It has been a wild and crazy past few weeks for quarterbacks, with Ben Roethlisberger setting an NFL record with back-to-back six-touchdown games, only to go out and manage just a single endzone visit against one of the league's worst pass defenses in the Jets this week. Not to be outdone, Aaron Rodgers goes out and throws six TDs in the first half against the Bears this week! I'm not sure how I feel about this 6-6-6 number sequence here, but one has to wonder if the fantasy gods truly are playing jokes on us?
And what would a week in fantasy football be without a few injuries for us to deal with? Carson Palmer was placed in the Injured Reserve with a torn ACL; Ronnie Hillman is expected to miss a few weeks with a mid-foot sprain; Peyton Hillis suffered a concussion, and his replacement, Michael Cox, fractured his left leg; and finally, Delaine Walker was forced from the game with a concussion.
Palmer's injury means Drew Stanton is back in at QB, and that is a major hit to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd's value. Hillman's injury puts C.J. Anderson in the driver's seat for carries, which makes Anderson a must-add in almost all formats. The Giants on the other hand now have no healthy RBs. That means they will have to either promote someone from a practice squad, or sign a guy off the street for Week 11. Walker is going to have a very tough time getting through the concussion protocol after he took a nasty hit and was motionless for several minutes. I'd go ahead and make other plans at TE if you own Walker.
Matthew Stafford – Lions: Stafford has been one of the bigger fantasy QB disappointments so far this season as he is currently ranked 13th on NFL.com (for QBs this season). But that low ranking is due to Calvin Johnson essentially missing the past six games. Megatron was back on the field in Week 10 and at 100 percent, giving Stafford the ability to toss the ball around for 280 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT against one of the NFL's best defenses in the Dolphins. Stafford is back to an every week must-start with Johnson back, and just in time for the stretch run into the fantasy playoffs.
Josh McCown – Buccaneers: Never underestimate the value of garbage time for any player! McCown and the Bucs really had no chance to win this week's game against the Falcons, but he was able to rack up 301 passing yards, 39 rushing yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs on Sunday. With a majority of his positive stats coming with the game decided, McCown was able to salvage his fantasy dignity and finish as a top-5 QB this week on NFL.com. It just goes to show why you don't look for sleeper QBs you think can win this week; rather, you look at what QB might be throwing late in the game with the backups in on defense. Work smart, not hard!
Denard Robinson – Jaguars: Did you know that Robinson was the NFL's 4th-leading rusher over the past four games, with 389 yards? Did you also know that Robinson is tied for 3rd in the NFL for RBs with 4 TDs over that same span? Well, he is! Shoelace was able to contribute 60 of those 389 yards this week and score a pair of touchdowns in London against the Cowboys. At this point the only thing that will knock him down from his starting spot at RB is an injury, so make sure your league isn't one of the 41.2 percent of NFL.com leagues he is available in.
Justin Forsett – Ravens: Forsett has been a pleasant surprise off the waiver wire for fantasy football owners looking for RBs, and this week he came through again with 112 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Forsett dominated the workload for the Ravens and has settled in nicely as an every week RB2 for fantasy purposes.
Allen Robinson – Jaguars: Cecil Shorts was the stats monster for the Jaguars, hauling in 5-of-7 targets for 119 yards. But let us not forget that Allen Robinson had a solid fantasy day as he reeled in 5 passes for 60 yards and a 2-point conversion. Robinson has somewhat quietly put up 237 yards and 2 TDs over the past four games, ranking him in the top 20 for fantasy WRs over that span. If you zoom out and look at the season as a whole, Robinson has the 23rd-most receiving yards in the NFL for WRs at 548! I'd say that's not bad for a guy who was plucked off the waiver wire in most leagues this year.
Martavis Bryant – Steelers: Another garbage-time hero is here in the form of Steelers rookie WR Martavis Bryant! Bryant was only on the field for about half the Steelers offensive plays this week, but made the most of it with 143 receiving yards on 4 receptions, and a touchdown. The TD came late in the game on an 80-yard bomb, and without it his day would have been about average for a waiver wire WR. But stats are stats and Bryant has them. He is a boom-or-bust WR for fantasy purposes, and should be played at your own risk.
Mike Evans – Buccaneers: When you think of a consistent WR, a Bucs player might not be one that comes to mind. But Evans has been the textbook definition of consistent with reception totals of 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 7, and 7 in his eight games this season. This week Evans finished with 125 yards and a touchdown on those 7 receptions, ranking him as a high-end WR1 on NFL.com. Since he is owned in 72.4 percent of NFL.com leagues, the chances are he is not on your waiver wire. But don't take it from me, go check your waiver wire just in case!
Mychal Rivera – Raiders: If you remember in last week's article I mentioned Rivera as a possible sleeper TE if you needed one with Vernon Davis flaming out this season. Well, another garbage-time success story comes from the Raiders TE as he finished Week 10 with a 6-64-1 line. Next week the Raiders head south to take on a Chargers defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to TEs this season, so I wouldn't go picking him up now and hoping for another strong showing.
Cleveland Browns defense: There was very little the Bengals could do right on offense this Thursday night, making it easy for the Browns to dominate on defense and rack up the fantasy points for the 27.0 percent of people who own them on NFL.com. Besides the fact that they allowed just 3 points to the Bengals, the Browns defense also put up 3 INTs, 2 sacks, and recovered a fumble. While the Browns do have a solid fantasy defense, they are nowhere near THIS dominating most weeks. I would still be weary of using them as a set it and forget it fantasy defense.
Andy Dalton – Bengals: It doesn't get much uglier than Week 10 for Dalton, as the Bengals QB finished with a humbling 86 yards passing, no touchdowns, and 3 INTs on the day. When you add that all up, subtract the negatives and carry the one, you get a net LOSS of 1.76 fantasy points on NFL.com to the people who started the $115 million man. I wouldn't drop Dalton, but I would buy low on him if you owned Nick Foles or Carson Palmer.
Jay Cutler – Bears: Speaking of ugly games, the Bears got their doors blown off on the road against the rival Packers. With the team trailing 42-0 at the half, Cutler had a chance for those garbage-time stats we heard about earlier. But unlike McCown, Cutler managed just 272 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, and another lost fumble. Cutler's 10 INTs are 2nd in the NFL, and his 5 lost fumbles ties him for the NFL lead with DeMarco Murray. Cutler is still a top-10 fantasy QB this season, but just barely after this week.
Lamar Miller – Dolphins: Lamar Miller is owned in 98.8 percent of all NFL.com leagues, and started in 40.1 percent of those leagues. Since he is nearly universally owned and started in half of those leagues, there are a lot of angry owners out there this week after Miller managed just 10 yards rushing and -4 yards receiving, for a net gain of 6 total yards in Week 10. The only good news is that Miller reportedly didn't suffer a setback with his sprained AC joint in his shoulder, meaning he should play next week if the doctors say he can go. The reality is though that he is likely to be extremely limited, and not worth playing in almost any format.
Le'Veon Bell – Steelers: It's really no shock to find Bell on the losing end of the fantasy RB list this week considering he faced a Jets defense that is allowing the 5th-fewest rushing yards per game this season at 83.2. Bell wasn't even able to reach that mark as he saw just 11 carries for 36 yards. He did manage 8 catches for another 33 yards, but that still wasn't enough to put him even in the RB2 rankings for Week 10. Bell gets the Titans next week, making him a strong RB1 for Week 11.
Terrence Williams – Cowboys: Williams was one of my sleeper WRs in my draft article, and he did not disappoint through the first seven weeks of the season with his 6 TDs. But this week the Jaguars put the shackles on Williams and he was held without a catch on his two targets. This makes three straight games that Williams has been kept out of the endzone and next week he gets a Giants defense that has allowed the 4th-fewest TDs to WRs with just 7 this season.
Michael Floyd – Cardinals: I dumped Floyd when Palmer hurt his shoulder back in Week 1 because the Cardinals backup QBs are not very good. Well, Palmer is now out for the season with a torn ACL and Floyd is back to having a weak-armed QB throwing him the ball. Floyd saw just 4 targets this week, catching one of them for 11 yards. Floyd is a very talented young WR with a future Hall of Fame WR mentoring him in Larry Fitzgerald, so the sky is the limit with his future. But this season he will be as erratic and unpredictable as it gets with Drew Stanton under center.
Vernon Davis – 49ers: Davis has missed two games this season and ranks 28th for TEs with 30 targets this season. His 169 yards receiving and 2 TDs this season put him 31st on NFL.com for fantasy TEs on the season. On Sunday Davis managed just one catch for 8 yards, making him one of the most over-owned players in fantasy football (87.8 percent owned on NFL.com) this season.
Chicago Bears defense: The Bears have now given up a combined 80 points by halftime of their last two games, making them the 26th-worst fantasy defenses over the past month. This week they gave up 49 points to the Packers, and the only thing that kept them in the positive column for points (4.00) was the fumble they recovered and the defensive touchdown they got from a kickoff return in the 4th quarter. Next week the Bears get a Vikings team that has scored the 6th-fewest total points this season (168), and then they have the Bucs who have the 5th-fewest points at 167. They are a buy-low defense on the waiver wire for smart owners.
For those keeping score, I was wrong on Tony Romo, Larry Donnell, Jeremy Hill, and Kelvin Benjamin. That makes me 12-16 and another 75 percent for accuracy. I guess you could call me the Mike Evans of fantasy football, consistent and underrated!