Week 9 Recap: Beyond the BoxScore
*Much better for Steven Jackson in Week 9, even though he had a short TD run taken away because of a holding call. Atlanta's limited total snaps kept S-Jax's numbers in check, but a healthy 4.4 ypc against a stout Carolina defense is promising. Jackson finished with 16 touches, compared to 11 for Jacquizz Rodgers (who remained a passing game threat with six receptions). Speaking of Atlanta's passing game, Drew Davis caught only one pass and now faces fantasy irrelevancy with the hopeful return of Roddy White.
*The return of Jonathan Stewart setup the Panthers backfield for a brutal RBBC scenario. They did not disappoint. DeAngelo Williams had 15 touches, Stewart 12 and Mike Tolbert nine. Adding to the maddening scenario, Stewart had the most rush yards (43 on nine carries), while Tolbert scored on the ground and played the most snaps (44) and just four less than the other two combined. Run away from all three options if possible, yet feel free to roster any in 12-team leagues just in case one of them emerges later in the season. Also worth noting is that the Panthers have scored 30 points in four straight games, setting a franchise record (per ESPN). Cam Newton is no less than a top-4 fantasy QB right now.
*It's fair to say Andre Johnson and Case Keenum practiced together during the bye week. Most owners would have preferred Johnson spread out his first three touchdowns of the season, but after seven straight games of end zone-less production, nobody is really complaining. Over the next five weeks, the duo faces Jacksonville twice and an Oakland defense that allowed seven TDP to Nick Foles.
*Darren McFadden is why we remind everyone to grab the handcuff for their main running backs whenever possible. Seeing as DMac reaggrevated a hamstring injury, look for Rashad Jennings (176 total yards, TD vs. Philly) to start next week at least, making him arguably the No. 1 free agent this week.
*With Marques Colston inactive and Darren Sproles lost early with a concussions, Jimmy Graham led the Saints in targets with 12 followed by 10 each for Lance Moore and Pierre Thomas. Robert Meachem had a strong stat line thanks to a 60-yard catch and a Jets DB falling down. Ignore.
*It's fair to say that even with a bye week, the Colts still haven't solved their Trent Richardson run game woes. Ignore the fact that Indy went into passing game mode after falling three scores behind, thus limiting the ground game chances. While the ex-Brown went 20 yards on eight carries, Donald Brown had 49 on six rushes. Starting in Week 4, Richardson's rush totals: 60, 56, 40. 37, 20. Always a threat for a TD, though he's gone four games without. Let's consider Week 10's matchup against the Rams as Richardson's personal Alamo.
*That's five receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown over the last two games for Marquies Goodwin. Interesting, but like all the Buffalo receivers, he's limited until E.J. Manuel returns-- which should happen in Week 10. Even then, Goodwin's value is in deeper leagues only.
*And finally, how about Nick Foles!?!? Nobody saw this coming and most owners could only watch the Eagles QB's points rack up on their bench. Nobody should expect anything in this universe again from Foles (who wasn't the first NFL QB with seven TDP, but the first to do so with a perfect passer rating). However, don't dismiss the performance as fluky either. In last week's "Pickups" article and on the FFToolbox podcast, I repeatedly made the point that owners shouldn't let Foles' brutal Week 7 overshadow his previous good work. By the way, he now has 13 TDP on the season with ZERO interceptions. Philly's entire offense has been all kinds of inconsistent this season - and oddly better on the road. Don't blindly throw Foles into your weekly lineup, but don't dismiss his incredibly fantasy friendly performance either.
*What's clearly not random is Riley Cooper's production with Foles at quarterback. In the three games started by Foles, Cooper has 15 receptions for 347 yards and four touchdowns. In the other six games, 10-106-1. Seeing as Foles isn't going away barring injury, Cooper is a strong add in most fantasy formats as a WR3.