Week 10 provided Fantasy owners a respite from a flood of newcomers dominating the stat lines that shape our matchups.Drew Brees, LeSean McCoy and A.J. Green led the three big categories this week, along with Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch and Brandon Marshall having big weeks.
But then there was Scott Tolzein throwing for 280 yards, less than ten days removed from the Packers' practice squad,Mark Ingram looking like he was still running for the Crimson Tide (145 yards) and Rishard Mathews doubling his entire season's output with an 11-catch, 120 yard performance to go with his first two career TD catches. The moral of that story: there are still players out there, with big weeks in store, if you look hard enough.
Three teams with stud players at all positions have extraordinarily good matchups this week, and all players involved with those teams should fit into your lineup if possible.
Seahawks Offense & Defense - Any Seahawks you have should make their way onto the field against the horrific dumpster fire that is the Minnesota Vikings. RB Marshawn Lynch will back up his Week 10 performance by blow-torching the Vikings DEF, and QB Russell Wilson, WR's Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin and Seattle's DEF will pile on.
Lions Offense - From QB Matthew Stafford to RB Reggie Bush to WR's Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham and (returning starter) Nate Burleson, you'll want to insert any of these guysagainst the 27th- ranked Steeler defense.
PHI QB Nick Foles - Third, Washington does not have fond memories of the Chip Kelly-coached Eagles from Week 1, and the Eagles look poised to repeat the curb stomp in Week 11. Foles may not throw seven touchdowns this week, but four is not unrealistic.
Eagles Backs and Receivers: RB LeSean McCoy will team with WR's Riley Cooper (!) and DeSean Jackson for a hectare of yardage and a few scores.
WAS QB Robert Griffin III - The Washingtoniansshould have fun throwing the ball against a putrid Eagles' DEF.
WAS WR Pierre Garcon -See RGII explanation
NYJ TE Kellen Winslow (comeback week!)
CIN RB Giovani Bernard
GB RB Eddie Lacy
OAK RB Rashad Jennings
SD's DEF, plus QB Philip Rivers in a bounce-back week, and WR Kennan Allen (yet again).
Anyone on the Saints witha pair of hands: The 49ers defensewill have its' hands full with the Saints in New Orleans, so whichever one of the 88 targets QB Drew Brees has to play withshould suffice (especiallyWR Kenny Stills, RB Darren Sproles and TE Jimmy Graham for big games).
At this point in the season, there are usually three or four defenses you should not ever have starting, unless you are in a 22-team league with two starting D's required. This year, there are seven:
SF QB Colin Kaepernick is a shell of his former self. Whether it's due to not moving out of the pocket as much, or coaching decisions to scheme him away from injury, I'm not sure. What I am sure of is how many Fantasy seasons he sunk by being about 40 percent of what he was last season (and Week One this season). Until the team revisits how they use him, stay away like he's old Limburger...until the stink is gone.
Patriot RB's will not be excited to visit Carolina on Monday night. Carolina is beating up halfbacks and taking their lunch money during a strong five-game winning streak, and Stevan Ridley / LeGarrette Blount / Brandon Bolden combo platter doesn't figure to be any different. QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski will get theirs, however.
HOU RB Ben Tate (top back with bad ribs...they're gonna miss Arian Foster very, very much)
NYG WR Rueben Randle
OAK WR Denarius Moore
Everyone standing behind QB Matt Ryan in the Falcon backfield,
BAL QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice
IND TE Coby Fleener
IND RB Trent Richardson (possibly forever)
MIA RB Lamar Miller
KC WR Dwayne Bowe (celebrated a seven-catch week by allegedlyspeeding down the road with a bunch of joints)
JAX RB Maurice Jones-Drew
The one still available in too many leagues is WAS TE Jordan Reed. Reed is getting plenty of looks, while averaging more than 11 yards per catch. Expect RG3 to feed the checkdown beast that is Jordan Reed.
TB RB Bobby Rainey - Now the starter, as the MRSA-infected Buccaneer locker room loses another back to injury.Rainey is unproven and a bit of a mystery...just like James was before he gave owners two good weeks.
HOU QB Case Keenum
MIN TE John Carlson
MIA WR Rishard Matthews
The Hidden Gem of the Week this week is IND WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. DHB will fly under the radar this week, and QB Andrew Luck has learned that, instead of relying on DHB to make catches, Luck can just throw it hard enough to stick in the ribs of the speedy wideout, and that will lead to a surprising week for the Colts' third option.
Blown Call of the Week:
At the risk of tooting my own horn, it was harder to find one of these this week than usual. Even the games with surprising results had good individual efforts (think T.Y. Hilton's 7/130 performance). Here's the worst I could find:
"Also Start: ...Either of the Bills' two-headed monster at RB (Fred Jackson gets more carries, C.J. Spiller takes them farther)."
The duo combined for 96 total yards in a game that set the game of football back twenty years. The bright spot in this game was the ending. Not that it was dramatic, but that it actually ended.
The offensive line situation in Miami was as ugly as noted here last week, with the Dolphins turning in the 5th-worst rushing performance in league history (two yards on 14 carries), and there is little hope of improvement this season. The Bucs hit QB Ryan Tannehill eight times, sacked him twice and picked him off once. Good teams will do much, much worse to an offensive line that broke off its entire left side in one bizarre scandal. Remaining schedule: vs SD, vs CAR, @NYJ, @PIT, vs NE, @BUF, vs NYJ. Keep track of this, and grab the available DEF's those weeks. This is not done being ugly on the field...and will never not be ugly off of it.
Good luck, and good scoring.
By Bill Hudson (Twitter @nosduhllib)