The NFL makes no sense this year. Call it parity. Call it “le suck.” Call it whatever you want. Several of the teams we thought would be fantasy powerhouses are not (Cowboys, Chargers, Patriots) while many of the teams we wrote off as bad bets for fantasy are putting up good numbers (Browns, Rams, Bills). In the words of Chris Berman, I guess “that’s why the play the games.”
Oh, and it was brutal being a Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns fan this weekend.
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders: 165 yards, 3 TDs, 2 catches for 31 yards, 1 TD vs. Broncos
I guess they replaced McFadden’s hamstring with a bionic leg because he showed no indications of any hamstring injury on Sunday. Michael Bush owners, myself included, have to be disappointed that McFadden chose this year to breakout of his early career slump when Bush was slotted as the starter for Week 1. But McFadden’s clearly come into his elite form as the No. 1 back here.
On the plus side, Bush did an equal helping of carries, but McFadden did more with his early in the game and got the first three rushing scores. McFadden will continue to be a must start while Bush could remain a reliable RB2 with upside if McFadden is injured again this year.
Kenny Britt, WR, Titans: 7 catches for 225 yards, 3 TDs vs. Eagles
So I guess there’s a trend when a player is forced to sit out at least one quarter. Just like Arian Foster, Britt didn’t need four quarters to blow us all away. Clearly, he’s the receiver to own in Tennessee and has finally earned his spot among the top of the fantasy wide receiver class. I don’t know that he’ll have another three-score performance this season, but he could definitely put up WR2 numbers the rest of the way.
As an added bonus, he seems to perform regardless of his quarterback. Both Vince Young and Kerry Collins can make him valuable. Just be on the lookout for any team punishment that comes down on Britt for the bar fight he was involved in last week (and for which he sat out that first quarter on Sunday).
Roddy White, WR, Falcons: 11 catches for 201 yards, 2 TDs vs. Bengals
White was due for a breakout performance, and he had it this week — probably just because I traded him away in a package that got improved my quarterback situation with…Romo. Bah, I lose again.
White will continue to be one of the top receivers in fantasy, even if he doesn’t have another 20+ point week this year.
Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals: 412 yards, 3 TDs vs. Falcons
The Bengals got in a hole early against the Falcons, which forced them to set Palmer lose. While he put up plenty of yards and touchdowns, they still didn’t win.
Since the Bengals only rely on Palmer when they get down by double digits, it’s hard to predict when he’ll have these big games. So it’s probably best if you look elsewhere for your fantasy quarterbacking.
Lee Evans, WR, Bills: 6 catches for 105 yards, 3 TDs vs. Ravens
Old-unfaithful just had a season’s worth of stats in one game. Lee Evans? Really? The Bills somehow pulled a fast one of the Ravens this week, and even though they let Baltimore come roaring right back, the Bills showed they have some fantasy weight to throw around. I guess we should take a chance starting Evans. His fantasy points have been on the rise ever since Fitzpatrick took over as the starting quarterback.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills: 373 yards, 4 TDs vs. Ravens
Speaking of Fitzpatrick, his stat line wasn’t too shabby either. He lost the game, but pride…he’s got plenty of that to go around.
Popular opinion seems to think he can’t keep this up. But people said the same thing about Orton earlier in the year, and Orton’s still chugging along despite a disappointing day against the Raiders.
Fitzpatrick could be this year’s Tyler Thigpen, a second-half stud.
Michael Turner, RB, Falcons: 121 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches for 23 yards vs. Bengals
Turner benefited from Atlanta’s big lead this week against the Bengals, but he’s still not quite the fantasy back you drafted him to be. Feel free to sell if you get a good price after this two score performance.
David Gettis, WR, Panthers: 8 catches for 125 yards, 2 TDs vs. 49ers
Gettis emerged in Week 7 as the best Panthers’ receiver not named Steve Smith. He’ll be on a lot of waiver wires this week, but his big game can largely be attributed to Steve Smith’s time spent on the sidelines dealing with an injury.
Since this was Matt Moore’s first game back as the Carolina starter, you should try to grab Gettis just in case this chemistry develops into true fantasy value.
Cleveland Browns D/ST: 17 points allowed, 4 INTs, 2 TDs (pick 6s) vs. Saints
Well, when you get four picks from Drew Brees, and you return two of them for touchdowns, even the Browns can make it happen.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: 131 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches for 41 yards vs. Packers
In case you didn’t realize he was good…
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: 4 catches for 54 yards, 2 TDs, 93-yard punt return TD vs. Giants
In a horrible Cowboys performance, Dez Bryant was the lone bright spot. If Kitna continues to look his way, Bryant will make his owners proud in the second half of the season. He should be on a roster in every league, even without Romo around.