The NFL returned to London once again this week, but the league should have picked a better matchup to showcase in England. I don’t think anybody expected the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to beat the New England Patriots this week.
We also saw just what Drew Brees is really made of and why is a fantasy stud quarterback. This week also featured the league’s best running back, Adrian Peterson, locking horns with arguably the best rush defense in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
How did last week’s surprising studs like Miles Austin and Laurence Maroney fare this week? Let’s take a look at the Week Seven fantasy recap.
Green Bay Packers 31 @ Cleveland Browns 3
The Cleveland Browns have not done too well with guarding the run so far this season, and this week was no different. Ryan Grant went off for 148 yards with a score. Owners of Grant have been waiting for a performance like this all season, but I wouldn’t get used to it. I don’t think we’ll see too many more big outings like this from Grant this year.
For Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, it was business as usual. Rodgers threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers connected with Donald Driver for a 71-yard touchdown. Driver has emerged as the Green Bay Packers’ best receiver this year. Greg Jennings leads the team in receptions and targets, but he only had 52 yards receiving. After his huge Week One, Jennings has not been meeting expectations.
The Browns couldn’t get anything going offensively once again. Derek Anderson finished with less than 100 yards passing and interception. As I’ve said in previous weekly recap articles, it’s best to stay away from everybody on the Browns at this point.
San Diego Chargers 37 @ Kansas City Chiefs 7
Vincent Jackson is no fluke. He once again put up huge numbers this week and has firmly entrenched himself among the NFL’s best wide receivers. Jackson had 146 yards receiving and a touchdown. He was inches away from getting his feet in bounds for a second touchdown, as well.
Antonio Gates only had 55 yards receiving today, but those quiet performances are expected from time to time. Philip Rivers put up three touchdowns to go with his 268 yards passing. He hit Malcolm Floyd and Darren Sproles for the other two touchdowns.
LaDainian Tomlinson looked good for the second straight week, rushing for 71 yards on 23 carries. The only problem with LT is he couldn’t get in the end zone when the Chargers were inside the five on the day. Luckily for LT owners, the San Diego Chargers don’t really have a better option to be a goal line back, so LT should continue to get those carries, but it looks like he can’t bust through into the end zone like he used to.
Dwayne Bowe only had two catches for 11 yards, but luckily for his owners, one of them was for a touchdown. He and Matt Cassel continue to be able to find each other for scores, but they aren’t racking up the yardage. With an offense as bad as the Kansas City Chiefs have, you have to take what you can get if you have Bowe.
Cassel finished with 97 yards passing and three interceptions with his touchdowns. It’s clear now that he was good last year because of the team that he played for.
Indianapolis Colts 42 @ St. Louis Rams 6
Everybody for the Indianapolis Colts got in on the action in this game that was over quickly. Peyton Manning threw touchdown passes to Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Austin Collie. Wayne finished with 83 yards receiving before getting a little dinged up. He returned to the game, but there was no need for him to continue pressing at that point.
Joseph Addai didn’t get as many rushing yards that he was projected to get (64), but he hit paydirt to make his fantasy totals look better. Donald Brown rattled off a 45-yard run, and probably would have scored the touchdown that backup Chad Simpson got, but he left the game early after getting injured.
For playing on such a bad team, Steven Jackson has very quietly been a fantasy stud this season. While guys like Matt Forte and Michael Turner have been under-performing on good teams, Jackson has been stellar on a bad team, despite still not having a touchdown. Jackson went over the century mark once again this week, totaling 134 yards rushing.
Donnie Avery caught a 50-yard bomb that could have gone for six if he had been able to keep his balance. That was about all the offense that Marc Bulger and the St. Louis Rams could muster. Bulger finished with 140 yards passing and two interceptions.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 vs. Minnesota Vikings 17
The big question heading into this game was how would Adrian Peterson do against the impressive Pittsburgh Steelers’ rush defense. It’s hard to say who won this battle because Peterson only had 69 yards rushing, but he had a rushing touchdown and also had 60 yards receiving. All in all, it was a good day for Peterson, but the Pittsburgh defense had a great day itself, snagging two turnovers and taking them back for two touchdowns.
Mike Wallace was on the receiving end of the lone offensive touchdown for Pittsburgh. Wallace has filled in nicely as taking over Nate Washington’s old role.
The biggest disappointment in this game was Hines Ward. After being such a pleasant surprise all season, Ward had one catch for three yards today. I don’t see this as any sort of long-term problem for Ward owners, just an unusually quiet game considering the Minnesota Vikings were without Antoine Winfield.
One wide receiver that did not disappoint today was Sidney Rice. Rice led the Vikings with 11 catches for 136 yards. He also had a touchdown taken away on a questionable penalty call. Rice is quickly emerging as the No.1 receiver on this team, if he hasn’t done it already.
Brett Favre racked up 334 yards passing, but wasn’t able to throw for any touchdowns and had one interception. The wizard wasn’t able to sprinkle any magic on the field today.
New England Patriots 35 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 *At Wembley Stadium-London*
London, England, wasn’t treated to much of a game in the yearly trek overseas. Tom Brady appears to be back to his old form after tossing three TDs and 308 yards. Granted, the New England Patriots haven’t played any tough defenses the past two weeks, but the numbers don’t lie.
Wes Welker was the big receiver today, going for 107 yards receiving and a touchdown. The English weren’t treated to a Brady-Randy Moss touchdown, but Moss still had 69 yards receiving.
Laurence Maroney was projected to have a huge day with a warning sticker that he is still a running back for the Patriots, and this is still a guy who’s let down a lot of fantasy owners. Maroney had a modest 43 rushing yards with a touchdown. He’s not an every-week starter for sure, but if you had Maroney in your lineup this week, you should be happy with what you got.
Antonio Bryant hauled in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ lone touchdown and had 51 yards receiving. Bryant’s been a disappointment in 2009 to say the least, but this was a promising performance that maybe we can see some flashes of 2008 again this season.
It’s pretty tough to figure out the Buc’s running attack. Just when you think Cadillac Williams has the job, Derrick Ward just won’t go away. Ward had more carries and rushing yards than Williams, but neither of these guys are consistent guys to have in your lineup.
Houston Texans 24 vs. San Francisco 49ers 21
It was a tale of two halves in this game. The first half featured two touchdowns from Matt Schaub and Steve Slaton, and the Houston Texans appeared to have this game well in hand.
But then the San Francisco 49ers decided to give Alex Smith another shot, and Smith did not disappoint. In the second half, Smith connected with Vernon Davis for three touchdowns. Davis had a huge fantasy day, recording 93 yards to go with his hat trick. He is finally playing up to his hype and needs to get off your bench and in your lineup every week if you haven’t already done so.
Today also featured the debut of Michael Crabtree, who turned in a pretty good opening performance. Crabtree had five catches for 56 yards. We could be seeing the beginning of a Josh Morgan-Crabtree duo.
In his return from being injured, Frank Gore only had 32 yards rushing. It wasn’t all Gore’s fault, as the Texans’ rush defense has improved over the past couple weeks.
Owen Daniels had a great day for Houston, collecting seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Daniels is quickly becoming an elite tight end. The top-tier tight end group is about to get another addition.
Houston’s offense didn’t explode this week like we’ve seen them do in past weeks, but the Niners had their bye week to prepare for this game. Don’t be discouraged from using your Texans in your lineup next week.
Buffalo Bills 20 @ Carolina Panthers 9
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Lee Evans appear to have a nice rapport going, as they connected once again for a touchdown this week. Evans was the Buffalo Bills’ leading receiver with 75 yards receiving. Owners of Evans have to be hoping that Trent Edwards takes his time before he gets back in the lineup.
Marshawn Lynch found the end zone today and had 40 yards rushing. While the yards weren’t there, neither was Fred Jackson who only had five carries for two yards. This backfield may belong to Lynch after all.
All the complaining that Steve Smith did this past week may have helped a little bit. He had six catches for 99 yards and had 11 targets. Still no touchdowns for Smith in 2009, but the near-100-yard performance is a step in the right direction.
DeAngelo Williams posted 89 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t quite as good of a day as his owners had hoped based on the matchup, but it was still a productive day for the fantasy star. Jake Delhomme still has absolutely no fantasy value. While he threw for 325 yards, he had no touchdowns and three interceptions.
New York Jets 38 @ Oakland Raiders 0
Things were going so well for the Oakland Raiders this week—they were coming off of last week’s upset win and Tom Cable wasn’t arrested. But then the New York Jets had to spoil the party. The Jets reminded everybody who the Raiders truly are.
Thomas Jones had another great day, posting 121 yards rushing and a touchdown, but he was not the best rusher for the Jets, and no I’m not talking about Leon Washington either. After Washington got injured today, the rookie Shonn Greene stepped in and rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns. I’m assuming most of you didn’t have this guy in your lineup or on your team for that matter. I wouldn’t necessarily be so eager to run out and grab this guy off the wire because Jones isn’t doing anything to lose his job as the best RB on the team, but he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. If you’re really really thin at RB, it might not hurt to take a crack at Greene.
David Clowney was Mark Sanchez’s receiver of choice today, as Clowney had 79 yards receiving and a touchdown. Braylon Edwards had one catch for 14 yards. Sanchez had a quiet day himself, posting 143 passing yards with his touchdown. New York simply just had the running game working all day.
Justin Fargas did a decent job filling in for the injured Darren McFadden again, collecting 67 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards. Zach Miller only had two catches for 15 yards after his monster day last week. The passing game was just atrocious all around for the Raiders today.
Dallas Cowboys 37 vs. Atlanta Falcons 21
Was Miles Austin a one-week fluke? Absolutely not. Austin was explosive again today, tallying 171 yards and two touchdowns. He looks to be the real deal and Tony Romo’s new favorite target. The rest of the receivers for the Dallas Cowboys weren’t able to do much. Austin’s outburst helped Romo have a nice day, compiling 311 yards and three touchdowns.
Patrick Crayton caught the other touchdown, despite being angry about his demotion on the depth chart.
Jason Witten is somebody that I’ve barely mentioned in my weekly recap articles. Today, Witten only had 53 yards receiving. He still only has one touchdown on the year, and has not matched his hype as being the league’s best receiving tight end.
The other big-name tight end in this game that had a quiet day was Tony Gonzalez , who had just 37 yards receiving. He’s been good enough all year, so I wouldn’t worry about this one quiet day.
Roddy White once again led the Atlanta Falcons in receiving, posting 50 yards receiving with a touchdown. Michael Turner had identical numbers, but still isn’t performing at the level for what his draft value was. He’s been good enough to where you have to stick with him, but except for his game at San Francisco, Turner hasn’t quite been the Burner yet.
Cincinnati Bengals 45 vs. Chicago Bears 10
We all knew that Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco were good again this year, but they’ll be giving the Chicago Bears’ defense nightmares. Palmer threw for five touchdowns and 233 yards with two of those scores going to Ochocinco, who also had 118 receiving yards. This duo is back and should continue to post big numbers all year.
Cedric Benson also terrorized his old team, notching 189 yards and a touchdown. This game showcased fantasy football’s biggest surprise in Benson and also its’ biggest bust in Matt Forte.
The Bears’ back totaled six carries for 24 yards and four catches for 25 yards. To be fair, Chicago was in a position to throw early and often today, but still, Forte has been a major disappointment all year. Last week, I called him and Steve Smith the early front-runners for biggest bust of the year, and Forte took the lead today.
Jay Cutler wasn’t able to gut the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense today like Matt Schaub did last week. Cutler had 251 yards passing with a touchdown and three interceptions. At least Devin Hester made his owners happy today. Hester had 101 receiving yards to go with his touchdown. There will be better days for the Bears’ passing game.
New Orleans Saints 46 @ Miami Dolphins 34
The Drew Brees air attack against the Wildcat offense. Who won this battle? Well, Brees was good enough to win the football game, but it was Ricky Williams who gets the fantasy Player of the Game here.
Williams had three touchdowns and 80 yards rushing. As much as its hard to believe, given his attitude and work ethic, Williams is having a great fantasy season and needs to get off your waiver wire, if he’s still on it. As much as Ronnie Brown runs the Wildcat, Williams is a critical factor in this offense. Speaking of Brown, he also had a TD today and 48 yards rushing.
Brees’ fantasy totals might not be quite as strong because of all of his turnovers—four total—but Brees still had three total TDs and 298 yards passing. Jeremy Shockey went over the century mark today and Marques Colston had 72 yards receiving with a touchdown. After that, it’s really hard to figure out this offense.
Mike Bell had 80 yards rushing to Pierre Thomas’ 30, and Devery Henderson posted 71 yards to Lance Moore’s 18. You just never really know who’s going to have the big day for the New Orleans Saints .
Arizona Cardinals 24 @ New York Giants 17
The biggest thing that stands out to me in this game was both rushing attacks. First, with the Arizona Cardinals, while Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells each scored a touchdown, Wells had 14 carries to Hightower’s four. Wells had 67 yards rushing and looked good, despite losing a fumble out of bounds. This guy may have fumbling problems for his entire career, but tonight could be the start of Wells beginning to take over the top RB job for Arizona.
For the New York Giants, Brandon Jacobs hit paydirt for the second time this season and he did it the way his owners have been hoping he would, plowing through the defenders to bust through over the goal line. Jacobs had 76 yards rushing and finally outperformed his teammate, Ahmad Bradshaw.
Hakeem Nicks could be the real deal. He led the Giants with 80 yards receiving and a touchdown. Steve Smith still led the team in targets (10) and had 69 receiving yards. Larry Fitzgerald had 83 yards receiving, but couldn’t get in the end zone. Anquan Boldin was able to produce 75 yards receiving, despite being on the injury report all week. It was a tough day for Eli Manning who threw three interceptions to go with his 243 yards passing and his TD.
Kurt Warner had a bit of a quiet game himself, putting up 231 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.
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THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY JIMBO JONES.