Mostly NFL Notes: Talking Darren Sproles and a look around around the league in Week 2

Mostly NFL Notes: Talking Darren Sproles and a look around around the league in Week 2

The Eagles became the first team in NFL history to win their first two contests of the season while trailing by 14+ points in the second half of each game. Monday night also marked the first time in Andrew Luck’s career he’s lost back-to-back games…Luck tossed three touchdowns but got just 5.1 YPA, as Indy relied heavily upon its rushing attack, which produced 169 yards on 38 attempts. Luck, who already has a whopping 10 fourth quarter comebacks during his brief career, wasn’t able to pull off another one Monday night, but it should be noted his interception in the fourth quarter (which looks bad considering the Colts were up seven and in field goal range), involved a blatant hold on the defense that wasn’t called that forced T.Y. Hilton to fall down. An ensuing play also resulted in a 15-yard horse collar penalty during a tackle on LeSean McCoy in which no such infraction occurred…At 31 years old and the seemingly smart Saints willing to give him up for a song (a fifth-round pick), I was skeptical how much juice Darren Sproles had left (although to be fair, Pro Football Focus graded him as the best receiving back in the NFL last season). My skepticism was clearly unfounded, as Sproles might have been the best player on the field Monday night, when he compiled a career-high 152 receiving yards and seven catches. This run was pretty legit, and this play might have been equally as impressive

Jeremy Maclin has a poor catch percentage so far this season (38.1), but you have to love the 21 targets regardless. His game could’ve been much bigger Monday night had Nick Foles not missed him on a couple of shots when he was open downfield…Foles is going to put up big numbers in this system, but he’s wildly inaccurate at times…Trent Richardson looked generally good and had one of his best performances since joining Indy, but he also fumbled twice (losing one), and Ahmad Bradshaw once again outperformed him. Bradshaw got 5.4 YPC and secured all five of his targets for 26 receiving yards and two touchdowns. This situation looks like a true committee for now.

[Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid]

The Patriots ended this game scoring 30 unanswered points after going down 7-0 early on, as New England’s defense forced four interceptions and held Minny to just 217 total yards…Matt Asiata had a 25-yard touchdown catch, but he also gained just 36 yards on 13 carries against a Patriots front seven that was gashed by Miami’s running game in Week 1 (191 yards, 5.0 YPC)…Kyle Rudolph had a couple of bad drops Sunday, while Stevan Ridley is suddenly back on the fantasy radar, getting 25 carries for 101 yards and a TD. James White was inactive and Brandon Bolden got zero yards on four carries, so it’s pretty clear Ridley is the leader for New England’s “big back” role. Just remember this team’s offensive plan changes weekly, and Shane Vereen got 6.7 YPC on Sunday and will likely be more involved in the passing game moving forward, so I wouldn’t give up on him…The Patriots’ defense had a huge game for fantasy teams, and realize it came with Devin McCourty getting tackled on the 1-yard line after a 60-yard interception, so it was nearly even bigger…I’ve been a big Tom Brady advocate this season, and he finished with fewer than 150 yards and just one score in Week 2. I’d argue the Pats were up 24-7 at halftime only to build a bigger lead later, resulting in just 22 pass attempts compared to 37 carries, but I do acknowledge at some point the excuses need to stop if Brady doesn’t start performing better soon...Julian Edelman has eight straight games with six+ catches – the longest active streak in the NFL.

Headlines of the Week: German Waiter Breaks World Beer-Carrying Record By Carrying 27 Full Mugs...Sleepwalking Camper Gets Rude Awakening At Red River GorgeBoy Denied Bus Pass Because He Lives Six Feet Too Close To SchoolAustralian Man Awakes From Coma Speaking Fluent Mandarin...Microsoft Paid The NFL $400 Million To Use Its Tablets, But Announcers Are Calling Them iPadsFour-Year-Old Sleepwalks 5km To Nearby TownHow An American F-16 Pilot Was Given A Kamikaze Mission On Sept. 11.

I don’t want to overreact, but fantasy football isn’t like fantasy baseball (13-week regular season compared to six months), and things also change dramatically more so in a short time span. In other words, especially with all the injuries, it certainly wouldn’t be crazy to say DeMarco Murray is the No. 1 fantasy back right now or at least in the conversation. Obviously, he’s had durability issues in the past, but his 14 broken tackles are tied for the NFL’s most, and his 153 yards after contact lead it. The Cowboys’ run blocking unit might be the best in football, and Murray has totaled 316 yards and two scores over the first two games (although he’s already lost two fumbles). Only Arian Foster has more rushing attempts but no one has more rushing yards, as Murray is on pace to finish with 2,280, which would be an NFL record...I’m not going to lie, I expected Terrance Williams, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter to combine for more than seven catches and 77 yards (and zero TDs) during this game...Dez Bryant left with a shoulder injury, but as usual, managed to return and play through it. His ability to play through injuries is one of the reasons I ranked him No. 2 on my WR board…I must admit, I expected Shonn Greene to get more than five carries as the Titans’ starter at home against a suspect Dallas defense...Through two games, Dallas has allowed 186 yards and three touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Might want to take note of that, especially considering that involved Delanie Walker getting a career-high 142 yards in Week 2.

Have you heard of “Snackeez? Because “It’s taking the world by storm!” 

Carson Palmer was fully expected to start all week according to reports, but his surprising absence was par for the course when it comes to Week 2, as so many players dealt with injuries, and many of them stars. Andre Ellington continues to deal with a foot injury, but he got 6.1 YPC and looks as explosive as ever, although Jonathan Dwyer stole a goal-line TD…Over the first two weeks of the season, Larry Donnell has 17 targets, which are more than Pierre Garcon and Andre Johnson have seen, and they finished first and second for the NFL lead in the category last season…Victor Cruz has gotten 5.3 yards per target and 0.9 YAC this season. That’s not ideal…As a multiple owner of Michael Floyd and someone who faded Larry Fitzgerald, I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of Drew StantonHere’s Rueben Randle making a nice one-handed TD catch against Patrick Peterson...This Rashad Jennings (untouched) fumble was pretty awful…With 30 seconds left in the second quarter at their own 10-yard line and with just one timeout, the Cardinals did one of the more unorthodox things you’ll ever see. They called a play action pass that gained 32 yards. After an ensuing timeout and then a 15-yard penalty against them, Arizona still wasn’t content to go to halftime, as they attempted a deep pass to Floyd (that was nearly completed). It’s safe to say at least 30 of the other NFL coaches wouldn’t have gone this route, let alone ones who had a lead and were playing their backup quarterback. I love Bruce Arians’ willingness to be aggressive.

Dan Carpenter is on pace to make 64 field goals. The record is held by David Akers with 44…One week after Miami sacked Tom Brady four times, pressured him immensely and held the future Hall of Famer to just 4.4 YPA, E.J. Manuel wasn’t sacked once Sunday, and the QB who looked totally lost during the preseason has somehow gotten 7.9 YPA this season. The transitive property doesn’t work in the NFL. I repeat, it doesn’t work. But if we ran a silly exercise for fun, the Bills look like the 1985 Bears right now. They won in Chicago Week 1 against a Bears team that just won in San Francisco against a 49ers squad that won handily in Dallas earlier against a Cowboys team that just prevailed in Tennessee against a Titans team that had previously won in Kansas City against a Chiefs team that nearly won in Denver on Sunday while ravaged by injuries. Oh, and Buffalo dominated the Dolphins, who dominated a Patriots team in Week 1 that just won by 23 points on the road against a Vikings team that won by 28 points in St. Louis the previous week against a Rams team that just won in Tampa Bay with their third string QB starting. Got all that?…Tough loss for Knowshon Moreno owners, and one would reasonably presume this is a boost to Lamar Miller’s fantasy value…Sammy Watkins looked very good. Like really good. Get exited…C.J. Spiller had a 102-yard kickoff return for a TD, has caught all four of his targets this season and got 5.8 YPC on the same amount of carries Sunday as Fred Jackson, who got 2.0 YPC…After scoring once over his first 10 games with the Dolphins, Mike Wallace has six touchdowns over his past eight.

Here’s an amazing historical inside story about cats

The Mohamed Sanu/Andy Dalton tandem was too much Sunday, as the Bengals got 12.6 YPA during a dominant performance. Sanu has a 100% completion percentage and has thrown for 148 yards on just three attempts during his career. It’s a surprise there hasn’t yet been a quarterback controversy in Cincinnati…In all seriousness, with A.J. Green sidelined (it sounds like it might just be a couple of games), Sanu will definitely gain value…Mike Nugent, who was a full-time kicker over all 16 games last year, has as many missed attempts this season as he did in all of 2013…The Bengals are just the second team in NFL history to play their first two games without allowing a sack or committing a turnover (they haven’t fumbled yet either)…Giovani Bernard is on pace to record 416 touches. 416! Yeah, he’s a top-10 player…Over his past eight games, Julio Jones has 66 catches for 966 yards and five touchdowns.

Mark Ingram has looked by far the best he has during his career, so it’s really unfortunate he’s going to be sidelined at least the next month with a broken hand. All these injuries are really annoying, and it sure seems like more than usual…Here’s Johnny Manziel attempting his first NFL pass, if you’re into that sort of thing...Andrew Hawkins has 22 targets over the first two weeks. Expect a Kendall Wright type season out of him (85+ catches, 1,000 yards, 2-4 TDs)…Miles Austin got targeted 10 times, so he can’t be ignored, especially with Jordan Cameron injured, but his touchdown was his first since 2012…Drew Brees threw 40 passes Sunday, and Marques Colston wasn’t targeted once. Buy low if possible. Remember, the Saints have yet to play at home this season…This was why Jimmy Graham was worth a top-10 pick…To call this a blown coverage would be an understatement. The Browns’ missed extra point absolutely hurt those who had the Saints in Survivor, as it resulted in Cleveland going for it on fourth down when they never would have otherwise (I understand this is a dangerous game to play, as maybe everything would have been different, but it clearly affected play calling down the stretch being down a point as opposed to tied).

I was down on Robert Griffin entering the year thinking he’d get hurt. I also went to battle for him this week. Go figure. What a shame. Get well soon, RG3…Chad Henne rushed for more than twice as many yards as Toby Gerhart, who was the only other Jacksonville player to have a carry Sunday…As is tradition, Alfred Morris had a touchdown swooped by a complete unknown, with this week being Silas Redd Jr. Morris actually recorded two TDs on his own, and he’s now rushed for more yards than anyone other than Adrian Peterson over the past two years…I have to admit I expected more from Marqise Lee…If I’m in a 2-QB league, I’m spending a lot of FAAB (I’d consider the max) on Kirk Cousins (his first pass of the year went for a TD). Washington has averaged 3.7 points per drive with Cousins under center compared to 0.5 with Griffin. Cousins has been willing to throw downfield far more often as well…Niles Paul was an animal, coming out of nowhere to get 99 yards and a score. He also dropped a would-be huge gain as well. He’s an intriguing TE option as long as Jordan Reed is out…Ryan Kerrigan had four sacks, as Washington recorded a whopping 10…Allen Hurns dropped a wide open pass that would’ve gone for a 76-yard touchdown early in the first quarter, which really hurt, considering the Jaguars’ first four drives resulted in 12 plays for a total of one yard…Jacksonville gained 148 yards during this game, and its first play in Washington’s territory was with 9:28 left in the fourth quarter. I will never understand why yards against isn’t a common scoring option for fantasy defenses in standard leagues. It definitely should be.

Here’s a classic clip: Cowboy Monkey Rodeo Night

Kelvin Benjamin secured just 2-of-8 targets, although that still resulted in 46 yards. Fantasy owners might be saying “Free Derek Anderson” but I’m guessing the rookie will get better rapport with Cam Newton moving forward…The Carolina defense was still devastating even with Greg Hardy deactivated, holding Matthew Stafford to 6.1 YPA and Detroit’s ground game to 3.9 YPC while recording four sacks…Newton took five sacks himself, but he completed 64.7 percent of his passes, got 8.3 YPA and had a 100.2 QB Rating. He’s good to go…Joique Bell had 11 targets compared to Reggie Bush’s three. Since Bell entered the league in 2012, he has 112 receptions. Bush has 97 over that span…Nate Freese is ice cold.

The Raiders entered the fourth quarter during their home opener down 27-0 against a team that went 2-14 last season, although to be fair, many expected Houston to be much better this season…However, not many expected J.J. Watt to catch a touchdown this yearDarren McFadden averaged 5.3 YPC over 2010/2011, and the big worry regarding his fantasy value was health. Nowadays, it sadly doesn’t matter if he’s healthy (and even if his starter ahead of him is hurt), as he’s gotten 3.3 YPC since 2011…James Jones didn’t even start Week 1, but he saw a whopping 14 targets Sunday, hauling in nine catches for 112 yards and a score. He’s definitely now on the fantasy radar, although he also somehow fumbled twice on the same play…The worry is whether Arian Foster can stay healthy, but he sure looks terrific right now. He’s one of only two players with 180+ rushing yards (he has 241) and leads the NFL with 55 carries. Anyone still holding Jonathan Grimes over Alfred Blue should correct this as soon as possible.

Police Blotter: Dallas County Considers Using Video Chats For Jail VisitationMan Arrested For Drugs After Butt-Dialing 911Man Cooks Ex Her Dog For DinnerMan Sells Cop Crushed Up Pop-Tart, Says It's CocaineNew York Man Hid Cocaine, LSD, Pot Inside Stuffed Animal Wearing a D.A.R.E. T-Shirt...Sydney Airport Passenger Accidentally Given Bomb By Police...Cuckold Calls Cops On Wife’s ‘Burglar’ Lover...Defendant Dares Judge To Give Death Penalty.

There was a stretch in which the Chiefs recorded 10 first downs before the Broncos had one, which is probably abnormal against a team entering favored by 13 points with the underdog losing Jamaal Charles early on. Speaking of which, it’s rough news for Charles owners, especially those who don’t also own Knile Davis, who appears plenty competent and should be a top-10 fantasy RB during Charles’ absence…The Broncos have outscored their opponents 45-17 in the first half this season and have been outscored 24-10 in the second half…I took Denver in Survivor this week, and I feel lucky again, especially after John Fox’s head-scratching decision not to use any of the Broncos’ three timeouts once Kansas City had a first-and-goal down one score with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter. Nearly two-touchdown dogs, the Chiefs would've probably been best off to go for two had they scored…Nice to see Travis Kelce lead Kansas City with 81 receiving yards, and he was targeted in the end zone a couple of times as well...Peyton Manning nearly had to play in overtime (or suffer a loss) during a game in which he completed 80.8 percent of his passes while getting 9.3 YPA and a 3:0 TD:INT ratio (and his team lost zero fumbles as well)…This catch by Anthony Fasano wasn't bad…It’s at least interesting to note the Chiefs got nine more first downs, had 55 more total yards and held the ball nearly 13 more minutes than the Broncos (while committing zero turnovers)…Montee Ball most definitely hasn’t lived up to the hype, but fantasy owners should take solace in him having broken the third-most tackles in football over the first two games of the season. Better things are ahead.

Eddie Lacy has no doubt been a huge disappointment so far but realize he’s faced two defenses that finished in the top-four in allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs last season. James Starks didn’t even touch the ball Sunday. Lacy is a buy-low target if that’s possible in your league…Jordy Nelson looks primed for an absolutely monstrous season…Mason Crosby’s 55-yard field goal was the longest ever in Lambeau Field by a Packers kicker…Those who took the Packers in Survivor pools got a break, as this would-be tying touchdown was nullified by a timeout called at the last second from New York’s sideline. Tough break for the Jets, who played really well on the road against a Green Bay team that had extra rest.

In scorching heat, Philip Rivers turned in a tremendous performance, getting 7.7 YPA with a 3:0 TD:INT ratio against the NFL’s best defense, even throwing toward Richard Sherman multiple times. So much for the Chargers playing on an extreme short week (their game finished close to 11 p.m. Pacific time Monday night, while Seattle last played Thursday) leading to an easy Seahawks victory…Not only did Antonio Gates score three touchdowns (highlighted by this sick catch), but he secured all seven of his targets and gained 97 yards. Seattle had allowed a total of six touchdowns to opposing tight ends dating back to the beginning of last season. Meanwhile, Ladarius Green didn’t see a single target…Sunday marked the first time the Seahawks allowed points on an opening drive since Week 13 of 2012…Rivers tied for the team lead with 11 rushing attempts, while no one on Seattle had more than six carries…The refs made a big mistake not reviewing Percy Harvin’s 51-yard touchdown run, as his foot was CLEARLY out of bounds…I wouldn’t worry too much about Keenan Allen’s slow start to the year. Stay patient…Tough loss for Ryan Mathews owners, as Donald Brown now becomes fantasy relevant and a must-add in all leagues.

What an odd game in Tampa Bay, as it featured a weather delay and ended on a controversial call in which the refs ran 10 seconds off the clock thanks to a (real) Mike Evans injury, although he appeared to go down with 13 seconds left (the Bucs were down two points and in field goal range). Oh, and Austin Davis completed 75.9 percent of his passes while getting 8.1 YPA making the first start of his career and on the road…Zac Stacy lost a fumble, but he definitely had a positive game and looks to be the top back in St. Louis right now…As for Tampa Bay’s backfield, after Bobby Rainey ripped off 144 yards on 22 carries to go along with another 30 yards through the air, Doug Martin is likely to be in a time share when he’s able to return to the field…Brian Quick remains the only Rams wide receiver worth owning…Josh McCown has twice as many rushing touchdowns as LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy and Matt Forte combined.

Longread of the WeekWest Virginia Heathers: Was Skylar Neese Murdered By Her Best Friends? 

As someone who was there in person, that wasn’t an ideal opening of a new stadium by the 49ers, who entered the fourth quarter up 20-7 and ended up losing 28-20…It’s not often you see a quarterback get just 5.2 YPA and throw four touchdowns, but that’s what Jay Cutler did Sunday night, thanks to some ridiculous catches by Brandon Marshall, including this one. San Francisco held Chicago to 4.2 yards-per-play and yet yielded 28 points. That’s what happens when you lose the turnover margin 4:0 (and commit 16 penalties)…Frankly, I didn’t expect Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to even play, but I hope you had the former in your lineup…Frank Gore continues to look good (he had a long TD run called back by a penalty Sunday night), as it looks like it’s going to take an injury for Carlos Hyde to be a big part of the offense…Michael Crabtree’s value would get a boost if Vernon Davis misses significant time with his ankle injury...The last time the Seahawks and 49ers lost on the same day was 9/18/11 and neither team lost during the same month last season (h/t NinersNation)

Follow Dalton Del Don on Twitter