Here is the first installment of the weekly game result rundown, complete with a brief recap of the offensive (minus kickers, ’cause, who cares?) fantasy highlights and injury updates from the just-finished week. Yea, its long, but one stop shopping!
Packers v. Saints: This game was an aerial fantasy bonanza, as expected. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were the men: Rodg was good (312, 3 TDs), Drew Brees was better, fantasy-wise (419, 3 TDs). GB’s receiving corp was led by perennial elite Greg Jennings (7 catches for 89 yards, 1 TD), with budding WR2 Jordy Nelson (6 for 77, 1 TD) making his presence known. Jermichael Finley was solid; just the tip of the iceberg for the big fella (3 for 53). Rookie WR darling Randall Cobb caught and ran back kicks for TDs. James Starks was the main back for the Pack: 57 yards, 1 TD. As usual, Brees spread the ball around: Devery Henderson caught 6 for 100 with a TD to lead the way, but Robert Meachem (5 for 70, TD), Darren Sproles (7 for 75), Marques Colston (6 for 81), and Jimmy Graham (4 for 54, TD) all were heavily involved. Colston broke his collarbone though at the end of the game, so he will be out for at least a month. RBs Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas had about a 70/30 carry split in Ingram’s favor, with neither making much of an impact, partly due to New Orleans playing from behind all game.
Eagles v. Rams: Michael Vick had a productive fantasy day (187 yards passing, 2 TDs, 98 yards rushing), but he was 14 of 32 passing. “Lights Out” my ass. LeSean McCoy lived up to his pre-draft hype: 15 carries for 122 yards and two TDs (1 receiving), with DeSean “separated at birth from LeSean” Jackson having a nice day as well (6 catches, 102, TD). Jeremy Maclin was invisible (1 for 20). On St. Lou’s side, Sam Bradford had a forgettable 2011 debut (188 yards, 0 TDs), and a bruised right index finger; he should be ok for next week against the G-men. Steven Jackson was electric for two carries (56 yards, with a 47 yard TD scamper), and then hurt his quad. Oy. He is iffy at the moment for Monday night. His replacement, Caddy Williams, rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries. Brandon Gibson led the ragtag Rams WR group with 50 yards on 3 catches. Danny Amendola (5 for 45) was also lost to a dislocated elbow. Mike Sims-Walker suffered from irrelevance throughout the game (1 for 5).
Bills v. Chiefs: Raise your hand if you saw this shelling coming? In favor of Buffalo? This one was over halfway through the 2nd quarter, and Ryan Fitzpatrick was the story of this game: 208 yards, 4 TDs, 1 sack. If you started him and you aren’t in a 16 team league, go to Vegas RIGHT. NOW. WR Stevie Johnson and new starting TE Scott Chandler caught three of the TDs (Johnson had 1, with 66 yards receiving, Chandler 2 with 63), and Fred Jackson was the RB of choice (20 carries for 112 yards, though C.J. Spiller stole a TD run late). Nobody on KC besides Jamaal Charles is worth writing about, and even he was stymied to an extent: 10 carries, 56 yards, 1 fumble, 1 receiving TD.
Bears v. Falcons: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and, honorable mention, the Bears D, were the headlines here. Cutler had a Rodgersesque day (312, 2 TDs, 1 INT), and Forte a Matt Forte kind of day (68 yards rushing, 90 receiving, 1 TD through the air). Even with all those passing yards, no Bears WR did anything of note. Matt Ryan was sacked 5 times, literally placed the ball on the ground for Brian Urlacher to run in for a TD, and threw for 319 yards, mostly in garbage time. Roddy White was PPR useful (8 for 61), but otherwise disappointing; Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez had decent days (5 for 72 and 71 respectively). Michael Turner had 100 yards on 10 carries (and a shocking 40 yards receiving), but lost a fumble and didn’t break the plane.
Lions v. Bucs: This was a back and forth affair, with the trendy pick Lions coming out on top, thanks to Matt ‘its only a cramp’ Stafford (305, 3 TDs), Jahvid Best (114 combined rushing and receiving), and the Decepticon leader (88, 2 TDs). Josh Freeman was serviceable (257, 1 TD), but I’m sure fantasy players expected better. LeGarrette Blount was a drop of despair in an ocean of woe (15 yards!). Earnest Graham (remember him?) stole some carries (6, but for 13 yards) and led the team in receptions (8 for 58). Mike Williams caught the only TD and had 50 yards, while Kellen Winslow had 66.
Titans v. Jaguars: Kenny Britt (136, 2 TDs) and MJD (97 rushing, 1 TD) are only players worth their salt in this instant classic. Fine, Matt Hasselbeck too (263, 2 TDs). CJ was MIA (49 total yards).
Browns v. Bengals: Lots of people were streaming the Browns’ D here (including me in one of my 10,000 leagues). That didn’t work out. Even though 44 points were put up with nary a defensive score, not many fantasy stars here, as the wealth was spread around. Cedric Benson was a stalwart (121 yards rushing, 1 TD), Jermaine Gresham solid (58, 1 TD) and Colt McCoy decent (213, 2 TDs). Peyton Hillis had 87 combined yards, but no scores. Ben Watson and Evan Moore each caught McCoy’s TDs, and A.J. Green had one great grab (41 yards, TD). Andy Dalton suffered a forearm contusion after throwing 1 TD; looks to be day to day, but no one owns him, so no one cares (not true, Andy; I care. I care alot.) Brad Gradkowski tossed a TD (the one to Green) in mop up duty.
Steelers v. Ravens: Another week one blowout shocker (along with Buffalo/KC), at least as far as final score goes. Lots o’ fantasy impact here: Big Ben was sacked (4) and picked (3), but still salvaged 280 yards and a TD. Mike Wallace broke 100 yards (107 on 8 catches), Emmanuel Sanders caught the TD, and Rashard Mendenhall was clammed up (45 yards, 1 fumble). Ray Rice was a big boy (107 rushing, 42 receiving, 2 TDs – take that experts!), Joe Flacco was stellar (224, 3 TDs), and Ed Dickson and Anquan Boldin were dependable receiving options (each a TD, 59 yards for Dickson, 74 for Boldin). What did Lee Evans do? Nothin’.
Texans v. Colts: Peyton Manning for MVP! Without him, the Colts look bombed and depleted. Only Reggie Wayne was useful (106, 1 TD in garbage time). Houston? They didn’t miss a beat with Arian Foster on the sidelines. Ben Tate was the truth (116 yards, 1 TD), Derrick Ward chipped in a TD as the ‘starter,’ and Andre Johnson met your round 1 expectations (95 and a touch). Matt Schaub surprisingly had a mediocre day (220, 1 TD), but the Texans were comfortably ahead early, so they switched to run mode quickly. If the Texans don’t win the AFC South this year, they should quit. Seriously.
Giants v. Redskins: ugh, what an ugly loss for Big Blue (yes, I’m a fan). Also an ugly fantasy day for everyone but Hakeem Nicks (122 yards and knee bruise; he is ok though). Ahmad Bradshaw had a TD run, but only 44 yards on the ground. Eli had a TD run, but no passes on 268 yards. He was also sacked 4 times, tossed a pick 6 (deflected, but still his fault; horrible screen near his own end zone) and generally looked like a lost puppy in the 2nd half, as he is wont to do when things aren’t going his way. Rex Grossman looked like Mark Rypien (the good version; 305, 2 TDs), and Tim Hightower was rookie year Reggie Brooks (combined 97 yards, TD). Fred Davis was Rexy’s favorite target (5 for 105), and looked much better than incumbent Chris Cooley.
Vikings v. Chargers: San Diego survived a scare at home, thanks to Philip Rivers (335 yards, 2 TDs) and Mike Tolbert (93 total yards, 3 TDs). Ryan Mathews also had a nice day, though no TDs (118 yards, 73 through the air), and Antonio Gates had 74 yards on 8 catches. V-Jax didn’t join the party (2 for 31). For the Vikes, AP had 98 yards rushing, but no TDs. Donovan McNabb had 39, that’s right, 39, yards passing. He did toss a TD to Michael Jenkins. Percy Harvin ran back the opening kickoff for a score, but otherwise was nonexistent.
Panthers v. Cardinals: Obviously Cam Newton is the story here (422, 2 TDs), but I’m sure he’d trade some of those yards for a W. Still tip of the cap, Cam. Steve Smith, who hardly anyone probably started, channeled 2005 (178, 2 TDs). Beanie Wells was solid (90 yards, TD), while Early Doucet led ‘Zona receivers (105, TD). Larry Fitz had a sub-par day, but still had 62 yards, so not a total wash out. Kevin Kolb quietly had a great fantasy day (309, 2 TDs). Jeff King caught his other TD. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 56 yards rushing in the shoot-out.
49ers v. Seahawks: Ugly, ugly offense here, from both squads. Tavaris Jackson (197, 2 TDs) and Doug Baldwin – yea, right, who? – (83, 1 TD), were Seattle’s offensive ‘stars,’ while Ted Ginn and SF’s D were the reason the 9ers put up 33. Ginn ran back a kickoff and a punt, and SF’s D sacked Jackson 5 times, made him fumble twice, picked him off once, and generally made life miserable for Marshawn Lynch (33 yards). Alex Smith ran in a score, but was his usual awful passing self (124 yards). Frank Gore had only 59 yards rushing.
Cowboys v. Jets: Dallas was undefeated in their history when up by 14 or more in the 4th quarter, until this one. Despite that, Tony Romo had a nice fantasy day (342, 2 TDs); but the one pick he threw decided the game. Felix Jones had 66 total yards and a touch, Jason Witten was awesome (6 for 110, missed a TD by thismuch); Miles Austin (90, TD) and Dez Bryant (71, TD) were very good. Bryant looked hobbled though in the 2nd half; he’s got a bruised thigh. Mark Sanchez had to go to the air a lot for him (335, 2 TDs) given the Jets were playing down in the 2nd half – and really all game – but they have to be upset with Shonn Greene’s effort (26 yards rushing). LT wasn’t any better on the ground (16 yards), but was their leading receiver (73 yards). Plaxico looked alright in his first game since the infamous incident (72, TD), and if you started Dustin Keller, you were handsomely rewarded (61, TD).
Patriots v. Dolphins: Not much happened in this game, pretty boring actually. Tom Brady (517, 4 TDs) and Chad Henne (416, 3 TD, 1 rushing) set a record for most passing yards combined in a video game, Wes Welker was alright (8 for 160, 2 TD, including a 99 yarder), and Aaron Hernandez (7 for 103, TD) and Rob Gronkowski (6 for 86, TD) made their fantasy owners happy they drafted them despite the platoon; even Deion Branch got some love (7 for 93). On the Fish’s side, Brandon Marshall was a PPR monster (7 for 139), Reggie Bush combined for 94 yards and a receiving score, Brian Hartline caught a TD, and Devone Bess had 92 yards on 5 catches. The Pats only rushing score came from BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but otherwise this was a passing affair. Whew. Did I miss anything? Oh, even Anthony Fasano was useful (5 for 82).
Broncos v. Raiders: Orton was ok (304, TD), DMC went off (150 rushing), Knowson Moreno was a joke (58 total yards, 1 fumble), Brandon Lloyd was acceptable (6 for 89), and Jason Campbell salvaged his awful day with a rushing/passing TD apiece (105 yards though). Oh, and have to mention Janikowski’s record tying 63 yard FG. Kudos Sabby, kudos.