Weekend Wrap-Up: How the mighty have fallen

As a Patriots fan, I’m still trying to figure out what transpired this past Sunday. How did a guy rumored to possibly be cut from the team a month earlier single-handedly dominate the defending AFC champions? How did a team that WON one game last season destroy a team that LOST one game? Who knows the answers to these questions…maybe it’ll be fun to root for a team that no longer will judge their season on whether they win the Superbowl or not. Even winning the division or wild card would qualify as a success in my eyes at this point. Anyways, enough complaining…let’s get to the rest of the action over the weekend and what relevance it has to fantasy football…

  • Miami 38, New England 13: I don’t really want to get into the details (you can read the recap for yourself), but I have to give props to the Dolphins running game, who basically beat the Patriots all by themselves: Ronnie Brown (17 rushes for 113 yards, 4 rushing TD, 1 of 1 passing for 19 yards and a TD) and Ricky Williams (16 rushes for 98 yards.) While I agree with Matt that you shouldn’t go out of your way to trade for Ronnie Brown, I do think he’ll have some more productive games this season and can be a valuable asset to your team (remember what he did last season before his injury?)
  • Denver 34, New Orleans 32: Another day, another nail-biter won by the Broncos. Oh yeah…and another awesome day for wide receiver Brandon Marshall (6 catches for 155 yards and a TD.) He’s currently on pace for 180 receptions, 2400 yards and 15 touchdowns…not too shabby, eh? Anybody pass on Marshall in the draft for someone like Ocho Cinco (because you were scared of all the suspension talk?) If the defense can make some adjustments, this could be one of the teams to beat in the AFC, as the Patriots and Colts are slummin’ it these days. For the Saints, quarterback Drew Brees had quite a day yardage-wise (421 passing yards, 1 TD), while Reggie Bush (73 rushing yards, 11 receptions for 75 yards, 2 TD) is quietly proving that he is an elite back in the league (especially in PPR leagues!)
  • Jacksonville 23, Indianapolis 21: If the Patriots hadn’t been embarrassed so badly by Miami, this loss by the Colts would have been a bit more enjoyable. Your second round pick of Peyton Manning (216 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) didn’t fair so well though, probably earning your team the same amount of fantasy stats as the guy who started Matt Cassel in your league. We finally got to see that vaunted Jaguars running game in this one, with Fred Taylor (121 yards) and Maurice Jones-Drew (107 rushing yards, 59 receiving yards, 1 TD), which was promising, while Joseph Addai finally put up some stats (78 rushing yards, 2 TD) that warranted his top five pick status.
  • Dallas 27, Green Bay 16: For a game featuring some serious fantasy football star power, there really wasn’t a whole lot to write home about in this one. Tony Romo, T.O., Aaron Rodgers, Jason Witten, Ryan Grant, and Donald Driver all put up some pretty pedestrian numbers, while the only two who put up anything worth mentioning were Marion Barber (142 rushing yards, 15 receiving yards, 1 TD) and Greg Jennings (8 receptions for 115 yards.) Cowboys rookie running back Felix Jones again showed that he is going to be a dominant back in the league when given the chance, rushing for 76 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown…he could warrant play as an RB2 at this point if you’re playing someone like Selvin Young or Jonathan Stewart on a weekly basis.
  • Buffalo 24, Oakland 23: The Bills in first place?! What is going on in the world today? I still don’t recommend starting any of their players besides Marshawn Lynch (83 rushing yards, 31 receiving yards, 2 TD) on a weekly basis, but if you are in dire need of a quarterback fill-in, Trent Edwards (279 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. The Raiders continued to play poorly, with even their top notch running game playing poorly in this one, and I wouldn’t expect their play to improve a whole lot anytime soon until their management can get their heads out of their asses.
  • New York Giants 26, Cincinnati 23: The Bungels almost had something to cheer about after this one, but an overtime field goal sent them home with another loss to make them 0-3, while the win moved the Giants to 3-0. I guess they can cheer about the fact that Carson Palmer (286 passing yards, 23 rushing yards, 1 TD), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (12 receptions for 146 yards, 1 TD) and Chris Perry (74 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD) all put up serviceable fantasy numbers (what happened to Ocho Cinco?!) The Giants on the otherhand, didn’t fair so well in the fantasy realm, even if they did win…although their kicker, John Carney, did score 14+ points in standard scoring leagues.
  • Tennessee 31, Houston 12: Let’s hope Matt Schaub (188 passing yards, 0 TD, 3 INT) didn’t find his way into your starting lineup this past weekend. Steve Slaton lead the team in rushing (18 rushes for 116 yards, 1 TD) again, proving that he is the top option in the backfield for the team now. The Titans continued to pound the ball successfully in this one, with rookie Chris Johnson (74 rushing yards) leading the way yardage-wise, while LenDale White (49 rushing yards, 2 TD) was still the primary option at the goal-line. Expect this pattern to continue all season long.
  • Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 24: This was an interesting game full of players who put up some decent fantasy numbers…but probably on your bench or on the waiver wire. Buccaneers quarterback Brian Griese attempted the most passes (67) in franchise history, recording over 400 passing yards, but his three interceptions negated one of his two touchdowns (in fantasy scoring that is.) Even Kyle Orton put up decent numbers (268 passing yards, 21 rushing yards, 2 TD, 2 INT), but also had some trouble with throwing to the other team. Matt Forte (89 rushing yards, plus 7 receptions for 66 yards and a TD) might have been in your starting lineup, but how about free agent extraordinaires Antonio Bryant (10 receptions for 138 yards) and Brandon Lloyd (6 receptions for 124 yards, 1 TD)?
  • Minnesota 20, Carolina 10: What happens when a quarterback that can actually complete forward passes takes over for the Vikings? The NFL’s leading rusher Adrian Peterson has his first sub-100 yard game of the season…and the team wins! Quarterback Gus Frerotte finally involved the wide receivers in an offense that is much more rounded with him behind center than Tarvaris Jackson and could be a darkhorse to make the Superbowl out of the NFC if they can keep improving. Oh yeah…Steve Smith also returned from his suspension this weekend, but couldn’t live up to the standards that Brandon Marshall set two weekends ago, as he only had four catches for 70 yards.
  • San Francisco 31, Detroit 13: The most important note out of this game is that Rudi Johnson may have secured the starting running back gig for the Lions after rushing for 83 yards and catching three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. Other than that, it was just another day in the life of a terrible Detroit Lions team, who lost to the unstoppable force that is J.T. O’Sullivan…uh, I mean Frank Gore (130 rushing yards, 32 receiving yards, 1 TD) and the 49er’s.
  • Seattle 37, St. Louis 13: While it’s yet to be determined who the worst team in the NFL is (Rams, Browns, Lions, Chiefs, etc), the Rams are giving it all they got to win the award. Steve Jackson finally put together a fantasy worthy day though with 128 combined yards, but it was Julius Jones who is getting his time in the spotlight, racking up 140 more rushing yards and a touchdown in this one, putting him at third place on the leader board for rushing yards this season (bet you didn’t see that one coming when you drafted him in the 6th round or something!)
  • Philadelphia 15, Pittsburgh 6:If you’re a Brian Westbrook owner, Correll Buckhalter is on your waiver wire request list right now (after Westbrook’s ankle injury in this one.) Other than that, there wasn’t anything worthy of mention taking place in this one.
  • Baltimore 28, Cleveland 10: Wow…I have to admit that I was one of the thousands that have severely missed on the fantasy predictions for the Browns this season. Will a guy (Derek Anderson) I previously projected as a top six quarterback really get yanked from the starting role before the teams bye week?!
  • Atlanta 38, Kansas City 14: Michael Turner (?!) leads the league in rushing yards with 366 after a 104 yard performance (and 3 TD’s if you were interested.) Larry Johnson also arose from the dead to rush for 121 yards and a TD, while Roddy White showed some of the skills that earned him such a high draft position among wide receivers this year with 119 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.
  • Washington 24, Arizona 17: Not much to say here, but it was a decent fantasy day from the Cards’ even in the loss. Kurt “Father Time” Warner put up another two touchdown game (on 192 passing yards, 1 INT), Larry Fitzgerald broke the 100 yard mark again with a touchdown, Anquan Boldin found the endzone, and Edgerrin James had over 100 combined yards(he did fumble though.)
  • San Diego 48, New York Jets 29: Did you start Darren Sproles this week expecting a repeat of last week’s performance? Hopefully not, as LT played and got the bulk of the carries, rushing for 67 yards and two touchdowns, while Sproles only rushed for 38 yards (and 39 receiving yards.) Chris Chambers and Antonio Gates also had touchdowns for the Chargers. For the Jets, Favre put up some decent numbers with 271 passing yards, three touchdowns, but two costly interceptions didn’t help the team as they moved into a last place tie with the Dolphins in the AFC East. Receiver Chansi Stuckey had another touchdown (3) for the Jets though, proving that he is Favre’s number one option in the red zone at this point in the season and makes a decent WR3 play until Favre stops looking his way.
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