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Week 11: Beyond the Box Scores

The best way to absorb all of Sunday’s games is to recap the performances of the key Fantasy players. That’s what you’ll find Beyond the Box Scores.

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Green Bay Packers 25, Tennessee Titans 47

This was probably the most shocking game of the day as the Packers were upended by the Titans. In hindsight, this probably shouldn’t have been such a surprise as Tennessee has been every bit as good as Green Bay this season.

The good news for Fantasy owners is that the Packers were so far behind so quick that their Packers had huge days. Aaron Rodgers was forced to throw the ball 51 times. He finished with 371 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also added 27 yards and a TD on the ground. Those 27 yards were just shy of James Starks’ team-leading 33 rushing yards. Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson both went off as well. Adams caught six passes for a team-high 156 yards. Nelson led the team with 12 receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. The stats do not tell the story of this game though as the Packers got walloped by the Titans.

Heading into this game, I was still a bit skeptical of Marcus Mariota. Not anymore, at least not when he has a favorable matchup. His weapons are better than they get credit for as well. Mariota finished with 295 yards and four touchdowns, and he did not turn the ball over. Delanie Walker continued to show why he’s an elite tight end option catching nine passes for 124 yards and a TD. Tajae Sharpe re-emerged with a strong showing and Rishard Matthews just continues to catch touchdown passes. He now has six touchdowns in the past six games and has caught a TD in five of the past six games. Anyone who watched him last year in Miami should have known he was capable of this kind of production. It’s almost an afterthought at this point because we’ve become accustomed to it, but DeMarco Murray kept on truckin’, accounting for over 150 yards and a TD.

Minnesota Vikings 20, Washington Redskins 26

The Vikings continue their downward spiral. The offense is mediocre at best and that great defense from their early season run has unraveled. The once 5-0 Vikings are now 5-4. Things are beginning to look like the Detroit Lions may be the frontrunners for the NFC North now.

Usually, this is when I remind you that Sam Bradford was never good and this is why you should have never trusted this offense. However, that wasn’t the case this week. Bradford played well. He completed 31-of-40 passes for 307 yards, two TDs, and one interception. Overall he put forth a very solid performance. The biggest issue is the fact the Vikings just can’t run the ball at all. Jerick McKinnon led the team with 16 rushing yards, and Matt Asiata punched in a short touchdown. They are missing Adrian Peterson right now. Stefon Diggs has quietly become a PPR monster. His big year continued as he caught 13 passes for 164 yards. He’s now caught 26 of 29 targets over the past two games. Kyle Rudolph has also put together the season we all expected he could if he stayed healthy. He caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Kirk Cousins had an efficient mistake free game of his own. He finished with 262 yards, two TDs, and no turnovers. The big question this week was how Robert Kelley would perform. He put together a nice outing. He was clearly the top back carrying the ball 22 times for 97 yards. If he continues to handle a full workload like this, he’ll be a valuable Fantasy asset. Jordan Reed had a rare down game as Vernon Davis cut into his production. With Cousins spreading the ball around to seven different players, Reed caught just two passes for 41 yards. Davis caught three passes for 66 yards and a TD. Pierre Garcon led the team with six receptions and 81 yards, while Jamison Crowder pulled in another touchdown.

Los Angeles Rams 9, New York Jets 6

Usually, I focus on the big Fantasy games that are well played with big points. A game that has a big impact or a shocking revelation. I’m going the other way on this one. Let’s focus on the downside of Fantasy Football with the Rams and Jets offenses,

The Rams did pull off the win, and Case Keenum may have hung onto his job for one more week by not shooting himself in the foot if nothing else. He threw for 165 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. If you expect very little from Keenum without him destroying his team, you got what you expected. Todd Gurley continued to struggle. This team just can’t get the running game going, and while I don’t agree, you’re starting to hear Trent Richardson comparisons with Gurley. This is extremely exaggerated, but that’s how far this rushing attack has fallen. He carried the ball just 21 times for 64 yards. Kenny Britt continued his outstanding season and just so happened to be the only Rams offensive player that did anything productive. He finished with seven receptions for 109 yards. Tavon Austin was the second leading receiver with two catches for 19 yards.

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That brings us to the dumpster fire that is the New York Jets offense. Their games are becoming increasingly difficult to watch. Bryce Petty finally got his first NFL start and had a very Case Keenum-like day. Petty threw for 163 yards, one TD, and one INT. What’s interesting is that Robby Anderson, not Brandon Marshall, looked more like his go to guy. Petty and Anderson have spent more time together as backups. Anderson led all receivers with 69 yards. Marshall managed just 15. The running backs did have value. Matt Forte continues to run well once again topping 100 yards from scrimmage on 20 carries and two receptions, while Bilal Powell had a big day in the passing game piling up seven reception for 52 yards and a TD. He also rushed for 37 yards. In the end, it’s hard to trust anybody on either offense. These are the kinds of teams that play 9-6 games and it’s not because of great defense.  

Miami Dolphins 31, San Diego Chargers 24

The Dolphins continue to roll winning their fourth game in a row and going above .500 after starting the season 1-4. The Chargers looked to have turned things around. However, they were back at it on Sunday finding new exotic ways to blow leads in the fourth quarter.

This was the best Ryan Tannehill had looked maybe ever. The numbers weren’t huge with 240 yards and two TDs. Nevertheless, they were serviceable. His film is what was impressive. He was hitting deep passes to Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker on the run and dropping it in for Damien Williams. These are passes he hasn’t been able to make in the past and he made almost all of them. If he can put it all together, Tannehill may have a big second half. Jay Ajayi struggled mightily in the first half barely entering double digit yards. He came around in the second half and finished with 79 yards. The concern is it appears Miami prefers Damien Williams in the red zone. Williams scored two TDs in this game and now has four TDs in the past four games. That may become a major issue for Ajayi owners. Parker had a big game topping 100 yards with Landry leading the team with six receptions (53 yards). Stills fulfilled his deep-threat role catching two passes for 47 yards and a 39-yard TD.

Philip Rivers imploded in the fourth quarter of this game. The Dolphins intercepted him four times in a 13-minute period during the games final quarter. This includes an INT in the end zone and a pick-six to seal the game. He did have 326 yards and three TDs, but that doesn’t nearly make up for his turnovers, which were all inexplicable. Melvin Gordon was held to 70 yards on the ground. However, he did tack on five receptions for 62 yards. The ageless Antonio Gates turned back the clock catching four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Tyrell Williams continued his tear with five receptions for 125 yards and a TD.

Dallas Cowboys 35, Pittsburgh Steelers 30

This was an incredible back and forth game. The Cowboys pulled off a late-game win right after it looked like the Steelers had pulled off the comeback with the Dan Marino fake spike play. This was a fun game to watch and well played.

Dak Prescott had a big game by his standards throwing for 319 yards and two touchdowns. He’s beginning to shed that game-manager label he’s been stuck with by reasonable people. Ezekiel Elliott was the star of the show. He rushed for 114 yards, caught two passes for 95 yards and scored three TDs including the game winner. He’s making his case for MVP right now. Dez Bryant decided to show up catching six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. While Jason Witten did what he always does and caught six of eight targets for 59 yards. It was a strong game all around by the Cowboys offense.

Ben Roethlisberger had a big game by anybody’s standards. He posted 408 yards and three TDs with no INTs. He continued to show why he may just have more upside than any Fantasy quarterback in the NFL. Le’Veon Bell amassed 134 yards from scrimmage, nine receptions, and a touchdown. This is what we’ve come to expect from him. It is notable that this was his first TD of the season, though, which is a big surprise. If you own Antonio Brown, you were thrilled and if you didn’t, you furious as he racked up meaningless yards on the final drive of the game. He finished with 14 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown, which unbelievable is also what we’ve come to expect from the greatest Fantasy receiver of all-time. Jesse James chipped in with four receptions for 59 yards, and Eli Rogers snagged four passes for 42 yards and a TD. Ladarius Green finally made his Steelers debut as well catching three passes for 30.

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