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That's as good a game as I've seen played by Carolina…and somehow they only won by 3 points, holding on at the end. It's by far the best game I've ever seen Cam Newton (26-33 for 335 yards, 3 TD/0 INT) play. If Cam played like that every week he'd be a Hall of Famer. That's the crime with Cam…so much raw talent, and he takes it for granted (in my estimation). He gets by on his skills but doesn't work at enough to be an all-time great. I don’t think he cares to be an all-time great. He's one of the highest paid players in modern football, adding up all his contracts…why work like a maniac if they're going to pay you big bucks to just be 'you'? He's had a nice career. It could have been so much more.
The Lions played well enough to win but Cam was a tornado…not much they could do. All the way down to a 3rd & 8 with a minute+ left and with a stop Detroit would have had the ball back and plenty of time to go tie/win the game. Cam put a bullet on Kelvin Benjamin for the long conversion and ball game. Cam and Ed Dickson played out of their minds in this game…it was great playing calling by the coaches but even better execution by Cam. That Cam Newton could take Carolina to the Super Bowl…or win an MVP, again. Maybe the off-field controversy woke him up some?
Detroit might be on the verge of a death spiral. I could see them losing their next three and falling into a mini-crisis. @NO, BYE, PIT, @GB next 4 weeks.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Speaking of Ed Dickson (5-175-0/5)…wow. Cam hit him with a simple pattern moving deep up the middle early in this game, and Dickson caught it and broke two tackles and was a runaway freight train tackled 30+ yards later after contact. A little later in the game, 3rd & 1, midfield, Cam faked a run which sucked everyone in, and then he rolled out and lofted a pass to Dickson who released wide-open, not a defender within 10 yards. Dickson nearly rumbled that for a TD as well. A great game was almost historic as he fell short of a TD on both long plays.
Is this a thing for fantasy?
I dunno, maybe?
I'm over here getting excited by Zach Miller and Tyler Higbee…I won’t turn my nose up at Ed Dickson working as a TE1 for a spell. Honestly, what he's done the past two weeks went right by me. Obviously, there was this week but he had a decent game prior week as well (3-62-0/4).
The last two games for Dickson: 4.0 rec. (4.5 targets), 118.5 yards, 0.0 TDs.
Obviously, that pace isn't going to hold up but the catches and targets are interesting. In a world desperate for fantasy starting tight ends…you could do worse. The Philly matchup Week 6 isn’t great.
-- Zach Zenner (3-11-1) is still alive! I wasn't aware. Good for him. As Ameer Abdullah has another Ameer-day…10 carries for 31 yards, Zenner came in and saw some interesting work – a couple key short yardage plays converting a 3rd & 1 with a 10+ yard run and a goal-line nifty move and score.
I'm ready to hop on the Zenner bandwagon as soon as there is any sign but it doesn’t look like its time yet.
FYI, LB Nick Bellore (starting ILB for SF late last season) was playing fullback for some of these carries and man did he pop some people. I think he might be converted there.
-- Eric Ebron (1-6-0/4) gets on my nerves. He dropped a TD. He dropped another catch over the middle they needed. When he finally held onto his one and only pass, finally…in the 4th quarter – the home Lions crowd sarcastically broke out into applause. That's when you know you suck.
The two people that don’t know he sucks and has for years are (1) Ebron himself, and (2) THE entire football media who thinks his break out is right around the corner…still…after all these years. That's their next Jimmy Graham! THEY forced the Lions to pass on Aaron Donald and Odell Beckham…made them draft this hack Ebron because he was SO great. Anyone could see the problems in college if they looked. His scouting took on a life of its own – a mythical figure.
Darren Fells (2-24-2/2) picked up the slack scoring 2 TDs.
Fells has 12.25 PPR PPG the past two weeks.
-- I like Golden Tate (5-48-0/8) as a buy low right now. He's cooled down a lot the past two weeks. Under 50 yards and just 4.0 catches per game the past two games. Usually, Tate is racking big targets and catch counts. I expect that to spike back against the Saints Week 6. A pretty nice schedule after his Week 7 BYE.
He trades as low as a WR2/2.5 for some people. I’d love to steal him.
-- Devin Funchess (7-52-1/8) sure is having a nice run…I just don’t see 'it' on the tape. He's the guy that's there and making some catches…which is better than the ignored guy he's been for years because he was unreliable. He's hot – and I'd be trading him if some sucker bought him as a WR1.5-like asset.
Funchess is a great sell high this week.
-- Christian McCaffrey (3-7-0, 5-31-1/7) has settled in as a nice RB3…one of the great frauds perpetrated by football analysts. He's good but he was made into a god. I got sucked in because I thought he get all kinds of touches because of the hype…but Carolina is winning and is immune from any criticism.
The hype balloon has popped, so many got stung with this one. He's useful and has some upside but he's not the guy anyone was hoping for as a top 30 overall redraft pick or top 3 dynasty rookie draft pick.
Four of his five games this year have been 4 or 5 catches and with 30-something yards each game. He's rushing for 2.7 yards per carry and his carries per game are dwindling as the weeks go by.
-- Jared Abbrederis (2-37-0/3) got his first targets in a while, and he looked good. Sleeper watch? Nope. As soon as Kenny Golladay is back this story ends.
-- Hey, IDP Kawaan Short (3 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 FF) had an impact game. Seems like a while since that's happened. 3.0 sacks the past two weeks. He's starting to heat up, maybe?
Snap Counts of Interest...
66 = Dickson (100%)
40 = Stewart
37 = McCaffrey
35 = Fells
34 = Ebron
30 = Riddick
22 = Abdullah
09 = Zenner