A bad year for fantasy stars got even worse when Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone that is expected to end his season. For the Packers, Brett Hundley is the next man up. For fantasy managers, it's not that easy. You've lost one of the top three quarterbacks in the game and a player that you could set in your lineup each and every week without a worry. Now you've been reduced to streaming quarterbacks on a weekly basis. Maybe someone like Carson Palmer or Andy Dalton is available on the waiver wire. Otherwise you're trying hard to make some trades. Either way, you're not going to find just one player who can replace Rodgers' production.
As you can tell, none of us saw this coming. Except maybe James Koh. So ... our bad. The Cardinals obviously had a gameplan for Peterson this week that involved getting him to the edges and seeing how interested the Buccaneers defensive backs were in tackling him. (Ron Howard voice: They weren't.) This wouldn't seem to be a winning strategy next week against the Rams secondary. It's also fair to wonder whether the Cardinals offensive line can continue to open the same kind of holes. Regardless, we obviously severely underestimated what Peterson had to offer in Arizona and now we'll have to start considering him as at least an RB2 going forward. Live and learn, right?
Meanwhile in New Orleans...
Now that Peterson isn't muddling the Saints' backfield situation, things are looking up for Mark Ingram. After averaging around 14 touches per game through New Orleans' first four contests, Ingram touched the ball 30 times in Sunday's win. Some of that had to do with a high-scoring game in which Ingram was carving up the Lions every time the got the ball. But a lot of it had to do with not having any real obstacles to being the team's top running back. As for Alvin Kamara ... things remained fairly status quo with 14 touches on Sunday. He was definitely productive with those opportunities (87 total yards) but unless Sean Payton decides to employ a hot hand approach, I think we've figured out the division of labor.
We know that Bill Belichick treats running back fumbles with all the grace and levity of whooping cough. That's already going to be one strike against Gillislee moving forward. But aside from his big Week 1 performance, there hasn't been much to write home about. His touches have remained fairly constant all season long (though Sunday's fumble depressed his snap count) but he hasn't found the end zone since Week 2. That's bad news for a player whose upside is heavily dependent upon scoring touchdowns. To add to the misery, Gillislee doesn't have a single target this season. Considering the issues with the Patriots defense, New England could find itself throwing the football quite a bit this season. Gillislee's fantasy value is seeping away by the week.
This is just your weekly reminder that the Patriots defense has become a fantasy balm in 2017. For yet another week, New England allowed 300-yard passer while surrendering 400-plus yards of offense. At this point, you can almost set your watch to it. However, consider this another notice that Austin Seferian-Jenkins should be on your watch list, if not your fantasy roster. ASJ had 11 targets which he turned into eight catches for 46 yards and a touchdown -- not to mention a controversial play at the goal line that easily could have been a second touchdown. In a world where we're struggling to find quality tight ends on a weekly basis, we may have discovered one in the most unlikeliest of offenses.
Well actually ... Jay Ajayi did work for the entire game. He didn't find the end zone but his 130 rushing yards had to be a relief for anyone who had been struggling through his last three poor performances. You had to wonder how long Adam Gase was going to keep the offense in the hands of Jay Cutler (who was again less than scintillating) if the Dolphins continued to flounder. Hopefully this is the start of a turnaround with a back predicted to be one of the league's workhorses this season.
One of the questions I was asked repeatedly this week was "what do I do about Carlos Hyde?" I believed that last week's heavy dose of Matt Breida was more of a one-week hiccup than anything. However I wanted to see how the touches would shake out this week before making a final judgement. Turns out, my assumption was correct. Hyde went back to being the bell cow for Kyle Shanahan's offense. Feel free to continue using Hyde as an RB2 until further notice.
And one for the road...
Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. He would appreciate if the people who schedule sports wouldn't put two of his favorite teams playing opposite one another. The tilt potential is too strong and he's getting too old to handle that kind of stress. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. Tweet him about your stress-inducing scenarios on Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. He also dishes out fantasy advice -- and life shenanigans -- on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9)