Fantasy football Week 6 recap and top waiver wire picks

There were a lot of headlines in Week 6 of the fantasy football season but none bigger than the broken collarbone suffered by Aaron Rodgers.

Packers fans, relax? No, it’s time to worry. Unless Brett Hundley improves significantly, the Packers have no shot to make the playoffs after losing their leader.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 7 rankings.

Though this season has seen its share of huge injuries affecting fantasy football, none can be bigger than the one suffered by Rodgers. Odell Beckham Jr. and Dalvin Cook each suffered injuries in successive weeks before Rodgers in Week 6. If your team was being carried by Rodgers, then you’re going to have a tougher time than Beckham and Cook owners. It’s why I advise on waiting on a quarterback during the draft, so that you can balance out your roster with quality at the running back and wide receiver positions.

Anyone who drafted Rodgers early missed out on a high quality running back or wide receiver that could come in handy right about now.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) lies on the ground after being hit by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) in the first half of an NFL football game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The other big headline from this week was the big week turned in by Adrian Peterson after being traded to the Cardinals. A lot of people thought he was washed up by now, and who could blame them? He was getting very few touches with the Saints. Peterson needs touches to flourish, and that’s just what he got with the Cardinals on Sunday. He rushed 26 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns. The Arizona offense looked rejuvenated with him in the backfield and I don’t see why his production would drop off.

Not only did his move to Arizona help his fantasy value, it helped the values of the running backs on the team he left. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara both had great days. Ingram rushed 25 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 36 yards. Kamara rushed 10 times for 75 yards and caught four passes for 12 yards.

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) scores a touchdown in front of Detroit Lions free safety Glover Quin (27) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

The top performing running back in Week 6 was Melvin Gordon who rushed 25 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also caught nine passes for 67 yards and another score.

Le’Veon Bell had a great day as well, rushing 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season.

Also in the Steelers game, Antonio Brown led all receivers this week. He caught eight passes for 155 yards and a spectacular 51-yard score.

Larry Fitzgerald also had a big day as a wideout. He caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald, Peterson and Carson Palmer look like the best 30-plus-year-old triplets in the NFL. Palmer looked like a new man, throwing for 283 yards and three touchdowns.

Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals catches an 11 yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer #3 during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The best quarterback of the week was Kirk Cousins. He threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Cousins also rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown.

The signal caller that leads the league in touchdown passes is Deshaun Watson with 15. He had another great week, throwing for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Watson has tossed at least three touchdowns in each of the last three weeks. With Rodgers out for the rest of the season, is it that far fetched to think Watson could be the best fantasy QB the rest of the season?

Watson has been utilizing second-year player Will Fuller extremely efficiently. Fuller has five touchdowns in three games on just eight receptions.

Demaryius Thomas had a big day for the Broncos, catching 10 passes for 133 yards.

Both Lions receivers had productive days, and nearly identical stat lines. Golden Tate had seven receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. Marvin Jones had his best day of the season, catching six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones pulls in a one-handed touchdown reception overNew Orleans Saints cornerback Ken Crawley (20) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

In a game that totaled 90 points, the Saints vs. Lions, there were a few fantasy disappointments. Michael Thomas had just three catches for 11 yards for the Saints. Lions running back Ameer Abdullah had just 54 total yards.

The biggest disappointments of the week were Derek Carr, Jonathan Stewart, Sammy Watkins and Chris Hogan.

Carr returned from an injured back and didn’t inspire confidence in his owners. He threw for just 171 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Sitting Amari Cooper continues to be the right move as he caught five of Carr’s passes for just 28 yards.

Stewart had a dreadful Thursday night game, rushing eight times for minus-four yards. He’s one of the least reliable starting running backs in the league.

Watkins’ poor performances are becoming commonplace and he can’t be trusted until he strings a couple of good games together.

Hogan had been doing well, but he had just one catch for 19 yards this week. Before Week 6 he had five touchdowns in his previous four games.

Rob Gronkowski led the Patriots in receiving, catching six passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

Another tight end that produced well was Evan Engram, who is the last good remaining target for Eli Manning. Engram caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Cameron Brate’s scoring streak continued in Week 6. He caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Zach Ertz was in danger of not having a good game this week as he caught just two passes on Thursday night. Both catches happened to be touchdowns.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins should have had two touchdown receptions, but apparently crossing the goal line with complete control of the ball isn’t a touchdown anymore. The officials ruled that Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball and didn’t regain it until he touched out of bounds on a play. The replay seemed to show him cross the goal line with control, but that’s just my opinion. He finished the game with eight catches, 46 yards, a touchdown and an unjustified fumble lost.

New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) is tackled by New England Patriots’ Malcolm Butler (21) and Duron Harmon (30) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. After further review the play was ruled a fumble into the end zone. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

On the defensive side, the Saints once again surprised me, scoring three times, making five sacks, forcing two fumbles and intercepting three passes. The Giants and Rams also had big weeks defensively.

Top waiver wire picks

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Giants: Darkwa had the best day of a Giants running back on Sunday night. He rushed 21 times for 117 yards.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots: He carried the ball more than 10 times for the first time this season.

C.J. Beathard, QB, 49ers: Only a streaming option, but could be a good one.

Josh McCown, QB, Jets: Another streaming option who does well against bad defenses.

Aldrick Robinson, WR, 49ers: 2 rec., 66 yards, TD. He caught a TD with the Niners new starting QB.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 5 recap and top waiver wire picks

Another week, another devastating injury hits the NFL and the fantasy football world.

This time around it was Odell Beckham Jr. who was carted off the field after fracturing his ankle. He was having a good game, too, catching five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 6 rankings.

Another huge injury that could significantly impact fantasy came in Sunday night’s game. J.J. Watt had a fracture occur in his knee, putting him out for the rest of the season. He wasn’t the only Texans defender to suffer a likely season-ending injury. Whitney Mercilus also went down with a torn pectoral muscle.

The Texans defense isn’t the only fantasy “player” affected by these injuries. It may actually help increase the value of Deshaun Watson. Take Sunday’s game as an example. Houston was trailing for most of the game and Watson showed he has the firepower to put up big numbers, even in garbage time. He threw five touchdown passes, most of which were in desperation to get back in the game. The Texans are more likely to need him to have big days in order to stay competitive.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Another quarterback that had a huge day was Carson Wentz. He’s entering must-start territory based on his passing attempts alone. He hasn’t thrown the ball less than 30 times in a game this year. In fact, Wentz had his lowest attempts Sunday (30) and translated that into 304 yards and four touchdowns.

For the fifth straight week Dak Prescott has improved his fantasy scoring, throwing three touchdown passes and rushing for another. His team fell once again to Aaron Rodgers, who threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 32 yards.

Cam Newton, once again proved that you can’t just write guys off in the world of fantasy football. He had another big day, throwing for three touchdowns. He’s thrown for six TDs over the last two games after throwing just two in the first three weeks.

At this point you’d rather be starting Newton over Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben had one of his worst games, throwing five interceptions in the loss to the Jaguars. Despite the terrible game for the quarterback, Antonio Brown still produced like always. He had 10 catches for 157 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) makes a catch in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

What’s strange is Blake Bortles had an even worse game than his counterpart. Though Roethlisberger threw five picks, he managed 312 yards. The Jaguars didn’t want to risk Bortles throwing too much so they only allowed him to drop back 14 times. He didn’t even eclipse 100 yards and threw a pick.

The Jaguars’ game plan was to the benefit of Leonard Fournette, who had a career game as he rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. His 90-yard score late in the game was music to some fantasy owners’ ears. The late-game big plays can save your day or break your heart.

That wasn’t more apparent than during the end of the Texans-Chief Sunday night contest. Watson’s final touchdown pass came with no time on the clock and gave DeAndre Hopkins his third score of the day. There were definitely fantasy owners that had the Watson-Hopkins stack that got a bonus 12 points on a meaningless play.

Speaking of Hopkins, he finished with just four catches but three of those were touchdowns. Another Texan, Will Fuller, continued to make a big impact since his return to action last week. He scored twice in Week 5, including a 48-yard score.

Another receiver that had two scores was Davante Adams, who recovered quickly from a brutal hit on Thursday night of Week 4.

The wide receiver that had the biggest week was A.J. Green, who has benefited from the change in offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. He caught seven passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Even losing a fumble didn’t ruin his fantasy day.

T.Y. Hilton continues to bide his time until Andrew Luck returns to action. Hilton caught seven passes from Jacoby Brissett for 177 yards. He has a great matchup against the Titans next week.

A teammate of Hilton’s who had a great day was Marlon Mack. The backup rookie running back rushed just nine times for 91 yards and a touchdown. He’s making a strong case that he deserves more touches than the aging Frank Gore.

After Fournette, Melvin Gordon had the best day among running backs. Gordon rushed 20 times for 105 yards and caught six passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars reacts after rushing for a 2 yard touchdown in the second quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Another running back that cashed in through the air was Duke Johnson. He caught three passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Johnson also rushed for 20 yards and is seemingly the best running back in Cleveland, despite a lot of preseason hype surrounding Isaiah Crowell.

One player who had zero hype entering the season was Aaron Jones. The rookie out of UTEP was behind Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams entering the season. With Montgomery out this week and Williams slightly banged up, Jones made the most of his opportunity. Jones, a top waiver wire pick from last week, rushed 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown.

In the same game Ezekiel Elliott posted another strong performance. The Cowboys will likely have more of the same out of the second-year back if he stays eligible. The run-heavy game plan is their best chance to win and they won’t have to play Aaron Rodgers every week.

The worst performers of the week out of the backfield were Carlos Hyde, Eddie Lacy and Todd Gurley. Hyde took a back seat to Matt Breida for some reason. Lacy had just 19 yards rushing despite getting the most attempts for Seattle. Gurley had a real letdown after a great game in Week 4. He was inches away from a touchdown in the first quarter, but Earl Thomas forced a fumble that resulted in a touchback for Seattle.

Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams runs a 12-yard touchdown which was overturned and ruled a fumble that went out of bounds in the end zone during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The biggest disappointment in the Rams-Seahawks contest was Sammy Watkins. He didn’t haul in one of the four passes sent his way.

As far as tight ends go, nobody had a better day than Ed Dickson. He’s replacing Greg Olsen in the Panthers offense and could turn out to really help Newton stay a strong option. Dickson caught five passes for 175 yards.

Zach Ertz, Cameron Brate and Travis Kelce performed well as usual while Austin Sefarian-Jenkins proved to be a solid spot start.

Top waiver wire picks

Ed Dickson, TE, Panthers: If he continues to be Newton’s favorite target, he could be a nice addition.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles: 4 rec., 93 yards, TD. Wentz is getting hot and Agholor could be the one to benefit.

Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets: 4 rec., 38 yards, TD. He’s the No. 1 option on a surprising 3-2 team.

Nick O’Leary, TE, Bills: 5 rec., 54 yards. He’ll fill in for an injured Charles Clay when coming off a bye in Week 7.

Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys: 4 rec. 23 yards, 2TDs. If Terrance Williams continues slumping, Beasley could benefit. He’s on bye in Week 6 so he should be available.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers: 5 rec., 115 yards. His season-high 11 targets makes him one to stash.

George Kittle, TE, 49ers: 7 rec., 83 yards, TD. He has a good matchup in Week 6 for any Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham or Charles Clay owners. Those guys are on bye.

Fantasy football Week 1 recap and top waiver wire picks

Is it just me or was Week 1 kind of weird? You had Tom Brady posting a dud on Thursday while Alex Smith went off. You had Le’Veon Bell gaining just 47 total yards in a juicy matchup with the Browns, getting outscored by players like Tommy Bohanon of the Jags. Who? And you had Julio Jones getting outscored by players like Andre Holmes.

There are always a few surprises in the season opener, but this year seemed odder than most.

Don’t worry about Brady, Bell or Jones too much, though. Things should return back to normal in Week 2 for them.

The big news is surrounding the likely No. 1 pick in a lot of drafts, David Johnson. The initial diagnosis is that Johnson suffered a dislocated wrist, according to ESPN, and will likely need surgery. The Cardinals are going to get a second opinion, but he could be out for a lengthy period of time. Kerwynn Williams should be picked up off the waiver wire since he’ll be Johnson’s replacement in Arizona.

D.J. Hayden #31 of the Detroit Lions tackles David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at Ford Field on September 10, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 35-23.(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Something that’s almost just as concerning for the Cardinals is the play of Carson Palmer. Even if Johnson is healthy, Palmer didn’t inspire confidence. When the passing threat isn’t much of a threat at all, the running game will suffer.

Speaking of suffering running games, only nine running backs rushed for more than 70 yards this week. That’s not to say there weren’t great performances overall out of the backfield.

Kareem Hunt had the best debut for a rookie running back this season, but he wasn’t alone in putting up great numbers as a rookie.

Leonard Fournette was expected to get a lot of touches and he came through with a productive performance in his debut. He rushed for 100 yards and and caught three passes for 24 yards.

Dalvin Cook took the lion’s share of touches in the Vikings backfield while rushing for 127 yards. He had 25 touches to Latavius Murray’s two.

Count among the running back duds, everyone in the Saints backfield. Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram each rushed just six times for a combined 35 yards.

One unexpected performance came out of Chicago’s diminutive Tarik Cohen. He looked great in preseason, but with Jordan Howard as the main back for the Bears, it wasn’t clear if Cohen would be used that much. Well, he was used just enough, totaling 13 touches and gaining over 100 yards from scrimmage. Cohen was very effective in the passing game, looking like Darren Sproles as he led the team with 12 targets. He even caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Cohen, Fournette, Hunt and Cook were four of the top eight fantasy scoring running backs this week. That’s a great start for my prediction that five rookies will end the season as RB1 or RB2 status. Add to that, Joe Mixon led the Bengals’ backfield in touches. He didn’t have a good game, but who did for the Bengals? That could possibly work in your favor. A piece of advice? Try to trade for him now. Buy low and benefit when his team-leading touches pay off.

Even rookie receivers performed well on Sunday. Kenny Golladay scored two touchdowns for the Lions and Cooper Kupp caught 4 passes for 76 yards and scored for the Rams.

Kenny Golladay #19 of the Detroit Lions catches a fourth quarter touchdown next to Justin Bethel #28 of the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field on September 10, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 35-23. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Speaking of the Rams, Jared Goff actually looked pretty good. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 306 yards and a TD. Has the Jeff Fisher curse finally been lifted? Could be, but we’ll have to see against a decent defense. If you’ve got room on your bench, go ahead and add Goff as trade bait.

This wild Week 1 really made me appreciate veteran quarterbacks who came through. Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr and Matt Ryan all played as well as expected. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play great, but they didn’t stink up your team like Brady, Palmer or Eli Manning.

Another veteran, Sam Bradford, is finally starting to look like what some thought he would coming out of college. He was sharp, decisive and accurate in the thrashing of a terrible Saints defense Monday night.

As far as veteran running backs go, LeSean McCoy, Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley all played well.

Antonio Brown outplayed every wide receiver on Sunday, hauling in all 11 of his targets for 182 yards. Jordy Nelson was Jordy Nelson while Amari Cooper showed signs of taking that next step owners have been waiting to see. Of course, Tyreek Hill had the best game of all on Thursday.

Monday night, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs just outright abused the Saints secondary. Thielen had 9 catches for 157 yards while Diggs scored twice.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jason Witten’s performance. He caught 7 passes for 59 yards and scored on his way to becoming the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receiving yards.

Top waiver wire picks:

Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears: 5 rushes-66 yards, 8 rec.-47 yards, TD

Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings: 27-32, 346, 3 TDs

Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions: 4 rec.-69 yards, 2 TDs

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles: 6 rec.-86 yards, TD

Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens: 21 rushes-71 yards

Mike Tolbert, RB, Bills: 12 rushes-42 yards, TD, 1 rec.-12 yards

Kerwynn Williams, RB, Cardinals: Will start in place of Johnson.

Jesse James, TE, Steelers: 8 targets, 6 rec.-41 yards 2 TDs

Jared Goff, QB, Rams: 21 comp., 29 att., 306 yards, TD

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 14 recap and waiver wire suggestions

If you had a good weekend playing fantasy football, you very likely had some unexpected performances turn in your favor. Other than Le’Veon Bell owners, virtually no owners with weekly top-tier performers were guaranteed victories.

For the most part, big-name players under-performed in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. If you were able to avoid those disasters, you survived a terrible Sunday.

Starting with the worst quarterbacks this week, you had Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota and Ben Roethlisberger all score in single digits. It was as if they didn’t know, or worse didn’t care, that this week was crucial to our fantasy success.

Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) and defensive end Adolphus Washington (92) celebrate after Alexander intercepted a pass from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) and defensive end Adolphus Washington (92) celebrate after Alexander intercepted a pass from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Only eight running backs topped 100 yards. The biggest disappointment was Melvin Gordon, through no fault of his own, as he was injured early in the game. He had three carries for 5 yards before a hip injury had him carted off the field. NFL.com reports that he will be day-to-day, just three yards shy from 1,000 for the season.

Mark Ingram was a big dud as well, and he was available the whole game. Seven carries for 14 yards isn’t going to do it as an RB1 in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully you had other players step up.

Thomas Rawls had limited impact because of game script as the Seahawks trailed early and by a lot. He looked good and gained 67 yards on 12 carries, but became a victim of circumstance with the Seahawks needing to throw.

Seattle Seahawks' Thomas Rawls runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Seattle Seahawks’ Thomas Rawls runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Devonta Freeman was virtually invisible in a game in which the Falcons scored 42 points. Tevin Coleman scored twice, on the other hand.

Your biggest receiving disappointment was Dez Bryant, who fumbled away his only reception of the night, leaving him in negative-point territory. Mike Evans, who’s been very consistent, and Brandon Marshall, who hasn’t, both failed to eclipse 42 yards receiving.

Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys fumbles the ball as Janoris Jenkins #20 and Keenan Robinson #57 of the New York Giants make the tackle in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys fumbles the ball as Janoris Jenkins #20 and Keenan Robinson #57 of the New York Giants make the tackle in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The disappointments didn’t end with the skill positions. The Seahawks defense was terrible as well, giving up 38 points, 21 in the first half, to the Packers.

Basically, if you’ve been consistently good all year, Week 14 was very likely not your week.

On the bright side, the odds of your opponent having a bad week were pretty good as well. Here’s hoping you had at least a few of the following fantasy studs on your side.

There was Bell, who had nearly 300 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. His 38 carries were a season high and he was basically worth two RB1s in the game.

Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets rushes for a 19-yard touchdown to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in overtime of their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets rushes for a 19-yard touchdown to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in overtime of their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Bilal Powell and Carlos Hyde were distant second- and third-place performers to Bell.

Powell filled in for an injured Matt Forte, gaining 179 yards on 34 touches and scoring twice. Forte is considered day-to-day. Hyde averaged 11.3 yards per carry against the Jets as he totaled 193 yards and caught a short touchdown pass.

Tom Brady was spectacular against the Ravens on Monday night, throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.

Aaron Rodgers lit up a Seahawks defense that gave up 16.2 points per game before Sunday. He threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The wideout who benefitted the most was Davante Adams, who caught an early 66-yard touchdown. He ended the game with four catches for 104 yards.

T.Y. Hilton caught nine passes for 115 yards and scored while the Broncos’ receivers, Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, both topped 100 yards. DeSean Jackson had his second 100-yard, one-TD game in three outings.

At tight end, Tyler Eifert took advantage of the Browns’ defense as expected, scoring twice. Zach Ertz has been on a serious roll as well.

If you somehow survived the bloodbath, here’s a look at some waiver wire suggestions in case your league allows them during the playoffs.

Quarterbacks

  • Trevor Siemian, Broncos (Still available in a lot of leagues)

Running backs

  • Bilal Powell, Jets
  • Kenneth Farrow, Chargers (22 touches-78 yards, great schedule ahead if Gordon is unavailable)

Wide receivers

  • Alshon Jeffery, Bears (suspension is over)
  • Chris Hogan, Patriots (5-129, TD)
  • Pierre Garcon, Redskins (5-59, TD)
  • Marqise Lee, Jaguars (Not for Week 15 at Houston, but for Week 16 vs. Tennessee)

Fantasy football Week 12 recap and waiver wire suggestions

There was high drama in Week 12 of the NFL season as 10 games ended with a margin of victory of eight points or fewer. Sunday’s action culminated with a last-second, game-winning field goal in overtime by the Chiefs’ Cairo Santos that ricocheted off the left upright and through the goalposts. Bounces like that could end up helping fantasy owners advance in the playoffs or relegate their teams to consolation tournaments.

Santos may have given the Chiefs a victory, but the star of the game was rookie Tyreek Hill. Despite having just 55 yards from scrimmage, Hill became the first rookie since Gale Sayers, to score a rushing touchdown, catch a touchdown pass and return a kick for a TD in a single game. That’s pretty good company.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with De'Anthony Thomas #13 after returning a kickoff for a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 27, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with De’Anthony Thomas #13 after returning a kickoff for a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 27, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Hill was a waiver-wire suggestion after Week 8, and he hadn’t scored since then, though he did have decent performances. If he’s still available, make sure you put in a claim for him, if nothing more than to keep him on your bench and off of competing rosters.

A lot of wideouts had big weeks as 10 totaled at least 100 yards receiving. Antonio Brown and Mike Evans remained as consistent as ever. Brown had 91 yards receiving to go along with his three touchdowns. Evans gained 104 yards and caught two scores, both in the first quarter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches a 23-yard touchdown reception in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) and free safety Steven Terrell (23) during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches a 23-yard touchdown reception in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) and free safety Steven Terrell (23) during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Michael Thomas also had a top-five week, scoring two touchdowns to go along with his 108 yards. He and Drew Brees dominated the Rams defense.

Brees topped all quarterback performances this week as he threw for four touchdowns for the third time this season. He even scored on a running play. Outside of a Week 15 matchup against the Cardinals, his fantasy playoff schedule looks good.

Right behind Brees this week was Colin Kaepernick, who had an unbelievable game against the Dolphins. He threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 113 yards.

Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes during the 4th quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes during the 4th quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Kirk Cousins’ three-touchdown performance against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving gave him eight touchdowns against no interceptions in his past three games.

Rob Kelley didn’t fare as well against the Cowboys on Thursday, gaining just 42 yards from scrimmage.

Frank Gore and Thomas Rawls didn’t live up to expections in Week 12 either. Gore rushed for a pathetic 1.9 yards per carry against the Steelers on Thanksgiving. Rawls was especially disappointing after facing a Bucs defense that allows 4.4 yards per rush. He managed just 38 yards.

Matt Forte and Lamar Miller each had at least 16 touches but did little with them.

On the bright side, 14 running backs scored touchdowns in Week 12. David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott achieved top-five status yet again while LeSean McCoy rushed for more than 100 yards for the first time since Week 6.

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) rushes for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) rushes for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Mark Ingram bounced back from getting knocked out of a Week 11 game by rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown. He even had a 21-yard touchdown reception from Brees.

Despite Brees’ big day, Brandin Cooks was shut out, making him the biggest disappointment of the week. He wasn’t even targeted on the day the Saints scored seven touchdowns.

Allen Robinson, Steve Smith, Amari Cooper and Julio Jones faltered this week, and Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson teamed up for a poor performance against a Bucs defense that should have provided little resistance. Maybe last year’s late fantasy points outburst won’t be repeated by the duo after all.

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by defensive end Ryan Russell #96 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL game on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by defensive end Ryan Russell #96 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL game on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

At the tight end position, Jordan Reed was spectacular against the Cowboys, scoring twice while suffering from a separated shoulder. Travis Kelce, Tyler Eifert and Delanie Walker all performed well while Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates each turned in goose eggs.

Little should be said of kickers in fantasy, but when Justin Tucker goes 4 for 4 with three field goals from beyond 50 yards, he gets a mention.

Waiver wire suggestions:

Quarterbacks

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (296 passing yards, still available in leagues)

Running backs

Denard Robinson, Jaguars (13 touches-39 yards, check the health of Chris Ivory)

Wide receivers

Taylor Gabriel, Falcons (5-102, 2 TDs)

Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots (5-42, 2 TDs)

Marquess Wilson, Bears (8-125, TD)

Marqise Lee, Jaguars (4-37, TD)

Tight ends

Dion Sims, Dolphins (4-53, TD)

Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals (5-35, TD)

Vance McDonald, 49ers (4-60)

Fantasy football Week 11 recap and waiver wire suggestions

If you had a moderate lead midway through the third quarter of Sunday Night Football while facing an opponent who had Kirk Cousins in his lineup, you probably thought you were safe. Two long bombs later, Cousins probably took his owners to victory.

The Washington quarterback highlighted a nice week for signal callers in Week 11’s fantasy football action. He threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns against a terrible Packers defense. His 44-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder (102 yards, TD) late in the third quarter preceeded a 70-yard fourth quarter toss to Pierre Garcon (116, TD).

Aaron Rodgers also played well as he tried to counteract the play of his defense, throwing for 351 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.

Russell Wilson owners should take note of how Cousins diced up the Packers since Wilson faces them in Week 14, likely the first round of your fantasy playoffs.

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against linebacker Najee Goode #52 of the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field on November 20, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against linebacker Najee Goode #52 of the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field on November 20, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Wilson had another great week, throwing for 271 yards and a touchdown. He even caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Doug Baldwin.

Though Baldwin took a less traditional route to a productive fantasy week with that touchdown toss, he also had four catches for 104 yards.

The Seahawks are heating up as they make a push towards the playoffs. They appear to be on a collision course with the team with the best record in the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys’ new version of the triplets all played well in their win over the Ravens. Dak Prescott, Tony Romo’s rookie replacement, threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Dez Bryant. Bryant finished with 80 yards receiving. Ezekiel Elliott displayed how high his standards have become with a ho-hum 97-yard performance. He added 30 yards receiving.

Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys dives for the end zone to score a touchdown after catching a pass from Dak Prescott during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys dives for the end zone to score a touchdown after catching a pass from Dak Prescott during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Ravens’ Steve Smith had a good game in the losing effort, catching eight passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Week 11’s top rushing performance also came from Sunday night’s game as rookie Rob Kelley solidified his place as Washington’s lead back. He rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns. If you haven’t made the waiver claim I suggested in this space after Week 8, do it now.

David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, of course, were in the top-3 of Week 11’s running back performances. Both had over 100 yards rushing and at least 50 yards receiving. Johnson scored twice and Bell found the end zone once.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) stiff arms Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jamie Collins (51) during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) stiff arms Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jamie Collins (51) during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

C.J. Prosise’s nice week was short-lived as he suffered a shoulder injury after rushing four times for 76 yards, including a spectacular 72-yard touchdown run. Thomas Rawls will be the Seattle starter from here out, though.

The second best performance by a quarterback came from Tom Brady, who threw for 280 yards and four scores. He connected well with Julian Edelman who had eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Edelman even rushed for 12 yards. The Patriots were led on the ground by LeGarrette Blount, who benefitted from an expected game script in which he rushed 19 times for 124 yards.

Tim Hightower had over 100 yards from scrimmage on Thursday night and could be valuable if an injured Mark Ingram can’t return to action soon.

Other top performers were the Titans’ Marcus Mariota and Rishard Matthews. Tight ends Travis Kelce and Eric Ebron also impressed. The Lions and Vikings defenses also probably helped owners win their matchups this week.

Tight end Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions breaks the tackle of Paul Posluszny #51 of the Jacksonville Jaguars to score a touchdown during the second half of an NFL game at Ford Field on November 20, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Tight end Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions breaks the tackle of Paul Posluszny #51 of the Jacksonville Jaguars to score a touchdown during the second half of an NFL game at Ford Field on November 20, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Two surprising performances came from the Giants. Rashad Jennings had 85 yards rushing and a touchdown to go along with 44 yards receiving. Odell Beckham Jr. disappointed with a 5-catch, 46-yard performance.

Other duds were Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor and Ben Roethlisberger. Kelvin Benjamin, Golden Tate, Stefon Diggs and Michael Floyd were the week’s worst receivers.

Tight ends had a tough week as Greg Olsen, Tyler Eifert and Martellus Bennett all disappointed.

Though not his fault, A.J. Green’s hamstring injury has to have put a serious dent in many owners’ playoff chances.

Waiver wire suggestions:

Running backs

Wendell Smallwood, Eagles

Kenneth Dixon, Ravens

Dion Lewis, Patriots

Wide receivers

Tyler Boyd, Bengals

Tajae Sharpe, Titans

Tight ends

Eric Ebron, Lions

Week 7 recap and waiver wire suggestions

Last year it was Tim Hightower.

Two years ago it was Odell Beckham Jr.

There’s always that midseason revelation that smart owners either stowed away early or picked up as a free agent to take their team from a contender to a champion. Will it be Jay Ajayi this year?

Ajayi, a second-year running back, turned in just the fifth back-to-back 200-yard rushing performance in NFL history on Sunday. He joined Earl Campbell, O.J. Simpson, who did it twice, and Ricky Williams as the only other backs to accomplish that feat. You’ve got to believe he’s solidified himself as the lead running back in Miami now that Arian Foster has announced his retirement. Ajayi’s had two straight weeks with at least 25 carries, including 28 for 214 yards on Sunday. If for some reason he’s not owned in your league, snatch him up ASAP.

Among the many running backs that had big weeks Melvin Gordon cashed in the most, scoring three times while amassing 121 yards of offense.

Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes away from Deion Jones #45 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 23, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes away from Deion Jones #45 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 23, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Matt Forte, who I admit to giving up on, turned in a great game as he rushed for more yards than he had in the three previous weeks combined. He also scored twice.

Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson continue to be the best dual threats around. Bell totaled 149 yards, including 10 receptions while Johnson amassed 171 total yards to go with 8 receptions.

Another great performance came from Jeremy Hill who rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. But does it really count when it’s done against the Browns? I suppose it does.

One semi-surprise performance came from LeGarrette Blount, who rushed 24 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. It was thought he’d make a smaller impact once Tom Brady made his return, but the big back has been used to protect, and even expand, leads for the Pats.

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is upended by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is upended by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)

DeMarco Murray, Spencer Ware, Latavius Murray and Jacquizz Rodgers also had big weeks. Jordan Howard, Ryan Mathews and Christine Michael all disappointed. LeSean McCoy teased owners when it was determined he was healthy enough to play, only to reaggravate his hamstring early in the game.

At wide receiver, your usual suspects had great weeks. A.J. Green, Mike Evans and Julio Jones all performed as you’d expect. T.Y. Hilton bounced back from a subpar week and scored his fourth touchdown in his last five games. Davante Adams was outstanding on Thursday night for Green Bay, catching 13 passes for 132 yards and two scores.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a 37-yard touchdown pass as he is defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a 37-yard touchdown pass as he is defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Kenny Stills surprised with a 5-catch, 100-yard performance to go along with a touchdown. Michael Thomas, Tyrell Williams and Mike Wallace all had 100-yard games as well.

Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all stunk up the field. Even Odell Beckham had a bad week. And it’s time to realize that Jeremy Maclin and Allen Robinson are just not going to get it done this year. Some blame goes to their quarterbacks.

Blake Bortles couldn’t even be successful against a bad Oakland defense. Russell Wilson, Eli Manning and Carson Wentz all had forgettable games as well.

Outside of those signal callers, the ones you expected to do well did. Special recognition goes out to Tyrod Taylor, Alex Smith and Marcus Mariota for exceeding expectations.

Waiver wire suggestions:

Running backs

Payton Barber, Tampa Bay (12 touches-84 yards, TD)
Chris Thompson, Washington (19-113)

Wide receivers

Ty Montgomery, Green Bay (19-126)
Russell Shepard, Tampa Bay (5-77, TD)

Tight ends

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis (9-78, TD)

Fantasy football Week 6 recap and waiver wire suggestions

Week 6 has come and gone and while you think you know what will happen with your team, you need to remain diligent in your efforts.

I’ve seen teams go on five-game winning streaks to make the playoffs and win championships and I’ve seen seemingly strong teams lose four in a row to miss the playoffs. You have to stay on top of your team, especially at this point in the season.

This week there were a lot of big performances by running backs, including some surprises. First and foremost was the 25-carry, 204-yard effort by Jay Ajayi. Though Arian Foster made his return, Ajayi shined as he scored twice and might have established himself as the best back in Miami.

Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) breaks free for a big gain in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/TNS)
Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) breaks free for a big gain in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/TNS)

Another surprise came from Spencer Ware who, despite the return of Jamaal Charles, rushed for 131 yards and scored.

James White and Matt Jones also outperformed expectations. The former scored twice through the air and the latter rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown.

New England Patriots running back James White (28) scores a touchdown past Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots running back James White (28) scores a touchdown past Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The second-best rushing performance, based on yards, came from Ezekiel Elliott. He ran for 157 yards and became the first rookie ever to rush for at least 130 yards in four straight games.

LeSean McCoy, Chistine Michael, Jonathan Stewart and Lamar Miller also had big weeks.

Lamar Miller #26 of the Houston Texans rushes past Rashaan Melvin #30 of the Indianapolis Colts and Darryl Morris #35 in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Lamar Miller #26 of the Houston Texans rushes past Rashaan Melvin #30 of the Indianapolis Colts and Darryl Morris #35 in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

My apologies for suggesting you sit Matt Ryan against the Seahawks. The Falcons quarterback threw three touchdowns, though he turned the ball over twice.

One reason Ryan is still performing well is Julio Jones, who is a must-start since he can produce seven catches for 139 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks’ secondary.

The best wide receiver this week was Odell Beckham Jr., however. His second half this week reminded us of the second half of his rookie season. He finished with 222 yards and two scores.

Another receiver who came up big, despite his stature, was Dallas’ Cole Beasley. He had just 58 yards, but two of his six receptions were touchdowns.

Cole Beasley #11 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cole Beasley #11 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Dak Prescott has had solid numbers in three of his last four games and his efficient play is starting to establish a high floor that might be reliable for fantasy owners. If he gets the nod to start after Romo is healthy, consider throwing him into your lineup.

Tom Brady and Drew Brees continued to be the fantasy stars that they are. Brees led the league, along with Matthew Stafford, with four TD passes this week. Brady and Rob Gronkowski continued to dominate.

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots spikes the ball after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quater at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots spikes the ball after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quater at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Amari Cooper had his second straight 100-yard game as he reestablished himself as the no. 1 receiver in Oakland. He had 10 catches for 129 yards.

Unbelievably, Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin both had bad performances. Wilson had 270 yards passing but failed to produce a touchdown against a Falcons defense he should do better against. Baldwin had just four catches for 41 yards.

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Other underperformers were Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, T.Y. Hilton and Jeremy Maclin.

Waiver wire suggestions:

Quarterbacks

Case Keenum, Rams (321 yards, 3 TDs, not to mention a good second-half schedule)

Running backs

Jay Ajayi, Dolphins
Mike Gillislee, Bills (6 touches-60 yards, TD)
Devontae Booker, Broncos (7-53)
Rob Kelley, Redskins (5-59)
Justin Forsett, Lions (5-5, call it a hunch)
Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers (Doug Martin still not practicing)

Wide receivers

Kenny Britt, Rams (7 catches-136 yards, 2 TDs)
Kendall Wright, Titans (8-133, TD)

Tight ends

C.J. Diedorowicz, Texans (6-85, TD)

Fantasy football Week 5 recap and waiver wire suggestions

In a way Week 5 was just the beginning for some fantasy owners. It marked the return of Tom Brady and was the second week Le’Veon Bell was allowed to run at full throttle.

And both performed as expected with Bell amassing 154 total yards while Brady threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns.

It was like Brady never missed a game and if you had trouble deciding which tight end would be the most useful on the Patriots, either one was a good call. Martellus Bennett scored three touchdowns while Rob Gronkowski caught five passes for 105 yards.

New England Patriots' Tom Brady looks to throw against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
New England Patriots’ Tom Brady looks to throw against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Brady even raised the value of Chris Hogan, the wide receiver who caught four passes for 114 yards. He had just one catch for three yards in his two previous games.

Other quarterbacks who had big weeks were Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Derek Carr, who were all suggested as great starts in my column on Saturday. Roethlisberger, who continues to play better at home than on the road, had the best fantasy week as he threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Rivers threw for 359 yards and four TDs to go along with two interceptions. Carr is now a must-start quarterback after throwing for 317 yards and two scores against one pick.

Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

A couple of signal callers who had surprisingly good weeks were Marcus Mariota and Brian Hoyer. Though I did suggest Hoyer as a pickup last week, it was a bit surprising that he had 397 yards and two touchdown passes. Mariota had his best fantasy performance of the year, accounting for four touchdowns, throwing three and rushing for one.

I’ll admit I missed on Eli Manning this week, who really disappointed against a Packers defense that usually lets quarterbacks score big in fantasy. He connected with Odell Beckham Jr. in the end zone for the first time this season, however.

This week’s top receiver was a surprise. Sammie Coates looks like he may turn into a nice replacement for the suspended Martavis Bryant as a deep threat. Roethlisberger connected with Coates six times for 139 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yard score.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates (14) takes a pass from from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown with New York Jets cornerback Marcus Williams (20) defending during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates (14) takes a pass from from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown with New York Jets cornerback Marcus Williams (20) defending during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)

Speaking of long scores, Ezekiel Elliott had a 60-yard run as he improved on his fantasy scoring once again, rushing for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

Two other rookies had big days as Jordan Howard rushed for 118 yards and caught three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown for the Bears. Tight end Hunter Henry had three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown, outscoring veteran Antonio Gates.

There was great play from T.Y. Hilton (10-171, TD) and Brandon Marshall (8 catches, 114 yards, TD) while Amari Cooper finally caught his first touchdown of the year to go along with 138 yards.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a pass against Chicago Bears cornerback Jacoby Glenn (39) on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The Colts won the game 29-23. (Sam Riche/TNS)
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a pass against Chicago Bears cornerback Jacoby Glenn (39) on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The Colts won the game 29-23. (Sam Riche/TNS)

Other great games were had by Cameron Meredith of the Bears and the Vikings’ Adam Thielen. Meredith’s targets continue to increase with Hoyer starting for Chicago. Thielen broke out after being targeted at least three times in every game this year. You could probably pick him up with the Vikings set to have a bye.

Julio Jones, Julian Edelman and Jarvis Landry all had terrible weeks from the wideout position. Jeremy Hill (4 rushes, 12 yards), Lamar Miller (8-20) and Isaiah Crowell (13-22) were the worst fantasy starters running the ball.

Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks tackles Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller during the first quarter on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks tackles Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller during the first quarter on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

In a surprising turn, both Falcons backs had big games against a tough Broncos defense. Tevin Coleman caught 4 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Devonta Freeman rushed for 88 yards and a score.

Finally I’ve got to give credit to the Bills and Vikings defenses for big weeks in which they both had four sacks and scored a touchdown. Vikings are a must-start defense.

Waiver wire suggestions:

Running backs

Matt Asiata, Vikings (17 touches-101 yards, TD)

Wide receivers

Sammie Coates, Steelers
Cameron Meredith, Bears (9-130, TD)
Adam Thielen, Vikings (7-127, TD)
Chris Hogan, Patriots

Fantasy football Week 4 recap and waiver wire suggestions

We’re through the first quarter of the NFL’s regular season and if your fantasy football record is 4-0 or 3-1, you’ve got a good shot at making the playoffs. If you’re 2-2, you’re still alive but will have to make some good calls the rest of the way. If you’re 1-3 or 0-4 then you might want to start working on some NBA mock drafts.

If you have a winning record then you probably had some great performances on Sunday, and there were plenty of them.

Julio Jones became the sixth receiver to have a 300-yard game in NFL history as he finished the day with 12 catches, 300 yards and a touchdown. If you have him on your team it was nearly impossible to lose this week, especially if you had him linked up with Matt Ryan.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones hauls in a pass in front of Carolina Panthers cornerback Bene' Benwikere and strong safety Kurt Coleman during the second quarter on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones hauls in a pass in front of Carolina Panthers cornerback Bene’ Benwikere and strong safety Kurt Coleman during the second quarter on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Ryan had the biggest game of the week as a passer, throwing for 503 yards and four touchdowns.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan celebrates after connecting with wide receiver Julio Jones for a 75-yard touchdown against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. Ryan threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS) .
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan celebrates after connecting with wide receiver Julio Jones for a 75-yard touchdown against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. Ryan threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Ben Roethlisberger was amazing as well. He had four touchdown passes by halftime and ended the game with 300 yards and five TDs.

Russell Wilson turned in his first good game of the season. He threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns, which was the first time he threw for at least 300 yards or more than one touchdown in a game this year. The reemergence of Jimmy Graham is helping as he had his second straight 100-yard game.

On the down side of quarterback play was Matthew Stafford. He had two interceptions and no touchdowns against the Bears. He’s been hit-or-miss this season.

Jameis Winston’s poor performance was a little more understandable since he faced the Broncos. A rushing touchdown saved him from having the worst week by a QB.

Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is sacked by Jared Crick #93 of the Denver Broncos late during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is sacked by Jared Crick #93 of the Denver Broncos late during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s turnover nightmare continued as he threw three more picks to go along with the six he threw last week.

In addition to those busts, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer and Trevor Siemian all went down with injury. Newton and Palmer are in the concussion protocol while Siemian has an AC joint sprain, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Looking on the bright side, owners were happy to see the return of Le’Veon Bell, who’s suspension ended after Week 3. He had the most rushing yards (144) on Sunday, followed by Ezekiel Elliott who had another good week, rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown.

DeMarco Murray had the best week among running backs as he totaled 119 yards and scored twice. Not far behind him was Isaiah Crowell who continues to be a bright spot, along with Terrelle Pryor, on the Browns’ offense. Crowell had 112 yards and a touchdown.

DeMarco Murray #29 of the Tennessee Titans leaps over the Houston Texans defensive line for a touchdown in the second quarter during the NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
DeMarco Murray #29 of the Tennessee Titans leaps over the Houston Texans defensive line for a touchdown in the second quarter during the NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Pryor had a good game (46 yards, TD), as did the Bears’ Jordan Howard and the Bucs’ Cameron Brate, all of which I suggested as waiver claims last week.

Latavius Murray, who was on my sit list, had a terrible game. Chris Ivory and Matt Forte were other starting backs that had bad weeks.

No other receiver came close to Jones’ game, but A.J. Green was great on Thursday night as he made 10 catches for 173 yards and scored. Michael Crabtree continues to impress as he had 88 yards to go along with three TDs.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree makes a touchdown catch in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree makes a touchdown catch in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Among Sunday’s receivers who should’ve done better were DeAndre Hopkins, Brandin Cooks, Alshon Jeffery and Julian Edelman.

At tight end Jordan Reed (73 yards, 2 TDs) and Greg Olsen (76 yards, TD) set the pace while Coby Fleener continued to frustrate owners after seemingly breaking out last week.

Players to claim on the waiver wire:

Quarterbacks

Brian Hoyer, Bears (302 yards, 2TDs)
Paxton Lynch, Broncos (170, TD)

Running backs

Terrance West, Ravens (21 touches-119 yards, TD)
Bilal Powell, Jets (10-80)
James White, Patriots (9-62)

Wide receivers

Dontrelle Inman, Chargers (7 catches-120 yards, TD)
Brian Quick, Rams (2-69, 2TDs)
Jeremy Kerley, 49ers (6-88, TD)
Brice Butler, Cowboys (5-41, TD)

Tight ends

Hunter Henry, Chargers (4-61, TD)