NFL FANTASY FOOTBALL: WEEK 10 TIPS

SpartanNation

All the talk of the NFL this season has been the extraordinary play of Aaron Rodgers through one half of the season. Certainly, any fantasy player that drafted Rodgers is extremely happy right now, and unless they drafted extremely poorly through the rest of the draft, should be near the top of their fantasy standings. But the real question about Rodgers’ performance so far is how it compares Tom Brady’s 2007 campaign, a season that is generally considered the single greatest fantasy season by a quarterback? Well, so far Rodgers is on pace to throw for 5,238 yards and 48 touchdowns. Compare that to Brady’s 2007 season where he threw for 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns. In pure passing numbers Rodgers wins out with a grand total of just over 497 fantasy points to Brady’s 492 fantasy point in 2007. What’s even more jarring, however is if you tag on the rushing totals for both quarterbacks. In 2007 Brady rushed for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns, which gave him just under 514 fantasy points for that season. Rodgers, on the other hand, is right now on pace to rush for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns this season, which if he keeps up this pace would give him a staggering 546.4 points for this season. Finally, Rodgers is on pace to throw 2 fewer interceptions than what Brady threw in 2007, which would give him even more of an edge over what may have been the single greatest season ever by a quarterback. There are no guarantees that Rodgers will continue this torrid pace, but if he does, he may just win some teams a fantasy title single-handedly. Now on to week 10.

Quarterback

BEST Michael Vick, PHI

-Aaron Rodgers should be here, but that matchup was so obvious it wasn’t even worth writing about, so instead you get the extremely unpredictable Vick. As I predicted prior to the season, Vick hasn’t taken care of the ball like he did in 2010, and it has hurt his fantasy value significantly. Sure, he can turn any snap into a big play, but that’s kind of hard to do when you don’t have the ball because you’re giving it to the opposition. With that said, I think he’ll have a monster game against the Cardinals in week 10. Arizona has the 4th worst pass defense in the NFL, giving up 272 yards per game through the air. They also are only mediocre against the run, which means Vick should have plenty of avenues to either run with the ball or sling it to his talented group of offensive weapons. I see him throwing for 275 yards, 3 touchdown, no interceptions, and tacking on 50 rushing yards for good measure.

WORST:Â Tom Brady, NE

-Anybody who has watched his games lately can tell he just hasn’t looked like himself in the past few weeks. He’s looked a bit jittery in the pocket, while throwing an uncharacteristic 5 interception in his last 4 games. He faces a Jets defense that is coming off of making the previously strong Bills’ offense look like a group of middle school lightweights. If anybody can recover after a rough stretch, it’s certainly Brady, but I just wouldn’t expect any huge numbers from him this week, even if he does play better. The Jets’ secondary is just that good.   Look for Brady to throw for about 175 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. I really hate having Brady in this slot, because it’s more than possible that he could get more production than I predict, but the safe bet is to temper your expectations.

Running Back

BEST Â Â Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC

-His owners would be more happy if he’d get into the end zone more often, but his yardage totals have actually been pretty good. They should get even better this week, as he faces off against remarkably bad Colts. Indianapolis has been giving up an average of 146.1 yards per game, and through 9 games has already given up 11 rushing touchdowns. I have a feeling that Jones-Drew is actually going to be slightly under the Colts’ averages this week, mostly because the Jags don’t have any discernible passing game this year. I expect him to gain about 125 yards on the ground and find the end zone once. Isn’t it sad that production like that would actually be BETTER than what Colts fans have come to expect this year? Ick.

WORST:Â Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG

-There are reports coming out of New York that Bradshaw may be able to go this week after sitting out with a foot injury last week. Even if he does come back, I don’t trust him this week. You have to believe that if he does come back he won’t see a full load of carries, and the other Giants backs should see an increased load. Worse yet, the Giants face the 49ers who boast the best rush defense in the league, giving up only 70.8 yards per game this season. Even if Bradshaw does play, I just don’t see great numbers coming from him this week. He will probably end up with around 50 yards on the ground and no scores. If you have a better option I suggest going with that player instead of Bradshaw.

Wide Receiver

BEST Â Â Calvin Johnson, DET

-He torched the Bears for 130 yards and a touchdown last time he faced them in week 5. The Bears have been uncharacteristically bad against the pass this year, giving up 264 yards per game through the air this year. If the Lions are going to win this game they’re going to have to rely on Megatron very heavily, and I think they recognize that fact. I expect the Lions to target Johnson early and often and he should end up with around 150 yards and at least 1 score this week. Some may be wondering why I think he’ll have better numbers at Soldier Field than he did at home. I don’t see the Lions getting as much help from their running game this time around, so Johnson will be a much bigger part of the offense this time around, hence the greater yardage numbers.

WORST:Â Pierre Garcon,IND

-This isn’t just about this week, it’s for the rest of the season. The quarterback situation in Indianapolis is as bad as it could get, and that is bound to hurt all of the Colts WRs. That inconsistency is clear in his production, as he’s had several big games, but just as many where he was virtually non-existent. Now some readers may be asking, “but he has 4 touchdowns so far. That has to count for something!!” Sure, it counted when the came, in weeks 4 and 5. Yes, he got all 4 of his scores in those two weeks. Which means that he hasn’t found the end zone in 4 consecutive games. I really don’t like him going forward this year, and would strongly recommend finding a way to trade him if at all possible.

Tight End

BEST Â Â Greg Olsen, CAR

-This is mostly a hunch, but I just really like him this week. The Titans have been average against the pass this year, so there isn’t a lot in the matchup for me to think he’ll be huge this week. A big part of my thinking is that Olsen looked completely healthy against the Vikings last week. That means that he can return to being Cam Newton’s most reliable underneath target, and that should translate into some very nice fantasy production for his owners. Look for him to have about 85 yards receiving and a touchdown this week.

WORSTVernon Davis, SF

-Many people seem confused by Davis’ lack of production this season, and I’m not sure why. The 49ers have been so committed to the run this season, it was inevitable that a big time receiving threat like Davis would see his opportunities decrease. I think that the 49ers will stay committed to the run this week, meaning fewer opportunities for Davis to make plays in the passing game than even before. Look for Davis to only be targeted around 4 times, catch 3 of those for 35 yards and no touchdowns. Steer clear if at all possible.

Defense

BEST Â Â  Detroit Lions

-They’ve made a living this year in creating turnovers. I think that despite his solid showing last week, Jay Cutler is due for a multi-interception game. The Lions front 4 will be all over him again, too. You add together both sacks and turnovers I think that the Lions will be a great play in week 10. I expect them to give up around 21 points this week, but should sack Cutler 4 or 5 times and get at least 2 turnovers. Those aught to make for a very nice fantasy week.

WORST:  Atlanta Falcons

-They're facing the Saints who got back on track last week. The Falcons have been great at getting turnovers this year, which has made them a viable starting option as a fantasy defense. I just don’t see them getting enough of them this week to counter the massive amount of points I expect the Saints to put up. If they are able to rack up anywhere above 4 or 5 fantasy points in a standard scoring system consider yourself lucky. I think there is a real possibility that they will be much closer to 0 points this time around.

SLEEPER OF THE WEEK

-Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets

Ugh. It pains me to say that, but I can’t overlook just how bad the Patriots have been against the pass this season. Sanchez is a Jekyll and Hyde type of player, so he could come out like a all star, or he could ruin his teams chances by throwing 3 or 4 interceptions. I’m betting on the former this week, but I can’t claim that I’m 100% confident. I could see him throwing for 300 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. On the other hand, I could also see him throwing for 150 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions.

*For more fantasy tidbits, insights, and info make sure to follow me, @lehmanna36, on Twitter!

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