Thursday Night Observations

Thursday Night Observations

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

D'Ernest Johnson cost me the cover. I had the Browns minus three (locked in early in the week before the Baker Mayfield news broke), and Johnson, who was unstoppable, ran for the game-sealing first-down on 3rd-and-2. 

But, miracle of miracles, the Browns had yet another illegal formation penalty, making it 3rd-and-7. Now, all I needed was a short run, and an easy FG to go up six. Hand-off to Johnson, which the entire defense knew was coming, the guy runs for eight yards, seals the game again, and I'm stuck with a push! Of course, had Johnson not dominated, I probably wouldn't have been in that position to begin with. 

Honestly Johnson looked like peak Le'Veon Bell with his patience and vision, only smaller, quicker and more explosive. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are both good, but Johnson needs to see regular work somewhere. 

  • Johnson (22-146-1, 2-2-22-0) was the only fantasy player of note in the entire game. I was against bidding big on him with Chubb and eventually Hunt coming back, but that's only because I didn't realize how good he was.
  • Case Keenum holds the ball too long at times, but he played competently and showed good touch. I'd probably take him straight up over Teddy Bridgewater in real life, but it's close. There's a chance Keenum keeps the job as Mayfield's left shoulder will need surgery eventually, and it's unclear whether he can play through it.
  • Jarvis Landry (8-5-37-0) caught a few passes early and was quiet in the second half. He left in the fourth quarter after landing awkwardly on his injured left knee, but is apparently fine.
  • Odell Beckham (6-2-23-0) played through a shoulder injury, made a nice one-handed catch, but was otherwise quiet. As a Giants fan, I love the guy, but I doubt he'll ever be that player again. Donovan Peoples-Jones was a late scratch with a groin injury.
  • Bridgewater should be a high-end backup like Keenum. He's a pro, but offers no upside.
  • Courtland Sutton (5-5-68-0) and Noah Fant (7-5-39-0) are good players, but they're trapped in a low-octane passing attack and will soon have to share with Jerry Jeudy.
  • Melvin Gordon saw more carries than Javonte Williams, but Williams caught six passes for 32 yards and a TD. Gordon also caught a TD, but had only two catches for 14 yards. This is one of the more even workload splits in the league.
  • I'm still blown away by how good D'Ernest Johnson looked. He created extra yards on almost every play.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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