They say confession is good for the soul, and boy do I have a doozy.
Weighed in on the Adrian Peterson trade to Arizona last week and recommended leaving him on the fantasy waiver wire. Cited his age, questioned his remaining ability, criticized the offensive line which was shredded by the Eagles the prior Sunday. Would have signed him up for an AARP membership, if that was possible.
So every time he’d bang out a run of 6 or more yards on Sunday against Tampa Bay (he had 11 of them), it felt like I was back in the confessional at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in South Philly begging Father Wassel for absolution. Hey, Father, you still awake?
“A.D. (has) always had a chip on his shoulder, that’s just part of nature,” new teammate Larry Fitzgerald said. “He feeds off any negativity, anything people say, this or that. He just feeds off of it.”
Wait a minute. There was plenty of negativity as he sputtering along with the Saints for 81 rushing yards in four games. It would take him three carries to get 6 yards. Where was the mythical chip then?
Peterson’s 134-yard performance was his best in almost two years. He had 27 carries on Sunday if you include one that was wiped out by a penalty. That’s the exact number he had in his disastrous time in New Orleans.
The Buccaneers had given up one rushing touchdown to an opposing RB before the 32-year-old Peterson ran for two.
He gets a Rams defense this week that has mostly been generous to running backs. Leonard Fournette hit them for 130 yards last week. Zeke Elliott and Alfred Morris combined for 161 in Week 4 and the Redskins had three backs total 222 yards in Week 2.
The Rams have given up seven rushing TDs to opposing running backs and two more receiving, so Peterson should be considered a solid RB2, if not low RB1.
And when he runs for 33 yards on 10 carries, it’s back to confession.
The Packers factor
Considering all of the weapons he has, Green Bay’s Brett Hundley is worth a stash in leagues of 10 or more even though he’s never started a game. Until now.
Hundley, of course, got his first chance at sustained play last week when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. He went 18 for 33 for 157 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Impossible to justify playing him this week with just two other quarterbacks on bye, but looking down the road, the Packers play at Tampa Bay in Week 13 and at Cleveland in Week 14. The Buccaneers are 31st in points allowed to quarterbacks. The Browns are 30th. As we’ve seen all year, ya just never know.
Hundley, a fifth-round pick in 2015, is the fourth quarterback drafted by the Packers since Rodgers became the starter in 2008. The others are B.J. Coleman (7th round, 2012), Brian Brohm (2nd round, 2008) and Matt Flynn (7th round, 2008).
Wentz of the Week
Carson Wentz is ranked as the fifth-best quarterback option this week cumulatively by ESPN and Dave Richard of CBS Sports has him at third. We have the Dakota Kid at sixth.
In five prime time games, Wentz has six touchdown passes, two picks and has averaged just 204 yards passing. The Eagles are 3-2 in those night games.
Quarterbacks: We should know after Friday’s practice whether Jameis Winston (shoulder) is able to play this week at Buffalo. If Winston can’t go, Ryan Fitzpatrick would make a start for the seventh team in his career. The others, chronologically, are St. Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Tennessee, Houston and the Jets.
Running backs: Six of the NFL’s seven leading rushers are in their third season or less (Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard, Ezekiel Elliott and Jay Ajayi). Le’Veon Bell, in his fifth season, is the exception … Fournette (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but plans to play. He missed five games last year at LSU with an ankle injury that started with a high sprain before the season began. Fournette also missed preseason games with a foot injury this August … The Broncos have held the Chargers Melvin Gordon to 260 yards on 68 carries and no rushing touchdowns in three games. His only score came on an 11-yard pass.
Wide receivers: Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs (groin) practiced Thursday, but the jury’s out on whether he’ll play Sunday against Baltimore. The Ravens haven’t allowed a 100-yard receiver all season, so keep Diggs out of your lineup until there’s more clarity … Miami’s Jarvis Landry is a low-WR1 with teammate DeVante Parker (ankle) looking very shaky again. Landry has double-digit targets in four of the Dolphins five games this season … T.Y. Hilton is on a four-game stretch where his yardage has been 153, 30, 177 and 19. This week he gets a Jaguars secondary that has allowed just one receiver to hit them for a hundred yards (Antonio Brown, Week 5) and have given up just one touchdown (DeAndre Hopkins, Week 1).
Ed Barkowitz, who remembers when kids actually went to church, has been writing about fantasy football since 2001.
WEEK 7 RANKINGS
- Tom Brady, NE vs. Atl.
- Matt Ryan, Atl. at NE
- Alex Smith, KC at Oak.
- Marcus Mariota, Ten. at Cle.
- Drew Brees, NO at GB
- Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. Was.
- Russell Wilson, Sea. at NYG
- Dak Prescott, Dal. at SF
- Cam Newton, Car. at Chi.
- Kirk Cousins, Was. at Eagles
- Philip Rivers, LAC vs. Den.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Pit. vs. Cin.
Running backs/PPR, Opp.
- Le’Veon Bell, Pit. vs. Cin.
- Kareem Hunt, KC at Oak.
- Todd Gurley, LAR vs. Ari.
- Leonard Fournette, Jac. at Ind.
- Ezekiel Elliott, Dal. at SF
- Jordan Howard, Chi. vs. Car.
- Devonta Freeman, Atl. at NE
- LeSean McCoy, Buf. vs. TB
- Jay Ajayi, Mia. vs. NYJ
- Melvin Gordon, LAC vs. Den.
- Adrian Peterson, Ari. at LAR
- Jerick McKinnon, Min. vs. Bal.
- Christian McCaffrey, Car. at Chi.
- C.J. Anderson, Den. at LAC
- Derrick Henry, Ten. at Cle.
- Aaron Jones, GB vs. NO
- James White, NE vs. Atl.
- Mark Ingram, NO at GB
- Ty Montgomery, GB vs. NO
- Doug Martin, TB at Buf.
- LeGarrette Blount, Eagles vs. Was.
- Carlos Hyde, SF vs. Dal.
- Alvin Kamara, NO at GB
- Joe Mixon, Cin. at Pit.
- Chris Thompson, Was. at Eagles
Wide receivers/PPR, Opp.
- Antonio Brown, Pit. vs. Cin.
- Julio Jones, Atl. at NE
- A.J. Green, Cin. at Pit.
- Michael Thomas, NO at GB
- Mike Evans, TB at Buf.
- Larry Fitzgerald, Ari. at LAR
- Brandin Cooks, NE vs. Atl.
- Jarvis Landry, Mia. vs. NYJ
- Keenan Allen, LAC vs. Den.
- Jordy Nelson, GB vs. NO
- Dez Bryant, Dal. at SF
- Alshon Jeffery, Eagles vs. Was.
- Demaryius Thomas, Den. at LAC
- Chris Hogan, NE vs. Atl.
- Doug Baldwin, Sea. at NYG
- Michael Crabtree, Oak. vs. KC
- Adam Thielen, Min. vs. Bal.
- Davante Adams, GB vs. NO
- Terrelle Pryor, Was. at Eagles
- T.Y. Hilton, Ind. vs. Jac.
- Nelson Agholor, Eagles vs. Was.
- Devin Funchess, Car. at Chi.
- Sterling Shepard, NYG vs. Sea.
- Pierre Garcon, SF vs. Dal.
- Danny Amendola, NE vs. Atl.
Tight ends, Opp.
- Rob Gronkowski, NE vs. Atl.
- Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. Was.
- Travis Kelce, KC at Oak.
- Kyle Rudolph, Min. vs. Bal.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ at Mia.
- Jimmy Graham, Sea. at NYG
- Cameron Brate, TB at Buf.
- Evan Engram, NYG vs. Sea.
- Jordan Reed, Was. at Eagles
- Jason Witten, Dal. at SF
- Hunter Henry, LAC vs. Den.
- George Kittle, SF vs. Dal.
MOST POPULAR PICKUPS
This week/ESPN-run leagues
As of Thursday afternoon; Not including kickers/defenses
- Orleans Darkwa, RB, N.Y. Giants
- Alfred Morris, RB, Cowboys
- Darren McFadden, RB, Cowboys
- Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
- Samaje Perine, RB, Redskins