» All things considered, Colin Kaepernick acquitted himself well against a very aggressive Rams defense. If Alex Smith can’t go next week, Kaepernick will get the start. The problem is that the Niners host the Chicago Bears next week. You don’t want any part of that matchup.
» Let’s not start the Nick Foles over Michael Vick conversations quite yet. Foles took over after Vick left with a concussion, but Philadelphia’s offensive line didn’t do any better protecting the rookie than it did the veteran. After the game, coach Andy Reid told reporters that as long as Vick is healthy for next week, he will be the starter. If you’d like to hedge your bets, pick up Foles, but don’t automatically expect to have him in your lineup for Week 11.
» If you’re keeping score at home (and I have no idea why you would be), the New York Jets’ quarterbacks combined to score 2.68 fantasy points with the majority of them coming from Tim Tebow. His combined 22 scrimmage yards (8 pass, 14 rush) earned him 1.72 points. Mark Sanchez scored less than one fantasy point for the second time this season (Week 4 vs. SF). To put it in perspective, Seahawks WR Golden Tate outscored both QBs combined point total with his fourth quarter TD pass to Sidney Rice alone.
» If the early games were marked by big tight end performances, the late games are notable for injuries to starting quarterbacks. Both Michael Vick and Alex Smith have left their contests with reported concussions, turning things over to Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick, respectively. That could mean more chances for LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore.
» Don’t look now, but Tim Tebow is actually seeing some work. He’s thrown two passes — completed them both for six yards — and has run the ball three times to boot. What this means for Mark Sanchez remains to be seen, so don’t feel pressure to rush Tebow into your starting lineup just yet.
» Following in the #ThatHelpsNoOne footsteps of Dante Rosario, Danario Alexander exploded for 134 yards — including an 80-yard touchdown. He’ll be a popular name on the waiver wire this week, but I’m still skeptical.
» The only thing more confusing than Saints wide receivers? Saints running backs. Is there a chart I can look up to know which Saints running back is going to get most of the carries on any given week? This week’s winner was Mark Ingram, who ran 16 times for 67 yards. Chris Ivory was easily the most productive back, rushing for 72 yards and a score. Pierre Thomas? He was an afterthought this week with 10 yards on five carries.
» Against possibly the worst defense he’ll face this season, Michael Turner ran for just 15 yards and was outplayed by Jacquizz Rodgers down the stretch. I don’t expect to see any change in Atlanta’s backfield, but it reinforces the idea that you never know what you’re going to get from Turner on a week-to-week basis.
» Megatron scored a touchdown! Megatron scored a touchdown! For just the second time this season, Calvin Johnson found the end zone. He’s been great, yardage-wise, all year. It’s the lack of touchdowns that has hurt. Hopefully this is the game that gets him back on track.
» In a word, Ryan Tannehill was ungood. Three interceptions and a general inability to consistently move the offense. Yet it’s Reggie Bush that is benched after losing one fumble. Sometimes there can be no answers because there are no answers.
» Presented without comment: In the past three weeks, Eli Manning has scored a combined 11.68 fantasy points.
» If anyone has an explanation for why the Carolina Panthers hate their running backs so much, I’m all ears. Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams combined for 37 yards on 14 carries on a day when the Broncos defense harassed Cam Newton mercilessly. It’s a shame that two talented runners are basically window dressing in a struggling offense.
» The Ravens didn’t need Ray Rice today. Good thing, too, because they didn’t really use him. He had 17 total touches for a combined 68 yards. If it wasn’t for a touchdown run late in the second quarter, it would have been a pretty miserable day for Rice fantasy owners.
» For all of the (well-deserved) hype around the Chicago Bears defense, the Denver Broncos are flying under the radar. They have dominated the Carolina Panthers, racking up seven sacks, grabbing an interception, scoring two touchdowns and picking up a safety. They should be a secret no more.
» It’s officially Tight End Day in the NFL. A tight end has scored at least one touchdown in each of the early games. The high scorer? Tony Gonzalez with 105 yards and two touchdowns.
» Eli Manning doesn’t look any closer to breaking out of a prolonged slump. He’s combined for 8.98 fantasy points in the pasts two weeks. While he could best that this week, he hasn’t exactly been lighting it up. Manning has just 107 passing yards with no touchdowns in the first half.
» Baltimore’s tight end extravaganza seems to have come at the expense of Ray Rice. The running back has just 25 yards on 11 carries so far. However, if the Ravens can hold (or extend) their big lead against Oakland, he’ll likely be called upon to put the game away on the ground.
» The Panthers aren’t the only team that has remembered it has a tight end. The Ravens are making Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson big parts of their offense today. The duo has combined for five catches and 89 yards already.
» Carson Palmer is spreading the ball around today. The Raiders QB has already completed pass to seven different receivers. The man with the most catches? Marcel Reece.
»The Carolina Panthers are re-discovering Greg Olsen this week. The talented tight end has been effective early, catching three passes for 46 yards and a TD. For a team trying to find a consistent receiving threat to go along with Steve Smith, the answer might be in the middle of the field.
» Just when everything was coming up roses for the Chargers passing game comes word that Malcom Floyd is questionable to return after suffering a jaw injury. So far, it hasn’t slowed Philip Rivers who has two early TD passes — including an 80-yard catch and run by Danario Alexander.
» After a slow start to the season, Doug Martin has found his niche in the offense. The Muscle Hamster posted 62 yards on the team’s opening drive — 42 of them on a pass from Josh Freeman. If he can integrate himself into the passing game, his value doubles.
» It looked like the Falcons took a page out of Bill Belichick’s playbook. Atlanta gets to the goal line and Matt Ryan throws a touchdown pass to an offensive lineman. Somewhere, Mike Vrabel is smiling.
» Although there aren’t any real surprises, there are a few big names that have ended up on the inactives list. Aaron Hernandez, Percy Harvin and Darren Sproles won’t suit up for their squads today. Adjust your fantasy lineups accordingly.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG