Fantasy Football: Calvin Johnson Headlines Week 10 'Dream Team'

Jay Clemons@ATL_JayClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterNovember 12, 2012

Fantasy Football: Calvin Johnson Headlines Week 10 'Dream Team'

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    The following countdown touts the 16 most decorated fantasy stars from the Sunday portion of NFL Week 10 (standard-scoring leagues). 

    The exclusive list includes two high-scoring defenses, three rifle-armed quarterbacks, three NFC South-based tight ends, four elite-level tailbacks and four dynamic receivers—including one mega-talent who's on the fast track to a Hall of Fame about 14 years.

    This week's most notable omissions include: Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick (quarterback); Steven Jackson, Arian Foster, Frank Gore, Danny Woodhead (running back); Sidney Rice, A.J. Green, Jeremy Maclin, Denarius Moore, Roddy White (wide receiver); and Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (four field goals).

    Maybe next time.

    Enjoy the show!

Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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    Sunday Stats: 411 Yards Passing, 3 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Matt Ryan was the only NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in Week 10 (pending Monday's results).

    2. Ryan also established a new personal best in single-game passing yards (411).

    3. Including Sunday's effort, Ryan has tallied 30-plus fantasy points three times this season.

Quarterback: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    Sunday Stats: 341 Yards Passing, 4 TD (1 Rush)

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Joe Flacco was one of only two NFL quarterbacks to register four touchdowns on Sunday (along with Andy Dalton).

    2. With Flacco in the game, the Ravens accounted for 48 points against the erratic Raiders.

    3. Flacco remains one of fantasy's best QBs...when playing at a home. Through five games at Baltimore, he boasts averages of 322.4 yards passing and 2.4 touchdowns.

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Sunday Stats: 329 Yards Passing, 3 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. For a third consecutive week, Matthew Stafford has crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns. Stafford also boasts a completion mark of 67 percent or higher in three straight outings.

    2. Through nine games, Stafford is now on pace for 4,835 yards passing and 25 touchdowns.

    3. San Diego's Philip Rivers matched Stafford's output in total yards (342) and touchdowns (three) on Sunday, but Stafford (one interception) gets the final countdown nod, based on fewer turnovers.

Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

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    Sunday Stats: 176 Total Yards (171 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Adrian Peterson tallied the most rushing yards (171) and total yards (176) of any NFL tailback in Week 10 (pending Monday's results).

    2. Peterson has rushed for 100-plus yards in his last four games, matching a similar streak of running dominance from 2008 (his second NFL campaign).

    3. The Vikings star has five touchdowns since Week 7—an impressive stat considering he didn't find the end zone from Weeks 2-6.

    4. Of his 11 career games against Detroit, Peterson has notched 100 total yards and/or one touchdown 10 times. Boom!

Running Back: Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

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    Sunday Stats: 151 Total Yards (124 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Just like Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 100-plus yards in his last four games. But unlike the Vikings star, this is Lynch's longest uninterrupted run of triple-digit goodness in his career.

    2. Lynch has scored a touchdown in his last three outings.

    3. Through nine games, Lynch has racked up 94 total yards and/or one touchdown eight times.

    4. For what it's worth, Lynch's 27-yard reception from Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was his longest receiving gain of the year.

Running Back: Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills

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    Sunday Stats: 115 Total Yards (80 Rushing), 2 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Fred Jackson was one of only two NFL tailbacks to register multiple touchdowns on Sunday (along with New England's Danny Woodhead).

    2. Jackson logged more carries, rushing yards and touchdowns than backfield mate C.J. Spiller—even though Spiller had a fantastic game, as well (131 total yards on only 13 touches).

    3. Of his last four games, Jackson has notched double-digit fantasy points (standard-scoring rules) three times.

Running Back: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

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    Sunday Stats: 134 Total Yards (126 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Chris Johnson became the first opposing tailback this season to rush for 100-plus yards against the Dolphins' formidable rush defense (ranked No. 3 overall heading into Sunday).

    2. Remember Johnson's slow start from September? Well, he has notched 100-plus total yards in his last five games.

    3. Johnson has rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games. Not coincidentally, he was a "Dream Team" member both times.

    4. The speedster's 17-yard scoring run in the first quarter might end up as his most dazzling touchdown of the season.

Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

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    Sunday Stats: 12 Catches, 207 Yards, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Calvin Johnson tallied more catches (12) and receiving yards (207) than any other receiver on Sunday. His 13 targets ranked No. 3 (tied with three others) for the weekend, as well.

    2. Counting the NFC playoffs from last year, Sunday marked the fourth time in 13 games that Johnson notched 200-plus receiving yards. Think about that for a second.

    3. Johnson scored a touchdown against the Vikings, breaking a five-game scoring drought (his longest since 2009).

    4. It's quite possible that Johnson (sore knee) will be listed as "questionable" for the rest of the season, missing nearly every midweek practice along the way.

    But fantasy owners, please don't get sucked into thinking Calvin won't be ready on Sunday. He's the best in the biz.

Wide Receiver: Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers

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    Sunday Stats: 5 Catches, 134 Yards, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Danario Alexander collected the third-most yards of any NFL wideout on Sunday (behind Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas).

    2. Alexander, dropped by the Rams earlier this season, has the making of a top-three receiver with the Chargers (depending on Vincent Brown's status).

    3. Playing in just his third game with San Diego, Alexander notched his first 100-yard outing since Week 2 of last year (with St. Louis).

    4. Alexander's stats were boosted by an 80-yard touchdown reception on the third play from scrimmage.

Wide Receiver: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

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    Sunday Stats: 9 Catches, 135 Yards

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Demaryius Thomas recorded the second-most receiving yards of any wideout on Sunday.

    2. From a targets perspective, Thomas nearly doubled the output of any other Broncos playmaker. And for the season, Thomas has collected double-digit targets four times.

    3. Through nine games, Thomas has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown eight times.

Wide Receiver: Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens

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    Sunday Stats: 2 Catches, 67 Yards, 2 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Torrey Smith has scored at least one touchdown in his last four home games.

    2. For the season, Smith has scored at least one TD in five of his last seven outings (home or away).

    3. Among receivers, Smith gets the final countdown slot over Sidney Rice for two reasons:

    a) Rice (two touchdowns) finished with less than 60 yards receiving.

    b) Smith required one less target to earn his stripes as a "Dream Team" member.

Tight End: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

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    Sunday Stats: 7 Catches, 146 Yards, 2 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Jimmy Graham's season-high output of 146 yards was a better tally than his last three games combined (139 yards).

    2. Graham outdistanced Tony Gonzalez—yardage-wise—on seven fewer targets.

    3. Sunday marked Graham's first two-touchdown game since the Saints' playoff loss to the 49ers in January.

    4. In standard-scoring leagues, Graham has racked up double-digit fantasy points in three straight games.

Tight End: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

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    Sunday Stats: 9 Catches, 102 Yards, 2 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. On Sunday, Greg Olsen was one of only three NFL tight ends to score multiple touchdowns.

    2. Olsen established new season highs with catches (nine) and receiving yards (102) against the Broncos. 

    3. It was also Olsen's second double-digit targets outing of the year.

Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons

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    Sunday Stats: 11 Catches, 122 Yards, 2 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Tony Gonzalez topped Jimmy Graham (seven catches, 146 yards, two TD) in receptions—easily the greatest duel of tight ends this season.

    2. For Week 10, Gonzalez led all tight ends and receivers with 15 targets.

    3. Gonzalez accounted for 27 percent of the Falcons' 454 total yards.

    4. On Sunday, the surefire Hall of Famer became just the eighth member of the 100-touchdown club amongst receivers and tight ends.

    5. Gonzalez established new season highs in targets (15) and touchdowns (two)—but narrowly missed 2012 marks in catches (13) and yards (123).

Defense/Special Teams: Denver Broncos

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    Sunday Accomplishments

    **Led by Von Miller (above), the Broncos sacked Cam Newton seven times.

    **Denver held Carolina to only 250 total yards and 14 points.

    **For Week 10, the Broncos were the only defense to notch a safety, pick-six (Tony Carter) and kick-return touchdown (Trindon Holliday).

Defense/Special Teams: Dallas Cowboys

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    Sunday Accomplishments

    **The Cowboys logged two sacks and forced two turnovers against the Eagles.

    **Dallas racked up one kick-return touchdown (Dwayne Harris) and two defensive touchdowns (Brandon Carr, Jason Hatcher) against Philly—with all three scores coming in the fourth quarter.