A wild weekend of fantasy football is now in the books, and we turn to our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope to recap all of the weekend’s action and to get you ready for week 11 of the fantasy season.
Week 10 was crazy because normally QBs dominate fantasy points, but the top ranked NFL.com QB this week came in at #4. Making it even weirder, he has above him he has two TEs’ and a WR. Going a step further, the QB isn’t even one that most people remotely contemplated starting, Joe Flacco (32.74 fantasy points). Let’s take a look at some more guys that helped you win, and the ones who might have helped your opponents win.
Winners (by James Morris)
Joe Flacco – QB Ravens: Flacco stunned the Raiders by throwing for 341 yards and scoring on 4 total TDs (3 passing, 1 rushing). The Ravens are known more for their run than the pass, but they roasted the Raiders secondary this week by going vertical.
Andy Dalton – QB Bengals: Another QB that most fans don’t consider starting when setting their line-ups each week, Dalton put up top-tier QB1 stats in week 10. He didn’t wow with the yards (199), but he did toss 4 TDs, and everyone knows touchdowns are king in fantasy football. I’ve said all season long that Dalton is underrated and now maybe others will see what I already know.
Fred Jackson – RB Bills: Jackson and Spiller weren’t guys I was high on because I thought the Patriots would get out ahead of the Bills and that would take away the running game. But, the Bills kept it close and Jackson made the most of it by running for 80 yards and 2 TDs, and hauled in 4 passes for 35 yards. The catches have him ranked #2 in NFL.com PPR leagues this week. However, Jackson owners should keep him on the bench this week, as the Bills running back has already been ruled out for Thursday night’s game against the Dolphins.
Steven Jackson – RB Rams: Anyone who has emailed me knows that I am not a fan of S-Jax at this point in his career. And, wouldn’t you know he would have his lone 100-yard game against the NFL’s best defense in the 49ers. In the end, Jackson finished with 101 rushing yards, 2 catches for 26 yards and 1 TD. Enjoy the game Jackson owners, because he isn’t likely to repeat this feat again.
Danario Alexander – WR Chargers: Despite being owned in 0.6 percent of NFL.com leagues, Alexander stepped his game up and caught 7 passes for 134 yards and 1 touchdown. Just one minute into the game, Alexander went from being a WR in rotation with Robert Meachem, to the Chargers new starting WR as he took a short slant from Philip Rivers, spun out of a tackle from CB Leonard Johnson and sprinted to the endzone for an 80-yard touchdown.
Cecil Shorts – WR Jaguars: Shorts made the most out of his Thursday night game as he reeled in 6 passes for 105 yards and a TD. It’s not that Shorts isn’t a good WR; it’s that I don’t think Blaine Gabbert is a good QB. Shorts will be a rollercoaster ride for fantasy owners as his QB is inconsistent. He is only an option in deeper leagues.
Kyle Rudolph – TE Vikings: Rudolph has been MIA since week 6, as he has been blanked in two of his last three games, and hauled in just 2 passes for 17 yards in the other game. He shook off those bad games this week and finished with 7 catches for 64 yards and a TD. My sleeper pick at TE has awoken!
Denver Broncos defense: I have been telling people that the Broncos defense is a great one to own to finish out the season as they have a great remaining Strength of Schedule (4th best in NFL). This week they held the Panthers to just 14 points while racking up 7 sacks, 2 INTs, a safety, a defensive touchdown and a return for a TD if your league counts that as a defensive stat as NFL.com does. I like them a LOT to finish the season, so go grab them in the 54.6 percent of NFL.com leagues they are available in.
Losers (by James Morris)
Eli Manning – QB Giants: This book of Eli hasn’t been going quiet as well the movie did, and fantasy owners are suffering the consequences. This week he threw for just 215 yards with no TDs and 2 INTs. Over the past three weeks he has put up a total of 11.68 fantasy points, and his owners are looking for about double that on a weekly basis. Word is that he may be suffering from a tired arm, but I know his fantasy owners are just tired of him at this point.
Michael Vick – QB Eagles: Vick didn’t get benched due to poor performance; rather he sustained a concussion in the second quarter and never returned. While he was on the field, he managed to throw for just 70 yards passing a 1 TD. The only saving grace for Vick is that rookie Nick Foles didn’t look anything like an upgrade. He is no lock to be cleared for week 11, so make sure you have a good back-up option for next week.
Michael Turner – RB Falcons: Turner isn’t much of a burner these days, and he finished with just 15 yards rushing on 13 carries. I think the Falcons have to start making the transition from Turner to Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. I don’t believe that Turner should be owned, but it is hard to say to cut him because I know you drafted him too high.
Taiwan Jones – RB Raiders: The Raiders were down big in this game, but that isn’t what held Jones to just 2 carries for 6 yards. After the game Coach Dennis Allen admitted that he doesn’t trust Taiwan Jones’ ability to protect the ball. I warned owners about picking him up, and now you know why. If you own him, cut him as soon as possible.
Steve Smith – WR Panthers: Just when you think Smith and the Panthers offense were on the same page and everything was clicking, Smith turns in a 19 yard effort on just 1 catch. He was targeted 7 times, but Cam Newton overthrew him time and time again.
Eric Decker – WR Broncos: Decker managed just 2 catches for 15 yards on 4 targets on Sunday. There was no real reason why Decker was such a flop, so just chalk it up to a bad game and start him in your line-up the rest of the season.
Vernon Davis – TE 49ers: There is a reason why I want no part of just about everyone on the 49ers roster, and Davis showed why on Sunday as he managed just 4 catches for 30 yards. It is true that TE is an all-or-nothing position, but Alex Smith produces far more nothings’ than I would like.
Detroit Lions defense: The Lions are owned in 72.2 percent of NFL.com leagues, but this week they broke even against the Vikings as they allowed 34 points with just a lone sack to their credit. The Lions have a tough schedule remaining (#31), and I would go ahead and cut them loose if you can get the Redskins, Bengals or Broncos, in that order.
Fantasy Week 11 Waiver Wire (by Jon Cope)
Marcel Reece- RB, Raiders (owned in 25.0% of NFL.com leagues)- In this very space last week, I advocated picking up Raiders RB Taiwan Jones, thinking that the Raiders would turn to the speedy 2nd year player with injuries to Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. I was wrong and many of my fantasy teams paid for it. The Raiders apparently don’t trust Jones with ball security so the team turned to fullback Marcel Reece 22 times on Sunday (13 carries and 9 targets in the passing game). Reece racked up over 100 yards of offense on Sunday, and will be a good start in Week 11, if McFadden and Goodson are once again out, as the Raiders face a Saints defense that is ranked 31st in the NFL against the run.
Beanie Wells- RB, Cardinals (owned in 49.2% of NFL.com leagues)- Wells is once again practicing with the Cardinals first team offense, and is eligible to return from Injured Reserve for the Cardinals Week 12 game against the Rams. Beanie figures to once again be the primary ball-carrier in Arizona, as the team prefers to use LaRod Stephens-Howling as a 3rd down back. If you’re depleted at running back with injuries to Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren Sproles or others, Wells isn’t a bad fantasy option for his Week 12 game against the Rams and his Week 13 date with the Jets.
Danny Amendola- WR, Rams (owned in 38.3% of NFL.com leagues)- I hate to keep putting him on this list, but it’s outrageous that he’s available in over 60% of NFL.com leagues. Amendola came back from injury to post an impressive 11 reception, 102 yard performance on Sunday against the fierce 49ers defense. Amendola’s day would’ve been even more spectacular, if his 80-yard reception in overtime wasn’t wiped out by an illegal formation penalty on the opposite side of the formation. He’s clearly Sam Bradford’s top target in the passing game, and has enough speed to make plays down the field- he isn’t just a possession wide receiver.
Danario Alexander- WR, Chargers (owned in 0.6% of NFL.com leagues)- Alexander was signed by the Chargers less than a month ago, and already has worked his way up to being the team’s #2 wide receiver after catching 5 passes for 134 yards with an 80 yard TD reception on Sunday. Alexander, who stands 6’5” is the type of big target that Philip Rivers has been looking for after the departure of Vincent Jackson. I can see Alexander having a nice game this Sunday in Denver with Broncos All-Pro CB Champ Bailey taking away the Chargers top wide receiver, Malcom Floyd.
Dallas Cowboys Defense (owned in 25.6% of NFL.com leagues)- this unit was HUGE for owners that started them on Sunday against the Eagles as the Cowboys defense scored a pair of defensive touchdowns to go along with a special teams touchdown in a wild fourth quarter in Philly. The Cowboys now get a nice matchup in Week 11 as they host the Cleveland Browns and rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. The Cowboys defense has been very good at home this season, allowing only 4 TDs all season in the stadium that Jerry built, so I’d make a strong bid to acquire them if they’re on the waiver wire in your league.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a fantasy Q & A.
Also, for more fantasy guidance, follow James on Twitter here.
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