How crazy was this week in fantasy football?
Nick Foles threw for seven touchdowns. Tom Brady registered more fantasy points this week (33) than he has in the past four games combined (31). Case Keenum, Ben Roethlisberger and Jason Campbell cracked the top 10 in quarterback points.
Oh, there's more.
Zac Stacy, Rashad Jennings, Darrel Young, Chris Ivory and Mike James were all top-10 running backs. Andre Johnson's 40 fantasy points equaled his combined points from his previous six games. And Riley Cooper, T.Y. Hilton, Jerricho Cotchery and Aaron Dobson were right behind him on the rankings.
Fantasy football is unpredictable, folks. On these rankings, we'll take an early stab at predicting Week 10's top players based on recent form and matchups, but as Week 9 proved, sometimes the best you can do with player projections is to close your eyes and throw a dart at a number on the board.
Notes: All point totals for standard-scoring leagues. Points against stats come from ESPN. The Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and New York Jets are on bye this week.
|1||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||Philadelphia Eagles||30|
|2||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||28|
|3||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||Dallas Cowboys||27|
|4||Matt Stafford||Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears||24|
|5||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||23|
|6||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||21|
|7||Nick Foles||Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||20|
|8||Robert Griffin III||Washington||Minnesota Vikings||19|
|9||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||18|
|10||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||St. Louis Rams||17|
Will the real Nick Foles please stand up?
In starts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, Foles has thrown for 702 yards, 11 total touchdowns and a whopping 74 fantasy points. In his start against the Dallas Cowboys, he went 11-of-29 for just 80 passing yards and five fantasy points.
Remember, however, that in one half of relief duty against the New York Giants, he threw for 197 yards, two touchdowns and accumulated 15 fantasy points. He also has yet to throw an interception this year.
The game against the Cowboys seems like the outlier here, folks—Foles should not only keep his job but also thrive for fantasy owners.
In general, stick with your studs this week. The only two you might want to avoid are Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, who face off in a game between two very good defenses where yards and points could be hard to come by.
Andy Dalton also came back down to earth this week—though I think he's a starter in 12-team leagues against the Baltimore Ravens—while Matt Ryan has really struggled the past two weeks and now faces the Seattle Seahawks. Case Keenum earned himself the starting gig, but the Arizona Cardinals have held opposing quarterbacks to 15 or fewer fantasy points in four of their last five games.
|1||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||Washington||25|
|2||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers||Philadelphia Eagles||23|
|3||Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions||22|
|4||Alfred Morris||Washington||Minnesota Vikings||19|
|5||Reggie Bush||Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears||18|
|6||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||18|
|7||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||17|
|8||Chris Johnson||Tennessee Titans||Jacksonville Jaguars||15|
|9||Knowshon Moreno||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||15|
|10||Zac Stacy||St. Louis Rams||Indianapolis Colts||14|
Running Back Notes
Ladies and gentlemen, Zac Stacy is legit. After Sunday's 178-yard, two-touchdown performance, he's now registered seven or more fantasy points in five straight games and hit double-digit points three weeks in a row.
This week he faces an Indianapolis Colts defense that just gave up 143 rushing yards to a Houston Texans team that played without Arian Foster. This year's Waiver Wire MVP will keep the good times rolling.
Chris Johnson certainly seems revitalized in Tennessee. He's now scored 13 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games, and his 150-yard, two-touchdown performance against the St. Louis Rams was the best he's looked in quite some time.
He should tear the Jacksonville Jaguars to shreds.
Alfred Morris owners shouldn't sweat Darrel Young, just like they didn't need to sweat Roy Helu. Despite losing three touchdowns and 18 potential fantasy points on Sunday, Morris still scored 18 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues. He's hit double-digit points five times this season and has yet to score less than seven points.
Consistency is his middle name. Well, I can't verify that, but he's been pretty darn consistent.
|1||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears||24|
|2||Jordy Nelson||Green Bay Packers||Philadelphia Eagles||22|
|3||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||21|
|4||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||Baltimore Ravens||20|
|5||Wes Welker||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||18|
|6||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||17|
|7||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions||15|
|8||Demaryius Thomas||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||15|
|9||Keenan Allen||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||14|
|10||T.Y. Hilton||Indianapolis Colts||St. Louis Rams||13|
Wide Receiver Notes
Calvin Johnson has the same amount of fantasy points in his last two games (63) as Anquan Boldin has scored this season. So yes, Megatron gets top billing every week until further notice.
There won't be any surprises amongst the top eight options this week, but at No. 9 we get Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers.
Since Week 4, Allen has 65 fantasy points, good for a healthy 13 points per contest. He won't be a WR1 every week, but in a game against the Denver Broncos that could quickly become a shootout, he's a great play this week.
And then there is T.Y. Hilton, who announced in no uncertain terms that he will be Andrew Luck's top weapon going forward with Reggie Wayne out for the year. Hilton torched a solid Houston pass defense for seven receptions, 121 yards, three touchdowns and 30 fantasy points. Expect him to terrorize the St. Louis Rams in Week 10.
|1||Jimmy Graham||New Orleans Saints||Dallas Cowboys||20|
|2||Julius Thomas||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||15|
|3||Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||Carolina Panthers||14|
|4||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||12|
|5||Jordan Reed||Washington Redskins||Minnesota Vikings||12|
|6||Tony Gonzalez||Atlanta Falcons||Seattle Seahawks||10|
|7||Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||9|
|8||Martellus Bennett||Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions||9|
|9||Coby Fleener||Indianapolis Colts||St. Louis Rams||8|
|10||Timothy Wright||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Miami Dolphins||7|
Tight End Notes
Here is the list of non-quarterback, skill-position players (before Monday Night Football) who have more fantasy points this season than Jimmy Graham's 131: Jamaal Charles, with 147. That's it. Not only is he the most valuable tight end by a long shot, but he's arguably the most valuable player in all of fantasy football, period.
This would be a good week to focus on fringe TE1 options like Coby Fleener—17 combined fantasy points the past two games—and Timothy Wright, who has scored 21 combined points in his last two games.
And yes, I think Vernon Davis is the one player in the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers who will retain elite fantasy value. With six or more fantasy points in six of eight games—and four double-digit performances—he's been a consistent option for owners all season long.
|1||Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||20|
|2||Tennessee Titans||Jacksonville Jaguars||18|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||Carolina Panthers||15|
|4||Carolina Panthers||San Francisco 49ers||13|
|5||Cincinnati Bengals||Baltimore Ravens||13|
|6||Arizona Cardinals||Houston Texans||12|
|7||Miami Dolphins||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12|
|8||Houston Texans||Arizona Cardinals||11|
|9||Oakland Raiders||New York Giants||11|
|10||Indianapolis Colts||St. Louis Rams||10|
Defense/Special Team Notes
This is a tough week for defenses, as a lot of potential options for fantasy owners face solid offenses. The Seahawks are a must-play every week, while the Tennessee Titans have the week's best matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
If you have one of the top five options on the rankings this week, you should be fine. After that, however, trust the matchups this week and find a team like the Miami Dolphins that faces a weak offensive opponent.
|1||Matt Prater||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||15|
|2||Mason Crosby||Green Bay Packers||Philadelphia Eagles||13|
|3||Steven Hauschka||Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||13|
|4||Dan Bailey||Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||12|
|5||Garrett Hartley||New Orleans Saints||Dallas Cowboys||11|
|6||Adam Vinatieri||Indianapolis Colts||St. Louis Rams||11|
|7||Dan Carpenter||Buffalo Bills||Pittsburgh Steelers||10|
|8||David Akers||Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears||10|
|9||Nick Novak||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||9|
|10||Alex Henery||Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||8|
Stephen Gostkowski took over the top spot on the kicker rankings this week, but Matt Prater will retain his place at No. 1 against the San Diego Chargers. Beyond that, my advice at the position remains the same as usual—find a consistent producer with a matchup against a bad defense.
If you get fewer than eight or nine points from your kicker, shame on you.
Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions, commiserate with you over underachieving players and wonder how Nick Foles could throw more touchdowns on Sunday (seven) than Terrelle Pryor has thrown for this year (six).