Now that all but the Monday night game has been played, it is time for our weekly look at the top performers from the games on Sunday, and on Thursday. After going over my thoughts on those players, I will also select a few other players who either performed above expectations, or maybe a guy that may have you questioning whether you should continue starting him or not.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect some similar performances in the future from them. For some players, that will be the case, but there will also be players that may be a flash-in-the-pan. Now let’s take a look at those players who where tops of their positions.
QB - Drew Brees 465 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 1 INT, 32 Fantasy Points
Once again Drew Brees at home does what few other QB’s can. This has been the norm with Brees, and his statline is ridiculous at home this year. He is averaging 421 Passing Yards, and has thrown for 11 TD’s in those three home games. The problem though is his road stats. This usually is the case with Brees. Even knowing this, unless you have another top QB to use when the Saints aren’t at home, you are starting him regardless in those games. Just know that when the Saints are at home, you are already at an advantage over your opponent.
QB - Case Keenum 321 Passing yards, 3 Passing TD’s, 1 INT, 7 Rushing Yards for 1 TD, 28 Fantasy Points
Each week there is usually one QB that surprises us, and this week it is Case Keenum. This has been a tough season for him, as he has had three games where he has had under double digit fantasy points. Even worse, this was Keenum’s first game with more than 20 fantasy points. He is not someone who should be used, not even during bye weeks as a fill-in.
RB - LeSean McCoy 19 Carries for 140 Yards and 3 TD’s, 32 Fantasy Points
In what was a revenge game for Shady McCoy against his former coach, he didn’t disappoint. McCoy has been looking just like he did back in Philly. His cuts are sharp and decisive. Going forward McCoy is someone I would rank as the 4th best back behind Elliott, David Johnson, and DeMarco Murray.
RB - Jay Ajayi 25 Carries for 204 Yards and 2 TD’s, 32 Fantasy Points
This is the game that the Dolphins decide to focus on running the ball? After not breaking past 13 carries as a season high, the Dolphins let Ajayi run the ball 25 times. What happened was they got rewarded for that effort. Granted the last TD was when the Steelers had most defenders in the box, so once he broke loose there was no way they were going to catch him. Performances like this often lead to the player being rewarded for the next few weeks with extra touches. I don’t think it will be unreasonable to see Ajayi get somewhere from 18-20 touches for the next few weeks. That will make him a top 20 back.
RB - Lamar Miller 24 Carries for 149 Yards and 1 TD, 3 Receptions for 29 Yards and 1 TD, 28 Fantasy Points
Finally Lamar Miller was able to breakthrough, albeit against a weak Colts defense. That doesn’t matter though, as this is the type of game Miller needed to jumpstart his season. While he had been decent up to this point, he had yet to score a TD until tonight. Next week is a tough matchup against the Broncos, but going forward Miller should be looked at as a top 10 guy.
WR - Odell Beckham Jr. 10 Targets, 8 Receptions for 222 Yards and 2 TD’s, 1 Fumble Lost, 32 Fantasy Points
It was only a matter of time until we saw OBJ do this. Not much to write here other then he is a top 3 guy going forward, and you should feel confident that he will continue to perform as a top pick.
WR - Kenny Britt 8 Targets, 7 Receptions for 136 Yards and 2 TD’s, 25 Fantasy Points
With all that I said about Case Keenum, it doesn’t fully apply to Kenny Britt. So far this season Britt has had at least 4 receptions in each game. While this game is an anomaly, he does have the potential to put up more solid outings. Britt is a top 35 receiver, making him a backend WR3 in 12 team leagues. For as long as Keenum is under center, we can view Britt as that type of guy you plug in and know 70 yards are probably in the bank with the upside for a little more and a TD.
WR - Brandin Cooks 9 Targets, 7 Receptions for 173 Yards and 1 TD, 23 Fantasy Points
After three poor performances, Cooks posts his second game of over 20 fantasy points. Going into the season Cooks was looked at as a guy you could trust each week due to his volume of targets and receptions. Well it is right now looking like that may not be the case. Cooks goes as Brees goes, so home games he is a top 10, maybe top 5 play. In road games however, he falls to being only a top 20 guy at this point.
TE - Rob Gronkowski 9 Targets, 7 Receptions for 162 Yards and 1 TD, 22 Fantasy Points
Now this seems normal. Gronk is the player that has ended up in this article the most over the last two seasons. The two games of over 100 yards are a great sign right now that Gronk may have his best season yardage wise yet on a per game basis if we exclude the first 4 weeks without Brady. This is your top TE, and it really isn’t close.
TE - Coby Fleener 7 Targets, 6 Receptions for 74 Yards and 1 TD, 1 Carry for 2 Yards and 1 TD, 19 Fantasy Points
Everything I said about home and road with Cooks applies to Fleener as well. His two big games have been at home, against the Falcons and the Panthers. On the road Fleener is unusable right now. At home I would rank Fleener in the top 5, but on the road he would barely make my top 12 at this point. Unless we see things change, this is how you have to view him going forward.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday’s games:
QB - Ben Roethlisberger 189 Passing Yards, 1 Passing TD, 2 INT’s, 1 Two Point Conversion, 9 Fantasy Points
Well it has happened again everyone. Big Ben is hurt and going to be missing some time. Roethlisberger has a torn meniscus that will keep him out for an indefinite amount of time. We don’t know how long until the surgery is performed as the severity of the tear is unknown until they cut it open. In the meantime we will be seeing Landry Jones step into the starting spot. This means that all Steelers take a hit to their value. Antonio Brown is not the top receiver during those weeks, Le’Veon Bell takes a slight hit, and Sammie Coates is probably unusable until Ben gets back.
WR - DeAndre Hopkins 15 Targets, 9 Receptions for 71 Yards, 7 Fantasy Points
Owners may be concerned about Hopkins right now. On the surface you see a guy who last year was getting monster games, and yet this year he only has one game of over 100 receiving yards. This hasn’t gone as planned for Hopkins owners, as Will Fuller has taken more production from Hopkins than originally anticipated. Next week won’t get any easier for Hopkins as he has to face a tough Broncos defense. Going forward Hopkins isn’t in the top 5 receiver conversation, but is still in the top 10. The good news is that he was targeted 15 times in this game so hopefully this will help him start to go back to being the guy we saw last season.
WR - Ty Montgomery 12 Targets, 10 Receptions for 98 Yards, 1 Fumble Lost, 7 Fantasy Points
If you are in a PPR league, Montgomery is a must add. He is the backup running back currently for the Packers, and if Davante Adams has to miss anytime, he is also slotting in as the 3rd receiver. When lining up in the backfield, Rodgers is constantly looking his way to dump the ball off to him in space. While the end result won’t usually have him scoring a TD in a game, he does have the chance to rack up receptions and yards.