First, Frank Gore, who, has put up Hall of Fame numbers, solidified that argument with 61 yards on 13 carries this week, giving him 13,697 rushing yards in his career. He passed Jerome Bettis and Ladanian Tomlinson to own the all-time #5 spot on the list.
Then Philip Rivers led his hot Chargers to a win and tossed his 335th TD , moving the Chargers signal caller to #7 all time, one ahead of Eli Manning, so a nod to each.
Which brings me to the strange benching of Manning, who had started 210 straight games, in lieu of Geno Smith. Not that the Giants were going anywhere, or that Smith, who is still just 27, might not turn into something. In a way, coach Bob McAdoo had very little to lose by benching Manning and trying to put some energy into his team, but it seems that in general he lost the game and pissed off the bulk of the nation. Personally, though I get the move, I do not see Smith as a potential Case Keenum.
What ties a lot of this together is that Josh Gordon also made his debut for the year on Sunday, and neither Gordon nor Smith had started a game since 2014. Gordon was actually targeted 11 times and caught four for 85 yards, and I wish the WR nothing but the best. Gordon may have had his issues, but they are nothing compared to the abuse problems of many other NFL players. And, well, marijuana is even legal in the states of Washington and Colorado, and getting there everywhere else. Let’s get real about how we treat this amazing plant and its similarly amazing potential healing powers (I personally have an amazing tale). You can read about CBDs, here.
As usual, a cluster of players jumped into the fantasy plus column for the week, although I really noticed a pair of Seahawks, starting with Running Back Mike Davis. Emerging from the backfield wreckage that Seattle wrought thus far, Davis, signed on Nov. 20, excelled with 16 carries for 64 yards to go with four receptions for an additional 37 yards. However, if looking for offense with Seattle, keep reading, for the passing game and Russell Wilson’s legs are what drives the team.
Tight end Nick Vannett last week plucked a pair of passes for 29 yards and his first NFL score. The second-year player out of Ohio State on Sunday bagged three more balls for 40 more yards and is playing both an increasing role. He is a nice foil to Jimmy Graham on a team working into its annual end-of-season playoff drive. Vannett probably does not merit a roster spot on your season-long team, but depending upon the matchup Vannett could make a great low-end DFS play.
Speaking of tight end, Stephen Anderson is also a second-year player, and since he went to Cal you know I like him. Anderson caught five passes for 79 yards and a score, making it the biggest Sunday of his NFL career. Anderson, though, is a lot like Vannett in that he might make an interesting DFS pick, but probably not much more.
Redskins Wideout Ryan Grant had a solid Sunday, grabbing his fourth score while collecting his 36th reception and moving up to 417 yards for the season. That means Grant has earned half his career total in yards (829) and receptions (75) over 13 games this season, making him a serious cog in the offense.
The Niners had to rely on ex-Bear Robbie Gould’s five field goals to beat the kicker’s former team, but it seems that WR Marquise Goodwin and new-QB Jimmy Garoppolo seem to have some good karma going on, with Gordon catching eight passes for 99 yards. The pair is a combo to watch.
Tampa RB Peyton Barber had his biggest game Sunday as well, with 102 yards on 23 carries complemented by four receptions for an additional 41 yards. The second-year player out of Auburn has similarly doubled his carries with 53 (of 108) this year and 190 yards of 413 gained. Barber is worth watching, and he might get some looks this year. But be wary of his becoming Paul Perkins in 2018.
Is Alfred Morris back? Seems like it, at least in deference to the suspension of Ezekiel Elliot and departure of Darren McFadden. The the 28-year old ran for 127 yards and a TD, setting himself up for some full-time play next week it seems.
Tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Thursday night at 9 PM ET, and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.