— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) November 4, 2013
Three is the magic number. Yes it is, it’s a magic number. In Week 9, four wide receivers and a running back each scored three touchdowns. Prior to Week 9, only eight total non-quarterbacks had scored three or more touchdowns in a game over the entire season (3 RBs, 3 WRs, and 2 TEs) with no more than two in the same week. But before you get too excited about the players who blew up this week, know that those eight players have scored a total of six total touchdowns since they put up their huge week. So, let’s examine which of the players from this week have the best opportunity to continue scoring touchdowns.
Alfred Morris owners are getting sick of the Shanahanigans. Washington has two running backs that have scored three touchdowns in a game this year and neither one is Morris. In Week 7, it was Roy Helu with three scores. He hasn’t scored since. This week, it was fullback Darrel Young. Young had 5 carries for 12 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Redskins’ overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers. Prior to this week, Young had two carries on the season. It’s unlikely that he’ll suddenly become fantasy relevant. It safe to ignore Young in all fantasy formats.
Jerricho Cotchery is a former 1,000 yard receiver for the New York Jets, but he hasn’t shown the same form in his three years with the Steelers. This year, he’s consistently caught between three and five receptions per game for an average of 14.6 yards per catch. This week, he caught seven passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns in the Steelers loss to the New England Patriots. As the Steelers poor defense and lack of a dominant running game force them into shootouts, Pittsburgh will have to throw the ball to stay competitive. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have developed into reliable receivers who demand the attention of the opponents and Cotchery may see more passes come his way over the second half of the season. Still, his opportunities will be limited. Pick him up in free agency only if you are desperate.
Riley Cooper had a rough off-season but is rapidly regaining the respect of fantasy owners across the country. Since Nick Foles entered the starting lineup, Cooper has 360 yards receiving in four games. On Sunday, Foles became the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for seven touchdowns with no interceptions in a road game. Foles left the game with more touchdowns than incomplete passes and was the first quarterback of the season to post a perfect quarterback rating. Cooper contributed 5 catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns. As long as Foles stays in the lineup for the Eagles, Cooper should continue to contribute some big games.
When Reggie Wayne went down with a torn ACL, many thought Denarius Heyward-Bey would step into those targets for the Colts. Unfortunately for Heyward-Bey owners, he still can’t catch. T.Y. Hilton, however, can and fantasy owners should consider him a legitimate No. 1 receiver for the remainder of the year. He made the most of his targets on Sunday night against Houston, going off for 7 catches for 121 yards and three touchdowns in a comeback win against the Texans.
Not to be outdone, the Texans Andre Johnson caught 9 balls for 229 yards and three touchdowns from second year quarterback Case Keenum on Sunday. The undrafted Keenum was starting for only the second time in his career and quickly showed he knew what to do with a beast at wide receiver. He hit Johnson for 62, 41, and 5 yard touchdowns. The Texans offense seemed to sputter once head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed and was rushed to the hospital at halftime, but Johnson was already a must start and owners can expect Keenum to keep looking for him downfield going forward.
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