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Monday Night Football Recap
This was a very fun game to watch, despite the low scores. The blustery conditions (gusts were up to over 40 mph) had a noticeable impact on both offenses. The Patriots won 14-10, running the football down the throat of the Bills. Mac Jones completed two of his three pass attempts for 19 yards. Damien Harris opened the scoring for the Patriots, breaking off a long 64-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, Harris suffered a hamstring strain and was ruled out shortly after his tenth carry. His final rushing statline of 10-111-1 could’ve been a lot higher had he not gotten hurt. In Harris’ absence, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson continues to show why this backfield has devolved into an RBBC. Stevenson carried the football 24 times for 78 yards and it’s unfortunate that he didn’t score last night. Given the windy conditions, we saw players such as Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, and Jonnu Smith register a rushing attempt apiece. Neither player did very much, but it was still fun to see.
For the Bills, Josh Allen did all he could but failed to overcome the elements. Allen completed 15 of his 30 attempts for 145 yards and a score. Gabriel Davis (2-30-1 on four targets) was the touchdown scorer. Stefon Diggs was targeted seven times and posted 4-51-0, a miraculous effort considering that the conditions weren’t ripe for the aerial attack. Emmanuel Sanders (3-22-0 on six targets), Dawson Knox (2-14-0 on six targets), and Cole Beasley (1-11-0 on three targets) are more to blame than Allen yesterday. It does appear that both Beasley and Sanders are sliding down the pecking order behind Knox and Davis, but I wouldn’t drop either player just yet. The Bills’ rushing backfield remains quite muddled. Matt Breida found himself in the doghouse early on after muffing a handoff in the first half and didn’t see the field much after the mistake. Devin Singletary posted a 10-36-0 rushing line and was not targeted in the receiving game. Singletary is not a viable starting option, considering his floor is the basement. Zack Moss returned to action last night and continues to be the running back the team targets in the passing game. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much. Moss turned his 10 touches into 33 yards from scrimmage. None of the Bills running backs are FLEX-worthy options.
The Lions Finally Win One
The Lions ended a 15-game losing streak that lasted for 364 days on Sunday. Jared Goff completed 25 of 41 pass attempts for 296 yards and three scores. Rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown came up big for the team down the stretch. He converted 12 of his targets into a 10-86-1 receiving line and appears to be emerging as a favored target for Goff. Try to snag St. Brown on waivers as he could be a high-upside FLEX option down the stretch. Josh Reynolds has looked at home since joining the team and posted another solid outing. Reynolds caught four of his seven targets for a nice 69 yards. TJ Hockenson continues to draw targets but has been fairly inefficient with his workload. Hockenson turned his eight targets into a paltry 4-49-1 receiving line, a decent fantasy outing. I expect that Hockenson is in line for a massive explosion sometime soon. The team was without the services of D’Andre Swift for this game and head coach Dan Campbell treated Jamaal Williams as the team’s workhorse running back. Williams converted his 17 rushing attempts into 71 yards and tacked on nine receiving yards (one target). Jermar Jefferson saw limited run, posting a 5-18-0 rushing line. I’d roster Jefferson if he’s available because I expect he sees the majority of the workload if Williams misses time.
On the other hand, the Vikings can’t get out of their own way. The team lost an important winnable game against the Lions and in the process also lost the services of Adam Thielen. Thielen suffered a high-ankle sprain early in the first quarter and will probably miss the game this Thursday against the Steelers. It’s quite possible that Thielen lands on injured reserve and misses the Vikings’ Week 15 (Bears) and Week 16 (Rams) matchups as well. In his absence, I’d expect that TE Tyler Conklin (7-56-0 on nine targets) and WR KJ Osborn (4-47-1 on seven targets) will see more targets. If you’re in need at either position, both Conklin and Osborn make for fine dart throws at either position. WR Justin Jefferson (11-182-1 on 14 targets) might see a small uptick in his target volume, but it’s tough to pencil him in for approximately 20+ targets per game. I do think it’s fair to forecast that Jefferson maintains a double-digit target floor in Thielen’s absence.
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Minshew Mania Runs Wild In The Meadowlands
It may have only been for one week, but it was fun watching Gardner Minshew play football well again on Sunday. Minshew completed 20 of his 25 attempts for 242 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles pulled away from the Jets in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead, which flipped their pass-heavy script in the second half. Minshew did well distributing the ball on Sunday, Dallas Goedert saw a team-high six targets which he converted into a 6-105-2 receiving line. Interestingly, both Eagles running backs did very well in this game. Mile Sanders led the way with a 24-120-0 rushing line and caught all three of his targets for 22 yards. Despite touching the ball 27 times, Sanders did not score any touchdowns. Provided he continues to see this kind of volume once the team returns from its Week 14 bye, I suspect that he will be scoring in bunches. RB Kenneth Gainwell got the nod ahead of Boston Scott this week and he did not disappoint. Gainwell posted 87 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches and scored a touchdown. Gainwell is sadly a “better in best ball” play this year, given his shaky usage all season.
Since returning from injury, Zach Wilson is playing a little better. He completed 23 of his 28 pass attempts on Sunday for 226 yards, two scores and an interception. Wilson did well in the early portion of the game, carving up the Eagles’ defense via multiple short passes. Once the Jets were behind by two scores, Wilson faltered. Ultimately, I think you’d have to be slightly optimistic about Wilson’s outlook if you’re a Jets fan. Elijah Moore remains to be the lone startable fantasy player on the Jets. Moore caught six of his 12 targets for 77 yards and a score. Jamison Crowder (4-62-0 on six targets) is a low upside FLEX option at best these days and might not be on the team next season. Tevin Coleman posted low-end RB2 numbers. Coleman touched the football 14 times for 77 yards from scrimmage. Although his rushing output was poor, I’m more interested in his role as a receiver. Coleman caught all three of his targets for 19 yards. If you play in a PPR league and are desperate for running back help, Coleman might still be available.
Javonte Williams Szn Is Finally Here
On Sunday Night Football the Kansas City Chiefs thrashed the Denver Broncos 22-9. It may not look like it from the box score, but this game felt like it was over in the first quarter. Teddy Bridgewater’s passing statline of 22-257-1-2 on 40 attempts doesn’t tell the full story. Bridgewater looked terrible in the early going, missing both Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton on easy plays. Bridgewater looked most comfortable checking down to the running backs on Sunday night. Which brings me to my second point: Javonte Williams season is here and we are better for it. With Melvin Gordon inactive, we were treated to what the explosive rookie running back brings to the table. Williams turned 23 of his rushing attempts into 102 yards and caught six of his nine targets for 76 yards and a score. I’ll be interested to see if the Broncos decide to give Williams the every-down role in this offense because he is a potential league winner.