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Week 10 Fantasy Headlines:
GAME SUMMARIES & FANTASY COMMENTARY:
Bye week: Arizona Cardinals (4-5), Cleveland Browns (2-7), Green Bay Packers (6-3) and Washington Redskins (3-6).
THURSDAY NIGHT GAME:
Indianapolis Colts 27 (6-3) | Jacksonville Jaguars 10 (1-8)
Fantasy Focus – Colts: Andrew Luck (18/26 for 227-0-1 passing and 7-11-2 with one lost fumble) made up for his second-weakest passing effort of the season with two rushing touchdowns. The Jaguars harassed Luck most of the evening, and he played without starting center Samson Satele and starting right tackle Winston Justice. As usual, Reggie Wayne (8-96-0 on 11 targets) topped all Indianapolis receivers, but he still hasn’t found the end zone away from Lucas Oil Stadium. Thanks to averaging just over 12 targets per game, Wayne has caught at least five passes and amassed at least 73 receiving yards each week. Donnie Avery (4-65-0 on six targets) could have compiled a bigger fantasy outing if he had not dropped a 40-something yard pass from Luck. T.Y. Hilton (0-0-0 receiving on one targets) followed up his 100-yard game from Week 9 with a goose egg. Coby Fleener (shoulder) missed his second straight game, but Dwayne Allen (2-31-0 on three targets) still was a non-factor.
Fantasy Tip: Luck is clearly a decent fill-in fantasy start at home (eight touchdown passes against two interceptions), but the rookie triggerman is a risky play on the road (two touchdown passes against seven picks). The rookie Ballard has improved noticeably and has run more decisively than Brown in recent weeks, but the Ballard/Brown timeshare unfortunately is here to stay. Fleener could return next week, which obviously would drop Allen back down to low-end TE2 status.
Fantasy Focus – Jaguars: Rashad Jennings (11-27-0 rushing and 0-0-0 receiving) was obviously a huge disappointment in what looked like a sweet matchup on paper. He didn’t find much running room against a surprisingly stubborn Indianapolis defense, and he disappeared when Jacksonville fell behind and throwing.
Blaine Gabbert (18/31 for 209-0-1 passing and 1-10-0 rushing) struggled most of the night, padding his yardage total with mostly short completions and tossing a pick-six in the third quarter. Gabbert also was sacked three times before leaving in the fourth quarter after taking a hit on his injured left (non-throwing) shoulder. Backup Chad Henne (10/16 for 121-1-1 passing) finished the game. Second-year pro Cecil Shorts (6-105-1 on 13 targets) hauled in his fourth touchdown pass and racked up his second 100-yard game of the season. Laurent Robinson (9-77-0 on 15 targets) led all Jaguars receivers in catches. Rookie Justin Blackmon (3-25-0 on five targets) and Marcedes Lewis (3-36-0 on four) had quiet games. Lewis was not targeted in the second half.
Fantasy Tip: The early word on Gabbert: he is tentatively expected to start in Week 11 against the Houston Texans. In case you missed the game, Robinson caught mostly five- and 10-yard passes from Gabbert in a possession/safety blanket role, but Robinson disappeared when Henne, who favored throwing to Shorts, was under center. If you’re desperate for receiver help in PPR leagues, take a flier on Robinson. Since he returned in Week 9 after missing some time due to a concussion, Robinson has compiled 15 catches and 118 receiving yards on 24 targets.
EARLY SUNDAY AFTERNOON GAMES:
Baltimore Ravens 55 (7-2) | Oakland Raiders 20 (3-6)
Fantasy Focus – Ravens: Owners of Ray Rice (13-35-1 rushing and 4-33-0 receiving) are not a happy bunch right now. The Raiders were burned by Doug Martin last week for 251 rushing yards, and they clearly schemed to contain Rice at all costs. Although he did score, Rice’s longest run was just seven yards. In addition, Baltimore jumped out to a 31-point lead in the third quarter and decided to sit Rice and let rookie backup tailback Bernard Pierce (10-23-0 rushing and 0-0-0 receiving) play some snaps.
Oakland, however, didn’t have an answer for Joe Flacco (21/33 for 341-3-1 passing and 1-1-1 rushing). The struggling Ravens triggerman logged his best game of the season. After doing very little for more than a month, Dennis Pitta (5-67-1-on five targets) topped Baltimore in receiving while notching his first touchdown grab since Week 3. Torrey Smith (2-67-2 on six targets) hauled in his sixth and seventh touchdown passes of the season, but he hasn’t amassed more than 70 yards in a game since Week 4. When Pitta has a good game, Anquan Boldin (4-38-0 on seven targets) usually doesn’t.
Fantasy Tip: Don’t chase Flacco’s numbers next week when he travels to Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s obviously a tough matchup, but Flacco also has struggled on the road in recent weeks. He has tossed just two touchdown passes in his last three road contests.
Fantasy Focus – Raiders: With Darren McFadden (high ankle sprain) out of the lineup, Oakland was unable to exploit what has been a softer-than-usual Baltimore run defense, amassing just 72 rushing yards as a team. Marcel Reece (13-48-0 rushing and 7-56-0 receiving) got the start and operated as the Raiders’ three-down back most of the time while Taiwan Jones (2-6-0 rushing and 1-7-0 receiving) received just three total touches and lost some snaps to Jeremy Stewart (7-22-0 rushing and 0-0-0 receiving).
In the passing department, Carson Palmer (29/45 for 368-2-1) has passed for 360-plus yards in two straight games and has tossed multiple touchdown passes in three straight outings. Denarius Moore (4-90-1 on eight targets) has scored in four of his last five games, and Darrius Heyward-Bey (5-82-1 on eight targets) posted his best game of the season. Brandon Myers (5-57-0 on seven targets) suffered a concussion and didn’t finish the game.
Fantasy Tip: Raiders head coach Dennis Allen admitted after the game that he still doesn’t trust Jones, so Reece is clearly the Oakland running back to own until McFadden returns. This is Myers’ second concussion of the season, so he could miss at least a couple of games.
Denver Broncos 36 (6-3) | Carolina Panthers 14 (2-7)
Fantasy Focus – Broncos: The Denver offense compiled just 20 points against an improving Carolina defense. In the second quarter, the Broncos scored on a 76-yard Trindon Holliday punt return and a Tony Carter 40-yard interception return. Denver also scored on a safety (Mike Adams) in the fourth quarter. Getting back to the offense, Peyton Manning (27/38 for 301-1-0) saw his streak of games with multiple touchdown passes snapped at six. Manning’s lone touchdown pass of the game was a 10-yard strike to a wide-open Brandon Stokley (4-54-1 on five targets) in the first quarter. Demaryius Thomas (9-135-0 on 11 targets) notched his second 100-yard game in the last three weeks, but Eric Decker (2-15-0 on four targets) was a non-factor. His streak of games with at least one touchdown reception was snapped at five. Tight ends Joel Dreessen (2-31-0 on three targets) and Jacob Tamme (1-6-0 on four targets) both had quiet games.
In the rushing department, Willis McGahee (14-56-0 rushing and 4-33-0 receiving with one lost fumble) didn’t find a ton of running room. Backup Ronnie Hillman (5-5-1 rushing and 2-8-0 receiving) scored on a five-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
Fantasy Tip: Don’t hold a grudge against Decker. He should rebound next week against the San Diego Chargers. Putting aside McGahee’s fumble, I wouldn’t read too much into his middling performance. The Panthers have become tougher against the run since Luke Kuechly became their starting middle linebacker.
Fantasy Focus – Panthers: The Carolina offense looked completely helpless most of the afternoon against an upstart Denver defense. The Broncos sacked Cam Newton seven times; one takedown resulted in a safety in the fourth quarter. The constant pressure made Newton (21/36 for 241-2-2 passing and just 4-7-0 rushing) very hesitant in the pocket, and one of his interceptions resulted in a 40-yard pick-six by Tony Carter. Don’t give all the credit for a poor outing from Steve Smith (1-19-0 on seven) to Champ Bailey, because Newton overthrew Smith frequently. However, Newton was able to get the ball to Greg Olsen (9-102-2 on 10 targets) amassed a regular-season high in receiving yards. Brandon LaFell (4-29-0 on eight targets) was a non-factor.
The Panthers didn’t seem interested in establishing their running game. Jonathan Stewart (8-31-0 rushing and 2-23-0 receiving) served as the featured tailback for most of the game. DeAngelo Williams (6-6-0 rushing and 1-17-0 receiving) couldn’t get on track.
Fantasy Tip: A couple of weeks ago, the Panthers had vowed to utilize a power-running attack, but they don’t seem to have the patience to make it happen. Stewart looks like a low-end flex option, and, as you probably figured out for yourself, Williams is not usable as a fantasy starter. Smith should rebound next week against a soft Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary – if Newton can get the ball to him.
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