In the words of Prince Akeem of Zamunda, the football match between the Bengals of Cincinnati and the Dolphins of Miami was most exhilarating...if watching Andy Dalton's emergence go into prime time free fall is exhilarating I guess. Positive takeaways? Marvin Jones' role continues to grow, and he just missed out on a big TD thanks to a Gresham holding call. Lamar Miller also out snapped and outplayed his inferior counterpart Daniel Thomas once again (16/105), and should continue to help out your fantasy team as a low RB2/Flex going forward. Gio Bernard looked spectacular in the night, clocking a highlight reel TD that was reminiscent of Barry Sanders, while adding a second TD before leaving the game with bruised ribs. Unfortunately, Bernard's workload still looks very much like a change of pace/time share back. Until BJGE relinquishes another 5-8 carries a week, Bernard is still only a high upside flex option...but one I'd plug in every week.
*We've pointed you in the direction of Andre Ellington, Mike James & others in recent weeks, let's see if we can keep up that momentum...
Mike Tolbert- I speculatively picked up both Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart in a thin RB league recently, and it looks like Tolbert will continue to vulture short yardage TDs (Stewart looked slow and quite frankly, still injured).With DeAngelo Williams still dinged up, you'll get some much needed RB relief in standard leagues, while Cam Newton & Co. looks to be riding a chain moving wave the last few weeks. Tolbert has 4 TDs in 4 consecutive games now.
Shonn Greene- Another fatty vulture in the Tolbert mold, Greene had returned from an injury hiatus to a lukewarm promise from Mike Munchak to inherit 15 carries a game. While it's hard to trust the Charlie Brown-like wishy washiness of Munchak (Greene only had 9 touches), Greene is getting the goal line ops and scored his first week back. Meanwhile, the goal line grabs also seemed to light a fire under Chris Johnson (he clocked in a huge day for 23/150 & 2TDs). Greene is still a must have handcuff with some goal line security.
Chris Ivory- If you've been playing the Jets RB carousel, Ivory is the clear lead dog now (18/139/1TD), with Bilal Powell assuming the change of pace role. The best part? He's still available in smaller leagues, and his OL is opening lanes between the tackles that allow him to get into 2nd gear and break ankles.
Aaron Dobson- Added, dropped, added, dropped. The rookie out of Marshall has found the end zone now in successive weeks, and has surpassed Kenbrell Thompkins (and Edleman) as Tom Brady's security blanket in an injury riddled season for the QB's wideouts. He'll likely be dropped again for the Pats week 10 bye, grab and stash him for the stretch run.
Mario Manningham- He gets a 2nd week in this column, because (1) He's been practicing, and (2) He's set to return after the bye week. Outside of the run game and the Vernon Davis, what are we looking at for weapons? Kaepernick should welcome his return, as he gets a big jump over Michael Crabtree, who will be lucky to be at full strength for the REAL (not fantasy) playoffs.
The Dallas Offense- Another week of Dez Bryant camera stalking disgust, and the Cowboys (despite the reality of Tony Romo winning the game on a late TD pass to Dwayne Harris) looked less than stellar vs. an inspired Vikings defense that was supposed to lay down and give up 40 points. The Cowboys face a potential shoot out with the Saints next week, and have a week 11 bye. I'd make every overture possible in acquiring Dez & Co., as the Boys have quite possibly the softest fantasy playoff stretch schedule imaginable.
Marshawn Lynch- Okay, now we have a legit squeaky wheel sitch, my Beast loving friends. This was the second week in a row where the Seahawks stop feeding the Sharknado of a RB (some of which was game flow, dictated by Mike Glennon's early lead via the air). Despite topping 100 yards on the day, Lynch failed to get into the endzone, primarily because Seattle refuses to give him the ball inside the 5. This should lead some Skittle Disciples to abandon the Church of Ye Olde Broken Ankles for the right price. Make an offer to impatient ones in your fantasy leagues, this is Lynch's time of year.
Shane Vereen- Yeah, I know, he hasn't played yet, but that's why you should trade for him. Before his injury, he looked like Danny Woodhead with a jet pack. He's been practicing and should be locked and loaded for the Pats week 11 return after the bye. Get out the champagne and put on some Al Green, to woo this stud from another owner and onto your roster.
Darrell Young- With the ordinarily stout San Diego run defense giving up it's first rushing TD early in the game to Alfred Morris, Kyle Shanahan let his big fullback punish the Charger interior DL for three short goal line TDs. A stat line of 5/12/3TDs is about as sustainable as a car that runs on harp seal oil. Don't chase this fluky production.
Nick Foles & Riley Cooper- Chip Kelly is no fool. The Raiders have been stout vs. the run, but middling through the air on defense. We've seen Foles and Cooper show up and disappear before, and it's likely they disappear again next week in Green Bay, depite a record breaking day. Middling talent has a way of doing that, folks.
Davone Bess- Another middling talent that is benefitting from a new QB (new to starting for Cleveland anyway), and feeling his way around weapons. It may not get much better for the likes of studs Gordon and Cameron, but at least I have confidence in their talent.
Jericho Cotchery- Are you serious? The man was Brandon Weeden's kindergarten teacher! Okay, I made that up, but the cat is a fossil. The Pats were down Aqib Talib again, and opt to bracket coverage on outside WRs. That left Ol' Man Cotchery on a one on one with the slumping Arrington. The results were to be expected.
The Case Keenum Air Show rolled on in prime time, as the young UDFA injected new life into Andre Johnson, who found the end zone 3 times and amassed a whopping 229 yards on 9 catches. It looks as if Keenum has been locked into the starting job for the forseeable future, and that's good for Andre Johnson as the training wheels are seemingly off of the Houston offense with a true gunslinger at QB. As for DeAndre Hopkins, my guess is that his prospects will improve as the weeks go by, but he's a better play in 2014 and beyond, and a low end flex for the remainder of 2013. Keenum is quite possibly the best streaming option out on your waiver wire at the moment, so if you're not locked in with a top QB, he'll likely give you top 12 production every week until defenses figure him out (Indy seemed to do so in the 2nd half, keeping Keenum's points relegated mostly to the first half). As for Arian Foster, we weren't high on him in the preseason, so none of the mounting injuries (game time back injury kept him out this week) come as much of a surprise. His workload leading into 2013 was a red flag, and he's not cut from the same mold as a Marshawn Lynch or an Adrian Peterson. I would avoid "buying low" on Foster, as the now 2-6 Texans could very well shut him down, or at the very least limist his touches in a seemingly lost season.
Andrew Luck appeared rattled for the first time all season as the Texans called for interior pressure all game and gave Luck little room to step up and stick throws in the pocket. In the second half however, Luck showed resiliency and connected on three TDs to burner T.Y. Hilton, who's running away with the number one WR job as Darius Heyward-Bey was concussed in the game, and dropping everything in sight prior. Pick up Lavon Brazill off of your waiver wire, as Bey just isn't any good and is likely to miss at least one game with a concussion anyway. I generally don't recommend "buying high," but I'd make an exception for the speedy Hilton. Defensive backs can't cover him on a deep post, and Luck will exploit that route for days. Coby Fleener underwhelmed some on the stat line, but he still stands to inherit targets going forward. Fleener did have one big 44 yard contested catch that was of the highlight variety. I still believe there are better days ahead for the young TE. To wrap things up, I'm not buying the Indy running game. Trent Richardson looked awful and Donald Brown was just serviceable enough to make you forget about Richardson. Avoid this mess at all costs.
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