Sunday night ended with the Jets taking a knife to a second-half gunfight with the Patriots, but the day featured the Texans running roughshod, the Cowboys finding the gas pedal, the Bears with a Windy City beat-down, kickers gone wild, Indy staying in the pole position for Andrew Luck, and three starting QBs that passed for under 100 yards.
1. Best Performance in a Career Rebirth: In the past month Marshawn Lynch's value has gone from quirky flex-play with the fine print of "only if you're desperate" to a legitimate RB2 in a starting lineup. Yesterday marked Lynch's fifth straight week with a touchdown and second week with over 100 yards rushing. Lynch's big day was only the second time the third-ranked Ravens' rushing defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher.
2. The Self-Destruction Award: There were two complete and utter disasters in Week 10 and both yielded bitter fantasy ramifications.
2a.The Eagles: With the lone exception of LeSean McCoy, the fantasy stock of everyone else has plunged, Netflix-style. No group is as frustrating, including a floundering Michael Vick (that makes two pathetic games in a row) an up and down Jeremy Maclin and the enigma of DeSean Jackson, who was benched, (meaning he scored two points less than usual).
2b.The Lions: Still a year away, but this overachieving group has lost three of their last four. You still have to love the passing game but imagine what Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson could do if only Detroit could run the ball consistently (dare I say, world domination?). Injured rookie Mikel LeShoure might be the missing piece for this team to make a giant leap last year, as well as create a thunder and lightning backfield with currently-injured Jahvid Best.
3. Best Starring Role on a Bad Offense: Maurice Jones-Drew opened the season with two touchdowns in his first seven games, but Sunday marked his second straight week with a score. Jones-Drew has rushed for 100 yards three times this year, but has at least 84 in all but a game -- not bad work for a back who's battled injury and a putrid offense. Jones-Drew is a low-end RB1 but rounding into a deadly second back.
4. On Again, Off Again Honors: Tony Romo looked like he was playing Madden on the "Easy" setting yesterday, completing 23 for 26 passes in a thrashing of the Bills (FYI: Remember the big-play Bills passing attack? Me neither). Ever since the lackluster loss to the Eagles, Romo's bounced back, averaging 274 yards with a 5:0 touchdown to interception ratio. Three times this year he's thrown one or fewer touchdowns. Ask any Cowboys fan or any fantasy owner -- a little consistency would go a long way with Romo. Now with the emergence of DeMarco Murray and the running game, look for the good times to keep rolling.
5. The No Passing Fancy Award: Who says this is a passing league? Three starting QBs finished with under 100 yards -- Tim Tebow (69), Matt Cassel (93), Curtis Painter (94) and a fourth just barely over in Blaine Gabbert. Honorable mention to Sam Bradford, who eked out 155. Yikes. Tebow will continue to be a poor man's Vince Young with fantasy value coming from his legs, Cassel has a history of "when he's bad, he's bad" type games while Painter is the reason why the Colts should try their Luck on draft day for a successor to Peyton Manning.
6. The Not Kevin Kolb Award: Don't look now, but QB John Skelton is 2-0 and has worked well thus far with Larry Fitzgerald, something Kolb was hit or miss with. It's true that Skelton may have just benefited from a spiraling Eagles team, but its' hard to deny his passing for over 300 yards and trio of TD strikes in a comeback. Most important, Fitzgerald had 13 targets on his seven-catch, three-TD day. That makes back to back games for Fitz finding the end zone, and maybe the Cards have found a QB.
7. Best Backfield Hands: Meet Arian Foster, receiver. Foster notched his third 100-yard receiving game of the season against Tampa Bay, highlighted by his 78-yard touchdown. So far Foster has matched his receiving TD total from last year with two scoring catches and is averaging 14.4 yards per catch. One has to wonder if when Andre Johnson returns these numbers don't take a dip.
8. Best Kenny Britt Impression: Damian Williams. I've been a proponent of the second-year USC product since the moment Britt went down. Sunday, Williams went over the 100-yard mark, sparked by a 48-yard TD catch, leading the Titans in catches and yards. This marked his second week in a row with a scoring grab, while he tied with a resurgent Chris Johnson (as predicted here) with a team-high seven targets. Williams is poised to become that late season WR3 that could solve your starting lineup hole.
9. Best Defying the Odds Performance: Reggie Bush. The 3.4 yards per carry stat was spot on, but the two rushing touchdowns was a new wrinkle. Week 10 marked the third week in a row that Bush has been productive, coming off his 92 yards with a TD against the Chiefs the week prior and his 100-yard game against the Giants. One has to wonder that once rookie Daniel Thomas is back at 100 percent if Bush reverts back to the frustrating third-down back tease and occasional special teams ace he's built his flimsy career on. Thus far, one could do a lot worse than stick him at the flex position in larger leagues.
10. The Kick It Award: It was a banner day for kickers scoring by the bushel with David Akers, John Kasay, Phil Dawson, and Steven Hauschka all nailing four field goals each, not to mention a throng of kickers with at least three. Kickers are usually a fantasy wild card, not a trump card like yesterday.
11. The Rookie Raw Deal Award: What are the chances that the two top rookie-in-name-only receivers get injured on the same day? Julio Jones re-injured a hamstring, paving the way for Harry Douglas' big day, while for A.J. Green the problem could be grave. Green went down with a knee injury on an end-around against the Steelers, endangering the Bengals' surprising season if he is significantly injured.