Counting down the fantasy numbers of note entering the 10th week of the NFL season.
48 – Receiving yards per game currently being averaged by the Bears’ Brandon Marshall over the first half of the season. It joins a litany of other stats in which B-Marsh is noticeably struggling this season. Through eight games, Marshall has 34 catches for 384 yards and five touchdowns among his 66 targets. Compared to his per-game averages over his previous two seasons, in which he totaled 218 receptions for 2,903 yards and 23 TDs on a whopping 356 targets, Marshall is averaging 2.8 fewer targets (11.1 to 8.3), 2.5 fewer receptions (6.8-4.3), 39.6 fewer receiving yards (87.6-48) and .09 fewer TD receptions (.72-.63) per outing. Also down are Marshall’s catch percentage (61.2-51.5 percent of all targets), his yards-per-reception average (12.9-11.3) and his overall percentage of the Bears’ passing targets (33.5-22.1). Hopefully, coming off the bye, the physical wideout is now completely recovered from his early-season ankle issues and will be able to noticeably pick up the pace over the season’s second half. Because as it stands right now, Marshall is on pace to finish the year with 132 targets, 68 receptions, 768 yards and 10 TDs – which all, aside from the TDs, would easily be his worst single-season marks since his rookie season of 2006.
45.4 – Percent of rookie wideout Martavis Bryant’s 11 offensive touches this season which have resulted in touchdowns (5). The Steelers’ WR is the extreme among the six TD-intensive players who have five or more receiving scores but 30-or-fewer off through Week 9, and fantasy general managers best beware of the unsustainable ratios. The others on the list are Ravens WR Torrey Smith (22 touches-5 TDs), Colts’ TE Dwayne Allen (26-7), Cowboys’ wideout Terrance Williams (27-6), Chargers’ WR Eddie Royal (28-5) and Jaguars rookie wideout Allen Hurns (29-5).
28.1 – Total standard-scoring fantasy points this season for another slumping stud, Forty-Niners TE Vernon Davis, who has only 16 receptions for 161 yards and two TDs on 26 targets in six games so far. That, believe it not, has Davis currently ranked 29th among all fantasy tight ends. Take out his 4-44-2 showing in Week 1, and it really gets barren with Davis totaling only 12 catches for 117 yards and no scores over his last five outings. Overall, he’s on pace for 61 targets, 31 receptions, 376 yards and five TDs — a dramatic decline from his per-season averages of 92 targets, 59 receptions, 814 yards and nine TDs over the last five years when he’s been one of fantasy’s elite TEs.
27 – Gains of 50 or more yards since the start of the 2009 season for big-play WR DeSean Jackson. That figure, which includes 26 receptions, one rushing attempt and 16 total touchdowns, is easily the tops in the NFL over that span – ranking 10 ahead of Calvin Johnson and Mike Wallace. Five of those plays have come this season – matching former teammate Jeremy Maclin for the league high – as part of his 36 catches for 784 yards and four TDs for Washington. Jackson’s current average of 21.8 yards per reception leads the league as does his career average of 17.6 among active players with 250 or more career receptions.
20 – Touchdowns over the last six games for the Pittsburgh Steelers, all of which have come via the pass. That is correct: The Steelers haven’t had a rushing TD since Week 3 and have 23 TD passes on the season to only three on the ground, matching the Patriots (also 23:3) for the most unbalanced ratio in the league. The Steelers have averaged 24.3 TD passes and 13.3 scoring runs a season over the last 10 years. Twelve of this year’s 23 TD tosses, of course, have come via Ben Roethlisberger’s red-hot right arm in the last 2 weeks as he’s used his full complement of weapons to scorch the secondaries of the Colts and Ravens for 65 completions in 86 attempts for 862 yards. Eight Pittsburgh pass-catchers have hauled in scoring grabs this season, led by No. 1 fantasy WR Antonio Brown (8) and Bryant, the aforementioned and fast-emerging fourth-round pick who’s hauled in all five of his scores since being activated in Week 7.
11 – Season-high targets for Bucs’ rookie WR Mike Evans this past Sunday in the team’s 22-17 loss in Cleveland. The first-round pick reeled in seven of the targets and finished with 124 yards and a pair of TD catches – also both season-best marks. Evans and veteran Tampa wideout Vincent Jackson now each have 32 receptions on the season, but it’s the rook who has more yards (460-443) and more scoring grabs (4-2) on 24 fewer targets (53-77). Evans has caught up quickly over the last three games, catching 15 of his 26 targets for 257 yards and three TDs, while Jackson has only caught 11 of his 30 targets for 165 yards and no scores over the same span.
10 – Touchdowns for Broncos’ TE Julius Thomas, which matches the Texans’ Arian Foster for the league lead through Week 9. But has Thomas become too TD dependent? Run through the following and decide for yourself: Thomas ranks third among tight ends with 96 fantasy points (trailing only Rob Gronkowski and the ageless Antonio Gates), but he ranks 12th with 44 targets (a full nine behind the Rams’ Jared Cook), is tied for 12th in receptions (one behind Cincy’s Jermaine Gresham) and is also 12th in TE receiving yards with 360 (69 behind Washington’s Niles Paul). Over the last 3 games, Thomas has been targeted only 14 times, and he has eight catches for 83 yards and one TD over that span.
7 – Consecutive 300-yard passing games for the Colts’ Andrew Luck, who was 25-of-46 for 354 yards and four touchdowns Monday night in Indy’s rout of the New York Giants. Luck is one of the current league leaders when it comes to current fantasy-relevant statistical streaks, joining Peyton Manning (14 straight games with 2 or more TD passes), DeMarco Murray (9 75-yard-plus rushing games in a row), Foster, Matt Forte and Demaryius Thomas (5 consecutive contests with 100 or more yards from scrimmage), Antonio Brown (a ridiculous 25 straight games with five or more receptions & also 11 consecutive game with 80 or more receiving yards) and Foster and Randall Cobb (5 straight games with a rushing and/or receiving TD).