It was a wild week indeed.
It started when Mark Sanchez dove head first after a run and hurt his knee. The kid really needs to learn how to slide.
Michael Vick had more touchdowns than Donovan McNabb.
Bruce Gradkowski threw three TDs and won against the Steelers. So much for "unleashing hell."
Players named Fanene, Tolbert, and Hughes all scored touchdowns.
Percy Harvin had more rushing yards than Adrian Peterson.
That’s why we watch football, because despite all the projections and analysis that goes on—it’s still anybody’s game.
This week I’m going to go straight to the games, I spent yesterday at Fed-Ex Field watching the Redskins almost beat the Saints. Check out Craig’s recap if you want a perspective on the Patriots loss to the Dolphins.
Reading The Box Scores & Watching The Highlights
New York Jets 19, Bills 13
While some things went wild this past Sunday, some things stayed the same. Braylon Edwards continues to drop passes, with a pass bouncing off his face-mask this week. Despite Edwards managing to dive for a TD, Jerricho Cotchery continues to be the guy I want in that passing game, though we’ve seen Sanchez passing less and less.
Just when you think Fred Jackson had the top rushing job in Buffalo locked up, Marshawn Lynch pulls off a couple of big runs to score a TD and had 60 yards over six rushes. Jackson still got more touches and is more involved in the passing game—but what I learned is the situation there is not yet resolved.
Philadelphia 34, Atlanta 7
The DeSean Jackson-less Eagles made do splitting targets equally between Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. I said I liked Maclin a little bit better and he had the better day going for 83 yards on four catches.
LeSean McCoy only had six rushes for just two yards while fullback Leonard Weaver went for 100 total yards and a TD. Again weird things are happening in the NFL.
I’ll be honest that I didn’t think that Chris Redman under center would mean great things for Roddy White, but White proved me wrong with 104 receiving yards and a junk-time TD. I worry less about White if Redman continues to start.
Oh by the way, until Michael Turner returns to the field, I’d stay away from the Atlanta running game. The Jason Snelling/Jerious Norwood time share doesn’t look good to me.
Tampa Bay 6, Carolina 16
I left DeAngelo Williams in my lineup before going to the Redskins game and I paid the price. Jonathan Stewart blew up rushing for 120 yards and a TD. I don’t know how the Williams injury got past me but Stewart is a must-add if he’s still available.
Since Matt Moore is now the signal caller in Carolina, somebody’s gotta throw the interceptions. Might as well be Josh Freeman, who imploded for five picks. I wouldn't worry about it—you shouldn’t be starting the rookie anyway. It is interesting to note however that Antonio Bryant managed five receptions for 116 yards. He looks healthy again and this could be the sign of another strong finish for Bryant.
St. Louis 9, Chicago 17
Not much to say here, a Bears team on the decline walked into St. Louis and managed a win. Matt Forte owners that started him against a St. Louis defense that’s laughable got their reward with 91 rushing yards and a TD. Earl Bennett looked okay with 74 yards and a TD, but I’ll dismiss it as a fluke.
Detroit 13, Cincinnati 23
Some things changed, some things stay the same, and some things come back into style. Chad Ochocinco celebrated his nine reception, 137-yard day by putting on a sombrero and a poncho after scoring a TD. Always happy to see Chad back to his old ways.
Cedric Benson is also back and celebrated the day by running for 110 yards over 36 carries. It looks like he is back to full strength, and even though it was against the Lions, I think it’s business as usual for Benson. Feel free to drop Bernard Scott and Larry Johnson unless you need them as a handcuff.
Even though the Bengals dominated the game the Lions managed to get their players some stats as well. Calvin Johnson caught six passes for 123 yards and a TD and Kevin Smith reached the end zone and ran for 75 yards. I wouldn’t get too excited for Smith however—they play Baltimore next.
Tennessee 17, Indianapolis 27
Well midnight has struck for new Vince Young-led Titans. Even though Chris Johnson had his usual 100-plus yard game, the offense just couldn’t keep pace with Peyton Manning and the Colts.
Joseph Addai took the majority of carries with Donald Brown inactive for the game. He had 79 rushing yards and two TDs. You know he’s only scored less than double digit points twice, and I feel like with this high powered offense, he’s a great flex play the rest of the way.
Houston 18, Jacksonville 23
The Steve Slaton saga continues. He sat out this week with an injured shoulder and Ryan Moats and Chris Brown were less than stellar in his place. A combined 18 carries and 56 yards doesn’t really impress. Brown did get a TD which stirs the pot more in the Houston running game soup.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Zach Miller lead a team in receptions if we were talking about the Oakland Raiders, but the Zach Miller (who’s also a tight end) for Jacksonville led his team with four catches for 74 yards. With most of the yards coming on a 62 yard play, this Miller can get put back on the fluke shelf.
There was a Rex Grossman sighting when Matt Schaub got injured. He threw an interception (big surprise) and Schaub returned to the game to prevent any more grossness from Grossman.
Denver 44, Kansas City 13
In the Denver beat-down of the Chiefs, Knowshon Moreno was the big beneficiary with 86 rushing yards and two TDs. Brandon Marshall also got his with 94 yards and a TD. If you are one of the 47 percent that owns Eddie Royal you’ll be happy to know he didn’t do anything in this game. Please drop him now.
Even though Kansas City looked terrible, Jamaal Charles continues to look good with 56 yards and a TD. He still continues to be a low-end RB2 or flex play.
New England 21, Miami 22
I haven’t watched the highlights of the game and I don’t know if I want to. Tom Brady threw for his usual yardage, most of which went to Wes Welker, but his two interceptions were very costly.
I wrote earlier that Davone Bess was the receiver you want on Miami and he had a stellar game with 10 catches for 117 yards and a TD.
I can’t think about this game anymore I’m going to move on.
Oakland 27, Steelers 24
So much for unleashing hell; what was unleashed here was a shootout. Gradkowski threw for three TDs and 308 yards. Before you think he maybe breaking out, the Raiders play Washington, Denver, and Baltimore next.
It looks like you can pass on the Raiders, both Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward had good games in the losing effort.
New Orleans 33, Washington 30
The Redskins dominated the first half against the Saints and by halftime it looked as if the mighty would fall. However New Orleans clawed back thanks to miscues from the Redskins secondary and a botched field goal from Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham.
What I saw in this game was a Redskins defense that shut down the New Orleans run game, both Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas were shut down. They also did a pretty good job in keeping Marques Colston out of most of the game, however the Saints simply turned to Robert Meachem who went for 142 yards and a TD for the day. That makes it five weeks in a row that he’s scored a TD.
I’ve already said that I liked Meachem and Brees wasn’t afraid to go to him after targets like Colston and Devery Henderson were covered. Meachem will certainly be the big pickup this week, I already own him in a league and I actually thought I started him (but it appears I didn’t, FMT).
On the Washington side of the ball I think Devin Thomas looked great catching seven passes for 100 yards and two TDs. He certainly played a bigger part in the passing game—and certainly should be looked at but I wouldn’t start him immediately.
San Diego 30, Cleveland 23
Philip Rivers looked great as usual, and Brady Quinn didn’t look too bad either, throwing three TDs compared to Rivers two. Maybe Cleveland has something to look forward to in the future. For fantasy owners? You can continue to ignore him.
The Jamal Lewis era is now over in Cleveland so how did they try to cope? By having Josh Cribbs outrun Jerome Harrison. Cribbs must be that good. (UPDATE: I know that Harrison also scored two TDs on seven receptions, but we can’t always count on the running back to catch that many passes.)
Dallas 24, New York Giants 31
Can we blame this one on a Tony Romo collapse? Well he went 41/55 for 392 yards and three TDs with no picks. I don’t think so.
Look to the running game where the three-headed monster of Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice ran for a combined 45 yards. I’m downgrading the Dallas running game until I see some improvement.
San Francisco 17, Seattle 20
Julius Jones returned to play and took most of the carries, and thus killed the fantasy value of Justin Forsett. Forsett did catch a TD but it looks like the Seattle running game may return to mediocrity. Let’s see what happens when they play Houston this week.
Minnesota 17, Arizona 30
Talk about bubbles bursting, just when people were getting around to starting Brett Favre he throws two TDs and two picks and looks more like the Favre we knew and loved. Favre has some history of not performing in December, keep an close eye on this and hopefully you have another option if you have to switch things up.
Anquan Boldin catches two TDs and gives me hope that my trade wasn’t that bad of an idea.
Monday Night: Baltimore at Green Bay
The Ravens D hasn’t been what it’s used to be, especially against the pass. I think Aaron Rodgers has a good game tonight, but not so much for Ryan Grant. I’m hoping Donald Driver continues to have a great season and has another big game.
A declining Joe Flacco and a sixth ranked Green Bay passed D spells potential trouble. Flacco’s cooled off to the point I’ve dropped him from my teams. Green Bay is third against the run, so it will be an interesting match-up for Ray Rice. Even though the Packers have only given up three rushing TDs, Rice has the talent to manage a decent game.
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