By Patrick Tiffany (@patrickatiffany)
Keep Feeding Him:
After leaving his Week 3 game with a rib injury and playing hurt through the following week, Vincent Jackson has gotten hot out of the bye! Racking up 19 catches for 252 yards and 4 touchdowns over the last two weeks. Mike Glennon has clearly locked onto his big-bodied wide receiver as his number one target; in fact over his 3 starts Vincent Jackson is averaging over 15 targets per game.
VJax is definitely locked in as a Top 10 wideout going forward and despite the limited offense of the Bucs he needs to be started every week.
Rising Rookie Running Backs:
Eddie Lacy continued his string of good performances in Week 7 tallying over 100 total yards and a touchdown. Lacy is providing production that hasn’t been seen in Green Bay in a while. With at least 20 touches in 3 straight games its safe to assume Mike McCarthy is going to continue to give the ball to the rookie who should excel at grinding down defenses if the Packers get up in games.
Although he failed to find the end zone for the second straight week Le’Veon Bell didn’t look terrible running behind the shaky Steelers line. He still managed just over 100 total yards on 20 touches. Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer clearly don’t have the burst that Bell is providing and wont be more than a change of pace for the emerging rookie.
It’s not a long-term solution but Joseph Randle will be given the opportunity to succeed in Dallas as long as Demarco Murray is out. It appears Phillip Tanner will see the goal line carries but the rookies’ value will only grow with his knowledge of the offense and another week of practice with the first team. Its not clear when Murray will be back, but if he starts Randle will have a juicy matchup in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions, who are in the bottom third against running backs this season.
The Patriots suffered their second defeat of the season on Sunday at the hands of the New York Jets. However luckily for patient fantasy owners Gronk returned to the field and was a lone bright spot in the loss. In a day where Brady was struggling to move the ball through the air (Under 50% completion percentage), Gronk sill managed to gain 114 yards. The best news was that he popped up from every hit and appears to close to if not back at 100%. If Gronkowski can stay that way for the remainder of the season it will be back to business for the prolific tight end.
Injuries on Injuries:
A couple impact players left their respective games on Sunday causing some nervous moments for fantasy owners. Big name running backs Doug Martin and Arian Foster left mid game, Foster was battling this injury throughout the week so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him leave. The news on Doug Martin isn’t as positive as the sophomore running back may miss multiple weeks with a torn labrum.
Who knows exactly who is hurt in the Buffalo backfield as CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson seem to trade off limping to the sideline every drive. Reggie Wayne’s knee injury originally thought only to be a sprain turned out to be a torn ACL and will cause the ageless wideout to miss the remainder of the season.
In the midst of a standout fantasy season Jay Cutler suffered a groin injury and unfortunately it sounds like he may be out a while. Josh McCown came in and was able to move the ball albeit against a beat up Washington defense. The news is already back on Sam Bradford who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a torn ACL. Lets be honest nobody is confidently starting a St.Louis Ram period so this injury shouldn’t have too much fantasy impact.
Elite? Or just Lucky:
Coming into the year there were big expectations for Andrew Luck to follow up the fantastic numbers from his rookie season. The sophomore has delivered leading the Colts to a 5-2 start including wins over 3 Super Bowl favorites. Luck has been playing well but the fantasy numbers haven’t all been there yet causing early skepticism. That all changed Sunday night against The Broncos where Luck threw for 3 touchdowns and added another on the ground.
Although Luck has now lost two huge targets in Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen he should be able to put up numbers with the remaining core around him. There is no doubt The Colts will continue trying to run the ball but Trent Richardson continues to go nowhere so Luck’s stock will continue to rise. With the prevalent issues of other top quarterbacks: Brady struggling with new targets, Cam’s continuing inconsistency, Kaepernick’s lack of passing attempts… Luck is a high end QB1 going forward.