-When it came to the quarterbacks Thursday night, it seemed like a bit of role reversal as it was the perennially mediocre Alex Smith and not Tom Brady who lit up the fantasy football scoreboard. Smith completed 28-of-35 throws for a spectacular 368 yards with 4 TD and 0 INT as he continually picked apart the Pats defense. Now of course that doesn't mean you run out to pick up Smith as he still is just for two-QB format use but in those leagues who looks like a decent start now that he finally has some potent weapons with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.
Meanwhile Brady was inept in completing just 16-of-36 throws for 267 yards and ZERO scores. Brady was hit throughout the game and we all know by now this is the only way to get the guy off his game a bit. Also Bill Belichick seems to be in love with his four back rotation, continually running it in the red zone. This is not what you want to see as a Brady fantasy football owner and so THAT bears watching instead of whether or not he has lost ability. Also the leaky offensive line could be the biggest problem of all as we have seen how that can ravage even the best quarterbacks.
-So this Kareem Hunt kid can play a little. It is amazing how one injury (Spencer Ware) can drastically change the fantasy football outlook of those who drafted the replacement (Hunt). Hunt went in the 9th round of the Experts League before Ware got hurt and now that owner has a RB 1 in all formats after the rookie ran 17 times for 148 yards with 1 TD and 1 fumble. He also showed his PPR chops by catching 5 balls for 98 more yards and 2 more scores. Unbelievable and like I said Hunt now has to already be considered a RB 1 in all formats. No doubt many of us are having regrets for not drafting him this morning.
On the other ride of the running game, Belichick drove everyone crazy by having FIVE guys carry the football which included three runs by WR Chris Hogan. The main beneficiary was Mike Gillislee who rushed for 45 yards and 3 scores on 15 carries. Clearly the speculation that Gillislee would be the primary ball carrier playing the LeGarrette Blount role was true. As far as the rest of the crew, James White got 10 carries for 38 yards and was the big receiving back as usual with 3 catches for 30 yards. The big bust was Rex Burkhead who started but did little in rushing for 15 yards on 3 carries. That means Burkhead already could be waiver fodder as the rumors HE would be the guy were way off base. So Gillisslee can be a RB 2 only in standards, while White has that spot in PPR.
-Tyreek Hill picked up where he left off last season by making plays all over the field with his amazing speed. He caught 7 balls for 133 yards and 1 TD but he did exit for a bit to go to the locker room with an injury scare. Now I was lukewarm on Hill coming into the year for that reason alone as he is VERY slight and injuries could be a constant issue like they are with the similar DeSean Jackson.
Hill's big game overshadowed tight end Travis Kelce who caught just 5 balls for 40 yards. Really Kelce caught just two passes as the other three were basically running plays. Kelce will be fine though so no worries. His counterpart Rob Gronkowski had a similarly mediocre game with just 2 grabs for 33 yards but had a TD called back on review.
-So Danny Amendola was the guy to own all along as Julian Edelman's replacement and not Chris Hogan. Hogan was terrible in catching one pass for 5 yards, while Amendola caught 6 for 100. Enjoy Amendola while you can though as he is always injured and increased usage will make that more likely. Still many like myself are kicking themselves for overvaluing Hogan at the expense of Amendola. UPDATE: Amendola already has a concussion. There you go.