Week 10 Observations

As a Calvin Johnson owner, it was nice to be reminded why I drafted him in the first round and blew a quarter of my budget on him in the Stopa Law Firm League.

I was wrong about Matthew Stafford - not about him being a merely average NFL quarterback - but about his fantasy prospects. He attempts 40-plus passes almost every game, and it doesn't take a lot to be a top-5 QB when that's the case.

Adrian Peterson isn't some high-workload back coming back from an ACL tear - he's an inner circle Hall of Famer at his peak. Between Peterson, fellow top-12 picks Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson, the top of the 2007 draft class had a big fantasy impact Sunday.

There's no truth to the rumor that Jerome Simpson demanded a trade to the Seahawks or Broncos.

Don't be enamored with Vanilla Ice's 411 passing yards - they came on 52 attempts (7.9 YPA) against a team giving up a yard more per attempt on average. Drew Brees threw for just 299 yards, but his 9.3 YPA was far more efficient.

Getting 15 yards on 13 carries against the Saints is about as low as it gets, so now might be a good time to buy Michael Turner on the cheap.

Tony Gonzalez had a huge game (11-122-2), and he wasn't alone among tight ends. Jimmy Graham went 7-146-2 and Greg Olsen went 9-102-2.

Eli Manning had some tough matchups the last few weeks, and was often playing with a big lead, which didn't necessitate a lot of production from him. But after being shut down by the Steelers, he turned in an especially miserable game in Cincinnati - one in which the Giants were behind the entire way. It's hard to pinpoint what's wrong - the line isn't blocking as well as it was, and the receivers don't seem to be as open as they were - but that's not why Manning's played so poorly. The Giants have a bye week to figure it out.

Ahmad Bradshaw's value has slipped significantly with Andre Brown getting the goal-line carries and now also seeing targets out of the backfield. That Bradshaw fumbled (and nearly lost a second fumble that was overturned on replay) isn't helping his cause, either.

The Giants defense actually played reasonably well - aside from one big play from A.J. Green, Cincy didn't do a whole lot.

I'm glad I my entire remaining FAAB budget on Taiwan Jones this week. It was rash, but in Week 10 and with Trent Richardson on bye in a 16-team league, I felt like gambling on someone who I thought could be a multi-week starter. Apparently, he's just a change-of-pace reserve even with the top two guys out. Never draft a guy who's first name is a country. (That maxim also rules out any players named "Chad," too.)

The Bills were the better team Sunday, but the Pats got the bounces. Donald Jones is emerging as a 1B to Stevie Johnson's 1A with 19 targets the last two weeks. I wish I had picked up Danny Woodhead for some of my teams suffering from lack of RB depth instead of Jones.

What happened in Miami? The Titans were a doormat, and the Dolphins were supposedly decent. It's hard to chalk up that kind of thrashing entirely to variance. If they played again next week in Miami, what should the line be?

I wrote after Week 1 that Chris Johnson was a mistake at 1.6 and that Darren McFadden was the pick. Actually, Lynch, Peterson or Brees were the picks, but Johnson's probably closer to them than he is to McFadden. Over the last six weeks, Johnson's rushed for more than 90 yards five times, with four touchdowns.

I faded the Chargers against the Chiefs a couple Thursdays ago, and San Diego covered late with two defensive scores. Stupidly, I took that as a sign they were not that awful, especially in November, and I wanted to sell the Bucs high. Which was great until Philip Rivers gifted arguably the stupidest pick six in NFL history to the defense. But complaining about the Chargers choking is like paying retail for Josh Hamilton and complaining that he got hurt.

I thought the Cowboys were the NFC Chargers, but the Eagles have outdone them. Incidentally, I have never seen an NFL player more open in the center of the field than Jeremy Maclin was on his touchdown catch. Even Nick Foles was able to complete it. Michael Vick isn't the problem here.

Russell Wilson coughed up one of the worst turnovers for TDs of the week, but otherwise looked very smooth and accurate against a tough pass defense. And while 6.5 seemed like a big line against the Jets, it's hard not to take SEA at home blindly.

The SF-STL tie was among the more frustrating games I've ever watched. (Initially I was rooting for SF as I laid the 11 points, but once it was clear they wouldn't cover, I switched to the Rams). That Greg Zuerlein would hit a game-winning 53-yard field goal that was called back due to a delay of game and Danny Amendola would catch an 80-yard bomb negated by an illegal formation penalty was hard to take. Both calls were correct, but neither affected either play, and you start to feel as though the enjoyment of the game is being destroyed by mindless technicalities. With all the instant replay, weird rules for what constitutes a catch and often arbitrary enforcement of holding and pass interference, you just want to see the underdog's 80-yard bomb overtime count. Especially when someone in your league took SF in survivor. (Not sure what our rule is with ties, incidentally).


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