Week 12 got off to a good start Thursday night, but there were even more exciting games this afternoon highlighted by a great game between the Chargers and Chiefs, an overtime epic in Lambeau finishing in a rare tie, and a trio of upsets by the Rams, Bucs, and Jaguars.
For your fantasy team, these are the players that stood out in the 1:00 starts:
Josh Gordon-WR-Cleveland Browns
Even though the Browns offense struggled, Gordon led all scorers after the early games wrapped up with 237 yards on 14 catches with a touchdown. The Browns QB situation isn’t good with Jason Campbell leaving injured and Brandon Weeden pressed back into action, but Gordon showed he can still excel and put up huge numbers in spite of it. He’s a low-end WR1 for the rest of the season, and any receiver against the Steelers needs to be a consideration since they’ve been giving up huge yardage.
Philip Rivers-QB-San Diego Chargers
Rivers threw for three touchdowns including the game-winning score against the Chiefs defense in Kansas City. He finished just under 400 yards (392) and completed 27 of his 39 attempts. KC’s defense lost their pass rushers to injury, and Rivers carved up the secondary the rest of the day.
Jamaal Charles-RB-Kansas City Chiefs
Charles ran for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 14 carries, and he also added 42 yards on his four catches. The Chiefs fell just short, but Charles helped his owners get off to a good start this week.
Tiquan Underwood-WR-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Underwood came up huge for the Bucs as they knocked off the Lions. Underwood only had three catches, but he had a total of 108 yards and found the end zone twice. He’s definitely a deep threat for Tampa and is developing a nice connection with Mike Glennon.
Alex Smith-QB-Kansas City Chiefs
Smith didn’t quite match Rivers numbers, but had a season-high 294 yards passing while matching a season-high with three TDs. He did throw an interception and scrambled for -3 yards on two carries. Smith came up big as the Chiefs offense tried to keep up with Rivers and the Bolts before falling just short.
Eddie Lacy-RB-Green Bay Packers
Lacy left with an injury that is sure to concern his owners, but before leaving he ran for 110 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes for 48 more yards. If his injury isn’t serious, he’ll be a great start moving forward.
The Steelers defense gave up the huge game to Josh Gordon, but they made their fantasy owners happy allowing 11 points while forcing four turnovers and pickup up five sacks.
Maurice Jones- Drew-RB-Jacksonville Jaguars
MJD found the end zone for the third straight week as part of his 84 yards on 14 carries. He added 60 yards on six catches to complete a solid contribution for his long-suffering owners this season. He and the Jags got the win in Houston and head to Cleveland next week to face the Browns.
Jared Cook-TE-St. Louis Rams
The leading scorer among the early game tight ends was Jared Cook who had four catches for 80 yards and a score against the Bears. If he and Kellen Clemens continue to click he’ll be a fringe starter for the rest of the season.