This week was a blast from the past. For the first time this season, we saw the top players play like the top players. Even Chris Johnson showed up this week! Yes, this seems like the week the NFL returned to somewhat-normal. This is great news for us because there is no better news for fantasy than predictability.
Ravens versus Browns 23-16
Notable Performers BAL:
Anquan Boldin- The 13-FP game out of Anquan is his largest since week eight of last season when he scored 14. For that reason, I am hesitant to endorse him going forward, especially since Torrey Smith has emerged as Joe Flacco’s favorite target.
Dennis Pitta- A goose-egg for Pitta was a big surprise considering he had caught at least five passes in four straight games dating back to last year. I don’t think this hurts his value; this is a good opportunity to grab him. He is available in 30 percent of leagues.
Notable Performer CLE:
Trent Richardson- We knew he was good, but we had no idea he would catch passes at such a high rate. In college, Trent averaged just 1.8 receptions per game and never caught more than five passes in a game.
Bills versus Patriots 52-28
Notable Performers BUF:
C.J. Spiller- He reinjured his shoulder and left the game but he claims it isn’t serious. Stay tuned.
Fred Jackson- He didn’t do anything flashy but he came back from injury and wasn’t reinjured.
Scott Chandler- Chandler was the lone bright spot for the Bills on Sunday, catching a pair of touchdowns. If you use Chandler it is based on getting touchdowns, his career high in yardage is only 71. He is available in almost 70 percent of leagues.
Notable Performers NE:
Tom Brady- Finally! Tom was tied as the top performer this week in fantasy and had his first week above the 20-FP mark. This should be the Tom we see going forward.
Brandon Bolden- He scored a touchdown last week and was at it again against the Bills rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown. Stevan Ridley had over 100 yards and a couple touchdowns of his own on Sunday. The Patriots backfield is a mess and it is anyone’s guess who will get the touches week to week.
Falcons versus Panthers 30-28
Notable Performers ATL:
Michael Turner- He crossed the century mark and scored a receiving touchdown on Sunday. This just goes to show how bad the Carolina defense really is—Turner had not scored a receiving touchdown in his nine-year career! Turner won’t face a better matchup until he faces Carolina again.
Roddy White- This was another monster game for White as he racked up 28 FP. Manage your expectations considering the abysmal Carolina D. White only has seven multi-touchdown games in his eight-year career and never had more than two in the same year.
Notable Performer CAR:
Cam Newton- Cam had a surprising bounce-back performance racking up over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Most notably he didn’t turn the ball over. At least for now he has silenced his critics.
Lions versus Vikings 13-20
Notable Performer MIN:
Jerome Simpson- He caught four balls for 50 yards but he is the lone deep threat in Minnesota. He is available in over 90-percent of leagues and is an interesting add if he can gel with Christian Ponder.
Chiefs versus Chargers 20-37
Notable Performer KC:
Jamaal Charles- Jamaal had himself another huge game, this time in a losing effort. He lost two fumbles which is cause for concern, but expect him to be the catalyst of the offense going forward.
Notable Performer SD:
Ryan Matthews- He is being questioned by his coach and the team is worried about his fumbling problem. Even when Matthews is healthy he is a headache to own. Monitor the situation going forward.
Jackie Battle- Battle scored multiple touchdowns for the second time in three weeks. With the Matthews situation in limbo it is hard to ignore Battle any longer. He is available in over 90 percent of leagues.
Rams versus Seahawks 19-13
Notable Performer STL:
Danny Amendola- He is the only Ram you want to own. Amendola is fourth in the NFL in targets and is the only option in Saint Louis.
Notable Performer SEA:
Matt Flynn- I know he didn’t play, but how much longer can Pete Carroll justify starting a rookie quarterback when he has a championship-level defense and a veteran on the bench who learned from Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks also owe Flynn $20 million over three years as opposed to $3 million over three years for Wilson. If Flynn gets the starting job he will be a viable fantasy option.
Jets versus 49ers 0-34
Notable Performers NYJ:
Mark Sanchez- All I am going to say is…TEBOW TIME!
Santonio Holmes- Holmes went down with a non-contact foot injury. Seeing as he was the only fantasy option on the Jets, it will be interesting to see who steps in as the number one receiver.
Texans versus Titans 38-14
Notable Performers TEN:
Matt Hasselbeck- Jake Locker injured his non-throwing shoulder on Sunday and it looks like he will miss some time. Hasselbeck becomes an interesting option because I expect a better performance when he has a week of preparation and is playing against a lesser defense.
Chris Johnson- Ladies and gentlemen, a Chris Johnson sighting! I really don’t know what to make of his 27-touch, 157-yard, and 15-FP performance. He is worth owning but don’t automatically start him just yet.
Broncos versus Raiders 37-6
Notable Performers DEN:
Peyton Manning- Peyton had a monster game Sunday throwing for 338 yards, three touchdowns, and 25 FP. Although Oakland doesn’t have a stout defense it is Peyton’s third game over 20 FP and he seems to be getting more comfortable.
Willis McGahee- He showed no effects from the rib injury that sidelined him midway through last week’s game. McGahee is the top option in the Denver backfield.
Cardinals versus Dolphins 24-21 OT
Notable Performer ARI:
Andre Roberts- He caught two more touchdowns on Sunday bringing his 2012 total to four. Roberts is the clear number-two receiver in Arizona and has chemistry with Kolb. He is available in almost 99 percent of leagues.
Kevin Kolb- Available in 93 percent of leagues, he has proven himself a capable starter. He’s a good bye-week fill-in.
Notable Performer MIA:
Brian Hartline- 253 yards and a touchdown is what he ended up with. He was targeted 19 times and has been targeted 48 times this season. He is available in 75 percent of leagues.
Jaguars versus Bengals 10-27
Notable Performer JAC:
Laurent Robinson- Robinson sustained a concussion for the second-straight week. He wasn’t a good option anyway but he was the number-one option.
Packers versus Saints 28-27
Notable Performer GB:
Aaron Rodgers- Finally! Similar to Tom Brady, Rodgers has struggled thus far but he produced Sunday, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
James Jones- Sunday was his second double-digit performance of the season, and with the injury to Greg Jennings, he becomes a viable option at wide receiver. He also has three touchdowns on the season.
Notable Performances NO:
Drew Brees- In the same fashion as Rodgers and Brady, Brees had struggled somewhat. He almost threw for 450 yards and didn’t turn the ball over. He could be back on track.
Marques Colston- His nine-catch, 153-yard, one-touchdown, and 21-FP performance was easily his best of the season. This was the breakout game that owners were hoping for to cement him as Brees’ best option.
Buccaneers versus Redskins 22-24
Notable Performer TB:
LeGarrette Blount- He poached a goal-line carry this week and he may be eating into starter Doug Martin’s carries. Martin’s workload is being reduced steadily every week.
Eagles versus Giants 19-17
Notable Performer PHI:
Michael Vick- He didn’t turn the ball over for the first time since last season against the Cowboys. I don’t see this continuing considering his propensity for injuries and inconsistency.
Notable Performer NYG:
Domenik Hixon- Hixon caught six passes and gained 114 yards in Hakeem Nicks’ absence. He was also targeted 11 times so those numbers could have been better. He is a solid play if Nicks is out next week.
Cowboys versus Bears 18-34
Notable Performers DAL:
Tony Romo- Well, he threw five interceptions. That’s awful. At least it was against a great defense that they don’t have to play again this season. Romo is only as good as his matchup going forward.
Jason Witten- Witten had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. His 17-FP game was his highest this season by 12. The Bears always give up big numbers to tight ends so I don’t think I make too much of this.
Notable Performer CHI:
Jay Cutler- No turnovers. It doesn’t sound right to me either but it happened. He is dreadfully inconsistent so I wouldn’t make too much of this game.
Check out my column tomorrow for my favorite and least favorite matchups.