Arizona has now improved their record to 9-1, but still leave us fantasy owners in shambles because of the erratic WR usage they provide us. Michael Floyd had been left for dead the past few weeks, and now he comes back and scores two TD's (granted those were his only two catches). How can a team that good only have one guy you can trust to start each week? That is today's NFL where timeshares and the usage of more players to conserve your star players energy for the playoffs. This can be maddening for owners, but what it does provide is opportunities on a weekly basis to stream starters at most positions if you are desperate, and potentially find someone useful. I don't recommend doing this too often, but as you will see with the top point scorer this week, anything is possible.
After going over my thoughts on the top performers at each position, I will also select a few other players who either performed above expectations, or maybe have you questioning whether you should continue starting him or not.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect some similar performances in the future from them or if it was a flash-in-the-pan, and also whether you should be worried about top picks in drafts that put up less than stellar performances. So without rambling on longer in this intro, let's take a look at those who performed well in week 10.
QB - Aaron Rodgers 341 Passing Yards, 3 TD's, 3 Rushes for 32 Yards, 28 Fantasy Points
For the second consecutive week Rodgers finishes as the highest scoring QB. The Packers offense is firing on all cylinders lately, and look like the best team in the NFC after Arizona. The two horse race for the top point scorer this season between Luck and Manning has now been expanded to include Rodgers after his play since week 5. Top 3 QB the rest of the way, and will provide plenty of opportunities for his receivers to put up big numbers as well.
QB - Jay Cutler 330 Passing Yards, 3 TD's and 2 INT's, 5 Rushes for 21 Yards, 23 Fantasy Points
For how ugly of a game that Cutler played against Minnesota, his statline looks good. The main credit to this would be the poor secondary of the Vikings that allowed Marshall and Jeffery to go up and get any ball that they wanted. Next week he gets to play the Buccaneers, which means he is a must start, but after that Cutler will face a tough Lions defense. If you have a viable backup that week, I would strongly consider benching Cutler in the tough matchups.
RB - Jonas Gray 37 Carries for 190 Yards and 4 TD's, 43 Fantasy Points
For the second straight week, there was a Running Back who ran for 4 TD's, and got 40+ fantasy points. Last week it was Marshawn Lynch, a guy you can see doing it, but for this week it was Jonas Gray. If you add up the yardage of all of his TD's it comes out to 9 yards. When the Patriots got in close against the Colts Sunday night, they handed the ball off to Gray. Now Gray most likely won't get over 30 carries again, but if he can continue to be a force near the goaline, then he will maintain his value. Gray is in immediate consideration to start going forward, but rating him as anything more than an RB2 is playing with fire knowing the Patriots.
RB - Jamaal Charles 20 Carries for 159 Yards and 2 TD's, 2 Catches for 19 Yards, 26 Fantasy Points
Surprisingly, this was Charles's first 100 yard rushing game of the season. If you exclude the mysterious week 1 game where Andy Reid didn't give him the ball, Charles has been one of the most consistent backs this year again. Over his last 7 games, Charles has scored 10 total TD's, and only failed to score in one of those weeks. Now factor in that he has accumulated at least 80 total yards of offense each of those weeks, and you have an elite back.
RB - Eddie Lacy 10 Carries for 69 Yards and 1 TD, 3 Catches for 45 Yards and 1 TD, 22 Fantasy Points
I mentioned this when talking about Rodgers, but the Packers offense looks fantastic. Although Lacy hasn't been getting as many carries as you would have expected going into the season, his value in the passing game has still been there. Lacy is a top 10 back the rest of the way, and is a guy that will continue to post good numbers each week.
WR - Mike Evans 9 Targets, 7 Receptions for 209 Yards and 2 TD's, 32 Fantasy Points
What a couple of weeks it has been for Mike Evans, and now he put up his best performance yet. Josh McCown looks different from the beginning of the season, which is great news for Evans owners. I was a little skeptical about what would happen when McCown got back under center, but it seems as though he is using Evans like he did Alshon Jeffery last year. Of the top three rookie receivers, I would rate Evans right in line with Benjamin for the rest of the season as a top 15 play, and ahead of Sammy Watkins. With the trade deadline in leagues coming up, this is one player I would not get rid of as he is going to be able to sustain his production the rest of the season.
WR - Brandon Marshall 10 Targets, 7 Receptions for 90 Yards and 2 TD's, 21 Fantasy Points
Marshall showed no lingering effects of his injury that made him a question mark going into the weekend. His ball skills were on full display in this game, especially on that second TD where he just be the defender to a spot in the endzone, and then out-muscled him for the ball. I mentioned in my WR rankings that I thought one of the two Bears receivers would have a big game and said it would be Marshall, but when watching the game, it was the guy listed next who looked better.
WR - Alshon Jeffery 17 Targets, 11 Receptions for 135 Yards and 1 TD, 19 Fantasy Points
The receiver opposite of Marshall for the Bears looked absolutely phenomenal on the field Sunday. His route running and premier ball skills make him hard to cover. Cutler targeted Jeffery 17 times, which goes to show that when the pressure is on Cutler, he looks towards Jeffery. Some of the catches that he made were ones that just left me in awe, and this seems to happen every week with Jeffery. Both Bears receivers are top 15 going forward, with Jeffery having the slight edge over Marshall.
TE - Coby Fleener 7 Targets, 7 Receptions for 144 Yards and 0 TD's, 14 Fantasy Points
Fleener benefited from a Dwayne Allen injury in the first half to get the production he did. This game is a good sign going forward if Allen is unable to play. If that were to be the case, Fleener automatically becomes a top 10 TE, and should be ranked along with the Olsen and Bennett grouping.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday's games:
QB - Ryan Mallett 211 Passing Yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT, 14 Fantasy Points
In his first career start, Mallett put up an okay game. Now the Texans even without Foster featured a heavy running game headed by Alfred Blue. After first hearing on Saturday about Foster being out on Sunday, I was excited to see if Bill O'Brien would allow Mallett to throw the ball more than Fitzpatrick in the past. Well with only 30 pass attempts, it looks like for now he will not be given the keys to the offense. Take into consideration that the Browns were the third worst defense to face as a QB for fantasy purposes, and this outing looks better. An encouraging game from him, and good news for Hopkins and Johnson owners that he distributed the ball well to them, and maybe next week one of them will catch a TD.
RB - Latavius Murray 4 Carries for 43 Yards, 3 Catches for 16 Yards, 5 Fantasy Points
Hopefully the fact that Murray was able to lead the team in rushing with just four carries will show Oakland that they need to give him the ball more often. If you have the space on your roster, I would use a speculative add on Murray because I think that within the next two weeks they will make him the starter and see what his natural abilities can do. Murray has all of the measurables you like to see in a back, we just need to see if he has the game IQ to turn it into great performances. I believe that given the chance he can thrive and put up a couple of 100 yard games before the season is over.
WR - Pierre Garcon 2 Targets, 1 Receptions for 6 Yards, 0 Fantasy Points
Add Garcon to the long list of top 20 and middle round receivers that shouldn't be owned anymore. With only two targets on Sunday, there is nothing to hope for with Garcon. Griffin just isn't getting the ball out to him, and is looking for DeSean Jackson instead. I was high on Garcon before the season because of the great connection he had with RGIII last year, but that has been proven to not be the case anymore.
Want thoughts on a specific player? Leave a comment on who it is, and I will respond with my thoughts on that guy's performance and where he stands going forward.