With the winds swirling in the Dawg Pound, the Steelers took to the ground early and often. Le'Veon Bell demonstrated his patient rushing style, racking up a 28-146-1 line on the ground despite not having a carry over 12 yards all game. As per usual, Bell was also heavily involved in the passing game (8-55). He's the top player in fantasy football right now. Hopefully you didn't get sucked into the Ladarius Green trap, who didn't record a single catch. Avoid Pittsburgh's tight end situation moving forward. Eli Rogers (4-20) is the only skill position player in Pittsburgh not named Bell or Brown that's worth owning.
The Browns stayed winless and were completely inept offensively in the short time they were on the field. Gary Barnidge finally caught a touchdown, and Terrelle Pryor had a nice little game (5-97), but there wasn't a lot of fantasy goodness going on here.
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The pregame hype for Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon to receive more touches was there again, but it didn't amount to much once the game started. Terrance West (8-42-1) won the touch battle over Dixon (6-40) anf looked better again. We should probably stop waiting for it to happen for Dixon. Steve Smith continues to defy all conventional wisdown with productive performances (8-99-1) and will be on the WR2 radar the rest of the way.
The Dak Prescott show rolled on. The Ravens have been more vulnerable through the air than on the ground this season, and Prescott exploited that to the tune of 301 yards and 3 scores. After a year of yo-yo fantasy efforts, it was nice to see Dez Bryant put together another great game (6-80-2). The Cowboys are taking more chances downfield as of late, which should keep Dez squarely in the WR1 category. It's telling that 97 yards on the ground feels like a bad Zeke Elliott game, isn't it? We've said it a lot, but the floor is double-digits every single week.
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The Lions were pretty brutal offensively, but were bailed out by the defense and special teams. The running game totaled just 14 yards, but Theo Riddick retained plenty of PPR value (8-70) despite the fact that Eric Ebron of all people vultured a rushing score. Today's game was a nice reminder that there are a lot of different mouths to feed in Detroit's offense when everyone is healthy. Riddick is trustworthy, but everyone else will have major ups and downs.
T.J. Yeldon went down with an ankle injury early on, which put Chris Ivory in a lead back role. Although he struggled on the ground, his 75 receiving yards in this one equaled more than what he had all season coming into this game. If Yeldon misses time, Ivory will be a solid RB2 based on workload alone. Blake Bortles isn't a good quarterback right now, but Marqise Lee (4-52-1) keeps finding ways to produce and is likely still available on some waiver wires. I'm a believer in his talent.
Andrew Luck is a little more dangerous with Donte Moncrief back in the fold. Moncrief scored again, while T.Y. Hilton did the heavy lifting elsewhere. This was a solid fantasy day for nearly all the Colts you would play (sorry, Jack Doyle owners), even though Frank Gore was vultured by Robert Turbin on the 1-yard line. This is an offense on the upswing with everyone finally healthy.
Marcus Mariota played well (290 yards, 2 TD), even if it wasn't the monster performance many expected in this spot. It's clear that Rishard Matthews (9-122) has emerged as Mariota's receiver, even if he didn't score for the first time in three weeks. DeMarco Murray's performance was lackluster on the ground, but he made up for it with a a touchdown catch in the red zone.
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The poor Bengals. On the second play of the game, A.J. Green had to be carted off the field with a hamstring injury. It's expected that Green will miss the rest of the season, which is a huge blow to his fantasy owners who were depending on him entering the playoffs. Giovani Bernard also suffered a knee injury which could sideline him the rest of the year as well. On the brightside, Jeremy Hill may become a more reliable RB2 candidate without Bernard stealing carries, and Tyler Boyd will be a top waiver wire target with Green out.
The Bengals weren't the only team to lose stars to injury. LeSean McCoy left the game with a thumb injury, although it appears he'll be fine to play next week. At least McCoy scored a touchdown before he was sidelined. Mike Gillislee looked good filling in for Shady and is one of the better handcuff options out there. He's earned more work in this run-heavy offense.
Alex Smith turned out to be a great streaming option at QB thanks to a rushing touchdown, 261 yards passing and another passing TD. That being said, his interception late essentially lost the game for the Chiefs. Spencer Ware has been a little pedestrian as of late, but better matchups are on the way. The biggest beneficiary of Jeremy Maclin being sidelined? Travis Kelce, who rattled off 108 yards.
Doug Martin is back and taking a true workhorse role, just like the other running backs in Tampa Bay have all year. His 27 total touches are encouraging for RB1 type potential in easier matchups. Remember, the Bucs get the Saints in Week 14 and 16. It's a good sign that Jameis Winston (331 yards, 1 TD) could put together a good fantasy performance against a tough defense. He's very quietly a rock-solid QB1 the rest of the way and could absolutely win you a league.
The Giants made this look way tougher than it should have been, but Eli Manning salvaged his day with two passing touchdowns despite only throwing for 221 yards. Rashad Jennings continued his resurgence here, tallying 85 yards and a score while catching five passes as well. It looked like Paul Perkins was primed to take over his job, but Jennings has the clamps on it after the last two weeks.
Jordan Howard played well enough (17-77), but Jeremy Langford got the score. Ugh. Zach Miller left the game with an injury, but did some nice damage (3-63-1) before he exited. Miller has been announced out for the season with a broken foot, opening the door for someone to emerge as a legitimate fantasy option. My money is on Cameron Meredith.
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Carson Palmer looks just about cooked, even though a matchup against Minnesota's pass defense will do that to you. J.J. Nelson and John Brown combined for just one catch, and Michael Floyd was his usual inefficient self. Hopefully you didn't have to play any of them this week. David Johnson's fantasy potential is safe, even if Palmer collapses in on himself. Johnson totaled 160 yards and two scores and remains a top-3 play at RB every week.
Patrick Patterson did a fine job shadowing Stefon Diggs, but at least Diggs still had 6 catches. You should be playing in PPR leagues, by the way. Minnesota's defense has that Denver vibe this year. No matter the matchup, they seem to find ways to score big points. Stay away from Minnesota's RBBC situation. Jerick McKinnon had 16 carries, but Matt Asiata got the goalline score. Avoid it.
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The Rams took zero chances with Jared Goff, which we all saw coming. It's worth noting that Kenny Britt and Lance Kendricks were his two most targeted receivers and should retain some value moving forward with Goff. Todd Gurley (20-76-1) scored and averaged more than three yards per carry, finally. Baby steps?
The Dolphins didn't have to do a whole lot to win, and the fantasy performances of their stars showed it. Jarvis Landry keeping his legs churning for a score was nice to see, and DeVante Parker showed why he's worth hanging on to heading into the fantasy playoffs. He'll be boom or bust, but the booms are worth it. Jay Ajayi (16-77) didn't do much, but he's still running hard and good days are ahead.
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The Patriots kept rolling, even without Rob Gronkowski. LeGarrette Blount didn't find paydirt, which was surprising, but his 124 yards made up for it. Tom Brady threw for four scores, getting Julian Edelman and his running backs heavily involved. Dion Lewis looked good in his limited work, but James White (6 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD) isn't just going to go away. Luckily the 48ers coughed up enough stats for nearly everyone, except Martellus Bennett (1-14).
Colin Kaepernick was decent as a streamer (206 yards, 2 TD, 32 rushing yards) and hooked up with Vance McDonald for a score again. If you're in need of a tight end, Vance can help you down the stretch. Carlos Hyde totaled over 100 yards and has been surprisingly resistant to game flow. Keep firing him up every week.
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In one of the more amusing fantasy plays of the year, Doug Baldwin threw a perfect touchdown to Russell Wilson. If you haven't bought in that Wilson is healthy again, you need to. In addition to his receiving score, Wilson ran eight times in this game. He's feeling better. C.J. Prosise ripped off a 72-yard touchdown run, but left with a shoulder injury. Head coach Pete Carroll says he'll be, "out for a while" which means Thomas Rawls (14-57) will be on the RB1 radar moving forward. It's a nice reward for his owners who stayed patient and didn't cut him.
Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles both left the game with injury, which hurt Philadelphia's offense quite a bit. Wendell Smallwood couldn't get a whole lot going, and Jordan Matthews was held down most of the game. On the brightside, Zach Ertz found the endzone, which has been a rare occurrence throughout his career. Keep an eye on Mathews and Sproles, as Smallwood would be worth picking up if he's thrust into a starting role.
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It's always nice when a player in a perfect spot delivers just the way you expect him to. Kirk Cousins (375 yards, 3 TD) was near perfect in this one, hooking up with his receivers on multiple long balls in single coverage. Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder all scored, whiile Robert Kelley racked up 117 yards and three touchdowns in what initially looked like a tough matchup for him. Kelley's workload and skills around the goalline put him on the RB1 bubble.
Jared Cook will be a popular waiver wire target (6-105-1), but there are a lot of mouths to feed here as well. Aaron Rodgers really spread the ball around (351 yards, 3 TD) and had a great fantasy day. So long as his defense continues to bleed points, he'll keep putting up monster stats. The Ty Montgomery era is on pause with James Starks back. Green Bay trusts him with blitz pickups and he was heavily involved in the passing game in this one. Davante Adams was due for a crash back down to earth, but we probably shouldn't let the pendulum swing too far in either direction. He's a WR2/3 candidate moving forward.