Eagles vs. Rams: The Eagles won a big game on the road, scoring 43 points against a Rams defense that entered ranked No. 4 in DVOA. But the biggest news is the injury to Carson Wentz, which is believed to be a season-ending torn ACL. The MVP favorite was having another huge performance, even staying in to throw his fourth TD of the day (breaking Philly’s single-season record in the process) after suffering the injury. Enter Nick Foles, who has a 27:2 TD:INT ratio season on his resume but has struggled ever since, including Sunday (4.2 YPA). The loss of Wentz would obviously be devastating blows to the fantasy value of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and whoever plays tight end (Trey Burton and Brent Celek caught three TDs in Zach Ertz’s absence). The Eagles schedule is highly favorable over the next two weeks (@NYG, Oak), so Jeffery (and a healthy Ertz) would still be worth using, but this clearly downgrades the entire offense. However, Jay Ajayi emerged as the team’s lead back, and with Philly likely leaning on its rushing attack more than ever down the stretch, he could be a major difference maker when it counts most in fantasy leagues.
The Rams lead the NFL with six takeaways on opening drives this year, and Todd Gurley totaled 135 yards with two touchdowns despite matching his season low in touches (16)…As someone who had the Rams +4 as the last leg in a three-team teaser, I could almost see the ensuing defensive TD coming once L.A. got the ball back with one second left. What a joke.
Lions vs. Buccaneers: Theo Riddick entered with just three career rushing TDs but recorded two despite getting 2.9 YPC. Meanwhile, Doug Martin also scored but wasn’t given another touch after losing a fumble in the second quarter. The Bucs need to make Peyton Barber their lead back down the stretch…Marvin Jones and Golden Tate entered as the only duo in the NFL each with 700 receiving yards, and the former continues to have his worst games of the year during his most favorable matchups…Three minutes into the third quarter, these teams had already combined for seven turnovers…Mike Evans is a top candidate for Bust of the Year.
Bears vs. Bengals: All the injuries on the Bengals defense caught up to them, as they allowed 232 rushing yards at home in a blowout loss as near TD favorites. Jordan Howard entered getting just 3.6 YPC on the road but ran for 147 yards and two scores, while Tarik Cohen had an eventful game as well, adding 85 yards from scrimmage but had two first half touchdowns called back (one on a penalty and another on a review), and he was also later tackled just before reaching the end zone…Being down big didn’t stop Giovani Bernard from paying off as this week’s obvious DFS punt.
Colts vs. Bills: LeSean McCoy’s huge home/road splits continued, setting a career-high with 32 carries in a blizzard that produced the toughest weather conditions in a game this season, ending with this TD run in overtime…It took some time before either QB even attempted a pass, and the Colts went for two at the end of regulation to win the game before a penalty led to an extra point instead. Adam Vinatieri is 12-for-23 on FG attempts during his career in Buffalo.
Cowboys vs. Giants: Tied midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys won 30-10 and are now 6-1 with Sean Lee in the lineup (allowing 83.8 rushing yards) and 1-5 without him (allowing 135.0 rushing yards)…What a disappointing game from Sterling Shepard, who saw just three targets against a vulnerable Dallas secondary missing Orlando Scandrick…Dez Bryant had two bad drops but made up for it with this play…Rod Smith came out of nowhere to rack up 160 YFS and two scores, while Jason Witten continued his tradition of finding the end zone when facing New York (on his only catch of the game). Smith will be a viable flex option against the Raiders in Week 15.
Raiders vs. Chiefs: Kareem Hunt bounced back and looked good doing so. He should be treated as an easy RB1 over the next two weeks in home matchups against the Chargers and Dolphins…Travis Kelce had two TDs taken away by a penalty and a review that ruled he was down just before hitting paydirt…Despite facing a defense that had allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers and Amari Cooper aggravating his ankle injury early, Michael Crabtree managed just 60 yards on 13 targets.
Vikings vs. Panthers: Minnesota entered allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs, so naturally Jonathan Stewart ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns, presumably on fantasy benches…Matched up with Xavier Rhodes, Devin Funchess continued to prove he’s up to the task as a No. 1 wideout, securing this TD from an elusive Cam Newton…The Panthers deserve credit, but the Vikings were playing on the road for the fifth time in their last six games…Adam Thielen dropped a sure touchdown, only to have another would-be score overturned by review two plays later thanks to him bobbling the ball out of bounds. He did record a TD catch later on though.
Packers vs. Browns: I was wrong about Davante Adams this week, whom I faded thanks to the matchup against Jason McCourty in a game scheduled for 20 mph winds with one of the league’s worst QBs throwing to him. He was actually quiet until a couple minutes were left in the fourth quarter but went nuts thereafter, finishing with 84 yards and two scores, including this game-winner in overtime, helping the Packers cover (-3) despite being down seven points with 20 seconds left…I was also concerned Green Bay’s backfield would be more of a committee, but it’s clearly Jamaal Williams’ show moving forward…Josh Gordon impressed again, scoring a touchdown (and he should have drawn a 50-yard PI in the end zone), although he was quiet after a hot start…Hue Jackson is now 1-28 with the Browns…The Packers win had big fantasy ramifications, as it was the difference in whether Aaron Rodgers returns in Week 15 or not.
49ers vs. Texans: Jimmy Garoppolo showed tremendous poise hanging tough in the pocket (and taking some serious hits as a result), getting 10.1 YPA in yet another strong performance…Marquise Goodwin saw 12 targets and remains a WR2 down the stretch…Tom Savage somehow was allowed to stay in the game after this happened but was later replaced by T.J. Yates, who was an immediate upgrade…DeAndre Hopkins is simply unfair. He’ll be a top-five pick in 2018 fantasy drafts.
Washington vs. Chargers: Philip Rivers threw for 319 yards and two scores on just 18 completions, as Keenan Allen surpassed the century mark for the fourth straight game (tackled just short of the goal line on a 51-yard grab)…Austin Ekeler is quite clearly better than Melvin Gordon, although he failed to go down during a 33-yard run while in field goal range that ended the first half…Here’s Tyrell Williams burning Josh Norman for a long score…Washington punted down 24 points with 6:30 left in the fourth quarter, apparently uninterested in trying to win.
Jets vs. Broncos: Tough break for Josh McCown (and Robby Anderson) owners. New York was likely looking at a shootout in New Orleans next week…Demaryius Thomas fell just seven yards short of matching the Jets’ total output (100) in this game.
Titans vs. Cardinals: Marcus Mariota owns a 37:0 TD:INT ratio in the red zone during his career and an 18:33 ratio outside it. He played poorly again Sunday and has thrown 11 picks over six games on the road this season…The Cardinals won as underdogs despite not scoring a touchdown and Blaine Gabbert taking eight sacks…Kerwynn Williams looks like a serviceable flex option in Week 15.
Seahawks vs. Jaguars: Russell Wilson was picked off three times but tossed three touchdowns and got 8.7 YPA against the league’s toughest secondary, accounting for all of Seattle’s scores as usual. This game was just 3-0 at halftime but turned into a track meet, as these teams combined for 51 second half points, highlighted by this 75-yard TD to Keelan Cole. Wilson matched that with a couple of bombs of his own, giving him an NFL-record 17 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter this season.
Ravens vs. Steelers: It would’ve been safe to expect a defensive battle, but SNF instead saw a combined 77 points, as the absences of Jimmy Smith and Ryan Shazier were felt greatly. Facing a pass defense that entered ranked No. 1 in DVOA, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards (becoming the first player in NFL history to reach 500 passing yards three times in his career) and two scores…In midst of a shootout, Martavis Bryant and Jeremy Maclin combined for just 60 yards on 21 targets, while Antonio Brown went off for 213 yards…Alex Collins continued to impress, running for 120 yards (6.7 YPC) and a score, although Javorious Allen stole two other TDs from inside the 10…Le’Veon Bell totaled three touchdowns, including his first rushing score at home this season. Bell is on his way to becoming the first player in the modern era to lead the NFL in rushing while getting fewer than 4.0 YPC.