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In The Spotlight – Week 10 In Review

Week 10 Fantasy Headlines:

Game Summaries & Fantasy Commentary:

Bye week: Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots & New York Jets

Thursday Night Game:









Fantasy Focus – Washington Redskins:
Washington had moved the ball almost at will until the porous Minnesota defense unexpectedly stiffened in the fourth quarter. Quite a few fantasy owners had sat the inconsistent Robert Griffin III for this contest, so one of his best fantasy outings of the season (281 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, seven carries for 44 yards) went to waste on a huge number of benches.

As usual, Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed were RGIII’s top-two targets. Garcon (7-119-1 on 10 targets) racked up his second 100-yard game in a row. Reed (6-62-1 on nine targets) came very close to hitting pay dirt for a second time in the closing seconds of the game. Logan Paulsen hauled in Griffin’s third scoring strike. Leonard Hankerson (5-61-0 on five targets) was the other stat-sheet notable.

No “Shanahanigans” this week. Alfred Morris notched his second straight 100-yard game, carrying a fantasy friendly 26 times for 139 yards. He didn’t score or catch any passes.

Fantasy Focus – Minnesota Vikings:
If you didn’t watch this contest, it may surprise you to know that the beleaguered Christian Ponder played a rock-solid game. He shook off an early interception and went on to complete a very efficient 17-of-21 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Ponder also carried twice for 13 yards. The Minnesota triggerman left in the third quarter after he took a hard hit on his left (non-throwing shoulder) at the end of a scramble. Matt Cassel (4/6 for 47 yards) finished up.

With Kyle Rudolph (broken foot) out, Ponder relied heavily on John Carlson. He topped all Vikings receivers with a very surprising seven grabs for 98 yards and one touchdown on seven targets. Cordarrelle Patterson (2-22-1 on four targets) caught Ponder’s other scoring pass. Greg Jennings (3-18-0 on four targets) was a non-factor. He hasn’t scored since Week 4.

Adrian Peterson hit pay dirt twice, but he had to earn his 75 rushing yards against a Washington defense that keyed on him non-stop. Peterson toted the rock 20 times and hauled in two passes for two yards.

Key Injury:
Christian Ponder (dislocated non-throwing shoulder)

Fantasy Talk:
Roy Helu (2-8-0 rushing and 3-23-0 receiving) has amassed just 85 total yards and hasn’t scored since his three-touchdown “Shanahanigans” outing back in Week 7. Helu obviously is just a handcuff for Alfred Morris right now.

Is Robert Griffin III safe to start? He looks like a solid play in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to the most recent media reports, Christian Ponder’s shoulder injury is considered minor, and there is a good chance that he can start in Week 11. As long as Ponder is under center, John Carlson will hold his fantasy value, because we all know Ponder loves to throw to his tight ends. However, Ponder and the Vikings offense draw a tough road matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

Waiver Wire Prospect:
John Carlson


Early Sunday Afternoon Games:








Fantasy Focus – Seattle Seahawks:
The Seahawks got revenge on a floundering and undermanned Atlanta team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Russell Wilson went 19-of-26 for 287 yards and two touchdowns with no picks. He also rushed three times for 20 yards. The 287 passing yards was Wilson’s second-highest total of the season.

Wilson completed passes to six different receivers. Golden Tate (6-106-1 on seven targets) topped all Seattle receivers. His six-yard scoring grab at the end of the first half was very impressive. Tate has hit pay dirt in two of his last three games. Jermaine Kearse (3-75-1 on four targets) caught Wilson’s other touchdown pass. Doug Baldwin (5-76-0 on eight targets) was the other statistical notable in the receiver corps.

Marshawn Lynch steamrolled Atlanta’s injury-depleted defense with ease, amassing 145 rushing yards (season high) and one touchdown on 24 carries (season high). “Beast Mode” also chipped in three grabs for 16 yards.

Fantasy Focus – Atlanta Falcons:
As expected, the undermanned and struggling Falcons couldn’t get on track against a revenge-minded Seattle defense. Matt Ryan completed 23-of-36 passes for a season-low 172 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed three times for 15 yards.

Ryan’s lone scoring strike went to Darius Johnson late in the third quarter. Harry Douglas (7-49-0 on eight targets) topped all Atlanta receivers in catches and yardage. Tony Gonzalez (3-29-0 on five targets) was bottled up by Seattle safety Kam Chancellor. It’s the third time in the last four months that Gonzalez has been held under 30 receiving yards in a contest.

Roddy White (hamstring, high ankle sprain) saw his first game action since Week 5. White did start and played most of Atlanta’s offensive snaps, but he caught just one pass for 20 yards on four targets. Blame it on tight coverage from the Seahawks’ excellent secondary and his poor conditioning.

Steven Jackson (9-11-0 rushing and 3-9-0 receiving) surprisingly found very little running room against a Seahawks defense that had been gashed on the ground by Zac Stacy (Rams) and Mike James (Bucs), respectively, during the last two weeks. Jacquizz Rodgers (3-31-0 rushing and 5-28-0 receiving) led the Falcons in rushing.

Key Injury:
Tony Gonzalez (toe)

Fantasy Talk:
Jermaine Kearse has been operating as the third receiver behind Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, and has now scored in two straight contests. However, Percy Harvin (hip surgery) is expected to return for Week 11, so Kearse, unfortunately, will be knocked down the depth chart. Don’t bother chasing his stat lines from the last two weeks. Harvin’s return also drags down the fantasy value of Doug Baldwin.

The Falcons have hit rock-bottom. If you have a playoff-bound fantasy team, I wouldn’t trust any of their offensive stars as fantasy starters in Week 11 against the Buccaneers. Roddy White doesn’t look 100 percent healthy, and he’ll visit Revis Island. Tony Gonzalez is banged up, and Matt Ryan is clearly struggling. The Steven Jackson/Jacquizz Rodgers-led rushing attack is nonexistent. Harry Douglas? He is a passable fantasy WR3 or PPR flex if you’re desperate.

Waiver Wire Prospects:








Fantasy Focus – Cincinnati Bengals:
For the second straight week, the Bengals lost in overtime mainly because of a mistake-filled performance by Andy Dalton. The very erratic triggerman completed just 24-of-51 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns against three interceptions. He also chipped in six catches for 22 yards.

Aside from a Hail Mary touchdown heave to A.J. Green that sent the game into overtime, the two struggled to hook up on deep routes again. Green hauled in eight balls for 151 yards and one touchdown on 15 targets. This was Green’s fifth straight 100-yard game.

Marvin Jones struggled. He caught just one pass for two yards on seven targets. Jermaine Gresham (groin) was inactive, but Tyler Eifert (3-55-0 on 10 targets) couldn’t produce in an expanded role. You can blame it on Dalton’s accuracy problems.

Giovani Bernard caught eight passes for 37 yards and Dalton’s other touchdown pass. Bernard took a simple dump-off throw and weaved his way into the end zone. He topped the Bengals with 14 carries for 58 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed just nine times for 36 yards.

Fantasy Focus – Baltimore Ravens:
Ray Rice continues to disappoint. He carried 18 times for 30 yards and caught six balls for 26 yards. Rice hasn’t hit pay dirt since Week 5, and he has been held under 50 yards rushing in seven-of-eight contests so far in 2013. Bernard Pierce rushed eight times for a team-high 31 yards and hauled in two balls for 12 yards.

Joe Flacco did his best to carry the offense with a sub-pedestrian fantasy outing. He went 20-of-36 for 140 yards and two touchdowns against two picks. He also rushed one time for 40 yards. Torrey Smith (5-46-1 on 14 targets) caught just his second scoring pass of the season. Dallas Clark (1-1-1 on two targets) hauled in just one pass in each of his last two games. Marlon Brown (1-10-0 on three targets) was a non-factor.

Key Injuries:

Fantasy Talk:
The streaky Andy Dalton is coming off two straight dud outings, and a rebound outing against a tougher-than-you-think Browns defense in Week 11 seems unlikely. Park him on your bench if you haven’t already. A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard are the only safe Cincinnati fantasy plays at the moment.

The decline of Ray Rice is mind boggling. The poor play of his offensive line is clearly a factor. Although Rice claims he is healthy enough to play, his stats suggest otherwise. Rice draws a favorable matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 11, but it’s hard to trust him as a fantasy starter right now. Torrey Smith remains a solid weekly play. Marlon Brown could bounce back against a soft Chicago secondary.

Waiver Wire Prospects:

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