Denver 26, Oakland 13
Owners of Demaryius Thomas got a scare as the WR1 was taken to the locker room in the first quarter of Thursday night's matchup after injuring his shoulder. Scare averted as Thomas was able to return in the second half. Given 10 days to heal up, Thomas should be good-to-go facing a leaky Baltimore secondary.
Rod Streater has jumped onto the scene of late picking up 196 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks. In this game Streater's highlight was a 58-yard strike off the arm of Carson Palmer. A Preseason deeeeep sleeper, if you are absolutely desperate at the wide receiver position, Streater could be a worth a look as an upper WR4.
St. Louis 15, Buffalo 12
On paper it would appear newcomer Chris Givens had a down game, but it wasn't for a lack of trying as Givens was targeted a team high 10 times, but was only able to pull down three passes for 25 yards. Much blame could be placed on the inaccuracy of Sam Bradford, while Givens had a handful of drops. His day could have been respectable after nearly scoring a touchdown, but pushed out of bounds at the one yard line. Steven Jackson would eventually get the goal line plunge. With Minnesota next on the schedule, Givens remains a lower WR3 with upside.
Every week the postgame comments are the same from head coach Chan Gailey, "We need to get Spiller more involved." And every week its Fred Jackson taking a majority of the Bills' snaps despite a decrease in yards per carry. However, next week I will assure you Spiller will lead the team in touches as F-Jax has suffered a "serious knee injury" after taking a helmet to the knee. Owners beware as the Bills face the stiff Seattle rush defense as Spiller is a mid-RB2.
Dallas 20, Cincinnati 19
Coming off back-to-back weeks of two targets, Miles Austin actually paced the Boys receivers with 10 targets. However, Austin was only able to pull down four receptions for 46 yards while being held out of the end zone. Austin has proven to a very risky start made even less attractive with the aforementioned Steelers next on the schedule.
With the burnable Eagles secondary next on the schedule, Dalton should produce mid QB1 numbers. Furthermore, owners should be made aware of a Week 16 matchup with Pittsburgh forthcoming as Dalton would fall to a high end QB2.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to produce at a high level tearing through the banged and battered Dallas defensive line averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Underutilized, the Law Firm only received 12 carries pulling down 89 rushing yards. Green-Ellis will be a mid/lower RB2 facing the 11th ranked Philly rush defense next week.
Kansas City 7, Cleveland 30
The Chiefs started this game in high speed as Jamaal Charles took the opening handoff for an 80 yard touchdown. Dwayne Bowe then showed up adding 70 quick yards on the team's next possessions. Just when things were looking up it all came crumbling down like a house of cards as Bowe would be forced out of the game with two broken ribs. The Chiefs offense sputtered for the remainder of the game, only crossing the 50-yard line once more.
Josh Gordon has one more plus matchup next week facing the 30th ranked Skins pass defense. Get him in your lineup as a high end WR3. After that it's back to the bench.
Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson has made his presence felt of late becoming a player of intrigue. Although the box score shows three receptions for 43 yards, what we don't see are three red zone targets, one of which Watson hauled in for a touchdown negated by an illegal shift. Oddly enough Trent Richardson then caught the touchdown only to be called for offensive pass interference. Owners struggling at the tight end position could do worse than Watson who offers very low end TE1 appeal.
Tennessee 23, Indianapolis 27
Jake Locker is becoming a conundrum of the highest order. At times he's a world beater with tremendous accuracy and timely decision making as evident by his 213-yard and one touchdown first half. Then he's erratic with the football staring down his wide receivers made clear by his second half performance including 43 yards passing and two interceptions, the first of which resulted in a Colts pick-six. Of course Kenny Britt owners won't complain as the preseason favorite is finally delivering with three straight games over eight fantasy points. With the tough Jets defense next on the schedule, Locker is high QB2 while Britt is a low end WR3.
Jared Cook was in the mix early pulling down all three targets for 20 yards and a touchdown. Just when things were looking up, Cook exited the game with a shoulder injury and headed to the locker for the remainder of the game. Next week's availability is still uncertain.
Recent rookie phenom T.Y. Hilton cooled off as he was only targeted five times reeling in two receptions for 50 yards. Fellow emerging star Donnie Avery was also held in check. Despite being targeted nine times, Avery had a meager three receptions for 31 yards. Avery could have salvaged his day, but missed a clear touchdown that hit him square in the facemask that would have iced the game. A tough go for fantasy owners hoping for big numbers facing playoff elimination. If you squeaked through, both are lower WR3 facing a good Houston team in week 15.
Chicago 14, Minnesota 21
The only player of note from the Bears side of the ball, other than Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, was Alshon Jeffery (three receptions, 57 yards and one touchdown). Missing much of this season with a variety of injuries, Jeffery lacks consistency to warrant consideration.
Adrian Peterson. Enough said.
San Diego 34, Pittsburgh 24
The one player who continues to perform for the Chargers on a weekly basis, even amidst a poor season, is Danario Alexander. In this game DX started slowly but eventually teed off on the Pittsburgh secondary minus Ike Taylor picking up 88 yards and two touchdowns. He remains a rock solid starter the rest of the way.
Jonathan Dwyer appears to have taken the top spot as the Steelers starting rotation facing the anemic Cowboys rush defense next week has him projected as a mid/upper RB2.
Philadelphia 23, Tampa Bay 21
A game that started out at a drunk-snail's-pace suddenly got traction as quarterback Nick Foles ended the day with 381 yards and two touchdowns. Foles also did his best Michael Vick impersonation scoring a third touchdown with his legs. Foles has become the sixth rookie starting quarterback, and like his compatriots has played leaps and bounds better with each start showing improved accuracy, properly reading the blitz, keeping his eyes downfield and making solid decisions with the football. The long term future looks bright although an impending matchup with Cincinnati has Foles as a high end QB2.
With the growth of Foles and the loss of DeSean Jackson for the season, Jason Avant prospered with 12 targets resulting in seven receptions and 133 yards. That brings his two game totals to 11 receptions for 202 yards. We should temper our enthusiasm as the Bucs are dead last against fantasy wide receivers. All told, Avant is moving up the waiver wire to be considered a very low-end WR3, only for the most desperate of fantasy owners.
Blazing onto the scene two weeks ago was Bryce Brown. However, it looks like the rookie met his match as the league's best rush defense locked down the newcomer. Brown should be able to bounce back to upper RB2 against the 19th ranked Bengals rush defense forthcoming (baring an unlikely LeSean McCoy return).
Josh Freeman has an A+ matchup with the Saints next week, the same team he burned for 34 fantasy points in week seven.
The recent production of Dallas Clark has drawn the attention of fantasy owners becoming a recent waiver addition in many leagues. In this game Clark was brought back to earth catching one pass for 19 yards in what should have been a solid matchup. On the upside, he continues to see red zone targets, but inconsistency makes Clark a tough start on a weekly basis.
Baltimore 28, Washington 31
Tight end Dennis Dickson was ruled inactive before the game allowing Dennis Pitta to reassert himself leading the team in targets with six for 46 yards and a touchdown. A roller coaster season, Pitta has been way to inconsistent to trust on a weekly basis
It's worth noting that Kirk Cousins came into the game following Griffin's injury and immediately found Pierre Garcon for a touchdown strike, then ran in a two point conversion to tie up the game. I guess there is a silver lining for Garcon owners.
Atlanta 20, Carolina 30
With the Falcons trailing early Michael Turner was rendered to the backup role for much of the second half only able to pick up seven carries by games' end. But in classic Turner style he managed to salvage his day with a late game touchdown dive. I don't know how he does it every week, but I keep saying it's hard to argue with production. Start Turner at your own risk.
With Brandon LaFell missing in action Louis Murphy started opposite Steve Smith (seven receptions, 109 yards). Murphy was targeted nine times hauling in five passes for 36 yards. Running wide open down the sidelines Murphy's day would have gone to the next level on a definite touchdown had Cam Newton not overthrown him. This one play solidifies the reason no Panthers wide receiver, other than Steve Smith, is worthy of starter consideration.
DeAngelo Williams finally had himself a solid game with 112 yards and a touchdown on 19 touches. Fantasy football managers should be aware that 53 yards and the score came in junk time with the Falcons playing down on the run. D-Will remains a higher RB3 so long as Jonathan Stewart ankle injury lingers.
New York Jets 17, Jacksonville 10
The Rex Ryan signature...