Week 10 may be the toughest of the season for fantasy owners due to the sheer number of fantasy starters on their bye this week. With the Texans, Colts, Vikings, Patriots, Chargers, and Redskins all on their bye, benches and waiver wires are being put to the test by many just to set a competitive roster this week.
Speaking of the waiver wire, you need to make sure Adrian Peterson isn't on yours! Peterson reached a plea deal over his legal troubles which should allow him immediate reinstatement by the NFL. When that happens, the Vikings have already said they will welcome him back with open arms. AP is possibly the most dangerous RB in the NFL to start with, but when you factor in him being at a true 100 percent health-wise and the Vikings on a bye this week, you have the makings of true waiver wire gold.
For those of you needing a QB, Mark Sanchez is taking over as the Eagles starting QB. There is no real difference in Sanchez from the Jets and Sanchez on the Eagles other than that the Eagles have what the Jets didn't: weapons on offense. It's going to be hard for Sanchez not to be worth adding with LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Zach Ertz, and Jordan Matthews at his disposal. I wouldn't go overboard in picking him up, but I do think he holds low-end QB1 value.
Matt Ryan – Falcons: With all the weapons on offense for the Falcons, it is disappointing to see Ryan ranked #12 on NFL.com for QBs this season. His offensive line is what is killing him, giving up the 8th-most QB hits this season. To Ryan's credit he only has 17 sacks, ranking him 19th in the NFL. The good news is this week he plays a Buccaneers team that is giving up 285.2 YPG passing (2nd most) and are tied for 2nd for the most passing TDs allowed at 18. Ryan is also coming off a bye, making him a must-start QB1.
Ben Roethlisberger – Steelers: If there is a hotter QB in the NFL than Big Ben, I would love for you to point him out! Roethlisberger set an NFL record by throwing 6 touchdown passes in back-to-back games in Weeks 8 and 9, and has a chance to do the same type of damage this week against a Jets secondary that has given up the most TD passes this season at 24. Peyton Manning may be #1 on the QB rankings this week, but I could make a strong case for Roethlisberger being #2 with this matchup.
Jeremy Hill – Bengals: Last week Hill showcased his abilities against the Jaguars by racking up 154 yards and 2 touchdowns on 24 carries. This week he will have an even better matchup with the Browns ranking 30th in YPG allowed (139.6) and tied for the most YPC allowed (4.8). It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Hill's name atop the fantasy RB leaderboard again this week, making him a RB1 play in my rankings.
Denard Robinson– Jaguars: Denard "Shoelace" Robinson has taken over the starting RB position for the Jaguars and has shined, racking up 329 yards and 2 TDs in just three games. The Cowboys have been solid against fantasy RBs so far, giving up just 17.4 PPG to them. But Robinson has already put up 108 yards against the Dolphins elite D-Line, and followed that up with 94 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals last week. I'd consider Robinson a high-upside RB2 this week in London.
Calvin Johnson – Lions: The Lions did the right thing by resting Megatron after Week 5, and he hits the field in Week 10 at 100 percent. Normally I wouldn't bother putting a WR like Johnson on the start list because it is a no-brainer, but when they are coming off a multi-week injury that kept them out of games, I need to remind you to get them back in. Johnson should be in full beast mode this week against the Dolphins secondary.
Kelvin Benjamin – Panthers: Benjamin is a true boom or bust kind of WR because he has amazing athletic ability coupled with hands of stone. Benjamin has 78 targets on the season, the 11th-most in the NFL. His problem is that he has just 40 receptions, which means he only catches 51 percent of the passes thrown his way. Outside of Vincent Jackson, Benjamin has the worst hands of anyone in the NFL with 57 or more targets this season. With that said, I am betting on him being a boom this weekend against an Eagles secondary that is giving up the 4th-most fantasy points to WRs this year at 27.5 PPG. If he can catch what is thrown to him, he should have a 100-plus yard game with a TD or two.
Larry Donnell – Giants: Donnell is one of the more inconsistent TEs in fantasy football, going from a 7-54-3 line to a combined 1-6-0 line over the next two games. Tight ends are the hardest position in the NFL to predict production from because they just aren't a featured part of most offenses. But it gets a little easier when you play the Seahawks because they are terrible at defending the TE this season. So far this year they are giving up 11.5 PPG to the TE, the 4th-most in the NFL. 11.5 points doesn't seem like a lot until you consider that the worst defense [at covering the TE] gives up just 13.4 (Bears) and the best gives up 4.5 (Eagles). This is a week where I'd give Donnell a play and hope Eli Manning looks his way early and often.
Baltimore Ravens defense: This isn't the same Ravens defense that most of us remember from the early 2000's. Even with their shortcomings and holes, this week they face a Titans offense that has real problems at QB, RB, and WR. The Titans put up the 6th-fewest total yards of any team in the NFL at 321.0 YPG, and have scored the 2nd-fewest points this year with 137. This has more to do with what the Titans can't do on offense than it does with what the Ravens can do on defense.
Michael Vick – Jets: It is pretty ambitious of Yahoo to project Vick to have the 8th-most fantasy points for a QB this week, which is why I never bothered looking at their projected points when I first started playing fantasy football. Vick was efficient in his first start of the season last week, going 21-for-28 and throwing for 196 yards and a touchdown. But by no means was it so spectacular that he would go from the 18th-best fantasy QB in Week 9 (points wise) to a projected top-10 finish in Week 10. Vick is a mid-range QB2, and should only be started if you are desperately thin at QB.
Tony Romo – Cowboys: Romo wants to play this week in London against the Jaguars, and the Cowboys are doing everything they can to get him ready after Brandon Weeden threw lit matches soaked in gasoline at the Cardinals defense last week. The reason I don't like Romo as a fantasy QB is because all it will take is one hit to knock him right back out of the game and drop him to the bottom of the QB rankings this week. The risk is just too great to play Romo with many fantasy teams fighting for playoff positions.
Ben Tate – Browns: Tate was anointed the starter in Cleveland from the start of the season, but he has been woefully ineffective in that role as he has put up 308 yards on 94 carries, for a 3.3 YPC average. Last week he saw his carry total dip to its lowest point since coming back from injury (10) while Terrance West ran the ball 15 times. Word out of Cleveland is that the tides are shifting and both West and Isaiah Crowell will be featured more and Tate will take a back seat as we go forward. Tate is looking more like depth at RB for fantasy owners rather than a potential RB2 or flex now.
Tre Mason – Rams: I warned people not to jump on the Tre Mason bandwagon when every other fantasy site was pumping him, but did you listen? Since being called a "must-add" a few weeks ago he has carry totals of 5, 18, 7, and 19, with yardages of 40, 85, 32, and 65. The reason I called Mason fool's gold rather than fantasy gold is because his schedule is brutal. This week he gets a Cardinals defense that is giving up the fewest fantasy points to RBs in the NFL at 12.5 PPG. After this game he gets the Broncos (blowout and likely to be passing), Chargers (possibly similar to the Broncos), then a terrible Raiders defense, then back to good run defenses in the Redskins and Cardinals, before finishing out the season with the up and down Giants. Mason is little more than hype based on fantasy "experts" throwing darts at a dartboard.
Marques Colston – Saints: Colston fits into the Andre Johnson mold for fantasy WRs in that he is widely owned and started as a WR1/2, but he is producing at a WR4/5 level up to this point. Colston has just one touchdown this season and is 3rd in targets on the Saints with 47. At 31 years old Colston just isn't the same WR he used to be and Drew Brees is looking at Brandin Cooks and Jimmy Graham before he looks at him now. I wouldn't say cut Colston outright, but I would certainly stop playing him as anything more than a weak flex play.
Kendall Wright – Titans: Wright is a volume receiver in that he needs to be targeted a lot to be worth owning in most fantasy leagues. This year he is troubled by QB problems and overshadowed by playmakers Justin Hunter and Delanie Walker. Wright's ownership on NFL.com is on the decline and I cut him in all the leagues I owned him in a few weeks back. There is nothing special about Wright that will make him overcome the QB problems the Titans have.
Vernon Davis – 49ers: Davis is having yet another disappointing season for the 49ers, totaling just 16 receptions on 26 targets for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both touchdowns came in the first game of the season, where he also set his season-highs of 4 receptions and 44 yards. Davis is ranking out as NFL.com's 29th-best TE, yet is owned in 89.9 percent of their leagues. I'd look for other options on the waiver wire, possibly Raiders TE Mychal Rivera if you need a deep sleeper.
Carolina Panthers defense: Already one of the more disappointing fantasy defenses this season, the Panthers lock horns with an Eagles team that is moving forward with a new QB at the helm, Mark Sanchez. It's not that Sanchez is all of the sudden a great NFL QB, but rather the Eagles have a lot more weapons for him to work with than the Jets ever did. If you are one of the 73.4 percent of people who own the Panthers defense on NFL.com, I'd find another option this week.