It's been three weeks now, and Bills QB Josh Allen still seems like he's struggling to find his receivers. His numbers against the Jets might look good (especially the rushing yards). Still, if you watched the game closely, you could see that Allen was misfiring all over the place and is not giving his receivers any opportunity to run after the catch. This might work against a putrid team like the Jets, but with the Patriots and Seahawks coming up in the next two weeks, I have some real concerns with Allen.
Burrow vs. Baker
I can't believe that I am saying this, but I would be happy to watch a third Bengals vs. Browns matchup if there was one. Bengals QB Joe Burrow had a huge game, throwing for 406 yards and 3 TDs. Not to be outdone, Browns QB Baker Mayfield threw for 297 yards and 5 TDs, all without Odell Beckham Jr., who left the game with a knee injury. The Bengals need to play better defense and protect Burrow if they want any chance to win moving forward. As for the Browns, rookie TE Harrison Bryant looked like an Austin Hooper clone as he caught four passes and scored 2 TDs.
Note: Beckham will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
I really hope you listened to me and went to the DK Sportsbook and bet on Green Bay to wallop Houston. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looked sensational, throwing four TD passes on the day. Packers WR Davante Adams had 13 receptions for 196 yards and 2 TDs, making him the easy choice for player of the game. The Texans never stood a chance as WR Will Fuller was completely shut down by Packers CB Jaire Alexander, and RB David Johnson could not find any room to run the football. If not for the heroics of QB Deshaun Watson, this game would have been over at halftime.
Doomed with Dalton
I remember when Andy Dalton was a solid QB for the Bengals. He was never a world-beater, but he was good enough to take the team to the playoffs on multiple occasions and normally played well enough to give his team a chance to win. I am not sure that player exists anymore as Dalton looked overmatched against the Washington defense. Dallas' offensive line issues are so bad that even RB Ezekiel Elliott could only muster 45 yards rushing on the day. Dallas WRs Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb combined for zero catches, which was a devastating blow to tons of fantasy lineups. Dalton took a wicked (dirty) shot to the head, was taken off the field, and evaluated for a concussion. Regardless, if Dallas thinks they can make a playoff run (and in the pathetic NFC East they can), they might need to sign another QB as Dalton is not up to the task.
As the Falcons were driving down the field towards the end of the fourth quarter, all they needed to do was milk the clock and kick a game-winning FG to seal a well-earned victory against the Detroit Lions. Smartly, the Lions decided to allow Falcons RB Todd Gurley to score so they could get the ball back for one last opportunity. As Gurley ran to the end zone, he realized at the very last second that it was actually not in the team's best interest for him to score, and he tried his best to stop right at the 1-yard line. However, it was too late, and the nose of the ball found the end zone, giving the Falcons a TD and the Lions one more chance to win the game--which they did on a last-second TD pass to TE T.J. Hockenson. I do feel bad for Gurley, but if you rostered him on DraftKings (like me), you might have had a better day than he did.
It's easy to forget how good Saints QB Drew Brees really is. The Saints played against Carolina without their WR1 (Michael Thomas) and WR2 (Emmanuel Sanders) and still won. Brees controls the clock better than any other QB and throws an extremely catchable ball. Kudos go out to my colleague here at Sports Illustrated, Steve Renner, who wrote that WR Marquez Callaway (8 for 75) and not Tre' Quan Smith (4 for 54) was the wide receiver to roster. That's why you subscribe to SI Fantasy!
Return of JuJu
Last week, there were tons of questions in the industry about whether the Steelers should move on from WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. I, too, had my doubts about JuJu but wanted to reserve my final assessment until I saw the Steelers roster play at full strength. Today against the Titans was the first time that Juju, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool had all played together in weeks. How did JuJu do? He had nine catches for 85 yards on a whopping 14 targets. With numbers like those, JuJu is clearly a fantasy threat. However, there is no doubt that Diontae Johnson is the preferred (and most reliable) target on the team. If he can stay healthy, he is absolutely someone I would trade for in leagues.
Vegas Slot Machine
Tampa flew into Las Vegas for what was expected to be a grind-it-out battle between two teams who like to run the football. That actually never happened as the Raiders were stymied by the tough Bucs run defense who held them to 3.2 YPC (including Josh Jacobs, who only had 17 yards on 10 carries). On the other hand, the Bucs chose to air it out, as QB Tom Brady threw four TD passes (and ran in another) to lead the Bucs to a 45-20 win. WR Scotty Miller led the way for Tampa with 109 yards and a TD. One thing of fantasy note: RB Leonard Fournette out-touched RB Ronald Jones 17-14, which could signify the team's plans to use Fournette more as the team makes its playoff push.
Bolt of Energy
As I was watching the end of the Chargers/Jaguars game, my son, Little Roto, asked whether I thought Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow would win rookie of the year? A few weeks ago, I wasn't even sure that Herbert would keep the Chargers' job, and now I can't imagine how they will ever take him off the field! I know it was against the Jaguars, but Herbert threw for 347 yards and 3 TDs and ran for 66 yards and a TD, all the while looking confident and composed. The sky's the limit for Herbert right now, and anyone who added him off the waiver wire is looking like a fantasy genius.
What's Wrong With Cam?
It's time to worry if you have Cam Newton as your fantasy starter. Newton threw for 98 yards and 3 INTs against the 49ers and was removed from the game in the second half. Moreover, I think it's time to worry if you have Julian Edelman, N'Keal Harry, James White, or other Patriots skill players. Newton has always been inconsistent (to put it mildly), and if he's not running, he is a below-average QB when it comes to his mechanics. The Patriots have games coming up with the Bills and Jets in the next two weeks, so if Newton can't figure it out soon, it's going to be an ugly winter in Beantown.
Sunday Night Slugfest
Like two heavyweight boxers going at it in the championship rounds, Seattle and Arizona battled it out on Sunday night. DraftKings contests were hanging in the balance as Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray threw for 748 yards and 6 TDs between them as Arizona won 37-34 in OT. If you had Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett on any of your teams, there's a great chance that you're my rich friend today. Lockett had 15 catches for 200 yards and 3 TDs. Both starting RBs, Chris Carson & Kenyan Drake, left this game with injuries, so fantasy managers might be looking closely at Carlos Hyde and Chase Edmonds on the waiver wire this week.
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