Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
For those who fell asleep in their La- Z-Boy recliner on Thursday, lets go over what you missed.
Green Bay at Detroit -
The opener of the three-game set wasn't much of a game despite a reasonable- looking half-time score (17-10). Delving deeper we see that the Lions' offense dominated this one. They totaled 561 yards in net offense to just 126 for the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers' absence is the best evidence that he's a league MVP candidate. The team is 5-3 under Rodgers and averaging 29 ppg with him at the helm. They are 0-3-1 with Scott Tolzien, Matt Flynn and Seneca Wallace scoring just 15.5 ppg.
To the disappointment of his fantasy owners, wideout Jordy Nelson has not scored since Rodgers was knocked out of the lineup and has managed just one double-digit performance.
Jarrett Boykin had been the best fantasy receiver on the Packers roster for the past few games, but was shut out Thursday missing all three targets that came his way.
Reggie Bush was a fantasy stud, rushing for 117 yards and a score and catching five balls for 65 yards, but as fragile as he has proven to be over the years why was he in the game in the fourth quarter with a 33-10 lead?
Even on a day in which Calvin Johnson missed four of ten targets, he still cracked the 100-yard mark and got into the end zone. He's simply the best receiver in the league.
So much for those fantasy owners who jumped on Detroit wideout Nate Burleson in his return to the lineup. Burleson saw just one target and didn't catch it.
Oakland at Dallas -
Rashad Jennings did very little for most of the afternoon, but two 1-yard TD runs saved the day for fantasy owners. Despite the mediocrity don't expect Darren McFadden to win the starting role back anytime soon.
Who is Andre Holmes and where has he been hiding?
Answer: A second-year receiver out of tiny Hillsdale College in Michigan where he is the all-time leading receiver with 219 receptions for 3,092 yards, Holmes has primarily been a resident on the Raiders' practice squad. At 6- foot-4 with 4.45 speed we have to wonder why? He caught seven balls for 136 yards and was easily the best Oakland player in Thursday's game.
Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is better than being the workhorse. DeMarco Murray split time in the backfield with Lance Dunbar, but when Dallas got into the red zone it was Murray's number that got the call - repeatedly. His three short touchdown runs (2,4,7) made for a great fantasy total.
After a league-worst 19 interceptions last season Tony Romo has thrown seven interceptions in nine games and just two INTs in his last five games against nine touchdown passes. His yards-per-game is down from last season, but his fantasy totals are up.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore -
Le'Veon Bell's fantasy owners lost a sure touchdown to the new rule that stops a play immediately when a runner's helmet comes off. On the play in question Bell was about to fall into the end zone but a hard hit knocked off the helmet and unfortunately at least one of the officials knew the correct ruling.
Ben Roethlisberger may be the best quarterback at extending a play. He knows how to avoid a pass rush and still find an open target. Big Ben has thrown eight touchdown passes over the last three games without an interception. He's got a favorable fantasy playoff schedule too.
Neither Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce are fantasy-worthy options given their current workloads.
After a mid-season slump, Torrey Smith appears to be coming back to life with a touchdown catch in three of the past four games. For Smith it's all about the targets. It appears he needs at least eight targets a game to be effective.