I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to look around Sunday morning and see that weather was not going to be a factor in NFL games. Many of us were still stinging from the previous week, when Mother Nature just laid waste to so many games that looked to be so enticing. The Browns-Raiders game, with both secondaries in the bottom third against the pass, but there was no passing of significance to happen in that game.
Seasoned sports gamblers know to look at the weather before they place their bets, because it’s such a factor. That was most telling in the Seahawks-Bills game in Buffalo. I was expecting snow with ferocious winds turning passes from Josh Allen and Russell Wilson into that feather in the opening of Forrest Gump. Instead, sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s in Orchard Park, NY. And the QBs delivered to fantasy managers and DFS players pounding this game for production.
Allen was my START OF THE WEEK, and he reminded us of the first weeks when he was an MVP candidate, with 415 yards and 3 TDs, and another rushing TD. It was the perfect game to get him back in the good graces of fantasy managers who saw Allen’s star plummet with his production since the early weeks. Seattle’s defense lived up to its historically bad season by allowing Allen to make it look like he was in a 7-on-7 drill. It’s looking pretty clear that Allen will be good when he’s facing good matchups… and Mother Nature cooperates.
On the other side, Wilson was his usual self, finishing the first 8 games with 28 TDs. That would put him on a pace to break Peyton Manning’s record of 55 TDs. Wilson is starting to get hit more regularly, as he was sacked 5 times in this game and got up gingerly after a few other hits. In the last two games, the Seahawk O-line has allowed the franchise to get knocked down too many times.
One last thing from this game, D.K. Metcalf is an absolute HOMBRE! Beast! Caballo! Whatever you want to call him, he’s vaulted into the conversation for the best of the best at his position. He’s on pace for 86 receptions, 1576 yards and 16 TDs. That’s Jerry Rice-in-his-prime production.
We had the conversation on our latest Sunday night recap as to which players at the WR position we’d take ahead of Metcalf. Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill were thrown out there. In retrospect, the only player I’d put ahead of Metcalf is Adams, and it might be a neck-and-neck race between these two – and possibly Thomas – to be the first WR selected in drafts next year. Here are some other Sunday Takeaways:
Dalvin Cook goes Godzilla on buildings whenever he has a plus matchup, which he’s had the past two weeks. Beware: Solid run defenses in Tampa Bay, Chicago and New Orleans are awaiting in Weeks 14-16, the fantasy playoffs.
The Chiefs are ignoring the running game. Yes, the Panthers got out to an early lead, which actually played into Patrick Mahomes’ hands on his way to 372 passing yards and 4 TDs. But Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell have carried the ball a combined 9 and 12 times, respectively, the past two games.
The Dolphins have themselves a QB. I can’t believe there was actually talk after just one game that the Dolphins might try to use a pick in next year’s draft to grab one of the top college QBs and move on from Tua. Against the Cardinals, we saw the precision in the throws that reminds me so much of vintage Steve Young. I’d like to see Tua slide a little more. Por favor.
Kyler Murray is on his way to smash Lamar Jackson’s 2019 MVP season for dual-threat greatness. The whirling dervish Murray is on pace for 4260 passing yards, 32 TD, 7 INT, 1086 rushing yards and 16 TDs. Watching him run is one of the pure joys on Sundays.
Felicidades to Jake Luton for an unexpectedly wonderful NFL debut. Going deep and connecting with D.J. Chark for a 73-yard bomb for his first score, he made it look like he was back in the Pac-12. That TD run to almost tie the game showed his dual-threat potential. QBs are definitely coming into the NFL more prepared than ever before.
It’s taking some time, but D’Andre Swift is gradually running away with the lead caballo role in the Detroit backfield. He finished with 97 total yards and 16 touches to Adrian Peterson’s 11.
There were 16 receivers who got at least 100 yards in Week 9 (including the Thursday night game), and just one 100-yard rusher. And people ask why RB is so important.
Curtis Samuel needs to be taken seriously after catching all 9 targets for 105 yards and 1 TD. This WR corps is a three-headed monster, and Samuel is the only one getting carries.
It may be time to take Mark Andrews out of the top TE conversation. He hasn’t scored since Week 5 and has yet to hit 60 receiving yards. The Ravens are just not passing that much to expect much from Andrews on a weekly basis.
ONE LAST THOUGHT: Don’t get cocky. We still have to check the weather before setting any lineups. Winter is coming!