By Jamie Will, DFW Senior Writer and Co-Owner, @JWill2412

Are you looking for a one-stop shop for all of the big news from an NFL Sunday? Then you’ve come to the right place.  Wake up, get your coffee, and get ready for a positional breakdown of all the noteworthy happenings from the NFL this week. 

Welcome to the DFW: Monday Rise and Grind




The Mariota Train Keeps on Rollin’


Week 10 had its fair share of fantasy fireworks this week, especially from the signal callers.  Leading the way this week, and continuing his now 6-week assault on the “Elite QB” tier, Marcus Mariota lit up the Packers like they were a Pac-12 team.  Mariota threw for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 0 interceptions, marking the sixth game in a row in which he’s thrown for multiple touchdowns with an incredible 17:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.  The kid seems borderline unconscious right now and like a runaway train steamrolling anything in its path.  With Indy and Chicago next, I expect the train to keep on rolling.

Ben Roethlisberger also lit up the board this week against Dallas, continuing his excellence at home with a line of 408/3/0.  It’s almost a foregone conclusion that whenever the Steelers have an absolute clunker followed by a home game, Ben is going to throw for an obscene amount of yardage and/or many many touchdowns.  It wasn’t quite six touchdowns like earlier in the year, but it was a huge game regardless.  Aaron Rodgers also put up big numbers, albeit in complete comeback/garbage-time mode in the Packers’ destruction at the hands of the Titans.  A-A-Ron put up 371/2/2 as well as 27 yards and another touchdown on the ground in the defeat.  The Packers are stuck in a weird funk these days and definitely aren’t right, but Rodgers is almost always going to make chicken salad out of chicken… you know what.  Russell Wilson followed up his big “breakout game” last week with an even bigger one on SNF, putting up 348/3/0 in a big win over the Patriots.  Russ looks like he’s almost completely back to health and it’s amazing how much his quickness in escaping the pocket makes a profound difference in the effectiveness of this team.  He could be in for another huge second half.  Lastly, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick followed similar paths to get into the 20-point club this week, using their legs to make fantasy owners happy.  Newton put up just 261/1/1 through the air but buoyed his day with 12/54/1 touchdown on the ground. It was a bit disappointing overall because Cam had most of the scoring and passing in the first half before going in the tank like the rest of his team.  Kaepernick again looked solid and has improved each week. He put up 210/1/0 along with 10/55/1 touchdown on the ground and proved useful yet again in Chip Kelly’s offense during futile comeback mode.


New Week… Same Zeke


Big names made all the big plays at the running back position this week, led yet again by the shoe-in for rookie of the year Ezekiel Elliott.  Zeke did it all against Pittsburgh, reaching 21/114/2 touchdowns on the ground with his last second game-winning touchdown.  Oh, but don’t forget his 95 receiving yards and another touchdown, which was an 85-yard explosion on a screen.  The Dallas O-line lived up to the hype and then some, repeatedly bulldozing the Steelers’ front, and Elliott made the most of it.  Provided good health, Zeke is going to push for 2000 yards and annihilate the rookie rushing record.

Elsewhere, a couple of other highly-hyped first round backs backed up their high-end status this week, as David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell put up multi-score games.  Johnson actually UNDERWHELMED with 19/55/1 on the ground and 5/46/1 through the air.  In what several analysts referred to as possibly the “best fantasy matchup in recent history,” Johnson did not exploit the 49ers’ putrid defense as expected.  They had given up 190+ yards to running backs for several weeks in a row, so Johnson’s numbers weren’t everything that owners hoped for, yet he still cracked the 20-point plateau even if he left owners wanting more.  Bell ended his surprising scoring drought against Dallas, posting a similar 17/57/1 on the ground and 9/77/1 through the air.  In my opinion, Bell is still the cream of the crop at RB in PPR, seeing as he can routinely put up WR2 or better numbers any time, just like he did this week.

In a few somewhat surprising lines to wrap up Week 10, Demarco Murray and LeGarrette Blount ran over two of the best run defenses in the league, while Ryan Mathews exploded out of the darkness to torch the Falcons.  Murray, battling a foot injury, faced the vaunted Packers’ run defense and started off with a 75 yard touchdown on his first carry, en route to 17/123/1 touchdown on the ground. To add to his impressive day, while noticeably fighting through some pain, DeMarco even THREW a touchdown to Delanie Walker.  His renaissance has been truly impressive in his post-Chip Kelly “era.”  Blount faced the Seattle Seahawks defense in prime time and he embraced the spotlight, rumbling for 21/69/3 touchdowns.  The YPC is obviously ugly, but the Seahawks always swarm on defense and had extra purpose this week under the spotlight.  Blount looked strong and, most importantly for the big picture, wasn’t a forgotten man in a week that could’ve easily featured the Pats’ passing down backs.  The big man kept rolling and he still looks like he won’t be going away any time soon. Mathews was truly the surprise of the day, following up his multi-week disappearing act with 19/109/2 touchdowns in the Eagles’ big win over the Falcons.  Mathews looked explosive and ran with power all game, nearly breaking a few long runs along the way.  If (and it’s a gigantic “if”) he can find a way to sustain this type of effort and success, it’s possible that the Eagles will ride him in the second half. But, damn, is it difficult to even try to figure out the Eagles’ backfield, let alone trust it.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t make a quick mention of C.J. Prosise and what he did on Sunday night as well.  Though he didn’t crack 20 points, Prosise essentially played the lead back role against New England and he ran hard while showing off his excellent pass-game prowess.  He had 17/66/0 on the ground and a whopping 7/87/0 through the air, while just missing a short touchdown run in the second half.  He looks like he could be a big player for the second-half, especially in PPR, though Thomas Rawls’ return could certainly complicate things.


Do the Dougie, everybody. He’s Back!

Doug Baldwin.1a

It was another quiet overall day for the WR position in terms of 20+ point days, but there were still plenty of strong performances and important stories. I’m going to lead off with not only the top scorer of the day, but also one of “my guys” heading into this season.  Doug Baldwin broke out, alongside his QB Russell Wilson, putting up 6/59/3 touchdowns against NE.  While the yardage was hardly huge, Baldwin and Wilson put up a couple of scores on their trademark scramble drills, which is what they feasted on in their epic second half of 2015.  It seems like the easiest way to know that it’s officially the second half of the season is to see when Wilson and Baldwin start going nuts and racking up scores like crazy.  Owners would like the yardage totals to trend a little more upwards, but everybody should be extremely happy with the turnout this week.

The only other true 20-point scorer at WR this week was the PPR beast, himself, Antonio Brown.  In the excellent back and forth battle with the Cowboys, Brown came alive with Roethlisberger in the second half, finishing up with 14 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown on a sweet fake spike.  It would’ve easily been the story of the day if not for Zeke Elliot steamrolling their hapless defense going the other way.  Antonio has underwhelmed compared to expectations, for sure, but this game shows he is always capable of ridiculous usage and production in any week.

Even though they didn’t quite reach the threshold, a handful of other WR deserve recognition for this week. Jordy Nelson and Allen Robinson both lived up to their names, putting up 12/126/1 and 9/107/1 respectively.  Jordy has been relatively consistent, though lacking his typical big plays this year.  Robinson, on the other hand, has been thoroughly inconsistent thanks to the obscene regression of Blake Bortles.  It was nice to see him put up the kind of numbers that made him a high-round pick in drafts.  Tyrell Williams and Dez Bryant both also eclipsed 100 yards with a touchdown in their matchups as well.  Tyrell looks to be the de facto WR1 for Philip Rivers and is capable of big games, while Dez is back to doing Dez things while continually developing a rapport with Dak Prescott. Last but not least, Stefon Diggs did another Antonio Brown impersonation for the Vikings, putting up 13 catches for 164 yards, but no touchdowns.  When they need to throw with some volume, Diggs is capable of big PPR numbers.


Delanie Does Work


Another week, and another big day for Delanie Walker.  Walker has really come on, in congruence with Marcus Mariota’s big streak, and he put up WR numbers this week for a line of 9/124/1 touchdown (from DeMarco Murray… had to mention it again!) Walker continues to be a major weapon at the TE position, which is huge given the season-long volatility league-wide for everyone NOT on the Patriots.  Speaking of New England, Martellus Bennett had a big game on Sunday Night Football as well, putting up 7 catches for 102 yards and routinely winning on WR-style routes outside regardless of who covered him.  Gronk had a disappointing game (3/56/0) while also possibly feeling the ill-effects of a huge, legal hit from Earl Thomas in the middle of the game.  Elsewhere, Cameron Brate had a big game (7/84/1) in the Bucs’ beatdown of the Bears and old man Antonio Gates continued his swan song with 4/63/1 touchdown for San Diego.  The rest of the position remains a week-to-week crapshoot, so I’m sure next week I’ll be writing about both New England guys, probably Delanie again, and then a bunch of random other TE who woke up in the red zone.  The story of the TE in 2016.