We near the halfway point in the NFL season and so very little is settled. The old adage that the cream rises to the top is apparent, and from a fantasy perspective, that is just as true. With that being said, here's this week's Game Balls.
Matthew Stafford, DET, 352 yards passing, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD - Well how do you do? Stafford finally puts up big numbers (remember, the cream rises to the top). This is the Stafford everyone enjoyed last year, and he did those stats with little to nothing (again) from Calvin Johnson. To me, this is a trend not a fluke, as Stafford is too good to underperform as he has. If you benched him, get him back in your lineup.
Blaine Gabbert, JAX, 303 yards passing, 1 TD - There were other QBs who put up better numbers, but since this was the rookie's first 300-yard passing game, he deserves his recognition here. Maybe not relying so heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew, who is injured, actually helps Gabbert's statistics.
Honorable mention: Tom Brady, 304 yards, 4 TDs - A jolly good performance from Brady in London. As expected.
Doug Martin, TB, 135 rushing yards, 1 TD, 79 receiving yards, 1 TD: And there's the highly drafted rookie's coming out party. Martin was doing okay up until this week. But his owners had been waiting for a true breakout game, and they got it Thursday night. Martin is fully entrenched in the Tampa offense and is now borderline start-every-week type of RB.
Willis McGahee, DEN, 122 rushing yards, 1 TD: On Sunday night, McGahee exerted his will and showed that the Broncos are a balanced attack. With Peyton looking more and more like Peyton, McGahee will likely have looser defenses to face. Expect more of these type of performances from McGahee.
Honorable mentione: Steven Ridley, NE, 127 yards, 1 TD: Ridley is quietly a fantasy star. He consistently puts up solid fantasy numbers for the Patriots.
Titus Young, DET, 9 catches, 100 yards, 2 TDs: I had been touting Young all year, and now the Lions have finally discovered another receiver other than Calvin Johnson. In fact, with Megatron's struggles, Young is stepping up his game, finally.
Julio Jones, ATL, 5 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD: This just in, Julio Jones is pretty good. The only problem with the Falcons offense is that there are so many weapons, that you just don't know who's going to step up. This week was Jones' turn.
Honorable mention: Denarius Moore, OAK, 5 catches, 96 yards, TD - Moore is making his case as a WR1 in most fantasy formats.
Jason Witten, DAL, 18 catches, 167 yards - The only thing negative you can say about Witten is that he didn't score this week. Otherwise, in a PPR format league, Witten was an absolute beast.
Rob Gronkowski, NE, 8 catches, 146 yards, 2 TDs - I never condoned taking Graham as early as he was being drafted. But those who invested in Gronk are seeing their dividends pay off week after week. Wow, that's all you can say about the New England tight end.
Honorable mention: Heath Miller, PIT, 4 catches, 46 yards, 1 TD: Miller is quietly becoming a must-start tight end in all leagues.
GAME-USED SOCK AWARD
Eli Manning, NYG, 192 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT - No one has been bigger fan of Eli than me. I still consider him an elite fantasy quarterback, but this week, against the Cowboys, Eli floundered. His owners suffered this week, and may have taken a loss as a result. So, for that Ei, here's a game used sock, worn by a large offensive lineman.
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