Fantasy Football – Week 10
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) – Hopefully by now most of you have heard about this new guy from Stanford who came to Indy this season as a rookie. If not, let me school you a little bit on why Indianapolis Colts (6-3) QB Andrew Luck (79.1 QB Rating - 2,631 YDS, 9 INT's, 10 TD's) has personally been referred to as "Beast Mode" all season. Apart from the fact that the man simply never goes down and finds ways to complete and convert, over the past four games Luck has gotten into a comfortable groove, scoring 16+ fantasy points - including two straight starts where he has scored multiple touchdowns. For some reason, people think powerhouse whenever the New England Patriots (6-3) and home field come to mind, completely ignoring the fact that although 3-1 at Foxboro, they have allowed an average of 18+ fantasy points to QB's at home. Combine that with the fact that their 29th-ranked secondary (285.3 YPG) leaves holes wider than Ndamukong Suh's ass in coverage and you've got a ton of points awaiting one rookie signal-caller. You know, on second thought, if you don't know about Luck by now, I promise you will after today's game. There's a reason the man's jersey is already hanging up at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. Your move, world.
Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders) – Although his team looks terrible, Oakland Raiders (3-6) QB Carson Palmer (86.8 QB Rating - 2,723 YDS, 9 INT's, 15 TD's) has been absolutely killing it of late, scoring 18+ fantasy points in three of his last four games, including multiple touchdowns in his last three match-ups. And even though the New Orleans Saints (4-3) defense is starting to take shape with newly anointed defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo looking more and more comfortable, the truth is, they still have a long way to go before actually shutting down an opposing offense. The Saints are currently ranked 31st in secondary coverage, allowing an average of 307.3 yards-per-game. And regardless of the fact that they've won four out of their last five games, they have done so by still giving up an insane amount of points on the board as well as an average 24.37 PPG to opposing quarterbacks on the road. They simply prefer to have a shoot-out and hope the opposition comes up lame.
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) – Coming off an insane showing last week, Cincinnati Bengals (4-5) QB Andy Dalton (91.1 QB Rating - 2,329 YDS, 11 INT's, 18 TD's) is heading to Arrowhead Stadium to face a Kansas City Chiefs (1-8), who has a decent secondary unit, averaging only 214.0 yards-per-game through the air, ranking 9th in the NFL. Regardless, the Chiefs are coming off a short week after losing a nail-biter in overtime on Monday Night Football and have surprisingly allowed 18 touchdown passes on their home turf. Besides, when all is said and done, it's the Chiefs, people... they find ways to screw things up.
RB’s - Start ‘Em!
Stevan Ridley (New England Patriots) – Calling for New England Patriots (6-3) RB Stevan Ridley (172 ATT, 814 YDS, 6 TD's) to have a breakout game this week hurts more than you or anyone else could imagine. That being said, the numbers don't lie. The Indianapolis Colts (6-3) head into Foxboro hosting the 22nd ranked rushing defense, giving up an average 120.3 yards-per-game on the ground. Although both Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are healthy this weekend, I see Ridley having a decent day with most of the Colts attention rightfully being directed towards TE Rob Gronkowski (46 REC, 611 YDS, 8 TD's) and WR Wes Welker (66 REC, 810 YDS, 2 TD's) - let's pray they just can't man-up today and sit this one out. "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name..."
Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) – Talk about your bipolar players this season - St. Louis Rams (3-5-1) RB Steven Jackson (137 ATT, 504 YDS, 2 TD's) is just that, if nothing else. This week Jackson faces the New York Jets (3-6) who have given up an average of 20+ fantasy points-per-game on the road this season, ranking a surprising 30th in the NFL, giving up an average of 145.0 yards-per-game to opposing backs. Jackson threw up over 100-yards last week against the league's 6th best rushing defense who allows only 95.3 yards-per-game when he went off on the San Francisco 49'ers (6-3-1) - look for him to have another exceptional day today. What's up with these records, anyway? Did the NHL come back and I not get the memo?!
Doug Martin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Remember two weeks ago when I told you to start Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) RB Doug Martin (173 ATT, 862 YDS, 7 TD's) and he had 251 yards rushing and 4 TD's?! Ahhh, what am I saying, of course you do! I mean, people just don't forget that kind of thing! Anyway, Martin is back and looking to have another big day when the Bucs face a decent, 16th-ranked Carolina Panthers (2-7) defense, who has allowed 113.0 rushing yards-per-game. Regardless, they're still the Panthers and I'm still damn good at what I do. So, start 'em!
WR’s – Start ‘Em!
Eric Decker (Denver Broncos) – Since more and more teams are double-teaming Denver Broncos (6-3) star WR Demaryius Thomas (54 REC, 891 YDS, 4 TD's), it has left room for people like WR Eric Decker (48 REC, 598 YDS, 7 TD's) to exploit defenses, allowing the master himself, QB Peyton Manning (108.0 QB Rating - 2,705 YDS, 6 INT's, 21 TD's) to make superstars and reliable starters out of uncommon names. The San Diego Chargers (4-5) have yet to put a win up against even a decent passing team, today will be no exception. If anyone thinks San Diego even has a chance at slowing down Denver's passing game, they're obviously exercising their newly-found Colorado rights a little too much. Well, I suppose it is a 4:20 kickoff...
Denarius Moore (Oakland Raiders) – If you can, be as smart as I am. Ok, now for a more realistic goal - try handcuffing both Oakland Raiders (3-6) WR's Darrius Heyward-Bey (24 REC, 371 YDS, 3 TD's) and soon-to-be household name Denarius Moore (34 REC, 575 YDS, 5 TD's) next season. When healthy, this duo scores points in bunches. Expect that to continue today when facing a terrible New Orleans Saints (4-5) secondary, currently giving up 307.3 yards through the air and over 37-points per road game this season - looking something like Kansas State's secondary in last night's disgusting loss to Baylor. Sorry, sorry... my sports-betting colleague and friend Kelly Stewart (Twitter - @kellyinvegas) and I lost an ass-load of money on them just hours ago and I'm still not really over it, ok?! Hell, I think she's still drunk somewhere in a Vegas dive bar, rocking back and forth in a corner, in total disbelief that Notre Dame is the #1 team in the country. Maybe I should call and check up on her.
Steve Smith(Carolina Panthers) – Carolina Panthers (2-7) WR Steve Smith (39 REC, 649 YDS, 1 TD) has been a big disappointment, to say the very least this season. Today may be the turnaround he needs when he faces a Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) team who ranks last in the league for defensive secondaries (32nd - 321.3 YPG) and who he's statistically done extremely well against in past match-ups. If the Bucs continue to allow 32+ points-per-game to the opposition's wideouts, look for Smith to be Carolina's main target. Hopefully today will be the day Tampa Bay stops giving out points like Rex Ryan gives out foot rubs - I've got too much riding on 'em.
QB’s – Sit ‘Em!
Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) – When it comes to betting, one of my main rules is to never play an AFC-South team if they're more than (-3) on the board. That being said, I'm sure most think QB Matt Schaub (91.7 QB Rating - 2,013 YDS, 6 INT's, 13 TD's) and the Houston Texans (8-1) are faring to have an exceptional day today while at home, facing the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) - well, the Texans may do well as a team, but I can't say the same for Schaub. If you can recall, Schaub put up under 8 fantasy points earlier this season against the Jags and has statistically proven to be a sit this week, throwing for multiple touchdowns only once in their last five meetings! I know it's the Jaguars, people... but, have you watched Schaub lately? Blegh.
Alex Smith (San Francisco 49'ers) – San Francisco 49'ers (6-2-1) QB Alex Smith (104.1 QB Rating - 1,731 YDS, 5 INT's, 13 TD's) took one hell of a shot last week and went out of the game with a concussion. Assuming he starts this weekend, I wouldn't start him in your lineup for the plain and simple fact that he's facing a Chicago Bears (7-2) defense that will absolutely, without a doubt, send him back to the locker room early. Chicago has halted nearly every offense they've faced, and it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to do the same to a team lacking much offensive production in the first place. Yeah, it's in San Francisco... big deal. I don't care if this game is on the moon, the 49'ers are going to take some serious shots and the fourth quarter will probably be played with two backup QB's going at one another.
Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) – Baltimore Ravens (7-2) QB Joe Flacco (2,331 YDS, 7 INT's, 13 TD's) is traveling to Heinz Field to face a staunch Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) defense who have only given up a little over 10 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks at home this season. With that, the top-ranked passing defense the Steelers attain (171.1 passing YPG) coupled with the 5th-ranked rushing defense (94.6 rushing YPG) will be ready to completely dismantle Flacco who, in my opinion, is absolutely terrible on the road the vast majority of the time. Just because the Steelers starting quarterback is out, doesn't mean they aren't looking to help Flacco join him on the sidelines.
RB’s – Sit ‘Em!
Frank Gore (San Francisco 49'ers) – The last time I told everyone to sit San Francisco 49'ers (6-2-1) RB Frank Gore (140 ATT, 753 YDS, 5 TD's), he ended up doing quite well against a good defense. So, you're telling me I had ONE miscall over the 10 weeks of football, I get it. I'm still pretty damn good at this, no matter if you choose to accept it or not. Granted, without a starting quarterback being 100%, if playing at all, you'd think the Niners would have to rely heavily on the run. This may be true, but I'm sure you may want to start practicing the Wildcat as much as possible when the top defense of the Chicago Bears (7-2) comes to town. Chicago is allowing just over 11 fantasy points to the opposition's ground game when on the road. I mean, it's not like they can rely on their offensive production to do anything. Gross.
Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers) – San Diego Chargers (4-5) RB Ryan Mathews (112 ATT, 475 YDS, 1 TD) has failed to score in the double-digits for fantasy since week 5 of the NFL season. The Denver Broncos (6-3) also have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs when suiting up at Mile High Stadium this season. That being said, the Chargers seem to consistently rely on the inconsistent passing "attack" of QB Philip Rivers (89.3 QB Rating - 2,203 YDS, 12 INT's, 15 TD's) far too often, not allowing Mathews more carries than expected from jump, not to mention when they inevitably are forced to attempt to come from behind today. Sit down, Mathews... you've screwed my draft up for two seasons in a row now... dick.
Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) – It may be a surprise to some, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) hold the NFL's top rushing defense, allowing only 80.1 yards-per-game - oddly enough, their passing defense ranks dead last, giving up 321.3 yards-per-game through the air. That's just weird, man. Anyway, if you've listened to what I've preached all season long, you've gotten rid of nearly everyone in a Carolina Panthers (2-7) uniform and are starting CFL players in leu of some of these... well, we'll call them athletes... for lack of a better term. Today will be no different for RB Jonathan Stewart (70 ATT, 266 YDS, 0 TD's) who has been dismal at best, yet recently moved to the top spot on the depth chart. Fact is, Stewart has yet to produce more than 8 fantasy points since the second week of play. What? You need a few more minutes to mull over his stellar stats? Ok, I'll give you some time... go on... I'll wait...
WR’s – Sit ‘Em!
Torrey Smith (Baltimore Ravens) – A solid week last week may have most thinking Baltimore Ravens (7-2) WR Torrey Smith (31 REC, 548 YDS, 7 TD's) is a valid starter for this week - think again. The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) have the #2 overall defense in the league and absolutely destroy receivers venturing into their secondary. Not much needs to be said here, so trade in your dreads and purple mesh for a terrible towel. Flacco and the rest of the offensive crew on the Ravens side of the ball are in for a long, long game.
Danario Alexander (San Diego Chargers) – Since I figured RB Ryan Mathews would get lonely sitting on the bench all alone, I thought we could throw San Diego Chargers (4-5) WR Danario Alexander (8 REC, 195 YDS, 1 TD) over there with him. It happens so many times per season, actually at least once every week or so, but just because a man gets hot for ONE game (against the league's worst secondary, mind you) doesn't mean he needs to immediately be scooped up off the waiver wire. Sit down with your friend, Dan... may I call you Dan? Screw it... you know what, I'm calling you Dan.
Cecil Shorts III (Jacksonville Jaguars) – His name is Cecil Shorts, III (29 REC, 561 YDS, 4 TD's). He plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8). They're traveling to face the Houston Texans (8-1). Again, HIS NAME IS CECIL SHORTS, III! Need I say more?