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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: TOM BRADY LAYS AN EGG

Minus All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady picked the worst time to lay a statistical egg on Monday Night Football as he tossed two interceptions and just one touchdown in an upset loss to the Miami Dolphins.  Let's take a closer look at that and everything else related to fantasy football emanating from the game.

-As far as Brady was concerned, his final line saw him complete 24-0f-43 throws for 233 yards with 1 TD and the two picks.  It was as pedestrian a game as you are ever going to see from Brady and it was actually the second straight poor game from him as he tossed ZERO touchdowns the game prior.  No alarms need to be sounded here as the Pats are diving in more on Rex Burkhead of late and his running prowess which has worked out nicely and by now we all now never to doubt Brady.  Roll him back out there with full confidence next week.

On the other side, Dolphins QB Jay Cutler rose to the occasion with his best game of the season in completing 25-of-38 passes for 263 yards with 3 TD's and no INT's.  While no one outside of two-QB formats are presently using Cutler in the fantasy football playoffs, it shows the guy still can sling it.

-Speaking of Burkhead, he has morphed into a touchdown machine since late November and Monday was no different as he rushed for another rushing score (which helped mask an ugly 8 yards for 5 carry line).  Burkhead went all PPR mode though as he caught 5 balls for 45 yards and overall has made good the potential I spoke about back in September when I said investing in the guy long-term was a good idea given the fact Bill Belichick made it his mission to sign him over the winter.  In PPR formats Burkhead is a must-start RB 2.  

The Dolphins have their own new running toy they fully unveiled halfway through the year and it is the speedy Kenyan Drake who rushed for 114 yards on 25 carries, while also adding 5 catches for another 79 yards.  Games like this are pure PPR gold and the Dolphins have to realize now they have a big talent on their hands.  Drake can accelerate very quickly with the football in his hands as we saw last night and his receiving skills are underrated.  He could be a very popular sleeper next summer.

-In terms of receiving, Miami's Jarvis Landry was the star as he caught 8 balls for 46 yards and two scores.  We have not seen this kind of touchdown prowess from Landy in the past but boy has Cutler zeroed in on him in the red zone this season.  A former top PPR WR 2 and standard 3, performances like this elevate Landry to low-end WR 1 in PPR and low-end 2 in standard.  

Meanwhile, the Pats threw mostly to running backs as Brandin Cooks laid a colossol egg with one catch for just 38 yards.  This is why you can't ever try to predict things in fantasy football as Cooks on paper had a splendid matchup but boy did he fail to come through.  The Miami D zeroed in on Cooks with Gronk out of the game and it showed.  It was left to Dion Lewis (5 catches for 50 yards) and Burkead to do the heavy lifting there.  


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