Sun Oct 12 09:39pm EDT
It's not often that a quarterback averaging over 330 passing yards per game is a buy-low candidate, but that's probably the case with Drew Brees.
No, really. Brees wasn't quite the high-scorer at QB in Week 6, but for the fifth time in six games he was near the top of the list. He's now on pace for 5,300 yards and 32 TDs -- and he's putting up those numbers without Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey.
Brees still has upcoming match-ups with the Chargers, Chiefs, and Falcons (twice). He'll also get the Lions in Week 16, when fantasy titles are decided.
• OK, there's the shootout. After a relatively quiet first half, the Cowboys and Cardinals finally delivered the highlights we all expected: Miles Austin caught a 14-yard TD, Larry Fitzgerald got a two-yarder (he made a few other sensational grabs), and then Steve Breaston caught an 11-yarder. Neil Rackers kicked a field goal with 3:17 remaining to give Arizona a 24-14 lead.
And then the festivities really started. Tony Romo had 116 passing yards in the final three minutes, and he can thank Marion Barber for 70 of them. Barber's long touchdown off a short, innocent-looking pass cut the Arizona lead to 24-21, and Nick Folk tied the game at the end of regulation on a 52-yard field goal.
You'd think a game like that would get settled in overtime by either Romo or Kurt Warner, but instead it ended on a blocked punt. Arizona's Sean Morey smothered the kick, and Monty Beisel recovered and found himself in the end zone for a game-ending TD.
If you started the Cardinals' D/ST today, please use the comments section to gloat.
• The tackle of the day may have belonged to Jaguars punter Adam Podlesh. He prevented Glenn Martinez from taking a punt back for a touchdown with 10:24 remaining in the fourth quarter in Denver, dragging Maritnez to the ground with one hand.
Still, the Broncos got the points back pretty quickly. Two plays later, Brandon Marshall broke away from attempted tackles by literally every member of the Jacksonville defense on a 21-yard gain. And two plays after that, tight end Daniel Graham caught an 11-yard TD.
• Fred Taylor returned to the field for Jacksonville late in the fourth quarter, shortly after Maurice Jones-Drew took the lead in Week 6 fantasy scoring among running backs. Taylor ran hard, too, moving a pile of tacklers several yards to pick up a first down just before the two-minute warning.
• You'd think that Ryan Grant could do a little something with 33 carries, but no. He gained only 90 yards, which works out to only 2.7 per carry.
• Three interesting lines from widely-available WRs: rookie Donnie Avery caught four passes for 73 yards, including a 43-yard gain on the Rams final drive; Devin Hester had six catches for 87 yards, and he looked just like a legitimate NFL receiver (Evans, you win that one); Antwaan Randle-El finished with five receptions for 87 yards. No TD passes from Randle-El today, though.
• The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Carson Palmer will have his elbow examined by one of the Mets' team doctors. He sounds
insane optimistic, though:
“Hopefully he’ll give me clearance tomorrow and then I’ll practice and play (against the Steelers on Sunday),” Palmer said.
• After J.J. Arrington opened the scoring in with a 93-yard kickoff return TD, you might have reasonably assumed that a shootout was underway between Arizona and Dallas. But amazingly enough, no more points were scored until Patrick Crayton was left alone and unbothered for a 55-yard TD in the final minute of the second quarter.
The Cowboys and Cardinals are tied 7-7 at half, and pretty much everyone is having a quiet day.
• Here's the early word from Tony Dungy on running back Joseph Addai, who left today's game with a hamstring injury and didn't return: "I think Joseph is going to be OK."
We're assuming that he means OK for Week 7 at Green Bay, but you'll need to track this situation all week. The Colts are not especially forthcoming with injury information. Dominic Rhodes is the appropriate add. He finished the day with 73 rushing yards and a TD.
• The Eagles should really be dominating at San Francisco, but the final 30 seconds of the first half didn't go so well:
0:29, SF, FG, Joe Nedney kicked a 53-yard field goal
And thus it's 17-16 at half.
• Fred Taylor left the Jaguars-Broncos game after one carry and a big hit from Nate Webster. Not surprisingly, Maurice Jones-Drew is having a nice day in Taylor's absence.
Detroit fans, if you're out there, feel free to discuss this play:
D. Orlovsky passed to C. Johnson down the middle for 32 yard gain. C. Johnson fumbled. B. Leber recovered fumble and returned for 10 yards
These were Shawn Windsor's thoughts, via the Detroit Free Press' Lions blog:
11:18: OK. That is not a fumble. Johnson is down. The Vikings defender rips the ball out after Johnson was on the ground. A tough call. Both Orlovsky and Johnson took hits to complete what could've been a game-defining play.
Detroit finally hung with an opponent -- although they were outgained by 180 yards -- yet they still lost, 12-10.
• The yardage was acceptable for Adrian Peterson (25 carries for 111), but he lost two fumbles against Detroit, and never found the end zone. He caught one pass for -5 yards. It's entirely possible that we'll be discussing him in the Worst Performers video segment tomorrow, which might be the first time we've given that non-honor to a 100-yard rusher.
• The Bears' D waited until there were 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter to deliver a respectable hit on Matt Ryan. Later in the drive, on yet another rollout, Ryan hit Roddy White for a short-yardage TD, briefly interrupting the field goal battle.
• No Colston? No Shockey? That wasn't really a problem for Drew Brees. He went 26-for-30, passing for 320 yards, three TDs, and no interceptions. Brees connected with nine different receivers, and eight of them had multiple catches. Lance Moore led the Saints in receiving yards with 97. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush split the carries for New Orleans (13 and 14), and Bush reached the end zone twice. Reggie made a sweet move to avoid two tacklers over the middle on the TD reception
The Raiders were led by...um...no one, really.
• The Rams tried to give away their first victory of the season -- more accurately, Richie Incognito tried to give it away via penalty -- but Josh Brown's last-second 49-yard field goal preserved the win.
• Some of use were already celebrating the Bears 20-19 win, when Chicago gave the ball to Matt Ryan at mid-field with six seconds left. The rookie made a terrific throw under pressure to Michael Jenkins to set up a game-winning Jason Elam kick. And we're no longer celebrating.
• Check the rushing workload split in Tampa Bay: 22 carries for Warrick Dunn, just five for Earnest Graham. At least Graham reached the end zone in the fourth quarter, scoring a one-yard TD that saved his fantasy day.
• Matt Schaub threw two picks, managed only a 71.4 quarterback rating, and barely completed 50 percent of his passes. But still, he ran for a score with three seconds remaining, and finished with 24 fantasy points.
There were reportedly a few Houston fans chanting "We want Sage!" early in that one. Which game were those folks watching last week, exactly? It clearly wasn't the one that Sage Rosenfels single-handedly lost.
Another week, another highlight for the Dolphins' single-wing attack: Ronnie Brown takes the snap and hands off to Ricky Williams, who flips to Chad Pennington. He then finds Patrick Cobbs all alone for a 53-yard touchdown.
Sure. Of course. The scheme was invented by Pop Warner in, like, 1789. If we're voting today, the wildcat formation is your comeback player of the year.
• Matt Ryan was a perfect 5-for-5 on Atlanta's opening drive against Chicago, but a curious reverse to rookie receiver Harry Douglas deep in Bears' territory lost 11 yards. The Falcons settled for a 29-yard field goal. Chicago is massively committed to stopping Michael Turner.
• New head coach, but perhaps the same old Rams:
2nd-9, STL 4, 10:50, S. Jackson rushed to the right for 1 yard loss. S. Jackson fumbled. L. Landry recovered fumble
1st-3, STL 3, 10:45, C. Portis rushed to the right for 3 yard touchdown. S. Suisham made PAT
• Joseph Addai injured his hamstring in the first quarter, and he's doubtful to return. Dominic Rhodes and Mike Hart are your Indianapolis running backs. Brutal news, since Addai finally seemed well-positioned to get a respectable workload, after Indianapolis sprinted to a 17-0 first quarter lead.
• A beautifully-thrown (and possibly improvised) Matt Ryan-to-Roddy White second quarter TD was negated by a penalty. Mike Brown flattened White in the end zone, too, and White was down long enough to force the network to go to commercial. He returned later, however.
White was flagged for offensive pass interference with 1:53 remaining in the second quarter, and Charles Tillman injured his left shoulder on the play.
• Marvin Harrison entered Week 6 having scored only 19 total fantasy points this season. But after one half of football against the Ravens, the future Hall of Famer has 19 points today (two receptions, 72 yards, two TDs).
• Unbelievably, the Lions lead the Vikings at half, 3-2. So far it's a good day for the league's worst teams, as the Rams returned a fumble 75 yards for a TD to take a 10-7 lead against the 'Skins.
• So Thomas Jones isn't finished just yet. He has two first-half TDs for the Jets (one rushing, one receiving), and New York leads Cincinnati 17-14 at half.
Please join us at noon ET over at Fantasy Football Live, where a collection of people who are unfit for traditional employment will answer your start/sit questions.
Photos via Getty Images (Gonzalez, Brown, Johnson) and AP (Arrington, Brees).