Around the NFL News and Notes by Josh Sperry of Fantistics Fantasy Football
Spencer Ware came into Sunday with a fantastic matchup against the Saints but the day went south early for him as he left the game with a concussion. He will be reevaluated this week and if he’s unable to go next week Charcandrick West got all of the touches after Ware left the game, so he’s the guy you want to add…. Alex Smith was another Chief who suffered a concussion after taking a big hit in the game, and then came back in to receive another big hit before finally leaving the game for good. Nick Foles was the QB who relieved him and he played really well against a bad Colts defense throwing for 223 yards and 2 TDs… Bad news continues forJamaal Charles, he’s headed to see Dr. James Andrews as he still is having issues with his knee recovery from last season. He might be worth hanging onto if it’s a deep league but there’s a pretty solid chance that we don’t see any major production from Charles this season…. Sean Smith left Sunday’s game against the Bucs with a shoulder injury and this is huge for the Raiders’ defense. Smith has been particularly good this season, but he’s still the best DB on the Raiders and that means an extremely vulnerable defense is going to get ripped apart even more…. The NFL leader in sacks Lorenzo Alexander left Sunday’s game against the Pats with a hamstring injury and wasn’t able to return to the game. The Bills defense obviously wasn’t going to be used last week anyways, but they’ve been a solid unit for fantasy purposes this year…. Jalen Strong is set to undergo an MRI on his ankle his injured this week against the Lions. Strong had caught five balls in each of the last two games before Detroit, but in true Texans fashion he didn’t get over 40 yards in either game…. Will Fuller may be sidelined again after suffering a leg injury in the team’s win over the Lions. This is a different injury than his hamstring injury that previously sidelined him earlier this season, which I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing…. Tyrann Mathieu left Sunday’s game against the Panthers with a shoulder injury and wasn’t able to return. The Cardinals are on a bye this week so he’ll have to weeks to rest up and get healthy…. Jacquizz Rodgers suffered a foot injury late in the game and did not return and the Bucs could be in a heap of trouble with this week being a short week before the Falcons come into town. Peyton Barber and Antone Smith are the next backs in line for Tampa but the Falcons have the 11th best rushing defense in the league. Just avoid this backfield this week if Quizz is out….. Jacob Tamme got injured in the game against the Packers and we saw Austin Hoopersnag five passes for 41 yards. Hooper is the TE of the future for Atlanta so depending on how long Tamme is out of we could see Hooper become a lower end fantasy TE….. The Cardinals offense had a great on paper matchup against Carolina and the guy we all expected had a 2 TD performance while leading the team in targets. Wait, no it wasn’t. JJ Nelson had a huge game for the Cardinals while the rest of the offense was held in relative check…. David Johnson’s fantasy floor continues to be above anyone else’s as he was shut down on the ground but hauled in seven passes for 84 yards giving him a double digit fantasy performance. He was third on the team in targets and he’ll be back to his usually self after the week 9 bye week for Arizona…. After only playing on third down and in the redzone last week, the Bengals let Tyler Eifert loose this week and he responded with nine catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. He’s a top five TE in fantasy and he’s a must start as long as he’s healthy…. Every week it seems that Terrelle Pryor gets a little bit better at WR and he posted a 6/101/0 line against the Jets on 13 targets. Pryor was the only receiver with 10+ targets and out of the top four targets leaders for the Browns last week Andrew Hawkins was the only other receiver in that group, but Hawkins did snag two touchdowns…. In his return from injury Theo Riddick dominated the touches in the Detroit Lions backfield getting 133 total yards and catching a 1 yard touchdown. Riddick when he’s in there is a huge asset in leagues, especially PPR as he led the team in targets with 11….. Second on the Lions this week in targets was Eric Ebron who caught 7 of 10 targets for 79 yards. The 79 yards was his highest total of the season as he’s gotten consistent usage but hasn’t found the endzone since week one against Indy…. Donte Moncrief found the endzone in his first game back from injury and led the team in targets. Moncrief and Andrew Luck clearly have a chemistry together and as long as he’s healthy and active he’s worth a play in fantasy, because the Colts defense will always keep the Colts playing from behind….. Oh Allen Robinson how frustrating this season has been. Once again he dominated in targets but all three touchdowns went elsewhere and one went to a person named Bryan Walters. Robinson at least did have solid yardage in the game but the touchdown drought is getting a bit tiresome as a Robinson owner myself….. Julius Thomas now has four solid fantasy performances with two absolute duds sandwiched in the middle. The only reason the last two games have been any good either is because he managed to find the endzone in each….. Allen Hurns was the big winner for Jacksonville in the game with 98 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Tennessee. He has 11 targets in two of his last three games and he’s been over the 10 target mark three times this year so there is some volume chances for him, but Blake Bortles’ struggles has been holding them back….. Travis Kelce had a monster game for Kansas City snagging 7 of 10 targets for 101 yards and a score. This is the game we needed to see from Kelce as he hadn’t gotten over 32 in any of the last three weeks and he only had three targets in each of the last two games…. Tyreek Hill continues to produce despite his overall limited use in the offense. He had five catches on six targets this week for 98 yards and his fourth touchdown of the season. Hill has turned into the big play receiver for the team and also works as the kick/punt returner for the team so if you are in a league that rewards those yardages for individual players, Hill might be the kind of add you need to make…. Julian Edelman topped the Pats in targets with eight but he only caught four of them for 37 yards and a touchdown . It’s been an extremely disappointing season for Edelman as this was the first touchdown of the year for him and his high for receiving yards in a game came with Jimmy G at the helm in week two. His best game with Brady was 60 yards against the Steelers but even then it took him 9 receptions to get that many yards….. Michael Thomas continues to make huge strides for the Saints catching all six of his targets for 63 yards but was held out of the endzone this week….. Brandin Cooks continued his assault on the endzone with his fifth touchdown of the season. He has a score in three straight games and it’s good to see his role hasn’t diminished quite so much with Michael Thomas playing better, but rather Willie Sneed’s production has seen a dip…. Quincy Enuwa now has touchdown catches in back to back games and this week he had his top receiving yardage game with 93 yards. He’s becoming a bigger threat to the offense with Eric Decker missing the entire season and maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick turned a bit of a corner with him playing well this past week….. Not much can stop Jordan Reed. Concussions. Travelling to London. Nothing. Basically outside of Gronk he’s the easiest plug and play at TE if he’s healthy. Reed tied for the team lead in targets and catches with 13 and 9 respectively, and was second on the team in yards with 99. Oh, and he scored a touchdown too. He’s really good…. Even with Jordan Reed returning to the lineup and being effective, Vernon Davis still had a huge game for Washington catching five of five targets for 93 yards….. Jamison Crowder has been hot lately and he continued that against a good Bengals secondary in London. He caught nine balls for 107 and a touchdown giving him 100 yards in each of his last three games and he has a touchdown in two of his past three….. Andre Johnson announced his retirement from football Monday, as he hadn’t had a catch since week five for the Titans and didn’t do much before that. He likely will take his career to Canton at some point…. Johnathan Stewart had a big game against the Cardinals with 95 yards on the ground, 25 through the air, and two scores in the Panthers’ win. He got a lot more goaline reps this week that Cam Newton usually takes, with Stewart getting ten carries inside the 10 yard line which is where both of his TDs came from….. Duke Johnson got a huge boost with Josh McCown back under center getting almost as many touches as Isaiah Crowell but he outproduced him be over 50 yards. Crowell still got the touchdown and outcarried Johnson but 7 totes, but Johnson caught six passes for 87 yards which is what he does when McCown is under center….. Jeremy Hill is continuing his bounceback season with another solid performance rushing for 76 yards and a score while Gio Bernard also added a rushing touchdown for the second straight game…. Derek Carr took advantage of playing almost five full quarters of football and eclipsing 500 yards on the game. Carr is really coming into his own this season and there are tons of weapons in Oakland to make Carr look really really good…. Mark Ingramfumbled and then Tim Hightower proceeded to get more work than Ingram has in any game this season with 26 carries. He did well with them getting 102 yards on the ground. It’s tough to know exactly what New Orleans is going to do on the ground and the rate at which they have to play from behind makes it tough for any real running back fantasy greatness…. CJ Prosise had probably his best game as a pro with 103 total yards with 23 on the ground along with four catches for 80 yards. A huge chunk of those yards came on a WR pass to him out of the backfield and after he was tackled inside the 10, the team brought in Christine Michael to get the touchdown…. In surprise news all-pro LB Jamie Collins was dealt from the Patriots to Cleveland for a third round pick. Collins is one of the best linebackers in football and he especially excels in coverage so on paper it looks like Cleveland should get a nice boost to their D/ST and it’ll be interesting to see how this effects the Patriots…. Demarco Murray still outcarried Derrick Henry but when Murray left the game with a foot injury we saw Henry get a ton of looks. Henry had his best game as a pro gaining 97 yards and we saw him get work out of the backfield with four catches and 37 yards…. Rob Kelly had a big game with Matt Jones inactive averaging 4.1 YPC totaling 87 yards on the ground. He got a score as well. He might be the best back in the Washington backfield with Matt Jones being generally ineffective plus having fumble issues….. Ben Roethlisberger had two reports come out Sunday with one saying he’s expected to suit up against the and the other saying that he’s still a few weeks away from from returning. We’ll just have to monitor this situation closely and my guess is we don’t find out anything until Friday at the earliest..