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Early Position Ranks, Week 10

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Oh, hey, look. We finally get a televised mid-week football game that doesn't involve an unwatchable Big East team. Awesome. NFL Network's Thursday schedule begins this week with Ravens-Falcons, so we'll need to make a few early sit/start decisions.

Below you'll find the rough draft of my Week 10 ranks. Nothing here is chiseled in granite just yet; these ranks were assembled without the benefit of any post-practice info. I'm ranking from the gut, just like fantasy experts used to do it in the '70s. (Best fantasy segment of all-time: Funston and Mike Harmon with Jayne Kennedy on NFL Today. Fabulous. Top-shelf advice, sweet jackets).

Note: It's a brutal bye week at the quarterback position, as Philip Rivers(notes), Aaron Rodgers(notes) and Drew Brees(notes) are all out of action. The Raiders have a bye, too, so you can't add Jeff George as a one-week placeholder. But we'll get through this thing. The wire offers a few reasonable QB plays for Week 10, and then the byes are over.

Enjoy the big lists of names and numbers…


1. Michael Vick(notes) at WAS
2. Eli Manning(notes) vs. DAL
3. Peyton Manning(notes) vs. CIN
4. Matt Schaub(notes) at JAC
5. Kyle Orton(notes) vs. KC
6. Ben Roethlisberger(notes) vs. NE
7. Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) vs. DET
8. David Garrard(notes) vs. HOU
9. Joe Flacco(notes) at ATL
10. Matt Ryan(notes) vs. BAL
11. Carson Palmer(notes) at IND
12. Brett Favre(notes) at CHI
13. Tom Brady(notes) at PIT
14. Josh Freeman(notes) vs. CAR
15. Jay Cutler(notes) vs. MIN
16. Shaun Hill(notes) at BUF
17. Donovan McNabb(notes) vs. PHI
18. Mark Sanchez(notes) at CLE
19. Sam Bradford(notes) at SF
20. Matt Hasselbeck(notes) at ARI
21. Matt Cassel(notes) at DEN
22. Jon Kitna(notes) at NYG
23. Troy Smith(notes) vs. STL
24. Derek Anderson(notes) vs. SEA

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No one enjoys spending a waiver claim on David Garrard, but he gets a home date with the NFL's worst pass defense. The Texans have surrendered 298.3 yards per game through the air, and they've already allowed 20 passing scores. Garrard is coming off a bye, and he threw for four TDs (and ran for another) against the Cowboys in Week 8. … Clearly, the Houston-Jacksonville game has shootout potential. Neither defense has had any success limiting quarterbacks; the Jaguars rank 28th in the league in passing yards allowed (267.1). If you get a solid stat line from Matt Schaub, you might consider taking it to the trade market. He'll face a series of ugly match-ups, beginning in Week 11: at NYJ, vs. TEN, at PHI, vs. BAL, at TEN.

No matter where you rank Carson Palmer, you don't feel good about it. He's put several awful throws on tape this year. But as Mr. Pianowski just discussed, the guy has been a garbage time all-star and Cincinnati's offense does not lack weapons. If you're starting Palmer, don't watch. Just collect the stats. … As of this writing, it looks like Shaun Hill will return from the forearm injury, just in time for a match-up with the NFL's most generous defense. Detroit actually has the league's No. 7 passing game at the moment, and Hill — not Matthew Stafford(notes) — has taken most of the snaps. If Hill officially gets the green light, he'll likely advance a couple spots on my board. Drew Stanton(notes) is Plan B for the Lions; he's Plan G for my only Stafford-led fantasy lineup. … We've had a changing of the Chads in Miami. Chad Pennington(notes), not Chad Henne(notes), will reportedly draw the start for the Dolphins in the match-up with Tennessee. This shouldn't surprise anyone who's watched Miami in recent weeks. Henne tossed three INTs in the loss to Baltimore, he hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since Week 7, and he's averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt.


1. Arian Foster(notes) at JAC
2. Chris Johnson at MIA
3. Adrian Peterson at CHI
4. Frank Gore(notes) vs. STL
5. Rashard Mendenhall(notes) vs. NE
6. Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) vs. DAL
7. Cedric Benson(notes) at IND
8. Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) vs. HOU
9. Michael Turner(notes) vs. BAL
10. Ray Rice(notes) at ATL
11. Jahvid Best(notes) at BUF
12. Jamaal Charles(notes) at DEN
13. LeSean McCoy(notes) at WAS
14. Steven Jackson at SF
15. LeGarrette Blount(notes) vs. CAR
16. Peyton Hillis(notes) vs. NYJ
17. Marshawn Lynch(notes) at ARI
18. Knowshon Moreno(notes) vs. KC
19. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) at CLE
20. Thomas Jones(notes) at DEN
21. Matt Forte(notes) vs. MIN
22. Fred Jackson(notes) vs. DET
23. Donald Brown(notes) vs. CIN
24. Ronnie Brown(notes) vs. TEN
25. Shonn Greene(notes) at CLE
26. Brandon Jacobs(notes) vs. DAL
27. Beanie Wells(notes) vs. SEA
28. Mike Goodson(notes) at TB
29. Ryan Torain(notes) vs. PHI
30. Felix Jones(notes) at NYG
31. CJ Spiller(notes) vs. DET
32. Willis McGahee(notes) at ATL
33. Ricky Williams(notes) vs. TEN
34. Javarris James(notes) vs. CIN
35. Jason Snelling(notes) vs. BAL
36. Chester Taylor(notes) vs. MIN
37. Marion Barber(notes) at NYG
38. Tim Hightower(notes) vs. SEA
39. Justin Forsett(notes) at ARI
40. Keiland Williams(notes) vs. PHI

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Jahvid Best hasn't visited the end zone since Week 2, and he's dealing with a medley of injuries. There are a few red flags here, no doubt. But on Tuesday, he claimed via tweet to be "feelin' good," and I'm prepared to believe him (until the practice reports tell us something else). Detroit faces the league's worst run defense in Week 10; Buffalo allows 178.3 rushing yards per game. … DeAngelo Williams(notes) is apparently not sufficiently recovered from the foot injury that sidelined him in Weeks 8 and 9. Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill Herald tweets that Mike Goodson will get the start at RB this week. Goodson's match-up versus the Tampa Bay defense may seem friendly, but with Jimmy Clausen(notes) behind center for the Panthers, what's the ceiling for that offense? Maybe 13 points? They scored just seven against the Bucs in Week 2. Goodson is a speedy back, not necessarily an all-terrain runner. He carried nine times for 29 yards in the loss to New Orleans. If you're adding him as bye week coverage, at least you know he'll get touches. He's the only Carolina RB who's healthy enough to practice.

Last week, we learned that Javarris James, not Donald Brown, will get the goal line work (assuming neither Mike Hart(notes) nor Joseph Addai(notes) are ready to return). It's tough to be enthusiastic about either player under the present circumstances. … Beanie Wells (knee) will make a big move in the ranks if the early practice reports are positive. (And by "big," I suppose I mean six spots. Nothing crazy. It's not like his team's offense is terribly competent. Seattle's roster is getting healthier, too). … Ryan Torain (hamstring) reportedly practiced "full-speed" for Washington on Monday, so he seems likely to return for the match-up with the Eagles. The tender-groined Clinton Portis(notes) returned to practice as well, but he's more of a long-term dice roll, not a player you'll rely on this week.


1. Hakeem Nicks(notes) vs. DAL
2. Andre Johnson(notes) at JAC
3. Reggie Wayne(notes) vs. CIN
4. Calvin Johnson(notes) at BUF
5. DeSean Jackson(notes) at WAS
6. Roddy White(notes) vs. BAL
7. Terrell Owens(notes) at IND
8. Anquan Boldin(notes) at ATL
9. Brandon Lloyd(notes) vs. KC
10. Mike Williams (TB) vs. CAR
11. Steve Johnson(notes) vs. DET
12. Steve Smith (NYG) vs. DAL
13. Jeremy Maclin(notes) at WAS
14. Hines Ward(notes) vs. NE
15. Larry Fitzgerald(notes) vs. SEA
16. Pierre Garcon(notes) vs. CIN
17. Brandon Marshall(notes) vs. TEN
18. Mike Sims-Walker(notes) vs. HOU
19. Percy Harvin(notes) at CHI
20. Mike Wallace(notes) vs. NE
21. Dez Bryant(notes) at NYG
22. Santana Moss(notes) vs. PHI
23. Chad Ochocinco(notes) at IND
24. Johnny Knox(notes) vs. MIN
25. Miles Austin(notes) at NYG
26. Mike Williams (SEA) at ARI
27. Dwayne Bowe(notes) at DEN
28. Randy Moss(notes) at MIA
29. Lee Evans(notes) vs. DET
30. Braylon Edwards(notes) at CLE
31. Wes Welker(notes) at PIT
32. Davone Bess(notes) vs. TEN
33. Santonio Holmes(notes) at CLE
34. Michael Crabtree(notes) vs. STL
35. Mike Thomas(notes) vs. HOU
36. Danny Amendola(notes) at SF
37. Nate Burleson(notes) at BUF
38. Mario Manningham(notes) vs. DAL
39. Jabar Gaffney(notes) vs. KC
40. Derrick Mason(notes) at ATL
41. Eddie Royal(notes) vs. KC
42. Nate Washington(notes) at MIA
43. Steve Smith (CAR) at TB
44. Danny Woodhead(notes) at PIT
45. Michael Jenkins(notes) vs. BAL
46. Jacoby Jones(notes) at JAC
47. Bernard Berrian(notes) at CHI
48. Steve Breaston(notes) vs. SEA
49. Earl Bennett(notes) vs. MIN
50. Anthony Armstrong(notes) vs. PHI
51. Jason Avant(notes) at WAS
52. Blair White(notes) vs. CIN
53. Brandon Tate(notes) at PIT
54. Devin Hester(notes) vs. MIN
55. Deon Butler(notes) at ARI
56. Jerricho Cotchery(notes) at CLE
57. Arrelious Benn(notes) vs. CAR
58. Deion Branch(notes) at PIT
59. Joshua Cribbs(notes) vs. NYJ
60. Kevin Walter(notes) at JAC

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Yup, that's a vote of no-confidence in Miles Austin. He hasn't crossed the goal line since Week 5, and he's only topped 40 receiving yards once in his last four games. Rookie Dez Bryant has been more heavily targeted and less drop-prone. And of course the Cowboys have a terrible match-up in Week 10, on the road at New York. Fear for Jon Kitna's well being. … Roddy White suffered a knee-tweaking last Sunday, but he's already declared that he'll face Baltimore on Thursday night. Don't fret. … Steve Johnson's touchdown streak may have ended, but he established a new single-game career high in receptions in Week 9 (11 for 145 yards). There's no benching him, and the match-up with Detroit is friendly. … If you've got a solid argument for Randy Moss as a WR2 this week, let's hear it. Tennessee has attempted just 26.1 passes per game thus far, and Moss was shutout by the Dolphins (and by the New England gameplan) earlier this season. It's tough to be bullish, though I'm definitely a Moss loyalist. … Sidney Rice(notes) could be available in a limited capacity against Chicago. Depending on the mid-week practice news, he could enter my final ranks in the 48-55 range. He looked healthy-ish during pregame warm-ups in Week 9 according to multiple reports. In other Vikings' news, Percy Harvin's brain is giving him trouble again; let's hope he returns to action by Friday.


1. Dustin Keller(notes) at CLE
2. Jacob Tamme(notes) vs. CIN
3. Chris Cooley(notes) vs. PHI
4. Vernon Davis(notes) vs. STL
5. Marcedes Lewis(notes) vs. HOU
6. Tony Gonzalez(notes) vs. BAL
7. Tony Moeaki(notes) at DEN
8. Kellen Winslow(notes) vs. CAR
9. Aaron Hernandez(notes) at PIT
10. Brandon Pettigrew(notes) at BUF
11. Jason Witten(notes) at NYG
12. Visanthe Shiancoe(notes) at CHI
13. Todd Heap(notes) at ATL
14. Greg Olsen(notes) vs. MIN
15. Brent Celek(notes) at WAS


1. Minnesota Vikings at CHI
2. New York Giants vs. DAL
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. CAR
4. New York Jets at CLE
5. Tennessee Titans at MIA
6. Philadelphia Eagles at WAS
7. Chicago Bears vs. MIN
8. Arizona Cardinals vs. SEA
9. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. NE
10. Detroit Lions at BUF
11. Seattle Seahawks at ARI
12. Baltimore Ravens at ATL
13. San Francisco 49ers vs. STL
14. Indianapolis Colts vs. CIN
15. Cleveland Browns vs. NYJ


Photos via Getty Images (Falcons) and US Presswire (Garrard, Best, Johnson)

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