Richie James, WR, San Francisco 49ers
James caught nine of 13 targets for 184 yards and a touchdown in Thursday night’s 34-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. On a night when the 49ers were down Deebo Samuel (hamstring/COVID-19), Brandon Aiyuk (reserve/COVID-19), Kendrick Bourne (reserve/COVID-19) and George Kittle (foot), James erupted for an explosive fantasy night that was highlighted by a 41-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter. James only had 15 catches and 295 yards over his first two seasons coming into Thursday’s contest, so he nearly matched those numbers with his busy night. James clearly paid off for those who may have picked him up as a streaming option or rolled the dice on him in DFS formats Thursday, but with the 49ers not back on the field until Sunday, Nov. 15, James may be down to at least third on the depth chart if Samuel, Aiyuk and Bourne are healthy and back with the squad.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Cook posted the best running back game of the season in Week 8’s victory over Green Bay, and he was nearly as good in Sunday’s thrashing of Detroit. Cook collected 206 rushing yards and two touchdowns at Detroit, and added 46 receiving yards. It’s the No. 6 PPR game of the year from the running back position, an impressive showing from a player who posted the No. 1 score a week prior. Cook can play various styles coming out of the backfield. He can run inside or out, and he catches the ball well. He had a high success rate in runs against the Lions, but he also hits a lot of home runs (including a 70-yarder on Sunday). All fantasy managers should have Cook locked into their RB1 spot.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray completed 21-of-26 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, running 11 times for 106 yards and a rushing TD in the Cardinals’ 34-31 loss to the Dolphins. Murray has been criticized for his accuracy throwing downfield, but that is how he thrived against one of the league’s formidable secondaries on Sunday, finding Christian Kirk and Darrell Daniels for 56- and 21-yard touchdowns after three quarters of play. Although Miami’s man-to-man defense earned a fumble recovery and touchdown return on Arizona’s opening possession, Murray took advantage of Miami corners having their backs turned to the line of scrimmage by grinding out a career-high 106 yards on the ground.
Gunnar Sadowey is the sports editor for the Crimson. He is a senior from Elkhart, IN. Gunnar is currently a journalism and mass communications major with a print concentration and a German minor.