The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens combined to score 77 points Sunday night as the Steelers earned a 39-38 victory at Heinz Field. Not surprisingly, that offensive outburst allowed a few players to far exceed their fantasy football expectations.
Alex Collins, Le'Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were among the marquee names who delivered. Jesse James and Javorius Allen, meanwhile, were pleasant surprises, especially for those owners jostling for playoff seeding.
Danny Woodhead didn't have a notable performance, but his track record alone makes him worth monitoring the rest of the way. Below is a broad outlook for Woodhead, Allen and James going forward.
Woodhead had seven yards on two carries and caught four passes for 29 yards on five targets.
Since debuting for the Ravens after recovering from a hamstring injury, Woodhead has only carried the ball 11 times for 44 yards. Even for somebody who excels in the receiving game, that's a paltry total in five appearances.
Woodhead's pass-catching ability should keep him on the radar for fantasy owners in the final weeks of the regular season. Since he's stuck behind Collins and Allen in the depth chart, however, he'll need to see way more receiving targets before he deserves a spot on your roster.
Although Allen only registered six carries, two of them went for touchdowns to pad his fantasy total. He ran for 25 yards while catching two passes for 32 yards.
Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL
Buck Allen out here vulturing touchdowns.2017-12-11 04:29:14
Michael Salfino @MichaelSalfino
One day someone is gonna give Buck Allen a real chance. Probably the Patriots.2017-12-11 04:30:11
As is the case with Woodhead, Collins' second-half emergence stunts Allen's fantasy potential. Unlike Woodhead, Allen doesn't have much upside as a receiver to compensate for his lack of carries.
The former USC star may continue to steal carries from Collins inside the red zone, which will only serve to make fantasy owners angry rather than significantly bolster Allen's own value.
Allen was averaging 3.5 yards per carry this season, which is almost exactly his career average (3.6 yards per carry). Even if Collins were to go down with an injury, Allen likely wouldn't warrant much more than bench consideration.
With Collins healthy, Allen should stay on the waiver wire.
James' 10 receptions and 97 receiving yards were easily the highest of his career in a single game. According to Pro Football Reference, only four times in 36 regular-season appearances did he get more than five targets.
For tight end-needy owners, James may be worth a flier, but he's definitely a buyer-beware option on the waiver wire.
JuJu Smith-Schuster will be back from his one-game suspension in Week 15, and he'll rejoin a Steelers offense that is awash with dynamic playmakers. Roethlisberger has so many options in the passing game that James is basically fifth in the pecking order. Barring a significant change, he won't be getting another 10-catch night anytime soon.
James' fantasy value is tied to whether he finds the end zone, which is an obvious problem for a player with eight receiving touchdowns in three years. Until he consistently gets more receptions on a weekly basis, James has too much volatility to crack TE1 territory.