Jags’ Fournette starting to feel it, Watson and Newton putting up big numbers, the Giants’ receiving corps is gone and more in Statistically Speaking.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville – The Jaguars rookie rumbled for 181 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries at Pittsburgh, building on the week before when he had accumulated 145 yards from scrimmage. With a strong defence and a running game, Jacksonville is having success even with less than stellar quarterback play.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston – The Texans rookie is officially a starting-calibre fantasy quarterback after he passed for 261 yards and five touchdowns, adding 31 rushing yards in a 42-34 loss to Kansas City. He’s thrown for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns, with 96 rushing yards and a touchdown, over the past three games.
Cam Newton is starting to pick up his play for the Panthers.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina – After a slow start to the season, Newton is on his game once again. He was a force at Detroit, throwing for 355 yards and three touchdowns. For the second straight week, he completed more than 75% of his passes, while throwing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati – The Bengals star caught seven passes for 189 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets against Buffalo.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh – He threw for 312 yards against Jacksonville, but Roethlisberger had no touchdowns and threw a career-high five interceptions.
Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota – Returned to the Vikings lineup and completed just five of 11 attempts for 36 yards before hurting his knee and getting replaced by Case Keenum.
Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland – With one catch on two targets for eight yards against Baltimore, Cooper has somehow managed just four catches for a total of 23 yards in the past three games.
Injuries have flattened the Giants’ receiving corps.
1. The Giants’ receiving corps was destroyed against the Chargers. WR Odell Beckham Jr. had five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown, but suffered a season-ending broken ankle as did WR Brandon Marshall. With Sterling Shepard also out for 2-3 weeks with an ankle injury and return specialist Dwayne Harris suffering a season-ending broken foot, that leaves the Giants extraordinarily thin at wide receiver. With those injuries, TE Evan Engram becomes the most desirable Giants receiver. Among wideouts, Roger Lewis, in his second year out of Bowling Green, is the only remaining wide receiver with more than a handful of targets (let alone catches).
2. As injuries and ineffectiveness force teams to make changes, there are new opportunities for running backs. Here are some runners gaining bigger roles: Playing in place of an injured Ty Montgomery, Packers RB Aaron Jones gained 134 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches in a 35-31 win at Dallas.
Colts rookie RB Marlon Mack had 93 yards and a touchdown on 10 touches against San Francisco.
In the aftermath of Dalvin Cook’s injury, Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon had 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 touches. Latavius Murray, who was expected to get first crack at the carries, had just 43 yards on 14 touches.
49ers RB Matt Breida gained 71 yards on 13 touches at Indianapolis, taking a bigger role from Carlos Hyde, who had just 18 yards on nine touches.
Giants RB Wayne Gallman gained 82 yards on 16 touches against the Chargers and Orleans Darkwa contributed 72 yards and a touchdown on nine touches.
3. Some unexpected quarterbacks provided value this week: 49ers QB Brian Hoyer passed for 353 yards and two touchdowns at Indianapolis while Chiefs QB Alex Smith threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns at Houston. Second-year Eagles QB Carson Wentz passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception in a 34-7 win against Arizona.
4. Shocking receiver numbers in Week Five: Panthers TE Ed Dickson had a career day, with five catches for 175 yards on five targets, and 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin caught five passes on 11 targets for 116 yards.
5. Some emerging WR options: Packers WR Davante Adams, returning from a concussion, was the primary target for QB Aaron Rodgers Sunday, catching seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets.
Patriots WR Chris Hogan saw a season-high 11 targets in Thursday’s win over Tampa Bay. He’s accrued at least 60 yards and a touchdown in each of the past four games.
Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson had five catches for a season-high 106 yards against New England.
The quick ascent of Deshaun Watson has raised the stakes for others in the Houston passing game. Texans WR Will Fuller had two catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City while Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins caught four passes on 12 targets for 52 yards and three touchdowns.
6. A couple of tried-and-true receivers with big games: Colts WR T.Y. Hilton caught seven passes on nine targets for 177 yards against San Francisco.
Steelers WR Antonio Brown had 10 catches on 19 targets for 157 yards against the Jaguars.
Melvin Gordon was a difference-maker against the Giants.
7. Heavy-duty runners: Chargers RB Melvin Gordon put up 163 yards and two touchdowns on 26 touches at the Giants.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott accumulated 132 yards on 30 touches against Green Bay.
Chiefs star rookie RB Kareem Hunt gained 116 yards on 32 touches against Houston.
8. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin, making his first start of the season Thursday against New England, put up 82 yards and a touchdown on 14 touches. That will keep him ahead of Jacquizz Rodgers on the depth chart.
9. Ravens RB Javorius Allen wasn’t ready to give up his role at Oakland, putting up 85 yards and a touchdown on 25 touches. Alex Collins, his primary challenger lately, finished with 55 yards on 12 carries and Terrance West suffered a calf injury.
10. More injuries: Jets RB Bilal Powell suffered a calf strain at Cleveland, and rookie Elijah McGuire finished with 30 yards on 13 touches.
Bills TE Charles Clay suffered a torn meniscus against Cincinnati and is expected to miss a month of action. Nick O’Leary moved into the lineup and caught five passes for 54 yards on six targets against the Bengals.
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught eight passes on 11 targets for 98 yards before suffering a concussion.
Texans DE J.J. Watt suffered a broken leg against Kansas City, and that will end his season. Injuries have taken away from this generational talent in the past couple of seasons.
Dolphins WR DeVante Parker injured his ankle against Tennessee.