Another football Sunday, another injury-filled slate. Running backs were dropping like flies during the day. Justin Forsett was lost for the season with a broken arm. Charcandrick West left his game early with a hamstring injury. Marshawn Lynch wasn’t even active for his game, despite being on the positive side of questionable. Devonta Freeman left his game early with a concussion. As always, Fantasy Football is a game of attrition. Who will be left standing in the playoffs to start for your team? We will all be searching the waiver wire this week for just about anyone that can tote the rock.
So much for David Cobb getting a good amount of playing time. He carried the ball a whopping four times for…wait for it…minus three yards. Yeah, that’s not so good. As if on cue, though, the Titans announced after the game that they would continue to get him more touches in the coming weeks while he works himself back into game shape.
What to believe in the game between the Raiders and the Lions. This is the second week in a row that the Raiders’ offense has been less than spectacular. Last week, they only scored 14 points in a loss to Minnesota, and they scored only 13 points in this week’s loss. The Lions only gave up 16 points to Green Bay last week; so what gives? Well, we may no longer be able to blindly pick on the Lions’ defense. Perhaps the firing of just about the whole staff has had the desired effect on the players. Perhaps the Raiders are just feeling the effects of a long season.
We don’t know Devonta Freeman’s status for Week 12 at this time and probably won’t until after we Thanksgiving. In his absence, Tevin Coleman was less than spectacular, only rushing for 48 yards on 17 carries. Even more concerning for Atlanta is that Matt Ryan was, at best, average once again. Sure, he threw for 280 yards and three scores, but he also had a 54 percent completion rate and threw three interceptions. Sure, Julio Jones was great once again, but that’s it, and if Freeman is forced to miss a game or two, this offense could be in trouble.
There just is no stopping DeAndre Hopkins. I received dozens of questions about him this week. Should I start him? Is he going to be productive with Tyler Yates under center? Should I be worried about him? I’ll admit, yes, I was concerned. I thought it was foolish not to be, and while I wouldn’t have started a WR like Stefon Diggs over him, I would’ve started one like Michael Crabtree. Yeah, that was the wrong call; never sit your studs.
There was quite a bit of talk before the Eagles game this week that Mark Sanchez would have a chance at grabbing the starting job for the rest of the season if he played well versus the Bucs on Thanksgiving against the Lions (most analysts don’t believe Sam Bradford will be healthy enough to return so quickly). There are a couple of problems with that thinking. One, Bradford is a free agent after the season and the Eagles need to find out if he is their quarterback of the future. If they sit him, it would pretty much be a sign that he is not. The other problem is Sanchez’ play. Sanchez was 26 of 41 for 261 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. This was against a Bucs team that is far from a powerhouse on defense. Somehow I think Bradford’s job is safe, for now, upon his return.
Has the Brock Osweiler era officially begun in Denver? Yeah, we knew he was going to start this week against Chicago. Peyton Manning didn’t even make the trip. However, will he start again next week? He finished 20 of 27, for only 250 yards, but more importantly, he didn’t make any mistakes. With the defense the Broncos have, one can make an argument that they would be better off with Osweiler than Manning. Manning’s mind is still writing checks that his arm can no longer cash, and Denver can’t afford those mistakes. Here’s the problem, though. The Broncos face the Patriots next week. Wouldn’t Bill Belichick eat Osweiler for breakfast?
How many mirrors have the Ravens broken, or have they walked under a ladder, had a herd of black cats cross their path, or is every Sunday on their calendar marked Friday the 13th? Coming into the game Sunday, they had already lost their best defensive player, Terrell Suggs, to an Achilles injury. They also lost WR Steve Smith to a torn Achilles, rookie WR Breshad Perriman to a knee injury; tight end Dennis Pitta never even played this season due to the hip injury, and then on Sunday, Justin Forsett (broken arm) and Joe Flacco (ACL) were both lost for the rest of the season. The season is over for Baltimore but they had better see an exorcist sometime soon. Buck Allen is likely to be the hot pickup this week. However, realistically, how helpful can he be? Matt Schaub will take over at QB, but unless you are in a crisis, I would stay far away.
The return of Tony Romo did wonders for the Cowboys’ offense. He was able to work his magic and escape trouble multiple times. He also got Terrance Williams involved in the offense again and should make Dallas a multiple threat offense from this point on. He was rusty, however, throwing two interceptions and misfiring on several other attempts, but that was to be expected. Still, I would think long and hard about starting him on Thanksgiving. That’s the undefeated Panthers they will be playing, and he will only have three days to recover from this game. Also of note, is that although Dez Bryant scored a touchdown, he’s obviously not healthy. He doesn’t have that extra burst and constantly leaves the field. This may be something Dallas, Romo, and Dez have to live with for the rest of the season.
Just a little something to think about come Fantasy playoff time. The Panthers have a two game lead for home field advantage in the playoffs. Conceivably they could clinch home field before or just after the Fantasy playoffs begin. This could wreak some havoc with roster decisions. Sure, they aren’t going to sit anyone for two or three games, but they will rest players with injuries, especially a certain running back who always seems to get dinged up.
Is Eddie Lacy back to being the number one RB for Green Bay? Head coach Mike McCarthy stated during the week that Lacy had his best week of practice prior to the game versus Minnesota and was also the healthiest he has been since Week 1. Lacy rushed for 100 yards during the game but more importantly, touched the ball 14 more times than James Starks did. He’s back. A bigger concern to the Packers may be the offensive line. Aaron Rodgers is taking hit after hit and sooner or later that could lead to Rodgers missing time.
Marshawn Lynch will see a specialist Monday to determine just exactly what is wrong with him. That specialist usually deals with hernias, although we don’t know if that is the problem for Lynch. The good news for Seattle is that Thomas Rawls seems more than capable of handling the starting job. Is he beast mode? No, but he can still get the job done, as he proved Sunday, rushing for 209 yards. If he is still available on your waiver wire, go out and grab him before it’s too late, because if the news is bad for Lynch, he could be done for the season.
That was a pretty impressive job Carson Palmer and the Cardinals did Sunday night versus a good Bengals defense. They put up 34 points. They did this pretty much without two of their top three wide receivers. Michael Floyd missed the game with a hamstring injury and John Brown was limited with the same. One might think that this would hinder the Arizona passing attack, but no, in comes J.J. Nelson to catch four balls for 142 yards and a score. This team just seems to know how to raise wide receivers. Should you be going out and grabbing Nelson? That really depends on the health of Floyd and Brown. Once they are back at full strength, he may not play all that much or get all that many targets.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.