Fantasy Doctor: Comeback City
October 20, 2015
Last week, I used this entire column to moan and groan about injuries and how much they suck. The good part about most injuries, though, is the eventual return to health. And the best part about returning to good health? Racking up tons of fantasy points, of course.
Week 6 in the NFL saw a handful of key returns around the league. Offseason additions returned to expected form, veteran pass catchers looked as healthy as ever and top-tier fantasy options picked up right where they left off following bye weeks.
It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. As always, some performances should be taken with a grain of salt, so your beloved Fantasy Doctor is here to sort all this crazy stuff out, position by position.
Andrew Luck: The Stanford alumnus suffered yet another loss at the hands of the Patriots. But he finally performed like top-tier fantasy quarterback he was projected to be, going for 30-for-50 with three scores. He’ll be a no-brainer start for the rest of the season.ss
Matthew Stafford: The Lions QB didn’t suffer any injuries, but he basically took weeks 3-5 off with his abysmal 2:5 TD-INT ratio. Thank goodness for that Bears defense, though — Stafford lit them up for 405 yards and four touchdowns for the Lions’ first win of the season. If he keeps finding Megatron at more regular rate, Stafford is worth a look each week.ss?
Marshawn Lynch: Following a few weeks on the sidelines, Beast Mode made his return with a respectable showing against a tough Carolina defense. Lynch is easily worthy of RB1 honors every weekss
Ronnie Hillman: The best back in Denver this season has clearly been Hillman, and he finally had his first 20-carry game of the year. While C.J. Anderson continues to plod along, Hillman’s consistency is limited, but he should at least be owned in all leagues.ss
DeMarco Murray, Jonathan Stewart: Let’s all welcome Murray and Stewart to the fantasy season. After accumulating a whopping 47 total rushing yards through his first four weeks, Murray has put together back-to-back 18-point performances. He’s finally worth starting. Stewart needs to prove himself a bit more, but two touchdowns against the always stingy Seattle D is a good start.ss
Martavis Bryant: Coming off a four-week suspension, Bryant immediately made his presence felt with 137 yards and two touchdowns while catching passes from two different backup QBs. He’s a high-end WR3, especially when Roethlisberger returns.ss
Calvin Johnson: Where’ve you been all my life, Megatron? Johnson went from the annual No. 1 overall receiver to a forgotten man in Detroit, but showed a glimpse of the past Sunday. He enjoyed his first 100-yard game of the season against his favorite team to play against, the Bears. I’m hoping he gets back to his usual monstrous ways, but Stafford is hard to trust.ss
Alshon Jeffrey, Steve Smith: Both players returned from extended injuries and each put up WR1 numbers. Chicago and Baltimore are both thin at receiver beyond their respective No. 1 options, so Jeffrey and Smith will be weekly plays moving forward.ss
Jimmy Graham: Graham continued the theme of offseason adds finally living up to the hype with a 140-yard day against Carolina. It was just the second time Graham had eclipsed 80 yards in a Seahawks uniform, so his owners should be cautiously excited. It’s clear Graham isn’t going to have the same numbers he did in New Orleans.ss
Julius Thomas: Another top tight end who switched uniforms over the summer had his first big game of the season. Thomas had seven receptions and a TD in Jacksonville’s loss to Houston on Sunday and should be a pretty easy start. He bruised his ribs, though, so check on his status for Wednesday’s game in London.ss
Defense of the week: Philadelphia. The Eagles had eight sacks and three interceptions in their last two matchups.