Dalton owners with realistic designs of winning a fantasy championship better have a backup plan—quarterback-wise—for Week 16 (Fantasy Bowl weekend)...when the Bengals and Steelers meet for a second time (presumably in bad weather).
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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