BY MITCHELL WESTALL, STAFF WRITER
What We Learned:
- Tom Brady is still good. The Deflategate saga finally ended with New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady returning from his four game suspension on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Brady picked up apart Cleveland’s mediocre pass defense to the tune of 406 yards and 3 touchdowns (all to tight end Martellus Bennett). At 39, Brady has shown early signs that this season won’t resemble the one had by Peyton Manning last year.
- The Purple People are eating again. This section is going to deviate slightly from the fantasy world to give credit where its due. The Minnesota Vikings are 5-0 and they look like the best team in football. The truly incredible part about this is that they lost both Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater. Sam Bradford is piloting this offense and he is doing a fantastic job at not losing the game. The real story of this team is their amazing defense. If you have a player going up against the Vikings defense, you probably should consider benching them. Their offense is not a glamorous team full of fantasy superstars, besides wide receiver Stefon Diggs, but their defense has what it takes to lead them on a deep playoff run.
- Isaiah Crowell (running back, Cleveland Browns) – after posting solid fantasy numbers, several owners finally decided to trust the Browns running back. Every single one of those owners would have been left disappointed with his output. Crowell managed only 40 total yards as the New England defense left no holes for Crowell to find. His matchup this week is against the Tennessee Titans, which sports a surprisingly stout run defense. He might still be worth a start unless you definitely have better options.
- Julio Jones (wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons) – how do you follow up one of the best receiving performances of all time? By catching two passes for 29 yards, of course! Granted, he was up against the toughest pass defense in the NFL. At this point, owners should never take Julio Jones out of the lineup unless he’s on a bye. But this week he faces another tough challenge in Seattle, who sport the third best defense against opposing receivers.
- Lamar Miller (running back, Houston Texans) – Miller has been annoyingly average all season. He has yet to find the end zone, but has put up solid yardage totals. Unfortunately, he ran into the Vikings defense. This week he’s definitely worth a start against the Indianapolis Colts’ horrible run defense. Owners are just waiting on Miller to break out, but they can’t complain with his 10-11 points per week (save for last week).
- Brian Hoyer (quarterback, Chicago Bears) – since taking over the starting QB spot for the injured Jay Cutler, Hoyer has quietly put up solid numbers. In all three starts, Hoyer has topped the 300 yard and two touchdown marks. Last week he tallied 23.78 points, and he has done enough to earn the permanent starting role even when Cutler gets healthy.
- Sammie Coates (wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers) – Coates has had a solid season so far in terms of yardage, but last week he exploded by posting 139 yards and two touchdowns. Coates has more than 50 receiving yards in every game this season, which is a solid indicator of future success. If you have the space on your roster, Coates is worth an add and even a start in deeper leagues.
- Adam Thielen (wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings) – with Diggs out of the lineup, Sam Bradford targeted Thielen eight times, of which seven were caught. He tallied 127 yards and a touchdown. If Diggs is going to be sidelined for an extended period of time, Thielen might be worth an add. He’s on a bye next week, so Diggs is going to have some time to heal up.
Picks to Click:
Review of last week: Phillip Rivers and Jordan Howard had really good days, while Julian Edelman and Zach Ertz were disappointments.
Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Running Back: Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Wide Receiver: Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Picks to Sit:
Review of last week: I don’t want to talk about it… but I have to. Matthew Stafford, Tevin Coleman and T.Y. Hilton were not only worth a start, they all played incredibly well. Kyle Rudolph wasn’t good, though, so there’s that.
Quarterback: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Running Back: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Tight End: Zach Miller, Chicago Bears