One of the top performances in fantasy this week came from New England rookie and a former fourth-round pick, Rhamondre Stevenson. Without Damien Harris or James White in the lineup, the Oklahoma product totaled 114 yards on 25 opportunities and found the end zone twice. Stevenson is a powerful runner and wore out the Cleveland Browns defense. He had 4 rushes of 10 or more yards, and he looked like he belonged in the NFL. Rhamondre Stevenson should be a nice piece for New England moving forward.
The Detroit Lions traveled to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in what was easily the worst game of the week. Pittsburgh struggled to get anything going on offense without Ben Roethlisberger, and the Lions were, well, the Lions. Najee Harris and D’Andre Swift held the performances of the game—each rushing for over 100 yards. This game went to overtime, and Lions kicker Ryan Santoso had a chance to win the game with a 48-yard field goal. In the most Detroit way possible, the kick was a couple of yards short, and it barely cleared the bottom crossbar at its highest point. This game ended in a 16-16 tie, meaning the Lions will not go 0-17 this year.
Stud of the Week: Patrick Mahomes 36.24 fantasy points
Duds of the Week: Mike Gesicki and TJ Hockenson 0 fantasy points
Notable injuries: CeeDee Lamb (arm contusion), Dallas Goedert (concussion), Aaron Jones (sprained MCL), Christian McCaffrey (hamstring), Ricky Seals-Jones (hip), Baker Mayfield (knee)
1. Rhamondre Stevenson RB NE (29.1% owned)
Rhamondre Stevenson proved why he was dubbed a deep sleeper before the season after putting up a top 5 finish amongst all running backs in a game in which the Patriots were without their first and second running backs. Stevenson ran for 100 yards on 5 yards per carry and 4 receptions on 5 targets. He also took all of the short-yardage downs and scored two touchdowns. Damien Harris’s surprise sit could indicate that he could be out even longer. Enjoy the ride while you can as if Stevenson remains the starter, more 25+ point fantasy outings will be on the horizon. Even if he isn’t the starter, the Patriots running back is certain to get more opportunities.
2. Dan Arnold TE JAX (28% owned)
Over his last 5 games, Dan Arnold is averaging 7.4 targets, 5 receptions, and 57.2 yards per game. His 10.7 fantasy points per game would currently put him at the TE13. That is not bad for a tight end who is available in over 70% of leagues on ESPN. If you need a tight end, Arnold is the player to get as he has emerged as one of Trevor Lawrence’s top targets. Arnold is a low-ceiling TE1 option if your tight end is on a bye and is a great stash to have for the rest of the season.
3. Cam Newton QB CAR (12.6 % owned)
This pick comes with the news that Cam Newton will start this week. Cam Newton is unowned in nearly 7/8ths of fantasy football leagues on ESPN, and he is a must-stash if you have a quarterback who has yet to have a bye. You could also make a case for Cam Newton to be a low-end QB1 for the rest of the season. He was only on the field for a couple of plays on Sunday, but he made the most of them as he finished 3/4 for 8 yards, a passing touchdown, 3 carries for 14 yards, and a rushing touchdown. Newton has a very high ceiling of returning to his former top 5 QB self and is a great pickup for playoff teams looking to add some depth.
4. Justin Fields QB CHI (18.2% owned)
It looks like Justin Fields is finally becoming a competent NFL quarterback. He didn’t play this past week, but the week before against the Steelers, he threw for 291 yards, a touchdown, and added 45 yards on the ground. The week before, he threw for 175 yards and a touchdown. He also added 103 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Fields is averaging 21.72 fantasy points per game over that span. His rushing gives him a ceiling similar to Jalen Hurts and he could be a QB1 for the rest of the season as he is looking better every week.
5. Ray-Ray McCloud WR PIT (0.4% owned)
Chase Claypool is currently week-to-week with a potential season-ending toe injury. It was the next man up for Pittsburgh against Detroit as Ray-Ray McCloud caught 9 passes on 12 targets for 63 yards. Not amazing yards per catch, for the 12 targets is definitely a good sign. McCloud is a must-add in deeper formats, and you could make the case to add him in leagues with fewer people. Without Chase Claypool, McCloud can be a very solid WR2, especially with Ben Roethlisberger coming back next week from the COVID list.
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