If you were too busy navigating through the 10 one o’clock games on Sunday, you may have missed what an unbelievable day we some from some of the league’s top quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.
There were four 200-yard rushing and receiving performances for the first time since Dec. 1, 2013, and Sunday marked the first day since Oct. 14, 2017 in which there was a five passing touchdown performance, a four rushing touchdown performance and a three receiving touchdown performance.
Starting at quarterback, Houston’s Deshaun Watson continues to remind us of how he’s one of the brightest and most gifted young quarterbacks in the league. Despite being handicapped with a below-average offensive line and a bland play-caller, Watson lit up the Falcons defense for 473 yards from scrimmage and five passing touchdowns — all while completing just under 85 percent of his passes for a perfect passing rating of 158.3.
Someone had to have been the beneficiary of Watson’s magical day, but it surprisingly wasn’t his main man DeAndre Hopkins — even though he did haul in seven catches for 88 yards. It was Will Fuller, instead, who caught FOURTEEN passes (tied for a league-wide high by a receiver this year) for 217 yards and three touchdowns. This game alone puts him on pace for a 1,280-yard season, and his 53.7 fantasy points either made you ecstatic in your starting lineup or devastated on your bench.
While Fuller stole the show, there were three other astounding showings at the receiver position. Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints and Amari Cooper of the Dallas Cowboys hauled in a combined 22 catches (11 each) for 408 yards and three touchdowns, while Jacksonville Jaguar’s second-year wideout DJ Chark brought in eight catches for 164 yards and two scores.
As Chark helped his Jags team attempt a near comeback on the road, it was a freakish performance on the other side of the football that ensured that they couldn’t. Christian McCaffrey, who has to start receiving some early MVP love this season, helped his Panthers to a 34-27 win at home with 19 rushes for 176, six catches for 61 yards and three total touchdowns. A man single-handily changing the landscape of fantasy football, McCaffrey’s season-long pace of 496 fantasy points (PPR) would finish 13 points higher than LaDanian Tomlinson’s 2006 season — the best fantasy season of all time.
Shockingly enough, McCaffrey’s outing was only the second-best fantasy showing of the day at his position. Aaron Jones, the leading man behind the Packers strong offensive line, waltzed his way around the Dallas defense for 182 total yards and four rushing touchdowns. His four scores on the ground were the most since Titans running back Derrick Henry did so against the Jaguars last season, and is tied for the sixth-most single-game scores in NFL history. Even though the game in itself was far from amusing, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook also hit the 200+ mark with 132 on the ground and 86 through the air in an easy win over the New York Giants.
So, just to recap, the octet of Watson, Fuller, Thomas, Cooper, Chark, McCaffrey, Jones and combined for 1,899 yards and 17 total touchdowns. Imagine what that fantasy football lineup would’ve looked like. Weeks like this are few and far between, but are great reminders of just how talented the elite athletes in the NFL truly are.
Who’s performance was most impressive for you? Tell us why in the comments.
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Will Fuller V