Ballers and Bums – Week 10

I keep hearing a lot of talk about the NFL ratings being down this year. Why this is? No idea. I do know that a combination of my 3 year old nephew’s birthday party, and my daughter/fiancee’s desire to watch the Trolls movie before heading to Chuck E. Cheese’s, led to me contributing to these low ratings… Priorities. What are you gonna do?

Now, I’ll admit, there’s not a much better feeling than spending the day with my girls. And the birthday party? Well, humbly, I hit the jackpot and won her 100 tickets on one of those rigged games (I must add here that the fiancée dominated the little pop-a-shot bball contest, but I let her win… Because I’m a gentleman). All in all, it was a great Sunday, and the NFL Sunday was no different.

The Titans dominance, the Kelvin Benjamin strip/fumble, the Broncos blocked extra point TD, the Jags almost comeback, the Philip Rivers interception show, the Zeke Elliott (offensive line) show, the 49ers actually competing, and this classic taking place between the Seahawks and Patriots as I write this.

I know one thing, if the ratings truly are down, it isn’t because of the quality of play. Or the officiating. Or anything to do with the game of football itself. It might just be the result of people having to spend their Sundays at Chuck E. Cheese’s (or the election)… I can’t be the only one.

So, in case you missed the games, and weren’t able to catch up, here we are with another rendition of Ballers, and Bums.

Keep in mind, these aren’t necessarily the best or worst performers at each position. Ballers are guys who weren’t necessarily expected to put up big numbers (maybe due to matchup, or past performance), and did. And the bums… Well, they had cake match-ups, and did nothing other than give us heartburn.

*Fantasy points based on the ESPN Standard Scoring System

Baller of the Week
Drew Brees: 21/29, 303 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs (2 carries, 9 yards) – 20 fantasy points

The Broncos have the best fantasy defense against opposing QBs, came into this game allowing an average of 10.8 fantasy points per game, and had allowed on 1 QB (Cam Newton Week 1 – 20) to reach 15 fantasy points… Now take a look at those numbers Brees put up again. Yes, the 2 INTs hurt, but if you’re really upset at that, you’re just being petty. Pipe down.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Kirk Cousins: 22/33, 262 yards, 2 TDs (1 carry, -1 yard) – 18 fantasy points

Ooh wee! Cousins is now averaging 21 fantasy points over his last 3 games, and has a decent-ish schedule down the stretch. While he’s not the sexiest option, he’s had either 300 yards passing, or multiple TD passes in all but 1 game this season… Ooooohhh Weeee!

QB Waiver Watch/Streaming Options (under 75% owned): Marcus Mariota (TEN), Tyrod Taylor (BUF), Joe Flacco (BAL), Blake Bortles (Jac)
Bum of the Week
Jay Cutler: 16/30, 182 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs (1 carry, 7 yards) – 5 fantasy points

Cutler looked good in his return to action against one of the best defenses in the league – Minnesota – so he’ll definitely ball against the Bucs… Right?! Wrong. Did I mention this was easily my worst call of the week? Luckily, he connected with Meredith on a 50-yard Hail Mary, but even that didn’t save him. Or me.

Running Back
Baller of the Week
DeMarco Murray: 17 carries, 123 yards, 1 TD (1/1, 10 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 33 yards) – 25 fantasy points

If my Google skills did me any justice, only 7 players in NFL history have rushed, caught, and thrown a TD in a single game… Murray almost became the 8th. The Packers run defense had been stout all season, but they also hadn’t faced DeMarco Murray.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Ryan Mathews: 19 carries, 109 yards, 2 TDs (2 catches, 30 yards) – 27 fantasy points

Mathews now has 4 rushing TDs in his last 3 games, and while he hadn’t rushed for more than 15 yards in the 2 games prior, he went off this week against the Falcons. I wouldn’t overreact and start him immediately, but nothing wrong with stashing him, and seeing if the usage continues. The Eagles won the game, and he saw the most carries he’s seen since Week 1. Purely speculation, but I think they’ll continue to feed him moving forward. 

RB Waiver Watch/Streaming Options (under 75% owned): C.J. Prosise (SEA), James Starks (GB), Thomas Rawls (SEA), Dion Lewis (NE), Kenneth Dixon (BAL)
Bum of the Week
Jonathan Stewart: 13 carries, 39 yards – 3 fantasy points

After going for 180 yards, and 2 TDs (41 fantasy points) in his first 2 games back from injury, Stewart as gone for 81 yards, and 0 TDs (7 fantasy points) in his last 2 games. Can’t blame the matchup here, as the Chiefs have been a middle of the pack run d, he just couldn’t get anything going.

Wide Receiver
Baller of the Week
Allen Robinson: 9 catches, 107 yards, 1 TD (2-point conversion) – 18 fantasy points

After a huge ’15 season, expectations were through the roof for Robinson, and while he’s seen plenty of targets, let’s just say he hasn’t done much with them. He’s coming alive over the past three weeks, though. He’s scored in 2 of 3, and put up of 3 of his 4 highest yardage totals of the season. What’s even more impressive, the Texans were allowing the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs, so this performance is great news for fantasy owners who’ve been waiting… Patiently waiting.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Rishard Matthews: 3 catches, 63 yards, 1 TD – 12 fantasy points

Matthews continues to prove he’s a legitimate fantasy WR. He now has 6 TDs over the Titans last 6 games, and has gone for double-digit fantasy points in 3 of the 6.

WR Waiver Watch/Streaming Options (under 75% owned): Tyrell Williams (SD), Jamison Crowder (WAS), Tyreek Hill (KC)
Bum of the Week
Randall Cobb: 4 catches, 31 yards – 3 fantasy points

I think it’s been officially confirmed… The Packers just aren’t good. In a game which Tennessee jumped out to a 21-0 lead, Rodgers was forced to throw more than he usually does. So, you’d think Cobb would be a factor. He wasn’t. Cobb saw only 8 of Rodgers’ 51 attempts, and unfortunately for Cobb (and his fantasy owners), Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson are probably still somewhere catching passes.

Tight End
Baller of the Week
Cameron Brate: 7 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD – 14 fantasy points

The Bears came into this game holding TEs to 38.9 yards per game, and were allowing the 8th fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Brate  wasn’t impressed, but I am… He had a career day. He’s now scored in 3 straight games, and has some nice chemistry Jameis Winston. Not a bad streaming option, as his floor seems to be pretty high at this point.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Ladarius Green: 3 catches, 30 yards – 3 fantasy points

No, not an overly productive day, but Green saw 4 targets in his season debut – converting them to 3 catches and 30 yards. Jesse James had the better receiving day, yes. He’s also shown he’s not much of a threat – All season. Green flashed signs of potential in San Diego, and once he gets up to full speed, I think he’ll be a nice addition to this Steelers offense. 

TE Waiver Watch/Streaming Options (under 75% owned): Cameron Brate (TB), Zach Ertz (PHI), C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU)
Bum of the Week
Gary Barnidge: 1 catch, 8 yards – 0 fantasy points

Listen, if you’re still starting Barnidge, do yourself a favor… Stop.

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