Fantasy Football: Start ‘em, Sit ‘em for Week 10

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is your Fantasy Football squad set for Week 10? Here are some players you’ll want to start - and bench - this week.

Hello, Fantasy Football fans. I’m filling in for "Fantasy Mike" Dietrich this week, as he’s cruising the Atlantic for the fourth time in - what seems like - as many weeks. While he sets sail for the Bahamas, we set our sights on Week 10 in the NFL. Feel free to drop your questions/$0.02 in the comments section.

Note: I tried to stray from obvious picks, though some were well worth the mention. Here goes…

Quarterback

Must Start: Drew Brees. He’s thrown 21 TD’s this season, nine of which occurred in the past three games. Jimmy Graham is healthy, and the Cowboys allow more points to opposing QB’s than any team in the NFL.

Christian Ponder - The Redskins defense has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points on the year, and have given up 7 passing TD’s over the past three weeks. He’s a solid bye week fill-in if needed.

Ben Roethlisberger - Only five QB’s having been held scoreless against the Jaguars in 2013. The good news for Roethlisberger is that four of them were backups. It bodes well.

Nick Foles - Don’t expect seven TD’s and 400+ yards, but if Josh McCown can throw for 272 and two scores in Lambeau, Foles can continue to find success against a defense allowing the 10th most post to opposing QB’s.

Sleeper: Not Seneca Wallace. I’m sorry, but you’d better have another plan.

Sit ‘em: Matt Ryan - It’s a different story when Julio Jones and Roddy White are healthy. They’re not. Set the fantasy aside for a moment, and the Seattle Seahawks are about to effectively end meaningful football for the Falcons in 2013.

Running Back

Must Start: Adrian Peterson. That may seem like a gimme [and it is], but he’s facing a Redskins defense, which ranks 29th against opposing rushers this season. Look for a huge game on Thursday night.

Zac Stacy - Stacy is averaging 4.9 ypc over his last two games. A Kellen Clemens-lead Rams will feature Stacy often. The Colts defense has stymied opposing rushers from entering the end zone this year, allowing only four scores [three of which came in first three weeks]. Stacy’s become a factor in the passing game, though, and is even more valuable in PPR leagues.

Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller - Jackson has been the team’s go-to back with Spiller facing injury, and he hasn’t disappointed. After missing Week 8’s matchup vs. the Saints, Spiller came back in impressive fashion with 116 yards rushing [9.7 ypc] and 39 yards receiving [two catches] performance. The Steelers defense ranks [overall] in the bottom of quarter of the league, and has allowed more rushing TD’s than any team in the NFL.

Maurice Jones-Drew - It’s not often this will happen, but I’d recommend starting MJD this week. Jones-Drew had his most impressive performance of the season [prior to their Week 9 bye] against the San Francisco 49ers defense. Well rested, MJD will be facing a lesser opponent - Tennessee Titans - this week. The Titans have allowed two rushing touchdowns to starting RB's in each of their last three match-ups.

Sleeper: Mike James - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fill-in for Doug Martin saw a heavy dose of action last week, and amassed 158 yards on a whopping 28 carries [5.6 ypc] against a tough Seattle defense. Oh, you didn’t know he can throw TD passes?

Sit ‘em: Ray Rice. He burned you. He burned me. He’s not burning defenses. Rice is a non-factor in both the run and pass games for the Ravens. They’re playing division rival - Cincinnati Bengals- this week. Don’t expect any kind of faith-ressurecting performance.

Wide Receiver

Must Start: Antonio Brown. Brown is clearly the team’s number one target, and this week he’ll face off against a Bills’ defense who has allowed the most receiving TD’s of any team this year. He’s quietly become a Top-10 WR in 2013, and Week 10 should be more of the same from the Steelers’ number one.

Victor Cruz - Coming out of the bye week, and in a close NFC East, expect the Giants to show up ready on Sunday afternoon. The Raiders defense ranks as the league’s 4th worst defending the pass [behind two teams that have played 9 games already]. Cruz hasn’t scored in his last four match-ups. Expect some salsa this weekend. Sidenote: Feel free to start Hakeem Nicks…comfortably.

T.Y. Hilton - With Reggie Wayne sidelined for the remainder of the season, Hilton has seen an influx in targets, and he’s making the most of them. His Week 9, three-touchdown performance was no fluke, scoring thrice on a defense who had given up only five scores all season. Expect another big day against the Rams’, whose secondary has allowed the third most receiving TD’s on the year [11].

Greg Jennings - Jennings has been a bit of a disappointment this season, having scored only twice [both came in Week 4] and having yet to eclipse 100 yards in a game. He’ll face off against a Redskins’ defense - which should be focused on stopping Adrian Peterson - and gives up a ton of points to opposing wideouts. The Skins will put up points, though, and force the Vikings to throw. It’s now or never for Jennings…but you should be able to count on him as a low WR2 in Week 10.

Sleeper: Eddie Royal. Opportunities will be bountiful going up against division rival, and offensive juggernaut Denver Broncos. He hasn’t had the most targets, catches, or yards, but he’s celebrated after a score in each of the team’s last two match-ups.

Sit ‘em: Anquan Boldin. The 49ers’ wideout hasn’t scored since Week 4, and hasn’t caught more than five balls in a game during that span either. The 49ers are fresh off a bye, but the Carolina defense has thwarted opposing WR’s. The Panthers’ defense has allowed the 2nd fewest TD’s [2] to wideouts thus far in 2013. He’s not the best play if you’ve got a 49er on your squad.

Tight End

Must Start: Jimmy Graham. Duh! He’s a top five player in all of Fantasy Football. Oh, and he’s facing a Cowboys defense which struggles to cover receivers who aren’t 6’7" with 10 TD’s.

Antonio Gates - So much for being old. Gates ranks 6th in the league for points scored, and should see plenty of targets on Sunday. Let’s face it, you expect San Diego to be playing from behind. Catches have come easy for TE’s facing the Broncos, however TD’s have not. Even if Gates doesn’t find pay-dirt, he’s easily in double digits in PPR leagues.

Jordan Reed - Reed has quickly become RG3’s new favorite toy. He’s averaging over 9 targets per game over the past three weeks, and has turned in 261 yards and a score during that span. Expect his two-game scoreless drought to end on Thursday night, when the Skins face off against a Vikings defense who’s allowed seven TD’s to TE’s in eight games this year.

Sleeper: Garrett Graham. He could be a factor in a resurged Texans’ offense lead by Case Keenum. No team in the NFL has allowed more TD’s to TE’s than the Arizona Cardinals

Sit ‘em: Jared Cook. The Colts have only allowed one TD to a TE all season. On the road, with a backup QB, Cook isn’t a viable option to go back-to-back games with scores.

Defense/Special Teams

Must Start: Titans D/ST. They’re playing the J-A-G-U-R-A-S. P-E-R-O-I-D

Cardinals - Often forgotten behind NFC West rivals - Seahawks and 49ers - the Cardinals have had one of the more impressive D/ST’s this year. In standard scoring leagues, they rank 5th amongst D/ST’s squads, and face off [at home] against the Texans who rank 28th in the NFL in points per game.

Sleeper: Giants D/ST. You’re banking on an offense that doesn’t feature Terrell Pryor and Darren McFadden. You’re gold if they don’t.

Kicker

If you need help here, well… I hope it wasn’t a cash league.



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