October 3, 2022, 7:50 pm
Final score: Falcons 23, Browns 20 (Falcons covered +1, U 48.5)
Key Postgame Stories
A close game that went into the half tied ended up getting decided by a pivotal fourth quarter led by some unexpected heroes on the Falcons side. Much to the dismay of Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier managers, undrafted rookie RB Caleb Huntley punched in the lone Atlanta touchdown of the second half. The initial big postgame story out of that backfield was Allgeier out-carrying Patterson (10-9), ostensibly with the Falcons coaching staff scaling back the latter’s workload while still nursing the injured knee. Then, the bombshell dropped on Monday that Patterson was actually placed on IR for that knee injury and will now miss at least four weeks (more on Allgeier/Huntley in Jon Rintoul’s waiver wire article to be released on Tuesday). While Huntley was started in 0% of Yahoo leagues, the game-winner here came off the foot of the 75%-started Younghoe Koo, who looks to be returning to his elite 2020 form when he finished as the 2nd-best fantasy kicker — going into MNF, Koo is currently the top fantasy kicker through four weeks.
On the receiving side, this is the strange kind of game where the winning team had some absolute head-scratching decisions on personnel usage. While Drake London (2-17-0, seven targets, 2.7 total fantasy points) had his fourth-straight game of at least six targets, it produced only 17 empty yards. His elite 32% target share on the season is what will give his managers reason to keep some faith, but he’ll have his share of inconsistency as a rookie with a bad quarterback. We all know Falcons head coach Arthur Smith cares about fantasy as much as Bill Belichick, but the way he used Kyle Pitts (1-25-0, four targets, 3.0 total fantasy points) was very puzzling nonetheless. The 21% target share is concerning, but perhaps even more concerning for this offense as a whole for fantasy managers is that the team now trails only the Bears on the season with a staggering 44% passing-play percentage. As long as Marcus Mariota is throwing it less than 20 times a game (like he did here), London and Pitts will become too TD-dependent to be reliable.
RB Nick Chubb (19-118-1 rushing, 2-9-0 receiving, 19.7 total fantasy points in half-PPR): Saquon Barkley has been getting all the attention because of the bounce-back, but Chubb is the current overall fantasy RB1 ahead of him and it feels just like another week at the office for him. It’s not like it was a particularly run-heavy game script either with the closely contested matchup and 50/50 split with the pass (Jacoby Brissett even attempted 16 more passes than Marcus Mariota). Like Barkley, Chubb fell to the second round in most drafts, but they’re both making the first-round backs look like major mistakes right now.
TE David Njoku (5-73-0 receiving, seven targets, 9.7 total fantasy points): His final fantasy output would’ve looked even better without the lost fumble, but Njoku has now entered weekly top-10 TE conversation with another strong game. He’s now commanded a 25% target share over his past two games. Many of us clearly wrote him off too quickly in drafts with Brissett under center, but he’s now showing both fantasy managers and the Browns fresh off his big contract extension that he’s very much worth the investment.
WR Amari Cooper (1-9-0 receiving, four targets, 1.4 total fantasy points): After starting to enter the circle of trust following 40.2 combined points the prior two weeks, Cooper reminded everyone of why he’s still a risky fantasy proposition in his current environment. He did have some tough individual cornerback matchups with Casey Hayward Jr. and A.J. Terrell, but even outside of that Njoku and Donovan Peoples-Jones combined to draw four times the targets that Cooper did. He was even out-targeted 6-4 by backup TE Harrison Bryant. An 11% target share for the WR1 on this team is just not going to cut it, so Cooper needs to see that increase before being startable again.
Final score: Cowboys 25, Commanders 10 (Cowboys covered -3, U 41.5)
Want to read the rest of our fantasy recap as well as get access to the rest of our premium content? You’ll need to have a FANTASYPASS membership. Click here to learn more and sign up!
Key Postgame Stories