Analysis by Michael Fabiano
Robert Griffin III had his second straight poor stat line from a fantasy perspective, posting 215 passing yards, 53 rushing yards and no touchdowns. However, he had a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown called back late in the fourth quarter due to penalties. RG3 should rebound against the Philadelphia Eagles after the bye week. ... Alfred Morris was also a disappointment with a mediocre 76 yards on the ground, though he averaged a solid 5.8 yards per carry. Morris also lost a goal-line chance to Evan Royster on the drive where Griffin had two touchdowns called back. ... Santana Moss, who scored three touchdowns in his last two games, was held to one catch. ... Josh Morgan led the Redskins with six catches but scored a mere 4.6 fantasy points in standard leagues. ... Logan Paulsen, who led the team with 59 receiving yards, has worked his way to being a viable No. 2 fantasy tight end.
Cam Newton was phenomenal in this contest, posting 201 passing yards, 37 rushing yards and two total touchdowns to finish with 21.74 fantasy points. Look for his success to continue against the Denver Broncos in Week 10. ... Jonathan Stewart led the team with 11 backfield touches but didn't dominate DeAngelo Williams (6), who found the end zone on a 30-yard run. Stewart is still the back to own in Carolina, but he's no more than a flex option. ... Steve Smith caught just three passes despite what was a fantastic matchup, but one of those receptions went for a touchdown. He finished with 10.10 fantasy points and has scored a combined 21.90 points in his last two games. He had averaged 6.27 points in his previous four contests. ... Greg Olsen led the team with five receptions, but he finished with just 4.8 fantasy points in standard leagues. That was disappointing based on the great matchup.
Analysis by Jason Smith
What can you say about the Broncos offense? It's a machine right now. Two bad throws hurt what could have been an even bigger day for Peyton Manning. Manning was deadly all day and I wouldn't be surprised if from here on out he's the QB with the most fantasy points. ... Decker is rapidly becoming Manning's go-to wide receiver. He's overtaking Demaryius Thomas but it's not like Thomas is disappearing, it's more of a No. 1 and 1A situation in Denver. Thomas still has the breakaway speed that can't be denied, but when Manning needs the yards, be it on third down or at the goal line, Decker is his favorite target. ... Willis McGahee is continuing his serviceable season, but he's no more than a flex play. You can count on him for 5-10 fantasy points a week. Every three weeks or so he can give you a 100-yard game but you can't count on it. Joel Dreessen has overtaken Jacob Tamme as the top tight end and needs to be owned and started. ... The Broncos defense has emerged as a weekly play with another double-digit performance Sunday, thanks to a 105-yard kickoff return for a score. They do it all: in addition to the scores they pile up the turnovers and sacks.
Andy Dalton had a nice game the week after being challenged by head coach Marvin Lewis, but he's still a matchup-based QB at best. If he gets hot for a couple of weeks I might change my mind, but he needs a reliable No. 2 WR to step up behind A.J. Green. When Andrew Hawkins was that guy earlier this year, Dalton was a top-10 fantasy QB. But since he's disappeared, so has Dalton's overall productivity. ... Nothing new about A.J. Green except to say he's the top WR in fantasy overall and will most likely replace Calvin Johnson as the lone WR to be taken in the first round of your fantasy draft next season. ... BenJarvus Green-Ellis showed a little bit of life with 56 yards and a TD, but the bottom line is he's averaging less than 3.5 yards per carry, which won't keep him in the starting role for long. He's the Tim Hightower of 2012: the running back who's been getting the ball a ton but under-producing as a result. He's a questionable flex for now, and once the byes are over, it's going to be hard to play him at all. ... Welcome to the TE carousel, Jermaine Gresham! For the second time in the last three weeks he had a terrific game and should be picked up and started. The TE position in fantasy is impossible to break down. Unless you have one of the top three or four elite ones, you're still plugging and playing at this position.
Analysis by Adam Rank
Ben Roethlisberger had a favorable matchup against the Giants, but really didn't deliver a fantasy home run with just 12.54 points. Perhaps you can write this one off because of the impacted travel schedule, which saw the Steelers fly into New Jersey on game day. Don't let this game scare you from starting Roethlisberger in the future. ... Isaac Redman was a solid start for the Steelers and finished fourth among fantasy running backs with 21.10 at the end of the afternoon games. The Steelers running back situation will continue to be fluid because of injuries. I would hesitate to say Redman has seized control of the position, but he could be a nice play if Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer can't go next week as well. ... Mike Wallace is fast. He made the Giants defense look slow on a huge touchdown reception. This is why you start him each and every week. ... Heath Miller is a middle-to-average tight end when he doesn't get into the end zone. At least he wasn't one of the bagel boys -- tight ends who get shutout every week.
Eli Manning has now had four consecutive poor fantasy performances. Eli had just three fantasy points this week, and his grip as a No. 1 fantasy quarterback is in jeopardy. The Giants play at Cincinnati next week, where older brother Peyton Manning had some success against the Bengals. ... The worst part about the Giants running attack is we've seen what Andre Brown can do when given the opportunity. Ahmad Bradshaw is just about holding the team back right now. Brown would be an excellent RB2 or flex option if he was given the opportunity. ... Victor Cruz took a vicious hit, but didn't miss much time. Too bad his quarterback missed the mark most of the time. Be prepared to watch Cruz's name on the injury report a bunch this week, but it would be a surprise if he was out for next week. ... You look at the stat line, and Hakeem Nicks had a bad game. But realize Eli missed him on a huge potential touchdown early in the game. Manning's struggles contributed more to Nicks' poor performance, than the receiver's health. I'll still stick with Nicks. In fact, I might even try to trade for him this week.
Analysis by Matt "Money" Smith
There wasn't the fantasy bonanza that many predicted we might see from the Houston Texans against one of the worst defenses in the league. Instead owners of Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels got what they might expect from an average outing.
One thing is clear, and I pointed this out the last time I watched the Texans, Owen Daniels isn't just a fantasy star, but he'll be going to the Pro Bowl as one of the best tight ends in the league. While Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham are touted as the "new breed" of player at the position, Daniels has been lining up at the "X" or "Y" for a half decade now. As a matter of fact, that's where he was set on the 40-yard touchdown reception that got owners the great majority of their points from Daniels Sunday. Garrett Graham pilfered a Daniels score when Daniels was nursing something for the majority of that fourth quarter scoring drive, and were he the featured tight end in that play, it would have been his ball, and not Graham's.
Matt Schaub was solid, spread the ball around, was under very little duress, and the line protected him for the most part. At this point in the fantasy season it's obvious quarterbacks aren't having the bonanza they did last year, so 250+ and 2 touchdowns ought to be considered a victory at that position. His primary target was Andre Johnson, who posted a 118-yard day thanks to his just tossing rookie Stephon Gilmore around like a rag doll all afternoon.
Arian Foster is a stud, you don't need to hear about his afternoon, you know what you're going to get, but for those looking at whether or not Justin Forsett can be a Ben Tate replacement, the answer is a simple "no".
As for the Bills, not a lot to celebrate here save the eyeball test on CJ Spiller. Why they're splitting carries with Spiller and Jackson is baffling. Spiller is so much more explosive, so much more of a threat in the passing game that Chan Gailey is hurting his team when he's not on the field and Jackson is. Against a very good Texans run defense, Spiller still ripped off 6.5 yards per carry (all 6 of them) and added another 63 yards receiving. I'd start him every week moving forward.
Analysis by Akbar Gbajabiamilia
The Bears defense continues to make the case how valuable it is for fantasy owners to draft the right defense. All game they harassed the Titans offense by applying pressure, and creating turnovers. If you have a player in your lineup that has a point debt, this defense also serves as point insurance.
Chris Johnson's performance against the top ranked defense should make a solid case that he is fit to be your No. 1 running back. Johnson's performance wasn't pretty, with two fumbles, but it's his explosive ability with an 80 yard score that confirms he still has a lot to offer. Despite the tough matchup, he prevailed with 16.5 fantasy points.