Welcome to the big time! Another week has come and gone in the NFL, as we approach the halfway mark of the season. Here’s another edition of Big Time Producers, reflecting upon the guys that likely won you your week.
Aaron Rodgers – It was a classic performance from that baaaad man, Aaron Rodgers, in which he reminded us that he is still among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. Rodgers completed 25 of 31 passes for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown for good measure. Rodgers utilized seemingly the entire roster, completing at least 2 passes to eight different wide receivers.
Kirk Cousins – After surviving a wide receiver mutiny only a few weeks ago, Kirk Cousins has lit the fantasy world on fire the last two games. This marks Kirk’s second consecutive finish as the second highest scoring quarterback in fantasy football. Cousins completed 24 of 34 passes for 337 yards and 4 touchdowns. What’s most impressive is Cousins continued to thrive even after the exit of starting wide receiver Adam Thielen.
Matthew Stafford – Starting across the field, Matthew Stafford dropped four touchdowns to Marvin Jones. Stafford’s one interception was the difference between he and Kirk Cousins for fantasy production (in leagues that remove points for interceptions thrown). Stafford completed 30 of 45 passes for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns en route to a top three fantasy football finish.
Jacoby Brissett – With a career performance, Jacoby Brissett has cemented himself as a quality starting quarterback with a chance to maintain the Colts starting job into next year. Brissett completed 26 of 39 passes for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns in a stellar performance against a division rival. The offensive line is playing extremely well and the Colts are now in the lead for the division, thanks in large part to the play of Jacoby Brissett.
Jared Goff – I was expecting a bounceback for Jared Goff and though it didn’t happen in quite the fashion I had imagined, it still happened. The Rams defense did most of the heavy lifting, but Jared Goff still completed 22 of 37 passes for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns. Goff’s unwillingness or inability to push the ball down the field is capping his fantasy production, but he can still be used as a streaming option.
Lamar Jackson – It’s not often a quarterback completes 9 of 20 passes for 143 yards with no touchdowns and is productive for fantasy football. However, Action Jackson does not appear mortal, as he slashed and dashed his way through the Seahawks defense for 116 yards and 1 touchdown on 14 carries. Lamar Jackson is an unfair advantage as he gives you an RB1 mixed in with a QB2 on a weekly basis.
Chase Edmonds – It was a career day for Chase Edmonds, who absolutely demolished the New York Giants defense on his way to 126 yards and 3 touchdowns. With David Johnson dressing for the game, it was surprising that he wasn’t involved at all, but it didn’t matter because Chase Edmonds was a beast. On 27 carries, he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and even had 2 catches on 4 targets. Chase Edmonds owners everywhere are hoping the Cardinals continue to rest David Johnson.
Latavius Murray – It was a banner day for reserve running backs as Latavius Murray finished second in fantasy points for running backs in the absence of Alvin Kamara. Murray handled an incredible 32 touches total in this game, 27 on the ground and 5 through the air. He finished with 119 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as 31 receiving yards for good measure. This is what you drafted Latavius Murray for during the off-season.
Dalvin Cook – The Vikings offense was full steam ahead this week, both through the air and on the ground. Dalvin Cook is second on the year in fantasy production from the running back position, behind only Christian McCaffrey. Cook found a ton of room against the Lions, rushing for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries. Cook wasn’t involved much in the passing game, but he didn’t need to be, as he was getting it done on the ground. With only Alexander Mattison to push him for carries, Cook is going to finish as a top three running back barring injury.
Ezekiel Elliott – Zeke is back, baby! This is the first time all year that Ezekiel Elliott has looked like himself after missing a massive chunk of the off-season due to his holdout. Zeke ran up, over and around the Eagles defense for 111 yards and 1 touchdown on 22 carries, averaging a healthy 5.0 yards per carry. Furthermore, Zeke’s involvement in the passing game did not dissipate, as he led the team with 6 receptions on 7 targets. This is the Zeke you were hoping for when you drafted him.
Leonard Fournette – The Bengals have been outrushed by nearly 1000 yards this season. That trend continued as Leonard Fournette found chunk play after chunk play against the Bengals, going for 131 yards on 29 carries. This is Fournette’s third time in four games surpassing 100 yards rushing and it’s his fifth straight game with more than 100 all purpose yards. At this rate, as long as he’s healthy, Fournette could finish as a top ten fantasy running back.
Josh Jacobs – The rookie first round pick has certainly lived up to the billing this year as Josh Jacobs is making a strong case as offensive rookie of the year. This is now back to back games for Josh Jacobs in which he passed 120 yards on the ground. Jacobs shows a nice blend of power and speed in his game, while also consistently demonstrating toughness. The Raiders may not be heading to the playoffs this season, but they have to be encouraged by the diamonds they’ve mined on their offense.
Marvin Jones – The ultimate sell high candidate, Marvin Jones had easily his best game of the year. Jones led the team in catches and targets, reeling in 10 of 13 targets for 93 yards and a ridiculous 4 touchdowns. Jones had 1 touchdown on the season until Sunday, so with an upcoming matchup against the Giants, this is the time to try to package Marvin Jones in order to get a true WR1.
Zach Pascal – Jacoby Brissett wasn’t the only Colts player to have a career day on Sunday against the Houston Texans. Zach Pascal was second on the team in targets, finishing with 6 catches for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns. Pascal has flashed his abilities in the past, however, he has yet to lock down the second wide receiver spot opposite TY Hilton. Hopefully, this performance leads to future opportunities for the 24-year-old receiver.
Deandre Hopkins – Finally! It’s about time the best wide receiver in football put in a performance equal to his stature. Deandre Hopkins topped 100 yards for the first time since week one. After Will Fuller would leave with an injury, Hopkins would finish with more than double the targets of any other player on his team. Nuk finished with 9 receptions on 12 targets for 106 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully, you were able to buy low on Nuk before this game.
Allen Robinson – The only Bears player to be productive before garbage time, Allen Robinson was excellent in this game, beating tight coverage on his way to 10 receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came in garbage time, but A-Rob was on his way to a solid day even before garbage time. Going forward, as long as Trubisky is playing, Allen Robinson is a solid play week to week.
Stefon Diggs – Boosted by the absence of Adam Thielen, who exited after a big touchdown grab in which he crashed into the wall, Stefon Diggs balled out and pulled in 7 catches on 8 targets for 142 yards. Kirk Cousins is finally targeting Diggs deep down the field, making Stefon Diggs a heavy upside play every week. If Adam Thielen is going to miss time, Diggs is not only an excellent upside play, he’ll absorb added volume as well.
Michael Thomas – Arguably the best wide receiver in football right now, Michael Thomas continues to dominate regardless of who’s throwing him the ball. Even in a tough road matchup, MT came out and balled, reeling in 9 of a team-high 11 targets for 131 yards. Michael Thomas is just a beast, using his size and speed to muscle defenders around when he’s making tough, contested catches.
Darren Waller – Coo coo cachoo! This was easily Darren Waller’s best game of the season. Waller was on the wrong end of a shootout, but still dropped the highest tight end fantasy score of the week as he reeled in 7 of 8 targets for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. Even while splitting snaps with Foster Moreau, who also caught a touchdown, Darren Waller has cemented himself as a tight end 1 for the rest of the year.
Eric Ebron – Doing his best Odell Beckham impersonation, Eric Ebron made the touchdown catch of the year by pulling in an incredible one-handed catch at the back of the endzone. That touchdown boosted his fantasy production for the day, as he only had 4 catches for 70 yards. Ebron’s value this year is touchdown dart throw; if he scores, he’s fine, if not, he’s awful.
Jimmy Graham – You could almost be disappointed with Jimmy Graham’s final stat line from a blowout game where all the wide receivers were banged up, but given the tight end landscape this year, you’ll happily take a 4 catch for 65 yards and a touchdown day. Jimmy Graham is hit or miss, but for the time being, he seems to be a reliable tight end option.
Kyle Rudolph – Rudolph the Redzone Reindeer had been banished to the North Pole, but following the Adam Thielen injury, was once again called upon to guide the Vikings’ sleigh. Rudolph has developed into more of a blocking tight end, however, with Adam Thielen out, he could see more targets. This potentially makes him a valuable add off the waiver wire.
Gerald Everett – The volume can no longer be ignored with Gerald Everett. Although he only had 4 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, it’s clear Jared Goff was looking for him often as he led the team with 10 targets. If any player is getting between 8-10 targets a game, that’s pretty good, but when it’s at the tight end position, that’s invaluable.
Los Angeles Rams – I wasn’t sure Jalen Ramsey was going to play so soon after being traded, but he did and it seemingly had a great effect on the Rams. The Rams defense seemed to be missing some of the swagger that a guy like Jalen Ramsey exudes, so I could see this being a perfect marriage and the Rams defense would, therefore, be a decent fantasy option for the rest of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars defense continues to lift this team and your fantasy lineup, as they piled up the points by forcing Andy Dalton into 3 interceptions including one returned for a touchdown. If the Jaguars are available in your league, they’re an excellent streaming option next week against a lowly Jets team that just got clowned by the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.
Baltimore Ravens – The Rams aren’t the only team getting immediate returns on their investment into a star cornerback, as Marcus Peters promptly returned an interception for a touchdown, helping cement a Ravens win in the Clink. It was the best fantasy performance by the Ravens defense since week one against the Miami Dolphins, only this time, very few were expecting it. They have a bye week and a road game in New England coming up next though, so don’t pick them up.
San Francisco 49ers – It was a Slip N’ Slide out there in San Francisco on Sunday and it resulted in a bad fantasy football day for your players, unless you started the defenses. It was such a weird game that even the Redskins defense turned out to be playable. However, it was the 49ers who reigned supreme, continuing to establish themselves as the second-best defense in football. If you’ve had the 49ers for the last three weeks, you’re probably doing belly slides like Nick Bosa.
Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals defense achieved an incredible feat against the Giants on Sunday. The defense scored more fantasy points in that one game than they have all season. They still managed to let Rhett Ellison score a touchdown on them to affirm their inability to cover tight ends, but otherwise, they finished with 8 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 fumble returns. This was a fluky game though and with New Orleans and San Francisco on the docket next, they’re not a streaming option either.