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Week 10 fantasy football winners and losers

Todd Gurley was among the top picks in drafts this summer but has failed to produce at an elite level. Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

As we do each Sunday, we 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 games (and, when applicable, Sunday Night Football) for our picks of the week's best and worst.

Winners

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: What a day! Elliott's 32-yard touchdown with nine seconds remaining didn't just give his Cowboys a comeback win, it pushed his fantasy point total to 38, by far the most by any player in Week 10 (through the 4 p.m. ET games). It also had him only two shy of becoming the 17th instance of a rookie running back reaching 40 fantasy points; Elliott's 38 rank tied for 20th on the list.

More importantly, it increased Elliott's season fantasy point total to 176 through his first nine career games, which is the fourth-most by any running back through that many contests. Here are the top 10:

Of course, you all obviously saw this coming, as Elliott was the most-started player at any position in ESPN leagues (99.8 percent) in Week 10.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Who saw this one coming? After Darren Sproles totaled 28 rushing attempts to Mathews' nine the past two weeks, ESPN fantasy owners started Sproles (59.6 percent) in nearly three times as many leagues as Mathews (18.4 percent) on Sunday. Mathews, however, delivered 27 fantasy points to Sproles' seven and earned the No. 2 spot among running backs for the week (through the 4 p.m. ET games). That represents the second-best single-game effort of his career, behind his 31 in 2010 Week 17.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense: Talk about the unexpected; the opposing Chicago Bears were actually favored in this one (by 0.5 points in our Pigskin Pick 'em). The Buccaneers were firmly in command, however, as they forced three Jay Cutler turnovers en route to a 25-point fantasy day for their D/ST. It was the team's best fantasy effort in nearly nine years; the Buccaneers last scored that many or more fantasy points in Week 15 (28) of 2007.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: He's feasting upon a favorable portion of his schedule -- @MIA, CLE, IND, JAC, @SD, GB -- but Mariota's recent success warrants a "Winners" nod nevertheless. His 27 fantasy points were second-most among quarterbacks (through the 4 p.m. ET games) and gave him 144 during the aforementioned six-week span, easily the most by any player at any position in that time. Remarkably, fantasy owners have been lagging significantly behind this trend, as Mariota's 36.6 start percentage in ESPN leagues on Sunday ranked him outside the 10 (and, in fact, also outside the top 12) most popular starting quarterbacks for the week, and it was only his second-highest start percentage during said six-week span (40.9 percent, Week 9).

Sunday's game gave Mariota 187 fantasy points through 10 games, which puts him on pace for 299.2 by season's end. Should he pick up the pace and reach the 300-point threshold, he'd join an exclusive group of only five players to get there in a season in advance of his 23rd birthday: Dan Marino (353, 1984), Cam Newton (352, 2011), Eric Dickerson (329, 1983), Edgerrin James (315, 2000) and Robert Griffin (303, 2012). Mariota now has 385 fantasy points through his first 22 NFL games, which ranks ninth in history through that many contests.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans: Perhaps Murray's accomplishments were even more impressive from a historic perspective, however. By scoring 25 fantasy points on Sunday, Murray managed his 10th consecutive game with at least 12 to begin the season, joining Larry Brown (1972) and O.J. Simpson (1975) as the only players since 1960 to manage at least that many points in their first 10 team games of a season.

Murray also moved -- temporarily, in all likelihood -- into the scoring lead among running backs with the effort, as he now has 173 for the season. For reference, he had 175 fantasy points through 10 team games during his outstanding 2014 for the Dallas Cowboys; he had 107 in his final six contests for 282 at season's end.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: He was heavily started, active in 96.6 percent of ESPN leagues, but his 26 fantasy points were plenty to earn him a spot here. Sunday's game represented the 36th time in Rodgers' career that he managed at least 25, putting him behind only Drew Brees (46), Peyton Manning (43) and Tom Brady (36) on that all-time list.

Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: After he scored 18 fantasy points, his fantasy owners were surely asking, "Where has this been all season?" This was the first time in 2016 that Robinson has managed more than seven catches or 100 receiving yards, and it was his best individual fantasy performance since his 21 in 2015 Week 16. Unfortunately, a decent percentage of his owners missed out on the performance, as he was started in only 74.3 percent of ESPN leagues, his lowest rate all season.

Delanie Walker, TE, Titans: Mariota's hot streak has coincided (unsurprisingly) with Walker's uptick in fantasy production, as his 18 points Sunday represented a new season high and gave him four double-digit performances in his past six games. He is now on pace for 134 fantasy points using standard scoring and 202 using PPR, which puts him within range of his 143 and 237 of 2015.

Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers: For the second consecutive week, Brate scored double-digit fantasy points, and his 14 gave him 63 for the season and -- at least temporarily (though also likely come week's end) -- earned him a place among the top 10 scorers at his position for the season. His start percentage actually dipped this week, though, to 17.9 percent of ESPN leagues.

Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers: Though his clutch, fourth-quarter touchdown was quickly overshadowed in a heartbreaking loss for the Chargers, Williams' score gave him 18 fantasy points and put him in a tie for second place in WR scoring this week . He set a single-game career high with this effort and it was his fourth double-digit performance in his past six games.

Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys: Though his 18 fantasy points earned him a mere share of eighth place among quarterbacks for the week (that through the 4 p.m. ET games) -- and keep in mind that five quarterbacks managed 18 -- Prescott's consistency does warrant a mention. This was his eighth consecutive game of 15 fantasy points or more, which is the longest streak by any rookie quarterback since at least 1950; Prescott, in fact, has had at least 17 in all eight of those games.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: His 24 fantasy points, remarkably, matched his fourth-best single-game total, and represented his most in a single game since 2014 Week 14 (41).

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: His was yet another unexpected occurrence, as he had 23 fantasy points, easily the most by any individual quarterback against the Arizona Cardinals this season. Fantasy owners showed their doubts about the matchup by starting him in only 3.0 percent of ESPN leagues.

Losers

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: On the heels of his single-game-best 19 fantasy points in Week 9, Thomas posted a zero-point stinker on Sunday, fueled primarily by two lost fumbles. They were the first two fumbles of any kind (recovered or not) in his nine-game career. He was started in 46.7 percent of ESPN leagues, which places him among the 30 most-started wide receivers, and while much of the blame could be attributed to the brutal matchup against the Denver Broncos, that fellow Saints wide receivers Willie Snead (16 fantasy points) and Brandin Cooks (15) easily outscored him was surely a frustration to those who risked using Thomas.

A lone bright spot for Thomas: His six targets trailed only Snead's seven among all Saints players (any position), though it's difficult to get a read on what the fumbles might do to his target share come Week 11, as both occurred during the fourth quarter. Cooks did get three of Drew Brees' four looks in the Saints' final drive after Thomas' second fumble (Ingram got the fourth).

Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers: Though fantasy owners were somewhat prepared for a lackluster Hyde game -- he was started in only 35.6 percent of ESPN leagues -- his one-point performance did let down a fair share of teams. It was his worst single-game score since 2014 Week 14 (0), and it was only the second time in his career that he managed a score that low in a game in which he had double-digit carries (he also had one fantasy point, on 11 carries, in 2014 Week 6).

Zach Miller, TE, Bears: While across the field the aforementioned Brate excelled, Miller was a big disappointment facing the more favorable matchup on paper. Fantasy owners started Miller in 43.6 percent of ESPN leagues, but Miller delivered just three fantasy points on his seven targets, which marked the fourth time this season that he had been held to that few.

Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: He was the third most-started tight end in ESPN leagues, active in 83.9 percent, but he scored only five fantasy points on his six targets while facing an extremely favorable matchup. Kelce has now been held to five fantasy points or fewer in five games -- and four of his past five -- this season.

Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets: The Jets' late change from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Bryce Petty at quarterback was expected to have an adverse impact upon Marshall's fantasy production, but a one-point game on six targets was beneath even the most pessimistic projections. It was Marshall's lowest fantasy point total since 2014 Week 3 (0), and it was his fifth game (out of 10) this season with fewer than six fantasy points. In 2015, Marshall never scored fewer than six in a game all season.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears: He was started in 88.2 percent of ESPN leagues, ninth among wide receivers, but managed a mere four fantasy points on nine targets despite his matchup against a Buccaneers team that, entering the week, had afforded the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Jeffery has now been limited to single digits in seven of his nine games in 2016.

Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams: What a letdown of a season Gurley has endured. He scored just six fantasy points Sunday, the second consecutive week and fourth this season that he was held to that few or fewer. Twenty-three running backs, as of the conclusion of the 1 p.m. ET games, had outscored Gurley's 79 fantasy points for the season. That puts him on pace for 140 fantasy points come season's end, which would be 36 fewer than he had in 2015 (176), and bear in mind that he missed three games during that rookie campaign.