This one had shootout potential from the start and it didn’t disappoint. The Bengals and Falcons traded scores throughout and Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton connected with his top option WR A.J. Green for a touchdown with under ten seconds remaining to get the huge road victory. Dalton ended with 337 yards and three scores, giving him 11 touchdowns on the season. That ties his personal record for the most passing touchdown through the first four games of a season.
The Bengals were once again without RB Joe Mixon though veteran RB Giovani Bernard again proved to be a more than adequate replacement, totaling 96 yards and two touchdowns. WR Tyler Boyd is becoming a weekly force and he led the team with 100 yards on 11 receptions. Green was back after missing the second half of last week’s game and caught four passes for 78 yards and that go-ahead touchdown. TE Tyler Eifert was off to a great start, catching all four of his targets for 38 yards and a touchdown before he went down with a horrific injury. Medical results showed Eifert suffered a fractured ankle, which will require surgery and end his season.
The Falcons had some huge offensive numbers in the passing game though it didn’t prove to be enough. QB Matt Ryan threw for 419 yards, his highest total since Week Four of the 2016 season. He also tossed three touchdowns and no interceptions. WR Julio Jones once again failed to find the end zone but did catch nine passes for 173 yards. Rookie WR Calvin Ridley simply isn’t going away. He scored twice more, making it six times in the past three games, along with his 54 yards. Veteran WR Mohamed Sanu also chipped in 111 yards on six catches. RB Tevin Coleman totaled 77 yards in what could be his last game before starter Devonta Freeman returns.
Tampa Bay- 10
This one was over before it even began. We can expect a big performance for any QB that faces the Buccaneers defense but Bears QB Mitch Trubisky went to the extreme. Trubisky threw five first-half touchdowns as Tampa Bay’s QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was struggling to hang onto the ball. Trubisky added a sixth early in the second half and then cruised to an easy win, finishing with 354 passing yards. He even led the Bears in rushing with 54 yards. His pass-catchers all benefitted as well. RB Tarik Cohen saw his most significant playing time of the season and turned that into 174 total yards on 20 touches. WR Taylor Gabriel (7/104/2), TE Trey Burton (2/86/1) and WR Allen Robinson (2/23/1) all enjoyed season-best games. Strangely, RB Jordan Howard drew just 12 touches for 25 yards, even when his team played nearly the entire game with a multiple score lead. This is something to monitor moving forward.
Fitzpatrick turned back into a pumpkin just in time for October, throwing for 126 yards and an interception before being replaced in the second half by the newly reinstated QB Jameis Winston. Winston didn’t fare much better, throwing two picks in the second half. Rookie RB Ronald Jones was active for the first time all season and led the team in rushing with 29 yards on ten carries. While this is not all that impressive, it is sadly better than the production the team had been getting from RB Peyton Barber. WRs DeSean Jackson (5/112) and Mike Evans (6/59) led the way though TE O.J. Howard was forced to leave the game with a knee injury. He’ll have a Monday MRI to determine the severity.
Dallas QB Dak Prescott played his best game of the season and RB Ezekiel Elliott racked up yardage, leading the Cowboys in rushing (25/152) and receiving (4/88/1) on his way to 240 total yards, claiming the league rushing lead on his own. Prescott finished with 255 yards and two scores and also didn’t throw an interception. Dallas got a game-winning field goal as time expired to surprise the Lions.
Detroit QB Matthew Stafford posted his second 300-yard passing game of the season, throwing for 307 yards and two scores. Rookie RB Kerryon Johnson got off to a hot start with a 32-yard dash on the opening series but the Lions RB usage continues to be frustrating and uneven. Johnson finished with 55 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. Veteran WR Golden Tate went off with eight catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, while WR Kenny Golladay continued his efficient breakout season, catching all four targets for 74 yards.
Green Bay- 22
The Packers defense shut a team out for the first time in eight years and QB Aaron Rodgers did just enough for his team to cruise to an easy win. There would be no shocking upset this week. A week after playing like a savvy veteran, rookie QB Josh Allen flopped, turning the ball over three times to the Packers average defense. Allen finished with 151 scoreless yards and added 19 rushing yards. The Bills had RB LeSean McCoy (ribs) back on the field but no one really noticed. McCoy totaled 37 yards on eight touches. An early deficit killed any hope of getting the running game fired up. TE Charles Clay led the Bills in receiving with 40 yards on four receptions. WR Kelvin Benjamin suffered an apparent concussion and was forced from the game, catching one pass for 34 yards before departing.
For the second consecutive game, RB Aaron Jones led the Packers in rushing, gaining 65 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. RB Jamaal Williams also rushed 11 times, gaining 27 yards. It is clear which player is the better back, though Williams blocking skills will keep him in the lineup. Rodgers threw for 298 yards and a touchdown, finding TE Jimmy Graham for his first score as a Packer. With WR Randall Cobb (hamstring) out, underrated WR Geronimo Allison played a larger role, drawing a career-high 11 targets, good for six catches and 80 yards before he left the game with a head injury. WR Davante Adams predictably led the team with an 8/81 line on 14 opportunities.
The Houston Texans earned their first win of the season, ending their nine-game winning streak but it did not come easy. The Texans built an 18-point second-half lead before allowing the Colts to sneak back into the game. Even when the game went to overtime, the two sides traded field goals and it appeared that the game would end in the league’s third tie of the season. Instead, the Colts went for it on fourth down in their own territory, failed and put the Texans in position to win the game, which they did with a field goal.
QB Deshaun Watson threw for 375 yards and two touchdowns while his top WR DeAndre Hopkins posted a 10/169/1 line. WR Will Fuller extended his touchdown streak with Watson in the first half but left the game with an ankle injury, ending with four receptions for 49 yards and a score. His absence opened the door for rookie WR Keke Coutee, who drew a team-high 15 targets, catching 11 for 109 yards.
A week after dealing with questions about his arm strength, Colts QB Andrew Luck set a new career-high with 464 passing yards and a franchise record 62 pass attempts. Luck’s four touchdowns went to WR Zach Pascal, TE Eric Ebron and a pair to RB Nyheim Hines. WR T.Y. Hilton left the game twice with two unique injuries and did not return following the second. He finished with 115 yards on four receptions. Four players (Hilton, Ebron, Hines and Pascal_ all drew double-digit targets from Luck. With RB Marlon Mack out, the Colts had no running game at all, though that likely wouldn’t have been any different with Mack.
NY Jets- 12
As usual, the Jaguars were led by their imposing defense, which shut out the Jets and rookie QB Sam Darnold for much of the game. The Jacksonville offense led 16-0 at halftime and the game was never in question after that. “Good” Blake Bortles showed up today as he threw for 388 yards and two scores. WR Dede Westbrook was the favorite target, soaking up 13 targets, catching nine balls for 130 yards. WR Donte Moncrief was the focus of the offense early in the game, catching all five of his targets for 109 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown. The Jaguars had starting RB Leonard Fournette back after missing two games but that didn’t last long. Fournette’s bad hamstring tightened up and he missed the remainder of the game after totaling 35 yards on 12 touches. He was once again replaced by RB T.J. Yeldon, who hit the 100-yard mark and scored twice. As Evan Silva projected in his Matchups column, the Jets defense shut down WR Keelan Cole, who caught just two passes for 15 yards.
The Jets offense was basically non-existent for the majority of the game. Darnold totaled 167 yards and hit TE Jordan Leggett for the second-half score, the Jets only one of the game. WR Quincy Enunwa continued to serve as Darnold’s favorite option, targeted eight times and catching four for 66 yards. The Jets running game was a non-factor but they can at least use the early deficit as an excuse.
New England- 38
This might sound crazy but some considered this to be a must-win for the Patriots, losers of two straight games and facing the undefeated division-leading Dolphins. This game went just like you thought it might. New England dominated from the start and nearly shut out the Dolphins offense. QB Tom Brady threw for 274 yards and three scores, but also tossed a pair of interceptions. The New England running game carried the day as rookie RB Sony Michel rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown and RB James White totaled 112 yards and scored twice. Brady connected with unlikely targets Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett on touchdowns, while TE Rob Gronkowski (4/44), WR Josh Gordon (2/32) and WR Chris Hogan (1/25) all performed below expectation.
Miami game-manager QB Ryan Tannehill threw for only 100 yards before being yanked and mercifully replaced by backup QB Brock Osweiler. Once again, game script killed the running game as RB Kenyan Drake rushed three times for three yards. WR Kenny Stills led the team in receiving though that took just 40 yards on three receptions.
The Titans have no real running game, a quarterback who can’t properly grip the ball, they just cut their top receiver from the previous two seasons and their top tight end was already lost for the year. They just keep winning. The Titans came back from a two-score deficit in the second half to force overtime and then converted multiple fourth-down attempts on the final drive before QB Marcus Mariota found WR Corey Davis for the game-winning touchdown. Mariota looked close to back to normal, throwing for 344 yards and a pair of scores, while also leading the Titans in rushing with 46 yards and another touchdown. Davis enjoyed a breakout day, including nine catches on 15 targets, good for 161 yards and the TD. With WR Rishard Matthews gone, WR Taywan Taylor took advantage of increased playing time, catching seven balls for 77 yards. While RB Dion Lewis was a non-factor on the ground, he did catch all nine targets thrown his way for 66 yards.
A week after getting QB Carson Wentz back, the Eagles welcomed WR Alshon Jeffery back to the field and he wasted no time in making an impact. Jeffery caught eight passes for 105 yards and a score. With Jeffery back, WR Nelson Agholor could be the hardest hit. He still saw 12 targets but caught only five for 22 yards. TE Zach Ertz continued his role as Wentz’s favorite, catching 10 passes for 112 yards.
Rookie QB Josh Rosen earned his first career start in this matchup of former NFC West powers and the Seahawks got a 52-yard field goal from K Sebastian Janikowski as time expired to get the win. Rosen started out a bit shaky, which is to be expected but finished with a respectable line of 180 passing yards and one touchdown. The team did what we all hoped they would do in getting RB David Johnson more involved but he still doesn’t seem to be matching his potential. Johnson finished with 112 total yards and a touchdown, finishing as the team’s second-leading receiver. Although he was hobbled, WR Larry Fitzgerald was in action, finishing with three catches for just 28 yards on a team-high seven targets. There was hope Rosen would favor his fellow rookie, WR Christian Kirk, and that played out. Kirk was second on the team with five targets, catching four for only 28 yards.
This was another odd game for the Seahawks. The good news is they got back top WR Doug Baldwin, who saw a team-high seven looks, catching five for 41 yards. WR Tyler Lockett, who served as the top option when Baldwin was out, led the team with a 5/53 line. The bad news is rookie TE Will Dissly suffered a first-half injury which is being reported as a torn patella, which would end the promising rookie’s season. Also, later in the game, S Earl Thomas, who has been sitting out of some practices in an effort to stay healthy, suffered a break in his lower leg. That will end his season and likely his Seattle career. Thomas, who has been the subject of trade talks and publicly campaigned to be dealt to the Cowboys, had a one finger salute towards the Seahawks sideline as he was carted off.
The Seahawks were also without RB Chris Carson, who set career highs for carries and yardage a week ago. While the assumption was rookie RB Rashaad Penny would see a heavy workload, it was veteran RB Mike Davis who handled 25 touches for 124 total yards and two touchdowns. Penny carried nine times for 49 yards and can be dropped in seasonal leagues.
It felt like the Browns had this game won on several different occasions but the Raiders never gave up and got a field goal late in the overtime period to get this first win of the season and HC Jon Gruden’s first win since his return to the NFL. Raiders QB Derek Carr looked horrific at times in this game though his stat line likely made fantasy players happy. Carr finished with 437 yards and four touchdowns, along with a pair of interceptions. The running game was strong as well, led by RB Marshawn Lynch, who went Beast Mode a few times, including one time the officials blew the whistle too early, killing a potential big gainer for Lynch. He overcame that and finished with 157 total yards. Carr focused on his two top playmakers and both stepped up. TE Jared Cook (8/110/2) and WR Amari Cooper (8/128/1) each scored their first touchdown of the season.
Even in a tough loss, there are many signs of hope for the Browns as their rookies led the way. QB Baker Mayfield got his first career start, throwing for 295 yards and two touchdowns, while rookie RB Nick Chubb ignited the Browns offense on multiple occasions. While he only had three carries in the game, Chubb scored twice and broke the 100-yard mark for the first time in his young career. His performance overshadowed a solid game for veteran RB Carlos Hyde, who rushed 18 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. WRs Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway once again served as the top targets for the Browns, but both disappointed based on opportunity. Landry caught four of his team0high ten targets for 34 yards and a touchdown, while Callaway hauled in three of nine looks for 54 yards. His big catch late in the game set up Hyde’s touchdown run but he also had many errors, including drops and negative yardage, along with a near fumble. Finally, there are signs of life in TE David Njoku with Mayfield behind center. The second-year TE caught five balls for 52 yards.
LA Chargers- 29
San Francisco- 27
This game began surprisingly well for the 49ers, playing on the road without QB Jimmy Garoppolo for the first game after he tore his ACL a week ago. New starter C.J. Beathard got an early lead thanks to his defense and then added to it but the Chargers mounted a quick comeback and the game was knotted at halftime. The teams exchanged second-half scores, including an 82-yard touchdown from Beathard to TE George Kittle but the Chargers had the final word with a late kick from struggling K Caleb Sturgis.
Beathard finished with 298 passing yards, two touchdowns and a pair of picks, a respectable start considering the low expectations of fans and fantasy players. The 49ers running game struggled today, but RB Matt Breida did total 71 yards. Kittle led the way in receiving thanks to his monster touchdown. He finished with six receptions for 125 yards and that touchdown. The 49ers lost rookie WR Dante Pettis and OL Joe Staley to knee injuries and both face further testing to determine the severity. Fortunately, neither injury is expected to be a long-term issue.
As usual, the Chargers were led by RB Melvin Gordon, who had his first 100-yard rushing game since Week Eight of last year. Of course, Gordon has been doing his damage as a receiver as well as on the ground and he had seven receptions for 55 yards and a score in this one. WR Keenan Allen was blanketed for much of the game but did end with a very respectable 7/63 line. After a pair of promising games, WR Mike Williams was quiet, catching just one pass for 15 yards.
New Orleans- 33
NY Giants- 18
A close game in the first half, the Saints broke this one open in the second-half as RB Alvin Kamara put the team on his back, rushing for three touchdowns. Kamara’s 134 rushing yards is a new career-high. He had 141 rushing yards in the first three games combined. Kamara’s rushing performance masked a disappointing statistical game for QB Drew Brees, who threw for just 217 yards and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since Week Ten of last season. As you might expect, his pass-catchers also failed to post the big numbers we’ve become accustomed to. WR Michael Thomas caught all four of his targets for 47 yards. Despite his season-low number of receptions, he’s still on pace to break the single-season reception record held by former Colts WR Marvin Harrison.
This was pegged as a prime blowup spot for Giants veteran QB Eli Manning but the Saints secondary played their best game of the year, limiting the Giants offense to one short passing score and a second-half rushing touchdown. Manning finished with 255 passing yards and the touchdown to WR Sterling Shepard, who caught all ten of his targets for 77 yards. WR Odell Beckham padded his starts in the Giants second-half comeback and finished with seven receptions for 60 yards. RB Saquon Barkley continued his trend of struggling to find running room but making up for it with his role as a receiver. He totaled 100 yards and a touchdown.
The Steelers hosted the Ravens in an AFC North divisional game and WR Antonio Brown showed signs that he was “back” after a slow start to his season. Granted, the slow start still resulted in him being among the league leaders in targets and fantasy scoring. Brown drew a team-high 11 targets, catching five balls for 62 yards and a score. WR Juju Smith-Schuster disappointed with just four grabs for 60 yards and dual-threat RB James Conner totaled 44 yards on only 11 targets as the Ravens dominated throughout the game. There continues to be no sign of holdout RB Le’Veon Bell.
The Ravens offense got going early with a scoring pass to WR John Brown and a run from RB Alex Collins. Brown finished with 116 yards on three catches while Collins totaled 45 yards. He later lost a fumble in the red zone, which likely impacted his playing time. QB Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns in the huge road victory.
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