Here are some Fantasy Revelations from a hectic and high-scoring NFL Week 9:
1. Nick Foles (406 yards passing, seven TDs) has certainly earned a fantasy start for Week 10 against the Packers — assuming he draws a real-world QB start for the Eagles.
But here’s something to chew on before moving heaven and earth to acquire Foles this week:
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In the games immediately following their historic seven-TD explosions, Joe Kapp (zero TD passes), George Blanda (one), Peyton Manning (two) and Y.A. Tittle (three) combined for six touchdown passes.
2. It’s not every day you see a pair of wide receivers tally three touchdowns in different halves of the same game. But Andre Johnson (nine catches, 229 yards, three TDs) and T.Y. Hilton (seven catches, 121 yards, three TDs) pulled off the feat — in perhaps the most surreal game of the day.
And that’s saying a lot.
For this PPR nerd, I was equally enthralled by Johnson (13 targets) and Hilton garnering 25 combined targets — strong indicators the Texans are happy with QB Case Keenum (350 yards passing, three TDs) … and that Hilton can deftly handle the ‘Reggie Wayne’ role of Indy’s go-to receiver.
3. The Vikings should be commended for striking a near-perfect balance with Adrian Peterson (177 total yards, one TD vs. Dallas) and Christian Ponder (37 pass attempts; 265 total yards, two TDs).
Unfortunately for Ponder, though, tight end Kyle Rudolph (two catches, 35 yards, one TD) represents Minnesota’s closest thing to a difference-maker in the passing game.
Here’s something positive to embrace: On Thursday night, Ponder draws a home date with the Redskins, who have surrendered 680 yards passing and 51 points in the last two weeks.
4. As someone who faithfully pores over depth charts for all 32 teams, I had never given Redskins fullback Darrel Young a single thought, leading up to Sunday afternoon.
And now, Young has emerged as Washington’s second backuprusher to roll for three touchdowns in a game (Roy Helu was the other).
However, with only 12 total yards, let’s tap the brakes on deifying Young as anything more than a bench stash in 14- or 16-team leagues.
Speaking of the Redskins …
5. The odds of Robert Griffin III (291 yards passing, zero TDs) collecting only 10 fantasy points on the same day of Darrel Young, Alfred Morris (121 yards, one TD) and Pierre Garcon (seven catches, 172 yards) totaling 300-plus yards and four touchdowns are absurdly long.
And yet, that’s what happened on Sunday.
The good news: With roadies against the Vikings and Eagles on the docket, Griffin is a reasonable lock for 300 total yards and/or multiple touchdowns both times.
6. The Steelers may be deplorable to watch from a real-world perspective, but they’re truly fascinating on the fantasy end.
From Le’Veon Bell (139 total yards) and QB Ben Roethlisberger (400 yards passing, four TDs) to Antonio Brown (five catches, nine targets, 71 yards, one TD) and Emmanuel Sanders (six catches, 11 targets, 98 yards) … it was a robust day of fantasy goodness.
The only bummer: Jerricho Cotchery’s three-touchdown explosion came out of nowhere, so much that we shouldn’t expect three more total TDs from Cotch … until midway through the 2014 season.
7. With standard-scoring leagues from this point forward, I will only consider Pierre Thomas (90 total yards) and Darren Sproles (one catch before leaving with concussion symptoms) as flex options.
That’s the day-after rationalization for both players, after watching QB Drew Brees (382 yards passing, two TDs) and tight end Jimmy Graham (nine catches, 12 targets, 116 yards, two TDs) play keep-away from the other Saints against the Jets.
8. Doug Martin must be experiencing quite the conundrum these days: Does he gamely help the winless Bucs with a torn labrum, or does he shut it down for the remainder of the season?
Hmmm, after watching rookie Mike James carve up the Seahawks for 166 total yards (158 rushing) … methinks we’ll see Martin (1,900 total yards/12 TDs last year) tough it out against the Falcons on Nov. 11.
In the meantime, James has a great shot at cracking the century mark against the Dolphins next week.
9. If forced to choose between Rob Gronkowski (nine catches, 143 yards vs. Pittsburgh) or Jimmy Graham for the fantasy-playoff period of Weeks 13-16, I would prefer Gronk for both standard-scoring and PPR leagues.
My reasoning: Of the Saints’ four opponents during that span (Seahawks, Rams, Panthers twice), only Seattle has allowed a 300-yard passing day since Week 3.