Once again we are going to start out this article with an injury. For the second straight week the Steelers have had big blows to their team. This week it was Ben Roethlisberger. The good news is that it was only a foot sprain, however he will still be out for a few weeks. This means Landry Jones will yet again be the starting QB for the Steelers. This is bad news for Roethlisberger owners, but not as bad of news for any owner of the other Steelers skill position players. D-Will, Brown, and Bryant will still hold similar value. The only guy who does lose value here will be Heath Miller. Move on from him and find another option in the waiver wire.
The next injury I will touch on quickly will be Teddy Bridgewater. I say quickly because nobody was really using him in leagues. The impact of the injury is to Stefon Diggs. While Diggs has a tough game even with Bridgewater this week, that was more so the Rams defense being really good. Diggs will see a hit to his value going forward if Bridgewater has to miss time with the concussion he suffered on Sunday.
Another Concussion injury occurred as well on Sunday, but this one to Latavius Murray. Keep an eye on his status, but there is really nothing owners can do with this at this point. No backup is worth owning, even if Murray is ruled out. Reece is only interesting in deep PPR leagues if Murray gets ruled out for next week.
A little longer of an intro to the top performer article, but the rest will still be the same as the past, and some of the players as well. 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 9.
QB - Aaron Rodgers 369 Passing Yards, 4 TD's and 1 INT, 22 Rushing Yards, 1 Two Point Conversion 32 Fantasy Points
Nice to see Aaron Rodgers back on top. After one of the worst games of his career, he rebounded in a big way this week. The first half looked like Rodgers was going to put up another dud. The second half was great news for his fantasy owners, as he showed the vintage Rodgers is back. Even against one of the best defenses in the league Rodgers put up this kind of a performance. While Rodgers was always one of the top 2 QB's, this was great news for Randall Cobb owners.
QB - Cam Newton 297 Passing Yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT, 57 Rushing Yards and 1 TD, 32 Fantasy Points
On the other side of that Packers game, we have Cam Newton. Newton has been consistent this entire season, and finally put up his first game of over 30 fantasy points. The rushing TD he had marks the 5th on the season for him. This puts him on pace to get to 10 by the end of the season. I think that is easily obtainable for him, as he has been running the ball in key situations in the redzone more than he did the past couple of years. He is a top 3 guy the rest of the way, and will not put up a dud like performance with the kind of schedule he has the rest of the way.
QB - Marcus Mariota 371 Passing Yards, 4 TD's, 32 Fantasy Points
In Mariota's first game back after the injury, he came out and took advantage of a weak defense. We saw Eli Manning light up the Saints defense last week, and it appears the Titans wanted to employ a similar gameplan. Mariota started out the season with three very good performances, then had two down ones, and now this one. I think Mariota can be relied upon as a bye week fill in the rest of the way, and also a starter for people in 14 team leagues or deeper. Unless you are barren at QB, or had Roethlisberger, I wouldn't look to have him be my permanent starter yet in leagues shallower than that.
RB - DeAngelo Williams 27 Carries for 170 Yards and 2 TD's, 2 Catches for 55 Yards, 1 Two Point Conversion, 36 Fantasy Points
Le'Veon Bell who? After week 2 I thought there was no way Williams would have a game where he puts up over 26 fantasy points. Even after last week when we found out Bell would be out for the season, I still wouldn't have expected something like this to happen. The Steelers offense is a force, and should continue to run effectively with Landry Jones under center. Williams is a top 10 back at least for the rest of the season, and is someone you will automatically starter every week except for their bye in week 11.
RB - Lamar Miller 12 Carries for 44 Yards and 2 TD's, 7 Catches for 97 Yards, 25 Fantasy Points
This was Miller's fourth straight game scoring a TD. While the yardage output wasn't spectacular running the ball, he more than made up for it with his efforts as a receiver. Under Campbell, he has made it a priority to get Lamar Miller the ball, and I don't blame him for doing so. Miller is the best playmaker on this offense right now. He is a borderline top 10 back for me the rest of the season, as he also has some decent matchups except for one game against the Jets.
RB - Karlos Williams 9 Carries for 110 Yards and 2 TD's, 23 Fantasy Points
If Karlos Williams is healthy he scores a TD. This was his first game back since he suffered a concussion in week 4. Even with that long time off, Williams stills knows how to score TD's. It is tough to trust him in any given week due to LeSean McCoy being the starter, but Williams has to be a consideration as a bye week fill-in, or even a FLEX option if you need him. The Bills play on Thursday in week 10, and if you own him, you may need to start him. LeSean McCoy left the game early on Sunday with a shoulder injury, and while he says he is fine and will play in week 10, I am not so sure. It is a short turnaround for them and he may feel differently on Monday on how much pain he is actually feeling. If Williams was dropped in your league because he was out, pick him up immediately because if he is ever the starter again, he will put up top 15 numbers.
WR - Antonio Brown 23 Targets, 17 Receptions for 284 Yards, 2 Rushes for 22 Yards and 1 Fumble Lost, 28 Fantasy Points
Who goes for 284 yards and doesn't score a TD? I mean you can't really complain since he was still the highest scoring receiver this week, but come on. Brown won't have another game like this for the next few weeks with Landry Jones filling in. What we saw though out of Jones with Brown in the limited time is that he can still make him a borderline top 5 receiver. Don't sell high on him thinking Landry Jones will zap all of his value. If anything bring up how mediocre Brown was without Roethlisberger when Vick played and try to sell him that and buy on Brown.
WR - Cole Beasley 11 Targets, 9 Receptions for 112 Yards and 2 TD's, 23 Fantasy Points
While this is a nice game for Cole Beasley, I can't trust it. Dez Bryant is the guy who will continually be fed in this offense. For as long as Matt Cassel is still the starting QB, Beasley is a PPR play, or 14 team or deeper standard league play only. Beasley can be picked up in all leagues, as it appears he has surpassed Terrance Williams in the Cowboys pecking order, and when Romo is back, he could hold some value.
WR - Michael Crabtree 12 Targets, 7 Receptions for 108 Yards and 2 TD's, 22 Fantasy Points
Derek Carr is really good right? I mean he just got into a shootout with Big Ben and almost prevailed. Crabtree has been really good since the bye week. Over that span he has had 20 receptions, 273 receiving yards, and 4 TD's. All of this is legit, and he should continue to build on these performances. At this moment I would have him in my top 20 for the rest of the season, as Carr has now proven to me he can sustain both Crabtree and Amari Cooper in this offense.
TE - Delanie Walker 8 Targets, 7 Receptions for 95 Yards and 2 TD's, 1 Two Point Conversion, 23 Fantasy Points
I just want it known for the record that Walker should have had only one TD in this game, but when you play against an incompetent defense in the Saints, they will give you more than you deserve. One of his TD's first of all should have been a pick, but then the ball gets batted around between two guys, and then falls into the hands of Delaine Walker. After that he runs the ball into the endzone. You can't expect something like that every week, but even if we throw that TD out, Walker still had a solid performance. Having Mariota back is big for Walker's value, and he is now going to be a trusted starting option at TE in any size league.
TE - Tyler Eifert 6 Targets, 5 Receptions for 53 Yards and 3 TD's, 23 Fantasy Points
This was not the ordinary primetime Andy we saw on Thursday. I mentioned in my WR rankings for week 9 that I thought Andy would overcome that, but it would be the biggest benefit for A.J. Green. Well I was half right in the sense that it was Eifert however with the big game. He is a little bit boom or bust every week, but the boom is about as high as anyone not named Gronkowski at the moment. He is a top 5 TE the rest of the way, and has a good chance of ending the season with 5 more TD's.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday's games:
QB - Derek Carr 301 Passing Yards, 4 TD's and 1 INT, 26 Fantasy Points
As I mentioned with Crabtree above, Carr has been amazing. This marks the third consecutive week where he went out and put up over 20 fantasy points. If you exclude week one, Carr has averaged over 20 fantasy points per game. I think that he can continue to put up numbers around 20 fantasy points a game the rest of the way, as the offense looks great when he is throwing the football. Crabtree has found new life with Carr, and Cooper has been as good as advertised. Top 10 QB for me the rest of the way, making him a starter in all leagues.
RB - Chris Ivory 23 Carries for 26 Yards and 2 TD's, 3 Catches for 22 Yards, 16 Fantasy Points
I don't know what to make of Chris Ivory right now. He puts up these great games at the beginning of the season, and then for the last three games he goes out and averages just over 1.5 yards per carry! I was shocked when I did the math, but when you have two games where you barely put up more yards than carries, this is bound to happen. I just can't put my full trust in Ivory anymore for the rest of the season. If you can sell high on Ivory, do it now. He just put up 16 points because of 2 short TD's which should give him some value to the other owners in your league. Begrudgingly I still have to have him borderline top 15 at the position because of how barren it is, but I don't feel good about it.
WR - Dorial Green-Beckahm 10 Targets, 5 Receptions for 77 Yards, 7 Fantasy Points
Green-Beckham is not a guy you should be currently starting in 12 team leagues, but definitely someone to keep an eye on at the moment. Kendall Wright was out of this game, allowing Green-Beckham to become the number one receiver. While the statline may look pedestrian, I am encouraged by how well Mariota looks. If he continues to progress and looks more for Green-Beckham, he could turn into a force in the month of December.
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.