Jonathan Taylor Continues To Build His Case As The RB1 For Next Year
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Monday Night Football Recap
This game was a fairly one-sided affair, with the Buccaneers cruising to an easy victory. QB Daniel Jones looked completely lost at sea, throwing for 167 yards on 38 attempts. Kadarius Toney saw the bulk of Jones’ targets Monday night but wasn’t efficient at all. He caught seven of his 12 targets for 50 yards and 0 touchdowns. Behind him, Darius Slayton was second on the team with seven targets, turning in a 4-37-0 receiving line. Both Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay returned after a few weeks and neither did to help the Giants be competitive. Barkley turned his six rush attempts into 25 scoreless yards and tacked on six catches for 31 yards. Golladay has had a nightmare season in New York and it continued last night. He caught one of his two targets for 12 yards and simply doesn’t look like the same player he was while in Detroit. Outside of Barkley, it’s tough to slot any New York Giant into the starting lineup on your roster.
The usual suspects for the Buccaneers handily dismantled the Giants. Mike Evans led the team in targets (11) and caught six of them for 73 yards and a score. Chris Godwin caught all six of his targets for 65 yards and a score. TE Rob Gronkowski looked good in this matchup, catching six of his eight targets for 71 scoreless yards. Gronkowski appears to be fully back, so I’d feel comfortable trusting him as a mid-TE1 play for the rest of the season. Leonard Fournette has earned an outsize game in the receiving game. He caught all six of his targets for 39 yards. It was interesting to see Ronald Jones score a touchdown. It’s a solid reminder that Jones should be rostered in case Fournette has to miss time with injury.
Jonathan Taylor Is A One-Man Wrecking Crew
You might be sick of hearing about what Jonathan Taylor accomplished on Sunday. If so, feel free to skip to the next paragraph. I’d like to note that before his 50+ PPR point eruption on Sunday, Jonathan Taylor already had a ludicrously high floor in fantasy.
I mean, just look at that. Since Week 4 Taylor ostensibly guaranteed a 20-point floor with a ceiling that was north of 30 points in PPR formats. Taylor is getting it done on the ground and through the air. On Sunday, Taylor caught all three of his targets for 19 yards and a score. A true all-terrain running back, Taylor is having the kind of season that gamers envision that Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkley should have. Concerns around the Colts’ offense and the quarterback situation ostensibly artificially depressed Taylor’s ADP this offseason. Taylor’s incredible talent has shone through this season as the Colts’ true workhorse running back. He continues to play the majority of the snaps and has relegated fellow RB Nyheim Hines to the bench. Taylor’s performance has put him in the conversation for the first overall pick next year in fantasy football.
The Bills, on the other hand, looked completely lost. This was a game where they fell behind early, and never really knew how to dig themselves out of the hole that they dug for themselves. Josh Allen posted a 21-209-2 passing line and added two interceptions to go with that. It was a bit surprising to see TE Dawson Knox leading all Bills receivers in targets, receptions, and receiving yards on Sunday. Knox posted a strong 6-80-0 receiving line and remains locked in as a weekly starter at the position. Although Stefon Diggs found the end zone twice on Sunday, I doubt that he will trail Knox in targets going forward. Diggs is by far the most talented receiver on the Bills, so I’d expect that he bounces back next week. Emmanuel Sanders (3-26-0 on five targets) and Cole Beasley (4-23-0 on five targets) could see some of their targets redirected Diggs’ way, given that they’ve both been inefficient with their workload. One thing to note here is that RB Matt Breida has emerged as a viable stash candidate. Both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have proven to be mediocre starters and Breida provides an explosive element the backfield is lacking. The Bills/Saints game will be a fantastic nightcap on Thanksgiving.
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Jalen Hurts Is An Elite Run Establisher
Alvin Kamara remained sidelined for the second straight week and Mark Ingram filled in quite capably. He posted a 16-88-0 rushing line and tacked on a 6-25-0 receiving line (on eight targets). If Kamara is unable to suit up this week, Ingram will be a solid RB2 play against a Bills run defense that’s probably still shell-shocked after dealing with Jonathan Taylor. TE Adam Trautman (5-58-1 on eight targets) was emerging as a promising candidate for QB Trevor Siemian. Unfortunately, Trautman sprained his MCL and will miss the next four to six weeks. TE Juwan Johnson could possibly make for a fine, desperation play at the position this week. WR Marquez Callaway was one of the Saints’ receivers who earned a lot of buzz late in the offseason. Drafting Callaway at cost in August always felt like a trap. He’s been a shaky start at best and posted WR3 or worse numbers in approximately 70% of his starts. Callaway caught one of his four targets for 26 yards and a score on Sunday. I’d plug him in as a FLEX option in only the deepest of leagues. Part of the reason that Callaway has underperformed has been Tre’Quan Smith’s reemergence (or is that emergence?). Smith posted a 5-64-0 receiving line but saw eight targets. Smith saw seven targets last week, which suggests that he’s earning the trust of Siemian. Smith is a viable FLEX play this week.
The Eagles annihilated the Saints’ league-best run defense on Sunday. As a team, the Eagles rushed 50 times for 242 yards and three scores. QB Jalen Hurts has emerged as the team’s primary ball carrier, posting an 18-69-3 rushing line. Despite the lack of passing attempts, Hurts has been posting incredibly strong outings on the back of his rushing performance. The Eagles welcomed back starting RB Miles Sanders (16-94-0) but might have lost the services of Jordan Howard (10-63-0) for Week 12. Howard suffered a knee sprain and will surrender some work to Boston Scott (6-16-0) this week. I’d be interested to see if the team activates Kenny Gainwell, who was a healthy scratch on Sunday. TE Dallas Goedert has emerged as Hurts’ primary target, posting 5-62-0 on eight targets. Given the run-heavy nature of the Eagles, you shouldn’t be starting any pass catchers on the Eagles outside of Goedert and WR DeVonta Smith (4-61-0, six targets).
Justin Herbert Is Good Again
The Steelers got back the services of Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, who played the best game he has all season. Roethlisberger completed 28 of his 44 pass attempts for 273 yards and three scores. Diontae Johnson (7-101-1 on 13 targets) and Chase Claypool (5-93-0 on nine targets) did an incredible job in catching most of the ducks Big Ben tossed their way. Rookie TE Pat Freiermuth continues to see strong volume (seven targets) and posted a 4-11-1 receiving line. RB Najee Harris couldn’t get much going on the ground (12-39-1 rushing) but continues to receive strong volume out of the backfield (5-20-0 on six targets). Harris’s usage in the rushing and receiving game has him locked in as an RB1 for the rest of the season. Hopefully, this is the version of Roethlisberger that we see for the rest of the season, as it’ll be the tide that’ll lift the rest of the Steelers’ skill players.
For the Chargers, QB Justin Herbert showed out in a big way. Herbert completed 30 of his 41 passes for 382 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. He also added 90 yards on nine rush attempts, showcasing a lightly used portion of his skillset. Keenan Allen continued to lead all Chargers receivers in targets, catching nine of his 13 for 112 yards. Mike Williams saw only six targets on Sunday night but caught five of them for 97 yards and a score. The real hero from Sunday night was Austin Ekeler, who scored four touchdowns (two rushing, two receiving). Pretty impressive to see a fantasy analyst post 50 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards on only 18 touches. Given the kind of season Ekeler has posted, he’s in the mix as an early-to-mid first rounder next offseason.