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The Minnesota Vikings suffered a blowout at the hands of the Green Bay Packers and rookie QB Christian Ponder was unable to get much of anything going all game long. Ponder finished 16 of 34 for 190 yards and one interception. He also rushed twice for 17 yards. It was a slight statistical regression from his recent performances, but playing up in Lambeau Field is never easy.
Ponder is nowhere near an elite NFL quarterback, and probably shouldn't be considered more than a situational replacement in fantasy leagues. But he has put up numbers in limited action in 2011, throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers in Week 7 and 236 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers in Week 8. Performances like that won't win weeks, but they might keep fantasy players afloat.
For more on Ponder and the Vikings, visit SB Nation's Vikings blog Daily Norseman. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones had another maddeningly inconsistent performance on Monday Night Football as he finished with one reception for nine yards. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers lit up the Minnesota Vikings secondary, but James Jones did not benefit from it. Jones finished the game with one reception for nine yards. He actually fumbled that one catch, but the ball went out of bounds so it wasn't a complete disaster.
Jones had 347 receiving yards on the season with 4 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Jones was averaging 43 yards receiving per game. Jones's receiving yards per game was up nearly 5 yards per game from last season.
Jones was ranked as the 35th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Minnesota Vikings who ranked 30th against the pass, giving up 274 passing yards per game. Unfortunately, Jones was unable to take advantage of the matchup.
First, the good news: Greg Jennings caught a touchdown for the third straight game. The bad news? He finished the game with just three catches and 32 yards. Green Bay's passing attack is so diverse that the Packers were able to put up 45 points without a single receiver tallying more than 67 yards, and Jordy Nelson (five catches) was the only receiver to catch more than three balls.
Jennings remains Green Bay's go-to receiver (he tied for the team lead with five targets Monday), and that's a potent position in the hyper-productive Packers offense. But Aaron Rodgers has a wealth of options, and that has meant Jennings isn't always the highest-scoring target in a Packers jersey: he had only topped 100 yards twice in 2011 entering Monday night's game, and hadn't hauled in more than one touchdown pass in a game all season.
For more on Jennings and the Packers, visit SB Nation's Packers blog Acme Packing Company. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a bit of an off night Monday Night, at least by his own lofty standards. Peterson finished Monday's game with 51 rushing yards and a touchdown. It was not an awful night by any stretch, but it was his lowest fantasy output since week six against the Chicago Bears. Falling behind big did not help matters.
Peterson is always a must-start in fantasy football, but he's been exceptionally effective in recent weeks. Since Minnesota's Week 5 rout of the Cardinals, Peterson's racked up 419 rushing yards and six touchdowns in four games, and he added five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 against the Panthers. And Peterson, logically, should remain potent for as long as rookie quarterback Christian Ponder is at the helm in Minnesota.
For more on Peterson and the Vikings, visit SB Nation's Vikings blog Daily Norseman. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Jordy Nelson plays with Aaron Rodgers, which makes him a terrific fantasy football asset. On Monday, Nelson showed why. The Packers wide receiver caught a pair of touchdowns against the Vikings on national television.
Nelson had the fourth-biggest fantasy day of any wide receiver in Week 10, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Nelson had 570 receiving yards on the season with 5 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Nelson was averaging 71 yards receiving per game. Nelson's receiving yards per game was up nearly 40 yards per game from last season.
Nelson was ranked as the 21st ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Minnesota Vikings who ranked 30th against the pass, giving up 274 passing yards per game.
Rodgers completed 76.7 percent of his passes and did not throw an interception. He was the top performing quarterback in Week 10, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Rodgers had 2,619 passing yards on the season with 24 passing touchdowns entering Week 10. Rodgers was averaging 327 yards passing per game. Rodgers's passing yards per game was up nearly 60 yards per game from last season.
Rodgers was ranked as the top ranked quarterback according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Minnesota Vikings who ranked 30th against the pass, giving up 274 passing yards per game.
The Washington Redskins dropped to 3-6 on Sunday as they lost 20-9 to the Miami Dolphins, but one positive to come out of the game was the breakout performance of rookie wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. The draft pick out of Miami put together far and away his best performance of the season, finishing with eight receptions for 106 yards. Prior to Sunday's game, Hankerson had five receptions for 57 yards.
Hankerson did have to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a right hip strain, but he does not believe the injury is serious and does not expect to miss any time. It would benefit him tremendously to get back on the field in the coming week as he is building some positive momentum moving forward.
Santana Moss is expected to miss at least three more weeks with his broken hand. This provides a great opportunity for Hankerson to secure some meaningful playing time after Moss gets back on the field. If he can continue developing over the next month, he could secure a starting position the rest of the way. He is not an every week play, but if you want to stash him on your bench, he has some intriguing matchups the rest of the way.
The Tennessee Titans went into Carolina on Sunday and took the Panthers behind the woodshed in their 30-3 victory. Chris Johnson had a big game, but wide receiver Damian Williams surprised some folks with his biggest performance of the season. Williams hauled in five receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown put the Titans up 14-0 and they never looked back.
The Titans have been scrambling at wide receiver ever since Kenny Britt went down. Nate Washington stepped up, but getting a big performance from Williams takes pressure off Washington to be "the guy." Williams as shown some hints of production, with a pair of 60+ receiving games and he also had three touchdowns on the season coming in to Sunday.
Williams is not a guy you will be starting every week, but he is a solid start if the matchup is right. Next week against the Falcons is probably not one of those matchups. However, as your playoffs approach, late season matchups with New Orleans and Indianapolis could make for solid games to start Williams.
The Arizona Cardinals went into Philadelphia on Sunday and stunned the Eagles thanks in large part to a strong fantasy-level performance from QB John Skelton. He threw a pair of picks that threatened to derail the entire day, but he stepped up when needed and put together a fine performance. I highly doubt anybody was starting him, but if you were, you benefitted. Skelton finished the game with 315 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Not a superstar performance, but quite solid.
The strong performance of Skelton coupled with two straight wins for the Arizona Cardinals could give the team a sufficient excuse to continue biding their time in returning Kevin Kolb to the field. Kolb is "the guy" in Arizona, but given that this has become a bit of a lost season to some extent, they are likely in no rush to get him back. If Skelton can continue playing well, he might buy himself one or two more starts.
Arizona travels to San Francisco to face the 49ers in week 11. The 49ers are on fire right now, but their secondary does leave itself open to some big passing numbers on occasion. It is usually the better QBs in the league who put up solid numbers, but you never know with John Skelton. The 49ers and Cardinals have played some great games in recent years, so anything is possible.
The Arizona Cardinals stunned the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon with a 21-17 victory capped by John Skelton's five-yard touchdown pass to Early Doucet. The real star of the game though, had to be Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals star receiver finished the day with seven catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdowns allowed him to tie and then pass Roy Green for the Cardinals franchise record for career touchdowns.
Even as the Arizona Cardinals try and figure out their QB situation, Larry FItzgerald remains a fantasy stalwart. His worst performance of the season was 62 yards in the season opener. He has five double digit fantasy point performances, and as today showed, he is always capable of blowing up for scores and yards.
The Cardinals travel to San Francisco this Sunday to face the 49ers and it should create an intriguing matchup. 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers is having a Pro Bowl-level season, but the 49ers move him around to different positions on the field. It will be an interesting matchup for Fitzgerald as the 49ers will likely roll a safety over top to help whichever corner has Fitzgerald on a given play.
The New England Patriots went into the Meadowlands Sunday evening and made a statement as they demolished the Jets 37-16. The Jets hung close heading into the fourth quarter, but the Patriots poured it on late to cruise to victory.
One of the keys to the Patriots early two-touchdown lead was tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots tight end had a monster game as Tom Brady was looking his way all night long. Gronkowski was targeted eleven times and finished the game with a team-leading eight receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. It marked his second straight 100+ receiving performance. Prior to that he had back-to-back games of 94 yards and 74 yards as he has come on strong lately.
Gronkowski remains a must-start tight end at this point. The Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday in a game that should provide an opportunity for another solid performance from Gronkowski. The Chiefs have been very inconsistent this season and with Brady targeting Gronkowski, keep him in your lineup.
For Chris Johnson fantasy owners, the Tennessee Titans running back has been incredibly frustrating this season. Coming off a strong 2010 season after a dominant 2009 season, Johnson has been a disappointment in every sense of the word. At @sbnationfantasy, there is at least one question per week asking whether a person should bench Chris Johnson that week.
Well, hopefully you did not bench Chris Johnson this week. After weeks of struggles, CJ2K showed some of his old burst on Sunday, rushing for 130 yards and one touchdown, while also hauling in four passes for 44 yards. It was his best performance of the season, and only his second 100+ yard rushing performance. Given how this season has gone, I'd imagine some folks benched him today only to finally see him go off.
The Titans travel to Atlanta next Sunday for a tough matchup against a Falcons defense that has been very strong against the run. At this point, Chris Johnson seems like a matchup-to-matchup guy at this point. If you are short of running backs he is a guy to start, but if you are not hurt by the byes, I would actually recommend benching CJ2K this coming week. It is entirely possible he is ready to turn his season around, but I'm not holding my breath.
The recent spectacular stretch of play by Dallas Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray continued Sunday as he rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys 44-7 demolition of the Buffalo Bills. Through four games as starting running back, Murray has rushed for 601 yards and two touchdowns, while hauling in 11 catches for 81 yards. He has been everything the Cowboys want in a running back.
Prior to Murray's elevation in the starting role, running back Felix Jones had struggled through his first five games of the season. Prior to the game in which Jones suffered his high ankle sprain, he had rushed 241 yards over four games. Murray has outperformed him against both good and bad competition.
When Jones' ankle finally heals, it will be rather interesting to see how the Cowboys elect to split the carries, if they split them at all. Jones was the starter entering the season but it doesn't seem like you can just bench Murray. In reality, Murray would seem to be the starter as long as he keeps playing well, with Felix Jones operating as the change of pace back for now. The Cowboys will have a decision to make as soon as the next week or two.
The Atlanta Falcons came up just short in their attempt to climb into first place in the NFC South, but Matt Ryan had a solid day of passing against the New Orleans Saints secondary. Ryan finished the day with 351 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. They didn't get the win, but for fantasy football purposes, that is a great day, netting out to approximately 20 points in many leagues.
Ryan has been a bit up and down at times but is still capable of big games like this. More importantly, we are getting more and more confirmation of the questionable nature of the Saints defense, particularly on the road. The Saints will win games, but week in and week out, QBs facing off against the Saints have some solid fantasy value. The Saints are on a bye next week, but after that bye, quarterbacks like Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford and even Matt Hasselbeck and Christian Ponder could be in for big games in the coming weeks.
The New England Patriots' tight end duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski continued to grind through opposing defenses on Sunday night. While Gronkowski took the lead with two touchdown receptions, Hernandez has been able to bring in four passes for 41 yards. Those aren't bad numbers, but they might not tip a game in favor of one's team, either.
Teams that use two tight ends may as well have none for most fantasy players. The Patriots are the obvious exception, however, with Hernandez remaining productive despite Rob Gronkowski also commanding plenty of targets. Hernandez has been the lesser option in recent weeks, but 20 catches, 186 yards and two touchdowns over his last three games is plenty productive for many owners.
Hernandez came in 10th in YahooSports' tight end fantasy ranking for Week 10, putting him right on the start/sit border in most standard leagues. The nature of the Pats' offense makes him a candidate to put huge numbers when the stars align, however.
New York Jets Mark Sanchez has had some troubles going up against the New England Patriots. He did throw an interception that the Patriots eventually converted into points, but he also found Plaxico Burress for a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter. Sanchez has completed 14 passes on 26 attempts for 206 yards.
Sanchez had been a steady, yet unspectacular fantasy football quarterback entering his Week 10 matchup against the Patriots. In five of his eight games, he has thrown for multiple touchdowns, but he has often struggled with his accuracy, limiting all that he could do.
Before Week 10, Sanchez averaged 222 yards per game and 1.6 touchdowns per game. In his previous game against the Patriots, Sanchez did throw for just 166 yards and two touchdowns. And the Patriots' pass defense has been among the league's worst this season, entering the game as the league's worst.
New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress hadn't had a great night on the field until the start of the fourth quarter. Mark Sanchez has thrown to Burress eight times, but the receiver has caught just three of those balls for 39 yards. One catch was 21 yards, potentially giving a bonus in leagues that take into account the length of a catch. His third catch was a touchdown reception just five seconds into the fourth quarter.
Burress had 322 receiving yards on the season with 5 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Burress was averaging 40 yards receiving per game. Burress's receiving yards per game was down nearly 5 yards per game from last season.
Burress was ranked as the 31st ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the New England Patriots who ranked 32d against the pass, giving up 314 passing yards per game.
New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes has been a popular target for quarterback Mark Sanchez on Sunday night. Sanchez has thrown to him five times and has seen Holmes catch four of those balls for 66 yards. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Holmes and Sanchez have been unable to work together to find the end zone for a score.
Holmes had 340 receiving yards on the season with 4 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Holmes was averaging 43 yards receiving per game. Holmes's receiving yards per game was down nearly 20 yards per game from last season.
Holmes was ranked as the 23rd ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the New England Patriots who ranked 32d against the pass, giving up 314 passing yards per game.
The New England Patriots are on the way to defeating the New York Jets and quarterback Tom Brady has played a large role in doing that. He has completed 18 of 31 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. He's connected with Rob Gronkowski for both scores and had a third one called back because Gronkowski was out of bounds before he reentered and caught the ball in the end zone.
Brady had cooled considerably from his hot start for the first three weeks of the season when he had 11 touchdowns and 1,327 passing yards. Over the next five weeks he averaged two touchdowns per game but hadn't thrown for more than 346 yards in a game. Interceptions had also proven to be a problem since he three four against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. He threw five more before entering Week 10, but that hasn't hurt his fantasy value much.
Overall, Brady has remained one of the top fantasy quarterbacks. Before Week 10's game against the Jets, Brady had 2,703 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. The passing yards were second to only Drew Brees and the touchdowns in third behind Aaron Rodgers and Brees.
The New England Patriots and the New York Jets haven't played the most exciting Sunday Night game, but it could have been if Wes Welker had better production. Midway through the third quarter, Welker had just three catches for 22 yards.Tight end Rob Gronkowski was favored by Tom Brady, connecting for six catches and two touchdowns.
Welker had 960 receiving yards on the season with six receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Welker was averaging 120 yards receiving per game. Welker's receiving yards per game was up nearly 70 yards per game from last season.
Welker was ranked as the 10th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the New York Jets who ranked 6th against the pass, giving up 196 passing yards per game.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has provided solid fantasy numbers for his owners early in the second half. He has caught six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He had a touchdown catch waived off when it was determined that he stepped out of bounds and then was the first player touch the ball once he stepped back in. Shortly after that, Gronkowski came back with the second touchdown.
Gronkowski has had to split targets with Aaron Hernandez throughout the season, but due to the nature of the Patriots' offense both tight ends have been incredibly productive. Gronkowski has been the better option in recent weeks, with 22 receptions for 269 yards and touchdown over the three weeks prior to Sunday's game.
Yahoosports ranked Gronkowski as the fifth-best fantasy tight end for Week 10. He should continue to be one of the better options in the league within a prolific Pats passing offense led by Tom Brady, regardless of the opponent matchup.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White caught four of Matt Ryan's 29 completions and had 62 of his 351 passing yards. They were decent numbers that could have been enhanced with a touchdown catch or two. However, those touchdown passes went to Tony Gonzalez and Jason Snelling. Harry Douglas came up with 133 receiving yards, a team high.
White had 501 receiving yards on the season with three receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. White was averaging 63 yards receiving per game. White's receiving yards per game was down nearly 20 yards per game from last season.
White was ranked as the 8th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the New Orleans Saints who ranked 14th against the pass, giving up 228 passing yards per game.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones caught just two passes for nine yards in Sunday's overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints. He missed the second half as a result of a re-injuring his hamstring. Harry Douglas stepped into his place and finished the game with eight receptions for 133 yards.
Jones had 489 receiving yards on the season with two receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Jones was averaging 82 yards receiving per game in his rookie season. Those two touchdown catches came last week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Jones was ranked as the 22nd ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the New Orleans Saints who ranked 14th against the pass, giving up 228 passing yards per game.
Just like Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon would perform better if he had Peyton Manning throwing passes to him. But he doesn't and now hauls in passes, when he can, thrown by Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. On Sunday, Garcon finished the day with three receptions for 30 yards.
Garcon had 591 receiving yards on the season with 4 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Garcon was averaging 66 yards receiving per game. Garcon's receiving yards per game was up nearly 10 yards per game from last season.
Garcon was ranked as the 29th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Jacksonville Jaguars who ranked 7th against the pass, giving up 197 passing yards per game.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne continues to hurt fantasy owners with his lack of production. When Peyton Manning isn't the quarterback, everyone's numbers will hurt. On Sunday, Wayne caught three passes for 13 yards. Having Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky as his quarterback (both played in the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars), Wayne won't have a fantasy impact any time soon.
Wayne had 517 receiving yards on the season with one receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Wayne was averaging 57 yards receiving per game. Wayne's receiving yards per game was down nearly 30 yards per game from last season.
Wayne was ranked as the 52nd ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Jacksonville Jaguars who ranked 7th against the pass, giving up 197 passing yards per game.
Seattle Seahawks WR Sidney Rice failed to have a fantasy impact on Sunday when he went up against a solid Baltimore Ravens secondary. He caught two passes for 14 yards. Rice's history with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson dates back to their days with the Minnesota Vikings, but it certainly hasn't helped either all that much in Seattle.
Rice had 435 receiving yards on the season with 1 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Rice was averaging 73 yards receiving per game. Rice's receiving yards per game was up nearly 30 yards per game from last season.
Rice was ranked as the 26th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Baltimore Ravens who ranked 4th against the pass, giving up 193 passing yards per game.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson disappeared on Sunday afternoon like the rest of the team's offense did. Johnson caught just two passes for eight yards. He was covered by Terence Newman for most of the day and Newman did pick off Ryan Fitzpatrick for a 43-yard touchdown run late in the game.
Johnson had 523 receiving yards on the season with 4 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Johnson was averaging 65 yards receiving per game. Johnson's receiving yards per game was down nearly 5 yards per game from last season.
Johnson was ranked as the 14th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Dallas Cowboys who ranked 16th against the pass, giving up 233 passing yards per game.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree saw the ball thrown his way four times, but Alex Smith wound up connecting with his just once. Crabtree picked up a 21-yard reception and did little else to help fantasy players this week. Delanie Walker had the big day by grabbing six passes for 69 yards. Tight end Vernon Davis had a touchdown reception.
Crabtree had 314 receiving yards on the season with one receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Crabtree was averaging 45 yards receiving per game. Crabtree's receiving yards per game was up nearly five yards per game from last season.
Crabtree was ranked as the No. 34 wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his matchup with the New York Giants. The Giants ranked 17th against the pass, giving up 239 passing yards per game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount failed to help fantasy owners in any meaningful way on Sunday afternoon. Blount gained just 34 yards on 10 carries. Kregg Lumpkin nearly matched him by rushing for 31 yards on four carries.
Though he's been banged up in recent weeks, LeGarrette Blount was expected to carry a full load in his team's Week 10 matchup against the Houston Texans, but it wasn't a matchup that screamed optimism.
Blount played for the first time in a month last week against the Saints, and he was effective, rushing for 72 yards on just 13 carries. He didn't score a touchdown and he fumbled once, but it was a positive sign. The Texans, however, had the NFL's fourth-ranked rushing defense entering the game, so Blount would need to shake off a fair amount of rust to be productive.
Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler made the most out of what he could get from Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Chandler caught all three passes directed to him and finished with 34 yards through the air. His 34 yards were second to Donald Jones' 51 team-high for the Bills.
Chandler has been a curious fantasy tight end in 2011 for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills. The 6-foot-7 Iowa product had only caught 18 passes entering Buffalo's Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, but a third of them have gone for touchdowns.
The massive tight end opened the season with four touchdowns in three games, but for the next three games, he piled up an impressive four receptions and nine yards, so he was likely dropped by almost every fantasy owner. Of course, he followed up that stinkfest with a two-touchdown performance against the Redskins. Entering the Cowboys game, he was the greatest feast-or-famine player in the league.
The New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham continued to show that he is one of the top tight ends in the NFL this season. Graham hauled in seven passes for 82 yards and one touchdown catch. He averaged 11.7 yards per reception. Drew Brees targeted him 12 times, which shows that he is one of Brees' favorite targets.
Fantasy football's best tight end through nine weeks has been the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham, who leads all the big boys in receptions and yards. He had 55 receptions, 791 yards and five touchdowns before the Saints' Week 10 matchup against the Falcons.
Graham is a matchup-proof play at this point. He's Drew Brees' favorite target, especially in the red zone, and has achieved a consistency never before seen in a Saints receiver. If you were lucky enough to pick him up on draft day, plus him in, count your blessings, and probably your money, too.
On Sunday, fantasy owners finally saw the Chris Johnson they expected when he was an early first-round selection in drafts back in August. The Tennessee Titans running back broke out for 130 yards on 27 carries. He also found the end zone for a score. He provided bonus points by catching four passes for 44 yards.
Despite Sunday's performance, Johnson has been one of the most disappointing fantasy options of the 2011 NFL season. The Titans runner, expected to easily crest 1,000 yards as he did in each of the last three seasons, was instead on pace to fall short of 750 yards entering Week 10. And he didn't have the receiving yards (just 206) or touchdowns (one on the year) to make up for that yardage deficiency, either.
For more on Johnson and the Tennessee Titans, visit SB Nation's Titans blog Music City Miracles. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub had his passing game curtailed just a bit by a team rushing attack of 44 carries for 185 yards. Schaub had one carry for one yard as part of that. Through the air, Schaub was an efficient 11-of-15 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. It was a near-perfect day if one looks at his 154.9 quarterback rating, which the odd-scoring leagues might also include.
Schaub hasn't been the elite fantasy quarterback some likely hoped he would be in 2011, thanks to Andre Johnson's injury and the dominance of Arian Foster and Ben Tate on the ground. But he's been good, sometimes great, and entered Week 10 with 13 passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns against just six interceptions. It's probably not fair to expect outings like the 416-yard explosion against the Raiders in Week 6 all that often from Schaub, but the Houston signal caller is certainly a must-start.
For more on Schaub and the Houston Texans, visit SB Nation's Texans blog Battle Red Blog. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Joe Flacco wasn't able to lead the Baltimore Ravens to another late victory, but he did air the ball out 52 times in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He completed 29 of those attempts while only putting up 255 yards. He threw only one touchdown and that went with his interception. Running back Ray Rice, it could be argued, had the better day at quarterback. He was 1-of-1 with a touchdown pass.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco only threw for one touchdown last week, but it he made it count. His late-game score capped off a comeback win over division rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the season, Flacco has been a steady performer for the Ravens, but he has just two games with more than one touchdown.
Through eight games, Flacco has 2,051 passing yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Heading into this week's game against the Seattle Seahawks, Flacco is ranked as the 14th best quarterback for week 10 according to Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site.
The Buffalo Bills received a rude awakening on Sunday in a 44-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was at the forefront of that as he threw three interceptions in the game. Other than that, he completed 20 passes on 31 attempts for 146 yards and a touchdown. This has been, by far, his worst start of the season.
For those who were smart enough to take a flyer on him, Fitzpatrick had been a solid fantasy option in 2011 entering Week 10. He won't throw for enough yardage and touchdowns to win weeks by himself, with just two games of more than two touchdowns and one of more than 300 yards this season, but he also won't bury a team with a terrible week (this one possibly being the exception that proves it). His nine interceptions entering Week 10 had all come in games in which Fitzpatrick also threw at least one touchdown pass.
For more on Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills, visit SB Nation's Bills blog Buffalo Rumblings. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
The St. Louis Rams newest wide receiver was again a big contributor this week, even if the Rams failed to score more than 13 points. Lloyd caught four passes for 48 yards, leading all Rams receivers in both categories. Lloyd caught the Rams only touchdown in the game as well.
Lloyd had 490 receiving yards on the season with 1 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Lloyd was averaging 70 yards receiving per game. Lloyd's receiving yards per game was down nearly 20 yards per game from last season.
Lloyd was ranked as the 24th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Cleveland Browns who ranked 1st against the pass, giving up 165 passing yards per game.
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was part of a Giants air attack that nearly got the win against the 49ers today. Cruz led all Giants' receivers with 84 yards. He had six catches, but never found the end zone in New York's 20-27 loss to San Francisco.
Cruz had 588 receiving yards on the season with 4 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Cruz was averaging 74 yards receiving per game. Cruz's receiving yards per game was up nearly 70 yards per game from last season.
Cruz was ranked as the 16th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the San Francisco 49ers who ranked 22nd against the pass, giving up 255 passing yards per game.
New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham looked like he might be a scratch today, after being added to the injury report on Saturday with a knee injury. He did suit up and played a big role for the Giants. Manningham caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Manningham had 323 receiving yards on the season with 2 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Manningham was averaging 46 yards receiving per game. Manningham's receiving yards per game was down nearly 10 yards per game from last season.
Manningham was ranked as the 25th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the San Francisco 49ers who ranked 22nd against the pass, giving up 255 passing yards per game.
Many wondered whether or not New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks would even play today. He did, and was a contributor to fantasy owners. Nicks ended the game with just two catches for 41 yards. He did have a big touchdown as the Giants mounted a comeback.
Nicks had 575 receiving yards on the season with 3 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Nicks was averaging 82 yards receiving per game. Nicks's receiving yards per game was up nearly 5 yards per game from last season.
Nicks was ranked as the 27th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the San Francisco 49ers who ranked 22nd against the pass, giving up 255 passing yards per game.
Drew Brees continues to air it out for the New Orleans Saints. In Sunday's overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Brees threw for 322 yards and two touchdown passes on 30-of-43 passing. With receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jimmy Graham as solid receiving options, Brees should continue piling up the yards through the air for the rest of the season.
Brees was projected to have a pretty good day, at least fantasy-wise, against the Falcons. In his career, Brees had thrown for 3,010 yards against Atlanta for 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Going into Sunday afternoon's game, Brees was already off to a solid start this season as he became the first quarterback to eclipse 3,000 yards passing through just nine weeks of the season. Knowing that, it would seem everyone was probably guessing he would be throwing quite a bit against the Falcons.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston had a big day for his team and fantasy football owners alike. Colston finished a win over the Falcons with 113 receiving yards on eight catches. He averaged more than 14 yards per reception, and accounted for more than a third of the Saints' passing yards.
Colston had 476 receiving yards on the season with 3 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Colston was averaging 68 yards receiving per game. Colston's receiving yards per game was down nearly 5 yards per game from last season.
Colston was ranked as the 11th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Atlanta Falcons who ranked 19th against the pass, giving up 245 passing yards per game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman struggled against the Houston Texans today. The second-year quarterback completed 15 of 33 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown. Freeman's day was spoiled by three interceptions as the Bucs lost by a final score of 37-9 to the Texans for their fifth loss of the season.
Freeman had 2,004 passing yards on the season with 8 passing touchdowns entering Week 10. Freeman was averaging 251 yards passing per game. Freeman's passing yards per game was up nearly 40 yards per game from last season.
Freeman was ranked as the 13th ranked quarterback according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Houston Texans who ranked 2nd against the pass, giving up 183 passing yards per game.
One cannot expect a rookie quarterback to be scoring touchdowns week-in and week-out, even if the player is No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton. On Saturday, the Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback completed 23 of 40 passes for 212 yards, but he had zero touchdowns to go with his one interception. He was the team's leading rusher wit 55 yards on seven carries.
Newton was not expected to be outstanding on Sunday -- at least through the air -- after being added to the injury report late in the week with a shoulder injury. There were actually reports that he would be on a sort of "pitch count," though the actual number of throws he was expected to attempt was never published.
The Titans certainly had their work cut out for them on Sunday as Newton had thrown for 11 touchdowns and rushed for seven more in the red zone -- a rookie record he's already broken once this season.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a solid day in terms of his fantasy stats, but it was not enough for Atlanta to get the win. Ryan completed 29 of 52 passes for 351 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Ryan and Harry Douglas formed a real connection. Douglas caught eight passes for 133 yards.
Ryan had 1,958 passing yards on the season with 12 passing touchdowns entering Week 10. Ryan was averaging 245 yards passing per game. Ryan's passing yards per game was up nearly 10 yards per game from last season.
Ryan was ranked as the 13th ranked quarterback according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the New Orleans Saints who ranked 14th against the pass, giving up 228 passing yards per game.
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson had yet another 100-yard rushing game, but it was not enough to keep his team from getting blown out by the Cowboys. Jackson rushed for 114 yards on just 13 carries. He also caught four passes, but totaled just one yard.
Fred Jackson is in the midst of a remarkable season. The Buffalo Bills running back leads the AFC with 803 rushing yards. Over the first half of the season, Jackson has carried the ball 150 times to go with his rushing total. He has also scored six rushing touchdowns, a new career-best mark for him. He also has 391 receiving yards on 30 receptions, but has not scored a receiving touchdown all season.
Jackson averages 100.4 rushing yards per game this season.
Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy site, ranked Jackson 12th for week 10 for a game against the Cowboys.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore has always been a bit of an injury risk throughout his career and that showed on Sunday against the New York Giants. Gore rushed six times for zero yards and then missed all but one drive of the second half of the game. He caught one pass for eight yards in his brief time of the field.
Gore's been a potent runner this year, and a great option for fantasy owners. Running behind a rebuilt 49ers line, Gore topped 100 yards in each of his last five games entering Week 10, and had a touchdown on the ground in all of those games but San Francisco's Week 9 win over the Washington Redskins. It would be foolish to not start Gore if you're lucky enough to own him going forward.
For more on Gore and the San Francisco 49ers, visit SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Eli Manning almost led another comeback win, but he came up short as the Giants tried to convert a fourth down late in the game. Manning finished the game with 311 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Often maligned as that other Manning, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is quietly having a very good season. Last week he helped his team beat the Patriots. Prior to this week's game against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning had 2,377 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has a 98.8 quarterback rating.
Manning had a tough matchup against a San Francisco defense that has been a big part of their resurgence this season. Manning and Co. will look to hand the 49ers their second loss of the season this week. He was not a highly rated fantasy play because of this matchup, but he has thrown two touchdowns in both his last two games.
For more on Manning and the Giants, check out Big Blue View, SB Nation's Giants site.
New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles was contained by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon. Sproles had just two rushes for one yard. He was also non-existent in the passing game, catching four balls for two yards. But the Saints ground game wasn't able to do much at all. Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram combined for 16 rushes and 41 yards.
Sproles is in an interesting catch-22: he's likely to challenge NFL records for all-purpose yardage, but hasn't gotten enough of that yardage in huge bunches to be a week-swinging fantasy option. Entering Week 10, Sproles had more than 100 combined rushing and receiving yards only twice, in Weeks 4 and 7, and he had only scored more than one touchdown in a game in that Week 7 decimation of the Colts. But he racks up return yardage and receptions, and if your league values either, Sproles should never see your bench.
For more on Sproles and the New Orleans Saints, visit SB Nation's Saints blog Canal Street Chronicles. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Ray Rice did have a touchdown today in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but it wasn't the kind of touchdown you would have guessed. Rice threw a touchdown pass to tight end Ed Dickinson. Rice ran for just 27 yards, and he caught eight passes for 54 receiving yards.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice entered week 10 looking to get back on track after rough couple weeks. Despite a big win for his team, the Steelers limited Rice to just 43 rushing yards last week and an average of 2.4 yards per carry.
Rice is still having a strong season. Through the first half he has 532 rushing yards an six touchdowns on 133 carries. In the receiving department, Rice has 416 yards and two touchdowns on 38 receptions. He is on pace to break the 1,000-yard mark for rushing and 800 receiving yards.
Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, ranked Rice ninth for his week 10 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 15 of 27 passes for 219 yards and one touchdown. Hasselbeck had a resurgent Chris Johnson to help lead the Titans offense in a big win over the Carolina Panthers.
Matt Hasselbeck is having a career resurrection with the Tennessee Titans. This season he has a 62.5 percent completion rate, his highest since 2007. He has passed for 2,013 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. If he can continue at this rate, he figures to have his best season since 2007. Making that much more enjoyable for Hasselbeck, doubtlessly, is the fact that Seattle opted for the combination of Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst rather than retain their long-time quarterback this season.
This week Hasselbeck faces a Carolina pass defense ranked in the middle of the league. He threw two touchdowns and topped 270 yards last week against the Bengals. Fame Teams, SB Nation's fantasy site, has him ranked 21st on their list of quarterbacks this week.
The Kansas City Chiefs' passing game on Sunday was bad, but it wasn't as bad as the Denver Broncos had it. Still, fantasy owners expecting some production from wide receiver Dwayne Bowe wound up with barely anything. He had just two catches for 17 yards. That's a couple of points there and a bit more for leagues that award points for catches. Still, Bowe was targeted seven times and didn't get the ball on five of them.
Bowe may be one of the few bright spots for Chiefs fans this year, but that hasn't meant that the talented wide receiver has been a go-to fantasy option. Bowe had four games of more than 100 yards this year entering Week 10, and four touchdowns, but two of those games and three of those touchdowns had come against the weak Vikings and Colts secondaries. Bowe's probably a better option than most, but it might be smart to check match-ups before inserting him.
For more on Bowe and the Kansas City Chiefs, visit SB Nation's Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had his best game of the season in Week 10 by catching seven passes for 146 yards and two touchdown passes. Amazingly, he did this with John Skelton as his quarterback. Kolb had been ruled out earlier in the week and the Cardinals needed to turn to the second-year signal caller out of Fordham. Fantasy owners likely wish Fitzgerald could have caught a few more of the 13 passes that were sent his way, but that's only a minor quibble.
Fitzgerald is just as good as he's ever been, but the Cardinals' mediocrity may have depressed his fantasy value. He was averaging about 80 yards per game entering Week 10, but had just three touchdowns, despite Arizona continually finding itself down and in pass-happy comeback situations this season.
For more on Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals, visit SB Nation's Cardinals blog Revenge of the Birds. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick failed to provide his fantasy owners with any touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals, but he did throw two interceptions. In addition to those negative points, Vick completed just 16-of-34 passes for 128 yards. Vick did help owners by rushing for 79 yards, though he couldn't find the end zone that way either.
Going into the Cardinals game, Vick was trying to change around what had been a subpar first half of his season -- both for his actual team and those that were counting on the quarterback for fantasy points. Vick hadn't been living up to his first-round status as he'd thrown 11 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions.
His match-up against Arizona wasn't expected to yield huge fantasy numbers for Vick considering they had been giving up just 18 points to quarterbacks entering this week. Part of that is due to teams being able to use their running game to sustain a lead against the Cardinals, but it didn't exactly bode well for Vick entering Sunday's game.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 245 yards and a touchdown but he also tossed an interception in a 24-17 win against AFC North foe Cincinnati on Sunday. Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall carried the offensive load for Pittsburgh with two touchdowns despite gaining just 44 yards.
It was a below average day fantasy stats-wise for the Steelers QB. Roethlisberger has, as usual, been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks available in 2011. He was averaging almost 300 passing yards per game entering Week 10, and had put together a couple of massive games, with a five-touchdown performance against the Titans and a 369-yard, three-touchdown outing against the Cardinals. If you own Roethlisberger, starting him is imperative.
For more on Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Benson was back from his one-game suspension, and he had as tough a matchup as there is in the NFL, facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10. Benson is known for accumulating fantasy points through sheer force of will, not from any talent to speak of. He routinely has one of the lowest yards-per-carry averages in the league, yet is still a serviceable back.
Against the Steelers, Benson has been historically OK. In his last four games against the Bengals' AFC North rival, he's had two touchdowns. It will be a struggle for him, but he might cross the plane, which would be a boon to fantasy owners not expecting much from the former Longhorn.
Mike Wallace didn't turn in much fantasy football stats-wise on Sunday in the Steelers win 24-17 win against AFC North foe Cincinnati. The Steelers receiver caught two passes for 31 yards, well below his season average. He did not catch a touchdown either.
Jericho Cotchery was the only Pittsburgh receiver with a touchdown catch.
Wallace had 868 receiving yards on the season with 6 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Wallace was averaging 96 yards receiving per game. Wallace's receiving yards per game was up nearly 20 yards per game from last season.
Wallace was ranked as the 4th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Cincinnati Bengals who ranked 10th against the pass, giving up 217 passing yards per game.
Bengals rookie A.J. Green is having a terrific rookie season, and that continued on Sunday when he caught a touchdown on pass from Andy Dalton, but he also came down gingerly on the play. Green returned before the end of the half, but he suffered an injury that kept him from building on his big start to the day.
The Bengals and fantasy football owners were both bummed with that result. Cincinnati lost to the Steelers 24-17.
Green had 599 receiving yards on the season with 5 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Green was averaging 75 yards receiving per game.
Green was ranked as the 15th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Pittsburgh Steelers who ranked 3rd against the pass, giving up 185 passing yards per game.
Andy Dalton put up some good stats and some bad stats in a tough loss to the Steelers on Sunday. The Bengals quarterback tossed two touchdown passes (Good!), but also two threw too picks (Bad!). He completed just 50 percent of his passes and only threw for 170 yards, a slightly below average day for Dalton.
An injury to A.J. Green -- who caught a touchdown pass -- didn't do much to help Dalton.
Dalton had 1,696 passing yards on the season with 12 passing touchdowns entering Week 10. Dalton was averaging 212 yards passing per game.
Dalton was ranked as the 21st ranked quarterback according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Pittsburgh Steelers who ranked 3rd against the pass, giving up 185 passing yards per game.
Arian Foster just keep finding ways to be a productive fantasy player. Even though his 17 rushes for 84 yards and a touchdown may seem unimpressive, he added four catches for 102 yards that included a 78-yard touchdown.
Despite some early season injury issues, Foster has picked up right where he left off last season, accumulating yardage totals and making patient fantasy football owners very happy. Foster had topped the 100-yard rushing mark in his previous three games, scoring four touchdowns over that same span. He added a 119-yard receiving effort for good measure against the Titans in week 7.
For the season, Foster has 656 rushing yards on 154 carries, averaging more than 93 yards per game. He also has five rushing touchdowns. In the receiving department, Foster has caught 27 passes 343 yards and one touchdown.
It's hard to believe, but Tim Tebow was an alright fantasy football option in Week 10. The Broncos hardly threw the football and Tebow completed just two (!) passes. But one of those completions went 57 yards for a touchdown and Tebow also ran for another score in the Broncos 17-10 win against the Chiefs.
Tebow may be much-maligned as a quarterback because of his unorthodox throwing motion and inaccuracy, but he's been a decent fantasy option in part because of his legs. He's yet to complete more than 50% of his passes in a game in 2011, but has averaged almost 80 yards per game on the ground in his three starts. If your league values rushing yards, Tebow's not a terrible fall-back plan at quarterback.
For more on Tebow and the Denver Broncos, visit SB Nation's Broncos blog Mile High Report. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Dez Bryant showed some positive signs of having a breakout week against the Buffalo Bills, but a blowout victory ended up robbing him of many opportunities to really shine. Bryant made one highlight reel catch for a touchdown, but ended up with relatively middling numbers: four catches and 71 yards.
After Bryant broke out in 2010 and starred in the first week of the 2011 season, catching three passes for 71 yards and a touchdown against the New York Jets' highly-regarded defense, it would have been reasonable to expect a huge 2011 from him. That has not come to fruition: Bryant has just four touchdowns on the year, and hasn't gone over 100 receiving yards in any game.
For more on Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys, visit SB Nation's Cowboys blog Blogging the Boys. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker made the most of his one catch on Sunday vs. the Chiefs. Decker took a pass 56 yards for a touchdown on one of Tim Tebow's two completions (!). That's about all a fantasy football owner could hope for in a game where the Broncos hardly threw the football and had almost zero success when they did let it fly.
Decker had 406 receiving yards on the season with 6 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Decker was averaging 51 yards receiving per game. Decker's receiving yards per game was up nearly 40 yards per game from last season.
Decker was ranked as the 37th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Kansas City Chiefs who ranked 21st against the pass, giving up 251 passing yards per game.
Bradon Marshall turned in a decent fantasy football effort on Sunday vs. the Redskins. The Dolphins wide receiver caught seven passes for 98 yards but did not score a touchdown. Reggie Bush was busy hogging all Miami's fantasy football stats with both of the Dolphins touchdowns.
The yards were there for Marshall but the lack of a score gave him no more than an average output.
Marshall had 644 receiving yards on the season with 2 receiving touchdowns entering Week 10. Marshall was averaging 81 yards receiving per game. Marshall's receiving yards per game was up nearly 10 yards per game from last season.
Marshall was ranked as the 12th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Cleveland Browns who ranked 11th against the pass, giving up 219 passing yards per game.
It's hard to imagine how Tony Romo could have been any better than he was in the first half against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. But Romo was so good that he barely needed to throw the ball in the second half, meaning his three first-half touchdown passes ended up being his only big fantasy contributions of the day. Romo ended up going 23 of 26 for 270 yards.
Those clearly aren't bad numbers, and anyone should be happy to take them, but it is a reminder that a team can almost be too good when it comes to fantasy points.
Through eight games, Romo has 2,238 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He is on pace for more than 4,400 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. Fake Teams has Romo ranked 11th on their quarterback list this week.
Blowouts aren't always a good thing from a fantasy perspective. Case in point was Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who was largely ignored during a 44-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Witten caught just three passes for 37 yards and was kept out of the end zone.
This was Witten's fourth time in the last five games that he's failed to eclipse 50 yards receiving.
Witten may not be the fantasy stud we've grown accustomed to, but he's still putting up solid numbers. He entered Week 10 with four touchdowns and 548 receiving yards, more than plenty to keep you happy at the tight end position.
If there was any concern about him, it was about his performances in recent weeks. In the last four weeks, he had just 13 catches for 134 yards, although he had scored a pair of touchdowns in that time.
For more insight and analysis of Witten's performance, be sure to check out Cowboys blog Blogging the Boys.
Look at Reggie Bush. The Dolphins running back had two touchdowns on Sunday vs. the Redskins, continuing his recent strong play that has football fans and fantasy experts taking notice. Bush finished with two touchdowns and 51 total yards in a 20-9 win.
Check out this pitch the Miami ran in the fourth quarter because it's basically what everyone thought Bush would do when New Orleans drafted the Heisman Trophy winner with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft.
Bush comes in motion, takes a pitch, then cuts upfield and explodes past the line of scrimmage and through the Redskins defense. The touchdown gave the Dolphins a 20-9 lead in the fourth quarter, putting Miami's second win of the season on ice.
Here is Bush's line over his last three games:
• @ Giants on 10/30 — 15 carries for 103 yards
• @ Chiefs on 11/6 — 13 carries for 92 yards and 1 TD, 3 catches for 50 yards
• vs. Redskins on 11/13 — 14 carries for 47 rushing yards and 2 TDs
The NFL continues week ten of the 2011 season following Thursday's explosive battle between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. The Raiders defense blew up the Chargers with six sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. They only gave up 17 points so it was an all around solid fantasy effort.
The NFL's week ten schedule includes no byes, which means you simply have to go with the best matchups you can find and hope for the best. You can't really project out special teams touchdowns, so you just want the best defensive matchup and anything that comes with it just gravy.
Defenses like the Ravens, Steelers and 49ers will all be on display, but there are a few intriguing sleeper defenses. The Miami Dolphins have gotten off to an atrocious start, but they face a Washington Redskins offense that is pretty awful. They may not get a ton of takeaways, but there is a good chance they can keep it low scoring and bring the heat on John Beck.
The Denver Broncos are another intriguing defensive option as they face the inconsistent Kansas City Chiefs. It is a bit of a roll of the dice with Denver, but they are hot and could very well spring another upset this week. When picking a fantasy defense in a week like this, you gotta go with your gut on the matchup they face.
Here are the top 15 defense/special teams projections for today. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.
The NFL continues its week ten schedule of games with the majority of the slate scheduled for Sunday. Thursday Night Football between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers got things going, but now we get the main course of games.
The kicker position finds itself a little banged up this week. Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski was questionable all week with his hamstring injury but ended up kicking on Thursday. For Sunday, Rian Lindell is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury and has been replaced by free agent Dave Rayner. Browns kicker Phil Dawson has dealt with migraines and Jason Hanson banged up his knee playing with his kids, but both are expected to kick on Sunday.
The kicker position is important in the sense that you never want to take a zero, but on the other hand, it's a position where few players are worth stashing on your bench if they are hurt. Rian Lindell is playing with a high octane offense, but he is out and simply not worth holding onto at this point. In the case of Lindell, Dave Rayner is a solid add during his absence. Other than that, if you are in need of a kicker this week, look for teams that struggle in the red zone.
Week ten of the 2011 NFL season got underway Thursday evening with the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers squaring off in a huge division rival. The game marked the return of Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, and also forced folks to make some early fantasy football lineup decisions. The tight end position was fairly straightforward Thursday as Antonio Gates is a must-start and Kevin Boss is generally a must-sit.
This week, the NFL has no byes, which means all healthy players are on the table. Fantasy teams get a much better idea of where they are at since you will be throwing out your best possible line, excluding injury issues. For week ten, there are a few tough injuries to deal with, including Dallas Clark being out and Jared Cook and Jermaine Gresham being questionable.
As you try and deal with injuries, here are a couple sleeper options for the week:
Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings: Shiancoe faces a highly suspect Packers pass defense. Minnesota could be blown out after one quarter, but however this game goes, I suspect Christian Ponder will be eyeing Shiancoe for much of the afternoon.
Ed Dickson, Ravens: Joe Flacco looked for his wide receivers quite frequently against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I could see him spreading the ball around a bit more on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Call it a hunch more than anything.
The NFL continues its week ten schedule Sunday as the league features no bye weeks. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers kicked off the week on Thursday Night Football, but now we get to the main course. No bye weeks means all the healthy big name wide receivers will be playing on Sunday. There are some significant injuries with Miles Austin, Andre Johnson and Emmanuel Sanders all sidelined. Additionally, Giants receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are both game-time decisions heading into their game with the 49ers.
Everybody knows to start guys like Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith (Car), and Mike Wallace. The question is which sleepers will help you fill injuries and flex positions. Not everybody has the luxury of rolling three and four deep with stars at receiver. Here are some intriguing possibilities:
Eric Decker: Considering the Broncos are going to a read-option offense on a full-time basis, it's hard to tell what kind of value wide receivers will have. Tim Tebow will do a lot of running, but as he showed in Florida's spread offense, he can find his receivers. Decker is a solid flex play with the Broncos playing well right now.
Michael Crabtree: The 49ers offense is fairly inconsistent right now, but Crabtree has emerged as the primary target for Alex Smith. He won't put up monster numbers, but he is getting looks. If you are in a PPR league, Crabtree has very solid value.
Josh Cribbs: The Cleveland Browns offense is questionable at best, but with Mohamed Massaquoi sidelined this weekend, Cribbs and Greg Little will battle for targets. If you feel the need to grab a Browns receiver, I like Cribbs a bit more because he has more big play ability. Greg LIttle has some upside of his own, but Cribbs is the better play-maker.
A few days after Thursday Night Football had its inaugural game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, the rest of the week ten slate gets going in a few hours. Week ten features no bye weeks, so all healthy bodies will be at your disposal. Unfortunately for the running back position, there are a host of injured players to deal with as guys like Ahmad Bradshaw, Felix Jones, Jahvid Best and most of the Cleveland Browns backfield will be sidelined on Sunday.
As you figure out your starting lineup for Sunday, guys like Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson are no doubt starts. You don't look for fantasy advice on starting them. Rather, the key to many fantasy victories is hitting on that sleeper back with the money matchup. This week, there are some modest sleepers, but it is going to be tough if you don't have at least one of the big-name backs.
Reggie Bush, Dolphins: This is a tough call in some respects because Daniel Thomas is back from his hamstring injury. Thomas was not on this week's injury report, so he could take a decent number of carries away from Bush. At the same time, Bush is on a strong two-game run and faces a questionable Redskins rush defense.
Donald Brown, Colts: The Indianapolis Colts offense is going to struggle most of the season, but Donald Brown is slowly emerging as a decent fantasy option while Joseph Addai is sidelined. Addai is questionable again this week so keep an eye on the Colts inactive list Sunday morning.
Kendall Hunter, 49ers: This is more of a deep sleeper as Hunter is behind Frank Gore. Over the course of the week, Gore has been limited with an ankle sprain but is listed as probable for Sunday. Gore will get most of the carries, but if injuries have ravaged your running backs, Hunter is a deep option that might get some looks in the passing game and a few carries to spell Gore. Not a great option, but he has some upside.
Week ten of the 2011 NFL season is already a game in as the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers played the inaugural Thursday Night Football game of the season. Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers put together solid, if somewhat unspectacular performances on Thursday. Sunday is when the big guns come out as there are no bye weeks to force QBs to the bench. This will be the week you need to bring your A-game in setting your lineup.
Given that there are no bye weeks, sleepers are a tough call. Nobody will be benching Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Cam Newton or Drew Brees. However, at that next level of quarterback, sleepers can have some added value depending on the matchups.
Tim Tebow: I don't know if we can really call Tim Tebow a "sleeper" in fantasy football. He's not exactly a great throwing QB, but with the Broncos moving to a read-option offense, his legs will add tremendous fantasy value. The Chiefs will be more prepared for this than the Raiders were last week, but even still, Tebow should get solid overall numbers because of the running game.
Matt Cassel: An abysmal start sent Cassel to the free agent market early on, but he has bounced back in recent weeks. He had a stinker last week against Miami, but has a great matchup against the Broncos with which to bounce back. If I had to choose I'd take Tebow over Cassel for fantasy purposes, but Cassel is a solid option.
The San Diego Chargers dropped a 24-17 defeat to the Oakland Raiders Thursday evening and Philip Rivers had another "conflicted" performance. On the one hand, Rivers is creating fantasy value as he posts some solid counting stats. On the other hand, when it comes to leading his team to real world victories, he continues to struggle through his worst season as a starting QB.
Thursday evening, Rivers threw for 274 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and lost one fumble. For fantasy purposes, that equates out to approximately 15 fantasy points in a basic four-point per TD league. That is not a fantastic performance, but depending on the rest of your team, it is not exactly awful.
That might best describe his evening against the Oakland Raiders. Rivers completed only 49% of his passes as he was roughed up all night long. The Raiders pass rush brought the heat on a regular basis and Rivers had very little time to get settled in the pocket. He was forced to hurry many of his throws, leading to the accuracy issues.
At this point, Rivers remains a decent enough fantasy QB option, but his high status is falling fast and furious. He was outperformed by Carson Palmer Thursday evening, and things don't get any easier when he faces the Bears on the road next week. If you have another QB option, it might be time to consider benching Rivers if you haven't already.
The San Diego Chargers dropped a 24-17 decision to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football, and their rushing game was one of the casualties in the defeat. Ryan Mathews returned from a groin injury and split carries with Mike Tolbert throughout the evening. Mathews finished with six rushes for 34 yards and Tolbert finished with seven rushes for 36 yards.
The two backs also had fairly solid performances coming out of the backfield. Tolbert was targeted nine times and had five receptions for 37 yards. Mathews was targeted five times and had three receptions for 23 yards. It is safe to say this running back situation is a bit of a mess. The Chargers trailed for much of the game so it is not surprising that Tolbert got a lot of work given the need for passing plays.
It does not get much easier in week eleven as the Chargers travel to Chicago to face the generally stout Bears defense. If the Chargers fall behind early, we could see a repeat split of touches. Moving forward, it's entirely reasonably for you to decide between Tolbert and Mathews based on how you think the Chargers will do in a given week. If you don't want to make those kinds of predictions, Tolbert appears to be the safer play for now. Mathews does get some red zone touches, but Tolbert is the guy they roll with when their defense is struggling.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers put on an entertaining evening of football during their Thursday Night Football contest on NFL Network. Some of the offensive highlights featured a pair of rookie receivers breaking out for the world to see with huge catches. Denarius Moore was huge for the Raiders, but fellow rookie Vincent Brown had a big day himself. Brown finished the game with five receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. He also just missed out on a 33-yard score.
Brown has spent much of his rookie season playing special teams and occasionally getting some targets. However, last week against the Green Bay Packers who took a solid step forward due to Malcom Floyd's hip injury. Filling in for Floyd, Brown had 79 yards on four receptions. With Floyd absent again this week, Brown stepped up for the Chargers against the Raiders as Vincent Jackson was virtually nonexistent for San Diego.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how much playing time Brown gets once Floyd is healthy. Given his performance the last two weeks, it is hard to keep him off the field. He showed serious skills on Thursday Night Football and has likely earned some additional snaps. While Floyd is out he could be a solid flex option. Once Floyd is back you will need to wait and see how the Chargers play it.
Here is some video of his touchdown catch. That is followed by video of his non-catch, ruled incomplete because he was fighting Lito Sheppard for the ball once Sheppard was already out of bounds.
The Oakland Raiders rode their ground game to victory on Thursday against the San Diego Chargers, but they were able to stretch the field a considerable amount in spite of losing their top receiver. Jacoby Ford went down with a foot sprain after his first reception for 41 yards. While he did not return to the game, QB Carson Palmer was able to overcome the loss and put together a strong performance for the evening. Palmer completed 14 of 20 passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also lost a fumble when he was stripped from behind.
As the weeks go by, Carson Palmer is likely to get more and more comfortable in this offense. He has a host of young weapons at his disposal and is taking full advantage of them. He has running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield. he has veteran experience in a version of Hue Jackson's offense. All things considered, this trade may not turn out so bad for the Raiders.
From a fantasy perspective, Palmer is quickly emerging as a very intriguing fantasy quarterback. He is likely going to have his share of turnovers, but he seems ready to overcome those with plenty of yards and touchdowns. It might not always be pretty, but he still has the arm to make the deep throws. His receivers have plenty of speed, so what is to stop him from becoming a consistently effective fantasy QB? The Chargers defense isn't exactly the best test, but even still, big games are big games.
Palmer should continue to improve as he spends more time in the offense. If he can get Jacoby Ford and Darren McFadden back healthy, all the better. At the very least, it will be fun to watch him chucking it deep.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.
Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver Denarius Moore had his second monster game of the season and continues to tempt fantasy football owners with crazy speed and athleticism. Moore was an integral part of the Raiders 24-17 victory over the Chargers as he hauled in five receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He added in an important 21-yard punt return that set up his first touchdown reception.
The Raiders rookie receiver has shown significant long-term fantasy potential, but in the short term it is tough to tell what he will do week-to-week. In week two, Moore grabbed five receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown, along with a 25-yard rush. However, since then he has been fairly quiet. Last week he finally emerged back on the scene, connecting with Carson Palmer for 61 yards on four catches.
The Raiders lost Jacoby Ford to a foot sprain, which could bode well for the fantasy value of Moore. If Palmer continues to feel this kind of chemistry with his rookie receiver, Moore could be in line for a strong run the rest of the season. Previous leading receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has dropped almost entirely out of the conversation, and Moore could be in line for even more looks moving forward.
If you missed it, here are videos of his two touchdown receptions against the Chargers
Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush continued his strong run of success in place of Darren McFadden as he put together 242 total yards of offense against the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders used a variety of weapons to defeat the Chargers 24-17, but the engine of Oakland's offense was Michael Bush. He rushed for 157 yards and caught three receptions for 85 additional yards.
Since taking over for McFadden in the first quarter of the Raiders week seven loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Michael Bush has compiled 482 total yards and a pair of touchdowns. He is averaging 5.3 yards per rush and is proving to be the best backup running back in the NFL.
If you have Bush on your fantasy roster, he is a must-start as long as McFadden is sidelined with his sprained foot. McFadden continues to be hobbled by his foot injury and it could last another week. As long as that is the situation, Bush is one of the best running backs in the league and should be treated accordingly in your fantasy lineup.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers square off in the 2011 season premiere of Thursday Night Football in a huge divisional matchup in San Diego. The two teams are tied for first with the Kansas City Chiefs.
For the San Diego Chargers in the game and in fantasy football, the big question will be what to make of their running back situation. Ryan Mathews missed last week's game with a groin injury and Mike Tolbert filled in with 83 rushing yards, 59 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Now they face a Raiders defense that was thrashed by Willis McGahee in week nine. Chris Mortensen is reporting the Chargers hope is to get Ryan Mathews 15-20 touches on Thursday night. If Mathews gets those touches, it lowers the value of Tolbert to third down and goal line back. That is still a valuable role, but it doesn't guarantee anything resembling the work he had last week.
In spite of all this, Tolbert is a solid fantasy play this week. The Raiders have had considerable struggles against the run this season. If you have Tolbert AND Mathews, I actually think Tolbert ends up with better numbers tonight. It's not a pretty situation because of the questionable use of the two backs. But I think given that Mathews is not quite 100% yet, Tolbert will prove to be the better play on this night.
For more on the Chargers, check out Bolts from the Blue. For Thursday Night Football featuring the Raiders and Chargers, check out our TNF game stream. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.
Preview and highlighting the best -- and worst -- fantasy performances from Week 10.
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