Seahawks v. Cowboys: Other than Marshawn Lynch’s huge day (135 rushing, TD), hope you benched your other Seattle players. DeMarco Murray is looking like this year’s waiver wire darling, as he had another great one here (139 rushing, 47 receiving). Tony Romo was dependable (279, 2 TDs), allowing Jason Witten (4 for 71, TD) and Laurent Robinson (5 for 32, TD) to cash in. Miles Austin was having a good day too -53 yards receiving – before he left with another hamstring injury in the first half, one which could put him on the shelf for 2-4 weeks.
Falcons v. Colts: We will skip any sort of run down on Indy; it is too sad for words how inept that team is right now. I have never seen a team be this bad because of losing one player, albeit one of the best of all time in Peyton Manning. Now Atlanta, THIS is a fantasy gold mine. Matt Ryan only had 14 completions, but that netted him 275 yards and 3 TDs. Julio Jones had his coming out party (3 for 131, 2 TDs), while Roddy White (4 for 76) and Tony Gonzalez (4 for 36, TD) also had solid days. Michael Turner just keeps scoring (71 rushing, TD).
Jets v. Bills: Not many fantasy stars here, mainly due to NY’s D giving the offense short fields all day. Mark Sanchez was serviceable (230, TD, lost fumble), Shonn Greene was too (76 rushing), and Plaxico Burress (5 for 79) led the team in receiving; Santonio Holmes led though in fantasy production (3 for 29, TD). Freddie Jackson gave you good combined yardage (82 rushing, 38 receiving, fumble lost), Stevie Johnson had 3 catches for 84 yards, and David Nelson caught the lone TD pass of the day for Buffalo (4 for 36).
Browns v. Texans: The Texans have developed a scary backfield tandem, possibly the best in the league in Ben Tate and Arian Foster. Tate scored first (115 rushing, TD), but Foster closed out the game (124 rushing, TD, 26 receiving). As such, Houston didn’t need much through the air. Matt Schaub tallied a rushing score, but that was about it from him. The Browns got a TD catch from Josh Cribbs (5 for 50), but nothing else to report on Cleveland. That team’s backfield is the polar opposite of Houston’s.
49ers v. Redskins: A bunch of good, not great performances in this tilt. Frank Gore was, as usual, solid (107 rushing), Alex Smith was vanilla (200 passing, TD), and some guy named Bruce Miller caught the TD pass, a 30 yard reception, his only one of the day. SF loves to spread the ball around in that old-school ball control ‘attack.’ For Washington, Roy Helu was an all-purpose cornucopia of points (105 receiving, 41 rushing, 1 fumble lost), and Jabar Gaffney caught the only TD thrown by John Beck (254 yards passing).
Bucs v. Saints: LeGarrette Blount returned to action, but only had 80 total yards to show for it (72 rushing). Josh Freeman was solid if unspectacular, kinda his MO (281, TD). Kellen Winslow of all people was the only TB receiver of note fantasy-wise (4 for 29, TD). For NO, the usual suspects put up numbers: Brees (258, 2 TDs), Pierre Thomas (66 rushing, TD, 25 receiving), Darren Sproles (42 rushing, 57 receiving, TD), and Jimmy Graham (6 for 78). Lance Moore also added a TD catch to the mix.
Dolphins v. Chiefs: Well, this had a bunch of fantasy stars, just not from the team I would have guessed. Almost all fish here. Matt Moore was a stud (244 passing, 3 TDs). Brandon Marshall was too (8 for 106, TD). Reggie Bush? Sure (92 rushing, TD, 50 receiving). And, to round it out, Anthony Fasano as well (2 for 38, 2 TDs). For KC, the two top WRs performed well: Steve Breaston (7 for 115) and Dwayne Bowe (6 for 88). Jonathan Baldwin, one of my waiver gems? Not even close.
Bengals v. Titans: Hello Andy Dalton! Guy is turning into a pretty fine fantasy QB (217 passing, 3 TDs). He hit Jerome Simpson (3 for 43), Andre Caldwell (5 for 22) and Colin Cochart (2 for 7) for scores, and gave A.J. Green the most yardage (7 for 83). Cedric Benson was a workhorse, but only had 78 yards to show for it. For Tennessee, Matt Hasselbeck is still in the saddle, and acquitted himself well (272, 2 TDs), Chris Johnson reclaimed the RB1 title – on his own team (64 rushing, 46 receiving), and Lavelle Hawkins (5 for 63) and Damian Williams (4 for 34) caught the Hasselbeck TDs. Injury note: Nate Washington hurt his hip.
Broncos v. Raiders: Crazy one here. 38 points for Denver, and Tim Tebow threw for 124 yards – and 2 TDs, so not a total disaster. Oh, and he also added 118 rushing. Real life, this won’t fly every week, but you will take that for your fake team no questions asked. Willis McGahee returned with a vengeance (163 rushing, 2 TDs), while Eric Decker (3 for 47, TD) and Eddie Royal (2 for 25, TD, punt return TD. yes, seriously) made their marks on this one as well. Most of Denver’s scoring happened late, while Oakland put up their points early. Carson Palmer had a great fantasy game (332 yards, 3 TDs), and so did Michael Bush replacing DMC (96 rushing, 33 receiving, TD). Marcel Reece (3 for 51, TD) and Jacoby Ford (5 for 105, TD) led the WR corps.
Giants v. Patriots: And yet another crazy game. No scoring in the first half, offensive fireworks in the 2nd. Eli Manning is as trustworthy a fantasy QB outside Brady, Brees, and Rodgers as there is right now (250, 2 TDs). The aforementioned Mr. Brady didn’t disappoint (340, 2 TDs). The ground games took a back seat, but Brandon Jacobs looked very lively as the feature back for NY (72 rushing, TD, 28 receiving). The NY receivers were led by Victor Cruz (6 for 91), with Mario Manningham (3 for 33) and Jake Ballard (4 for 67) catching Eli’s TD tosses. For NE, Rob Gronkowski (8 for 101, TD) and Wes Welker (9 for 136) were nigh on unstoppable, while Aaron Hernandez caught another TD (3 for 35).
Rams v. Cardinals: Here we go, a nice predictable game. With a 99 yard punt return for a TD in OT to end it by Patrick Peterson. On offense, Steven Jackson had another great game (130 rushing, 12 receiving), while Brandon Lloyd (5 for 80) and Early Doucet (6 for 78) led their respective teams in receiving; Larry Fitz did catch a TD (4 for 43). John Skelton, filling in for the injured Kevin Kolb, was passable (222 yards, TD). Beanie Wells hurt his neck, and probably suffered hurt feelings as well with his 20 yards on 10 carries. Not that you really care, but George Salas is done for the year with a broken fibula.
Chargers v. Packers: Ah, a low scoring affair. Um, Aaron Rodgers? He’s a good football guy (247, 4 TDs, 52 rushing). Philip Rivers is too, but not on the same level (385 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs). Mike Tolbert was a rushing/receiving stud (83 rushing, TD, 59 receiving), while Vinnie Jackson (7 for 141, 3 TDs) and Antonio Gates (8 for 96, TD) just did it through the air. Vincent Brown also got in on the act (4 for 79). Patrick Crayton? wrong injury fill-in. The Packers had a bunch of guys catch TDs and gain a lot of aerial yardage: Jordy Nelson (5 for 105), Greg Jennings (6 for 46), Jermichael Finley (5 for 44) and James Jones (1 for 21) all got on the scoresheet.
Ravens v. Steelers: The scoring in this AFC North grudge match didn’t really come until the 2nd half. Ray Rice had under 100 total yards (86 combined rushing/receiving), but did have a 3rd quarter TD run. Rashard Mendenhall had little yardage – 52 rushing – but had a TD run himself. Joe Flacco and Big Ben both had 300 yards or more passing, but only 1 TD toss each. Antonio Brown led Pittsburgh in receiving (5 for 109), while Anquan Boldin led Baltimore (7 for 88). Torrey Smith (5 for 71) and Mike Wallace (4 for 68) caught the TD passes, and Heath Miller had a decent TE game (5 for 73).
Bears v. Eagles: If you were banking on Michael Vick to have a big night to win your fantasy match up, you were betting on the wrong horse. Vick was mediocre at best (213 passing, 34 rushing), his 2nd-worst performance of the year. LeSean McCoy on the other hand had a great night, as per usual (71 rushing, TD, 46 receiving), but Ronnie Brown did steal a TD from him. No Philly WRs did anything of note. For Chicago, Matt Forte had a great yardage night (133 rushing, 17 receiving) but he did lose two fumbles. Jay Cutler was useful (208 passing, 2 TDs), Marion Barber vultured another TD from Forte (31 rushing), and Earl Bennett had a career day (5 for 95, TD); Matt Spaeth caught a short TD pass to round out the scoring.