FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Tunnel Vision: Week 10
David Dorey
November 12, 2012
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Stats to Know Video - Featuring David Dorey
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Joe Flacco 342 4
Matt Ryan 411 3
Matthew Stafford 342 3
Philip Rivers 342 3
Drew Brees 298 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Adrian Peterson 176 1
Fred Jackson 115 2
Arian Foster 117 1
Marshawn Lynch 151 1
Steven Jackson 127 1
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Calvin Johnson 207 1
Danario Alexander 134 1
Jeremy Maclin 93 1
Demaryius Thomas 135 0
Cecil Shorts 105 1
Tight Ends Yards TD
Tony Gonzalez 122 2
Jimmy Graham 146 2
Greg Olsen 102 2
Kyle Rudolph 64 1
Dennis Pitta 67 1
Placekickers XPT FG
Blair Walsh 2 4
Stephen Gostkowski 4 3
Rob Bironas 4 3
Justin Tucker 7 2
Matt Prater 4 2
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Titans 1 2 4
Broncos 2 7 2
Cowboys 3 2 2
Buccaneers 2 2 2
Colts 1 4 3

Bumps, Bruises and bowouts

Julio Jones - Leg
Michael Vick - Concussion
Bilal Powell - Concussion
Alex Smith - Concussion
Jay Cutler - Concussion
Jason Avant - Hamstring
Ahmad Bradshaw - Undefined but may be neck
Domenik Hixon - Ankle

Stats you need to know

1. QB Colin Kaepernick (11-17-117, TD) - When Alex Smith left the game in the second quarter, we finally saw the 49ers 2.04 draft pick from 2011. Kaepernick was acquired to challenge Alex Smith anyway and his first real playing time was certainly encouraging. He took over the 7-14 deficit and were it not for a missed gimmee kick by David Akers, he would have won the game 23-20 in overtime. He passed for 117 yards with no interceptions and kept plays alive with eight runs for 66 yards and one touchdown. He was already the go-to guy at the end of a game if they needed a bigger arm for the Hail Mary pass. Should Smith be unavailable next week, Kaepernick will face the visiting Bears but the following week is in New Orleans. No matter which quarterback plays that will be worth a fantasy start.

2. QB Nick Foles (22-32-219, TD) - There were rumors that Michael Vick would be replaced by the rookie Foles but HC Andy Reid stood behind his beleaguered quarterback. He may not need to anymore. Vick left with a concussion and Foles came in midway in the second quarter. He passed for 219 yards and one score with an interception that was not his fault. That came against the Cowboys secondary but the next two games will be in Washington and then hosting the Panthers. Foles would get a very fortuitous stretch of the schedule if Vick remains out for any reason.

3. RB Felix Jones (93 total yards, TD) - With DeMarco Murray out since week six, the Cowboys initially went with a committee backfield. While Lance Dunbar is still used to some measure, Jones produced two straight decent fantasy games in Atlanta (109 yards) and in Philadelphia (93 yards) where he also scored. Murray's recovery has been slower than expected and the second-year back is doing nothing to dispel the notion he is injury-prone. Jones should be in for even more fun if he can get any more starts since the next three games are played at home against the Browns, Redskins and Eagles.

4. QB Eli Manning (215 pass yards, two interceptions) - Go ahead, wonder aloud. What is wrong with Eli? According to him, it has to do with mumbo jumbo about coverages, and playing better, and reading something and "hey, they just had a good game". Ask HC Tom Coughlin and he'll say he doesn't want to talk about it. And there is precedence in the past where Manning would start the season red hot and then cool off appreciably later in the year. We thought it was just a weather thing affecting a Louisiana boy. But that did not happen at all last year and now he's apparently started his downward turn much earlier. Manning didn't pass for a touchdown in the last three games. In four of the last five, he threw for no more than 215 yards. Not surprisingly this is dragging Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks down with him. The Giants have a bye and then their upcoming schedule should be pass-happy going against the Packers, Redskins and Saints. The question is if he can take advantage of it. Rest has to help.

5. WR Danny Amendola (11 catches, 102 yards) - Have to give major props to the little guy who only needed five weeks to recover from a broken clavicle. His first game back went against the always-tough 49ers defense in San Francisco and all he did was turn in the second 100 yard game of his career while catching 11 passes and returning one kick and three punts. Next up are the Jets, Cardinals, 49ers again and the Bills. If he can stay healthy, Amendola is going to be a gem down the stretch in leagues with reception points.

6. QB Jake Locker (9-21-122, 2 TD) - He's on his bye this week. And he only threw for 122 yards versus the Dolphins. But the Titans won 37-3 and Locker still passed for two touchdowns. He's been out since week four but in his first three games he scored at least once in each. Locker's returned to a formidable rushing game that took shape while he was recovering and no longer has to fear defenses teeing off on him with Chris Johnson to worry about. Rounding out his schedule are the Jaguars, Texans, Colts, Jets and Packers. His yardage will rise and he's already tossing touchdowns in every game.

7. Saints Rushers (28 carries, 149 yards, TD) - The backfield is always a committee but one that changed once Darren Sproles was injured. Mark Ingram is the actual primary back now and his 16 carries for 67 yards were more than double that of any other runner. Chris Ivory gained 72 yards and a touchdown on only seven runs thanks to one impressive 56-yard pinball jaunt through the Falcons defense. But Pierre Thomas was only allowed five runs for ten yards. Both Ivory and Thomas caught one short pass each. In this final week of byes, both Ingram and Ivory are more than mere desperation plays since they face the Raiders this week.

8. WR Laurent Robinson (nine catches, 77 yards) - The Jaguars free agent prize comes off his best game of the year. Granted - that is not saying much with 77 yards and he never scored this year. But Robinson was targeted 24 times over the last two games since returning from his concussion and is a possession play now for Blaine Gabbert and even Chad Henne if needed. Cecil Shorts remains the top receiver in this otherwise lethargic passing attack, but it is a favorable sign that Robinson is turning in higher amounts of receptions and is being relied on more.

9. RB Marcel Reese (104 total yards) - In his first start to replace Darren McFadden, Reese immediately became a big part of the offense. He rushed 13 times for 48 yards but was limited as a runner because of the growing deficit on the scoreboard. But he was the Raiders busiest receiver with seven receptions for 56 yards. McFadden himself never caught more than four passes since the season opener. Reese should continue to have fun with a schedule that hosts the Saints this week and then plays the Bengals and Browns next.

10. QB Jason Campbell (11-19-94) - After Jay Cutler never returned from halftime because of a concussion, Campbell took over and in the nasty rain threw for 94 yards. Cutler only passed for 40 yards and two interceptions in the first half and Matt Schaub only produced 95 passing yards in the full game for the Texans. Losing Cutler is plenty scary for the Bears since they lost five in a row when he was injured in 2011. But in bad weather, Campbell still found Marshall for six completions that gained 86 yards compared to Cutler's two completions for 21 yards to the star wideout. Even if Cutler is out, that doesn't mean Marshall will suffer.

Sunday Snippets

OAK 20, BAL 55 The Ravens had one of those games where everything went right. Except one thing. How can a team like the Ravens score 55 points and yet only give Ray Rice 13 carries for 35 yards and one score? Rice did add four catches for 33 yards so it wasn't a bad game. But 55 points and short scores were run in by Joe Flacco (341 yds, 3 TD) and Punter/Holder Sam Koch. Bernard Pierce ran ten times for 23 yards and they only allowed Rice 13 runs? Dennis Pita (5-67, TD) and Torrey Smith (2-67, 2 TD) and their rare big games and the Ravens just played better than they had in many weeks. The Raiders had little success rushing with Marcel Reese (13-48) but he added seven catches for 56 yards to be a decent waiver wire scrape last week. Carson Palmer threw for 368 yards and two scores split between Denarius Moore (4-90, TD) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (5-82, TD). The 7-2 Ravens head to Pittsburgh this week while the 3-6 Raiders host the Saints.
DEN 36, CAR 14

The Broncos won as expected but not in a manner you would expect. Peyton Manning passed for 301 yards but only one touchdown. Willis McGahee never scored but total 89 yards since Ronnie Hillman stole the touchdown, Demaryius Thomas (9-135) had his obligatory big game but Eric Decker (2-15) figured out how to end a five game fantasy points spree in a painful way for owners. The DEN defense scored on an interception return and a punt return and even threw in a safety just because. Greg Olsen caught nine passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns which explains the entirety of the Panthers offense. Literally. Jonathan Stewart (8-31) is about the saddest "primary" back ever. The 6-3 Broncos host the Chargers this week and the 2-7 Panthers host the Buccaneers.

NYG 13, CIN 31 A nice upset that made it look like the past had little to do with the present. Andy Dalton Only threw for 199 yards but scored four touchdowns, A.J. Green (7-85, TD) started the game out nearly unstoppable but later cooled. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (15-50) has to know he's not coming back next year. Eli Manning threw for just 215 yards and two interceptions and really did nothing to quell the questions "what's up with Eli lately?". Hakeem Nicks (9-75) was decent but Victor Cruz (3-26) was invisible for the second week in a row. The 6-4 Giants go on their bye and the 4-5 Bengals head to Kansas City.
TEN 37, MIA 3

Another upset and again - by a big margin. The Titans came to life for once with Jake Locker passing for only 122 yards but two touchdowns. No Titans receivers gained more than 36 yards but Chris Johnson ran for 126 yards and one score on 23 carries. The Titans defense even scored on an interception return. The Fins were clearly not in this game at any point. Ryan Tannehill passed for 217 yards and three interceptions and Reggie Bush cruised to a whole 21 yards on four carries. Brian Hartline (8-79) was the only marginally productive Dolphin. The 4-6 Titans go on their bye wondering why it took ten games to play well and the 4-5 Dolphins head to Buffalo.

DET 24, MIN 34 The Vikings completed their sweep of the Lions with Christian Ponder passing for 221 yards and two scores split between Kyle Rudolph (7-64) and Jarius Wright (3-65) who was the rookie covering for Percy Harvin. Adrian Peterson ran for 171 yards and one score. The Lions had no rushing but Matt Stafford passed for 329 yards and three scores with Calvin Johnson (12-207, TD) apparently only better the more injured he seems to be. The loss sends the 4-5 Lions home to face the Packers and realize that the season is already over. The 6-4 Vikings take their bye knowing that this is probably the best record they will have all year.
BUF 31, NE 37

Contender for Game-O-The-Week. Good game from a fantasy perspective since most players had something and no one player really dominated. Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 337 yards and two scores while Fred Jackson (16-80, 2 TD) had a great game and even C.J. Spiller (9-70) was effective as a runner and as a receiver (4-61). Stevie Johnson (6-86) did not score but Donald Jones (6-74) did. The Patriots won with Tom Brady only passing for 237 yards and two scores. Wes Welker (6-74) led the team and Rob Gronkowski (3-31, TD) had a surprisingly light game considering that Aaron Hernandez was a scratch. The Bills made a game out of it and very nearly pulled off the upset in New England. Now the 3-6 Bills host the Dolphins and the 6-3 Patriots host the Colts.

SD 24, TB 34 Basically an even game except for the Bucs scoring on a blocked punt and an interception return. Philip Rivers threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns that were split between Danario Alexander (5-134), Malcom Floyd (6-63) and Antonio Gates (4-57). Ryan Mathews ran for 54 yards on 17 carries and caught five passes for 22 yards which was more than Ronnie Brown (3-6) which suggests that the Chargers backfield rotation is actually controlled by a random number generator. Josh Freeman passed for 210 yards and two scores while Doug Martin totaled 119 yards but no touchdowns. There were no big stats in this game other than Alexander who opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown catch. The 4-5 Chargers now head to Denver and the 5-4 Buccaneers play in Carolina.
ATL 27, NO 31

Definite contender for Game-O-The-Week. The mighty Falcons fell to the Saints which is a surprise this year. This contained all the fantasy points you were hoping. Matt Ryan (411 yds, 3 TD) had the obligatory big game against the Saints no-defense but Michael Turner ran like he was walking in wet cement and only gained 15 yards on 13 runs. Tony Gonzalez (11-122, 2 TD) paced the Falcons while Roddy White (7-114) filled in for Julio Jones (4-75) who missed half the game with a lower leg injury and did not score in a road game for the first time all year. Drew Brees threw for 298 yards and three scores that mostly went to Jimmy Graham (7-146, 2 TD). The Saints rushed for 1149 yards but split that between Chris Ivory (7-72, TD) and Mark Ingram (16-67) while Pierre Thomas was only given five carries for ten yards. The 8-1 Falcons return home to host the Cardinals while the 4-5 Saints head to Oakland while still giggling about beating the Falcons.

NYJ 7, SEA 28 Predictably painful. The Jets passed for only 133 yards and rushed for 84 yards while the lone score was a defensive fumble return. The Seahawks had a solid game all around. Russell Wilson passed for 188 yards and two scores. Golden Tate (2-51, TD) also threw a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice (2-54, 2 TD). Marshawn Lynch gained 151 total yards and one score in this beatdown. The 3-6 Jets now head to St. Louis while the 6-4 Seahawks go on their bye week.
DAL 38, PHI 23

Contender for the GOTW even if it was because it ended so screwy. The Cowboys only got 209 pass yards and two scores from Tony Romo and Dez Bryant (3-87, TD) scored a 49-yard touchdown. Jason Witten (8-47) shined in PPR leagues while Felix Jones actually had a great game. He rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries and added three catches for 22 yards with one score on a pass. Huge stats for Felix all things considered. Michael Vick (70 yds, TD) left with a concussion and who knows - me may be done since the Eagles lost five in a row. Nick Foles showed some promise completing 22 of 32 for 219 yards and one score but he lost both a fumble and an interception that were returned for touchdowns. Add in the Cowboys first punt return score for the year and the defense outscored the offense. The 4-5 Cowboys host the Browns this week so 5-5 and the 3-6 Eagles head to Washington while no one wants to answer their phone in Philly this week. Just let ring. Probably a wrong number.

HOU 13, CHI 6 The lowest game score of the week should come when two of the best defenses meet. In the driving rain no less. It was an entertaining game overall with six turnovers in the game and yet no touchdowns from them. The only players of any note at all were Arian Foster gaining 102 yards on 29 runs after already logging 86 by half time. Foster also caught five passes for 15 yards and the one touchdown. Brandon Marshall also shined with eight receptions for 107 yards giving hope to the Bears that bad weather and even no Jay Cutler doesn't mean they can no longer pass. It was definitely an "under" game. The 8-1 Texans return home to host the Jaguars while the 7-2 Bears head to San Francisco for another defensive challenge.

Huddle Player of the Week

Calvin Johnson - As a CJ owner, I know what it is like to hear all week about how sore Johnson is and how he is not practicing. Then stuff about nerve damage that may or may not be true. His leg is so bad that he can only cut to the right which means he'll never compete in NASCAR. And then he somehow suits up and merely catches 12 of 13 passes for 207 yards and a score in Minnesota. The beautiful thing is that he already had three other games with more yardage in his career. He'll miss practice this week too. Just don't buy that he's not good to go.

Salute!

Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Sam Bradford 275 2 QB Michael Vick 77 1
RB Marcel Reese 104 0 RB Michael Turner 15 0
RB Andre Brown 94 1 RB Reggie Bush 29 0
WR Golden Tate 74 2 WR Victor Cruz 26 0
WR Jarius Wright 65 1 WR Miles Austin 32 0
WR Mohamed Sanu 47 1 WR Eric Decker 15 0
TE Greg Olsen 102 2 TE Vernon Davis 30 0
PK Blair Walsh 2 XP 4 FG PK Nick Folk 1 XP

Huddle Fantasy Points = 125

Huddle Fantasy Points = 28

Sunday's Couch Commentary

This was a strange week but mostly in a good way. Scores were way up. Ten different teams scored over 30 points. The Ravens scored 55 points. Even the Titans posted 37 points in a surprise beat down on the Dolphins. The Falcons finally fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, Apparently nothing can help the Eagles or Panthers. But for all the points scored, there wasn't a lot of big games from fantasy studs.

Three wideouts recorded double touchdowns and yet none gained more than 60 yards in their games. Danny Woodhead and Fred Jackson both scored twice but chances are good they were on the bench in most leagues. Stranger still has been how tight ends have been in serious decline this year. But this week there were three with 100+ yards and each one also scored twice.

The Game-O-The-Week? I liked the Falcons loss since they were the last perfect record. There were numerous special team and defensive touchdowns that made games interesting. But we have to go with the game that we have not seen in five years.

Rams 24, 49ers 24

The Rams jumped out to a surprise 14-0 lead in the first quarter and led 17-7 going into the fourth quarter. Colin Kaepernick had replaced Alex Smith in the second quarter and this was the first time the second-year player was pressed into duty in a game where the 49ers trailed. He responded well.

Starting at his own 19-yard line, Kaepernick drove 81 yards in ten plays and capped it off with a run around the right end for a touchdown that drew the score to 17-14. On the ensuing kickoff, the Rams fumbled and it was recovered by the 49ers at the STL 20-yard line. On the first first play, Frank Gore ran around the right end as well to score a 20-yard touchdown for the first lead in the game, 21-17 with 8:29 left ot play in regulation.

But Sam Bradford also drove 81 yards in 15 plays that included a fake punt and ended with he hit Austin Pettis for a 2-yard touchdown with just 1:13 left to play. In his first crunch time drive, Kaepernick started on his own 22-yard line and reached the STL 15-yard line when David Akers kicked a 33 yard field goal at the end of regulation for the tying score.

No need to draw out the obvious. After the Rams punted in overtime, the 49ers reached the 23-yard line where David Akers missed a 41-yard kick. Yes, same guy that was the first kicker drafted in every fantasy league because he set a record for field goals last year. Missed it wide left.

The Rams took over on their own 31-yard line and reached the SF-35 yard line where big-leg Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53 yard field goal to win the ga... oh man. Delay of game. Back it up to 58 and it was too far. We have our first tie since 2008. Kissing your sister and all that. In the standings everywhere we have to use that column again. The Rams almost upset the 49ers just to show how competitive the NFC West is this year.

We also saw four different quarterbacks get knocked out of their games and concussions were apparently the trendy reason to be on the sideline. It's crunch time now in the fantasy world because playoffs start in three to five weeks depending on the league. If you already are looking at probably missing the playoffs, you still have to faithfully run your team. There is nothing like watching another team reach the playoffs instead of you because he went against a "dead" team. Please do not be that guy.

We have a tie now. We do not have an unbeaten team. Quarterbacks are dropping faster than the stock market. That cold and rainy game in Chicago should remind you that the weather is turning.

Time to make Sunday snacks the hot variety. Chili, nachos, pizza. Whatever helps you take off the chill of watching your fantasy team steaming towards your destiny.

Now get back to work...


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