Jeff Brubach

Football Daily Dose

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Dose: Down Goes Deshaun

Friday, November 3, 2017


The injury bug has been particularly cruel to fantasy owners in 2017, with heaps of top-tier talent taken from the game due to various injuries and ailments over the season’s first eight weeks. Thursday provided more disappointment on the injury front, with two AFC South signal callers ruled out of the season.


The most shocking and saddening news of the day surfaced when NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport announced that Houston’s all-world rookie Deshaun Watson had potentially torn his ACL in Thursday’s practice. Unfortunately, the ACL tear was later confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, ruling out Watson for the remainder of his promising rookie season. This gut punch was felt by fantasy owners and football fans alike, as watching Watson’s emergence was a source of excitement each week for those who appreciate the game. The right ACL tear is the second serious knee injury for Watson, as he tore his left ACL while in college at Clemson. The timing of the injury should allow for the dynamic quarterback to return in 2018, so while Watson can be safely dropped in redraft leagues, keeper and dynasty owners should hold on tight despite the tough news. Rotoworld’s own Rich Hribar provided an excellent rundown of how this devastating injury will impact the fantasy options remaining in the Houston huddle, but the prospects of DeAndre Hopkins and company will look far more bleak with Tom Savage under center.


The quarterback news didn’t end with Watson on Thursday, as Andrew Luck (shoulder) was finally placed on injured reserve with the Colts officially tossing in the towel on the 2017 season. Luck was never particularly close to returning to game action this season and the Colts will now certainly be enjoying a first round pick near the very top of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jacoby Brissett will finish out the season as Indianapolis’ quarterback, leaving T.Y. Hilton’s fantasy performances to continue to fluctuate wildly. Hopefully the Colts continue to slide their backfield in rookie Marlon Mack’s favor, as the speedy back may be one of the few current pieces that continues to perform once Andrew Luck (hopefully) returns in 2018.


One last injury note was announced late on Thursday, as San Francisco placed wide receiver Pierre Garcon on injured reserve with a neck injury. Garcon had trouble producing consistently with the uninspiring group of quarterbacks used by the 49ers this season, but hopefully Garcon’s recovery goes well enough for the veteran to get another shot alongside Jimmy Garoppolo next season. The San Francisco receiving work will be left to thrilling names like Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and tight end George Kittle as the season continues with Garcon on the shelf.


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Jets Smother Bills on TNF



The Buffalo Bills were riding high at 5-2 as they made a stop at MetLife Stadium to face the New York Jets on Thursday night but were quickly dispatched by the running game and defensive front of their divisional rival. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was harassed throughout the game, absorbing seven sacks and contributing one of Buffalo’s three lost fumbles. The Bills had little luck defensively as well, with the Jets pounding the ball for 194 rushing yards on a healthy 41 attempts.


The trio of Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire was very effective in this game as the Jets trampled the Buffalo defense. Forte led the backfield with 18 touches, which he turned into 96 total yards and two scores. The veteran back looked spry in his opportunities and racked up 61 of his 77 rushing yards after contact, according to Pro Football Focus. Powell was involved as well and ripped off a 51-yard burst on his way to 74 yards on nine carries. McGuire was used mostly in the later stages of the game when the Jets were milking clock, and ended with 39 total yards on 14 chances. Forte looks to be firmly in charge of this three-way backfield, leading the group in both touches and snaps by a sizeable margin.


The Buffalo offense was a complete dud until the end of the fourth quarter when Tyrod Taylor kicked the offense into high gear in a garbage time barrage. Taylor hooked up with Deonte Thompson on a 26-yard score and added a rushing touchdown all within the last 4:10 of the game. While Taylor was able to salvage his fantasy stat line, LeSean McCoy was left in the dust on Thursday night, chipping in just 25 rushing yards on 12 carries. Surprisingly, McCoy was targeted just once in the passing game with the Bills chasing the Jets all evening, and failed to record a reception after averaging 5.4 catches per game in Buffalo’s first seven outings. Despite the discouraging performance, Shady has a slew of opportune matchups waiting in coming weeks and will remain a locked-in RB1.


Bills at Jets Quick Slants


Bills rookie Zay Jones turned in the best game of his young career, catching six of seven targets for 53 yards and his first career touchdown. … Robby Anderson scored for the third consecutive game and finished with 48 yards on four grabs. Anderson would’ve likely done more damage if the Jets weren’t running clock for most of the second half. … Deonte Thompson led Buffalo with 10 targets, catching seven of those looks for 81 yards and a score. Thompson has stacked up big numbers in two of three games since joining the Bills. … Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught both of his targets for 20 yards and has now topped 30 receiving yards in just three of seven tries this season. … Jermaine Kearse caught only two of a team-high six targets for 38 yards. … Kelvin Benjamin was inactive after being acquired by Buffalo minutes before Tuesday's trade deadline.


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News and Notes



NFL Network’s Jane Slater believes that Rod Smith will serve as the second back behind Alfred Morris in Dallas while Ezekiel Elliott is suspended. Darren McFadden should still see touches but could be the third wheel. … Miami OC Clyde Christensen announced that the Dolphins will use a “committee” in their backfield after the departure of Jay Ajayi. … Zach Ertz (hamstring) was limited at practice on Thursday, but his Friday status will be the key in determining the appropriate level of concern regarding this new ailment. … Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is expected to see the field for the first time since Week 6 when the Broncos face the Eagles in Week 9. … Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) returned in Week 8 but was limited at practice on Thursday. Maclin’s weekend status will be worth monitoring. … Delanie Walker (ankle) did not practice on Thursday, making a Jonnu Smith start more likely this week. … Jamison Crowder (hamstring) missed Thursday’s practice and is now in serious doubt ahead of Washington’s Week 9 trip to Seattle.




Jeff Brubach covers fantasy football for Rotoworld.com and is the co-owner and editor of TheFakeFootball. Jeff can be found on Twitter @Jeff_Brubach.
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