The Giants were pathetic on offense, totaling just 36 rushing yards while Eli Manning threw for just 196 yards through the air. Luckily for them, Case Keenum gift-wrapped the game with four picks, including a mind-numbing INT to end a potential game-tying drive. With the Giants on Bye this week, Eli is not a must-hold in most leagues. With Todd Gurley averaging 3.0 yards per carry on the season, the Rams are getting him more involved in the passing game. After having just three catches through the first three weeks, Gurley has 18 over the last four.
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Jamaal Charles continues to deal with knee issues stemming from last year's surgery, but why was he even active? He had one carry for no yards. In his absence, Spencer Ware continues to be a back-end RB1. Everyone talks about Dallas's offensive line, but the Chiefs have been nearly as dominant as of late. Ware is averaging 5.2 YPC now on the season and gets IND, JAX, TB and CAR over his next four games. Alex Smith threw to 10 different receivers, which is killing Jeremy Maclin. Even in a perfect matchup, Maclin only managed a 4-40 day. He's a borderline start from here on out. The Saints are one of the few offenses that can genuinely support three receivers. Drew Brees (367 yards, 3 TD) has a tough matchup with SEA next week, but he's locked in as a top-5 matchup every week after that.
Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton have been this year's most consistent QB-WR combo. Hilton has double-digit targets in every game this year except one (against HOU), and he has nine in that game. His floor and upside are both incredibly high every week, especially with Donte Moncrief and Dwayne Allen both sidelined. Jack Doyle has re-emerged as a legitimate TE1 with Allen sidelined. Forget about name value -- Luck likes him and peppers him with targets when he's on the field. DeMarco Murray remains one of fantasy's best running backs, mainly because of his giant workload. Murray has at least 20 carries in four straight games now.
This was a game decided by defense and special teams in every sense. When the winning QB (Carson Wentz) throws for 138 yards with two picks, you know that's the case. I'm done trying to figure out Ryan Mathews. He had 14 carries in this one, but a late-game fumble might have him in the doghouse. His usage is impossible to predict, as he barely played last week. Jerick McKinnon battled through injuries all game, and Matt Asiata ended up finishing. The healthier man (Asiata) has the edge heading into next week. Treat a matchup with Minnesota's pass defense like a second Bye week. That means you, Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith owners.
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The poor Browns are on their fifth quarterback, and he's basically a running back (rookie Kevin Hogan). Although he had a nice day on the ground, the Jets aren't the team you want to see if you're relying totally on the run. Jeremy Hill exploded in this one for 168 yards on just nine carries, as he sat late with chest issues. It's something to monitor and would certainly help Gio Bernard's stock moving forward if he were to miss any time. The Bengals had 559 total yards as a team, and that long Hail Mary to A.J. Green capped off a big fantasy day. With Tyler Eifert (1-9) finally making his debut, Green should see more favorable coverage down the line. This is an offense on the rise.
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Matt Jones owners are pulling out their hair. After a huge week against the Eagles (16-125-1), Jones was out-touched by Chris Thompson 12-to-10 and was outplayed handily. Jones is a boom or bust RB3/Flex type in PPR leagues that won't be helped by his non-existent role in the passing game. That's now two straight productive weeks for Golden Tate (6-93, 12 targets). This probably won't continue once Theo Riddick returns. DeSean Jackson doesn't quite look right (5-35) and is a borderline Flex guy more than anything. Jamison Crowder is the receiver to own in Washington, which sounds weird to say. Make that two straight weeks where Vernon Davis was productive in Jordan Reed's absence. He won't be rushed back, making Davis a good pickup on the waiver wire.
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It's time to hit the panic button in Jacksonville. Blake Bortles has been terrible over the last four weeks. He's avoided a few truly terrible fantasy days thanks to some second half garbage time, but his inability to get Allen Robinson (2 catches) the ball is a real issue. Marqise Lee (7-107) has been the best receiver in Jacksonville. If you want to cut bait on Bortles, I wouldn't blame you. There are no signs this is getting better anytime soon. Derek Carr reminds me a lot of Matthew Stafford, but with more accuracy. He's a stud, but the Raiders are aiming for more balance offensively, especially with a lead. He's a QB1, but you'll have some days like this (200 yards, 1 TD). Latavius Murray (18-59-2) is back on the RB2 radar if he's going to get this kind of workload and the goalline work. I don't fully trust that will be the case every week, as it's been a committee approach prior to this week.
Every year, there's a running back who makes good on an opportunity and blows up. That's Jay Ajayi. He now has over 200 rushing yards in back-to-back games, and he definitely passes the eye test. Ajayi runs really hard through the hole, and his line is killing it right now. All that being said, it's not a bad time to sell really high. Week 13 through 15, fantasy playoff time, Ajayi gets a brutal run D schedule of BAL, ARI, NYJ. LeSean McCoy and Mike Gillislee (31 combined yards) really killed fantasy teams everywhere. Why the Bills trotted out McCoy, who has had hamstring issues in the past, at less than 100% was incredibly confusing and misguided. There's no rest for the weary with the Patriots and Seahawks up next.
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As mentioned previously, the Jets are so rough on the run. Terrance West came into this game on the heels of some massive performances, but was held to just 10 yards on eight carries. Joe Flacco couldn't capitalize on his great matchup, once again, and should be left on the waiver wire. 248 yards and 2 picks against this pass defense is truly terrible. After Geno Smith suffered a knee injury, Ryan Fitzpatrick came back to save the day. That's probably good news for Brandon Marshall, but temper your expectations. Matt Forte (30-100-1, 4-54-1) had a massive day out of nowhere. Bilal Powell was playing better and receiving more snaps, but Forte dominated the playing time out of nowhere this week. Ride with Forte against Cleveland, then sell, sell, sell. This offense is still a mess.
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The 49ers were fiesty to start, then remembered that they're the 49ers. This is one of the worst run defenses in NFL history, as they're allowing 185 yards on the ground a game right now. That's absurd. Jacquizz Rodgers (26-154) is the league's most unlikely workhorse, and the schedule for the next few weeks plays in his favor. It doesn't sound like Doug Martin is close to returning from his hamstring injury, so keep firing him up. Mike Evans (8-96-2) has 75 targets through six games. He's a top-5 WR every single week, and gets the Saints twice during the fantasy playoff season. That's a gift.
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It might not always be pretty, but Melvin Gordon (22-68-2, 6-53-1) is turning into a fantasy monster before our eyes. With no other running back even getting touches, he's bound to put up huge weeks in a good offense. Antonio Gates (5-38, 10 targets) is a worse option than Hunter Henry (1-16) in fantasy, but it's a nice reminder that Gates isn't just going to go away. Julio Jones (9-174) went off again, but this should have been an even bigger day for Julio and the Falcons. Don't overreact, even if the Falcons start to lose some games they should win. This is a great fantasy offense, in part because the defense is going to get gashed.
This was a LeGarrette Blount game all the way. Tom Brady only threw 26 times, as the Pats opted for a more conservative approach with the lead, forcing Landry Jones to beat them. It worked. Blount (24-127-2) will be volatile moving forward, but he'll have big games like this. Martellus Bennett only played 30 snaps in this one, but his owners shouldn't panic yet. This was likely more health based (Bennett was questionable all week) than indicative of a role change. Le'Veon Bell is the least touchdown dependent running back in the league. He had 25 fantasy points without a score because he's such a big part of the passing game. Antonio Brown (7-106) received a steady diet of looks, but every other receiver in Pittsburgh should be planted on the bench until Big Ben returns.
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Worst. Game. Ever. Both kickers exchanged shanks for this one to end in a tie, but it was ugly far before that. David Johnson had a ridiculous 41 total touches, but the Cardinals just couldn't score. Michael Floyd had a nice bounceback game in a tough matchup (5-65) with John Brown out, but his late-game drop was absolutely crushing. That's been an issue all year. Thomas Rawls is still a few weeks away, and the matchups will get better for Christine Michael soon. If you can get him cheap in a trade, he can carry you for a few weeks here with the Saints on tap next. Don't forget about Doug Baldwin in DFS, either. He's looking healthier and it's only a matter of time before this passing game gets back on track.