Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell averaged 4.7 receptions per game through his first six games, but because he was involved in the passing game only intermittently as a rookie, you had reason to wonder if you could rely on him for that long-term.
But then he went and caught eight passes for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Texans in Week 7, putting him second among all running backs with 36 receptions, behind only Matt Forte (who remains in a class of his own). In PPR leagues, he's also third among running backs, behind Forte and DeMarco Murray, in Fantasy points to date.
Even better, his touchdown came from the 2-yard line -- a situation where the Steelers may have gone to LeGarrette Blount earlier in the season. Only one of Blount's seven carries even came in Texans' territory in this one.
Bell's touchdown total seven weeks into the season may be disappointing, but in terms of his receiving ability and role on offense, the verdict is in. If we were re-drafting today, he might be one of the first five running backs off the board.
With Pierre Thomas expected to miss a healthy chunk of time with a shoulder injury, Travaris Cadet is now the main receiving option out of the Saints backfield, and that should mean good things for the third-year man out of Appalachian State.
Cadet was already fifth on the team in targets through six games, and the absence of Thomas is only going to increase his workload. The two are averaging 8.3 targets out fo the backfield between them, and with Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram more traditional backs, the majority of those looks should go Cadet's way.
Cadet has already shown he can be a useful receiver in a growing role recently, with 15 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown over the last three games. The Saints have always featured running backs in the passing game prominently, and now it is Cadet's turn. In PPR leagues, he should make for a solid starting option moving forward, with 29 Fantasy points over the last three weeks already.
When DeAndre Hopkins is targeted, good things happen
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
In Week 7 at Pittsburgh, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was on equal terms with Andre Johnson for once, tying for the team lead with nine targets. It was the first time he got as many targets as Johnson in a game this season, and just as encouraging, it came only a week after getting a season-low two targets.
Hopkins led the Texans with 108 yards on six catches. Despite the disparity in targets, it wasn't the first time he went for more yards than Johnson, but the third. The first came in his only other nine-target game Week 3 at the Giants, when he had 116 yards on six catches.
Hopkins may not get the targets you'd like for a wide receiver to get in Fantasy, but he's efficient with what he gets, meaning when he gets a decent number of targets, like in Weeks 3 and 7, he's almost assured big numbers. With Johnson still the go-to guy for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, though, Hopkins also has the potential to underwhelm any given week.
He's best used as a No. 3 wide receiver in Fantasy, making him a bye-week replacement in some leagues. But if Johnson ever goes down, as he has done all too often in his career, watch out.
Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who's missed four straight games with a calf injury, practiced Tuesday and appears on track to return Sunday at Arizona. Kendricks had 13 tackles and a sack in the first two games.
The Steelers didn't have a tremendous defensive performance Week 7 against Houston, falling into an early 13-0 hole and ultimately giving up 23 points on 393 yards. But they did a fine job taking the ball away from the Texans, allowing their offense to come from behind for the victory.
They got an interception from Brett Keisel and two fumble recoveries, one by Troy Polamalu and one by Sean Spence. The three takeaways were the most they've had in a game this season.
The Steelers did have one sack but remain a poor source of those this year, tying with the Bengals for 23rd with 10. Because their DST has thrived only in games in which it's gotten a touchdown, it remains a risky start in Fantasy.
With the Steelers facing the Colts, the league's No. 1 offense, in Week 8, you should avoid the Steelers DST in Fantasy.
After allowing 33 points Week 6 against Indianapolis, the Texans allowed 30 Week 7 at Pittsburgh. But while their struggles were to be expected against a Colts offense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL, at least in terms of yardage, the same can't be said for their matchup against the Steelers, who scored 10 points against the Browns in Week 6 and 17 against the Jaguars in Week 5.
Because turnovers kept putting the Steelers in good field position, the Texans allowed 328 yards, only 12 away from their season low. They recorded three sacks, equaling a season high met twice previously, but their only takeaway was a fumble recovery in the first quarter.
The Texans haven't had a favorable schedule of late, but their DST has mostly held its own. Again, the 30 points given up in this one was as much the fault of the offense. With an appealing matchup Week 8 at Tennessee, the Texans DST is an advisable play in Fantasy.
Report: Darren Sproles still unlikely to play Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
While Eagles running back Darren Sproles (knee) returned to a limited practice Tuesday, he's still unlikely to suit up Sunday at Arizona, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sproles did not participate in pass-catching drills with the running backs and was seen doing light running during individual drills, the report said.
Sproles sprained his MCL in the Week 6 win over the Giants. The Eagles had a Week 7 bye.
Eagles starting center Jason Kelce, who's coming back from sports hernia surgery, returned to practice Tuesday as the team prepared for Sunday's game at Arizona, reports CSNPhilly.com. Kelce suffered the injury Week 3 against Washington.