No lead seemed safe in Week 10 as one fantasy stud after another engaged in a mind-boggling exhibition of highlight-reel plays.
Antonio Brown put an exclamation point on the Steelers’ victory over the Browns by taking a Ben Roethlisberger pass 56 yards to the end zone. Yet, somewhat amazingly, that barely landed among the Top 10 scoring plays of the weekend.
It wasn’t even the longest pass play of the day for Big Ben, who also got a 64-yarder from Martavis Bryant that didn’t score. Pretty salty stuff from an “emergency” quarterback.
Charcandrick West raced past the vaunted Broncos defense on an 80-yard scoring reception just minutes before Adrian Peterson cut through the Raiders on an 80-yard TD run. The Vikings’ special teams got a 93-yard kickoff return from Cordarrelle Patterson, too.
Intrepid, or perhaps desperate, Jay Cutler owners celebrated two 80-plus yard scoring passes: An 83-yarder to his backup running back, Jeremy Langford, and an 87-yarder to his backup tight end, Zach Miller.
Odell Beckham, Jr. shocked the Patriots with an 87-yard race to the end zone – the longest of his short, but prolific, career – and Rob Gronkowski later returned the favor with his longest scoring reception: 76 yards.
Drew Brees hit Brandin Cooks on a 60-yard scoring play, but that was quickly erased by Matt Jones’ 78-yard catch and run.
Ironically, the longest play of the weekend, a 104-yard kickoff return by Ameer Abdullah, wound up a yard short of pay dirt and added zippo to the Lions’ special teams scoring in most leagues.
If you didn’t cheer at least one of those plays on Sunday, well, there’s always next week…
FREE AGENT PICKS AND PANS
To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.
Catch ‘em while you can
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys. Just for grins I looked, and wouldn’t you know Romo is available in more than half of all leagues? That’s shocking to me, since it has been widely reported that Romo would be returning in Week 11 against the Dolphins. Grab him if he’s available, as he has a lot of ground to make up with Dez Bryant & Co.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins. We’ve now learned in two of the last three games that Cousins has potential, but only when he’s facing sieve-like defenses. You won’t want to start him next week against the Panthers; but after that, perhaps. And with both DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed back on the field, Cousins has plenty of playmakers to choose from.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins. You’re familiar with Devonta Freeman, DeAngelo Williams, Jeremy Langford and Charcandrick West, right? They started the season as backups, and now they’re among the most valuable players at their position. Ajayi is just a pulled hamstring away from a similar opportunity. If you own Lamar Miller, you’d be wise to hedge your bets with his rookie protégé.
Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots. With Julian Edelman (broken foot) lost for at least the rest of the fantasy season, Amendola will see a significant uptick in targets. In PPR leagues especially, the injury-prone veteran can be a solid proxy for Edelman.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Chargers. Still available in many leagues coming out of his bye, Johnson is essentially the last wideout standing in San Diego. Keenan Allen is out for the duration and Malcom Floyd suffered a shoulder injury in Week 9 that will either keep him sidelined or limited. Philip Rivers has to target someone other than his tight ends, so Johnson should be very busy down the stretch.
Don’t be fooled
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos. Face it. The only reason he’s still owned in any league is because of his pedigree. Manning has done virtually nothing this season to merit roster consideration, and he’s clearly feeling his age. There are literally 25 QBs ranked above the future Hall of Famer and more deserving of a spot on your roster.
Zach Miller, TE, Bears. There’s a reason Miller is available in, let’s see, every fantasy league: He’s a bit player in a less-than-robust offense. He’s put two impressive games together, but Martellus Bennett is still the only Chicago tight end you need to know.