Any time a quarterback throws for three touchdowns or more, it's enough to give you pause in Fantasy, so you probably did a double-take when you saw Matt Cassel among that illustrious group this week.
But let's be honest: You're never going to use him. You still haven't bought into Brian Hoyer, and you've only recently come around on Derek Carr. At a position as deep as quarterback, it takes several big games to upset the order of things, and Cassel most likely won't have that chance.
Still, the performance was notable for those on the receiving end of it.
Dez Bryant had the better singular play, reaching over three defenders to pull down a pray-for-rain-type throw from Cassel for an 18-yard score, but Cole Beasley had the better numbers, delivering his first ever 100-yard game and second ever two-score game. In Bryant's case, we can conclude that he's back to being a must-start, elite-level wide receiver. He's getting closer to playing every snap after getting eased back into the lineup, and regarding the quarterback play, he's talented enough to do something with any junk ball thrown his way.
Beasley is a little more complicated. While I don't think he's an especially high priority off the waiver wire based on this one performance, I could see him building off it. Granted, I thought he'd play a bigger role when Bryant first went down -- that the Cowboys would tweak their offense to allow him to fill that Wes Welker-Julian Edelman role as an underneath route runner -- and instead, he disappeared.
Think back to when Cassel was at his best, though. The only reason he's even in the league now is because of that year he had filling in for Tom Brady in 2008, when Welker was first pioneering that role, so now that the Cowboys have a quarterback accustomed to it, maybe they'll make use of Beasley in it. It probably works better with Bryant in the mix, actually. He pulls the defense downfield, giving Beasley plenty of room to maneuver underneath.
Of course, it may all be moot with Tony Romo due back in two weeks. At that point, the Cowboys offense is sure to undergo another transformation of sorts. On, then, to the events from earlier Sunday ...
1. DeAngelo Williams can be every bit as good as Le'Veon Bell
Bell owners were pretty bummed when their star running back went down in Week 8, and no doubt, he's a talented player who everyone would rather see putting those talents to use. But as long as those owners were able to get their hands on Williams, they'll probably be just fine. We already saw some evidence of that when Bell served his two-game suspension at the start of the year, but this 225-yard performance a full seven weeks later proves that Williams' early-season production wasn't a fluke. Kind of makes you wonder what he could have been with Carolina if he hadn't lost so many carries to Jonathan Stewart over the years. You may remember that when the Panthers entrusted him with 273 in 2008, he ran for 1,515 yards and 18 scores. Certainly, the Steelers have the right infrastructure to make the most of that long-forgotten talent, so you should treat Williams as an RB1 going forward. -Scott White
2. You should be worried about Antonio Brown again
Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger made up for lost time in Week 9, as the duo connected 17 times for 284 yards in one of the biggest games of Brown's career. Even after Michael Vick derailed Brown's season, Brown is back on pace for a career-high in receiving yards. Which is why Roethlisberger's foot injury is such a heartbreaker for Brown's Fantasy owners. Brown has scored in double figures in Fantasy points in each of Roethlisberger's five starts, while failing to get there in three of four games without Roethlisberger. When Roethlisberger is healthy, it's hard to make an argument that any receiver in football is a better Fantasy option than Brown. Landry Jones should give the Steelers a better option in the passing game than Vick, but Brown's chances of being the No. 1 wide receiver for the rest of the season went down with Roethlisberger's foot injury. The injury shouldn't end Roethlisberger's season, but it might be hard to survive a step back from Brown for the next few weeks while you wait for him to get back. Brown is still a must-start player, but Roethlisberger's injuries will likely be the sole reason he doesn't return value on your first-round investment this season. -Chris Towers
3. Sammy Watkins is a man on a mission
Back in Week 6, Watkins said he wanted the ball more -- a message that usually falls on deaf ears and, in this case, had the potential to be lost entirely since he left that game in a walking boot. But back to full health Week 9 against the Dolphins, Watkins basically was the Bills' passing game, catching 92.8 percent of Tyrod Taylor's yards through the air. He also connected on all eight of his targets, a rarity for him, and needed some acrobatics to do so, making a diving grab along the sideline in the second quarter and catching up to an overthrown ball in the corner of the end zone in the fourth. He looked determined only a couple weeks after sounding determined, which could mean big things given his ability. He may have consistency issues simply because Taylor does, but if Stefon Diggs and T.Y. Hilton deserve to start every week in your league, so does Watkins. -Scott White
4. Randall Cobb should be just fine
For a long stretch to open Sunday's game, it looked like the Packers' offensive malaise was going to continue against the Panthers. However, Randall Cobb finally got on the same page as Aaron Rodgers, as the duo hit for a couple of big plays and Cobb's first double-digit Fantasy point game since Week 3. There were a few good signs for Cobb this week beyond just the four catches for 99 yards and a touchdown, too. For one, he got off the injury report for the first time all season, after a preseason shoulder injury had him limited in practice throughout the season. Secondly, he got going against a tough matchup, putting to rest concerns that he just couldn't produce without Jordy Nelson next to him to take off pressure on the outside. Of course, we saw Cobb play without Nelson by his side back in 2012, and Cobb ended up with 24 receptions for 307 yards in the four games Nelson missed that season, so that line of criticism never made too much sense. Cobb probably is best suited to be the secondary focus of a passing game, but he is also far too talented to keep struggling like he did in the previous four games. The schedule lightens up considerably, and if you bought low on Cobb -- I traded Jimmy Graham for him last week -- you should get a nice second half from him. -Chris Towers
5. ... and he and Aaron Rodgers are about the only Packers skill players you can trust
You know how when preseason darling Davante Adams sprained his ankle in Week 3, it wasn't such a big deal because James Jones seemed to have overtaken him anyway? Yeah ... well, Adams just had seven catches for 93 yards in Week 9. Jones hasn't had more than two catches in any of the last four games. And then there's the whole Eddie Lacy-James Starks situation. Starks out-carried Lacy for the second time in three games Sunday, but he had only 10. Still, he dominated the snap count and played a much bigger role in the passing game, which would seem to suggest he has overtaken Lacy as the preferred back in Green Bay. But the same appeared to be true in Week 6, and then the Packers went right back to Lacy in Week 8, after the bye. Ranking these four in terms of ownability, I'd go Starks, Lacy, Adams and Jones, but I'd rather not have to start any right now. -Scott White
6. The Jaguars passing game is matchup proof
We assumed Blake Bortles would take a step forward this year, after a rough rookie season that saw him toss six more interceptions than touchdowns. I'm not sure even the most optimistic Jaguars boosters expected Bortles to emerge as the type of passer who can support not just one but two must-start Fantasy wide receivers, but that is exactly what we're seeing right now. Even against Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and the tough Jets defense, Bortles threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns, his fourth multi-touchdown game in a row. The Jaguars are throwing the ball a ton, which helps, but Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns aren't on pace for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns each for no reason. After consecutive games with double-digit Fantasy points for each against the Bills and Jets, it's hard to justify sitting any of Robinson, Hurns or Bortles. -Chris Towers
7. Chris Ivory is getting the star treatment
In the three weeks since Ivory emerged as one of this season's biggest breakout players with back-to-back 140-yard games, he has averaged a pitiful 1.5 yards per carry -- and it's not like a lack of carries is to blame. So has he lost the touch, or are defenses onto him? More likely, the latter. He did complain recently about facing a loaded box, which would certainly limit his effectiveness, and for the first two of those three games, it worked. The Jets lost. They did pull out a win against the Jaguars this week, though, and even with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, it's not like their passing game is a pushover with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker on the outsides. I'm thinking defenses ultimately will have to vary their looks to account for all of the Jets' weapons, and in the meantime, Ivory is worth starting just for his goal-line carries. -Scott White
8. Antonio Andrews is a must-add player
Antonio Andrews seemed to get new Titans coach Mike Mularkey's vote of confidence before Week 8, and Mularkey backed it up by using Andrews heavily in his first game. Even in a high-scoring game, Andrews rushed the ball a career-high 18 times and was on the field for 63 percent of the team's offensive snaps, by far the highest rate for any back on the team. Dexter McCluster will continue to take passing downs work, which limits Andrews' upside on a team that might be playing from behind quite a bit, but Andrews looks like the workhorse here. Even in what will likely just be an average offense, 15-20 touches a game has a ton of value. Make Andrews your primary focus on waivers if he isn't owned yet in your league. -Chris Towers
9. Dorial Green-Beckham is getting closer to mattering
First, let's state the obvious: Green-Beckham got all the opportunities he did Sunday, leading the Titans with 10 targets, because Kendall Wright was sidelined by a knee injury, but the simple validation that he's next in line is a victory of sorts. And because he appeared to capitalize on the opportunity, catching five passes for 77 yards in a comeback win at New Orleans, you have to think more opportunities might be in store for him even when Wright returns, perhaps as early as next week. Green-Beckham proved to be a monster talent in training camp, but now-fired coach Ken Whisenhenut was reluctant to play him. Maybe interim coach Mike Mularkey, a former offensive coordinator, will make better use of his size downfield. You don't necessarily need to add Green-Beckham yet, but another big game would be telling. -Scott White
10. Vernon Davis isn't going to help you
Vernon Davis' ownership jumped up to 71 percent after he was acquired by the Broncos, and he responded with zero catches on his nine snaps in Week 9. He was just getting acclimated to the offense, so his role should increase, however is there any real reason to be excited about Davis at this point? This Broncos' passing game isn't the high-powered machine we thought it would be, and Owen Daniels has just one double-digit game on the season as Peyton Manning's tight end; that it came in Davis' debut might not exactly bode well for Davis either. You might say Davis is a better receiver than Daniels, but their recent track records don't exactly support that, as Daniels has 758 yards on 10.7 yards per catch since the start of last season, modest numbers that Davis can't even come close to matching. He has 439 yards on 9.9 yards per catch in that same time span. Davis is a big name who is just two years removed from Fantasy stardom, but that feels like decade ago at this point. It feels like you are chasing ghosts if you expect Davis to emerge as a key contributor for this Broncos offense. -Chris Towers