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Fantasy Soda: Tomlinson faces tough test vs. resurgent Browns


This season has brought new life to fantasy legend LaDainian Tomlinson. Unwanted in San Diego, Tomlinson has made the most of his opportunity with the Jets and ranks eighth in the league in yards per carry. He's also on pace to reach the 60-catch mark for the fourth time in his career. Tomlinson has been a tremendous value pick for those who snapped him up in the middle rounds of their fantasy drafts. But points may be difficult to come by in Cleveland in Week 10, which is why Tomlinson is my STUD TO SIT. The Browns have only given up one rushing touchdown all season, and in the last two weeks the defense has allowed 68 rushing yards to New England and 58 to New Orleans. With New York desperately trying to keep pace with the Patriots in the AFC East race, expect the Jets to focus their gameplan on the Browns' 24th-ranked pass defense.

BREAKING NEWS: Denver quarterback Tim Tebow will publish a memoir next spring. The book's mission is to help its readers to "fulfill their dreams." As for fulfilling his promise as a fantasy prospect or first round pick, Tebow has yet to begin work on that chapter.

CALL ME CRAZY but I think I'll keep riding the Vikings bandwagon for another week. The passing game not only helped Brett Favre to set a new game-high for yards last week, but it got tight end Visanthe Shiancoe back involved in the offense for the first time since Week 2. Shiancoe was the recipient of the game-tying touchdown pass and averaged 16.5 yards on his four receptions. The Bears have a strong pass defense (only five touchdown passes allowed) but Shiancoe has had success against the NFC North foe; he has caught a touchdown in three of Minnesota's last four games against Chicago.

I like the SHORT ODDS, so give me the following tight ends to catch at least one touchdown in Week 10: Brandon Pettigrew, Dustin Keller and Marcedes Lewis.

The Seattle pass defense has been atrocious as of late. Against the Giants the secondary gave up more than 200 yards and three passing scores in the first half alone. The Seahawks rank 30th in passing yards allowed per game. For these reasons I say DOUBLE DOWN on the Cardinals' receiving tandem of Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston this week. The duo did very little in the first meeting between these teams this season, but has looked much better in recent weeks.

It may look like your typical grind-it-out AFC battle on paper, but a little BASIC MATH suggests the Patriots will take to the air in Sunday night's contest with Pittsburgh. Quarterback Tom Brady has attempted 40 or more passes in each of his last three games against the Steelers, with an average of 347.3 passing yards per contest (six touchdowns, three interceptions).

THE BREAK ROOM (industry experts share their thoughts):

Beside Dallas Clark, which NFL injury has been the most devastating to fantasy owners?

"Ryan Grant is the first name that comes to mind because, unlike other prominent injuries fantasy owners have dealt with (Pierre Thomas, Jermichael Finley, etc.), he only gave fantasy owners eight carries for 45 yards in Week 1 before being lost for the year," says Senior Fantasy Writer Jamey Eisenberg.

Grant was among the top 20 players selected in virtually every fantasy draft this summer. That must also factor into the discussion, says Eisenberg. "There's something to be said for the emotional loss of not having your first- or second-round pick."

Greg Kellogg of Fantasy Sharks has another player in mind.

"Yes, losing a Ryan Grant is tough -- but you know he is gone so you can plan around his loss. To me, the most disruptive injury thus far this season is the high ankle sprain suffered by Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson."

As Kellogg points out, Johnson has only missed one start but his consistency in the games he has played has been sorely lacking, with two games under 10 points (PPR scoring), and two games between 10 and 20 points. "While still managing to hang on to a top 10 rating, Johnson has to be a disappointment to owners that invested a first round pick on him."


Chad from Pennsylvania writes: "Unloaded Miles Austin for Hakeem Nicks. Now I'm money." ... Not long ago this trade would have had the other owners laughing at you, Chad. Now it's a clear bargain in your favor. I must agree: You are money.

Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for Send him your questions and "sucker trade" entries at Include a full name and your home state, please.