It was encouraging to see Adam Gase put the ball right back in Drake's hands after a devastating goal line fumble in overtime but it doesn't erase the fact that for the second consecutive week Drake had fewer touches than Frank Gore. Sunday, Gore carried the ball 15 times for 101 yards while adding another 18 receiving yards. What's even more disconcerting is that Drake played 21 more snaps than the veteran. It's been frustrating trying to figure out Drake's usage rates and to compound that frustation is a date with the Detroit Lions next week. Detroit's run defense has been awful but Drake will be hard to trust if Gase isn't giving him the ball regularly.
I said all week that I didn't want to start Doug Baldwin until he showed something. Well, I saw all that I needed to see from him today in London. It's easy to say, "well, it was the Raiders" and while that's true, you want your top level players to take advantage of favorable matchups. That's what happened in Week 6. The downside is that Seattle has a bye next week, so you won't get to immediately plug Baldwin into your lineup. But the good news is that the week off will give Baldwin's knee more time to heal before a matchup against Detroit in Week 8.
The weird thing about this is that it seems to be an every other week thing. In Weeks 4 and 6, Chris Ivory had just six touches per game. In Weeks 3 and 5, that number was in the double-digits. Despite Ivory's increased usage, the Bills seem to have remembered that LeSean McCoy deserves to get the football. One week after getting 26 touches, McCoy saw the ball 19 more times on Sunday. Could this all be part of a plan to showcase Shady before trading him away? That's still unknown. At least he's getting touches. That's really all we can ask.
For three weeks, Keke Coutee has been a part of the Texans offense and for three weeks, Coutee has had more targets than Will Fuller. From the moment the rookie stepped in, he filled an essential role for a quarterback who has been under siege all season. In Weeks 1-3, Watson was holding the ball for nearly 3.3 seconds and averaging more than 12 air yards per attempt. In Weeks 4-6, that number has dropped to 2.9 seconds and 7.5 air yards per attempt. Sure, there are still the occasional deep shots to Will Fuller but in the interest of having a more productive passing game, the Texans appear to be taking fewer deep shots. That makes Will Fuller a much more volatile week-to-week play.
When the game was over, Hines actually led all Colts backs in offensive snaps played but only had six touches. What has become obvious over the past couple of weeks is that Hines is much more of a pass-catching back than anything else. That could help keep his value afloat with a defense that continues to bleed points. The problem is that with Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack both available, there are still fewer snaps to go around. That means Hines will have to be incredibly efficient with the limited opportunities he will get.
I feel like a broken record repeating this every week but can someone pleeeeease find a new strategy for deploying one of the NFL's most dynamic offensive weapons? Looking at Johnson's weekly Next Gen Stats rushing chart and seeing the number of lines running straight up the middle makes me want to put a hammer through my computer monitor. The consistent inanity of the Cardinals' run game has kept DJ under 75 rushing yards all season. Were it not for the fact that Johnson has scored a touchdown in nearly every game this season this would be a brutal one.
The most predictable thing in the NFL this season has been Lynch's usage -- or lack thereof -- in the second half of games. On Sunday, Beast Mode played two second half snaps and had two carries for two yards. For the season, that's 20 total second half snaps ... and he still doesn't have a fourth-quarter touch. Lynch's usage is wholly dependent on the score which means that as long as the Raiders are a bad team, his weekly potential is going to be capped.
This is just a reminder about the unpredictability of fantasy football. We can do all of the studying we want, come up with all of the statistical markers we can find and grind all of the tape we can get our hands on ... and sometimes it doesn't matter. Never forget that football -- and by extension, fantasy football -- is a human endeavor that will never be 100 percent predictable. That's why it's fun. That's why we do it. If one or more of these things contributed to you taking an "L" this week, just grin and bear and come back strong next week.