Photo by: Bob Carr (@BobCarrNFL)

Week 9: Beyond the Box Scores

Every Monday, Mark Morales-Smith looks at five of the most interesting matchups from the previous week's action.

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Kansas City Chiefs 30, Indianapolis Colts 14

The Chiefs offense had a big day. Not even the loss of Alex Smith, not once but twice in this game, could slow down the Kansas City offense. As a matter of fact, Nick Foles outplayed Smith in this game. The two combined for 350 yards, three TDs, and no interceptions. Smith is in the league’s concussion protocol and is in danger of missing Week 9. With the Jacksonville Jaguars on deck, no matter who the quarterback is, they should warrant some Fantasy value.

With Jamaal Charles sidelined, Spencer Ware was locked into a feature back role. Unfortunately, he also exited early leaving Charcandrick West to handle the bulk of the workload. He carried the ball 14 times for 52 yards, which is unimpressive considering the opponent. Just about all the pass-catchers went off. Tight end Travis Kelce led the way with seven receptions, 101 yards, and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill flirted with 100 yards as well falling just two yards short and caught a TD of his own, while Jeremy Maclin snagged his first TD pass since Week 1. The Chiefs have a nice three-game stretch in front of them with Jags, Carolina Panthers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming up.

The Colts, on the other hand, continue to be mired in mediocrity falling victim to their poorly constructed roster. The team is built from the outside in with no presence on the line on either side of the ball. They simply get run over. The big stat here is that Andrew Luck was sacked another six times in this game and lost another fumble. The running game stalled as an aged Frank Gore could only manage 39 yards. The good news for Fantasy owners was the return of Donte Moncrief. He led the team in receiving and caught a TD. Hopefully, he can continue to be healthy and productive moving forward.  

Oakland Raiders 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 (OT)

Derek Carr continued to show why he is one of the fastest rising young stars in the NFL. He completed 40-of-59 pass attempts for 513 yards, four TDs, and zero interceptions. His starting wideouts stepped up for him in a major way on Sunday. Amari Cooper caught 12-of-15 targets for 173 yards and a touchdown. Michael Crabtree was a major contributor as well catching 8-of-16 targets for 108 yards. Even Seth Roberts secured the win with a 41-yard catch and run. Just for good measure offensive lineman, Donald Penn caught a TD as well. Latavius Murray has reclaimed his starting job, which was already pretty clear last week. His 11 carries were more than DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richards combined. This young offense continues to develop and get better every week.

The Bucs had a solid performance, although, no Fantasy star particularly stood out. Jameis Winston managed to avoid any turnovers throwing for 180 yards and two TDs. As expected Jacquizz Rodgers saw the vast majority of the carries with 19 for 69 yards and a TD. Peyton Barber who broke out last week as well was only given one touch. Antone Smith saw more touches with five. The wide receivers didn’t do much worth noting. Tight end Cameron Brate continued to be an asset with another touchdown this week. There is talent on the Tampa offense; they just lack consistency. If you were looking to replace Vincent Jackson, it appears Adam Humphries is your best bet.

Seattle Seahawks 20, New Orleans Saints 25

Despite a dream matchup against the Saints Russell Wilson continued to disappoint. It is now becoming time to panic with him. His efficiency was decent enough. However, he managed just 253 yards, no TDs, and an interception. The running backs didn’t wow anybody either with Christine Michael leading the team with ten carries and 40 yards. The big story here was the emergence of Fantasy relevance for rookie back C.J. Prosise. He saw both four carries and receptions for over 100 yards from scrimmage. This backfield could be a mess for Fantasy owners once Thomas Rawls comes back in the not too distant future.

The top news in New Orleans was also with the backs. Mark Ingram fumbled in the first quarter and never stepped back on the field. His final stat line was just three carries for five yards. Tim Hightower saw 26 carries for 102 yards. It’s worth mentioning that Ingram hasn’t seen 20 carries once this season. Not much to say about the passing attack. Drew Brees did what he usually does throwing for 265 yards and a TD. He spread the ball around well with five players between 35 and 65 receiving yards.  

New England Patriots 41, Buffalo Bills 25

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski continued to roll this past week. Brady threw for 315 yards and four more touchdowns. Through four games he now has 1,004 yards, 12 touchdowns, and no turnovers. Gronk tacked on another 109 yards and a touchdown. Chris Hogan was the top wideout with 91 yards and a touchdown. It’s tough to pick and choose with the Pats wideouts because Brady is going to spread the ball around and hit the open man.

With Tyrod Taylor throwing no touchdowns, this passing attack wasn’t very productive from a Fantasy standpoint. Walter Powell, who we mentioned in last week’s WR Roundup, led the team with 59 receiving yards and eight targets. With LeSean McCoy out all eyes were on Mike Gillislee. He played very well rushing for 85 yards and a TD on just 12 carries and snagged three receptions. It looks like he should at least be serviceable if McCoy misses additional time.

San Diego Chargers 19, Denver Broncos 27

The quarterbacks did not impress in this game, and that starts with Philip Rivers who threw three INTs to just two TDs and 267 yards. That’s to be expected against the Broncos, though. Tyrell Williams exited early in the game leaving just Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman as the only viable options at wideout. Benjamin made a beautiful TD catch while Inman led the team with four receptions and 72 yards. Melvin Gordon had another strong outing carrying the ball 23 times for 111 yards and added four receptions for 44 yards. All things considered, this was a better than anticipated day for the Chargers Fantasy options.

Trevor Siemian also had more picks than TDs with a 0-to-1 ratio. He also fumbled twice as well. The pass-catchers were the usual suspects. Demaryius Thomas caught five passes for 79 yards and Emmanuel Sanders four for 68. Virgil Green had a nice for catch 55-yard game too. What all Fantasy owners were interested in was how rookie Devontae Booker looked. Well, he didn’t look good. He managed just 2.8 yards per carry in this one. The silver lining is the fact he saw 19 carries and was able to punch in a touchdown.


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