Marcus Mariota Picks Apart the Packers Defense
I’m one of those who would be in favor of getting rid of kickers in Fantasy, and I think quite a few NFL head coaches feel the same way in reality. In Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin attempted a two-point conversion four times and Jason Garrett twice, all failed. In New England, Seattle scored a TD to put themselves up by seven with about four minutes to play but elected to go for two rather than one. I’ve never seen that before. We all saw what happened in New Orleans. The Saints lost because the extra point was blocked and returned for two points by Denver. This is not even to mention the other odd extra point try or two that was missed. Get rid of those kickers. Let’s see what else happened in Week 10.
Cleveland at Baltimore:
Yeah, maybe Cody Kessler isn’t the answer. Fantasy owners would certainly rather have Josh McCown behind center. He would do wonders for Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman but for the Browns, McCown serves no purpose. The season is already over and they know what he can do. As for Isaiah Crowell, well, it was fun while it lasted. If you’re a Terrance West owner, it might be time to get a little worried about Kenneth Dixon. The touches are still 2 to 1 in West’s favor but Dixon is doing more with his. It may be just a matter of time until those numbers are reversed.
Green Bay at Tennessee:
I think it’s safe to say the Packers lied to us about how they intended to use Ty Montgomery. He was given only three carries Sunday. This after they stated he would be their three-down back. Granted, it seemed like they were down multiple touchdowns before we were settled in front of our television sets, but it’s not like Montgomery was a big part of the passing game either. As for James Starks, he out touched him 10 to 5. It may not matter, with that defense the Packers are going to be involved in shootouts more often than not. How good can the Titans be? Marcus Mariota is certainly playing like he has figured out the NFL. DeMarco Murray is having a fantastic season and the defense is above average. When the Titans find a true number one wide receiver, Mariota could take the next step to be among the Fantasy elite.
Minnesota at Washington:
Yes, Sam Bradford threw for over 300 yards on Sunday, but only 20 points came from those yards. There are just no weapons on offense aside from Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph. The running game is non-existent and with the defense not playing anywhere near as well as it was earlier this season, opposing teams are going to tee off on Bradford and that passing offense. Bradford is an okay NFL QB, but playing from behind is not something he or this offense will excel at. Those of you hoping that Matt Jones will get the starting RB job back, forget about it. He may be more talented than Robert Kelley, but Kelley is a better fit for the Washington offense. Jamison Crowder only had four receptions for 37 yards yesterday but he’s still the receiver to own, and that is even when DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is in the lineup. If you’re in dire need of a tight end, you may want to look at Vernon Davis.
Chicago at Tampa Bay:
We never know which Jay Cutler is going to show up each week but at the very least, you would’ve thought it was a good matchup for him versus Tampa. Yeah, not so much. What is even more disappointing is that he took Alshon Jeffery down with him. As of right now, we don’t know the severity of the ankle/Achilles injury to Jordan Howard. If he misses time the Bears will likely go with a running back committee with Ka’Deem Carey and Jeremey Langford. Whichever back is playing better during the game would likely get the most touches. Doug Martin did indeed return in this game and handled close to a full role with 17 touches, but he didn’t do a whole lot with them (46 total yards). He did run one in late to save his game. Martin should be safe start in Week 11. Mike Evans only had five targets during the game, which was a shock. This is probably more because of the defensive game plan than any repercussions from the concussion he suffered in Week 9.
Kansas City at Carolina:
Spencer Ware returned from his concussion and although he didn’t score, he still had a solid day for his Fantasy owners. With Jeremy Maclin (groin) out, Tyreek Hill has taken the number one WR role in KC. The truth is he may have it even when Maclin is healthy, as it’s not like Maclin was putting up big numbers this season. Cam Newton was really a one-man band Sunday. There just wasn’t all that much offense around him. It will get better, but good defenses can shut down this offense.
Atlanta at Philadelphia:
Even though the Eagles couldn’t do anything to stop Julio Jones, they still managed to keep the Falcons in check. Part of the problem for the Falcons may be that they seem to get away from the running game awfully quick. They only rushed the ball 13 times Sunday. They weren’t lighting it up on the ground but they were averaging four yards per carry. You can’t throw the ball to Jones on every play. The Eagles seemed to pull a fast one on us also. That wasn’t Darren Sproles who rushed the ball 19 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns Sunday. That was Ryan Mathews. Has he won the starting job back? Was this just game specific? Possibly both. What we do know is that the Eagles are a better offense with Mathews as the starter, and Sproles is more of a change the pace back and receiver out of the backfield. Zach Ertz had another double-digit performance. He’s still not being used in the red zone as much as we would like, but has put himself back in the TE1 conversation.
Los Angeles at Jets:
This game may have set offensive football back a few decades. Hopefully, the win didn’t give Jeff Fisher the excuse to keep Case Keenum as the starter. I’m not sure what the excuse for Todd Gurley is but he’s no longer a must-start for me. One player who doesn’t want to see Keenum lose the starting job is Kenny Britt. The first start for Bryce Petty was an ugly one but that was to be expected. This offense is all about Matt Forte, and he is the only must-start on this offense no matter who the QB is.
Denver at New Orleans:
Devontae Booker didn’t have the big game his owners were hoping for, but he out-touched Kapri Biggs by almost a 4 to 1 margin. He is still the starter in Denver and the back you want to own, but he also doesn’t look to be anything more than a mid-range RB2. Speaking of number twos, that’s exactly what Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are until/unless Trevor Siemian take that jump to the next level. Well, that was an interesting way to lose a game. Because of the blocked extra point, we may forget that one of the big reasons the Saints lost is because Michael Thomas fumbled twice. We all saw what Sean Payton did to Mark Ingram when he kept putting the ball on the rug. He was benched. Will Peyton send the same message to Thomas? I have my doubts, but it’s still a situation worth watching. Neither Ingram nor Tim Hightower had a big game but for those keeping count, Ingram had three more touches.
Houston at Jacksonville:
How do you win a game when your starting QB only throws for 99 yards? Well, running the ball for almost twice that amount is a good start. I’m done with the passing game. Even DeAndre Hopkins is no more than a WR3 for me. It’s just not going to happen this season. Blake Bortles did what Bortles does Sunday. He threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns but also had a pick six. This really shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise anymore. Allen Robinson is back in the good graces of Fantasy owners and more importantly, he and Bortles seem to be on the same page once again. Just when you thought it was safe to start Chris Ivory, maybe not.
Miami at San Diego:
I don’t want to overstate things but Ryan Tannehill looked really good Sunday. Not good enough that I would think about starting him on my Fantasy team, but good enough to make me more interested in DeVante Parker again. This would seem to be because of the emergence of Jay Ajayi. It’s amazing what a strong running game can do for the offense. Safeties are forced to play closer to the line of scrimmage and this opens up the deep passing game. Four interceptions by Philip Rivers certainly put the damper on what was a good statistical game otherwise. We’ll chalk it up to, hey, it happens. He’s still a starter most weeks. With or without Travis Benjamin in the lineup, Tyrell Williams is the wide receiver you want to own and start. Dontrelle Inman does move up the Fantasy pecking board if Benjamin remains out of the lineup, but the Chargers could always go to more two tight end looks as well.
Dallas at Pittsburgh:
If Dak Prescott is going to be able to find Dez Bryant on a consistent basis, then this offense will be close to unstoppable. Just the threat of Dak going over the top to Dez is enough to keep the safeties off the line of scrimmage, which will only open up more running room. Well, if you were wondering which Ben Roethlisberger would show up Sunday, the rusty one during the first half last week or the gunslinger during the second, we got the gunslinger. He’s going to be somewhat inconsistent, especially on the road. A doughnut for Sammie Coates was completely unexpected. Especially in a game in which Ben threw for over 400 yards and Dallas was down two members of their secondary. Has he fallen out of favor in Pittsburgh?
San Francisco at Arizona:
The 49ers’ passing offense performed better than expected but the running game was non-existent. It was a tough spot playing an Arizona team at home coming off a bye week. Maybe they will have better luck next week. I expected more of Carson Palmer. I wanted to see a big day and find a reason to put him back in my lineup. The yardage was there but so were the picks, and only one TD put a fizzle on the day. J.J. Nelson had his first and maybe his last day as a starting WR. He only caught two of his six passes, dropped at least one, may have been responsible for one of the interceptions, and lost a fumble. Talk about a bad day at the office. Michael Floyd may get that starting job back next week.
Seattle at New England:
We thought Russell Wilson was back to being close to 100-percent healthy after his Monday night performance versus Buffalo. We’re positive now. He’s a must-start once again. What are we doing to do with the Seahawks running backs? Christine Michael looks like the backup behind C.J. Prosise right now, but Thomas Rawls is expected to return next week. At the very least, Procise is the back you want in PPR leagues. This is a mess, though; good for Seattle, bad for Fantasy owners. Michael owners can plant him firmly on the bench for now. If you’re a greedy Fantasy owner, you will overlook the three TDs that LeGarrette Blount scored, but remember, he couldn’t bang it in on the final drive. Take your three and be happy. If you started Dion Lewis this week, then you deserved the goose egg. Even if he does play next week it would be my advice to sit him. Watch him play a week before deciding whether to plug him back into your lineup.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.
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