I now know what Matt Cassel must have felt like in 2008 when Tom Brady went down for the year with a torn ACL. It's not easy stepping in and replacing greatness. There's a lot of pressure.
Jeff Miller usually brings you this great column each week, but while he vacations, I'm stepping in. I won't be as funny; my 90s references and awful analogies will barely break a smile. But I hope I can, at the very least, continue to bring fantasy advice in the article that kicks off the numberFire content each week.
Let's get at it.
Giants 21, Bears 27
Entering the Thursday Night Football contest, Brandon Jacobs, the Giants lead running back for the game, had one of the worst comparables you could possibly find on this website. You see, to help project how players will do, we can take their metrics and find someone in history who has performed similarly. Jacobs' top comparable? Wes Ours. Who? Exactly.
But that didn't stop the 85-year-old runner against the Bears. Jacobs finished the game with over 100 yards on the ground and two scores versus the depleted Chicago defensive line. It's not something to assume or expect moving forward, but it just goes to show that there are plenty of aspects within the game we love that are completely unpredictable.
Jay Cutler continued to play well, and Brandon Marshall got back to being the receiver we love. Alshon Jeffery was a slight disappointment, but you can't expect him to necessarily keep the pace he was on - he had over 300 yards receiving in Weeks 4 and 5 combined.
Eli Manning was Eli Manning-like...at least this year's version. He threw three more picks, and although his fantasy day was somewhat salvaged by 239 yards and a passing score, he continues to struggle mightily with his poor offensive line and defense. He'll be a matchup play in pretend pigskin this year.
Buy: Jay Cutler and his wide receivers. I've mentioned many times on here in the past, but the Bears have a soft schedule in the early-to-mid parts of the season, paving a nice fantasy football path for Trestman's squad.
Sell: Brandon Jacobs. Good games can happen, but it's tough to imagine Jacobs does that again this year.
Hold: Martellus Bennett. He's still a worthwhile low-end TE1.
Packers 19, Ravens 17
If you didn't watch the game, you may be unaware that both James Jones and Randall Cobb left this contest with injuries. The result? Jordy Nelson had a big game, Eddie Lacy was able to rush for over 100 yards against a previously stout rush defense and the Packers won. It wasn't pretty, but they won.
Joe Flacco saved his fake football day with a couple of late scores, but neither of them went to his favorite target, Torrey Smith. In fact, Smith finished the game with just one catch and 12 yards, something that made as much sense as a professional sports team named the Pelicans. It was the first time he was held to under four receptions and 85 yards all season long.
The game was a defensive struggle, which is becoming the norm anytime Baltimore hits the field.
Buy: Aaron Rodgers and Torrey Smith.
Sell: Anyone not named Torrey Smith in the Ravens passing attack.
Hold:Your Band-Aids. Packers wideouts need them. Be prepared for some waiver wire moves if either injury is significant.
Bengals 27, Bills 24
A.J. Green finally got things going, catching six balls for over 100 yards and a score. Rookie running back Gio Bernard had a good game as well, grabbing six of his own for 72 receiving yards and a score. He added just 28 yards on 15 carries though.
Though the Bills didn't get the W, Thad Lewis played better than expected, throwing two touchdowns and running for one as well. The split between the Buffalo runners was a clean 50/50, as C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson each rushed 10 times for 55 and 35 yards respectively. The running situation is going to continue to give fantasy owners headaches throughout the season.
If there's one takeaway, it's that Andy Dalton can still be trusted against mediocre defenses - just not the good ones. He's serviceable if you're a quarterback streamer, but he's still not close to QB1 status.
Buy: A.J. Green. He'll be fine.
Sell: The name Thad. It just feels uncomfortable.
Hold: Everyone else involved in this game.
Lions 31, Browns 17
Calvin Johnson played with his bummed knee against the Browns this week, which could explain his three-reception, 25-yard performance. Well, either that or Joe Haden. Regardless, we probably shouldn't expect that from Megatron very much this year.
The big story, aside from Matthew Stafford's four touchdown passes, was Joseph Fauria's three scoring receptions. Uncle Christian must be proud, as his nephew caught just three balls, each for a touchdown. He - little Joey, not Uncle Christian - was a difference maker in every 28-team league out there this week.
On the Browns' side of things, Jordan Cameron's fantasy day was saved with some garbage time. He finished the game with five catches and 64 yards, which could've been a lot worse. Like, Jimmy Graham worse (more on that later). Teammate Josh Gordon continued to see targets, catching seven football tosses for 126 yards.
Buy: Jordan Cameron. He stills matters a lot to this offense.
Sell: Willis McGahee. As I noted last week, McGahee's game against the Bills could be a high point for him this season.
Rams 38, Texans 13
Maybe it's not just Matt Schaub. Maybe all Texan quarterbacks are pick-six prone. After leaving the game [turnover-less] with a foot injury, Matt Schaub was replaced by T.J. Yates against the Rams, hearing cheers from a Houston crowd as he, Schaub, left the field (poor form). Yates came in and went on to throw a touchdown to the wrong team, proving that, hey, maybe this isn't just all Matt Schaub.
The Rams ranked near the bottom of the league in both rush and pass defense efficiency entering their game on Sunday, making this matchup absolute gold for Schaub. It was a potential bounce-back contest. But instead of taking advantage, he went 15 for 21 (not bad) for 186 yards. Sure, the key from a real football standpoint was a big zero in the turnover department, but that doesn't really matter from a fantasy perspective. We, fantasy owners, need some touchdown tosses, which he didn't provide.
St. Louis won with defensive takeaways and, dare I say, the ground game. Rookie Zac Stacy ran pretty well, accumulating 79 yards and 11 more through the air. He looks to be the lead guy in that offense moving forward. Sam Bradford didn't have to do much, but did toss three touchdowns, each to players who meant nothing to fantasy football in Week 6.
It wouldn't be fair if I didn't note Arian Foster's 198 combined yards. So there, I mentioned it.
Buy: Zac Stacy as the top running back in St. Louis.
Sell: The Texans as a legitimate contender.
Hold: Sam Bradford for a good matchup.
Raiders 7, Chiefs 24
Given the way this game started, Terrelle Pryor was looking like he'd finish as a clear QB1 in fantasy. With over 40 first half rushing yards and a touchdown pass, Pryor slowed down dramatically in the second portion of the game, throwing three interceptions including one that went for a touchdown. He finished the day with double-digit fantasy points thanks to 60 rushing yards, but as we all expected, it was tough for him to do much against a solid Chiefs defense.
Jamaal Charles kept up his domination, scoring twice and totaling 128 yards. He could very easily finish this season as fantasy football's top running back. But outside of him, the Chiefs offense continues to be boring, Dwayne Bowe continues to catch three passes for 40 yards each week and Andy Reid continues to be overweight. It's a great recipe for success for the Chiefs.
Buy: Terrelle Pryor as a high-end QB2. This game showed that he's not matchup proof, but he's certainly not worthless in a tough game.
Sell: Dwayne Bowe as a fantasy starter. He's only going to give you headaches.
Hold: Jamaal Charles tight. You don't want to let him go.
Carolina 35, Minnesota 10
Does Josh Freeman play defense?
The Panthers torched the Vikings D, something that was obvious given the way they've played so far this year. Superman Cam was able to throw three touchdown passes and get one on the ground as well, giving fantasy owners a great day. Really, it would be nice if Freeman knew how to play at least in dime packages.
Buy: Any quarterback that faces the Vikings.
Sell: Any fantasy team that starts the Vikings defense.
Hold: Steve Smith. He scored in the game, but still hasn't had more than 60 yards in a game this season.
Steelers 19, Jets 6
The Pittsburgh Suishams beat the New York Folks on Sunday, giving Pittsburgh their first win of the season. The Steelers (they're not really the Suishams) got their first two takeaways of the season too, picking off Geno Smith twice. And Ben Roethlisberger didn't turn the ball over!
Though the Steelers are just 1-4, a bright spot on the team, as I've mentioned before, has been Antonio Brown. He's now on pace to catch over 131 receptions this year, and has 30 catches over his last three contests. While many were worried about him after the loss of Mike Wallace, it's clear that Antonio Brown is a legitimate receiver who should continue to post WR1 numbers in PPR leagues.
Buy: Antonio Brown as a PPR stud.
Sell: The Steelers defense as a good fantasy one. Turnovers won't come often, and they played the Jets.
Hold: Heath Miller. That's 12 receptions and 154 yards over his last two games, and he's looking like the 2012 version of himself.
Eagles 31, Buccaneers 20
The Bucs lost and the Eagles won, sure, but there were a lot of higher-level fantasy takeaways with this one.
1. The Eagles secondary is still a perfect one to target for quarterback streaming. Mike Glennon was able to throw 273 yards and two scores against it (without Mike Williams), and he's clearly not on the same level as many signal-callers out there.
2. Nick Foles could win the Eagles' quarterback job. According to our metrics, the Tampa Bay secondary ranked 13th in efficiency on a per play basis entering Week 6, proving that Foles' three touchdowns and near-300 yards was pretty darn (I just said darn) impressive.
3. Mike Glennon may not be a bad thing for his receivers. Vincent Jackson had a good game, hauling in two touchdowns and nine receptions.
4. Doug Martin may not live up to his first-round value. This is just reality: 67 rushing yards against the Eagles defense is not going to cut it.
Buy: Offenses facing the Eagles defense.
Sell: Doug Martin if you can find someone who will value him highly.
Hold: Nick Foles as the starter in Philadelphia.
Jaguars 19, Broncos 35
Only in the NFL, guys. Only in the NFL do you see one of the worst defensive units hold the best offensive one to their lowest point total of the season.
The Jaguars - yes, the Jaguars - made Peyton Manning look human on Sunday. Peyton threw for under 300 yards (295), had less than three touchdowns (two) and turned the ball over more than zero times (thrice!). Amazingly, the Broncos still scored 35 points. And won.
The biggest fantasy football-related story had to have been Justin Blackmon's performance. Get this: since returning from suspension two weeks ago, Blackmon has 19 receptions for 326 yards and a touchdown. He's here to stay, folks.
Buy: Justin Blackmon
Sell: Cecil Shorts as the top receiving threat in Jacksonville.
Hold: The Broncos offense
Titans 13, Seahawks 20
You're not going to beat the Seahawks if you turn the ball over, and that's exactly what Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick did on Sunday.
From a fantasy standpoint, there's not a whole lot to take away. The game went as planned; it was low-scoring and defensive-oriented. Fitzpatrick did get another 33 yards rushing, leading the team again, which brings him to 83 over the last two weeks. It's not as though you're going to play him against San Francisco next week though.
Buy: Marshawn Lynch a bag of Skittles. Two more touchdowns on Sunday for Beast mode.
Sell: Chris Johnson until Week 9.
Hold: Tennessee as a top defense.
Saints 27, Patriots 30
This article is here to help you catch up on games you may have missed, but I really hope you were able to catch the game in Foxboro on Sunday. The Pats had a comfortable lead in the second half, but Drew Brees and company cut into that quickly, taking the lead late in the fourth quarter on a beautiful touchdown to Kenny Stills. After a Tom Brady pick on the next New England possession, the game looked to be over. But Brady got one more chance, took his squad down the field and hooked up with rookie Kenbrell Thompkins with just seconds left in regulation for the win.
It was the Saints first loss, and not surprisingly, it was Jimmy Graham's worst game. The Saints "tight end" was held catchless, and suffered a "lower leg injury" towards the end of the contest. A bad game was bound to happen, but a scoreless one from a fantasy standpoint wasn't necessarily on the radar for Graham owners.
Buy: Tom Brady. He's still missing some passes, but time is usually what's needed with young receivers.
Sell: Danny Amendola's health
Hold: Jimmy Graham
49ers 32, Cardinals 20
This game was all Vernon Davis offensively. The stud tight end caught eight passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, good for 30 standard fantasy points. Larry Fitzgerald got in on the fun too, scoring double-digit fantasy points for just the third time all season.
Carson Palmer was able to put together a decent day from a fantasy standpoint, but he continues to turn the ball over. He had two interceptions, and now has 11 on the season to just seven touchdowns.
Buy: Andre Ellington. He's getting more involved in the offense and outperformed Rashard Mendenhall again this week.
Sell: Carson Palmer as anything more than a matchup play.
Hold: Larry Fitzgerald, Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis
Cowboys 31, Redskins 16
Fantasy footballers were ready for a high-scoring affair in Dallas on Sunday night, but instead were given mediocre quarterback play from two stars, a few bad turnovers and Cole Beasley. Four receptions worth of Cole Beasley.
Dez Bryant was held to five catches for 36 yards against that porous Washington secondary, finishing with a worse fantasy stat line Tony Romo went from a 500-yard day to a 170-yard one, throwing just one touchdown and one pick. And Robert Griffin III threw exactly zero touchdown passes, but was able to produce a decent fantasy day with 77 rushing yards.
The Cowboys won, but it wasn't nearly as exciting as we thought it'd be.
Buy: Robert Griffin III's legs.
Sell: Miles Austin being 100 percent healthy.
Hold:The Redskins' offense. It looks like things could open up soon with RGIII's running ability, but let's wait and see.