Week 6 is nearing its conclusion and Sunday brought plenty of noteworthy fantasy performances, both of the good and bad variety. Sunday also gave the internet a gift that rivals Mark Sanchez’ backside encounter from Thanksgiving of 2012, as the Indianapolis Colts attempted a fake punt that appeared to be drawn up by a toddler on an Etch A Sketch. Now that the laughter about the Colts’ debacle has quieted from a boisterous roar to amused chuckle, let’s break down a few of Sunday’s notable storylines in the Daily Dose.
The 2015 season got off to a rocky start for the Miami Dolphins as a 1-3 record and underperformance on both sides of the ball plagued the team as they reached their Week 5 bye. After firing coach Joe Philbin and installing interim coach Dan Campbell as the leader of the team, the Dolphins appear to be revitalized after an impressive 38-10 win over Tennessee on Sunday. Fantasy owners of Lamar Miller got a look at what the Miami running back is capable of with a decent workload, as Miller took 19 carries and turned them into 113 yards and a touchdown. With more of a commitment to feeding Miller, who was solid in 2014, the Dolphins back could return to the high-end RB2 status many envisioned for him over the offseason.
The Miami D/ST also awoke from its four-game slumber, finally performing to the level of expectations set for them after the offseason signing of Ndamukong Suh. The Miami defense racked up six sacks on Sunday after recording just one over their first four games, and increased their 2015 turnover total from three to seven after hauling in two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Hopefully this improved Miami team is here to stay, and the fantasy options from South Beach continue to improve.
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Two wide receivers made long awaited returns to the field on Sunday, as Alshon Jeffery returned from a hamstring injury and Martavis Bryant made his way back after a four-game suspension and knee issue. Jeffery played his first game since Week 1 and erupted for eight catches on 11 targets for 147 yards and a touchdown. Jeffery now has 11 targets in each game he has played this season after averaging 9.1 targets per game in 2014. Jeffery is now rightfully back among fantasy’s WR1 ranks. Martavis Bryant made his 2015 debut on Sunday and turned in a monstrous performance under difficult circumstances. The second-year wide receiver caught six passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, and both scores came on passes from Pittsburgh third-string quarterback Landry Jones. Bryant has now played 12 games as a professional including the postseason, and has 11 touchdowns. Pittsburgh has their big-play machine back on the field to run alongside Antonio Brown and will be a high-powered fantasy offense when Ben Roethlisberger returns to action.
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Sunday was a brutal day for fantasy lineups that listed Eddie Lacy at the running back position, as the first-round fantasy selection ran for three yards on four carries. Yes, nine feet on four attempts. Lacy was outplayed by fellow Green Bay running back James Starks, who dashed his way to 112 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns on the afternoon. The reason for Lacy’s disappearance is still somewhat of a mystery, as this was a prime matchup for the bruising back against a soft San Diego run defense. Perhaps more light will be shed on this situation this week, but Lacy has topped 50 rushing yards in just two of six games this season and could now be battling James Starks for work in the Packers backfield. Stay tuned, but it may take another game or two before we get a handle on how this workload will be split up if Lacy is indeed healthy.
News and Notes
We finally have what appears to be a bit of clarity in the Denver backfield, as Ronnie Hillman took a step forward on Sunday. Hillman received 23 touches to 17 for C.J. Anderson and was far more productive with his opportunities once again, averaging 5.0 yards per touch. Hillman is the back to own in Denver and could begin to widen the workload gap in coming weeks. … Chargers rookie Melvin Gordon had a rough afternoon as he was benched for the final 36 minutes of San Diego’s loss at Green Bay after fumbling twice. Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver handled what little rushing attempts remained after Gordon’s benching with Philip Rivers throwing 65 times. … With Jamaal Charles sadly lost for the season, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis split the work in Kansas City’s backfield. West turned nine carries into 33 yards while David ran for 13 yards on five attempts. Both backs were lightly used in the passing game and it appears that West is still the preferred option in this backfield, although the Chiefs offense looked awful on Sunday. … Keenan Allen failed to score on Sunday but caught 14 of 15 targets for 157 yards, giving Allen three games this season with 12 or more receptions. … Minnesota rookie Stefon Diggs looks like the real deal, and caught seven passes for 129 yards on Sunday. Diggs has 13 receptions on 19 targets for 216 yards in the only two games he has played this season. Get those waiver claims ready.