It's week ten of the NFL season and the bye-weeks are almost complete just like our poor Jaguars' season. I'm sure many of us league managers welcome this time of year with open arms. Now for the next few weeks we can truly see who has the best team, with or without depth. But not yet.
With Green Bay, Washington, Cleveland, and Arizona on bye this week the waiver wire can and will still be the savior for some GMs. Nevertheless, this isn't "Fantasy Football for Dummies". Let's not outsmart ourselves. If you have a top 5 player at a position you should probably play them every week, unless they're injured. Let's get into it.
Matthew Stafford QB (vs MINN): Stafford hasn't been the QB that we expected this year but fortunately for any Stafford owners neither has the Vikings D. In his last three games against them he has AVERAGED 308 passing yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Back in Week 4, Stafford put up 20 fantasy points against them. This is the same D that just allowed Josh Freeman and Russel Wilson to both put up 22 points in back to back weeks. Start him with confidence.
Isaac Redman RB (vs KC): CBSSports said that Redman will get the start in Week 10. However Johnathan Dwyer will also be returning from his week 8 injury. With Redman hot after going for over 150 total yards against the Giants and Dwyer previously having two 100+ yard rushing games , the two players will battle for touches this week. And none of that matters. Why? Because they're playing the Chiefs, who I expect to be blown out by the Steelers. They allow the most ppg to opposing running backs in the NFL and there will definitely be ample opportunity for both Dwyer and Redman. I would almost contemplate playing both lol.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs NYG): Green-Ellis has had a tough last few games. While he definitely helped his Fantasy owners who started him last week against Denver with a short touchdown run he hasn't topped 70 total yards in his past four games (and week 9 was his first outing with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 2). The Giants are a little bit of an enigma though. They have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs this year, but also recently gave up over 150 total yards and a TD to the Steeler's Isaac Redman. I'm going to go out on a limb on this one and say Green-Ellis will show up this week with a 100+ total yardage game with a TD.
Malcom Floyd WR (vs TB): Floyd has been more strike outs than base hits for most of the 2012 season, but he's got one of the best possible matchups on the schedule in Week 10. Tampa Bay currently ranks dead last in the NFL against the pass (321.1 yds/gm) and is giving up the third most ppg to opposing WRs currently. And to add insult to injury Tampa recently gave up 414 yards and 4 TDs in the air to Carson Palmer after trading away their most talented corner. If you have Phillip Rivers play him asap too!
Nate Washington WR (vs. MIA): My rule of thumb has always been "if Locker is playing, play Nate Washington." Those two just have a better connection than Washington and Hasselbeck (maybe because Hasselbeck is just terrible? Idk). Nevertheless, the Titans are matched up against a Miami secondary that just allowed 433 yards in the air against Andrew ‘Ugly-Stick' Luck last week. I'd expect a big day from Locker and in turn Washington against this same D. Add that the Dolphins just put starting CB Marshall on IR, plus they give up the 4th-most FPG to WRs over the last five weeks and you have a deal!
Kyle Rudolph TE (vs DET): With Percy Harvin being out this week Rudolph will likely be heavily involved in the Minnesota passing game (seeing as they have no one else to throw to). It is a little tough to play him based on his last three outings, but he's been doing much more blocking as of late with both Peterson and Harvin getting increased rushed out of the backfield. His main issue the past few games has simply been getting less targets. That won't be an issue this week. If you're in TE bye-week trouble I'd look his way. The opportunities will be there for a big game.
Lions D (vs MIN): After browsing this week's games I'm not so sure there is a bonafide must start this week that doesn't fall into the realm of "obvious" (IE: Texans vs Chicago, San Fran vs Rams, etc). I guess I'll go out on a limb with the Lions, though they burned me a few times earlier in the year. They have done a nice job of late with double digit points in four of their past five games, including a matchup with the Vikings in Week 4. Since that game the Lions have five interceptions, 11 sacks and two fumble recoveries while holding their opponents (Minnesota, Philly, Chicago, Seattle and Chicago) to 24 points or less in each matchup. Pnder has had some tough outings lately and will now be without Harvin (look for an increase in Kyle Rudolph targets). I could see the Lions D in double digits today.
Michael Vick QB (vs DAL): While Vick may have put up a pretty nice stat line last week, remember that was against the New Orleans Saints whose defense kinda really sucks. Next up is a game with the Cowboys, who are allowing the third least ppg to opposing QBs. Oh, yea. Don't forget about that terrible o-line of his that allows instant pressure. Good luck.
Fred Jackson RB (vs NE): Since the week 9 game against the Texans it's been reported that the Buffalo coaching staff has been talking about of C.J. Spiller seeing a much bigger role in the offense, which would obviously hurt Jackson's stock. Spiller is averaging 7.2 yards per carry but simply isn't touching the ball enough. What's more, the veteran faces a Patriots defense that has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing runners in any case. Back in Week 4, Jackson had just 5 fantasy points against them.
Felix Jones RB (vs at PHI): While DeMarco Murray won't be back for at least one more game Jones may be rusty and has a pretty tough matchup. The Eagles have given up just two rushing touchdowns all season and haven't given up a significant yardage total since week 4. Add that Jones has also started to lose some touches to and goal line work to Lance Dunbar and you have yourself a high risk lower reward scenario.
Dwayne Bowe WR (PITT): I'm just not sure why people are still starting Bowe after the past few games. While he's a tremendous receiving threat he definitely shouldn't be starting in over 75% of leagues as he currently is. Bowe hasn't topped 80 receiving yards in a game or scored a touchdown in any of his last four outings and it's not getting any easier. If you have any tier two receive with promise please go in that direction in Week 10. The Steelers currently lead the league in pass defense while giving up an average of only fourth fewest fantasy ppg to opposing wide receivers this season. There are much better options out there.
Steve Smith WR (vs DEN): Point blank Smith has been better as of late but this Broncos/Champ Bailey matchup is a tough one. Denver's defense has given up just six scores and the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2012. That makes Smith a high risk-reward option this week with how volatile his play has been this season. He may score 19 points. He may score 0. I'm leaning toward less than 5 in non-PPR leagues in this game.
Brent Celek (vs DAL): The good news: Celek has recorded a respectable 436 yards so far this season. Looks good as a big picture outlook. The bad news: 157 (36%) of those yards came in just one game. He's also scored more than six fantasy points just once since the second week of the season. After scoring only 2 points last week against a porous Saints D there's no way he can be recommended against this Cowboys D that's giving up the 5th fewest points to TEs in 2012.
Chargers D (vs TB): While this matchup might seem favorable on paper the Buccs have not played like the old Buccs as of late. The Chargers D has definitely been a feast on the poor offenses and flop vs the good ones type of team in 2012. I'd expect no different in this matchup. Opposing defenses facing the Buccaneers this season have combined to score the third-fewest fantasy points in 2012. How's that for how Doug Martin and Freeman have been playing?
Teams/Players on bye:
Green Bay: A. Rogers, A. Green, J. Nelson, J. Jones, Green Bay D, J. Starks, J. Finley, etc
Washington: R. Griffin III, S. Moss, A. Morris.
Cleveland: T. Richardson, J. Gordon, G. Little, Cleveland D
Arizona - L. Fitzgerald, A. Roberts, Arizona D,
Don't forget to take a look at the injury report to make sure your guys are playing!
So until next week, who's in your lineup Big Cat Country?