Um, so the Jets beat the Dolphins, almost handily, and the Bears held on and beat the Steelers. The Browns were supposed to beat the Colts but T.Y. Hilton came to play and the Seahawks couldn't handle the Packers, even though Randall Cobb was out.
In all it was a sloppy, weird, wonderful day of football, full of close plays, strange calls, tight scores and bonehead moves that together made for a very entertaining day of football.
Did I mention the Raiders got their clocks cleaned? If I thought golf was humbling, it is nothing compared to tweeting "If you had doubts about the @RAIDERS, they will end tonight. Best balanced most dynamic offense in the @NFL" and then watching the team get completely destroyed.
I am pretty open these days about the Raiders having been my team since Day 1, when Cotton Davidson was their first QB, and through the days of Lamonica and Stabler, and after so many dismal years, it is great to see them solid again. So, I bet Justin Mason, my co-host on the Tout Wars Hour, who is from D.C., and, obviously, I lost.
If you want to hear the spoils of my indebtedness to Justin, tune in to the Show, 9-11 PM Eastern (6-8 Pacific) Thursday night on the FNTSY network. We have a lot of fun working out strategies for all types of fantasy games and sports.
In the meantime, a cluster of players came to the forefront this week, so let's look at the guys who caught my eye and see if we can scrounge any value.
Deshaun Watson (QB, Texans): When I watch a quarterback, especially for the first few times, the main thing I focus on is how they handle the ball. Not just passing or handing off, but more are they willing to eat the ball, or throw it away rather than risk a turnover. Watson has committed six miscues--three fumbles and picks--but the source was as much tough plays and situations and rookie experience than mismanagement. And, Watson has improved each week, culminating with his really fine performance against the Patriots. I love the idea of Watson as a #2 QB at this point, depending upon your league. And, if allowed keepers, he makes the perfect #2 who can be stashed at a lower or cheaper price, and I say this because I think the Texans signal caller is going to be good.
Jacoby Brissett (QB, Colts): Brissett is not a rookie, but he is just into his second season having been a Patriot as a rookie, meaning he was a back-up to Tom Brady before he became a back-up to Andrew Luck. I am not sure about the long-term prospects for Brissett, especially with Luck and health potentially connecting. But, like Watson, he turned in a solid Sunday, and like Watson, Brissett has improved each of the past three weeks. And, he seems to both have clicked with T.Y. Hilton, and seems able to run with the ball (two TDs). Brissett only has value in a Super Flex league at this point, but he could be a decent addition, depending upon the aforementioned Luck and health.
Alex Collins (RB, Ravens): Collins worked into 11 games last year, and bagged 31 touches. But, just as he is a second-year player like Brissett, so did he play for a different team in the Seahawks. The Arkansas alum had seven carries for 42 yards last week, and nine for 82 on Sunday against the Jags. That bodes for a 7.8 YPC, and that is pretty good. Too good to ignore, so Collins should get increased touches as Baltimore figures out how to use their back best.
Mercedes Lewis (TE, Jaguars): Lewis is probably the most obscure guy of the week to be a starter, a former #1, and a guy who scored three TDs even though he was owned in just 2.2% of ESPN leagues. Lewis was a #1, from UCLA for the Jags in 2006, and has 31 TDs with 355 receptions and 4262 yards under his belt. Sunday was fluky, but Lewis might make a good stream during a bye week, and is a trooper, at least deserving some space by virtue of a big day.
Wendell Smallwood (RB, Eagles): I have discussed Smallwood before, and was especially big on the rookie during the pre-season, but of course he got off to a slow start in lieu of LeGarrette Blount. Note that on Sunday, Smallwood got more carries and yards than Blount, and watch his playing time and touches increase. Swear.
Taylor Gabriel (WR, Falcons): I liked Gabriel a lot last year and think he will get increased looks and action playing off Julio Jones. The speedy receiver caught 35 passes for 579 yards and six scores last year and managed a solid game on Sunday, scoring once and racking up 79 yards on five catches. The fourth-year man, originally drafted by the Browns, who might indeed like having him back, should also really come into his own this season in the #2 role.
Robert Woods (WR, Rams): Woods is another guy I froze on a couple of Ultra teams. Going into his fifth season, with a developing Jared Goff and offense around him, he too is a great option if you are looking to plug an injury hole. Last week, his 108 yards surpassed Sammy Watkins, but again, being a #2 WR and playing off a really great #1 increases value. Obviously, too many guys like Woods or Gabriel could be problematic, but one is fine. And, well, if you drafted Cameron Meredith and Julian Edelman and Allen Robinson, both look pretty good right now.
Remember to go to the Tout Wars site for our Friday picks. And, 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.
Follow me @lawrmichaels.