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Monday, October 17, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 WRAPUP

-Detroit Lions wideout Golden Tate is apparently back from the witness protection program.  After playing comically bad the first five weeks of the season, he exploded Sunday by catching 8 passes for 165 yards and a score.  With Marvin Jones having a quiet day. it was Tate who had the banner outing.  This makes sense as Jones's big start if getting around the league and he now will be double-teamed often which will open things up for Tate.  If anyone dropped Tate in your league, pick him up.  In PPR formats, Tate could be a swell add.

-While he endured a major knee scare that turned out to be nothing, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy kept up the monster start to his season by rushing for 140 yards and 3 scores on just 18 carries.  McCoy has been a TD stud this season and is working as the clear and very rare bellcow back for the Bills.  You can make the case that McCoy has been the most valuable running back in fantasy football this season and all for a guy who many looked past in the draft this summer thinking he lost a step.  The only quibble is that McCoy has not made much hay in the passing game as he caught just 2 passes for 2 yards. 

-Maybe the Los Angeles Rams didn't need to draft Jared Goff.  If Case Keenum continues to play like he did on Sunday, then Goff won't shed the clipboard.  The butt of all QB jokes the first two weeks of the season, Keenum has gotten much better since as he showed Sundat by completing 27-of-32 passes for 321 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  Keenum also rushed for a score in the tight loss to the Detroit Lions.  Clearly Keenum will continue to play after performing like this but not sure if that is the best thing for the Rams given the potential franchise QB on the bench.

-The Miami Dolphins running game has been an utter disgrace all season but they finally got something positive happening there Sunday as Jay Ajayi rushed for a monstrous 204 yards and 2 scores on 25 carries in the team's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Ajayi caught just one pass for 3 yards but he clearly was the guy Sunday as Arian Foster was only given 3 carries in the game.  Clearly an outing like this means Ajayi will start again for Miami next time out and he should be a top pickup this week on waivers.

-Kenny Britt makes it a habit to have one insane game a season and that came on Sunday as he caught 7 passes for 136 yards and 2 scores against the Detroit Lions.  The shootout almost ensured that any receiver in this game had a big day but the Rams are in need of a number 1 wideout which Britt seems ready to fill.  He could work as a WR 3 but the consistency has just never been there.

-It was not the glorious return to under center that San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick envisioned Sunday as he completed just 13-of-29 passes for 187 yards and a score in the teams blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills.  While he did add 66 yards rushing on 8 carries, Kap looked rusty and far from the solution at QB for the team.  The Chip Kelly system does seem like a decent fit for Kaepernick but he has zero fantasy football value right now.

-Make it two games out of two that New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been a stud since returning from his four-game suspension.  Brady was in total control dissecting the Cincinnati Bengals defense on Sunday by completing 29-of-35 passes for 3 touchdowns.  In his first two games now, Brady has 6 touchdowns and over 700 passing yards.  Insane numbers for sure and we continue to say he can be both the real-life and fantasy football MVP despite missing four games with the suspension.

-As predicted, Rob Gronkowski has sprung back to life now that Brady is back and the two played pitch-and-catch Sunday to the tune of Gronk catching 7 passes for 162 yards and a score.  When Brady is under center, Gronko is as close to a sure thing as it gets when it comes to hitting paydirt and already he is close to being his old number 1 tight end self after that truly horrendous first month.

-It was a good sign for Alshon Jeffery owners Sunday as he the often nicked up wideout finally got on track with QB Brian Hoyer by catching 7 passes for 93 yards.  Jeffery was clearly being featured as he drew 13 targets overall from Hoyer and he stands a good chance to continuing his good run next Thursday against the awful Green Bay secondary.

-Unbelievably, the Carolina Panthers are 1-5 as they lost at the gun to the New Orleans Saints.  Those who own Cam Newton however got their fill for the day in terms of fantay football numbers as he completed 26-of-46 passes for 312 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT.  Newton stayed in the pocket throughout the game as he rushed just once but it was good for a 2-yard score.  While Newton has been hot and cold and his first round status this past summer seems inflated given the current numbers, at least the passing game seems to be back in sync.

-Yes I own Drew Brees and I love every second of it.  His video-game numbers never get old and neither does he as he completed 34-of-49 throws for 465 yards and 4 touchdowns with 1 INT Sunday in the win over the Panthers.  Brees now has 14 scores in five games this season and is on pace to have over 5,000 passing yards.  What an insane talent the guy is.

-An MRI is on tap for Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger after he suffered a knee injury in Sunday's game.  While Big Ben did return after first suffering the injury in the second quarter, he was hobbled the rest of the way and was brutal with his passing as he completed just 19-of-34 passes for 189 yards with 1 garbage-time TD and 2 picks.  This is old news for Roethlisberger who has constantly dealt with injuries in his career and 2015 was a big mess on that front.  This is clearly the biggest injury news to watch over the next few days.
UPDATE:  Big Ben needs surgery to fix his meniscus which will keep him out for at least one game and likely more.  Par for the course here unfortunately and now Antonio Brown and company face a steep drop in their numbers.  

-Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones put up his second big game in the last three Sunday as he rushed for 135 yards and a score on 16 carries in the team's win over the Philadelphia Eagles.  Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson took more than a few snaps this week but Jones was the guy when it counted.  It looks like Jones is starting to get into groove now and that has his RB 2 stock going up.

-It was Chris Ivory and no T.J. Yeldon who was the primary runner for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday despite the teams OC Greg Olson saying the latter would be the guy.  Ivory picked up 13 carries to Ivory's 6 and that makes this situation one big mess again.  Avoid at all costs.

- Maybe Odell Beckham Jr. enjoys playing football again.  Coming into Week 6, Beckham Jr. still had just one TD on the season and was making more news off the field then on it.  That all changed Sunday as Beckham Jr. caught 8 balls for 222 yards and 2 scores.  Yes Beckham almost cost the Giants the win by stupidly taking off his helmet on the seocnd score which earned a 15-yard penalty but the fact of the matter is that there is not a better receiver other then maybe Antonio Brown in the game who is capable of producing like this.

-Prior to the start of the season, we were big proponents of drafting New York Giants QB Eli Manning given the explosive nature of the offense and his familiarity with the attack put together by new head coach and former OC Ben McAdoo.  Then Manning went out and played terribly after a three-TD day in the opener which elicited some questions about whether he was on the downside of his career at 35.  Well Manning will quiet that talk for a week as he completed 32-of-46 passes for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Yes Manning also threw two picks but the bigger picture is that he played well.  While we have to see more before we trust him as an every week QB 1 again, this was a good sign.

-Cameron Meredith is becoming a real story now both for the Chicago Bears and those who smartly snagged hin on waivers this past week.  For the seocnd straight week, Meredith was a target fiend as he caught 11 passes for 113 yards in the team's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.  This just a aweek after Meredith caught 9 passes in his breakout for the team.  With Eddie Royal going out injured and Meredith clearly on the same page as Brian Hoyer, the PPR potential here seems big.  Hope you got him.

-While Kenneth Dixon's owners may not be happy, Terrance West continues to be a revelation as he rushed for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns on a bellcow 23 carries in the team's loss to the New York Giants.  West also picked up 36 yards on 4 catches as he showed some PPR skills.  This is all West right now in terms of usage in the Ravens backfield and his RB 2 status is only growing.

-Always one of our favorites, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford has a huge day Sunday by completing 23-of-31 passes for 270 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Los Angeles Rams defense.  The reason we always love Stafford in fantasy football is that he almost always throws it around the red zone and that leads to the high annual TD totals we see.  Even better this season, Stafford is not turning it over as much as in the past.  Saw some trends where Stafford was getting released in some leagues after a dip Weeks 4-5 but that was foolish.

-When New Orleans Saints wideout Brandin Cooks has a big game, it is usually epic such as Sunday when he caught 7 passes for 173 yards and 1 TD.  With Drew Brees always tending to spread the football around, Cooks production tends to fluctuate from week-to-week which makes him more of a top WR 2 in fantasy football.  Games like this though are a reminder of how skilled he is.

-Mostly invisible this season, Tennessee Titans wideout Kendall Wright showed he still can be a factor in the team's passing game as he caught 8 passes for 133 yards and a score Sunday.  The production was almost non-existent leading into this one however so don't go running to pick Wright up.

-What a two-week stretch it has been for Titans QB Marcus Mariota.  Just a week after he accounted for four touchdowns, Mariota made it two blockbuster games in a row Sunday by completing 17-of-24 throws for 284 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  He also contributed 64 yards on 7 rushes in the run game.  The schedule is as easy as it gets going forward, starting with a plush assignment against the porous Indy Colts defense next week.  The arrow is point way up here.

-Things are begining to come together for Saints tight end Coby Fleener who caught 6 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown Sunday.  As an added bonus, Fleener also rushed for a touchdown on a 50-yard run.  Clearly growing more comfortable with Drew Brees, Fleener is back into the circle of trust.

-The emergence of Terrell Pryor at wide receiver continued on Sunday for the Cleveland Browns as he caught 9 passes for 65 yards and 2 scores.  While Cody Kessler's lack of an arm limits the big plays, Pryor is becoming a decent WR 3 play in all leagues.

-More bad news for Jamaal Charles owners as they saw Spencer Ware rumble for 131 yards and a score on 24 carries in a workhorse game.  Just when it looked like Charles was going to move closer to regaining his starting gig, Ware goes out and runs great.  Charles did add a scoring run himself but at the very least this will be a time-share situation which will hurt both.

-It is getting silly now with Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott who rushed for 157 yards on 28 carries, while also catching two passes for another 17 yards.  Elliott is the best running back in football over the last month and his yards per carry is now over 5.0.  While we admit we were not fans of Elliott coming into the seaosn, he is clearly proving our initial fears wrong.

-There is almost no way Tony Romo is getting his job back as the starting QB for the Dallas Cowboys as Dak Prescott led the team to a big road win over the Green Bay Packers Sunday.  Prescott has shown nothing but poise since becoming the starter and against the Packers, he completed 18-of-27 passes for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns.  There is simply nothing else we can say that hasn't already been spoken in glowing terms about Prescott and yes he now has firm value in fantasy football leagues that play two QB and even is starting approach usage in single leagues.

-As good as the Seattle Seahawks defense is, they were not match for the MVP-type season Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan in 2016.  Ryan completed 27-of-42 passes for 335 yards and 3 TD's with 1 INT.  While he was a bit quiet in Week 5 against the potent Denver defense, Ryan responded this week with yet another big outing.

-It has been an up-and-down last few weeks for Falcons wideout Julio Jones but it was mostly up Sunday as he caught 7 passes for 139 yards and 1 TD against the Seahawks.  He gets a prime matchup against the awful San Diego defense next week and when you put it all together, Jones remains a top three-wideout in fantasy football this season.

-If not for a garbage-time TD, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers would have been a colossol bust Sunday as he completed 31-of-42 throws for 294 yards with the one TD and 1 INT.  It was simply a rough game and nothing else as Rodgers remains a top QB every week.


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