Here are 15 random and NFC-based deep thoughts from an intriguing Week 10—which featured the NFL's first official tie since Donovan McNabb's infamous post-game revelation in 2008.
1. On Saturday night, if you had told me the Vikings' top-four receivers (Jarius Wright, Devin Aromashodu, Jerome Simpson, Michael Jenkins) would combine for only 136 yards against the Lions, I would have assumed that Adrian Peterson amassed 170 yards and one touchdown. Bingo!
2. I have no way of quantifying this, but the Sunday battle of Tony Gonzalez (11 catches, 122 yards, two TDs) vs. Jimmy Graham (seven catches, 146 yards, two TDs) has to be the greatest single-game duel of tight ends in NFL history. Eighteen catches, 268 yards and four touchdowns ... really?
3. It pains me to admit this, but Cam Newton (248 total yards, two TDs vs. Denver) has officially lost his status as a "no-brainer starter" in 12-team leagues. When compared to the likes of Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Schaub. He'll be pre-judged on a week-to-week basis.
4. I've relaxed my stance on tabbing Marshawn Lynch (151 total yards, one TD) as a sell-high commodity in standard-scoring leagues. Perhaps he should be a lock for 300 total yards and three touchdowns for Weeks 14 (vs. Arizona), 15 (at Buffalo) and 16 (vs. San Francisco).
5. Among NFC playmakers, I fully expect Matthew Stafford (329 yards passing, three TDs vs. Minnesota) and Calvin Johnson (12 catches, 207 yards, two TDs) to be the most prolific QB-WR tandem from this point forward. Garbage-time fun, or no garbage-time fun.
6. I will no longer use Danny Amendola's pedestrian track record during outdoors games on grass against him. Against the 49ers, Amendola caught 11 of his 12 targets for 102 yards at Candlestick Park—and that doesn't even include an 80-yard overtime reception negated by an illegal-formation penalty.
7. No fantasy guru could have envisioned Rams tailback Steven Jackson (127 total yards, one TD) logging 32 touches (three catches) against the 49ers. Especially since he had 36 combined touches for Weeks 6-8. Bottom line: It was great to see Jackson running "downfield" again.
8. There are two big positives from the Giants' shaky loss to the Bengals: Andre Brown (94 total yards, one TD) has more fantasy points than backfield mate Ahmad Bradshaw since Week 7. Receiver Hakeem Nicks (nine catches, 14 targets, 75 yards) may have finally recaptured his 2011 form.
9. Tailback Matt Forte (36 total yards) gets two free passes (citing bad weather/stingy opponent) for Sunday's middling effort. But the reprieve comes with a caveat: Without Jay Cutler (concussion symptoms) in the Bears' lineup, Forte would not be a top-10 asset from this point forward.
10. The only thing stopping Felix Jones (93 total yards, one TD) from being a top-10 tailback for the next three weeks (Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia) is the healthy return of DeMarco Murray. That might not be enough to slow down the fleet-footed rusher.
11. Among quarterbacks, I expect Philly's Nick Foles (219 yards passing, one TD in relief of Michael Vick) to be this week's most coveted free agent. If Foles starts next Sunday against the Redskins (the NFL's 30th-ranked pass defense), he's a reasonable bet for 290 yards passing and two touchdowns.
12. Looking for a stealth PPR-trade option? Go all-in on Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin (eight catches, 93 yards, one TD vs. Dallas), who has two touchdowns, three outings of double-digit targets and three games of six-plus catches since Week 6.
13. Vikings QB Christian Ponder (236 total yards, two TDs) had a nice fantasy day against the Lions, but that's no reason to start him in two weeks against Chicago (after Minnesota's bye). Too much of a flight risk, unless you own the Bears defense, as well.
14. Here's the positive-spin stat of the day involving Seattle's Sidney Rice (two catches, 54 yards, two TDs on Sunday):
For Weeks 2-9, Rice had a catch-to-target rate of 50 percent or higher in each outing. And of the two games with catch-per-target rates of under 50 percent (Weeks 1 and 10), Rice tallied three touchdowns.
15. Kudos to Bucs tailback Doug Martin (486 total yards, six TDs for Weeks 8-9) for posting the quietest 119 total yards of the fantasy season....and being the inspiration for this week's Lamest Email or Tweet From A Disgruntled Follower:
Is it too soon to give up on Doug Martin?
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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