If fantasy was the lottery, Week 8 would have been the big jackpot.
In another wild and crazy NFL weekend, fantasy football was the real winner, as a whopping six players scored 30 or more points in standard scoring leagues.
In New England, Tom Brady turned back the clock by throwing for five passing touchdowns in the Patriots’ mauling of the Chicago Bears. Three of those touchdowns went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who continues to dominate opposing defenses this season.
Think those numbers are impressive? Just wait until you hear what Ben Roethlisberger did.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback had a game for the ages Sunday, throwing for a franchise-record 552 yards and six touchdowns. His 44 points in standard leagues were the most of any fantasy player this season.
Believe it or not, though, there were some less-than-stellar performances this week, as some much-hyped players — yes, we’re guilty too — didn’t exactly deliver the goods.
Let’s check out some of the best and worst from an eventful Week 8.
Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers: 787 yards, eight touchdowns, no interceptions. Those are Roethlisberger’s passing stats over the past two weeks, thanks mostly to his video game-like performance this Sunday. If you started Big Ben this week and still lost, you probably should just give up.
Arian Foster, Running Back, Houston Texans: Another player who’s been a beast in recent weeks, Foster turned in another elite performance Sunday with 173 total yards, two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those who stayed patient with Foster are reaping the benefits in a big way.
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End, New England Patriots: If you rolled the dice on Gronk in this year’s draft, you are one happy man/woman. The big tight end was unstoppable Sunday, racking up 149 yards and three touchdowns on nine catches to give him seven TDs in eight games this year. That’s a lot of Gronk spikes, and a lot of fantasy points for you.
Emmanuel Sanders, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos: The only knock on Sanders this season was that he had yet to find the end zone. After finding paydirt in Week 7, the speedy slot man suddenly was Peyton Manning’s favorite red zone target Thursday night, racking up three touchdowns and 120 receiving yards for a 30-point night. Hard to argue with that.
Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills: Watkins is a bona fide NFL receiver, and he’s here to stay. A week after breaking out for 122 yards and two touchdowns, the rookie could have had two scores Sunday if it wasn’t for some premature celebrating. Still, back-to-back outputs of 20 or more fantasy points isn’t too shabby.
Cam Newton, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers: We know you played the Seattle Seahawks, but six fantasy points isn’t going to cut it, Cam. The dual-threat quarterback was stymied in both the run and pass game, compiling fewer than 200 total yards and failing to find the end zone in Carolina’s 16-9 loss.
Tre Mason, Running Back, St. Louis Rams: Who were those idiots who told you pick up Mason on the waiver wire? The rookie led the Rams in carries but produced a whopping 32 rushing yards and no touchdowns while being a virtual non-factor in the passing game. Let’s hope his poor performance was just the result of a stingy Kansas City Chiefs run defense.
Marshawn Lynch, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks: Beast Mode was anything but in Sunday’s low-scoring affair, rushing for a pedestrian 62 yards and no touchdowns. Sure, those aren’t the worst numbers, but Lynch hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown since Week 3 and has topped 100 yards on the ground just once this season. That’s certainly not Lynch-esque.
Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown stole the show in the receiving game Sunday, and Floyd was left out in the cold. Seriously. The normally reliable wideout saw just four targets and didn’t catch a single one of them to record the dreaded goose egg. Get ’em next week, Michael.
Jordy Nelson, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers: Nelson had put up double-digit fantasy performances in five of seven games entering Sunday night, but the Saints’ 18th-ranked pass defense somehow shut him down in a big upset of the Packers. Nelson caught just three balls for 25 yards in his lowest output of the season.
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