In the 2010 NFL season, could luck get any worse for the elite tight ends of the league?
Star San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was a last-minute scratch in Week 9, dealing with turf toe and plantar fasciitis injuries in his feet.
Veteran backup Randy McMichael grabbed two scores in Gates' absence.
Speaking of the Bolts, the “never sit your studs mantra” never rang truer for Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
Despite missing his top three receivers, Rivers had no problem decimating a putrid Texans secondary for 295 yards and four scores.
In other news, fantasy owners had to be happy to finally have elusive Eagles quarterback Michael Vick back in their lineup.
Vick had no problem exploiting a beat-up Colts defense. Although the Colts got great pressure on the QB, Vick still finished the day with 218 passing yards and a score, with 10 rushes for 74 yards and a touchdown as well.
DeSean Jackson owners had to be equally happy, as the big play receiver flourished with Vick back under center. Jackson finished with 129 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
While a lot of the usual stars shined, there were still some top performances from guys sitting on your league’s waiver wire. Let us take a look at who they were this week.
If you were gutsy enough to gamble on the rookie out of Fresno State in Week 9, your team was handsomely rewarded.
The big bodied receiver had a field day in his first career start against the porous Houston secondary, finishing the day with four catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
While Patrick Crayton will continue to see targets and make plays in this offense, he is more of a possession receiver with Ajirotutu being the big play/deep threat guy.
Monitor the health of the Chargers receiving core, but even if Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are healthy this week, it is unlikely Ajirotutu will disappear into obscurity after this eye-opening performance.
Pick him up in any league where your team is in need of help or depth at the wide receiver position, as he is a quality add in all formats.
The Raiders passing attack has suffered with Jason Campbell at the helm, and Louis Murphy nursing a bruised lung has not helped either.
The former Clemson Tiger had no problem moving through the Chiefs secondary, and was instrumental in the Raiders' Week 9 overtime victory.
Ford finished the day with six catches for 148 yards, making up for a lack of size (5’9", 185 pounds) by showing tremendous strength and desire through the game.
The best example of this was when Campbell threw into double coverage late in the fourth quarter. While it certainly should have been an interception, Ford ripped the ball out of the defender's hands and gave Oakland a huge gain on the play.
Even when Murphy returns, it is going to be hard to ignore the skill set this talented rookie possesses.
Furthermore, his stock will only go up when Bruce Gradkowski is throwing the passes again, as he has a much better pocket presence than Campbell.
Ford is a solid add in all formats, so make an effort to get him on your team’s roster for Week 10.
The top three wide receivers on the Bills are all viable fantasy options? What is the world coming to?
Hard to believe, but Roscoe Parrish is a player who deserves to be on a lot of fantasy rosters by Week 10.
Parrish has at least four catches and 50 yards in five of the past six games. Bear in mind also that he has only found pay dirt twice this year, so his true value exists in PPR formats.
For owners in PPR leagues, why not take a chance on a player in one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the NFL?
UPDATE: Roscoe Parrish has been placed on the injured reserve list with a broken wrist. Rookies Donald Jones and David Nelson will have a chance to step up in Parrish's absence, but of course neither is worth a waiver wire claim at the moment. Take a wait and see approach to find out if either guy is able to produce with the increased snaps they see.
Just when fantasy owners, and of course Carolina fans, were about to give up on the Panthers ground game, along comes Tyrell Sutton.
In a Week 9 affair where the Panthers offense was as bad as anyone could remember, Sutton quietly managed 5.9 yards per carry and 56 yards from scrimmage.
Sutton took over the lead back role after Jonathan Stewart suffered a concussion, and DeAngelo Williams is still nursing a foot injury.
Sutton has proved to be a solid receiving back on third down this season, and could post respectable yardage totals with no one to share touches with.
Sutton remains a deep league play only for the time being due to the inefficiencies of the Panthers offense (third QB Tony Pike came in during Week 9), he is a player worth stashing on your bench and taking a wait and see approach at the very least.
UPDATE: Sutton tweaked his ankle late against the Saints in Week 9, and DeAngelo Williams is still not ready to play, so Mike Goodson has been named the starter.
Goodson is actually number two on the team in receptions, and the Bucs defense is giving up over 5 yards a carry to opposing rushers.
This offense is so bad Goodson is tough to roll with in Week 10, but he will see almost all the carries and catch at least 3-5 passes, so he could be useful based on sheer volume alone for a one week fill-in.
Before the critics rip this pick apart, owners should only put in a claim for Bennett in deep and/or competitive PPR leagues.
Bennett has at least three catches in every game but one, and has over 50 yards receiving in his past three games.
He also found the end zone for the first time in Week 9.
With Devin Hester and Devin Aromashodu rarely seeing snaps in this offense, Bennett has seen a lot of new found opportunities.
While Johnny Knox is certainly the Bears receiver you want to own, the Bears have some beatable secondaries coming up against the Vikings and Dolphins.
If you are borderline desperate, Bennett is a player with some potential if the Chicago O-line can keep Jay Cutler upright for a majority of the game, as they did against the Bills in Week 9.