Gronk returns to a big role, Douglas steps out of the shadows, Vick is on his way back, RGIII running strong, Rivers doesn't miss, Lacy leads the way, Luck shines in the spotlight and more in Scott Cullen's 50 Points on NFL Week Seven.
1. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (8 REC, 114 YDS, 17 targets) returned to action, and not a moment too soon, given the state of the Patriots' passing game and while his numbers were good, getting targeted a career-high 17 times in his first game of the season was probably not the most optimal approach for the New England offence.
2. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (20-for-26, 273 YDS, 3 TD) put up good numbers even though he was without injured wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. That created an opportunity for WR Harry Douglas (7 REC, 149 YDS, 1 TD, 7 targets) to step up and he sure did that.
3. Eagles QB Nick Foles (11-for-29, 80 YDS) struggled against Dallas, then got hurt. In came Matt Barkley (11-for-20, 129 YDS, 0 TD, 3 INT) who isn't yet ready for primetime, so it's no surprise that Michael Vick is returning as the starting quarterback next week.
4. Washington QB Robert Griffin III (18-for-29, 298 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT; 84 YDS, 11 carries) had a big game against Chicago. There's surely more health risk when Griffin runs, but he's been successful, rushing 20 times for 161 yards in the last two weeks.
5. Chargers QB Philip Rivers (22-for-26, 285 YDS, 1 TD) is killing it week after week. His accuracy, a league-best 73.9% completion rate, is notably better than his previous career-high (66.0%).
6. Now that he's healthy, Packers RB Eddie Lacy (108 YDS, 1 TD, 27 touches) is churning out yards just as the Packers hoped, giving them a power running game to both complement their passing game and take over when the aerial assault isn't working.
7. Colts QB Andrew Luck (21-for-38, 229 YDS, 3 TD; 29 YDS, 1 TD, 4 carries) came up big in marquee game. It was the second time in his career that Luck has accounted for four touchdowns in a game.
8. Bears QB Jay Cutler (3-for-8, 28 YDS) suffered a groin injury against Washington and it will keep him out of action for the next four weeks, leaving Josh McCown (14-for-20, 204 YDS, 1 TD; 33 YDS, 4 carries) as the Bears' starter. Given McCown's spotty track record -- he's thrown for 300 yards four times in 33 career starts and has 38 touchdowns and 44 interceptions in the NFL -- that makes wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, as well as tight end Martellus Bennett, less appealing than they would be with Cutler at quarterback.
9. Bengals QB Andy Dalton (24-for-34, 372 YDS, 3 TD) had a huge game at Detroit, connecting with WR A.J. Green (6 REC, 155 YDS, 1 TD, 8 targets). It was the second straight week in which Green had 100 yards receiving while also catching all six passes thrown in his direction.
10. Lions QB Matt Stafford (28-for-51, 357 YDS, 3 TD) tried to match Dalton, but came up just short. WR Calvin Johnson (9 REC, 155 YDS, 2 TD, 15 targets) performed much better than he did in Week Six, when he first returned to the lineup after a knee injury.
11. Titans QB Jake Locker (25-for-41, 326 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT; 29 YDS, 3 carries) made a quick return to the Titans lineup and was productive in a losing effort. WR Kendall Wright (9 REC, 98 YDS, 12 targets) certainly benefitted from having Locker running the offence.
12. Washington TE Jordan Reed (9 REC, 134 YDS, 1 TD, 9 targets) took a big step forward. He had nine catches for 108 yards in the previous two games -- decent production -- before busting out against the Bears.
13. Broncos WR Eric Decker (8 REC, 150 YDS, 1 TD, 13 targets) has been incredibly productive, even as the third-ranked receiver on his team. Decker ranks 11th in fantasy points per game (10.9), while Wes Welker (12.7) is third and Demaryius Thomas (12.6) is sixth.
14. Eagles WR Riley Cooper (6 REC, 88 YDS, 7 targets) played a bigger role in the offence for the second straight week. WR Jason Avant (3 REC, 32 YDS, 12 targets) was actually the most-targeted Eagles receiver, but he wasn't terribly efficient. It will be interesting to see if Cooper can continue to be productive with Vick back under centre.
15. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (54 YDS, 12 touches) struggled against Atlanta before suffering a shoulder injury that is likely to keep him out indefinitely -- at least a few weeks, but potentially for the rest of the season. Mike James (53 YDS, 17 touches) saw the most action in relief, but he had a total of five touches in his career before that performance, so Brian Leonard and recently-added Bobby Rainey could also be in the mix for carries in Martin's absence.
16. While the running game might be a mess, at least Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (10 REC, 138 YDS, 2 TD, 22 targets) is salvaging his value, as apparently the only receiver to catch QB Mike Glennon's eye. Jackson ranks second in the league with 77 targets after he was targeted 36 times in the last two weeks.
17. With Green Bay missing receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones, Packers WR Jarrett Boykin (8 REC, 103 YDS, 1 TD, 10 targets) stepped into the starting lineup and produced like he should have been a starter all along.
18. Packers TE Jermichael Finley (5 REC, 72 YDS, 1 TD) had a strong game, but suffered a spinal cord contusion, an injury that could keep him out long-term. Andrew Quarless moves up the depth chart in Finley's absence.
19. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (123 YDS, 1 TD, 24 touches) remains the top back in fantasy, with 898 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns.
20. With questions at quarterback, the Bears will need RB Matt Forte (109 YDS, 3 TD, 18 touches) even more. Forte has been remarkably consistent, gaining at least 90 yards in every game this season.
21. Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (110 YDS, 1 TD, 21 carries) has been rejuvenated, going over 100 yards the last couple weeks. Danny Woodhead (76 YDS, 1 TD, 13 touches) remains one of the best non-starting backs in the league.
22. Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers (62 YDS, 2 TD, 16 touches) had a reasonably productive day, especially with the pair of touchdowns, but couldn't get loose in the running game, gaining 16 yards on eight carries. It's the second straight game in which Rodgers has scored two touchdowns, adding value to otherwise mediocre yardage totals.
24. Bills RB Fred Jackson (85 YDS, 1 TD, 15 touches) suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury, yet somehow returned to action and had another productive day, which stood in stark contrast to C.J. Spiller (7 YDS, 9 touches), a fantasy first-rounder who has gained a total of 398 yards from scrimmage, just ahead of the Saints' Pierre Thomas.
25. Washington RB Alfred Morris (95 YDS, 19 carries) had a reasonably productive day, but lost out on a monster fantasy performance because Roy Helu Jr. (41 YDS, 3 TD, 11 carries) got the red zone work. Helu hasp layed a bigger role, with double-digit touches in each of the last three games.
26. 49ers RB Frank Gore (104 YDS, 2 TD, 26 touches) is probably a little under-appreciated, having gaind 637 yards from scrimmage with five touchdowns. In standard fantasy formats, that's good enough to ranks seventh at the position.
27. Texans RB Arian Foster (11 YDS, 4 carries) suffered a hamstring injury at Kansas City, a poor follow-up to his season-high 198 yards from scrimmage the week before. Ben Tate (55 YDS, 17 touches) handled the bulk of the rushing with Foster out, but Tate is seeing his average come down steadily after a strong start. Over the last three games, Tate has 90 yards on 32 carries (2.8 ypc).
28. Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (99 YDS, 20 touches) had a solid game against Baltimore, providing some reason for optimism going forward.
29. Cowboys RB Joseph Randle (93 YDS, 22 touches) was reasonably productive, starting in place of an injured DeMarco Murray. Of course, the only rushing touchdown was a one-yard plunge by Philip Tanner, who had two carries total against the Eagles, so Randle lost out on that potential value booster, but such is the fickleness of goalline carries.
30. Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas (58 YDS, 13 touches) had the edge over Lamar Miller (47 YDS, 10 touches) in the Miami running back battle. It was Thomas' most yardage in a game since Nov. 25, 2012. Mabye not enough to take the job from Miller, but enough to limit the appeal of Miller since he's not clearly the number one back. At least not clearly enough.
31. Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (53 YDS, 1 TD, 13 touches) didn't exactly build on his Week Six breakthrough, but his touchdown at least made for a relatively productive day against the Jets.
32. Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (59 YDS, 16 touches) lost some touches, including standard goalline carries, to Mike Tolbert (36 YDS, 1 TD, 13 carries). Williams has been productive this year, gaining 547 yards from scrimmage, but he has zero touchdowns and Jonathan Stewart is back at practice. Stewart isn't expected to play this week, but will be back soon and that will cut into Williams' value even more.
33. Jets RB Chris Ivory (104 YDS, 34 carries) took the ball and ran with it against New England, leaving Bilal Powell (6 YDS, 3 carries) to a spectator's role. That's a much heavier workload tha Ivory has handled before and isn't likely to continue but Powell has been the only threat in the Jets backfield this season, so Ivory's emergence makes it look like a backfield with split duties is more of a reality than it has been at any point this year.
35. Titans RB Chris Johnson (110 YDS, 1 TD, 13 touches) took a break from committing fantasy murder to bust loose for a productive game. His 13 touches was a season low, but his 66-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter against San Francisco salvaged an otherwise unremarkable day.
36. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (56 yards, 15 touches) had his least productive day since Christmas Eve, 2011.
37. Jets WR Jeremy Kerley (8 REC, 97 YDS, 1 TD, 10 targets) was the preferred choice for Jets QB Geno Smith (17-for-33, 233 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT) against a New England secondary that was missing its best cornerback, Aqib Talib.
39. As for Bears receivers, Alshon Jeffery (4 REC, 105 YDS, 7 targets) and Brandon Marshall (6 REC, 75 YDS, 10 targets) had decent days against Washington, but as long as Josh McCown is involved, beware.
40. Patriots QB Tom Brady (22-for-46, 228 YDS, 0 TD, 1 INT) was held under 230 yards passing for the fourth time in seven games in Sunday's loss to the Jets and he's passed for one touchdown in the last three games.
41. Colts WR Reggie Wayne (5 REC, 50 YDS, 8 targets) suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season. Darrius Heyward-Bey (4 REC, 44 YDS, 1 TD, 7 targets; 30 YDS, 1 carry) will have a more prominent role going forward, but T.Y. Hilton becomes the primary option in the Colts' passing game.
42. Rams QB Sam Bradford (21-for-30, 255 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT) suffered a torn ACL against Carolina, ending his season. The Rams' offence was already shaky, but with Kellen Clemens at the helm, it could be trouble. If looking for a second-team receiver who could make the jump with a new starting quarterback, consider Brian Quick, a big target who has nine catches for 196 yards this season.
43. If anyone in the Rams offence is going to have value, it may as well be RB Zak Stacy (87 YDS, 1 TD, 21 touches) has gained at least 75 yards in three straight games.
44. Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen (3 REC, 67 YDS, 6 targets) was just coming into his own, but didn't have a huge day against Jacksonville. Like many receivers facing the Jaguars, their services aren't required as much once a team gets out to a sizeable lead.
45. Jacksonville's trio of wideouts: Cecil Shorts (8 REC, 80 YDS, 13 targets), Justin Blackmon (6 REC, 58 YDS, 9 targets) and Mike Brown (5 REC, 120 YDS, 8 targets) had productive days against San Diego as QB Chad Henne (23-for-36, 318 YDS, 1 INT) had his second straight 300-yard passing game. Of course, Henne hasn't thrown a touchdown in either of those games, so the yardage is pretty much empty calories.
46. Browns QB Brandon Weeden (17-for-42, 149 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT) had the kind of game that might have been feared/expected. Weeden's limitations could translate into limitations for WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron, both of whom have shown very positive signs this season.
47. Vikings QB Josh Freeman (20-for-53, 190 YDS, 1 INT) was a mess in his first start, but did have 19 targets to wideouts Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson, so he wasn't shy about trying to go down the field. He just wasn't effective.
48. Bills DE Mario Williams added a couple more sacks, giving him 10 on the season. That's 10 in seven games, on pace for 23 in a full 16-game regular season.
49. Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict (13 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PD) was undrafted after a tumultuous college career at Arizona State, but now leads the NFL with 77 tackles in his second season.
50. Other defenders with productive days: Cowboys MLB Sean Lee (11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TFL); Eagles MLB DeMeco Ryans (9 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT); Buccaneers OLB Lavonte David (10 tackles, 3 TFL), Lions MLB Stephen Tulloch (12 tackles, 1 TFL); Dolphins S Reshad Jones (10 tackles, 1 sack); Patriots DE Chandler Jones (11 tackles, 2 sacks); Patriots DT Chris Jones (10 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL); Bears CB Charles Tillman (8 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD); Rams MLB James Laurinaitis (11 tackles, 1 sack), Jaguars MLB Paul Posluszny (14 tackles), Browns S T.J. Ward (11 tackles, 1 TFL); Packers OLB Jamari Lattimore (12 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD), Packers ILB A.J. Hawk (12 tackles); Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali (6 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Steelers ILB Lawrence Timmons (17 tackles)