As we do each week, let’s recap the week’s winners and losers from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 1 and 4 p.m. ET (and, when applicable, Sunday Night Football) games for our picks of the week’s best and worst.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams: What a performance. Thanks in large part to a pair of touchdowns scored within nine minutes of one another, Woods set new career highs for PPR and non-PPR fantasy points with 37.1 and 29.1. It was the second consecutive week that he managed at least 23 of the former, after he had reached that threshold just three times in 64 career games before that. Woods had a team-high 10 targets on Sunday, giving him a team-best 57 for the season (Cooper Kupp is second with 54), establishing him as a trusted target for sophomore quarterback Jared Goff. Whether that earns Woods shadow coverage from Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes in Week 11 — Rhodes typically covers the other side of the field — is a valid question, but Woods has earned more trust than evidenced by his 46.8 percent start rate this week.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams: For the second consecutive week, Goff passed for 300-plus yards and at least three touchdowns, totaling at least 26 fantasy points in each. He finished Sunday’s game with 26.50, the second-best performance of his young career (trailing only his 28.44 from Week 9), continuing to exploit the more favorable matchups on his schedule. Goff was added in 25.8 percent of ESPN leagues between the two weeks, and he was started in a career-high 54.6 percent of leagues in Week 10, the ninth most among quarterbacks. He’ll now face a much tougher matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who until Sunday hadn’t afforded more than 18 fantasy points to any opposing quarterback. Goff has earned your trust as a weekly QB2, but he won’t be a QB1 for Week 11.
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: He matched a career high with 31.1 PPR fantasy points, giving him his sixth career game with at least 25 in that format, with all of them coming within his past 18 regular-season contests. Perhaps most importantly, Ingram scored three rushing touchdowns, a new personal best, all of them on attempts within three yards of the goal line. He was 3-for-3 on attempts from that distance or closer, moving him to 6-for-9 converting those plays for touchdowns (66.7 percent conversion rate). Entering the season, Ingram was 15-for-40 scoring touchdowns on runs within three yards of the goal line (37.5 percent).
Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota Vikings: For only the fourth time in his six-year, 35-game NFL career, Keenum scored 20-plus fantasy points, finishing with 24.06 thanks in large part to four passing touchdowns (a new career high). He unfortunately wasn’t a popular bye-week fill-in in fantasy, however, started in just 7.4 percent of ESPN leagues (19th among quarterbacks).
Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings: He was a large part of the reason for Keenum’s big game, as Thielen’s 30 PPR and 22.6 non-PPR fantasy points were both easily season bests for the wide receiver. It was Thielen’s second consecutive game with at least 20 using PPR scoring, and his fourth such performance in his past 11 regular-season games. He was started in just 74.2 percent of ESPN leagues (14th at his position), a rate that should rise in coming weeks.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans: Would you believe that only four times previously in his seven-year, 93-game NFL career did Murray have a greater PPR fantasy point total than he did on Sunday (29.2)? It was his greatest single-game output since he set a career high with 37.8 in 2014 Week 14, and gave him his first game with 20 or more since 2016 Week 10. Also of note in this game was Murray’s 68 snaps played (out of 90), per Pro Football Focus’ Nathan Jahnke, which was the veteran running back’s largest total all season. Murray does face a much tougher matchup in Week 11 at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Well how about that! The rookie Ekeler enjoyed the third-largest PPR fantasy point total (26.9) among running backs in the 1 p.m. ET games, which actually exceeded his Weeks 5-8 total combined (25.2) and was significantly more than the Chargers’ go-to running back, Melvin Gordon (9.2), had. Unfortunately, few people in fantasy reaped the benefits, as Ekeler was rostered in just 1.88 percent and started in just 0.22 percent of ESPN leagues at kickoff time. It’s a reminder, however, that Ekeler is one of the more useful handcuffs in the game.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: Though he couldn’t quite propel his team to victory at the end — the Redskins lost by eight points, failing to recover an onside kick — Cousins’ rallying effort nevertheless earned him the highest fantasy point total of any quarterback during the 1 p.m. ET games (27.58). It was the fifth time since the beginning of the 2015 season that he scored at least 25 fantasy points, tying him with Tyrod Taylor and Russell Wilson for the third most during that time span (Cam Newton 7, Tom Brady 6).
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks: For the first time since 2016 Week 9 (30.3), Graham reached the 20-point PPR fantasy plateau, his 20.7 on Thursday Night Football exceeding any individual tight end’s score from Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET games. It was his 27th career game scoring at least that many, moving him into a tie with Rob Gronkowski for the fourth-most such games in history.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns: Credit the rookie for a solid fantasy performance, albeit in a loss for his NFL team, as Kizer managed a career-best 22.98 points on Sunday. Remarkably, it came in a game against the Detroit Lions, a team that entered the week allowing the 11th-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (14.1), and one that held Ben Roethlisberger to 14.48 fantasy points (Week 8), Matt Ryan to 13.66 (Week 3) and Drew Brees to 11.54 (Week 6). It’s nevertheless not enough to earn Kizer a place on your fantasy team — outside of perhaps the deepest dynasty leagues — as he’ll face the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense in Week 11.
Chester Rogers, WR, Indianapolis Colts: You could call that a breakthrough performance, as Rogers not only set a new career high for PPR fantasy points (22.7) on Sunday, he more than doubled his previous mark. He was a popular early-preseason sleeper, before he suffered a hamstring injury that cost him the season’s first five games and before news broke that Andrew Luck (shoulder) would miss considerable regular-season time. Rogers isn’t guaranteed the six targets he received on Sunday in every game, making him more of a depth stash, but he’s worth adding for those purposes in the 99.9 percent of ESPN leagues in which he remains available.
C.J. Beathard, QB, San Francisco 49ers: A bold 2.3 percent of ESPN fantasy players started Beathard on Sunday, and they extracted an impressive 25.02 points from the rookie. Like Goff the week before him, Beathard capitalized against a struggling New York Giants defense, which has now allowed at least 25 fantasy points to three of the past five quarterbacks it has faced. Unfortunately, Beathard isn’t worth the add coming off this game, as his 49ers now have their bye before facing a pair of difficult matchups: Seattle in Week 12 and a road trip to Chicago in Week 13.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants: It was a week of new personal bests for the second-year receiver. Among them were his 63.7 percent start rate in ESPN leagues, his 13 targets and 11 receptions, all signs that he’s going to continue to be heavily targeted in this offense that is often playing from behind, and that he’s edging closer to WR2 status in fantasy. Remarkably, Shepard’s 25.2 PPR fantasy points were not his best — he had 26.3 in Week 3.
Garrett Celek, TE, 49ers: For only the sixth time in his 65 career NFL games, Celek managed double-digit PPR fantasy points, his 16.7 on Sunday representing a new personal best. However, few capitalized in fantasy, as he was started in only 1.36 percent of ESPN leagues. Considering the vast majority of that came from pickups within the past week, it’s clear that it was the result of what has become the most favorable matchup for an opposing tight end: Facing the Giants. This was the 10th consecutive regular-season game in which the Giants had allowed a touchdown to a tight end, which is the longest streak this century.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills: What a mess this game was, not only for Taylor but the Bills as a whole. It was the team’s most lopsided loss since 2007 Week 10, a 56-10 loss to the New England Patriots at home, and it resulted in Taylor’s worst fantasy point total (2.94) in any of his 37 career NFL starts. Taylor was lifted from the game with just under five minutes remaining with his team trailing 40-3, not that Nathan Peterman’s 7.16-fantasy point performance in two series’ action is going to cause quarterback controversy. This is still Taylor’s job, but it’s a discouraging outcome for a player who had recently acquired wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin active for his Bills debut and tight end Charles Clay active for the first time since Week 5. Taylor is likely just a high-end QB2 moving forward, but it’s also possible that the bigger takeaway from this one was the performance of the New Orleans Saints defense. It has now held opposing quarterbacks to 59.92 fantasy points in its past five games combined, including limiting Matthew Stafford to 14.88 in Week 6, and the Saints will face Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff and Cam Newton the next three weeks.
Jacksonville Jaguars defense/special teams: The most-started defense in ESPN leagues — it was active in 89.0 percent — might not have played especially poor football, surrendering 17 points on 322 total yards, but thanks to just one interception and one fumble recovery, the Jaguars amassed only five fantasy points. That was their second-worst point total all season, behind only their minus-1 in Week 2. Even with the low score, however, the Jaguars D/ST is on pace for 215.1 fantasy points, which would be the most by any team since the Baltimore Ravens had 242 and Chicago Bears 225 in 2006.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: He warrants a mention for his poor Thursday performance, as after he had an astonishing-for-a-32-year-old 39 touches in Week 9, Peterson could muster only 3.2 PPR fantasy points on his 22 touches in Week 10. That was the third-worst score by any player who had at least that many touches in a game since 1960.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers: After a brief, Weeks 4-7 hot streak, Henry has cooled considerably in his past two games. He managed just 1.7 PPR fantasy points on his two targets, giving him just 4.8 points on four targets in his past two contests. Fortunately for Henry, fellow Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had a mere 5.8 PPR fantasy points on four targets of his own in those same two games, so this seems like more of a matchups issue than anything (the Patriots and Jaguars have been two of the toughest defenses against tight ends in recent weeks). Henry was started in 41.6 percent of ESPN leagues.
Jack Doyle, TE, Colts: Sunday put an end to Doyle’s four-game streak scoring double-digit PPR fantasy points, as he managed just 2.9 on his five targets while facing the stingy Pittsburgh Steelers defense, his second-worst score in his nine games this season. He was active in 72.7 percent of ESPN leagues, fourth highest among tight ends.
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Lions: Though Matthew Stafford managed to rescue his seemingly lost fantasy day with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, Jones unfortunately wasn’t the receiver for either of them. Jones managed a season-worst 3.2 PPR fantasy points on his two targets, which tied for his 15th-worst score in any of his 67 career games and was his fourth-worst score in any of his 24 games with the Lions.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: Coming off his season-best 34.5 PPR fantasy point Week 9, Hilton was started in 70.8 percent of ESPN leagues on Sunday, that the 15th-highest rate among wide receivers. Unfortunately, that meant he let a lot of teams down, as he scored just 4.3 points on his four targets, an output that looks even worse if you consider that both Rogers (22.7 on six targets) and Donte Moncrief (13.0 on one target) had more.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: Considering Matt Forte (knee) was inactive for Sunday’s game, Powell was expected to produce much more than the 2.6 PPR fantasy points (and 1.6 in non-PPR) that he did. Powell’s start percentage in ESPN leagues soared following news that Forte would sit, locking in at 70.6 come game time, but he couldn’t get much of anything done against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that had allowed an average of 29.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs during Weeks 5-9 (second-worst in the league). With the Jets now enjoying their bye week, Forte might have enough time to heal before Week 12, and this performance by Powell might make it difficult for him to earn a significant enough workload for fantasy relevance thereafter.
Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears: Though he wasn’t heavily started on Sunday, his 20.9 start percentage was still awfully high for a player who has been utilized as infrequently as he has in recent weeks. Fresh off the bye, Cohen managed just one rushing attempt (for 1 yard) and one reception (for 10 yards) on two targets, the result 2.1 PPR fantasy points, the sixth consecutive game in which he was held to single digits. Cohen now has eight touches in his past three games combined, limiting his value mostly to dynasty formats.
Alfred Morris, RB, Dallas Cowboys: A 5.3 fantasy point total isn’t necessarily disastrous, but considering how much buzz he received in the past 72 hours, it was indeed a disappointment. Morris was started in 41.6 percent of ESPN leagues, by far his highest rate all season and the 25th highest among running backs in Week 10. In his defense, backups Rod Smith and Darren McFadden had minus-0.2 and 6.9 fantasy points on one and seven touches, respectively, so it’s not that Morris was clearly outplayed. Things might not improve much for any of the three in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles, though.