Is there a more dominant player in fantasy football today than Todd Gurley? Every week, the Los Angeles Rams running back seems to one-up himself.
Take, for example, his matchup against the Broncos on a snowy day in the mile-high Denver air. All Gurley did was rush for a career-high 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. He’s already scored a league-leading 11 touchdowns through six games.
(Note: We’re trying a new format with our fantasy football roundup this week — heroes, zeros, injuries and early waiver wire picks. Let us know what you think.)
As expected, the Atlanta-Tampa Bay game was an offensive shootout, with a total of 63 points scored. Both quarterbacks produced big-time — with the Bucs’ Jameis Winston throwing for 395 yards and four touchdowns and the Falcons’ Matt Ryan racking up 354 yards and three scores.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (11 catches, 123 yards, TD) had his sixth consecutive game with over 100 receiving yards to start the season. That’s an NFL record. Is he the receiving equivalent of Gurley? Or just in the top three?
Running back James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers had 129 total yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. However, this could be the last week of Conner’s elite production. The Steelers are on bye next week and holdout Le’Veon Bell has said he plans to return to the team with an eye toward playing in Week 8.
Los Angeles Chargers workhorse Melvin Gordon carried 18 times for 132 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 18 yards. His 35.0 fantasy points in PPR formats on Sunday were second only to Gurley’s 36.
However, he wasn’t the winner of …
Broad Shoulders Award
Our weekly honor for the player who carried his fantasy teams to victory goes to Vikings running back Latavius Murray.
He didn’t score the most fantasy points, but then again, his owners weren’t expecting him to. With Dalvin Cook declared inactive before the game, Murray’s value took a huge jump. The consensus RB2 racked up 155 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He also had a three-yard catch to give him a total of 22.8 fantasy points (PPR scoring).
Murray’s big day gave many fantasy owners the unexpected boost they needed to secure a win.
Who didn’t come through for their fantasy owners on Sunday?
Despite the offensive fireworks around him, wideout Mike Evans of the Buccaneers caught just four passes for 58 yards.
Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard managed just 69 rushing yards and lost a fumble. While at the same time, backfield mate Tarik Cohen starred with 31 rushing yards and a touchdown, plus seven catches for 90 more yards.
On the heels of his huge 219-yard effort last week, New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell could muster only 40 rushing and 12 receiving yards on 15 total touches.
Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson threw for only 177 yards against the Buffalo Bills and was held to just 2 yards rushing. He had one TD pass, but two interceptions and three fumbles (losing one).
Finally the Jacksonville Jaguars defense was largely considered the best in the league. They didn’t look that way in Dallas in a 40-7 loss. They had just three sacks and didn’t force any turnovers.
Wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Calvin Ridley entered the week first and tied for second in touchdown receptions, but both suffered injuries in the first half of their games that severely curtailed their production.
Kupp had his knee bent awkwardly when he was horse-collared at the end of a 12-yard run. He tried to return after halftime, but was taken out after one series. Meanwhile, Ridley suffered an ankle injury and exited after catching three passes for 47 yards.
In addition, Amari Cooper was knocked out of the game on a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit early in the second quarter. He did not return and finished with no catches.
Early waiver wire
Looking ahead to the upcoming week’s potential pickups …
Ageless Miami Dolphins running back Frank Gore had 15 carries for 101 yards (6.7 per carry) and an 18-yard catch. He may also take a step forward with backfield mate Kenyan Drake losing a crucial fumble on the goal line in overtime.
Also, Dolphins wideout Albert Wilson had a pair of long scores among his six catches for 155 yards.
Speaking of multiple scores, Tyrell Williams of the Los Angeles Chargers had 118 yards on his three receptions — two of them for touchdowns.
The New York Jets receiving corps was turned upside down with Jermaine Kearse hauling in nine passes for 94 yards and Terrelle Pryor getting five receptions for 57 yards and a score. So much for Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson …
And if a bye week last week kept you from picking up Bears wideout Taylor Gabriel after his 104-yard, two-touchdown showing in Week 4, then his follow-up on Sunday should be enough to push you over the top. Gabriel caught all five of his targets for another 110 yards.
Follow Steve Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner.
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