Tuesday Top Ten Fantasy Football Headlines – November 8, 2011

It’s Tuesday again which means it is time for the Top Ten fantasy football headlines for Week 10 of the NFL season.  We are beyond the halfway point of the season and quickly heading towards fantasy football playoffs.  It is make or break time so get ready for an exciting stretch run.  Now, without further adieu, here are the Top Ten fantasy football headlines for November 8, 2011.

10. Me and Julio Down by the SchoolyardComing into the season, there was a lot of hype surrounding Falcons’ rookie wide receiver Julio Jones.  He was projected to be a big time player, especially with Roddy White commanding attention on the other side of the field.  After a slow start and some nagging injuries, Jones had his coming out party this past weekend against Indianapolis.  He caught two touchdowns – one in spectacular fashion and another which showed his breakaway speed that could activate the flux capacitor if he was in a time machine.  His teammates and peers rave about his talents, so perhaps this was the start of something great for Jones.  He may not rack up 130 yards and multiple touchdowns every game, but now we have seen what he is capable of and Matt Ryan will be looking for more of it.

9. Austin 3:16 says I just whooped my hamstring– That was an Attitude Era WWF reference in case you didn’t know.  You can admit that you watched wrestling back then.  Remember, it was once cool.  Cowboys’ wide receiver Miles Austin re-aggravated his injured hamstring in their win over Seattle this past week.  This is the third time Austin has hurt his hamstring since training camp, so Dallas will need to be very patient and cautious with him.  Hamstring injuries are unpredictable and very delicate, so it is likely Austin could be out 3-4 weeks.  Look for alternatives if you are relying on him on your fantasy team.

8. Larry the Cable GuyArizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald might as well work for Verizon FiOs because he sure isn’t needed on the football field.  It is such a shame that the Cardinals offense is so bad and so depleted that it has essentially rendered Fitzgerald useless..  He is arguably the best receiver in the entire NFL, yet he is being wasted on the field with inept quarterback play and poor offensive playcalling.  Whether it is Kolb or Skelton, no one seems to be able to take advantage of having Fitzgerald out there and utilizing his many skills to control the clock, move the chains, and reach the end zone.  If he is on your fantasy team, you should write a letter to Kurt Warner and ask him to please come back.

7. Action JacksonVincent Jackson had a career game this past week in the shootout against Green Bay.  He caught seven passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns after several weeks of obscurity.  V-Jax can be a top fantasy receiver given how explosive the Chargers offense is, but Philip Rivers recent struggles have hampered everyone’s performance.  Despite Rivers throwing three more interceptions, he showed flashes of his old self with four touchdown bombs and re-established Jackson as a big time receiver.

6. They Might Be Giants – Remember all the talk before the season about how crazy the Giants were for letting Steve Smith and Kevin Boss leave via free agency?  No one is talking about that now as Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard have helped erase their memories.  Cruz has developed a great rapport with Eli Manning and really stepped up when either Mario Manningham or Hakeem Nicks are out of the lineup.  Cruz has shown he can run the deep routes as well as make the difficult sideline or over the middle catches.  Ballard is tough as nails and has shown he can make catches in traffic or in the end zone.  Cruz is a solid WR3 and could arguably be a WR2 before very long in fantasy football.  Ballard is a solid option if your tight end is on a bye week, but he could become a starting option if he keeps putting up the numbers every week.

5. Jordy is the best New Kid on the Block – Enough can’t be said about how good Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are.  Their offense is just ridiculous and their core of receivers is by far the best and deepest in the league.  Jordy Nelson has emerged as one of Rodgers favorite targets and has become a solid and dangerous fantasy option.  He caught five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay’s shootout victory over San Diego.  He is also second on the team with five touchdown catches this year.  While Greg Jennings gets most of the attention, Nelson has become a legitimate threat and one of Rodgers favorite targets.  He has also become a must start on your fantasy team. 

4. Duke of EarlBears wide receiver Earl Bennett has firmly established himself as Jay Cutler’s favorite target as evidenced by his performance in Monday night’s win over the Eagles.  Bennett caught the game winning touchdown and had a big game overall.  He has had a hard time staying healthy, but the opportunity is there to become a primary target in the Bears offense.  He may be available in some fantasy leagues, so go grab him and run with momentum. Cutler is still a very talented quarterback and the Bears are playing well.  With Matt Forte running the ball so effectively, the opportunities for one on one coverage are there for Bennett to take advantage of.

3. Dear Felix: Don’t RushThe Cowboys may have found their answer at running back with rookie DeMarco Murray.  It is now three weeks in a row that he has put up big numbers and made people forget about Felix Jones.  Murray has provided Dallas with explosiveness and causes defenses to stay honest with respect to the run.  This is all the more important now with Miles Austin injured.  When Jones does come back, he should carry Murray’s jock strap and Gatorade because there is no reason to disrupt the flow of their offense that exists with Murray in the game.  He was a pleasant surprise and a huge fantasy pickup for those with the foresight to get him a few weeks ago.

2. Passion of the TebowDespite all of the criticism and ranting by everyone, including myself, Tim Tebow went out and had a decent game against Oakland last week.  He threw for two touchdowns and ran for over 100 yards.  From a fantasy perspective, he did not disappoint you if you started him this week.  But it is still clear that he is not a long-term NFL quarterback.  Head coach John Fox completely redesigned the Denver offense to cater to Tebow’s strengths.  While this proved effective last week, I do not see how this will be beneficial to the Broncos because they have 10 other guys on offense who have to be part of the scheme.  Tebow’s status is week to week, but don’t expect numbers like this on a consistent basis.  At least he didn’t look like he was going to get killed out there.

1. Whatchoo talking’ about Hillis?Oh the Madden Curse.  I have written about it before, but the saga over Peyton Hillis just keeps getting better…or worse.  Hillis has already been ruled out of Cleveland’s Week 10 game after re-injuring his hamstring.  His heart, dedication, and credibility have all been questioned this year which is never a good thing for a professional football player.  It is a shame too because he has been likened to an old school type player and rose to the upper echelon of fantasy running backs.  Many top backs have been injured or have underperformed this year, but Hillis stands out as one of the top candidates for bust of the year.  Savor your Madden ’12 video games because it may be one of the last images of Hillis wearing a Browns’uniform.

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