Rick Olson
On Second Thought - Week 10

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Week 9 is supposed to hold few surprises. By week 9 you are supposed to know who you can trust and who you can’t, but after this week nine you could still hear the all too familiar screams of both disgust and excitement that tell us the NFL still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Let’s look at the notable fantasy players that came out of this week’s games that you need to keep in mind going forward into Week 10.

Packers vs. Bears

After three straight weeks of mediocre play, Aaron Rodgers had bounced back in the last two weeks. Then on one play early in the first quarter on Monday night he went down and stayed down. Rodgers left the game and only returned once he had street clothes on. “He has a shoulder injury,” according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

This is terrible news for Rodgers and Packer fans and just as bad for Rodgers' owners. The best news about this whole situation is that we do not know anything yet. He could be back next week or in a few weeks. The worst case scenario, well, we just won’t go there yet, keep your fingers crossed Rodgers' owners.

Immediate downgrade for all Packers offensive players, (kicker not included), as long as Rodgers is not in play.

Chiefs vs. Bills

There were two items of note to take away from this game. One, It’s very possible that C.J. Spiller is back and two, Dwayne Bowe is not.

Spiller, who gave you 116 yards rushing and 39 yards receiving on two catches, had the explosiveness that we saw in him near the end of last year. It seemed the week off did him well. I won’t declare him a must-start just yet, but he looked really good and should have owners hopeful for the second half of this season.

Dwayne Bowe this week equals fool’s gold. Don’t buy into it. He may have had a good week, 67 yards on seven receptions, well, good by his standards and PPR standards but don’t be fooled. He is still a very insignificant part of this offense and actually got 12 targets and still only put up 67 yards and no TDs.

Vikings vs. Cowboys

Adrian Peterson is still a beast and the Cowboys are still bi-polar.

That pretty much sums up this game. There is not a lot to be happy about in Minnesota except for AP. As far as Dallas goes, they only gave DeMarco Murray four attempts. Four. Wow.  Dez Bryant had a worse day than Dwayne Bowe and Cole Beasley looked good once again.

Do not worry about Bryant, he’ll get his. Murray on the other hand is a little worrisome since he is healthy and they are just not giving him the ball. Monitor that situation closely over the next few weeks and if you haven’t done so already, go ahead and pick up Cole Beasley , in four of the last five weeks he and Tony Romo have hooked up for an average of five receptions catches a game for 50 yards, that’s not a bad bye week fill-in for deeper leagues.

Titan vs. Rams

Here we had a game where the running backs involved had their owners concerned going into the game and flying high coming out of it.

Zac Stacy ran for 127 yards and two TDs and added six receptions for 51 yards, talk about a monster game. He has been playing at this level lately and needs to be started every week going forward.

As far as Johnson goes, he also has been steadily increasing his production as the year has progressed culminating in this week’s performance of 150 yards and two TDs with 20 yards receiving on three catches. This is what we used to expect out of Johnson and I do not think he is finished this year. I don’t expect weeks like this every week going forward but you can definitely start him with confidence.

Saints vs. Jets

Jimmy Graham and Drew Brees will not be denied, but an injury to Darren Sproles (concussion) may provide Pierre Thomas with a few more touches in the coming weeks. Also, with Marques Colston out Lance Moore may be a sneaky start in weeks to come.

The former Saint, Chris Ivory , is healthy again and playing like we all expected him to at the beginning of the year. He led the Jets with 139 yards rushing and one TD. His explosiveness is far superior to Bilal Powell ’s and if he can stay healthy could help give his owners a nice RB push into the playoffs.

Chargers vs. Redskins

RGIII can’t seem to pull it together. Shanahanigans are alive and well with Alfred Morris leading the ground attack again and Pierre Garcon just seems to be getting better every week.

Do not trust RGIII right now and never trust a Redskins' running back.   Garcon is trust worthy. These are all items that we should have known already this season, that and Philip Rivers is also a consistently good play every week.

A little more surprising, however, is the disappearance of Ryan Mathews . Like DeMarco Murray, he just is not producing and not getting the touches because of it. He makes for an inconsistent start right now and is another one that needs to be closely monitored.  Danny Woodhead on the other hand is a very solid start week-in and week-out and give yourself a double bonus in you have him in a PPR league.

Falcons vs. Panthers

Going forward, it is going to be tough to have confidence in any of the players from either of these two teams with the exception of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen .

Matt Ryan ’s receiving corps has been decimated and though there might be good weeks with Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez, you just can’t trust them. The running back situation is almost as bad as Steven Jackson still hasn’t found his legs, yet.

In Carolina it is almost as bad with no receivers really wanting to step up and take over from Steve Smith who is so hot and cold that he makes for a tough start. And as far as their back field goes, they have a four-headed monster in Newton, Jonathan Stewart , DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert. Of the three actual running backs, Tolbert is the most consistent right now and if needed should be the running back in this group started as a flex option.



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