Most of the NFL's top teams and fantasy stars did what they were supposed to do on Sunday in Week 8, but there were a few shockers on the schedule, too.
Calvin Johnson put up spectacular fantasy numbers for the second week in a row. He came within seven yards of breaking the NFL's all-time single-game receiving record, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info, snagging 14 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown:
Calvin Johnson: 329 receiving yards, 2nd-most in single game in NFL history (Flipper Anderson, 336)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 27, 2013
It was a magnificent performance, and it put to rest any question a certain Dez Bryant may have previously had about who the best receiver in the league is right now.
In other news, the Kansas City Chiefs are still undefeated after taking care of business at home against the Cleveland Browns. With half the season in the books, Andy Reid's bunch is the only team in the league without a loss.
Speaking of wins and losses, here's a look at all the box scores from the games completed thus far in Week 8, followed by a look at the top fantasy stars from each game.
NFL Week 8 Box Scores
|New York Giants||Philadelphia Eagles||15-7|
|Detroit Lions||Dallas Cowboys||31-30|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Cleveland Browns||23-17|
|New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||27-17|
|New Orleans Saints||Buffalo Bills||35-17|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jacksonville Jaguars||42-10|
|Cincinnati Bengals||New York Jets||49-9|
|Oakland Raiders||Pittsburgh Steelers||21-18|
|Denver Broncos||Washington Redskins||45-21|
|Arizona Cardinals||Atlanta Falcons||27-13|
Detroit Outlasts Dallas with Epic Finish
Looking at the schedule heading into this weekend's slate of games, one of the contests that stood out as a potential barnburner was Dallas at Detroit. Both teams are capable of putting up points in bunches, and both defenses have been torched this season on various occasions.
But heading into halftime, Dallas hung on to a tenuous 10-7 lead in what had been a defensive struggle for two quarters. One quarter later, Dallas had added a field goal to take a 13-7 lead into the final stanza, and the offensive fireworks everyone was expecting had failed to materialize.
Thankfully, the football gods were only saving the best for last.
Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant both caught 50-plus-yard touchdown passes from Tony Romo, who played well in defeat. Those touchdowns were matched by one-yard touchdown scampers by Joique Bell and Reggie Bush.
Four touchdowns and two field goals had been scored in the fourth quarter after Dan Bailey put Dallas up by six points with a field goal, leaving one minute, four seconds on the game clock.
Matthew Stafford then led a six-play drive that covered 80 yards in 50 seconds, and he finished it off with a phenomenal trick play at the end. Utilizing urgent body language that made it seem like he was going to spike the ball and stop the clock, Stafford dove into the end zone for the game-winning score while Dallas' defense stood watching.
After the game, Stafford told reporters that he was planning on spiking the ball but noticed Dallas' linebackers standing around and made the call to take off and run, as noted by Brad Galli of WXYZ-TV in Detroit:
The Lions head into the second half of the season on a high note after winning this thrilling contest 31-30.
NFL Week 8 Fantasy Stars
|Giants vs. Eagles||Josh Brown||Kicker||New York||18||Made all five FG attempts|
|Cowboys vs. Lions||Calvin Johnson||WR||Detroit||36||14 catches for 329 yards and one touchdown|
|Browns vs. Chiefs||Alex Smith||QB||Kansas City||21||265 total yards with two touchdowns|
|Dolphins vs. Patriots||Patriots Defense||Defense||New England||15||Six sacks, two interceptions|
|Bills vs. Saints||Drew Brees||QB||New Orleans||33||331 total yards with five touchdowns|
|49ers vs. Jaguars||Colin Kaepernick||QB||San Francisco||27||218 total yards with three touchdowns|
|Jets vs. Bengals||Andy Dalton||QB||Cincinnati||24||325 total yards with five touchdowns|
|Steelers vs. Raiders||Darren McFadden||RB||Oakland||17||78 total yards with two touchdowns|
|Redskins vs. Broncos||Peyton Manning||QB||Denver||22||354 total yards with three touchdowns|
|Falcons vs. Cardinals||Andre Ellington||RB||Arizona||21||162 total yards and one touchdown|
Colin Kaepernick's Stock on the Rise
After putting up 412 yards and three touchdowns through the air against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, the hype machine surrounding Kaepernick's fantasy football potential was cranked up to previously unseen levels of ridiculousness.
It was therefore a shock to many when Kaepernick put together two horrible games in a row against the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts. He passed for 277 yards with zero touchdowns and four interceptions in those two contests, causing many to doubt him going forward.
Heading into the second half of the season, however, it's clear that Kaepernick is a must-start fantasy quarterback.
He torched the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8, totaling 218 yards with three touchdowns. Of those yards, 54 came on the ground, as did two of the touchdowns.
This is now the second week in a row that Kaepernick has been featured in San Francisco's rushing attack. In those two games, he rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns.
The 49ers now head into a bye week to rest up and get ready for the playoff push. Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree are both expected to be activated on Sundays sometime in the near future, and San Francicso's offense should flourish in the second half of the season.
Which means Kaepernick's fantasy stock will continue to surge.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.