Week 10 is in the books and may have been the worst week to make large reactions. The waiver wire will be thin, great defenses played poorly, the home teams lost 11 of the 14 games on the slate, and only half of the games broke 40 total points in a bad week for the overs.
Alshon Jeffery had three catches for 29 yards and a TD in a game where Jay Cutler threw for 258 yards and three TDs. The only other Bears WR had nothing more than a singular one-yard catch. Davante Adams was targeted 21 times by Aaron Rodgers and couldn't get double digit fantasy points. Kyle Rudolph was targeted four times and didn't score against the Raiders. Brandon Marshall scored a TD, but couldn't break 25 yards, despite ten targets. Zach Ertz and Brent Celek led the Eagles in receiving with 202 yards between them.
An actually weird week of fantasy
I hate calling fantasy weeks weird because football is weird and largely unpredictable. The sample size of the season is small and we prognosticate on samples of a fraction of that. Usually the same amount of studs perform every week and there are about five or six standouts from the waiver wire who should be owned in 12-team leagues.
This was a week where high scorers were largely owned, but benched for similar players with higher floors:
- Charcandrick West (161 total yards, 2 TDs) had a huge week against the second-best run defense in the league where he should have failed.
- Michael Floyd, Cardinals (7/113/2) killed the Seahawks.
- Doug Baldwin (7/113/1) killed the Cardinals.
- Andre Ellington (88 total yards, TD) had a big play for the first time in forever against the Seahawks.
- Jordan Reed scored in his third straight week, despite a season-low four targets. After only four career TDs in his first 24 games, he had his second multiple-TD game in the last three.
- Dexter McCluster scored his first rushing TD since 2011 against a staunch Panthers run D.
- Dwayne Harris was targeted a season-high nine times for a 6/82/1 slash.
There is so much unrepeatable in this list for either the individual player or the team which allowed the performance. Reed may be the most trustworthy here for positional scarcity, West has proven to be a legit stud, and Floyd is a top-20 WR for the rest of the season, but the long list of unstarted guys scoring eight or more fantasy points really does not give us anyone to hype on the waiver wire, other than Amendola (unless Floyd is available) because so many of these players are already owned or cannot be trusted.
Stud of the Week: Adrian Peterson
In eight games, the Raiders had only allowed 711 rushing yards and five TDs to RBs. Peterson, who has been very inefficient for many games this season, finally busted out against this strong run defense for a 26/203/1 slash. The volume has always been there, so Teddy Bridgewater's limited practice was not a factor. Peterson is just a stud who should not be discounted or sold off.
Dud of the Week: The Saints defense... all of it
The Saints DST was started in 16% of Yahoo leagues last week against the Titans and 7% against Washington in Week 10. Despite the great matchup, people were rightfully still highly cautious on Washington's offensive weapons, outside of Jordan Reed (3/29/2).
What actually happened was Alfred Morris rising from the grave with a 15/104/0 rush line as a closer and Matt Jones going 78 yards on a reception for a TD to accumulate 187 total yards in 12 touches. Where we own Jones, he must be sold. Week 10 was Jones' first week of more than 51 total yards since Week 2 and only his second TD since that week. This standout fantasy line was purely the Saints D handing out fantasy points to everyone, as they should be targeted every week.
New Orleans fired Rob Ryan, but they're making everyone look like Tom Brady... literally (h/t: Adam Schefter):
Thud of the Week: Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman (foot) may or may not be out the rest of the season. His injury is similar to that of Dez Bryant's earlier this season that caused him to miss Weeks 2 through 7. If Edelman can return for Week 16, his matchup against the Jets is a sneaky-good one, as Darrelle Revis would not shadow Edelman in the slot; and his Week 17 matchup against the Dolphins is very juicy for those weird leagues where we play our Super Bowls that weird week.
The problem is that the weirdness of Week 17 could have the Patriots sitting Edelman, but if he doesn't go on season-ending IR, it is difficult to even see the overly cute Pats burn the roster spot without reasonable hope for a Week 16 play. Edelman will just have to burn the roster spot where we have strong records and traded cheaply to strong teams where our records are bad or around .500.
This gives Danny Amendola the shot to return to relevance again, especially in PPR formats. He had 11 targets for a 10/79/0 slash this week and had nine targets each of the two games where Edelman was limited with a finger injury this season, totaling a 15/191/1 slash. The return of Brandon Lafell still hurts Amendola in standard leagues where the scoring chances just condense more largely toward Lafell and, of course, Rob Gronkowski.
Ben Roethlisberger is fine
Landry Jones left Sunday's game extremely early and Roethlisberger was the only other QB active for the Steelers. Despite a foot injury, which was supposed to sideline Big Ben for the week, he relieved Jones with a heroic 379 yards and three TDs on 33 passes.
Just going to stop fearing Big Ben's health and treat Antonio Brown (10/139/2) as maybe the #1 WR in fantasy after their Week 11 bye for the rest of the season.
LeSean McCoy is sneaking into elite territory again
It may be by default with the sick amount of elite RBs falling to injury, but--over the last four weeks--McCoy is eighth among RBs in fantasy points per week. At the top is Arian Foster, who is done for the year, and seventh is his spell, Karlos Williams, who is only averaging 8.5 touches over that span.
Since returning from his hamstring injury in Week 6, Shady has had double digit standard fantasy points every week with 21.9 and 18.9 in the weeks since their bye. He has only had fewer than 15 once this season and has hit 16 in each of the games since returning. Williams is not cutting into his volume at all and we should maybe start treating him as a legit RB1.
Queue the Sanchize
Sam Bradford (shoulder/concussion) had his inevitable injury and the door has swung open for Chip Kelly to hand the keys to this car back to Mark Sanchez. In eight starts to close out 2014, Sanchez threw for 2,216 yards and 12 TDs, but the nine INTs kept him under 15 fantasy points per week in the passing game, so be careful with Sanchez in 12-team leagues.
On the other hand, Jordan Matthews broke out huge with Sanchez slingin' the rock. Matthews averaged almost 70 yards per game and scored five TDs over those eight starts, including three games of over 100 yards and four with eight of more targets.
The Packers are dead to me
I mean, it was the Lions. Seriously.
Peyton Manning (plantar fascia) has a very painful foot injury. Whether or not he plays, all Broncos dip and Brock Osweiler is proably not rosterable. Where we have Demaryius Thomas, he needs to be started, as the volume is still there. Andrew Luck (lacerated kidney/abdominal) being done for most of the rest of the season is a total killer. Benching all other Colts and Broncos is probably prudent wherever we can.
Stats via Pro-Football-Reference.com.