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The Giants Are Finally Off The Schneid
Last week, I noted that the New York Giants are a better team than their record indicated. A week later QB Daniel Jones throws for 402 yards against the New Orleans Saints. Jones’ career-best passing numbers came without the assistance of wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (hamstring). WR Kenny Golladay posted his first big game of the season (6-116-0 receiving line on seven targets) and first-round pick Kadarius Toney turned his nine targets into six receptions for 78 yards. Former first-round pick John Ross also got into the mix with a 3-77-1 receiving line. The Giants rounded out their depth at wide receiver this offseason as it’s clear they want to give Jones all the help he can get. Jones has averaged 23.6 points per game (currently the QB6, results of Monday Night Football pending) and will be a viable streamer next week when the Giants take on the Cowboys.
Saquon Barkley is another player who the Giants were expecting big things from this season. The team opted to take it slow with Barkley’s recovery from his ACL injury. The Giants took the first two weeks to ease Barkley back into the NFL before giving him the lion’s share of the work in Week 3. Barkley totaled 94 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 22 touches last week against the Falcons. He built upon that performance this Sunday against the Saints, totaling 126 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 18 touches. His poor rushing numbers (totaled 52 rushing yards on 13 attempts) aren’t something to worry about. The Saints’ run defense has been quite stout, allowing the second-fewest yards per carry (2.54) and third-fewest yards per game (48.3) to opposing running backs. Barkley’s rushing workload coupled with his receiving target share locks him in as a high-end RB1 for the rest of the season.
Alvin Kamara Will Be Just Fine
On the other side of the ball, Saints RB Alvin Kamara set a new career-high for carries. He rushed 26 times for 120 yards but saw no work in the receiving game. Head coach Sean Payton noted that the lack of targets for Kamara was due to a change in role given RB Tony Jones’ injury. Payton added that the Giants’ defense did a good job covering the shifty running back. Kamara could’ve had a much bigger fantasy day had Payton not given gadget player Taysom Hill two goal-line carries (both of which Hill converted). Kamara’s locked-in rushing workload coupled with this projected target floor still makes him a high-end RB1.
Congratulations On Creating History, Andy Reid
The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs had a tremendous, high-scoring matchup on Sunday. The Chiefs delivered head coach Andy Reid his 100th win on Sunday and became the first coach in NFL history to win 100 games with two teams. Reid’s 140 wins with the Eagles are the most in the Philadelphia franchise’s history. QB Patrick Mahomes was electric in this game, tossing five touchdowns. Three of those went to Tyreek Hill, who caught 11 of 12 targets for 186 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. Hill’s eruption on Sunday gave him his second 35+ PPR point game of the season. With the entire passing offense flowing through Hill, none of the other Chiefs’ receivers finished with more than 25 yards. Let’s hope for continued fireworks next week when the Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills.
After a costly fumble last week against the Chargers, I was sure that was the last we’d had seen of RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire proves me wrong, posting 109 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 19 touches. Edwards-Helaire built off last week’s momentum and posted his second straight 100-yard game. He led the backfield with 16 touches and caught a nifty underhanded pass from Mahomes for a touchdown. RB Darrell Williams mixed in on Sunday, which caps Edwards-Helaire’s upside a bit. Edwards-Helaire should be viewed as a high-upside RB2 for next week’s matchup. Note that Williams should be rostered in 12-team formats. It’s possible that he might have some future standalone value following his performance on Sunday (56 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 12 touches).
Miles Sanders Is Trending The Wrong Way
On the Eagles side of the ball, QB Jalen Hurts posted his second consecutive game throwing for 300+ yards. In addition to throwing for 387 yards and two touchdowns, Hurts tacked on 47 yards with his legs. Hurts’ Konami code ability gives him mouthwatering upside and he should be ranked as a top-8 option at the position for the rest of the season.
The Eagles abandoned the run in this game, instead of focusing on the passing game. It should be noted that RB Miles Sanders has been invisible the last two weeks. Since Sanders’ 19 touch game against the Falcons in Week 1, he’s posted touch counts of 14, 5, and 10. Simply put, it looks like Sanders is losing work to rookie fifth-round RB pick Kenneth Gainwell when the Eagles fall behind. Gainwell hasn’t turned this into a 50/50 timeshare but has touch counts of 11, 8, 4, and 9 over the first four weeks. In this game, it looked like the Eagles opted to prioritize him as their primary pass-catching RB. Gainwell saw 8 targets, catching six of them for 58 yards whereas Sanders posted a 3-28-0 receiving line on four targets. Keep an eye on the Eagles’ usage with their RBs as it looks like Gainwell could potentially become a viable FLEX starter in 12-team leagues.
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Quick Hits – Injuries
There were several injuries that fantasy gamers need to monitor over the course of the week.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo strained his calf in the first half on Sunday, and rookie QB Trey Lance replaced him to start the second half. Lance looked raw, completing only 50% of his passes, but his upside potential was on full display. He threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns and added 41 yards with his legs. Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned that Garoppolo’s calf injury “wasn’t as bad as we thought” and he will be re-evaluated Wednesday. It looks like the team isn’t quite ready to turn the reigns over to the third overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Bengals RB Joe Mixon is currently “day-to-day” with an ankle sprain per head coach Zac Taylor. Taylor’s diagnosis of Mixon has historically trended towards optimism. Last year, he called Mixon week-to-week before the RB missed the final ten games of the season. Samaje Perine should be rostered in all 12-team leagues in case Mixon is unable to play.
Bengals WR Tee Higgins is expected to return to practice this week. He’s been dealing with a shoulder injury which has kept him out of the last two games. It did sound like Higgins had an outside shot of playing against the Jaguars had the game been on Sunday, so it’s quite likely he’s active against the Packers.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh noted that WR Elijah Moore should be out of the concussion protocol soon. This is good news for a team trying to build off their first win of the season. Moore adds a new dimension to the receiving corps, so let’s hope he’s back on the field soon.
Dolphins WR Will Fuller broke his finger and is considered week-to-week. Fuller has been a no-show through two games. It’s tough to trust slotting him into your lineups unless we see signs of life.