Last week against Dallas, Jordan Reed flashed some potential. He looked to be on his way to a breakout performance after hauling in four passes for 58 yards in the first half. Watching that game, I absolutely loved what I saw. He showed great short area burst and plenty of wiggle for a 6-foot-2, 236-pound tight end.
He only saw one target in the second half of the game, though, and because of that he didn’t receive a ton of love from Fantasy owners. Heading into Sunday he was still available in 61 percent of leagues on CBSSports. It’s pretty safe to say that number is set to skyrocket after hauling in nine passes for 134 yards and a score against Chicago.
Robert Griffin III targeted him a team-high nine times on the afternoon. The rookie tight end was involved from start to finish in a breakout performance. The Redskins offense purred like a kitten for the first time this season. Reed is here to stay folks, and should be viewed as a must add if still available on your waiver wire. He is also a TE1 moving forward.
Rob Gronkowski’s owners had to wait a bit longer than expected for his return, but it’s safe to say they weren’t complaining after he notched 8 receptions for 114 yards against the Jets. Tom Brady targeted him a whopping 17 times, and Gronk’s 114 receiving yards matched the total of all of the other Patriots receivers combined. His return, however, hasn’t cured all of the Patriots’ offensive ills. Brady is completing a career worst 55.4 percent of his passes on the season and has logged just one 300 yard passing game. His young receivers have visibly shaken him on numerous occasions with their drops and bad reads on option routes. I do think this offense will start clicking on all cylinders once Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen return to the field. Unfortunately, until that happens, we are going to keep seeing erratic performances from Brady and this offense.
Although X-rays came back negative, Doug Martin was sporting a sling after Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. While being interviewed after the game he said, “We’re still evaluating what it is” and “Just have to hope for the best.” Well it turns out that pessimism was warranted as a torn labrum officially ended his season on Monday morning. Mike James is likely to start in his place, while Schiano favorite, Brian Leanard, could also see a good amount of work as well. James is the guy to target on your waiver wire, but don’t go expecting a ton of production here. Martin is a much better back, and had very little running room this year. Tampa has a very rough schedule in terms of rush defenses, and James won’t be anything more than a FLEX option in deep leagues from here on out.
Mike Glennon has made two starts for the Bucs, completing 52 of his 87 pass attempts for 529 yards and four touchdowns. Not too bad for the rookie out of North Carolina State, and an improvement over what Josh Freeman was providing prior to that whole meltdown. The big story here, though, is Glennon’s infatuation with Vincent Jackson, whom he has targeted with a whopping 36 of those 87 pass attempts. The results have been even better with Jackson hauling in 19 of those passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson’s size is easy to fall in love with from a quarterback’s perspective, and Glennon views Jackson much like Jay Cutler views Brandon Marshall. And we all know what type of usage that is going to mean for Jackson. There is no doubt in my mind that Jackson is going to have a career season as a result of this quarterback change.
Peyton Manning’s return to Indy was a huge story this week. From a Fantasy perspective, though, we all knew that he would put on a great show against the Colts new franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. What I was hoping to see was a strong performance from Trent Richardson, and it just did not happen. He averaged a pedestrian 2.6 yards per carry on the night and lost a fumble. His longest carry was just eight yards. I saw no burst. I saw a power back that didn’t get all that many yards after contact. Richardson averaged 3.6 yards per carry behind a better Browns offensive line. So far, since joining the Colts, he has averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. Donald Brown didn’t fare any better last night, but he at least offers some speed and has managed 5.9 yards per carry on the season behind the same offensive line. Richardson just doesn’t look like he is going to take the job and run with it.
The biggest “where did that come from?” performance of the weekend had to come from Chris Ivory. Heading into this week, he had 34 carries for 115 yards for the season. He received 34 carries against a tough New England run defense and plugged away for 104 yards. “Starter” Bilal Powell saw just three carries for six yards for the contest. After the game, coach Rex Ryan said they chose to ride the hot hand. After this performance, it’s fair to assume that Ivory has at a minimum earned a 50-50 timeshare. I would venture to guess he sees all the early down work with Powell taking the field in passing situations. This makes for a situation to avoid until we get some more clarity.
Miles Austin was active on Sunday, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the box score. Tony Romo targeted him three times on the afternoon, but he failed to catch even one. Hamstring woes have noticeably sapped Austin’s burst, and the Cowboys seem quite open to the idea of letting both Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley effectively phase out the one-time star. The depth chart may not represent a changing of the guard yet, but trust me, it has happened. On the outside looking in, Austin will now need an injury to someone else to start seeing more substantial playing time. He is no longer roster worthy in deep re-draft leagues unless you have some pretty bad receivers.
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