Chris Vadney gives his weekly fantasy football review.
We have finally gotten to a point in the season when it seems like we have most players and teams figured out. This week illustrated that perfectly. The good were good, the bad were bad but there were some standouts along the way.
49ers versus Seahawks 13-6
Frank Gore- With 182 total yards, Gore surprised everyone against the Seahawks’ third-ranked run defense. He didn’t get in the end zone but still came away with 18 FP. He did injure his ribs but said he was fine after the game. I wouldn’t hesitate to start him next week at Arizona.
Vernon Davis- Well, Davis had the elusive zero on Sunday. A zero is concerning but the more concerning aspect is that he also had zero targets. He hasn’t caught more than five passes in a game this year and hasn’t scored since week 3. There is real reason for concern for Davis.
Bills versus Titans 34-35
Fred Jackson- The emergence of C.J. Spiller deterred a lot of owners from Jackson in the draft which allowed him to slip to the later rounds. Now that Jackson is healthy he is showing he can produce regardless of the time-share with Spiller. This week he led the Bills with 120 total yards and a touchdown. He also caught eight passes, which led the team. If you’ve got Jackson you got a ton of value and should be starting him every week.
Chris Johnson- It seems like every week Johnson is either loved or hated and this week was no different. Johnson was the best player in fantasy this week accruing almost 200 yards, two touchdowns, and 31 FP. He scored his first touchdowns of the season this week and next week he has the Colts and their 29th ranked run defense to deal with.
Colts versus Browns 17-13
Vick Ballard- He looked a lot more prepared this week as the full-time starter, gaining 103 total yards. Ballard is a really intriguing fill-in for next week considering the Colts are going up against the worst run defense in the league, Tennessee.
Brandon Weeden- Surprisingly, Weeden has looked like a competent NFL quarterback over the past few weeks. During that time he hasn’t scored fewer than 15 FP and has a great matchup with the 25th ranked pass defense of San Diego coming up.
Trent Richardson- You shouldn’t trust a player to evaluate their own injuries and Trent backed up this theory last week. He claimed his rib injury was fine and that he would play at full strength on Sunday but didn’t touch the field in the second half. There is a discussion going on in the Cleveland front office to shut down Richardson for a few weeks but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Montario Hardesty is the player you want if Trent does miss some time.
Josh Gordon- You never want to have to trust a big-play receiver, but if you want to roll the dice, Gordon is an awesome bet. He caught just two passes on Sunday but one was for a touchdown and he was targeted 10 times. Over the past three games he has been targeted 22 times, which is a high number for a big-play receiver. Compared to a deep threat similar to him, Leonard Hankerson of the Redskins has just 12 targets over the same time period.
Rams versus Packers 20-30
Daryl Richardson- With just one fewer touch than the starter, Steven Jackson, it is looking more and more like the Rams are leaning toward using Richardson in a time-share for the rest of the season. This is bad news for Jackson owners but it makes Richardson a decent fill-in going forward.
Aaron Rodgers- For the fourth consecutive week Rodgers has shown up like the first-overall fantasy pick that he was.
Randall Cobb- Eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns is a pretty dominating performance. Once you factor in the 19 rushing yards you’ve got a great game. He should be owned in all leagues and yet he is available in 45 percent of leagues.
Vikings versus Cardinals 21-14
Adrian Peterson- For the first time since week one he found the end zone, thus ending any talk that he isn’t back yet. He also rushed for 153 yards and had 21 FP. I have no concerns with Peterson going forward.
LaRod Stephens-Howling- His 20 carries, four catches, 149 total yards, one touchdown, and 20 FP are what I expected out of him last week. He clearly took over as the starter this week given he had 20 carries to William Powell’s four. He should be owned in all leagues as far as I am concerned.
Andre Roberts- I’ve been on the Roberts bandwagon for a while and it finally paid off this week with seven catches, 103 yards, a touchdown, and 16 FP. He hasn’t been great by any stretch of the imagination but I do think he is a solid fill-in option for the bye weeks.
Giants versus Redskins 27-23
Alfred Morris- I haven’t touched on Morris this season and I figure now is as good of a time as any—his lowest FP total this season is eight in week two and he has been in double digits every other week. It is finally time to give Morris his due.
Santana Moss- he caught two more touchdowns on Sunday and now has four on the season. He’s available in 75 percent of leagues and is ranked just outside the top 30 fantasy receivers, a prime candidate for a bye-week fill-in.
Buccaneers versus Saints 28-35
Josh Freeman- He continued to look great against sub-par defenses on Sunday against the Saints, throwing for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is purely a matchup play, next week against the Vikings he is iffy given their average pass defense.
Vincent Jackson- Once a hit-or-miss player, Jackson has evolved into a must-start each week. In this game he caught seven passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. Jackson gets ten targets every game but he catches just 45 percent of those, so his value is still somewhat limited. That being said, you can’t argue with the fact that he is the third-overall wideout.
Drew Brees- Every week he is among the top scoring quarterbacks and that continued this week. Brees is the only thing that is keeping the Saints from completely falling off the tracks and it looks like it will keep working for fantasy.
Lance Moore- The oft injured slot receiver showed up in a big way against the Bucs with nine catches, 121 yards, and 12 FP. He’s available in 10 percent of leagues and that should change to 100 percent by the week’s end.
Panthers versus Cowboys 14-19
Jonathan Stewart- He didn’t produce a whole lot in this game, but the bigger news is that the Panthers have named him official starter. He’s available in 20 percent of leagues.
Texans versus Ravens 43-13
Arian Foster- He remained the best fantasy back in the game with two more touchdowns, bringing his total to 10.
Raiders versus Jaguars 26-23 OT
Rashad Jennings- He probably will be the top pickup this week and rightfully so since Maurice Jones-Drew may be out for the season. If Sunday’s workload was any indication of the future, Jennings will be an extremely productive back. He is available in 87 percent of leagues.
Patriots versus Jets 29-26 OT
Brandon Lloyd- Based on what was expected of him coming into the season, he has disappointed on many levels. He’s just the 40th ranked wide receiver and has only caught one touchdown this entire season. I don’t think it is necessarily time to drop him but you can’t count on a decent output from him week to week.
Jeremy Kerley- He led the Jets with 11 targets and caught 7 passes for 120 yards. I believe he is a must-own receiver and only gains value with the return of Dustin Keller.
Dustin Keller- 15 FP isn’t bad for a guy coming off of a hamstring injury. He was also efficient catching all seven of his targets. He is a must-start tight end because of the lack of options on the Jets. He is still available in over 85 percent of leagues.
Bengals versus Steelers 17-24
Jonathan Dwyer- Filling in for an injured Rashard Mendenhall, Dwyer did a solid job gaining 122 yards on 17 carries. He is a great fill-in option as long as Mendenhall is out, which might not be long.
Bears versus Lions 13-7
Calvin Johnson- Still underperforming, Johnson is a premier buy-low candidate. His talent is undeniable and his owners are more than likely fed up with him through seven weeks. He is currently outside the top 15 and I think it is safe to say he will finish in the top eight.
Titus Young- Nate Burleson broke his leg and will be out for the season. Young will have the first crack at the second wideout spot on the Lions. He’s available in almost 50 percent of leagues.