Here are 15 random, NFC-based deep thoughts from a wildly entertaining Week 9—none of which lament the Giants' mediocre numbers against a stout Steelers defense.
1. There are no words to describe Doug Martin's 272-yard, four-TD performance against the Raiders...other than saying he's untouchable on the trade market—short of a three-for-one blockbuster that involves a top-seven quarterback, top-10 running back and top-20 receiver. In his last two games, Martin (who rushed for a franchise-record 251 yards) has amassed 486 total yards and six touchdowns.
2. Adrian Peterson picked the wrong time slot to steamroll the Seahawks for 193 total yards (182 rushing) and two touchdowns. The East Coast TV viewers, watching Steelers vs. Giants, were transfixed by the bigger-than-football atmosphere at MetLife Stadium (in the wake of Superstorm Sandy). The rest of the NFL world was distracted by Doug Martin's growing fantasy legend.
3. Fantasy owners, I beg you to NOT get sucked into any future speculation of Calvin Johnson (seven catches, 129 yards vs. Jacksonville) missing games due to knee soreness. At this point in his sterling career, Johnson has earned the right to sit three straight midweek practices and still be earmarked for greatness on game day.
4. Until Sunday night, Atlanta's Roddy White (seven catches, 118 yards vs. Dallas), Julio Jones (five catches, 129 yards) and Michael Turner (102 rushing yards, one TD) had never collected 100 yards receiving/100 rushing yards in the same game. In White's case, he has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown in every home game this season.
5. In hindsight, I would have lost money wagering on Aaron Rodgers (218 yards passing, four TD) notching "more" passing yards than Arizona's John Skelton (306 yards passing, one TD).
6. On the flip side, I would have successfully doubled down on Larry Fitzgerald (six catches, 74 yards, one TD) finding the end zone against the Packers.
7. Seattle's Marshawn Lynch (150 total yards, one TD vs. Minnesota) has rushed for 100-plus yards in three straight games...just like he'll do for the fantasy-playoff period of Weeks 14-16 (Arizona, Buffalo, San Francisco). Please keep that boast in mind before fantasy trade deadlines expire later this month.
8. Of the five receivers with at least seven touchdowns (A.J. Green, James Jones, Victor Cruz, Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall), I prefer the Chicago wideout's attractive slate for Weeks 14-16 (Minnesota, Green Bay, Arizona). Marshall, who caught nine balls for 122 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on Sunday, has logged four straight games of double-digit targets.
9. Moving forward, I won't rank Robert Griffin III (268 total yards, zero touchdowns) ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady in any given week. The Redskins' receiving corps is simply too weak for Griffin to maintain top-three status among quarterbacks by season's end.
10. Lions tailbacks Mikel Leshoure (70 yards, three TDs) and Joique Bell (109 total yards, one TD) have officially entered the realm of the NFL's most productive rushing combos. Even in a time-share scenario, both backs are weekly threats for 85 total yards and/or one touchdown.
11. Russell Wilson (173 yards passing, three TDs) deserves some fantasy props for tossing multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games. And if he should accomplish the feat against the Jets next week, then I won't utter Matt Flynn's name again all year. I promise.
12. Detroit's Matthew Stafford might have posted the season's finest 285-yard, zero-touchdown outing. Of his 33 passes against Jacksonville (22 completions), I can only recall two sloppy balls—and Titus Young dropped an easy score in the fourth quarter.
13. I'll buy Felix Jones (109 total yards vs. Atlanta) as a viable threat for 100 total yards next week against Philly, but only as a larger rushing asset. Of his 11 career games of 100 total yards (including Sunday), Jones only notched more receiving yards twice.
14. I certainly didn't want to be right about Minnesota's Christian Ponder (86 total yards vs. Seattle) ranking dead-last among fantasy quarterbacks for Week 9. But from all angles, it was a horrible matchup for the second-year quarterback.
15. There are two ways to look at Cam Newton's Sunday output:
a. The positive view: Newton (238 total yards, two TDs) tallied the sixth-most QB points for the week (before Eagles-Saints on Monday).
b. The skeptical view: Newton threw for only 201 yards against the NFL's worst passing defense (heading into Week 9).
For now, I'll accept the positive side of Newton's ledger...even though I would have scoffed at 238 total yards a few days ago.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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