Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 10
Over the past two weeks Vick Ballard had emerged as a decent RB2 starting in place of the injured Donald Brown. All week fantasy owners would read that Brown's status for Thursday night's tilt was uncertain after sitting out practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although Ballard opened the game in the Colts backfield, both he and Brown split time right down the middle alternating on every series. A 50-50 timeshare completely hinders the fantasy value of both players. Expecting a similar trend to continue, Ballard and Brown should be viewed as mid RB3.
Coming into Week 10, TY Hilton flashed across our watch list as a possible waiver addition. That notion was quickly thwarted as Donnie Avery (hip injury) started the game, retaining his role as the secondary option in the passing game behind veteran Reggie Wayne. Avery remains a very low end WR3 while Hilton should be returned to the waiver wire.
Cecil Shorts just keeps on producing at a high level despite the struggles of his team. We should also note that his lone touchdown came at the hands of backup quarterback Chad Henne, meaning he is the preferred target no matter who's under center. Considering the Jags are playing from behind in most games, Shorts is a solid mid WR3. However, it would be wise to sit him next week facing the stout Texans defense.
Justin Blackmon is awful.
Rashad Jennings is finding it tough sledding on a bad Jags team, picking up 27 yards on 11 carries. With the passing game struggling most defenses will be playing eight in the box to shut down the run greatly limiting Jennings' fantasy value to mid RB3 range.
New York Giants 13, Cincinnati 31
Andre Brown, and not Ahmad Bradshaw, started in the Giants backfield. Bradshaw was mixed into the contest toting the rock a team high 10 times picking up 57 hard fought yards. However, he would put the ball on the carpet only to be seen on the sidelines for much of the game giving way to Brown's seven carries for 65 yards and one touchdown. Already losing goal line touches, this is slowly becoming a concern for Bradshaw owners as a full RBBC is in effect.
Side note: we're reading postgame that Bradshaw required X-rays. He would not divulge what body part was to be examined, but claims it wasn't his troublesome foot. That leaves us to speculate his neck injury could be flaring up.
Don't even ask me what's wrong with Eli Manning (215 yards, two interceptions) because I have no clue. I will say his accuracy is the worst I've ever seen, constantly missing wide open targets. Arm fatigue has been reported, but that won't help fantasy owners as Manning is a lineup lock. Thankfully the Giants have a bye in Week 11 to get the train back on track.
Andy Dalton and the Bengals absolutely worked over the G-Men pinning them to the mat and never letting up. Dalton has played at a high level in his second season as the Bengals starting quarterback, and remains a low end QB1. Just be aware of his fantasy playoff schedule including Week 14 versus the Cowboys and Week 16 at Pittsburgh.
Jermaine Gresham has been a tough nut to crack. His early season production had owners begging for mercy. However, Gresham has eclipsed seven fantasy points in three of his past four games rewarding those fantasy owners who had the patience to wait out his slow start. Averaging six targets per game, Gresham has lower TE1 value.
Tennessee 37, Miami 3
The early games saw a number of lopsided victories and that was highlighted by the beat down handed out by the Titans. This game was a bit skewed by four Miami turnovers leading to short scoring drives for the Titans.
Jake Locker stepped in as the Titans starting quarterback hooking up with Kendall Wright for the opening touchdown of the game. Locker would also find tight end Jared Cook for a 26-yard touchdown. Despite the lopsided score, Locker's performance was marred by the Fins turnovers. Even more unnerving is trying to define which Titans wide receiver to trust moving forward.
Reggie Bush started in the Dolphins backfield, but abruptly fumbled on the Fins second possession. He was then replaced in the backfield by Daniel Thomas who took over as Miami's featured running back. This would mark the third straight game that Thomas has played more snaps than Bush. In fact, third stringer Lamar Miller saw action in front of Bush. As a Bush owner myself, watching this rotation of running backs is taking years off my life. Already losing goal line looks, Bush is slipping into that mid RB3 range, no longer a lineup lock.
Detroit 24, Minnesota 34
The value of Titus Young has been on the steady incline since the injury to Nate Burleson. In this game, Young was targeted seven times hauling in four receptions including a one yard touchdown. Still a distant second to Megatron in targets, Young certainly has value, but more along the lines of a mid/lower WR3.
While Young's value has been on the rise, Ryan Broyles has been on a downhill slide. Getting drummed by the Vikings, this would have been an excellent opportunity for Broyles to emerge. Instead, he finished with a meager one reception for six yards. Broyles does have limited value along the lines of a WR5, meaning he isn't "startable" but his stock would skyrocket should the injury prone Titus Young go down.
Mikel Leshoure is yet another borderline starter of late. Coming off a three touchdown game against the Jags one week ago, Leshoure was swallowed up by a swarming Vikings front seven limiting the second year running back to 43 yards on 13 carries. The problem we find is backup Joique Bell plays better in the passing game. As we know, the Lions are a team predicated upon the pass, especially when trailing (about sums up their entire season). Averaging 13 carries per game over the past six games just won't get it done in fantasy lineups as Leshoure should be viewed as a higher RB3.
The big news entering this game was the inactive status for wide receiver Percy Harvin. Those who played off this news and started tight end Kyle Rudolph were heavily rewarded as the "Red Nosed Reindeer" found the end zone for the first time since week six. With a bye upcoming, giving Harvin a week to recover, Rudolph will return to a low end TE1.
Who the heck is Jarius Wright? The rookie wide receiver filled in for Percy Harvin gaining 65 yards on three receptions including a three yard touchdown grab. Don't go running out and adding Wright as most of his yardage came on one 54-yard catch, while Harvin should be back after the Vikings week 11 bye.
Buffalo 31, New England 37
The Bills gave the Patriots all they could handle, but in the end it simply wasn't enough. On the upside for fantasy owners, spot starter Ryan Fitzpatrick (337 yards, two touchdowns) delivered in what was billed as a plus matchup facing the 30th ranked New England pass defense. Good to know he can still get it done when called upon.
On the receiving end was Steve Johnson (86 yards), Donald Jones (74 yards, one touchdown) and Scott Chandler (65 yards, one touchdown). Jones has carved out space in the Bills' passing attack averaging 10 fantasy points over the past three games. Despite his production, I'm nervous recommending a second option in Buffalo when playing better opponents. Jones would be worth adding if you are desperate at wide receiver, but he is still a sketchy start.
Exiting last week's game the coaching staff and quarterback promised we'd see an increased usage of CJ Spiller. That did not come to fruition as Fred Jackson paced the team in carries with 16 for 80 yards and two touchdowns, but also fumbled twice. It's a damn shame that Spiller isn't given a full workload as he is clearly the better of the two runners. However, playing in a full on RBBC will limit both players, but based on talent alone each are a low end RB2. We should note that Jackson was knocked unconscious at the end of the game so monitor his status in the coming week.
The player of interest entering this game was the guy who didn't even suit up, tight end Aaron Hernandez. Ruled inactive before the game, Hernandez is becoming a real concern after missing his sixth game of the season following a week two high ankle sprain. Hopefully the added rest will get this TE1 back up and running.
We should also discuss the continued presence of running back Danny Woodhead with five touches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Although production is a solid indicator of fantasy value, Woodhead's limited use makes him a sketchy starter. Consider the Patriots scat back a lower RB3, barely even a desperation spot start.
Atlanta 27, New Orleans 31
There's very little I can tell you about the Falcons you don't already know. Turner is a plodding runner that needs to find the end zone in order to have value. Matt Ryan is now amongst the games top level fantasy quarterbacks while Tony Gonzalez continues to defy his age.
The lone piece of insight I can report is Julio Jones missing nearly half of the game after suffering a "lower leg injury." Jones did return to the game and make a number of spectacular catches including a 52-yard toss from Matt Ryan. Proving healthy enough to return should encourage fantasy owners to keep Jones in their lineups when making preparations for next week's games.
Chris Ivory was a man possessed ripping off one of the best runs of the season in the early 1st quarter resulting in a 56-yard touchdown. Ivory runs with violence emulating Marshawn Lynch, but nowhere near the same number of carries. Regardless of Ivory's dominance, it was Mark Ingram leading the team in carries with 16. With no discernible trend in sight, the Saints are arguably the worst RBBC in the NFL, as Ivory should remain mid RB3.
San Diego 24, Tampa Bay 34
Danario Alexander jumped into the fantasy headlines scoring an...