Fantasy Football: 5 Takeaways From Week 10
Fantasy Football: 5 Takeaways From Week 10
Wow -- what a Week 10. The New Orleans Saints completely dominated the Dallas Cowboys. The Indianapolis Colts scored just eight points against the St. Louis Rams. The Jaguars picked up their first win of the season by defeating the Tennessee Titans. Now, only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain winless in the NFL.
From a fantasy perspective, the top wide receivers put up huge numbers. Calvin Johnson (20 points), A.J. Green (21), Demaryius Thomas (28) and Brandon Marshall (25) all proved why they were ranked in the top five in the preseason. Tavon Austin finally broke out after 10 weeks of fantasy owners just waiting for a game like this, but was started in just 14 percent of ESPN leagues. The Nick Foles-Riley Cooper partnership continues to propel the Philadelphia Eagles' offense.
Also, Week 10 saw some more quarterbacks go down with injuries. The Green Bay Packers lost Seneca Wallace, forcing them to put in Scott Tolzien. The Titans may have lost Jake Locker for the season. Jay Cutler left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
The three Saints running backs -- Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles -- each finished in the top five with 63.9 combined fantasy points. The New York Giants welcomed back Andre Brown with open arms. He had 115 rushing yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.
Despite all of these headlines for Week 10, there were five more that I found more important. Here are my five biggest takeaways from the day that was NFL Sunday.
Riley Cooper is a Fantasy Star...
I guess I should be a little more specific. Riley Cooper is a fantasy star only when Nick Foles starts. Foles has thrown 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. Six of those touchdowns have gone to Cooper, including five in the last two games. Surprisingly, Foles is still getting the ball out to DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy.
The Philadelphia Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys at 5-5 thanks to Foles' excellent quarterbacking. With the Washington Redskins up next for the Eagles, Cooper should be a flex consideration. The Redskins have allowed 27.1 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Cooper didn't fare well the first time they played, only 14 receiving yards. If Foles starts this game, expect a lot more production.
Ray Rice is a Bust
Tell me if you heard this before -- Ray Rice did not score a touchdown this week. That makes it four straight games without crossing the end zone. I wrote about Rice being a bust last week, but many thought it was just a slump. Now, after picking up just 30 yards on 18 carries, it's official.
Rice hasn't rushed for more than 50 yards or scored a touchdown since Week 5. He's averaged 1.6 yards per carry over the last two games. He's attempting to make up for it in the passing game, but 20 receiving yards isn't going to help. The Baltimore Ravens have a nice matchup against the Chicago Bears, but are you willing to trust Rice?
Defenses Shine in Week 10
The theme of this week revolves around the number 10. This week was a defensive promise land. There were 10 defenses that scored at least 10 fantasy points. Among those teams were the St. Louis Rams (25 points), New York Giants (18) and Jacksonville Jaguars (16). The New Orleans Saints were the only team to score over 38 points.
This is why you don't draft a defense before the 15th round. Defenses fluctuate more than any other position. Most of the top-scoring defenses were not in the top 10 at the beginning of the season. The Rams and Dallas Cowboys are on a bye in Week 11, forcing fantasy owners to find a replacement. The Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders are nice one-week plays.
Who is the Real Andrew Luck?
Speaking of Andrew Luck, what happened? Luck and the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, yet they lost to the St. Louis Rams. Despite throwing for 353 yards, Luck was picked off three times. This was Luck's second-worst game of the season.
As I mentioned, Luck plays the Tennessee Titans, the fourth-best fantasy defense against quarterbacks. They allow just 12.3 points per game. Whether the absence of Reggie Wayne will creep up on Luck is still to be determined, but Luck may be a sit 'em qualifier in Week 11.
Colin Kaepernick in Sophomore Slump
Another quarterback that is struggling is Colin Kaepernick. The Carolina Panthers defense held Kaepernick to 91 passing yards. 91. That was his lowest yardage total since becoming the starter. Kaepernick has scored single-digit fantasy points in four weeks this season.
The San Francisco 49ers got Mario Manningham back from injury, which may help Kaepernick. Michael Crabtree is also set to return in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints, who held the Dallas Cowboys to 17 points on Sunday night. I think it's safe to say Kaepernick is in his sophomore slump (as a starter).