Part 1: Roddy White, hero. Sure there was a pushoff on the winning touchdown catch, but White's huge night only punctuated the fact he might be the best fantasy receiver out there and at worst, in the top-three. Despite being listed as questionable, White helped out owners by declaring he'd play ahead of time, then rewarded their faith in starting him with big play after big play. White went over the 100-yard mark on the last drive of the game and capped the night perfectly with his second TD catch of the night and second two-TD game of the year.
Part 2: Matt Ryan, fantasy starter? For the first time since Week 5 of the 2009 season, Ryan went over the 300-yard mark illustrating why he's a perennial fantasy backup. Don't bench Phillip Rivers just yet, but those in larger leagues or fantasy teams with QB problems might want to look into what the price to grab him might be. In his past four starts he's averaged 275 yards a game and has thrown nine touchdown passes.
Part 1: The second-half surge. Flacco and the Ravens' offense came alive after halftime and no surprise, getting Anquan Boldin involved usually helps. Ray Rice got involved with more touches while fantasy fossils Todd Heap and Derrick Mason made big plays in a great final two quarters.
Part 2: Ray Rice is resourceful. Despite Rice's red-zone carries being about as common as a Joe Theismann-called game and moments of silence, even when he's not scoring he's still a fantasy force. In four of his past five games he's gone over the combined 100 yard-mark rushing and receiving. Even on an off-night, his all-purpose yardage ability is a nice trump card to have.
Michael Turner, goat. It wasn't the easiest of matchups going against a fringe top-10 rush defense, but Turner failed to even get 40 yards. This season he's been feast or famine and most fantasy owners are starving at this point. Through nine games he's gone over 100 yards four times, while scoring all five of his TDs over the course of only three games.
The following fantasy standouts due to breakout of their slumps and redeem themselves.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. the Patriots: After exploding back on the fantasy radar a month ago, Roethlisberger cooled down mightily his past two starts not even hitting the 200-yard mark and totaling one touchdown pass combined. Sunday the Steelers host a Patriots team reeling after being trucked by the Browns and rank 29th amongst pass defenses.
RB Thomas Jones, Chiefs at the Broncos: It should be a big day for both Kansas City backs, but Jones has had owners especially worried of late. The former Jets mainstay went for 32 yards last week on 19 carries and hasn't scored in his past two games. Never fear -- here comes Denver boasting the 31st-ranked defense and a league high 14 touchdowns.
WR Brandon Marshall, Dolphins vs. the Titans: While all eyes are on Randy Moss' debut, expect Marshall, who lives for marquis matchups like this one, to be ready to go. New Miami starter Chad Pennington might have a noodle arm, but his veteran presence and on-field smarts should help him target Marshall early and often. The Titans' pass defense is 23rd and with the Dolphins' struggling running game, expect Pennington to get the ball to Marshall who made public his frustration with the offense last week.
WR Santana Moss, Redskins vs. the Eagles: There is no way Moss gets shut out for a second straight time against the Eagles like in Week 4. Fired up by his benching against the Lions, expect Donovan McNabb to come out firing against his old team in the rematch and Moss, who is on pace for a 96-catch career year, will grab his share of passes against Philly, who he traditionally has struggled against.
They aren't obvious fantasy starts and some of the names aren't familiar, but here is a sleeper sampling of players who could patch up any lineup full of injuries or byes with matchups ready to be exploited.
RB Mike Goodson, Panthers at the Bucs: Consider Goodson the last remaining Carolina running back left standing. Injuries to DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton have left Goodson with the starting role at tailback in what will be a nice opportunity against the Bucs, possessing the third-worst rush defense in the league. No matter how bad the Panthers' passing game struggles, Goodson faces a Tampa team yielding nearly 150 yards per game.
TE Joel Dreeson, Texans at Jaguars: Usual starter Owen Daniels has been hampered all year with injuries and hasn't practiced because of a hamstring this week, making it look like a long shot for him to play. Dreeson is coming off his second five-catching outing this year, last week against the Chargers and was targeted a team-high eight times. The Jags' pass defense is dreadful at 28th in the league and Dreeson, who's quietly had a better year than Daniels, will benefit.
RB Donald Brown and Javarris James, Colts vs. the Bengals: Both are crafty plays here, with Brown the safer of the two. Joseph Addai looks likely out with a shoulder injury which would leave Brown the starting opportunity, while James again handled goal-line duties. James cashed in twice last week at the goal line and even when Addai returns, could hang on to the job. This week both subs should shine against the Bengals' 23rd--ranked rush defense.
Hits: QB Michael Vick, WR James Jones, RB LaDanian Tomlinson
Misses: WR Wes Welker, RB Matt Forte, RB Shonn Greene, RB Chris Ivory
Push: WR Patrick Crayton
Five Highest Scoring Games for Week 101 Texans at Jaguars2 Lions at Bills3 Bengals at Colts4 Chiefs at Broncos5 Patriots at Steelers