The very best fantasy players in 2010 shined yet again this past Sunday. The players that we have consistently seen atop the fantasy scoreboard were there once again, only this time it was not just a few, but it was all of them.
From Week 1, the fantasy running back scene has been the Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson show. Only once each have these two ball carriers failed to notch double-digit fantasy points. Entering Week 9 Foster and Peterson were ranked first and second among running backs, respectively. Their performances Sunday did nothing to hurt their yearly standing.
Foster touched the ball 31 times, amounting 197 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns. Unfortunately, he could not find pay dirt a third time, and the Texans lost to the Chargers by six.
Peterson did not get the 25 plus touches that Foster did, but still made the most out of his 19 carries. Peterson caught a touchdown pass and rushed for one as well to total 26 points on the day.
However, both of these guys were outdone by Peyton Hillis’ performance, as the Browns upset the Patriots. Hillis rushed for a career high 184 yards on 29 carries, as well as a pair of touchdowns. Hillis has been consistent for the Browns all year, and is one of the great free agency pickups for fantasy owners this season.
The top fantasy quarterbacks of 2010 were also very effective in Week 9. Aaron Rodgers threw for a trio of touchdowns on his way to a 27-point day in the Packers rout of the Cowboys. Rodgers’ fantasy owners have had reason for disappointment this year with his nine interceptions in as many games. They will not be seeing any Rodgers interceptions in Week 10, however, because the Packers have a bye.
Other dominating quarterbacks were Michael Vick and Philip Rivers. Throughout their victories on Sunday, Vick and Rivers tallied 25 points apiece. Rivers did his damage through the air, abusing the Texans’ secondary to the tune of 295 yards and four scores.
Vick threw for only one touchdown, but in classic Michael Vick style, rushed for 74 yards and another score. In the three full games Vick has played this year, he has been by far the most productive of all players in the league. Through those three performances, Vick has averaged over 26 fantasy points per game.
The number one wide receiver through Week 9 is who? Terrell Owens. Yes, we are all surprised. Owens was supposed to arrive in Cincinnati and be Chad Ochocinco’s sidekick. So much for that Batman and Robin forecast.
T.O. had another great performance in Week 9, exploiting the Steelers’ secondary all game. Owens finished with 10 catches, two for scores, and 141 receiving yards, complete with entertaining touchdown celebrations. Owens received twice as many looks as Ochocinco did, and has clearly become Carson Palmer’s favorite downfield target.
It was that quarterback, Palmer, who became a great must start recommendation through Fantasy Friday. The must starts of Week 9 came together for a very good performance as well. The aforementioned Michael Vick was the number one must start, and threw down 25 points.
Patrick Crayton was the second must start of Week 9, and he put together a very respectable day. He made the most out of his three catches, recording 70 receiving yards. Crayton should find the fantasy bench this week with a bye.
Looking for two solid weeks in a row, Fantasy Friday will turn to Fred Jackson and Jacob Tamme as must starts for Week 10. Jackson has been consistent out of the Bills’ backfield, and will look to break out against the Lions’ weak run defense. Look for Jackson to find the end zone either on the ground or in a receiving effort.
It is always a risky idea to choose a tight end as a must start, especially one in the middle of his first season with a starting role. However, Tamme has been everything and more for the Colts when asked to replace Dallas Clark. Clark was a top five fantasy tight end when healthy, and Tamme has picked up right where Clark left off. In his two starts, Tamme has averaged 14 fantasy points. Peyton Manning has been looking his direction a lot, and will do more of the same this Sunday.
Week 10 represents the final bye week for the NFL. After grueling it out for one more week, the only worry for fantasy owners from now on will be injuries. Owners will have made their way through the midseason struggles, and should be more than ready for a playoff run.