Fantasy Football: Arian Foster Leads the 'AFC Random Thoughts' for Week 10
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Here are 15 random and AFC-based deep thoughts from an intriguing Week 10—none of which reprimand Reggie Bush for fumbling again.
1. Arian Foster (117 total yards, one TD vs. Chicago) has scored at least one touchdown in 13 straight games. By extension, he remains in contention for 1,700 total yards and 20 touchdowns. Bottom line: With attractive dates against the Patriots, Colts and Vikings for Weeks 14-16, there is no justifiable reason for trading Foster—short of a 3-for-1 blockbuster. And it better be an absolute no-brainer.
2. Joe Flacco (341 yards passing vs. Oakland), one of only two NFL quarterbacks to register four touchdowns on Sunday (along with Andy Dalton), remains one of fantasy's best QBs...when playing at a home. Through five games at Baltimore, Flacco boasts averages of 322.4 yards passing and 2.4 touchdowns. On the road...the average stat line is considerably worse.
3. Obviously, A.J. Green's touchdown streak (currently at eight) won't last forever. But looking at the schedule, he's a good bet for 100 yards or one touchdown for Weeks 11 (at Kansas City), 12 (vs. Oakland—the Carson Palmer homecoming) and 13 (at San Diego). After that, things get a little dicey for Green.
4. Going back to Week 10 of the 2010 campaign, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (three catches, 31 yards, one TD vs. Buffalo) had not once finished with under 40 yards receiving on days where he scored a touchdown. But there's a first time for everything. And since we're talking about things that rarely happen...no one could have envisioned Gronk being excluded from the troika of tight ends with multiple touchdowns on Sunday (Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Greg Olsen).
5. C.J. Spiller (131 total yards vs. New England) has a golden chance to be a top-five asset this week, due to Fred Jackson missing Thursday's game with a concussion. Assuming 23 touches against the Dolphins, Spiller should be a rock-solid candidate for 130 total yards and one touchdown.
6. How's this for a silver-and-black lining? Receivers Denarius Moore (four catches, 90 yards, one TD vs. Baltimore) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (five catches, 82 yards, one TD) should be automatic flex considerations for the Raiders' next two games (Saints, Bengals). QB Carson Palmer (368 yards passing, two TDs) is riding one of those rare streaks where real-world foibles have absolutely no bearing on sublime fantasy tallies.
7. Was it just my TV, or did Bills receiver Steve Johnson (six catches, season-high 86 yards) look like his old self against the Patriots? Sure, he didn't score a touchdown or log double-digit targets...but that may have been the first game, all season, where the opposition was powerless to control Johnson for sustained stretches. I love his prospects against a no-name Dolphins secondary, just three days from now.
8. Last week, I took some heat from the fantasy masses for not assigning a higher ranking to Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, even though he had thrown for 290 yards and one TD in Week 9 (against the Colts) and was facing an exploitable defense (Titans) in Week 10. My reasoning: Tannehill's two most impressive outings had come on the road. Well, unfortunately, he laid an egg at home on Sunday, throwing for 217 yards, zero scores and three picks...while giving the finicky fans of Miami little motivation to attend the Nov. 25 home tilt against Seattle.
9. On a personal note, last Sunday shall mark the last time I ever start a fringe backup tailback (Shane Vereen) at the flex spot, over two healthy and productive receivers (Darrius Heyward-Bey, Danny Amendola). Yes, the Bills had surrendered a staggering average of 202 rushing yards for Weeks 5, 7, 8 and 9...but that's still no reason to believe Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would treat Vereen (16 total yards) like a favorite son. Ugh!
10. I have more fantasy respect today for Danny Woodhead (61 total yards, two TDs vs. Buffalo) than in late September. But here's the deal: For 12-team leagues, it's still hard to merit starting consideration to a player with only three outings of 70-plus yards in the last two years. Especially after fantasy owners bid adieu to bye weeks in 10 days.
11. The day will come when Brian Hartline (eight catches, 79 yards vs. Tennessee) is an easy starter in 12-team leagues, regardless of scoring. But for now, PPR owners shall be the only ones to benefit from his underrated talents. On Sunday, the Dolphins only got inside the red zone once, and that particular drive ended with a Tannehill interception.
12. I will continue to hold tight end Dustin Keller (three catches, 47 yards vs. Seattle) to a higher standard than his Jets teammates from this point forward, regardless of who's playing quarterback. Keller is simply too talented to collect a minuscule three receptions and five targets in a game that was never close (read: wasted garbage-time fun).
13. Chris Johnson (134 total yards, one TD vs. Miami) is back to averaging 100 total yards for the Titans, a dramatic improvement from his September splits. But he's still not a lock for my August guarantee of 1,700 total yards by season's end—when I promised to leave the fantasy-guru industry if Johnson didn't hit that number for 16 games played. Selfishly speaking, perhaps I should embrace the pedestrian play of Tennessee's wideouts.
Speaking of which...
14. On one end, I'm thrilled that QB Jake Locker (158 total yards, two TDs vs. Miami) has returned to the Tennessee lineup. On the other, it's hard to fathom how Locker completed only five passes to Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and tight end Jared Cook...in a game where the Titans notched 37 points. The receiving corps has been a major disappointment to date.
15. I may have been a big supporter, upside-wise, of Chargers receiver Danario Alexander (five catches, 134 yards, one TD vs. Tampa Bay) during his Rams days, but I'm still leery of starting him in deeper leagues.
My reasoning: Sunday marked only Alexander's second 100-yard outing in three NFL seasons; and in that span, he has never posted back-to-back games of 70-plus yards.
That said, if given the choice of rostering Alexander—with a hypothetical patch over his left eye—or San Diego's Robert Meachem...I'd take Danario The Cyclops 10 out of 10 times.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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