The Week Six opener did not live up to the billing as the Eagles won a game that was never really competitive. The Giants clearly have many issues at this time but it is veteran QB Eli Manning who is taking most of the heat. Manning once again struggled, throwing for 251 yards and an interception and killing multiple drives with poor throws and little protection from his offensive line.
The debate rages on surrounding the Giants' use of the second overall draft pick on RB Saquon Barkley instead of a potential franchise quarterback. This game was in some ways a strong case for those on both sides of the argument. First, Manning was so bad that it is clear to see this team won’t be successful with him under center. At the same time, Barkley carried the entire offense, nearly reaching 100 yards on both the ground and through the air. Barkley finished the game with 229 yards and a touchdown. The Giants' other backs and pass-catchers totaled 199 yards.
Giants WR Odell Beckham, who broke out a week ago with a pair of touchdowns, once again struggled. OBJ caught six passes for only 44 yards and continued to show his frustration with his teammates and offense. It was reported earlier in the day that the Giants had fined him for his recent critical interview. Things could be getting even worse. Beckham left the field before time expired to end the first half and then was late returning to the field following halftime. WR Sterling Shepard had become a reliable fantasy option with TE Evan Engram out of the lineup but he was a dud, catching three balls for 37 scoreless yards.
The story is much different for the defending Super Bowl champions, who now get back to .500 with the easy 34-13 win. QB Carson Wentz continued his hot streak, throwing for 278 yards and three scores, most of that coming in the first half as the Eagles built a 24-6 lead. Veteran WR Alshon Jeffery, like his quarterback, continued his strong play since returning from injury. Jeffery had eight receptions for 74 yards and a pair of scores. TE Zach Ertz stayed heavily involved, although this was the first game of the season in which he didn’t draw at least 10 targets. Instead, he had nine, catching seven of them for 43 yards and a touchdown. WR Nelson Agholor had a pair of long catches that could be called fluky and finished with a 3/91 line.
This was the Eagles first game since placing RB Jay Ajayi on the injured reserve with a torn ACL. Backup RBs Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement were hot waiver wire adds in all fantasy leagues this week. With Clement returning from an injury that cost him the past two games, he was reportedly expected to be on a “pitch count” yet he touched the ball 14 times, gaining 69 yards and a touchdown. Smallwood rushed for 51 yards on 18 carries.
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We learned that Falcons RB Devonta Freeman is dealing with a new foot injury and his Week Six status is in doubt. Fortunately, follow-up reports suggest the Falcons do not expect the injury to be a long-term issue. This has all the looks of a frustrating season for Freeman fantasy owners.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) got in a full practice on Thursday and will apparently play in Week Six, just a little over a month since suffering the foot injury that some feared could end his season. It’s an impressive recovery for Olsen who should immediately step back into his role as a key member of the Carolina offense.
The Jaguars signed rookie RB Bo Scarbrough, drafted by the Cowboys, to their practice squad. It’s worth noting with starting RB Leonard Fournette rumored to be out of action until Week 10. ... Seattle OC Brian Schottenheimer said Thursday that the team would not “force” rookie RB Rashaad Penny into the backfield committee. Penny didn’t play a single snap in Week Five and is seemingly far behind RBs Chris Carson and Mike Davis…Ravens OC Marty Mornhinweg called rookie TE Hayden Hurst a player “on the rise. Hurst made his career debut last week, with limited playing time and one reception. ... Cleveland beat writers suggest RB Duke Johnson has become frustrated with his limited role early in the season. Johnson is averaging just over five touches per game and has totaled 166 yards on the season.
Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (ankle) missed his second practice in a row and his status for Week Six is up in the air…Packers WR Geronimo Allison (concussion) has cleared league protocol but was still limited at practice with a hamstring injury and is questionable for this week. ... Colts TE Eric Ebron missed another practice with multiple injuries. His availability for Week Six is now officially a concern. ... Redskins WRs Jamison Crowder (ankle) and Paul Richardson (knee, shoulder) both missed practice and are in danger of missing the team’s Week Six game. ... 49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle) missed practice. The speculation is that Breida will miss this week’s game, though he hasn’t been officially ruled out yet. ... WRs Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp, both dealing with concussions, were able to practice and are on track to play this week. ... Vikings RB Dalvin Cook practiced in full and is on track to return to the field again in Week Six. ... Patriots WR Chris Hogan (thigh) did not practice. At this point, the Pats might not even miss him. ... A large number of players managed a limited practice on Thursday. Among them were: WR Randall Cobb (hamstring), RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, knee, shoulder), WR John Ross (groin), WR Mohamed Sanu (hip), QB Deshaun Watson (chest), WR DeAndre Hopkins (foot), WR Will Fuller (hamstring), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), TE O.J. Howard (knee), WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), RB Sony Michel (knee), TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle), WR Josh Gordon (hamstring).