Sometimes when your thoughts go down in print it can make you very humble (thank you Miles Austin), and at times when you brag about being a quality FF owner and know all the answers you can also be humbled by your oppoSition (thanks again, Miles Austin). In my defense, nobody can predict injuries or when players just don’t do the big things that are projected by the numbers. Hey, that’s why they play the games, no matter how much it makes us yell at the TV or the computer screen.
In the 3 years since I have been writing Fantasy Football articles for CamelClutchBlog I have received lots of emails from readers for advice, and have also been called out on some shaky predictions. The love/hate relationship of this game makes the smartest players at times look silly, and people who just roll the dice look brilliant. It is the fun of the unknown that keeps us coming back for more, and here in week 10 of the 2011 season, more wild adventures wait for us on any given Sunday, or at this time of year, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Yes, Thursday night football is back as well, so it is time to Start putting in overtime owners, the stretch run is here!
In a quick update for me personally in 3 leagues I have a combined record of 17-10 (including 8-1 in our very own Still Real to Us league. Yes hate me if you will!). Maybe in the league where I struggle so, I should try my own advice? Take from it what you will, read and enjoy and good luck in week 10. As always thanks for reading!
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cardinals: Kevin Kolb may not play here for the Cardinals, which is a shame for the viewing audience, but Vick will be here. As always last week he struggled against the Bears, but the 29th ranked pass defense of the Cards should help Vick find his way. The Eagles need to run the table to have a shot at the playoffs, and this can be just the remedy to get them Started.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers vs. Raiders: All the waiting from Rivers owners may have finally paid off. Last week he had a huge performance against Green Bay, and now a Thursday nighter with Oakland, with first place on the line, and we should see big things again from Rivers. The Chargers usually don’t hit stride until November, so this is his time of year, use him!
Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins vs. Redskins: People, please don’t get all fired up over what you saw last week. Moore is a decent choice to finish the year for Miami, but to put stock in his 3 TD game last week can be dreadful. The Redskins, despite struggling of late, still have a top 10 pass defense, so wait and see what he can do here before making the reach.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. Lions: Loved him last week and was correct. Cutler knows his way around the Eagles, but the Lions are a different story. Only 9 passing TDs allowed this year and a solid pass rush will lead to more running than passing for the Bears. This game is huge for them, and I never saw Cutler as the guy to come up huge. He is rolling out more which has helped his offensive line, but this Lions team makes the push up front, so he will need to be real creative.
Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Chargers: Still not crazy about what I am seeing from Palmer. I am reading stories about how he is back, and ready, but he as a knack for throwing costly INT’s. Yes he did post 2 TD’s last week, but he will face an aggressive defense this week. Palmer needs more time to gel, and being thrust into a Thursday night road game, with loads on the line may prove too much.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans at Buccaneers: As always, using the obvious is easy, but I have to go with Foster this week more than ever. Yes, players are in it to win it, and Ben Tate has been making the most of his chances, but Foster is a load-carrying back, and it seems that in his mind this is his backfield, and will be doing it all to win back the lead role. I have read plenty about getting Tate and using him, but I will stick with the guy I see as the best RB (with no disrespect to Matt Forte or LeSean McCoy) in Fantasy. Over 100 yards and a TD plus some catches have become the norm for Foster, so put him in and expect the big numbers.
Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. Giants: The Gore machine continues to roll on. Another big week last week carrying his team to another win to get to 7-1, and this week a Giants defense that gives up over 127 yards per game to running backs. Gore is always the afterthought, a guy who can do the numbers but scares off owners with injuries. I have news, ignore the past and go with Frank Gore!
Roy Helu, Washington Redskins at Dolphins: If you Started Helu out of desperation last week, and are in a PPR league, Cha-Ching! Helu went nuts in the passing game last week, and also showed good speed in the run game. It looks like, for now anyway, that Helu has won the heart of the “mad-scientist” of RB’s, coach Mike Shanahan. With weak QB play, the ‘Skins will continue to rely heavily on runs and screens, making Helu a super play.
New York Giants RB at 49ers: San Fran brings the top run defense in the league into this one, and that has held strong against some good RB’s. The Giants may still be without versatile back Ahmad Bradshaw, which leaves the duty to Brandon Jacobs and seldom used D. J. Ware. It is hard to trust this backfield this week, and neither back does much in the passing game. Use Eli as usual, but watch what you do at RB here.
Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers at Bengals: Despite some slow moments, Mendenhal was a top 10 producer at RB last year, which now seems like a long time ago. This week he steps into a match with the number 2 run defense in the NFL in their house. The Steelers have become a passing team and a RB by committee team, so Mendenhall owners will have to Start getting creative or look elsewhere.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks vs. Ravens: Last week, the waiver wires in some of my leagues went crazy with a Starting RB like Lynch as a free agent. That love affair should clearly pass. Yes, he did okay against Dallas, but this week his humble 3.3 yards per carry go up against the big bad Ravens defense. In my love affair this week with run defenses, the Ravens are third in the league in yards allowed, so this points to a mess for Lynch.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End
Laurent Robinson, Dallas Cowboys vs. Bills: He goes from my Waiver Wire list to a must Start this week. Robinson has been targeted 13 times in the last 2 weeks which he parlayed into 10 catches and 2 TD’s. Top WR Miles Austin is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with an injury, and Dez Bryant should draw serious attention from defenses, especially this week with Buffalo coming to town. Robinson has great speed, size and hands and is Starting to gel with Romo nicely. Sound familiar Austin fans?
Eric Decker, Denver Broncos at Chiefs: Playing in KC is usually tough, but in all the talks and grumbles, Tim Tebow still manages to find Decker and he has scored in 2 straight, and also had one called back 3 weeks ago. Decker is big and fast and has become Tebow’s top option, and given the way KC was torched last week by Miami, yes Miami, you may want to give Decker a try here.
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers vs. Titans: What a revival! After the last 2 seasons I swore I would never mention Smith and Start in the same article again. Call me silly friends, but Smith is one of the tops in the league in yards and is Cam Newton’s first, second and third options on most downs. I said to Start Newton, so why would you not use his top weapon?
Mike Willams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Texans:Williams’ owners have seen some decent numbers over the last few weeks as Mike has caught 18 passes, however there is some downside, big downside. Williams has just one TD this season, and in those last 3 weeks in which he has the 18 catches, he is averaging less than 10 yards per catch. The Texans defense keeps it close, so I don’t expect Williams TD production to change this week.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys vs. Bills: After Miles Austin went down last week with an injury against Seattle, I expected Bryant to go off, which he clearly did not. He came in with lots of hype this season, but between running the ball and TE Jason Witten and now WR Laurent Robinson, Bryant has been vanishing in this offense. The Bills can be had, but do you really want to roll the dice at this point in the season?
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Steelers: I have to Start off by saying I love Green, but not so much here. As good as QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals have been, we have not seen them against a high-motor defense like this. Yes, he may do big things and is the leading WR here, but there are other options for Cincy to spread out to, and it may be wise for them to use every outlet. I expect the Steelers to go heavy after Green, and why not, he has earned it.
A few more possible pick-ups to get you through the rest of the season:
Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears: Of course we know he always does it against the Eagles, but Bennett is probably the best all around WR the Bears have,and has a great work ethic with QB Jay Cutler. The former Vanderbilt connection could prove big in the late goings of the season for the Bears, so give it a try.
Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton has been doing his best Mike Shanahan impersonation and driving Saints RB owners crazy. He does seem to have a liking for Ivory, and he has made the most of his playing time. This week rookie Mark Ingram is expected to miss the game again with injury, and Pierre Thomas is banged up as well. Darren Sproles is clearly the pass catch back, but Ivory may soon be the lead back here, and judging from last year, and his debut this year, he can bring the numbers.
Here we go again friends and fans, another big week. Don’t forget the games Start Thursday night, so be ready, and best of luck in week 10!
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]