LeSean McCoy and Amari Cooper found themselves on the leaderboard for the first time this season, but it was quarterbacks Matt Moore. Drew Stanton, and Cody Kessler coming off the bench that generated the most conversation. Those three might affect a lot more NFL fantasy scores in Week 8.
Right now, let’s see what got them on the field along with the highlights of Week 7.
MIA: Jay Cutler / Matt Moore & Kenny Stills
Jay Cutler somehow ended up with a better quarterback rating, but the Miami Dolphins looked sharper and more energized after Cutler left the game with a chest injury. Matt Moore threw for two touchdowns and led the Dolphins to the game-winning field goal in the last minute, bringing the team from 14 points down in the fourth quarter. Kenny Stills caught both of Moore’s touchdown pass and had a third called back by penalty. Overall, Stills caught six passes for 85 yards and wound up with Sunday’s best standard wide receiver NFL fantasy points total (20.5).
DAL: Ezekiel Elliott & Dak Prescott
Perhaps inspired by the reaction to Derek Carr and Amari Cooper’s combined 63-NFL fantasy point night in Los Angeles Thursday, the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott (39.90) and Dak Prescott (29.96) topped that performance while wiping San Francisco off the field. Elliott’s 72-yard screen pass accounted for 21 of those points and gave him his third touchdown on the day. He had 219 total yards, almost as many as Prescott’s 224 yards passing. Prescott ran for a touchdown on top of throwing three scoring passes en route to his big score.
BUF: LeSean McCoy
Maybe McCoy was inspired by Thursday night, too. After seeing Cooper break his big slump, McCoy raced out to 122 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on his way to 22.2 fantasy points, second-best on the day. Only a late fumble that let Tampa Bay tie the game took away from a solid day for the Bills’ running back.
LAR: Todd Gurley; PIT Le’Veon Bell
Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell carried the load for their respective teams. Both are on their game and can cover for many deficiencies in other aspects of their offenses. Yesterday, that didn’t matter much.
Gurley (21.4) had another 20-point game, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown and adding 48 receiving yards in the Rams’ 33-0 shutout of Arizona. Bell was held out of the end zone, but his 192 total yards gave him 19.2 NFL fantasy points.
GB: Aaron Jones & JAC: TJ Yeldon
Rookie Aaron Jones officially took over the primary running back duties in Green Bay Sunday, rushing for well over 100 yards and a touchdown for the RB-4 score of 19.8 points. Finishing right behind him at 19.7 was TJ Yeldon, activated for the first time this year and stepping into Leonard Fournette’s role with his own touchdown and 137 total yards.
Jones’ exploits will likely continue through the rest of the season. How Yeldon’s big day impacts the Jaguars’ running game is a pleasant dilemma for Jacksonville coaches.
ATL: Julio Jones
Wide receiver Julio Jones took a pass away from defender Malcolm Butler late in the Patriots’ big win over Atlanta. It put Jones among the top five fantasy wide receivers for the first time this season. He just missed 100 yards and settled for 15.9 fantasy points.
Amari Cooper (33.0) and Tyreek Hill (19.2) did enough on Thursday night to maintain the WR-1 and WR-3 spots going into Monday night’s game. Kenny Stills’ 20.5 is between them. Jarvis Landry (15.3) and Doug Baldwin (15.2) were the only other wide receivers to finish with 15 points, each with a touchdown and over 90 yards receiving.
TB: OJ Howard
For the second week in a row, rookie OJ Howard snuck through the line and wound up wide open with no defender within 20 yards of him for a deep touchdown. This week, he added a second score and 80 yards to come up with the best NFL fantasy tight end score at 22.2 points.
Only four other tight ends scored double-digit fantasy points this week. The Giants’ Evan Engram (12.0), Dallas’ Jason Witten (11.4), and Seattle’s Jimmy Graham (11.2) used touchdowns to break the ten-point barrier. On Thursday, Oakland’s Jared Cook gained 107 yards to come in at 10.7 NFL fantasy points.
SEA: Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns to finish with the 3rd-best fantasy quarterback score (26.36). He has thrown for over 300 yards and a victory all four times he’s played in NJ.
NYJ Josh McCown
The Jets’ Josh McCown should have been pleased with his four-touchdown day that gave him the third-best Sunday QB score of 24.46. He would have been happier if a last-minute interception didn’t lead to Miami’s game-winning field goal.
MIN: Kai Forbath
Six field goals, including two from over 50 yards, gave Kai Forbath 22 points this weekend. Ironically, he missed his only extra point attempt in Minnesota’s 24-18 win.
Stephen Hauschka finished with 14 points, good for 4th-best among NFL fantasy kickers. His 52-yarder late in the first half was his 12th straight successful kick from over 50 yards. He joins Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould, Justin Tucker, and Matt Prater as the only kickers to accomplish that feat.
D/ST: Chicago, LA Chargers, & Jacksonville
Three D/STs finished with 20 or more points. The Chicago Bears used two defensive touchdowns by safety Eddie Jackson and five sacks to run up 30 fantasy points in their 17-3 upset. The Chargers had five sacks, three turnovers, a punt-return touchdown, and threw a shutout to score 27 points. The Jaguars also gained a shutout victory and piled on 10 sacks to come in at 20 points for the day. The third shutout of the day earned the Los Angeles Rams the 4th best fantasy D/ST score of 17 points.
The biggest disappointments?
Multiple quarterbacks failed to break ten points this week, but the ugliest performance might have been Cam Newton’s harried effort against Chicago. His 7.44 fantasy points were not the worst quarterback score of the day, but without his 50 rushing yards, it would have been.
Adrian Peterson followed up his stellar Arizona debut with a dud in London. His 33 combined yards was slightly worse than Melvin Gordon’s 44. Both were largely predicted to have top-ten running back days. But highly hyped Derrick Henry (2.4 points) and Ty Montgomery (1.5) might have been more disappointing. Montgomery has apparently taken a back seat to rookie Aaron Jones.
Pittsburgh apparently heard of Andy Dalton’s plan to keep throwing passes to AJ Green. They held the Bengals’ star receiver to three catches on four targets for 41 yards. Larry Fitzgerald (2.9) and TY Hilton (2.7) were other top-ten prospects that did not make the grade. Green Bay’s rookie quarterback Brett Hundley distributed the ball well. Unfortunately, that meant 15 yards or fewer for each Packer receiver this week.
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