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Things I Learned in Fantasy Football: Week 10

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Takeaways from Week 10 as told through @MarcasG's tweets.

We spent all week trying to figure out how Kliff Kingsbury would distribute the snaps between David Johnson and Kenyan Drake. It turns out that Drake got the bulk of the opportunities, outsnapping Johnson 40-29. But there were bigger concerns at play on Sunday -- the biggest being that Johnson didn't look much like the player we've come to know. Instead, he looked like a man still dealing with a back injury. A fumble in the third quarter certainly didn't help matters. If there's a silver lining for Johnson, it's that Kenyan Drake didn't exactly light it up. Using today as a guideline, however, it looks like Drake is now Arizona's lead back with Johnson playing the role of his wingman.

It wasn't all bad for the Arizona offense. Christian Kirk finally had the blowup game we've been waiting for. I don't care that it came against the Buccaneers secondary -- if he'd put up a dud, we would have sounded an alarm. Kirk's six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns felt like a nice overcorrection for a player who hadn't found the end zone at all this year. The downside for Kirk is that he has the 49ers last week, who held him to a paltry 16 total yards. At least we'll always have Week 10.

Barkley's snap share (85.7 percent) wasn't a problem. Neither were his touches (18 total, five receptions). The problem was a lack of production. Never would we have imagined that Barkley would have just one rushing yard on 13 carries. It's partially shocking because we all assumed he'd feast on the Jets defense. While it's easy to shrug this off as just a bad game, what's more concerning are reports that Barkley was going for X-rays after the game. We've already had to struggle with shuffling lineups to begin with. Losing a top level talent like Barkley would be a major hurdle.

The Browns running back usage looked a lot like what I'd hoped to see from the Cardinals. Nick Chubb was the primary runner, playing all but two of his snaps in the backfield while Kareem Hunt spent a lot of time lined up as a receiver. As a result, both players looked like viable fantasy options. Chubb logged 121 yards on 22 touches while Hunt had 77 yards on 11 touches. This is the best kind of committee -- one where you can play both players with a level of confidence. Let's hope it continues next week against a good Steelers defense.

Let me start by also including Byron Leftwich in this praise, since last week I asked Leftwich to get Jones more involved in the offense. Our wishes were granted as Jones played a plurality of the snaps and led all Bucs running backs in touches. The biggest surprise was Jones' usage in the passing game, where he had the greatest receiving day of his life. There was never any belief that Jones would ever be a true bell cow in the Tampa Bay offense but it's nice to have some clarity on the distribution of labor.

We waited all year for it to happen and it finally did. The four catches for 47 yards wasn't too bad either. Were it not for Byepocalypse happening this week, it's fair to wonder how many people would have taken advantage of it. I wish I could say with a level of confidence that we can expect this sort of thing going forward, but I can't. Nonetheless, there will be people who feel compelled to start Howard again next week and I don't think I can find a credible argument to stop them.

So Slayton scored twice for the second time in three weeks. This week, he gave you the added bonus of 10 catches and 121 yards. The Giants' passing game is inconsistent to say the least, but at this point, you have to strongly consider adding Slayton. The bad news is that you'll have to wait at least a week to use him since the Giants have a bye in Week 11.

The last time the Rams scored an offensive touchdown was early in the third quarter ... of Week 8. OK, OK, they had a bye in Week 9, but the former juggernaut failed to find the end zone at all on Sunday against the Steelers. We've wrung our hands endlessly over Todd Gurley's general disappearing act, but the struggles have infected nearly every part of that once-formidable offense. Entering Week 10, Cooper Kupp was the only Rams player in the top 12 at his respective position -- and he rewarded fantasy managers with exactly zero catches on four targets. Next week's game against the Bears doesn't figure to offer a lot of relief.

There's not really much else to be said. He's getting a lot of touches and doing good work with them. That's it. That's the analysis.

This doesn't mean you should stop targeting the Dolphins' defense -- hi, Buffalo Bills! -- but it's about time to stop counting them as some sort of fantasy ATM. Sunday made three straight games where Miami was strong in the first half. For the past two weeks, the Dolphins have figured out how to finish.

Wait...what?


* Kalif Raymond had one catch for 52 yards -- that led all Titans players.

* Chris Godwin has gone four straight games without a touchdown.

* Mark Ingram has had fewer than 55 rushing yards in four of his last five games.

* Kalen Ballage averaged 1.8 yards per touch. Yet still had 24 touches.

* Nyheim Hines (29) played nearly as many snaps as Marlon Mack (32).

* In his last three games, Todd Gurley has one catch for 13 yards.

And one for the road...


Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who wonders why burrito makers can't spread out all the ingredients evenly. No one wants a giant glob of guac at the bottom. Send him your improperly-made food gripes or fantasy football questions via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, and Instagram.

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