Our fantasy guru, James Morris, gives his outlook on the fantasy action for week 10.
With many leagues starting their fantasy playoffs in week 14, the race to the playoffs is officially on. The waiver wire is as important as ever for those looking for replacements or depth, and there are probably a few days or weeks left before your trade deadline to do the same.
The New York Giants activated Andre Brown from Injured Reserve on Thursday, and he will immediately see action in week 10. Peyton Hillis is going to be the starter with Brown being eased back into the offense. I would run and pick up Brown right now for either a playoff run, or to block those in the playoffs should you be on the outside looking in. Brown is not worth playing this week as we don’t know what type of shape his body is in.
Jay Cutler was cleared to start this weekend and you can be sure he will with the NFC North locked in a 3-way tie between the Bears, Lions and Packers. Cutler “did everything” in Thursday’s practice, but I put him closer to the top 15 fantasy QBs in my week 10 rankings because groin injuries can be tricky and there is a real chance he could reinjure himself.
Nick Foles – QB Eagles: The Eagles offense is rolling right now, and Foles has yet to throw an interception this season. That’s right; Foles has thrown 13 touchdowns and not a single interception. Even after his record tying game last week, Foles is still owned in just 28.8 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in 11.5 percent of them. The Packers give up 21.8 fantasy PPG to QBs this season, and I think Foles could finish with top 5 QB numbers again this week.
Eli Manning – QB Giants: I’m not very big on reading the book of Eli like some other people are, but I do like him this weekend as he gets a Raiders defense giving up 23.8 fantasy PPG to QBs this season. That number is 4th worst in the NFL, and Manning has had three straight weeks of disappointing numbers. He is due for a breakout game, and I am going to roll the dice with him in week 10.
Andre Ellington – RB Cardinals: Ellington turned in 154 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries last week for the Cardinals, Rashard Mendenhall’s season high is 66 rushing yards on the same 15 carries. Can anyone guess who the Cardinals think has a brighter future? Mendenhall’s injury has been termed as “turf toe”, but he is going to brush that off and play in week 10 after Ellington basically solidified his spot at the best RB in the Cardinals backfield last week. Ellington is a low-end RB2 with upside if he gets rolling against the Texans struggling defense.
Ben Tate – RB Texans: Tate is owned in 69.1 percent of NFL.com league, proving that he has value. But, he’s started in just 11.1 percent of them because Arian Foster is ahead of him on the depth chart. Foster didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday, which all but guarantees he won’t play on Sunday. Assuming I am right in Foster not playing, I am going to put Tate on my flex/low-end RB2 radar this weekend. Tate is also banged up and playing at less than 100 percent, but he gained 81 yards last weekend against the Colts with the same injuries.
Kendall Wright – WR Titans: Wright has had more value in PPR leagues than in standard ones this season because he is averaging 5.4 catches per game, 62.8 receiving YPG, and has just one touchdown all season. But, as you will see in a little while, I love anyone who is playing against the Jaguars this season and that goes for both sides of the ball. Coach Mike Munchak recently described Wright as “special” and “a great weapon for us”, so this could easily be the breakout game his owners have been waiting for. I could see Wright as high as a WR2, but probably more in the WR3 or flex spot.
Emmanuel Sanders – WR Steelers: Sanders isn’t someone I own in any of my leagues. But, after last week’s 11 targets that produced 6 catches for 98 yards, I have to show some love. The Bills give up the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs at 31.0 PPG this season, and Ben Roethlisberger is fresh off that 400 yard, 4 touchdown performance from last week. Sanders is more of a flex play than a starting WR play, so don’t go overboard here.
Tim Wright – TE Buccaneers: If there is one thing I will not do, that is lie about a pick because of the team I am working for. Sorry Dolphins fans, but Tim Wright projects as a starting TE this week due to the Dolphins being tied for allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to TEs [per-game] this season at 10.6. Wright has a good rapport with Mike Glennon that has produced 9 catches for 106 yards and 2 TDs over the last two games.
Tennessee Titans defense: I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but the Jaguars offense is in shambles after losing Justin Blackmon for the rest of the season. They already have one of the worst QB situations in the NFL, and now they don’t seem to have a single playmaker within the entire offense. The Titans defense is still as iffy as they come, but shadowing the Jaguars with their opposing defense has worked well for those who have been able to do it all season long.
Matt Ryan – QB Falcons: It seems like every time I count Ryan out, he comes through and crushes my projection rating. However, the Seahawks pass defense is 2nd in the NFL with 179.8 YPG allowed this season. Ryan will be getting Roddy White back this week, but that could also be a disruption as the team has learned to play without him at this point. I’d sit Ryan if at all possible because the Seahawks defense is just that good.
Colin Kaepernick – QB 49ers: Did you know the Panthers are tied for 1st in fantasy PPG allowed to QBs this season with the Seahawks (14.3)? Well, they are! Add to that Kaepernick throwing for more than 200 yards just twice this season and you have a problem on your hands. Sure, Kaepernick has manufactured 3 rushing touchdowns the last two weeks, but the Panthers haven’t allowed a rushing TD to a quarterback all season long. Since Kaepernick is owned in 97.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in 61.0 percent of them, I’d say more people need to read my articles!
Andre Brown – RB Giants: I know I said to pick up Brown right now, but I also said to wait on starting him. Brown is going to have rust that he needs to knock off, plus he has to prove to the coaching staff that he is healthy enough to take on a larger role before they have over the keys to the carry-mobile. Too many people are going to view Brown as a plug-n-play RB this week and that simply isn’t the case.
Ray Rice – RB Ravens: I warned people in the pre-season not to put too much faith in the Ravens this season as the team that won the Super Bowl isn’t the one taking the field in 2013. With that said, Rice is averaging a meager 2.7 YPC this season and has a season high of 74 yards rushing. The Bengals stingy run defense is giving up just 14.1 fantasy PPG to RBs this season, the 6th lowest mark in the NFL. Rice is on pace to finish as the biggest RB bust as he is 37th among RBs and owned in 99.0 percent (started in 83.4 percent) of NFL.com leagues.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR Colts: After Reggie Wayne went down, everyone though that DHB would step his game up and take a larger role in the passing game on. Well, that is exactly what didn’t happen. In 2 of his last 3 games, DHB finished with a single catch for 11 yards. In the other, he finished with 4 receptions for 44 yards. So, it is safe to say that the Colts see him as about an 11 yard WR. The WR corps in Indianapolis is T.Y. Hilton and everybody else.
Kenny Stills – WR Saints: I want to start this by saying that Stills is just as likely to put up 100-plus yards and a touchdown or two as he is to finish with 3 catches for 35 yards and no touchdowns. Stills is a textbook example of a boom-or-bust player in fantasy football because he doesn’t run more than one route, deep up the sideline. The Cowboys secondary is weak, so Stills could get off on them. But, so could Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham, or Darren Sproles. I say to sit Stills because too many people are just plugging him into their line-ups after week 8 where he put up 129 receiving yards and 2 TDs. You just can’t trust Stills with Drew Brees having so many other options, and there is no time to get cute and start a guy you got off the waiver wire just a week and a half ago.
Brandon Myers – TE Giants: TE is one of those positions where I could basically put the same 2-3 guys names up all season long as Sit ‘em players, and be right more times than I am wrong. This season it has been Jared Cook and Myers. Myers is owned in 58.4 percent of NFL.com leagues, started in 40.2 percent of them, and is currently the 30th ranked TE in standard scoring leagues. Tim Wright didn’t even have a catch until week 6, and he has already passed Myers on the season points list. Myers is doing more blocking than catching this season, and owners need to just move on from him while they still have a chance at winning.
Dallas Cowboys defense: I bet that you didn’t know the Cowboys are currently ranked 3rd overall for fantasy defenses this season. They are owned in 57.3 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in 43.1 percent of them. The 57.3 percent means there are a LOT of leagues they are available in right now and yet fantasy owners are probably starter weaker fantasy defenses because they just aren’t educated. That said, the Saints have a way of turning games into shoot-outs and that is exactly what this game could turn in to. I’d go grab the Titans or the Dolphins defense this week and sit the Cowboys down.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.