Fantasy Football Week 7: Monsters & Mortals

Every week we see some guys go above the call of duty for our fantasy teams. Some guys just seem to know we need a big week and they show up in a BIG way for us. These guys are straight up MONSTERS! Then again for every player posting 35 points we have a guy we expect to kick ass and take names who lays a goose egg by all accounts. This guy is a lot of times the solo reason we drop a fantasy match up, and so they are known as MORTALS! Every week after the dust clears on Sunday night I will post my list of weekly Monsters and Mortals. A few names at each position who have either exceeded our expectations at ffchamps for the week, or who we expected a great deal from but fell flat on their face like a dad on America’s Funniest Home Videos (the good old school AFV, the ones hosted by Bob Saget) after taking a wiffle ball bat to the nuts.

So without further ado I present your week 7 Monsters and Mortals.

MONSTERS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Ryan Tannehill MIA
    • 18/19 for 282 yards, 4TDs 0INT 27 fantasy points 
    • Tannehill scored almost all his fantasy points in the first half as he guided the Dolphins to 41 points before halftime. In the last two weeks under interim head coach Dan Campbell the Dolphins have score 38 and 44 points respectively while giving up just 36 combined points in those 2 games. Over the last 2 weeks Tannehill is throwing a touchdown once every eight pass attempts and this offense is on fire; both the pass and run. Sometimes coaching changes inspire and this is looking like one of those times. If Tannehill can keep scoring and lead this Miami team to an upset win Thursday night in Foxboro, everyone will look at the Dolphins in a whole new light.
  • Kirk Cousins WSH
    • 33/40 for 317 yards, 3TDs 0INT, 15 rush yards, 1TD 1FUMB lost 28 fantasy points 
    • Cousins got his come back on this weekend as he lead the Redskins back from a 17-point halftime deficit throwing for 218 yards and all 3 of his touchdowns in the 2nd half. It was Cousins’ first game this season with multiple touchdown passes; his first multiple touchdown pass game since week 6 of 2014. There was some talk of Robert Griffin III possibly coming back and playing soon if the Redskins couldn’t turn it around. Kirk Cousins must have been listening because he not only looked good in the come back but managed to get the come back complete throwing a TD pass to Jordan Reed with under 30 seconds left in the game.
  • Tom Brady NE
    • 34/54 for 355 yards, 2TDs 0INT, 15 rush yards 1TD 29 fantasy points
    • Tom Brady has thrown for multiple scores in his first 6 games this year; his 2nd longest streak of 2 or more touchdown throws per game since he opened 2007 with 10 straight. He’s gone over 300 yards in 4 of 6 games this year with 3 of those games Brady hitting 350 yards. He has just 1 pick still and he has scored at least 22 fantasy points in every game this season. The 355 yards are a career-high against the Jets and his first 300 yard game against his hated rival since 2012.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Marshawn Lynch SEA
    • 27 carries for 122 yards, 1TD 18 fantasy points (18 PPR)
    • The Seahawks exploited the 49ers in one way Thursday night and that was with Marshawn Lynch. Lynch’s 27 carries were the most for him in the regular season since week 2 of the 2013 season when he ran 28 times. It was Lynch’s first 100-yard game of the season and his 122 yards were the 2nd most in his career against San Francisco and his best output versus the Niners in a Seattle jersey. Lynch has 100+ yards in 7 of 12 career games against San Fran (including playoffs) and in 2 games he missed the century mark he still went over 90. Lynch has a history of dominating San Francisco and he just had another BeastMode performance in primetime.
  • Lamar Miller MIA
    • 14 carries for 175 yards, 1TD, 3 catches for 61 yards, 1TD 35 fantasy points (38 PPR)
    • Miller’s magic number was 14. He needs at least 14 carries to get going. Miller got 14 or more carries each of the last 2 weeks under new head coach Dan Campbell who said they needed to establish the run. Well Miller was given his opportunity the last 2 week and he’s made the most of it. Over 100 rushing yard each of the last 2 weeks. A rushing score each of the last 2 weeks, and he posted a career-high in receiving yards and his first receiving TD since week 1 of last season on Sunday against the Texans. This offense is primed for a 2nd half break out.
  • Todd Gurley STL
    • 19 carries for 128 yards, 2TDs, 4 catches for 35 yards 27 fantasy points (31 PPR)
    • Gurley has gone for 120+ on the ground in each of his last 3 games. He found the end zone for the first time in his career this weekend; twice, and had more catches and receiving yards in this game than his first 3 NFL games combined. Gurley’s schedule shows just 3 more difficult opponents the rest of the season but even tough match ups don’t look like they will be tough for Gurley.
  • Darren McFadden DAL
    • 29 carries for 152 yards, 1TD, 2 catches for 10 yards 22 fantasy points (24 PPR)
    • Say What?! Darren McFadden with a champ performance this week looking like his old self. You know; his old self when he was actually on the field. This guy had the talent and potential but couldn’t stay healthy. Now McFadden has the best offensive line in front of him he’s ever had and he got 19 more touches than the rest of the Cowboys running backs combined against the Giants. McFadden’s 152 yards were the 4th most in a single game of his career and his first 100-yard game since week 2 of 2013. The Cowboys backfield could see a new face emerge each week but after a performance like this it’s hard to imagine McFadden not getting the majority of opportunities after a big game like this.
  • Danny Woodhead SD
    • 5 carries for 26 yards, 0TD, 11 catches for 75 yards, 2TDs 21 fantasy points (32 PPR)
    • Woodhead obviously isn’t going to make his bread-and-butter via the run as he managed a team low 26 on the ground; although the Chargers accumulated just 90 total rush yards as a team, but in the pass game Woodhead killed it. Team high 11 catches on 12 targets (2nd on team behind Keenan Allen) with the 2nd most receiving yards while finding the end zone twice. Woodhead leads the Chargers backs in total yards from scrimmage and is the only San Diego running back to find the end zone this year; scoring 4 total times in 2015.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Jarvis Landry MIA
    • 5 targets, 5 catches for 83 yards, 2TDs 20 fantasy points (25 PPR)
    • Landry hauled in his first 2 receiving touchdowns of the season to already go along with a punt return score and a rushing TD last week. This dude is a swiss army knife of a player and as mentioned with Tannehill and Miller; this offense is starting to click! Landry already has two game over 80 receiving yards this year with one going over 100; he had just 1 such game last year without a single game hitting the century mark. His 20 standard points and 25 PPR points are also a career high for Landry. Even in games when he isn’t getting a ton of targets (just 9 targets last 2 weeks combined) he’s still producing for his team and fantasy owners (60+ yards from scrimmage and a score each of last two weeks) alike.
  • Mike Evans TB
    • 12 targets, 8 catches for 164 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (30 PPR)
    • Last year Mike Evans had a huge performance against the Redskins going for 209 yards on 7 grabs and 2 scores. This year against Washington Evans caught 8 passes for 164 yards and a score. It was his first TD of 2015 and his 2nd game over 100 yards not to mention the 8 catches are also a season-high. The 146 yards Evans accumulated were the 2nd most in a game in his career. Evans scored a touchdown in 4 of 6 games after he faced the Redskins last year and I’m sure his owners would love to see him go on a nice little run like that again here in 2015 but Evans has 5 tough match ups in his next 7 games so temper expectations for now until he gets on a hot run like he did last year as we entered the midway point.
  • TY Hilton IND
    • 15 targets, 4 catches for 150 yards, 2TDs 27 fantasy points (31 PPR)
    • Hilton had 15 targets which was encouraging in itself for as bad as the Colts offense looked for almost the first 3 quarters of this game but then he finally came through for his owners with a Hilton-esque performance late. Hilton scored 2 long touchdowns in the late 3rd quarter with an 87-yard score with less than 4 minutes left in the quarter then took the final play of the 3rd to the house for a 46-yard score. Hilton tends to do things like that for his owners; score long touchdowns when he has a poor performance in the catch department. It was his fewest grabs of 2015 but his first game of 100+ yards this year and his first game over 100 since week 14 of last season.
  • Amari Cooper OAK
    • 6 targets, 5 catches for 133 yards, 1TD 19 fantasy points (24 PPR)
    • Through his first 6 professional games Amari has 3 contests in which he was able to surpass the 100-yard mark. This year he has more 100-yard games than Odell Beckham Jr, Larry Fitzgerald, AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, or Demaryius Thomas. What makes Cooper’s performances even more impressive? Not just the fact that he’s a rookie but the fact that 5 of his 6 match up this year already have been against top 10 teams versus the pass (at the time of the game). Kid is special and we should only see Coop get hotter as he and Carr continue to build a chemistry.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Eric Ebron DET
    • 5 targets, 5 catches for 89 yards, 1TD 14 fantasy points (19 PPR)
    • Ebron was looking like he was taking the next step forward in his career at the start of the season going for 60+ yards or a touchdown in 3 of his first 4 games before he was injured. This was his first game back and man did he look great; catching every one of his targets while going for a career-high 89 yards and scoring his 3rd TD of the season.
  • Jordan Reed WSH
    • 13 target, 11 catches for 72 yards, 2TDs 19 fantasy points (30 PPR)
    • We always say Reed is a top-tier talent at the tight end position when healthy, especially in PPR leagues and boy did he look impressive in his first game back from a concussion. Reed lead the Redskins in targets, catches, and yards in this game and he now has 60+ yards in 4 of 5 games this year. Reed already has tied a career-high with 3 scores this year.
  • Rob Gronkowski NE
    • 16 targets, 11 catches for 108 yards, 1TD 16 fantasy points (27 PPR)
    • Gronkowski already has 3 games of 100+ yard and has at least 50 yards in every game in 2015. He’s scored a touchdown in 4 of 6 games this year and he is now tied with Tyler Eifert for the league-lead in touchdowns among tight ends with 6. This Patriots team will just continue to score all year meaning Gronk will continue to be the best TE in the NFL and fantasy football.

KICKERS/DEFENSE

  • Jaguars D/ST: 4 sacks; 2INT, 2FUMB recovery, 2TDs
  • Rams D/ST: 4 sacks, 4FUMB recoveries, 1TD
  • Dolphins D/ST: 4 sacks, 1INT, 1TD
  • Giants D/ST: 1 sack, 3INTs, 1FUMB recovery, 2TDs
  • Blair Walsh MIN: 5/5 FGs; 2 50+

MORTALS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Colin Kaepernick SF
    • 13/24 for 124 yards, 0TD 0INT 4 fantasy points
    • Seattle owns Colin Kaepernick. If anyone was going to pull the NFL version of Pedro Martinez it should be Kaepernick talking about the Seahawks being his daddy. In 7 career games against his NFC west rival, Kaep has managed to throw for more than 200 yards just once which was his first contest with them in 2012. Since then he’s thrown for 175 yards or fewer with an average of 140YPG and a 2:8 TD:INT ratio. Even his legs are useless when Seattle is his opponent. Kaepernick ha averaged 59 rushing yards per game versus all his other competition while he can only manage 30YPG with the Seahawks. We knew he’d have a poor performance; his 3rd straight regular-season tilt with Seattle without a touchdown while producing his 2nd lowest passing yardage and not having a single rush yard definitely qualifies as poor.
  • Landry Jones PIT
    • 16/29 for 209 yards, 1TD 2INTs, 1FUMB lost 6 fantasy points
    • In his first career start Jones turned the ball over three times while leading the Steelers to just 13 points. Since Todd Haley has became the Steelers offensive coordinator the Steelers have scored 13 or fewer points just 9 times in 55 games and in 2 of those games Haley didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. Jones did manage to throw for a late touchdown to who other than Martavis Bryant; all of Jones’ 3TDs the last 2 weeks went to Bryant. It’s very likely that Roethelisberger is back next week when the Steelers face the undefeated and current AFC north leading Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Matt Cassel DAL
    • 16/26 for 221 yards, 1TD 3INTs 6 fantasy points
    • We didn’t expect Cassel to be an upgrade over Brandon Weeden and we were right. Cassel has thrown for 3 or more interceptions in 3 of his last 6 starts. He was abused by the Giants this weekend turning the ball over 3 times, with one leading to a score. Cassel won’t have many good game as a fill-in for Romo and Dez Bryant owners should realize that Bryant won’t go off with Cassel like he would with Romo. Look at Antonio Brown’s struggles without Big Ben in the line up. As of now this was the Cowboys last game this season against a soft opponent versus quarterbacks now Cassel and the Boys face 5 tough and 4 neutral match ups to close out the fantasy football season.
  • Sam Bradford PHI
    • 26/46 for 205 yards, 0TD 1INT 6 fantasy points
    • In the immortal words of Bob Barker in the classic film Happy Gilmore: “This guys sucks!” For real Bob this dude is a waste of space in the fantasy football world and in the Eagles fan’s minds. Bradford has more picks than touchdown passes heading into his bye week. Against the Panthers this week he failed to throw a TD but threw a pick; first time since week 4 of 2012 Bradford had a game without a passing strike while throwing at least one interception. He doesn’t seem to be grasping the offense, or maybe it’s the still bad offensive line, or maybe it’s Chip Kelly trying to pass the buck constantly. Whatever it is Bradford is useless at this point and he’s dragging down the rest of the Eagles fantasy playmakers a la Jordan Matthews. Don’t be shocked if Mark Sanchez gets to start in the next few weeks if Bradford continues to look this bad.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Carlos Hyde SF
    • 11 carries for 40 yards, 0TD 4 fantasy points (4 PPR)
    • Since scoring 30 fantasy points (standard) in week 1, Hyde has scored a combined 39 fantasy points over the last 6 weeks. Hyde has 55 or fewer rushing yards in 5 of 7 games this year and he scored all 3 of his touchdowns in 2 games. This week against the Seahawks I can’t put 100% of the blame on Hyde as Kaepernick and the entire offense managed just 142 total yards. The Seahawks own the 49ers and Hyde has gone cold over the last month plus. Yes he is one of those rare backs who gets almost every touch for his team but he just can’t seem to make the most of his opportunities.
  • LeGarrette Blount NE
    • 3 carries for -3 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (0 PPR)
    • This should really be all the Patriots backs combined. As a team the Patriots managed a whopping grand total of 16 yards on the ground with Tom Brady rushing for 15 and the only score. Blount owners had a great match up two weeks ago with the Colts, a team Blount owns, but this week Blount fell back to earth against the leagues best run defense in the Jets. Brady threw the ball over 50 times so Blount should be fresh for Thursday night’s match up with the Dolphins. Also a fun fact; Blount has 4 career games against the Jets in which he’s ran 13 times for 12 yards and no scores. If you had Blount in your line up this weekend I hope you don’t use him in week 16 when these teams meet again in New York.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • DeAndre Hopkins HOU
    • 12 targets, 6 catches for 50 yards, 0TD 5 fantasy points (11 PPR)
    • Every stud has his down day; this was Hopkins time. He had double-digit targets for the 7th straight game (all this season) 9th of his last 10 dating back to last year. While it was Hopkins lowest output of yards and second lowest output of catches this season, the last time he went for fewer than 60 yards he went on a streak of 4 games in a row with over 100 yards while scoring 3TDs in that span. Hopkins has a meeting with Tennessee next week before his bye than has 4 of 6 games with cake match ups. He will be just fine; no need to panic if you own Nuke.
  • Golden Tate DET
    • 2 targets, 2 catches for 14 yards, 0TD 1 fantasy points (3 PPR)
    • After a career season last year in receptions and yardage, Tate has been off to an extremely slow start this year with just one game of double-digits in standard scoring league and in PPR formats his best week is 16 points. He hasn’t had a streak of 3 or more games with double-digit points (PPR) this season; last year Tate had 13 of 16 games with double-digits while having a streak of 9 straight games with 10+ points. In his last 5 meetings with the Vikings, Tate has gone over 45 yards just once and has just a single score in all those games while averaging less than 5PPG in standard scoring; 9 per game in PPR leagues. Tate and the Lions have a nice match up next week with the Chiefs but then he faces 3 tough match ups and just 1 easy one in the 6 weeks after his bye.
  • Odell Beckham Jr NYG
    • 6 targets, 4 catches for 35 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Some games are flukes for players which can go positive or negative and it affects studs to waiver wire pick ups. This week it was a negatively flukey game for Beckham. When guys like Orleans Darkwa and Dwayne Harris have more yards than you then you know it’s just a down week. The Giants defense and special teams took control against a beat up Cowboys offense starting their 3rd quarterback this season. Beckham should bounce back quickly as he faces 4 soft match ups in his next 6 contests. The only other 2 times Beckham had 30-35 yards in a game he came back the following week with over 120 yards on at least 7 grabs both times. He should rebound just fine next week against the Saints.
  • Jordan Matthews PHI
    • 7 targets, 3 catches for 14 yards, 0TD 1 fantasy point (4 PPR)
    • It was his worst offensive output as a pro in a game that he has caught at least one pass. Matthews hasn’t looked like the guy who broke onto the scene last year with 872 yards and 8TDs. Sam Bradford is slowing him down and without a legit threat on the outside; I mean come on Philadelphia Josh Huff, Riley Cooper, and Miles Austin on the outside?? Why?? how can Matthews succeed? Won’t be happening with how bad this offense is playing. If they don’t come out of the bye week on fire offensively than Matthews becomes droppable without thinking twice.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Jimmy Graham SEA
    • 5 targets, 2 catches for 31 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (5 PPR)
    • Russell Wilson hit Graham with a 23-yard strike early and after his 8 catch 140 yard performance last week, it looked like the Seahawks were finally integrating Graham more into their plans. Then again maybe not. After that early grab Graham was only targeted 4 more times. Seattle will always run the ball, especially when they are ahead early and Marshawn Lynch was doing to good of a job to not be given the rock near 30 times. While Graham won’t always have weeks like this his owners have to realize that unlike being in New Orleans there is always the possibility of a very down week like this in Seattle.
  • Julius Thomas JAX
    • 5 targets, 1 catch for 4 yards, 0TD 0 fantasy points (1 PPR)
    • It was an easy match up on paper. Thomas looked hot last week. Bortles has been looking good all year. Sadly for Thomas owners the stars didn’t align this weekend as he hauled in just 1 pass for a measly 4 yards. Bortles only completed 13 passes and Thomas did still have the 3rd most targets on the team so while he laid an egg this week don’t expect him to be held down often the rest of this season.
  • Greg Olsen CAR
    • 5 targets, 3 catches for 65 yards, 0TD 6 fantasy points (9 PPR)
    • Cam Newton threw for just 197 yards and completed a dismal 14 passes. Olsen had the 2nd most targets, 2nd most catches, and lead the Panthers in yards on Sunday night. Slow day through the air offensively but it’s apparent Olsen still Newton’s go-to guy.
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