In Week Six, when Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi rushed for 204 yards against the Steelers, it was viewed as a career game and, to be honest, kind of a fluke. After all, Ajayi gained more yards in that one game that he had rushed for in the first five games of the season. Well, it can no longer be considered a fluke, or even a career game. Sunday, against the solid Bills defense, Ajayi did it again, rushing for 214 yards on 28 carries. He becomes just the fourth player all-time to rush for 200 or more yards in back-to-back games, joining OJ Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.
If you’ll recall, the story of last week, prior to the game, was the return of veteran Arian Foster. Considering the struggles of the Dolphins running game while he was out, the team was obviously looking forward to his return. Instead, we witnessed the break out of Ajayi while Foster hardly touched the ball. It was the same story this week as Foster had three carries for five yards. He will be more involved going forward, but as we learned from Dolphins beat writer James Walker this past week, the team now views Ajayi as their unquestioned number one back.
With Ajayi locked in as the Dolphins starter, the question becomes is he now an automatic weekly start for fantasy teams? After a bye next week, the Dolphins face off against the Jets, Chargers and Rams over the next month. Considering the amount of volume Ajayi is seeing, he has to be locked into lineups on a weekly basis.
In Other News
After a disappointing rookie season from Chargers RB Melvin Gordon, which included the former Wisconsin Badger failing to score a single touchdown the entire season, San Diego was expecting a different player this year. After the early season injury to RB Danny Woodhead, Gordon was forced into a larger role and he has stepped up his game. Sunday, against the Falcons, Gordon scored three touchdowns, giving him ten on the season, which leads the league. Gordon has been a great find for those late round RB drafters who snagged him in the middle rounds of drafts.
All week leading up to the Week Seven contests, there was talk about the home/road splits for QB Drew Brees and the Saints offense in general. Considering they were facing the Chiefs in Kansas City, this seemed like enough of a reason to avoid Brees, WR Brandin Cooks and the rest of the key offensive players if given a choice. While those stats showing how much better the team plays at home in the Superdome are legitimate, they led fantasy owners astray this week as the Saints were playing catchup nearly all game. That resulted in Brees throwing for 367 yards and three scores, Cooks catching seven passes for 58 yards and a touchdown and RB Mark Ingram totaling 82 yards and a touchdown. Rookie WR Michael Thomas led the Saints with 10 grabs for 130 yards and Willie Snead chipped in with a 9/87 line.
The pre-game in Week Seven was a painful one as fantasy owners were glued to the television big game and internet in search of the latest reports concerning a trio of injured players whose status was in doubt. Ultimately, all three players were active for their game, but that is not always a good thing. Bills RB LeSean McCoy had actually been ruled out according to mid-week reports, but ended up being active for the game. Shady played the role of lead back for Buffalo until he was forced from the game after aggravating the injury that put him in doubt in the first place. He finished with eight carries for 11 yards and will now be iffy for next week. The Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles was also active, but earned only one carry and failed to gain any yardage in the game. Browns WR Terrelle Pryor was another player dealing with a hamstring injury and he managed just two receptions for 18 yards on the day. He clearly was bothered by the injury considering he was not nearly as involved as he has been in recent weeks.
A week after a career-best game, Rams QB Case Keenum cost his team the game with four interceptions, though HC Jeff Fisher insisted the team would stick with Keenum rather than give rookie QB Jared Goff a shot…Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson continued his strong play of late, leading the team with seven receptions for 67 yards and a TD…Colts QB Andrew Luck played one of his best games this year, throwing for 353 yards and three scores and no picks…The New York Jets moved to QB Geno Smith as their starter, but he didn’t last long after hurting his knee. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick returned to lead the team to a win. HC Todd Bowles refused to name a starter going forward…The Browns also lost their starting QB Cody Kessler after he suffered a concussion. Rookie Kevin Hogan entered and put up big rushing numbers, leading the team with 104 yards and a score…WR Kenny Stills showed up again, leading the Dolphins with five catches for 100 yards and a long touchdown…Redskins RB Matt Jones struggled, rushing for only 27 yards on ten carries and then losing a fumble. Jones was rarely seen after that as Chris Thompson and rookie Rob Kelley carried the load…RB Latavius Murray returned to the lineup and helped his team, scoring a pair of touchdowns. He also easily led the backfield in touches, ahead of rookies DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard…The Bucs are still leaning on surprising RB Jacquizz Rodgers and he’s delivering, rushing for 154 yards on 26 carries…Pats TE Rob Gronkowski had another big game as New England cruised. Gronk caught all four of his targets for 93 yards and a TD, while his QB Tom Brady had a somewhat quiet day by his standards, throwing for 222 yards and two scores…After going over 200 yards last week, WR Odell Beckham came back to earth this week, catching just five balls for 49 yards in the big game in London…It should not be a surprise, but the Eagles offense was all but shut down by the Vikings defense…WR T.Y. Hilton continues to be one of the top performing and most underrated WRs in the game. He caught seven of his 12 targets for 133 yards and a score in the Indy win over Tennessee…QB Joe Flacco continues to struggle. He failed to throw a touchdown Sunday, but did throw a pair of interceptions. Flacco simply can’t be trusted outside of a creampuff matchup, as he had a month ago against the Raiders…Bengals RB Jeremy Hill had his best game of the year, rushing for 168 yards on just nine carries. Hill broke a 40 yarder in the first half and then a 74-yard touchdown run later in the game…With TE Jordan Reed out of action, both WR Jamison Crowder (7/108) and TE Vernon Davis (6/79) had big days. Reed is expected to be out next week as well, so both players can again be used in fantasy lineups…The Jaguars backfield is a situation to avoid. Chris Ivory had five carries for 48 yards and T.J. Yeldon managed a measly 24 yards on six carries. These two are barely worth roster spots…With Jamaal Charles still not 100%, RB Spencer Ware had another big game, totaling 131 yards and a touchdown against the weak Saints defense…Both Falcons backs were again productive for FF owners. RB Devonta Freeman hit 100 total yards on the dot and Tevin Coleman managed 74 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with a hamstring injury…QB Colin Kaepernick didn’t put up big numbers through the air, throwing for just 143 yards and a score, but he had a productive fantasy day thanks for a team-high 84 yards. The 49ers QBs continues to lead the league in rushing at their position and Kap can be a weekly QB streamer thanks to his rushing ability…With Ben Roethlisberger out for the game, backup Landry Jones kept the team in the game, throwing for 281 yards and a touchdown, along with one interception. No surprise, his top target was WR Antonio Brown, who saw 11 targets, hauling in seven for 106 yards…WR Brian Quick had another nice day for the Rams, catching four passes for 92 yards…RB Jerick McKinnon continues to be just an average runner for the Vikings. He rushed 11 times for 43 yards in the Minnesota loss. He’s finished inside the top 36 RBs just once this season…TE Jack Doyle is a weekly TE1 option with Dwayne Allen out of action. Doyle finished with nine catches, 78 yards and a touchdown…RB Terrance West and his hot streak are gone. He rushed for just ten yards against the Jets…Stud WR A.J. Green reminded us all how good he is as the first half ended and he pulled in a Hail Mary pass from QB Andy Dalton. Green finished with 8 receptions for 169 yards. His teammate Brandon LaFell also continues to produce, posting a 4/83/1 line on the day…WR Allen Robinson couldn’t improve on his season best performance of 72 yards on Sunday, catching just two of his team high eight targets. He has to be considered a matchup play in this anemic offense…Another struggling WR is the Chiefs Jeremy Maclin, who had four receptions for 40 yards on the day. Maclin has just one top 30 performance on the year…The Chargers and Falcons had a pair of WRs battling it out on Sunday. For Atlanta, Julio Jones was again the star, posting a 9/174 line, while the for Chargers, breakout WR Tyrell Williams caught seven passes for 140 yards…With RB Carlos Hyde out, Mike Davis got the start and scored an early TD, but did little after that, managing just 21 yards on seven carries…RB Le’Veon Bell had another standout game, totaling 149 yards, but failing to find the end zone…QB Marcus Mariota didn’t quite match his numbers from the previous two games, but did throw for 232 yards and two scores. He had just two carries for 14 yards and after rushing seven times in the past two games…Even with the previously mentioned struggles of QB Joe Flacco, WR Mike Wallace continues to put up nice numbers. Sunday, he had 10 catches for 120 yards…TE Tyler Eifert made his debut in limited action, making one catch for nine yards…The young Tampa Bay duo of QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans continue to establish themselves as fantasy stars. Winston threw for 269 yards and three score, along with one interception, while his star WR, Evans, caught eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns…Titans RB DeMarco Murray continues to pace Tennessee, totaling 127 yards and a score in the loss to Indianapolis…RB Matt Forte had been in a slump since the first two weeks of the season, but broke out of that in a big way Sunday, totaling 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Backup RB Bilal Powell was hardly used. Forte is back and can again be used in weekly lineups…In a game almost completely devoid of offense, Cardinals RB David Johnson found a way to get his, totaling over 170 yards in the 6-6 tie on Sunday Night Football…
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