Falcons vs. Patriots: Facing a secondary that entered as the first team in NFL history to allow six straight 300-yard passing games, Matt Ryan threw for just 233 Sunday night, with a good chunk of that coming on the team’s final meaningless drive. Fog played a role in the second half, but last year’s MVP now has just seven touchdowns through six games. Some regression was bound to happen, but it’s clear Ryan is missing Kyle Shanahan (new OC Steve Sarkisian made some especially questionable calls, highlighted by an end around to Taylor Gabriel on fourth and goal from the one-yard line). At least the Falcons ended their scoreless streak at 90:30…This game had the highest over/under of the week (56 points), so naturally the final score was 23-7…Julio Jones finally scored for the first time this season, and it took a terrific effort by him to steal a badly underthrown ball by Ryan from the one-yard line…Mike Gillislee got a goal line carry, and Rex Burkhead returned, but Dion Lewis looks like New England’s lead back moving forward (at least until his next injury), making him well worth owning in all leagues.
Jaguars vs. Colts: Jacksonville’s defense continues to impress, recording 10 sacks Sunday. This unit is no joke…Blake Bortles had the most passing yards he’s had in a game this season before halftime…With Leonard Fournette inactive, Chris Ivory was a popular late addition to lineups, especially at a cheap price in DFS, but he disappointed despite scoring, losing a fumble, whiffing on a block that led to another and getting just 2.8 YPC in a dream matchup (while watching T.J. Yeldon run for 122 yards on nine carries). Fournette should be back after the Jaguars upcoming bye.
Ravens vs. Vikings: Where did that come from, Latavius Murray?…Joe Flacco was up against it on the road facing a tough defense without Jeremy Maclin and losing Mike Wallace early, but his TD pass on the last play of the game was his first in his last 137 attempts…Adam Thielen has had a nice yardage year, but he’s up to 65 targets without a score.
Jets vs. Dolphins: Miami scored its first offensive touchdown in the first half of a game this season, and the move from Jay Cutler to Matt Moore looks like an upgrade…The Jets have zero sacks from their defensive line this season…Jay Ajayi is up to 135 touches without a touchdown.
Buccaneers vs. Bills: Buffalo entered having allowed two passing touchdowns all season, so Jameis Winston naturally threw for three scores on the road, getting 8.7 YPA with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder…Tyrod Taylor might very well be a star if he were ever given even average weapons…Mike Tolbert nearly stole a goal-line TD, but LeSean McCoy finally hit paydirt for the first time this year (twice), totaling 122 yards in the process. His upcoming schedule looks highly favorable, but the window to buy low is now gone.
Panthers vs. Bears: Chicago won with Mitchell Trubisky completing as many passes (four) as sacks taken thanks to rookie Eddie Jackson becoming the first player in NFL history to record two defensive touchdowns that went for 75+ yards in the same game…The Bears targeted their wide receivers one time. Tanner Gentry hauled it in for eight yards…The Panthers had 20 first downs to the Bears’ five yet lost by two touchdowns…Carolina inexplicably punted down 17-3 with 3:44 left in the fourth quarter on 4th-and-12, as apparently they had little interest in attempting to win the game.
Saints vs. Packers: A week of first-team practice reps didn’t do Brett Hundley much good, as he managed just 3.5 YPA and looked completely lost for most of the day. A nice 14-yard TD run saved an otherwise disastrous fantasy game, but Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams owners have to be terrified right now…What’s the deal with Willie Snead?…I didn’t expect we’d be entering Week 8 with a healthy Michael Thomas still searching for his first 90-yard game of the season.
Cardinals vs. Rams: Adrian Peterson followed up last week’s huge game by rushing for just 21 yards on 11 carries against a Rams front seven that entered allowing the highest YPC in the NFL. Game script hurt him, but that’s likely going to remain a problem with Carson Palmer now essentially out for the season…Obviously, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown also need to be downgraded significantly…It’s pretty crazy Sammy Watkins has fallen to the third most valuable receiver on his own team.
Browns vs. Titans: Marcus Mariota struggled mightily against a poor Cleveland secondary missing its best corner, getting just 6.0 YPA and failing to lead a single touchdown drive. He badly missed a wide open Delanie Walker in the end zone too…And to think I liked Eric Decker as a sneaky cheap DFS play…Joe Thomas missed the first snap of his career, ending an NFL record consecutive streak of 10,363…At least the Browns are finally playing their best quarterback.
Cowboys vs. 49ers: San Francisco entered 0-6 but had been outscored by just 33 points on the year. They lost by 30 Sunday in a game in which they were thoroughly dominated during C.J. Beathard’s first start of his career…Dak Prescott attempted just 25 passes yet threw for three scores and ran for another in a huge fantasy performance. He has a 14:2 TD:turnover ratio over the last four games…Ezekiel Elliott put up 219 YFS with three touchdowns, including this sick 72-yard catch and run (followed by an extra point kicked by a safety).
Bengals vs. Steelers: Le’Veon Bell was held out of the end zone, but he totaled 192 yards against a tough Bengals defense, highlighted by this play that featured a couple of stiff arms. Bell is on pace to finish with 2,053 yards from scrimmage this season…Martavis Bryant recorded one catch for three yards, although he did add another two yards on the ground…Pittsburgh executed a nice fake punt up 12 points to help seal the win in the fourth quarter…Joe Mixon’s arrow was pointing up, but he was bizarrely given just seven carries (gaining 48 yards on those attempts). It was especially puzzling given how strong the Steelers’ pass defense is compared to versus the run.
Seahawks vs. Giants: Jimmy Graham dropped a pass in the end zone and another one wide open that would have gone for at least 40 yards, but he still managed a late touchdown, as New York hasn’t allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends for nothing…Given the state of the rest of the Giants pass catchers, there’s a real chance Evan Engram leads tight ends in targets from here on out…This was a pretty crazy catch by Paul Richardson.
Broncos vs. Chargers: Trevor Siemian is either playing hurt, stalling in his development or most likely, a bit of both, as the Broncos were shut out for the first time since 1992 in an ugly performance…After starting the season 0-4, the Chargers are suddenly right in the playoff picture…Joey Bosa has five sacks over the last four games…I liked Demaryius Thomas this week despite the matchup against Casey Hayward, as without Emmanuel Sanders I figured he’d be a target hog (and he was affordable in DFS). But he finished with just two catches for nine yards, with an 81-yard gain called back thanks to his own PI penalty. DT hasn’t had a TD in 12 straight games now.