*The Top 5 Trade For/Away, Waivers, etc. will post later today or more likely tomorrow pre-noonET.
For now, here's the instant reaction to Sunday, subject to change when I go through the tape fully a second time…
-- You may shrug your shoulders at the stat line but Jared Goff (22-37 for 235 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 1 rush TD) was mostly brilliant in this game. He is ‘the next Tom Brady’…and ‘it’s on’ right now. He is so in control of the offense and manipulating defenses. I am not wrong with my hysteria. He had a TD pass dropped on him or his line might have been a touch bigger…the rushing TD was salvation if you started him this week.
-- I made the pitch last week for Robert Woods (5-59-0/7, 1-4-0/4) as Goff’s favorite target in recent games. It looked that way for chunks of this game, but Cooper Kupp (4-51-1/10) got some nice, easy stuff to push the bigger numbers this game. When it mattered, early, I saw more Woods getting looks…and then this game got out of hand and Kupp rose up. Eventually, they’ll be enough for both in many games.
-- If Carson Palmer (10-18 for 122 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) is done (and it looks like he is)…David Johnson ‘returning quickly’ hopes may go right out the window. It also takes down Larry Fitzgerald (3-29-0/3). A lot riding on Arizona’s next game Week 9 at SF…DJ ‘hopers’ cannot afford a loss there.
-- If Jay Cutler is out, and Matt Moore in – Kenny Stills (6-85-2/9) becomes the new Donte Moncrief – higher probability of a TD each week with lower yards/catches…but gets him some TDs. Moore favors Stills a little more and in balance with the whole offense. Jarvis Landry (7-93-1/11) is Cutler’s guy.
-- Austin Seferian-Jenkins (3-21-0/5) scored a TD for the third week in a row…the good times are probably over now. ASJ has had a very favorable schedule of defenses that are/were weak against the TE. The schedule amps up now. Plus, ASJ still doesn’t show me any pop or flash on tape at all…just an option/warm body on the field.
-- Jermaine Kearse (1-29-1/4) is some #1 WR…four targets in each game for the last three games.
-- Jameis Winston (32-44 for 384 yards, 3 TD/1 INT) posted his fourth 300+ yard game in a row (when he completes the game). The Bucs are constantly down, usually down big early, and throwing a lot…hey, whatever works for fantasy. Much of this action is 2nd-half and 4th quarter but it still counts.
-- Cameron Brate (6-60-0/9) is on fire – 5.0 rec., 7.2 targets, 51.4 yards, 0.80 TDs per game the past five games. He’s gone from TE1 hopeful -- to solidly a TE1, an upper-end one every week. Maybe. O.J. Howard (6-98-2/6) is making noise now. Brate seems purposeful and OJH a ‘cute’ option defenses forget about still.
-- Deonte Thompson (4-104-0/4) gets cut by the Bears, joins the Bills, and two weeks later looks like the best WR they have. I wouldn’t trust it because I wouldn’t trust anything to do with the Bills’ passing game.
-- I think this game showed that if you own Leonard Fournette, Chris Ivory (17-47-1) is not necessarily a ‘hold’ as a handcuff…because T.J. Yeldon (9-122-1, 2-15-0/2) emerged from the dead to take workload as well.
-- I think you can count on Marlon Mack (5-26-0, 4-40-0/6) becoming the Alvin Kamara of the Colts…5+ carries, 5+ targets…an RB3 option every week with upside. He’s the only Colts’ RB with any real juice/excitement when he has the ball.
-- For those scrambling at TE during BYE weeks, etc. – with Jacoby Brissett starting, Jack Doyle (6-44-0/7) has averaged 5.6 rec., 43.2 yards, 0.20 TDs per game. He’s had drops and fumble issues this year…but he keeps getting solid looks every week.
-- We can’t have Chicago winning games in order for Mitchell Trubisky (4-7 for 107 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) to ever do anything for fantasy. John Fox lives to get a lead and sit on it…and he did here. In addition, we can’t have John Fox still employed because he is an abomination to NFL offenses. The Bears only had the ball for 21 minutes in this game due to the two defensive scores…and Fox and his O-C are awful.
-- There were signs of Tarik Cohen (1-70-0/3) back to his RB/WR role in this game, but as I mentioned the Bears went into hibernation with the lead so not much offensive conclusions to draw. Cohen didn’t even take a carry in this game. He dropped an easy pass, he also had a 10+ yard catch brought back on a penalty.
-- Cam Newton’s last two games: 1 TD/5 INTs…because he’s not a great passer. But note the past two weeks: 10.0 carries for 60.5 yards rushing per game. Last four weeks: 8.8 rushing attempts per game. He’s back running and that’s a good thing for FF if he can add even moderate results throwing.
-- This is what you feared as a Jerick McKinnon (14-47-0, 3-10-0/3) owner…Mike Zimmer wants a power run game with Latavius Murray (18-113-1)…because like all the old-school coaches – the goal is to get a one point or greater lead and then try to milk that lead for whatever time remains in the game. It will be an up and down ride with McKinnon not being treated as a pure #1 RB, but puts up numbers like them often.
-- When Stefon Diggs is set to return…you might want to trade him before plays. He had great numbers before he went down, and comes back to Case Keenum’s offense…Case has thrown 0-1-1-0 for TD passes in a game the past four weeks. We may see Teddy Bridgewater after all…but he’s stuck in this garbage Mike Zimmer offense as well.
-- I worried that the Vikings would shutout the anemic Ravens, and thus crush Justin Tucker…the Vikes did shutout the Ravens’ offense but not Tucker – he hit 3-for-3 FGs for the third week in a row. The schedule now turns in favor of Tucker except his Week 10 BYE.
-- The real Mike McCarthy was able to emerge now that he got the pesky Aaron Rodgers out of the way. You will now see one of the worst, most conservative offensive minds at work…which means all the running of the ball possible and a steep drop in passing output. I thought the WRs would drop 20-30% with Brett Hundley...make it 50%. 24 runs and just 12 completed passes in this game for Green Bay. McCarthy tried to sit on the early led but he failed. He’ll do it again next week.
-- McCarthy is going to go heavy run game…and Aaron Jones (17-131-1, 3-70/5) will be his muse. I speculated Jones as a smart, cheap grab last week (if possible) via trade or waivers for this very reason – the McCarthy run game desire…and the likelihood Ty Montgomery gets hurt or fails in the split.
-- You didn’t like my Ted Ginn (7-141-/7) love after a so-so start to the season, but here we are – Ginn’s numbers are rising…3.7 rec., 69.0 yards, and 0.50 TDs per game over the past four weeks. He’s been the Saints’ best WR the past two weeks.
-- If you can explain to me why Tennessee has Derrick Henry (13-13-0, 2-11-0/3) on their roster, I’d love to know. I am not pro or con Henry, but I’m watching DeMarco Murray do nothing week after week and he has a hamstring issue…and no matter what Henry is kept in the garage until garbage time, mostly. The Titans running game looks atrocious.
-- If Cody Kessler starts, you have to worry about Duke Johnson’s (7-26-0, 6-45-0/7) great PPR run…he’s getting the favorable volume from Deshone Kizer. Only Two of his 6 catches in this game were passes from Kessler in a half+ of play. Last season, Duke was irrelevant with Kessler.
-- Taywan Taylor (3-45-0/4) is starting to get onto the 2017 fantasy radar. 2.5 rec. (4.0 targets), for 53.0 yards, 0.50 TDs per game the past two weeks. Eric Decker has lost his mojo off multiple injuries. Corey Davis is M.I.A. Taylor is not only gathering some numbers – he’s making key, important catches downfield/in traffic. One we keep watching to see if he’ll cross over into WR3 potential.
-- Why I was pushing for Doug Baldwin acquisitions the past few weeks…9 rec., 92 yards, 1 TD in this game. He was due and there are plenty more WR1 outputs coming. Price is too high to mess with this week. Your window of opportunity is closed, mostly…for now.
-- I’m not going to type the names, but just one blanket statement – you don’t want to mess with the Seattle or NYG backfield for fantasy. No consistency behind bad O-Lines and sketchy game plans by the O-C.
-- Evan Engram (6-60-/12) keeps getting more and more work. Sadly, for all us EE owners, he caught a pass and raced for like 40+ yards and nearly a score…but it got called back because he unwittingly went out of bounds and came back in and made the play. 100+ yards in a game was ripped away from us by a foot.
-- I’ve been backing and promoting the Dallas defense since the summer. People lost faith when they gave up numbers to LAR and GB…but those were two great offenses. Dallas has held weaker offenses to 17 or fewer points in games this year. This defense is young, talented, and gelling. I have crowed about the Browns as the young defense of the future…it might be Dallas because they have a better organization around them. I’m going to re-study the schedule ahead and see if the future is now…we might be close to Dallas as your DST2, your streamer ROS…your possible go-to DST in a few weeks.
-- Dak Prescott (16-25 for 234 yards, 3 TD/0 INT, 4-26-1) has scored 4-4-3-3 for TDs the past four games. He is on his way to being the #1 QB in fantasy. Remember, when I said to sell out for him ahead of the crowd last season? Our top 5 QB to take this preseason as your QB2 with high-end QB1 upside. Well, here it is. We saw this Dak train coming way ahead of the crowd. It’s only going to get better in the future when they give him real pass game weapons to work with.
-- Marquise Goodwin (4-80-0/8) is rising from the grave some. The past three weeks he’s averaged 3.7 rec., (8.0 targets), 74.0 yards, 0.00 TDs per game. I still think is a very risky play but if the 49ers are going to be down all season, and throwing a bunch because they are down a bunch…maybe Goodwin has some long-shot value.
-- Vance McDonald (2-37-0/3) is seeing increased snaps and targets…and sudden chatter from Big Ben on how much they like what VMD does. He might be getting ready for fantasy relevance soon.
-- Tyler Kroft (4-23-1/4) in the past three weeks as he takes over at TE: 3.7 rec., 5.3 targets, 43/0 yards, 1.0 TDs per game. He is a legit TE1 with a mostly favorable schedule ahead.
-- This Steelers DST play is still hot – shut down the Bengals running game, shut down A.J. Green (3-41-0/6) and landed 4 sacks with 2 picks. A ‘start’ every week ROS except Week 15 vs. NE.
-- Denver has an incredibly favorable schedule of defenses to face ahead. Before you throw all their fantasy assets in the trash…consider KC-PHI-NE-CIN-OAK-MIA-NYJ-IND from Weeks 8-15. In terms of passing yards allowed (before Sunday’s games) rankings with those teams, Denver will face #28-29-32-2-23-21-15-30 in Weeks 8-15.
-- After coming out of the gates a league leader in tackles early on, Jatavis Brown (2 tackles) has 5-5-3-2 for tackles in games the past four weeks as LAC changes up to try to stop the run more. I see Brown in coverage more than usual, which may be the issue. Whatever it is – it’s an IDP issue suddenly.
-- The ‘great’ Denver defense has now been handled by Philip Rivers and Eli Manning in back-to-back weeks. 21 or more points allowed in three of their last 4 games. At KC, at PHI, NE the next three weeks are not good to ‘get right’.
-- Julio Jones (9-99-1/13) garbage-timed his way to big FF numbers, now is the time to sell him as a top 5 player in fantasy valuation in exchange for lots of good stuff or something huge.
-- With his TD catch/run Brandin Cooks (4-65-1/5) jumps into the top 12 among WRs in fantasy PPG in PPR and nonPPR for the season.
-- If you take out the game he got hurt in, in his four other games this season, Mohamed Sanu (6-65-0/10) has averaged 5.3 rec., 56.3 yards, 0.25 TDs per game. Considering the attention Julio gets and how likely Atlanta is to be losing/throwing desperately in games…Sanu has WR3+ potential week-to-week.