FOX Sports Exclusive
Week 7 stars: Britt surprises
Share This Story
A number of our normal fantasy heroes delivered on Sunday, but I believe that I’ll go off the radar. Nobody anticipated a big game from this player, and I suspect that the scoring ticker caused quite a few double-takes until the information was absorbed.
Let’s start in Oakland, where confusion reigns following a blowout win from the Raiders.
Darren McFadden returned to the field following a two-week absence because of a hamstring injury and positively tore up the Denver defense. His workload was unknown, so McFadden’s efforts were wasted on many a fantasy bench. McFadden rumbled for 165 yards on 16 carries, including a 57-yard sprint for one of his three rushing touchdowns. He added two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. McFadden’s health remains a concern, but he’s amassed at least 122 total yards in every game in which he’s appeared this season. Talk about fantasy value this season!
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw an early interception, forcing fantasy owners and Packer fans to pause for a moment. Rodgers responded to lead the Packers to a win (should the second touchdown have been waved off?), passing for 295 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and three sacks. His record in close games was scrutinized coming into Sunday’s game (and Brett Favre nearly clipped him), but Rodgers emerged as the victor with his fourth multi-touchdown game of the season. He’s produced 15 total touchdowns (three rushing) with nine interceptions.
Donald Driver was shut out of Sunday’s game to end a streak of 133 games with at least one reception, but third-year receiver James Jones stepped to the front of the pack. Jones caught four passes for 107 yards (45, 32, 17 and 13 yards). It marked Jones’ fourth game this season with at least three receptions this season.
The Packers spoke about getting Greg Jennings more involved in the offense prior to the Week 6 game against Miami. They’ve successfully done so, as Jennings has recorded six receptions and a touchdown in back-to-back games. Jennings finished Sunday night’s win against Minnesota with 74 receiving yards.
Brandon Jackson of the Packers posted another strong all-purpose game against the Vikings on Sunday night. Jackson amassed 104 total yards (58 rushing and 46 receiving) on 16 touches, including a rushing touchdown (his second of the season). He’s racked up at least 15 touches in three straight games.
Adrian Peterson dominated the Green Bay defensive front, producing his third 100-yard game of the season on 28 carries (131 yards) with a rushing touchdown. He added two receptions for 41 yards, both recorded in the Vikings’ failed final drive. With his big effort Sunday, Peterson assumed the lead in the chase for the NFL rushing title (he owns a 12-yard lead over Chris Johnson).
Percy Harvin had two touchdown receptions wiped off of the board following official reviews, but they couldn’t take away his early 17-yard rushing touchdown. He caught five passes for 65 yards (the late touchdown would have gotten him to 100 yards for those of you in bonus-point structures) while adding three rushing attempts for 41 yards.
I need to circle back to Oakland’s thrashing of the Broncos in Denver for a moment. Michael Bush didn’t retain the lead role in Oakland as expected (Go figure. The Raiders weren’t forthcoming with information.), but he did find the end zone late to save those owners, if only marginally, who started the wrong end of the backfield split. Bush carried the ball 15 times for 53 yards, adding one reception for 13 yards. There’s little doubt that McFadden is back to the head of the class following yesterday’s mind-blowing effort.
Jason Campbell completed 12-of-20 pass attempts for 204 yards with two touchdowns. He added 15 rushing yards and absorbed two sacks. You didn’t start him. You never considered it. I’m moving on.
Campbell did complete a 48-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller early in the rout. Miller caught three passes for 65 yards, his fourth touchdown reception in his past five games.
Knowshon Moreno was on the radar for a big fantasy effort in Week 7 against the woeful Oakland run defense. He certainly delivered a strong fantasy total, but it wasn’t done in classic fashion. Moreno gained only 53 yards on 14 carries, but he scored twice on receptions (three catches for 37 yards).
The renaissance of Seattle wide receiver Mike Williams continued in Sunday’s home win over Arizona. Williams caught 11 passes for 87 yards, including a two-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck. The former first-round pick has caught a total of 21 passes for 210 yards in the Seahawks’ past two games.
First, I must congratulate Steven Jackson on becoming the Rams’ all-time rushing leader during Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay. Jackson earned his third consecutive 100-yard game, piling up 110 yards on 22 carries. He also caught two passes for 35 yards. Jackson averaged 88.1 rushing yards per contest in the Rams’ first seven games.
Matt Moore returned to the starting lineup in Week 7 and performed well against the 49ers. He completed 28-of-41 attempts for 308 yards with two touchdowns, one sack and one interception.
Rookie David Gettis out of Baylor made his bid for the No. 2 slot opposite
Frank Gore produced his third 100-yard game of the season in Sunday’s loss to Carolina. Gore rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries while adding four receptions for 57 yards. He’s averaged 130.6 total yards per game this season with three touchdowns.
The season of misery continued for the 49ers, but tight end Vernon Davis continued his recent surge. Davis scored for the fourth consecutive game, following up a 53-yard reception with a one-yard connection with Alex Smith (who later left the game because of a shoulder injury). Davis is averaging 4.6 receptions and 60.3 receiving yards per game.
Ben Roethlisberger is embroiled in more controversy following the last-second botched fumble call against the Dolphins. Fantasy owners who started Roethlisberger are cursing the loss of the six points from the reversal of the rushing touchdown. Still, Roethlisberger out-performed expectations on Sunday, producing 302 passing yards with two touchdown passes and a lost fumble.
Hines Ward scored for the second straight game and third time in the past four weeks. He also established new season-high marks in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (131). Ward is still averaging only 58.3 receiving yards per game, but he’s caught as many passes with Roethlisberger under center (12) as he did in the Steelers’ first four games.
Deep threat Mike Wallace scored for the second straight game as well, his fourth touchdown of the season. Wallace’s touchdown reception was a 53-yard connection with Roethlisberger. He’s caught a pass of at least 46 yards in four of six games this season. Wallace has caught multiple passes in every game this season.
Davone Bess has certainly celebrated his new contract in grand fashion. Bess scored for the third straight game while catching six passes for 66 yards against the Steelers . During this period, Bess has averaged 6.3 receptions and 66.3 yards per game. He caught five or more passes in five of the Dolphins’ first six games as the clear-cut No. 2 option alongside Brandon Marshall.
Carson Palmer came up short on the scoreboard again, but the Bengals’ quarterback racked up 412 passing yards with three touchdowns in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta. He took three sacks, but finished the game without a turnover for only the second time this season. Palmer has thrown multiple touchdown passes in three consecutive games. He’s averaging 283.2 yards per game. It’s not pretty, and there are still missed opportunities everywhere (did you see the sideline route to Terrell Owens late when the Bengals turned the ball over on downs?).
Rookie receiver Jordan Shipley returned to the lineup and shone brightly as Palmer’s third option. He caught a season-high six passes for 131 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season. Shipley’s one to put on the radar for the second half, particularly if you’re in deeper PPR leagues.
Chad Ochocinco started Sunday’s game against the Falcons slowly, but he and Palmer connected early and often in the second half to make it a game. Ochocinco finished the game with 10 receptions for 108 yards and scored for the first time since in the opener. Given his lackluster production in the previous four games, Ochocinco’s production was likely left on the bench.
The Falcons enter the Week 8 bye on a high, having held off a late surge from the Bengals for their fifth win. Quarterback Matt Ryan produced another big game for the victorious Falcons, his fourth multi-touchdown game of the year. Ryan finished one yard shy of the hallowed 300-yard mark, as the third-year star completed 24-of-33 attempts for 299 yards. He did throw one interception.
Top target Roddy White roamed free in the Cincinnati secondary and finished the game with 11 catches for 201 yards, two touchdowns and a lost fumble (that was returned for a touchdown). It was White’s fourth 100-yard game of the season. He’s averaged 7.7 receptions and 106.7 receiving yards per game with five touchdowns.
Michael Turner has alternated good and tepid games in the past five games. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Week 7 was an “on” week. Turner rumbled for 121 yards on 23 carries and scored twice. He added two receptions for 21 yards. The Falcons will face the Tampa Bay run defense in Week 9.
Johnny Knox was the lone bright spot in Chicago’s offense on Sunday, as he caught Jay Cutler’s lone touchdown pass. Knox was targeted 12 times in the loss and finished the game with six receptions for 86 yards. He’s caught 11 passes for 206 yards in the past two weeks. You’ll note that he also receives a ton of screen time in game recaps this week, as Cutler refused to stop throwing at DeAngelo Hall. I know Hall had been beaten with some regularity this season, but it wasn’t working. Check down to another option.
Washington receiver Santana Moss remains a weekly play in PPR leagues, and he delivered an early 24-touchdown reception against the Bears. Moss caught five passes for 63 yards, his sixth game with at least five receptions this season. He’s averaged 78.3 receiving yards through the Redskins’ first seven games.
Cleveland tailback Peyton Hillis continued his early-season heroics with another end-zone plunge. Hillis rushed for 69 yards and scored for the sixth time in seven games. In fact, he was shut out against the Steelers in Week 6, but still amassed 90 total yards.
David Bowens was the defensive hero for Cleveland, as the 12th-year veteran linebacker doubled his career interception total. He did so in grand fashion, as Bowens returned both of the interceptions for touchdowns.
There is your fantasy-reality break of the day. Drew Brees threw four interceptions overall, but still logged 356 passing yards and threw two touchdown passes. Brees has thrown 14 touchdown passes this season, but the reigning MVP has also thrown 10 interceptions.
Marques Colston finally tallied a touchdown reception following a slow start to the campaign. He finished the game with 10 receptions and 112 yards. Colston has caught four or more passes in every game this season (64.6 yards per game). He represents a strong buy-low option for the second half, although Colston’s big game Sunday brought the price up some.
It’s time to celebrate the new gunslinger in town, Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Bills. Fitzpatrick passed for 374 yards with four touchdowns, two interceptions and one sack in the crushing shootout loss to Baltimore. He has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four consecutive appearances, and has once again made Lee Evans a fantasy force.
Evans caught six passes for 105 yards with three touchdowns and has logged 11 receptions for 192 yards in the past two weeks. He’s caught four or more passes in four of the Bills’ first six games.
Steve Johnson also shone brightly for the Bills in Week 7. He caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown, his fourth consecutive game with a touchdown reception (five total). Johnson has caught three or more passes in every game this season.
On the other side of the action, Joe Flacco passed for 250 yards and three touchdowns, including two strikes to Todd Heap (three catches for 59 yards). Flacco has thrown multiple touchdown passes in back-to-back games and now has the bye week to work on timing and get his receivers and running backs healthy.
Anquan Boldin finished Sunday’s win with six catches for 92 yards and caught Flacco’s third touchdown pass. Following a Week 5 disappearing act, Boldin has amassed 10 receptions for 155 yards in the past two weeks.
Kerry Collins stepped in for Vince Young and performed admirably, boosting the Titans to a huge home win over Kevin Kolb and the Eagles. Collins passed for 276 yards with three touchdowns and three turnovers (two interceptions).
All three of Collins’ touchdown passes were caught by touchdown machine Kenny Britt. Unfortunately, Britt was probably warming your fantasy bench following his legal issues earlier in the weekend. Britt finished the game with seven receptions for 225 yards. He extended his scoring streak to five games (seven total).
Matt Cassel started slowly, and the derisive messages started to flow into my inbox. Cassel then connected with Dwayne Bowe (three receptions for 81 yards) on two touchdown passes, and all was forgiven. He finished the game with 192 passing yards. Bowe has recorded four touchdown receptions in the past two weeks.
Thomas Jones earned his second straight 100-yard game in Sunday’s blowout win over the Jaguars. Jones rushed for 125 yards on 20 carries and scored his third touchdown of the season. He amassed 225 yards on 39 carries in the past two weeks (5.8 yards per carry).
Finally, I give a quick nod to Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew. His end-zone plunges have been few this season, but he did give fantasy owners a small boost on Sunday. Jones-Drew caught five passes for 74 yards, including an early 18-yard touchdown reception. He finished the game with 121 total yards on 21 touches (47 rushing). That total matches his season-high mark set in Week 3 against Indianapolis, a game in which he scored twice (his only touchdowns of the season before Sunday).
More Stories From Michael Harmon