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Week 10 in Review

Peyton Out duels Brady

The Indianapolis Colts got past the New England Patriots 35-34 Sunday night in a game where a lot of fantasy points were accumulated. Owners of either quarterback had to be very satisfied, as Peyton Manning threw for 327 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, while Tom Brady threw for 375 yards with three scores and just one interception. The ace wide receiver on each team also had huge games as Randy Moss and Reggie Wayne went back and forth. Moss had nine receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard score. Wayne snagged 10 passes for 126 yards and found pay dirt twice also, including the game-winner with 13 seconds left in the game. Even each running back scored as Laurence Maroney had 31 yards and a touchdown, while Joseph Addai had 41 yards with a rushing and receiving touchdown. Everyone expected this to be a tight battle with a lot of great individual performances and neither team disappointed. Both of these teams are red-hot in the fantasy world so continue to start all your Indianapolis and New England players every week.

Chris Johnson Explodes against Buffalo

Titans running back Chris Johnson had one of the biggest fantasy days of the entire season, single-handedly destroying the Bills on the ground and through the air. Johnson racked up 132 yards rushing on 26 carries with two touchdowns. He also had nine catches for 100 yards in helping his team win 41-17. Johnson’s longest run was only 32 yards and he didn’t have the long touchdown rush that owners have grown accustomed to this season, but he was still impressive nonetheless. Tennessee is now 3-0 with quarterback Vince Young behind center and that is a good sign for Johnson owners in points-per-reception leagues because Young is constantly dumping the ball off to Johnson out of the backfield. As if Johnson even needed a fantasy boost. He is steadily playing his way to a Top 3 fantasy pick in 2010.

Rice Quietly Having Good Year

Minnesota wide receiver Sidney Rice had another big yardage day in Week 10 as he piled up 201 receiving yards on seven receptions. He didn’t find the end zone at all, but he did have three catches that went for 40 yards or more. In the past month, Rice has had receiving games of 176, 136, 40 and now 201 and has clearly become Brett Favre’s favorite target in 2009. On the season, Rice now has 44 catches for 786 yards and two touchdowns. As long as he doesn’t get injured, Rice will surely go well above the 1,000-yard receiving plateau. If he can get his touchdowns up a little bit, Rice could be flirting with a Top 5 fantasy finish for wideouts.

Bengals Finish Off Sweep of Steelers

Cincinnati remains the team to beat in the AFC North after beating the defending Super Bowl Champ Steelers 18-12 in Pittsburgh. The Bengals now own season sweeps against both the Steelers and Ravens and are sitting pretty with a 7-2 record. Really, the only negative thing for Cincinnati and fantasy owners was the injury of running back Cedric Benson, who has a hip flexor. He left in the second quarter, returned briefly and then left again for the remainder of the day. Owners should breathe fairly easy because Benson isn’t supposed to miss any time, but these hip injuries can go on to linger so you will want to check his availability for Sunday later on in the week. The Bengals defense continued to perform at a high level as it didn’t allow a single touchdown, just a total of 12 points on four field goals. In fact, the Cincinnati defense was the top fantasy performer of the day on either team. No one else did much of anything that helped owners.

Denver Loses Third Straight Game

The Broncos started the season 6-0, but have now dropped three in a row after losing to the lowly Redskins on Sunday 27-17. This was a very bad loss for Denver, who also lost starting quarterback Kyle Orton with an ankle injury. It looks like Orton is going to miss Denver’s game next week against division rival San Diego as well. If you are an owner of wide receiver Brandon Marshall or running back Ladell Betts, then you had to be happy no matter what the result of the game was. Marshall exploded for 134 yards on five catches and two long scores. Although nearly all of his damage was done on two catches in the first quarter, (40-yard and 75-yard scores) Marshall still provided a boost for owners. Check to see what the status of Orton is though because Marshall and his owners will suffer a big blow if Orton isn’t available. Betts, who filled in for injured starter Clinton Portis, had 26 carries for 114 yards and a score, but Portis is expected back next week.

MJD Another Big Game, Jets Crumpling

Jacksonville beat the New York Jets on a last-second chip shot field goal from kicker Josh Scobee 24-22 in Week 10. After starting the season 3-0, the Jets have now won just one of their last six games and look to be regressing in a big way. One player that isn’t regressing, though, is Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. He continues to score touchdowns and play at a very high level and Sunday was proof of this. MJD carried the ball 24 times for 123 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 22 yards. This was the first time all season that the normally stingy Jet defense allowed a 100-yard rusher so that just speaks volumes of what kind of roll Jones-Drew is on right now. His fantasy day would have been even bigger if he didn’t voluntarily take a knee just before the goal line late in the game to keep the clock running. I’m sure owners aren’t complaining too much, though.

Injury Sunday for Running Backs

There was a number of significant fantasy running backs that went down with injuries in Week 10. None look to be season-ending, but they still can greatly impact the race to a fantasy championship. Stud backs Michael Turner and Ronnie Brown both suffered ankle sprains and both could be out next week. Turner’s injury looks a little more severe than Brown’s, but both look serious enough for owners to look for replacements at least for Week 11. Cedric Benson went down with a hip injury as explained earlier in this article. He should be ready to go next week though. Brian Westbrook of the Eagles left with his second concussion in as many games and could be done for at least the next few games, but maybe even the season. He hasn’t been doing much in 2009 anyways so this is probably a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners.

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