1:00PM ET Games
Miami @ Detroit
After an early-Sunday morning Week 8 game followed by a Week 9 bye, the Lions return from an especially long layoff with their offense at full strength for the first time since mid-September. This game's low 43.5-point over-under suggests expectations should be tempered in terms of immediate box-score production, however. The Fins rank No. 2 in pass defense and No. 5 in sacks (25), and only Cincinnati entered Week 10 with a stingier passer rating allowed than Miami's 76.9. Over their last three games, the Dolphins have held Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, and Blake Bortles to a combined 51-of-91 passing (56.0%) for 549 yards (6.03 YPA), and a 2:6 TD-to-INT ratio with ten sacks absorbed. Miami hasn't allowed a single 300-yard passer all year, and shut out the Chargers 37-0 last week. Matthew Stafford's arrow is pointing directly up with Calvin Johnson (ankle) back healthy, but he's just a fringe QB1 in this game. ... Stafford's target distribution in the three games where Megatron has been mostly healthy this season: Calvin 35; Golden Tate 21; Reggie Bush 17; Joique Bell 12; Eric Ebron 8; Joseph Fauria and Jeremy Ross 6; Brandon Pettigrew and Corey Fuller 2.... Although Miami plays stout pass defense, DC Kevin Coyle's unit has had some trouble with plus-sized No. 1 wideouts this year. The Fins coughed up 5-74-1 to Andre Holmes (6'4/210) in Week 4, 9-107-1 to Jordy Nelson (6'3/217) in Week 6, and 5-82-1 to Allen Robinson (6'3/220) in Week 8. Dolphins perimeter corners Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan stand 5-foot-9, 177 and 5-foot-10, 188, respectively. Megatron is 6-foot-5, 239. As if you needed convincing to start Calvin Johnson.
Tate's targets in Megatron's three mostly-healthy games this year: 6, 8, 7. Tate's targets with Megatron hobbled or out: 11, 9, 12, 13, 14. Although Tate was producing like a WR1 before the bye, he would do well to return WR2/3 value the rest of the way. If Tate has a good game against the Dolphins, fantasy owners should consider packaging him with another borderline starter for an every-week stud. Tate's spike in usage can be directly linked to Calvin's injury. ... The Lions' tight end situation remains a fantasy black hole with Ebron (hamstring) listed as doubtful, Fauria (ankle) listed as questionable, and Pettigrew (foot) questionable as well. The Dolphins are 20th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. ... First-year Lions OC Joe Lombardi hails from New Orleans and has a history of three-headed backfields. With Reggie Bush back healthy and Theo Riddick having capitalized on his opportunities, it's fair to wonder if Detroit's running game might take on a Saints-like look, with Bush as the Darren Sproles, Bell as the Mark Ingram or Khiry Robinson, and Riddick utilized a la Pierre Thomas. In an ideal world, fantasy owners would treat this as a "wait-and-see" week, evaluating the usage of Bush, Bell, and Riddick as opposed to investing fantasy starts in them. The workload is unclear and the matchup is rough. The Dolphins' top-12 run defense has limited opposing tailbacks to a 3.82 YPC average, surrendering only four rushing scores through eight games. If forced to choose from the three, I'd go with Bush in PPR leagues and Bell in non-PPR, hoping for a goal-line plunge from Joique. I still expect Bell to handle most of the scoring-position work and Bush most of the passing-game opportunities. There isn't a great way to tell how much Riddick will be involved with everyone healthy. To this point, Riddick has only had a substantive role when Bush or Bell was missing time.
Despite solid recent performances from Miami's offense, the Lions' defense is a recommended Week 10 fantasy play. Even without DT Nick Fairley (MCL, PCL), Detroit has disruptive interior depth in the form of C.J. Mosley and rookie Caraun Reid, and can also kick LE Jason Jones inside. RE Ziggy Ansah is enjoying a breakout season, and Ndamukong Suh is a top-five 4-3 defensive tackle in Pro Football Focus' grades. On the season, the Lions rank No. 1 in total defense, No. 5 against the pass, and No. 2 against the run. I'd rather bet on rookie DC Teryl Austin getting head-coach inquiries this offseason than Ryan Tannehill as a QB1 streamer against Austin’s defense. In the toughest matchup he's faced all year, Tannehill is a bit of a worrisome two-quarterback-league start. With forthcoming matchups against Detroit, Buffalo, and Denver, expect Tannehill to turn back into a pumpkin over the next three weeks. ... Tannehill's target distribution since the Dolphins' Week 5 bye: Mike Wallace 29; Jarvis Landry 22; Charles Clay 21; Brian Hartline 16; Lamar Miller 11; Daniel Thomas 7; Dion Sims 6; Brandon Gibson 5. ... Impressive rookie slot man Landry rebounded from a quiet Week 8 game in Week 9 against the Chargers, playing 72% of Miami's offensive snaps -- his second highest playing-time clip all year -- and parlaying six targets into a 5-46-1 stat line. Landry runs a heavy majority of his patterns in the slot, where the Lions waived slot CB Danny Gorrer during their bye. It appears usual special teamer UDFA Cassius Vaughn will be Detroit's slot corner the rest of the way. Landry has the best matchup on paper in Miami's pass-catcher corps and is a solid WR3 in PPR and return-yardage leagues.
More WR2/3 option than high-end WR2 this week, Wallace gets a stiff test with stingy Lions LCB Darius Slay and RCB Rashean Mathis, who is still playing at a reasonably high level at age 34. Fantasy owners can hang their hats on Wallace's consistent targets and this game's indoor environment as reasons to lean toward Wallace rather than away from him. But expectations should be limited. ... Lightly targeted Hartline has one touchdown through eight weeks and five TDs over his last 36 games. Even if this were a favorable matchup, Hartline would offer no more than WR4 potential. ... Although he is a rock-solid on-field player, Clay's usage in first-year OC Bill Lazor's passing game has been wildly unpredictable. Before Week 9, Clay went five straight games with five targets or fewer. In last week's drubbing of San Diego, Clay suddenly saw eight targets, converting five for 65 yards and a touchdown. The Lions are 18th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, so this is a middling matchup for Clay. He's on the TE1 fringe. ... The Dolphins' rushing attack gets a brutal Week 10 matchup against Detroit's smothering front, which ranks No. 1 in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA and has limited enemy running backs to 3.16 yards per carry with just four rushing scores through eight games. Working in Lamar Miller's favor are the Lions' losses of Fairley and MLB Stephen Tulloch (torn ACL). Working against Miller are a bothersome shoulder sprain and challenging road test against a fresh defense coming off its open date. Some fantasy owners will be forced to start Miller simply because they don't have strong alternatives. Fantasy owners with running back depth would be smart to use it. I'm starting Miller in one Dynasty league, closing my eyes, and hoping for the best.
Score Prediction: Lions 24, Dolphins 20
Dallas vs. Jacksonville
Cowboys-Jaguars will be played at London's Wembley Stadium with a modest over-under of 45.5 points. The Cowboys are seven-point favorites with Tony Romo (back) tentatively due back in the lineup. Romo is south of 100% physically and Brandon Weeden's performance was beyond abysmal in last week's loss to Arizona, so expect this to be a DeMarco Murray game regardless of the starting quarterback. Although Jacksonville had played stout pre-Week 9 run defense, Gus Bradley's group was badly exposed by Cincinnati's previously struggling run game last Sunday, serving up a rushing line of 24-154-2 in Jeremy Hill's first NFL start. Expect lots of rushing volume from Murray as the Cowboys make sure to enter their Week 11 bye with a 7-3 record, as opposed to 6-4. Dallas' offensive line should dominate in the trenches. ... Romo has a good-looking matchup against a Jaguars defense that is depleted in the secondary after losing RCB Alan Ball and slot CB Will Blackmon, and ranks 25th against the pass with a 15:5 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. But the upstart Jags are also third in the NFL in sacks (27), and Romo himself didn't seem 100% confident in his health following his Thursday return to practice. "We'll see," said Romo. "We'll take it day by day." Even with a Week 11 bye on deck, the Cowboys can't afford to put their fragile 34-year-old quarterback in harm's way often. Expect low passing volume and quick hitters when Romo does drop back to pass. Look for Romo to revert to game-manager usage, with Dallas perhaps opening things back up after the bye.
Romo's target distribution on the season: Dez Bryant 74; Jason Witten 42; Terrance Williams 38; Murray 29; Cole Beasley 18; Lance Dunbar 13; Gavin Escobar 9. ... With a touchdown and/or 100-plus yards in seven of his last eight games, Dez is a no-brainer WR1 despite the likely restrictions on Dallas' Week 10 passing game. He's averaging 9.25 targets per game in Romo's eight 2014 starts. ... The Jaguars gave up a ton of early-season fantasy points to tight ends, but they're allowing nothing of late. Here are the TE stat lines against Jacksonville dating back to Week 4: 5-36-0 (Jermaine Gresham); 1-1-0 (Charles Clay); 1-5-0 (Jordan Cameron); 3-57-0 (Delanie Walker); 3-46-0 (Heath Miller); 3-30-0 (Antonio Gates). Although Witten had more success with Weeden under center, he's averaging 38 yards in the seven games Romo has played start to finish. ... As Williams' light usage always renders him a boom-or-bust WR3 proposition and there's a good chance Dallas will produce limited passing-game volume in London, it stands to reason that Williams isn't a particularly attractive Week 10 start. Williams has an above-average size-speed combination, but would need a lot more opportunity to become a consistent fantasy scorer. He hasn't seen more than seven targets in a game all year.
Although Toby Gerhart contributed 68 yards on six touches off the bench in last week's loss to Cincinnati, playing 31% of the Jags' offensive snaps, Denard Robinson remained Jacksonville's clear-lead runner with a 17-94-1 rushing day and two catches for ten yards. Perhaps most promisingly for Shoelace's fantasy value was a five-yard fourth-quarter touchdown. I suspect Robinson might be pulled for Gerhart if the Jags got inside the two-yard line, but it's a good sign that Robinson is getting red-zone involvement. He handled 61% of the snaps, while onetime passing-down back Jordan Todman played a year-low 11% of the downs. Having piled up 329 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries (5.77 YPC) the past three weeks, Robinson is a locked-in RB2 against a Dallas defense that permits 5.08 yards per carry to running backs. Already without WLB Justin Durant (biceps tear), the Cowboys lost difference-making DT Tyrone Crawford to a multi-week MCL sprain last Sunday. The lone Week 10 concern for Shoelace is game flow. The Cowboys rank No. 3 in the NFL in time of possession, which could affect Robinson's workload if Jacksonville falls behind and/or Dallas controls the ball. ... Blake Bortles' to-date performance indicates the Cowboys' defense is a better bet as a Week 10 streamer than Bortles is as a two-quarterback-league play. The strength of DC Rod Marinelli's unit is its bend-but-don't-break pass defense, which is willing to surrender underneath completions in exchange for opportunities to create turnovers. Bortles, of course, is incredibly turnover prone, having compiled an 8:13 TD-to-INT ratio with a lost fumble and 19 sacks absorbed through seven appearances (six starts).
Bortles' target distribution over the past month: Cecil Shorts 40; Allen Robinson 34; Allen Hurns 19; Clay Harbor 16; Shoelace 8; Marqise Lee and Jordan Todman 7; Ace Sanders 2; Storm Johnson 1. ... This game sets up well for Shorts to rack up catches. Shorts runs most of his routes at opposing left corners and will meet LCB Brandon Carr frequently in coverage. Dallas' worst cover man, Carr is currently 106th of 109 qualifiers in PFF's cornerback grades. After missing Thursday's practice with a hamstring injury, Shorts returned on Friday and was listed as probable. ... Hurns has the toughest Week 10 matchup in Jacksonville's pass-catching corps. He's running most of his routes in the slot, where Cowboys top CB Orlando Scandrick lurks. Out of nowhere, Hurns led the Jags in Week 9 targets, parlaying nine into a 7-112-2 stat line. As inconsistent as it gets, Hurns posted a 2-13-0 number after his last two-touchdown game (in Week 1). ... Robinson is the big-play receiver in OC Jedd Fisch's offense, but Marinelli's defense is designed specifically to limit big plays. Robinson also has a tough test with sturdy Cowboys RCB Sterling Moore, a top-15 cover corner in Pro Football Focus' grades. I like to bet on talent, and Robinson has it in spades, but he's just a WR3 option this week. A healthy Shorts will be a better bet for receptions. ... Harbor is high risk after a Week 9 goose egg, but Dallas allows the third most fantasy points to tight ends, a position that is regularly allowed to run uncovered through Marinelli’s Tampa 2-style defense. Harbor is worth a look for owners of Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, and Dwayne Allen, who are all on byes.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Jaguars 20
Kansas City @ Buffalo
Winners of three straight and five of their past six, the 5-3 Chiefs travel to chilly Buffalo to face arguably the best defense they've played all season. Rested after a bye, Bills DC Jim Schwartz's unit leads the AFC in sacks (28) with a 12:12 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. The Bills are No. 3 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA, behind only Miami and Detroit. Expect DEs Jerry Hughes and Mario Williams, and DTs Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams to cause havoc against Kansas City's shaky offensive line. This game has a 42-point over-under, the lowest of Week 10. It's not a good week to stream Alex Smith. ... Smith's target distribution since Jamaal Charles got healthy five games ago: Dwayne Bowe 35; Travis Kelce 27; Charles 19; Anthony Fasano 16; Junior Hemingway and A.J. Jenkins 8; Anthony Sherman 6; Knile Davis 5; Frankie Hammond 4. ... Although Bowe has been generously targeted, he remains scoreless through seven 2014 appearances and is averaging 57 yards per game. Fantasy owners should be able to do better in WR3 binds. ... Donnie Avery is tentatively due back from a groin injury that shelved him for all of October. Keep in mind Smith still hasn't thrown a touchdown pass to a wide receiver all year. Beyond Bowe, Kansas City's wideouts are safe to ignore in fantasy leagues of all sizes.
Friday Update: Avery was downgraded to out on Friday and won't play against the Bills. The Chiefs will continue to use a No. 2 receiver rotation of Jenkins and Hemingway opposite Bowe. It has been and will continue to be a fantasy situation to avoid.
As the Chiefs are winning games with their current formula, there is no reason to expect Andy Reid to shake up his playing-time distribution. Kelce's snap rates are 53%, 57%, and 51% since Kansas City's Week 6 bye. Settled in as a mid-to-low TE1 despite mammoth talent, Kelce has exceeded six targets in a game just once all season. The Bills have yielded the 12th most receptions in the league to tight ends, though they're 22nd in fantasy points allowed to the position. ... Although Buffalo's No. 8 run defense poses a significant challenge, Charles is proving matchup proof for the second straight year. In two previous dates with top-seven run defenses (49ers, Jets), Charles combined to rush for 158 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries (4.51 YPC). With seven all-purpose TDs over his last five games, Charles should be confidently started regardless of opponent. ... The Chiefs led 14-0 in the first quarter of last week's win over the Jets, and 21-7 in the second quarter. Despite sizable in-game leads, Knile Davis finished with three carries. Not even positive game flow is a reliable indicator of Davis' workloads, which all but eliminates him from flex consideration. Davis is just an RB3/4 stash in need of a Charles injury to become fantasy relevant. Through eight games this season, Buffalo has limited opposing tailbacks to 568 yards and three TDs on 173 runs (3.28 YPC).
Minimal projected scoring also hurts the outlook of Buffalo skill-position players. The Chiefs rank No. 1 in the NFL in pass defense despite sub-average secondary personnel, compensating with a dynamic front seven keyed by NT Dontari Poe and OLBs Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Dee Ford. Kansas City ranks third in sacks (27) and No. 11 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA. Fantasy quarterbacks have consistently underwhelmed on the stat sheet when we've targeted them against the Chiefs this season. Kyle Orton deserves a ton of credit for sparking the Bills' passing game following the failed E.J. Manuel experiment, but he's just a low-upside two-QB-league play this week. ... Orton's target distribution through four 2014 starts: Sammy Watkins 35; Scott Chandler 23; Robert Woods 22; injured Fred Jackson 18; Chris Hogan 15; Marquise Goodwin and Anthony Dixon 4; Chris Gragg 3; Mike Williams 2.
Friday Update: Sammy Watkins looked like a good bet to play on Wednesday night, when the Associated Press reported his groin injury was minor in nature and not a threat to his Week 10 availability. Watkins failed to practice on both Thursday and Friday, however, and coach Doug Marrone sounded pessimistic about Watkins following Friday's session. If Watkins does not play, I would expect Robert Woods and Mike Williams to serve as the Bills' primary perimeter receivers with Chris Hogan manning the slot.
It's pretty much Watkins, and then everyone else in Buffalo's passing game. Targeted heavily, the OROY candidate has stat lines of 7-87-0, 2-27-0, 9-122-1, and 3-157-1 since Orton took over, with the only dud coming in Week 6 against Darrelle Revis. Watkins should be viewed as a borderline WR1 the rest of the way. Watkins runs routes on both sides of the formation, but fantasy owners should hope OC Nathaniel Hackett gets him matched up often with Chiefs third-round rookie LCB Phillip Gaines, who allowed Eric Decker's touchdown last week. ... Before the Bills' Week 9 bye, Dixon dominated snaps (47) and touches (22) ahead of Bryce Brown (14, 7), although Dixon was routinely stuffed by the Jets en route to a plodderish 44 yards on 22 carries, and wasn't involved as a pass catcher. Kansas City poses a plus matchup -- the Chiefs rank 19th against the run and permit 5.03 YPC to running backs -- but it's fair to wonder if the Bills will get Brown more involved after the open date. Dixon would be a low-ceiling RB2/flex play. Brown is an explosive all-purpose back with upside, but the Bills' coaching staff has shown no desire to involve him heavily to this point. He's a closed-eyes flex option.
Score Prediction: Bills 20, Chiefs 17
San Francisco @ New Orleans
These clubs have squared off three times since Jim Harbaugh took over as 49ers coach in 2011, twice in the regular season and once in the playoffs. In them, Drew Brees has combined to complete 96-of-147 throws (65.3%) for 1,034 yards (7.03 YPA) and an 8:5 TD-to-INT ratio against DC Vic Fangio's defense. The game scores have been all over the map, from a 23-20 slugfest to a 36-32 postseason shootout. This year's Niners rank No. 6 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA and No. 3 in passing yards allowed. Expect a solid, albeit not-prolific effort from Brees, who currently ranks fifth in per-game quarterback scoring. Playing in the Superdome's comfy confines raises his floor, but Fangio's stout defense would appear to cap Brees' ceiling. ... Brees' target distribution with Jimmy Graham at or near full strength the past two weeks: Graham 13; Kenny Stills 12; Travaris Cadet and Brandin Cooks 10; Marques Colston 8; Mark Ingram 4; Josh Hill 3. ... Graham's stat lines in three career meetings with Fangio's defense are 4-33-0, 6-41-0, and 5-103-2. The potentially bad news is Graham may have to tangle with 49ers ILB Patrick Willis, who keys a defense that ranks 23rd in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. The good news is San Francisco generally plays straight-up defense -- they rarely use double-team coverages -- and Willis is still battling a troublesome toe injury. I think Julius Thomas is the best tight end play in fantasy this week. I think Graham is No. 2. ... On pace for just 56 catches, 888 yards, and two touchdowns through eight games, Colston has settled in as a WR4. Once an every-week fantasy stud, Colston's usage has taken severe blows the past two seasons due to the Saints' additions of Stills and Cooks.
Saturday Update: Willis (toe) is listed as questionable to face the Saints, but didn't practice all week. If Willis doesn't play, it's a matchup boost for both Graham and Mark Ingram.
Stills' eight targets from Week 9 likely aren't a sign of things to come. The Saints appeared to specifically target Stills' matchup with Panthers LCB Antoine Cason, one of the worst corners in the league. Prior to the Carolina game, Stills didn't exceed five targets in any of his previous six appearances. He's a low-percentage streak-route receiver who needs long bombs to pay fantasy dividends. As the 49ers use 5-foot-11, 185-pound rookie Jimmie Ward at slot corner and Colston stands 6-foot-5, 224, I'd play Colston over Stills this week. Stills projects to run most of his routes at LCB Perrish Cox, who is PFF's No. 7 overall cover corner. ... Cooks' pace stats through the first eight games of his career are 86-820-4. He's mixed two big games with six disappointments. Cooks is a fringe WR3 in PPR leagues and a WR4 in non-PPR. ... With Khiry Robinson (arm) and Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) both ruled out again, Mark Ingram's fantasy owners should be expecting a full workload. The matchup is stiff -- San Francisco ranks No. 5 in run defense and permits just 4.00 YPC to opposing running backs -- but the volume can't be ignored. Ingram has 56 touches in two games without Robinson and Thomas in the lineup, totaling 285 yards with three touchdowns. He has six TDs in five appearances this year. The matchup may make Ingram more RB2 than RB1, but he should be fired up everywhere. ... Cadet remains in play as a low-end PPR flex option. Cadet is averaging 4.4 receptions per game over the past five weeks.
Ross Tucker suggested on this week's Fantasy Feast Podcast that the Niners might dial up heavy read-option plays, using Colin Kaepernick frequently as a runner in what may amount to a must-win game after a disappointing 4-4 start. Kaepernick has largely struggled as a pocket passer this year, becoming a week-to-week proposition with unpredictable results. Kaepernick is arguably still most dangerous as a runner. Tucker's prediction is far from a guarantee, but would certainly increase Kaepernick's upside if it happened. Because Kaepernick has been so up and down all year, I don't pretend to know what to expect from him. The Saints' defense has played much better lately, holding each of its last three opponents to 24 points or fewer. They put the brakes on Aaron Rodgers in Week 8 and shut down Cam Newton in Week 9, and are now returning from an extended layoff following a Week 9 Thursday night game. ... Kaepernick's target distribution in the six weeks this season where Vernon Davis has played all or most of the game: Anquan Boldin 47; Michael Crabtree 46; Davis 27; Stevie Johnson 25; Brandon Lloyd and Frank Gore 9; Carlos Hyde and Derek Carrier 7; Vance McDonald 6. ... Stymieing tight ends, New Orleans limited Greg Olsen to 30 yards on three catches in Week 9 and has permitted the second fewest fantasy points in the league to the position. It's another week to avoid fantasy draft bust Davis. ... The good Week 9 news for Crabtree was his team-high nine targets. The bad news is he finished with 40 scoreless yards and now must face Saints CB Keenan Lewis, who's held Jordy Nelson (3-25) and Kelvin Benjamin (2-18) in check the past two games. There is some chance this game turns high scoring, which would help Crabtree. But his matchup is daunting on paper.
Because Lewis primarily covers perimeter receivers and Crabtree plays on the perimeter, I'd expect Lewis to match up with him much more than Boldin in Week 10. Boldin will see some of Lewis, but likely more of Saints slot corner Patrick Robinson and LCB Corey White. A top-30 fantasy wideout on the season, Boldin is a borderline WR2 in the Superdome. ... Stevie Johnson hasn't played more than 26 snaps in any game since Week 3. Although he's mixed in some productive weeks, Johnson's usage in Harbaugh's offense is highly inconsistent, along with Lloyd's. Neither is much more than a WR4/5 in fantasy. ... In a game against Denver before San Francisco's Week 8 bye, the Niners looked to have transitioned to a timeshare between Gore and Hyde. Against the Rams following the open date, Gore played 39 snaps and handled 15 touches compared to Hyde's 31 downs and three touches. Gore remains the leader in San Francisco's backfield, but the gap is narrowing, and for good reason. 31-year-old Gore has been stuffed for 107 yards on 39 carries (2.74 YPC) over his last three games. Hyde hasn't done much either, of course. But the increasing rotation of Gore and Hyde makes both underwhelming fantasy options. Settling in as a low-ceiling flex play, Gore has a quietly-tough Week 10 matchup against a Saints defense that ranks in the top ten against the run and allows a mediocre 4.10 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Hyde is still just an RB4, but with an arrow potentially pointing up if Gore continues to struggle.
Score Prediction: Saints 24, 49ers 23
Tennessee @ Baltimore
In a lost first year of Ken Whisenhunt's head-coaching tenure, the Titans are already in full-blown evaluation mode. They've demoted several veterans in favor of young players and used their Week 9 bye to emphasize that, shoving as many first-team reps as possible down Zach Mettenberger's throat. Even in two-quarterback leagues, Mettenberger won't be a Week 10 fantasy option on the road against the NFL's No. 12 defense, but there were encouraging pre-bye signs. Making his first NFL start in Week 8, "Mett" completed 20 of his final 28 throws (71.4%) for 237 yards (8.46 YPA) and two touchdowns against the Texans. Mettenberger at least has a chance to make Tennessee's pass catchers relevant again. ... Mettenberger's target distribution through two 2014 appearances (one start): Justin Hunter 11; Delanie Walker 9; Kendall Wright 7; Nate Washington 6; Dexter McCluster and Bishop Sankey 4; Leon Washington 3; Derek Hagan 2. ... The Ravens will again be without top perimeter corner Jimmy Smith (foot) and cut dime back Chykie Brown this week. I think this game sets up nicely for a Hunter as an upside WR3 and FanDuel option. Whisenhunt has shown a willingness to abandon the run at the drop of a hat, and Tennessee is a poor bet to run successfully on the Ravens. Mettenberger could end up with a lot of attempts. Hunter played 90.2% of the Titans' Week 8 snaps and led the team with ten targets. At 6-foot-4, 200 with 4.44 speed, all Hunter needs is a long connection or two from Mettenberger to pay off.
All of Tennessee's pass catchers are sure to be up and down with a rookie quarterback under center. Any of them could have a big game in any given week, but predictability is a critical fantasy element and it's hard to imagine any of the Titans' wide receivers or tight ends becoming truly predictable on a week-by-week basis. Mettenberger hit Wright on a 48-yard catch-and-run over the middle in Week 8, and Wright managed five combined yards on his other four targets. When considering Wright as a Week 10 start, there isn't much to hang your hat on. Wright is currently the No. 35 overall fantasy receiver. ... Walker is easier to get behind because Mettenberger targeted him nine times in his first NFL start, connecting on four occasions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore allows the sixth fewest fantasy points to tight ends, so Walker is still a bit of a coin-toss Week 10 TE1. Walker is plenty capable of catching red-zone scores, but he hasn't hit 60 receiving yards since September. ... Sankey enters the second half of his so-far disappointing rookie year with chronological touch totals of 19, 16, and 13 over his last three games, and corresponding snap rates of 50%, 63%, and 54%. He's now gone four straight games without reaching 4.0 yards per carry. Sankey gets pulled on most passing downs in favor of McCluster, and will likely lose short-yardage and goal-line work to Shonn Greene. Sankey's upside is capped by the low probability of him scoring touchdowns or racking up receptions, and his Week 10 floor is lowered by Baltimore's top-six run defense, which has held enemy running backs to 655 yards and three touchdowns on 183 carries (3.58 YPC). In the unlikely event Sankey pays fantasy dividends, it's not because anyone saw it coming.
This game's 44-point over-under makes it difficult to get excited about any Titans or Ravens skill players. And I would probably bet the under. ... Predictably slowing down after a hot start to the season, Joe Flacco has gone 63-of-104 passing (60.6%) for 756 yards (7.27 YPA) and a 4:5 TD-to-INT over his last three games. Flacco isn't particularly athletic and his best, most consistent weapon is a 5-foot-9, 35-year-old receiver. Tight end Owen Daniels is playing, but had knee surgery two weeks ago, and the year-ending loss of Dennis Pitta is being felt. New OC Gary Kubiak deserves a ton of credit for keeping the unit competitive, but Baltimore just doesn't have a lot of talent on offense. In Week 10, Flacco has a middling matchup against a Tennessee defense that ranks 16th against the pass and top ten in sacks (23) with a 13:8 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. Flacco is a low-upside two-quarterback-league play. ... Flacco's 2014 target distribution in the five games where Daniels has served as Baltimore's primary tight end: Steve Smith Sr. 36; Daniels 34; Torrey Smith 28; Justin Forsett 20; Kyle Juszczyk 10; Marlon Brown 8; Kamar Aiken 7; Crockett Gillmore and Lorenzo Taliaferro 5. ... Smith Sr.'s production has slowed to a halt since his early-season target and touchdown binge. It probably shouldn't surprise anyone considering his age and the adversity Baltimore has faced during that span, particularly with musical chairs on the offensive line. Smith Sr. continues to see enough targets for WR2/3 treatment. Each of Tennessee's perimeter corners -- LCB Jason McCourty and RCB Blidi Wreh-Wilson -- have earned negative grades from Pro Football Focus.
I don't pretend that Torrey's stats or usage is predictable, but this game does set up well for him. Torrey runs most of his routes at right cornerbacks, and Titans RCB Wreh-Wilson has been the weakest link in DC Ray Horton's defense. Torrey is just a dart-throw WR3 at this point, but this would appear to be a good week to gamble on him. I think he should be considered in FanDuel tournaments. ... Back from his knee scope in Week 9, Daniels impressively played roughly his usual snap rate (79%) against the Steelers, turning nine targets into six catches for 53 yards. All signs now point to Daniels being healthy enough to contribute in both real life and fantasy. Tennessee allows the 11th most fantasy points to tight ends, so Daniels is squarely in the lower-end TE1 mix. ... Forsett's grip on Baltimore's feature back role entered Week 9 strong and exited even stronger. Although negative game flow limited Forsett's touches to 14, he got red-zone carries against Pittsburgh and Taliaferro lost a fumble. Bernard Pierce played just one snap, gaining two yards on his lone carry. The Titans' run defense is better than people think -- they're fresh off a bye and have held opposing running backs to 4.22 yards per carry -- but there's also a reason Tennessee has faced the third most rushing attempts in the league. They're not a good football team, and opponents frequently play with a lead against them. Expect Forsett to resume handling a near-full workload. He's an RB2 in PPR leagues and low-end RB2/flex in non-PPR. ... Taliaferro continued to get carries after the loose ball, which is a good sign. But he played only 21% of the snaps against the Steelers, managing 55 total yards on ten touches. Taliaferro is an RB3 in 12-team leagues. He does make some sense as a flex option for owners in bye-week binds. "Zo" now has 19 touches over his last two games and could see an uptick if the Ravens get a big lead. The Vegas oddsmakers have them aggressively favored by 9.5 points.
Score Prediction: Ravens 24, Titans 17
Pittsburgh @ NY Jets
An already leaky Pittsburgh defense will play Sunday's game without ILB Ryan Shazier (ankle) and SS Troy Polamalu (knee), putting Michael Vick on the map as a desperation fantasy start and cheap FanDuel tournament punt. Although Vick missed 11 snaps with head and foot injuries in last week's loss to Kansas City, managing just 214 all-purpose yards with one touchdown, he took care of the football (zero turnovers), accepted what the defense gave him, and still brings to the plate plenty of rushing upside. Mark Sanchez is my favorite plug-and-play QB1 streamer of Week 10, but Vick is an intriguing fallback option. Even before losing Shazier and Polamalu, the Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the league in per-game points allowed (24.3) and bottom ten in yards per play (5.9). ... Vick's target distribution this season: Eric Decker 19; Percy Harvin 17; Jeremy Kerley 7; Jace Amaro 5; Chris Johnson and Jeff Cumberland 3; Greg Salas 2; Chris Ivory and T.J. Graham 1. ... OC Marty Mornhinweg is force feeding Harvin the football. Harvin now has 22 targets and five rushing attempts through two games as a Jet, totaling 187 yards. His snap rate spiked from 53% in Week 8 to 84% in Week 9. Harvin's usage rate suggests he's a high-floor WR3 play with high-end WR2 upside. Pittsburgh's defense loses a ton of speed in the absence of Shazier and Polamalu, so Harvin could give them serious matchup problems because he lines up in so many different spots on the field.
Vick has targeted Decker more than any other Jet in back-to-back games, resulting in stat lines of 7-40-0 and 9-63-1. Decker's floor is lower than Harvin's because he doesn't get as many all-purpose touches, but at 6-foot-3, 217 Decker is clearly a better bet for red-zone scores than 5-foot-11, 192-pound Harvin. I'd rank Harvin ahead of Decker this week, but see both as underrated WR2/3s. ... Kerley, Amaro, and Cumberland have all taken predictable back seats with Harvin in New York and aren't worth fantasy roster spots. ... Chris Johnson showed a hotter hand than Chris Ivory in last Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, so Mornhinweg stuck with him. Johnson finished with a season-high 101 total yards. Johnson still hasn't scored a touchdown since September and continued to play under 40% of the offensive snaps. Johnson's small-sample improvement is more of a concern for Ivory's fantasy outlook than an indication CJ?K should suddenly be viewed as a fantasy starter. Ivory has outplayed Johnson all year. ... An even bigger worry for Ivory than Johnson's productive Week 9 box score is the possibility of Ben Roethlisberger lighting up the Jets' barely-there pass defense, grabbing a lead, and dictating game flow that results in heavy snaps for Bilal Powell and/or Johnson. Ivory doesn't play on obvious passing downs. The Steelers are exploitable on the ground -- they permit 4.51 YPC to opposing running backs with nine TDs allowed through nine games -- but Ivory is a risky flex option who will likely only pay fantasy dividends if the Jets keep this game close. Pittsburgh is a four-point road favorite according to the Vegas line.
ESPN's Adam Schefter explained on NFL Insiders this week that the Steelers removed no-huddle as a staple of their playbook in order to get 6-foot-4, 211-pound rookie Martavis Bryant into the lineup. Bryant was a healthy scratch for the previous five games because he was struggling with the hurry-up attack. Pittsburgh's offense has subsequently exploded, with Ben Roethlisberger completing 88-of-119 passes (73.9%) for 1,127 yards (9.47 YPA), 14 touchdowns, and no interceptions over the past three weeks. We obviously can't expect Big Ben to keep throwing six scores every game, but he'll be a good bet for three or so more against a Jets team that has surrendered a league-worst 24:1 TD-to-INT ratio. Per ESPN Stats & Info, New York's nine-game streak of multiple touchdown passes allowed is the second longest since 1970. Rex Ryan's defense stops the run but has no prayer against the pass, making it an ideal target for fantasy quarterbacks. ... Roethlisberger's target distribution during his scorching-hot three-week run: Antonio Brown 42; Le'Veon Bell 21; Bryant 17; Heath Miller and Markus Wheaton 11; Lance Moore 6; LeGarrette Blount 3. ... Still shuffling cornerbacks on a weekly basis -- they benched RCB Antonio Allen and started UDFA rookie Marcus Williams last week -- the Jets have no prayer of stopping Brown with their current back-end personnel. ... Although they've been difficult to foresee, Heath Miller Weeks have happened on a few occasions in 2014, and I think this might be one. The Jets allow the second most fantasy points in the league to tight ends, including an NFL-high 11 touchdowns. Miller plays 96% of the Steelers' offensive snaps and ranks 12th in fantasy tight end scoring on the season, in spite of his box-score inconsistency. I think he's a strong Week 10 streamer and lower-end TE1.
Bryant's Weeks 7-9 snap rates are 36%, 39%, and 51%. Wheaton's are 46%, 40%, and 54%, respectively. This is a full-blown No. 2 receiver timeshare, which keeps Bryant in the WR3 realm despite WR1 production the past three weeks. Still, I certainly wouldn't bet against Bryant hitting pay dirt for a fourth straight game against the lowly Jets. New York's cornerback depth chart has become a week-to-week proposition, so it's impossible to say whom will end up covering Bryant the most. We do know that whoever it’ll be won't be good. ... Wheaton has a touchdown in consecutive weeks, but is lightly targeted and clearly inferior physically to both Brown and Bryant. Wheaton is the only Pittsburgh pass catcher I'd be willing to bet against having a big day against the Jets. ... With a touchdown and/or 100-plus total yards in every game this season, Le'Veon Bell has been fantasy football's most consistent running back scorer north of Dallas. A matchup with New York's top-seven run defense probably removes Bell from FanDuel discussion, but he should be locked into season-long lineups as an RB1. Jamaal Charles totaled 88 yards and a TD in last week's game against the Jets. Le'Veon will be a good bet to score because the Steelers should regularly be in scoring position. And game flow figures to work in Bell's favor. ... Blount has now been held under 4.0 yards per carry in five straight games, and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3. He's just a breather back behind Le'Veon and is not a flex option against the Jets.
Score Prediction: Steelers 27, Jets 21
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Did 35-year-old Josh McCown get better during his six-week respite? Fantasy owners of Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans had better hope so. McCown mixed four interceptions, two fumbles, and five sacks absorbed amongst roughly 9 1/2 quarters to open the year, resembling an older rendition of Rex Grossman. To be kind, McCown's games were hard to watch. It took Lovie Smith far too long to quit Rex in Chicago, and he can't quit McCown in Tampa Bay. This is the rare week where Atlanta's defense might be worth a look as a streamer, although you'd have to be truly desperate. ... McCown's Weeks 1-3 target distribution: Jackson 20; Evans 14; Brandon Myers 11; Bobby Rainey 8; Robert Herron 5; Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Owusu, and Doug Martin 2. ... V-Jax's stat lines in McCown's two full games were 4-36-0 and 4-51-0, although he was targeted heavily, and has scored four touchdowns in his last three meetings with Falcons DC Mike Nolan's defense. Jackson has the most favorable coverage draw in Tampa Bay's pass-catching corps this week. He runs most of his routes at right cornerbacks, and Falcons RCB Robert Alford is a gambler who leaves himself vulnerable to big plays. The matchup is theoretically attractive for Jackson. Whether McCown will be able to get V-Jax the ball is one of Week 10's biggest mysteries. ... Evans flamed Browns CBs Buster Skrine and K'Waun Williams last week, dropping a 7-124-2 receiving line on Cleveland. Evans frequently used his size and leaping ability to win contested catches, and scored each of his TDs on throws from 24 yards out. Evans didn't turn 21 until September -- he's more than 2 1/2 years younger than Kelvin Benjamin -- but is already showing signs of becoming a true 1A receiver. Unfortunately, Evans' Weeks 1-2 stat lines with McCown at the controls were 5-37-0 and 4-49-0. Evans can only be treated as a boom-or-bust WR3 option until McCown shows some ability to give him opportunities to make plays. Evans' early-season catches with McCown under center primarily came on possession-type routes.
Seferian-Jenkins is scuffling on the field and in the box score as most rookie tight ends do, but I think he's worth TE1 streamer consideration this week. McCown showed an early-season affinity for throwing to Myers, who has since been supplanted by "ASJ." Seferian-Jenkins played 97% of Tampa Bay's Week 9 offensive snaps and is now running over 30 pass routes per game, according to PFF. That's a good range for tight ends. Little about Seferian-Jenkins' recent target numbers or Week 10 matchup suggests he's a "safe" play -- Atlanta allows the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends -- but Seferian-Jenkins is big and athletic, and is on the field a ton. Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, and Dwayne Allen are all on byes. Their owners should give Seferian-Jenkins a look. ... Rainey carved up Cleveland's defense for 80 yards on 15 carries with a 34-yard screen pass in the first half of last week's loss. Inexplicably, Rainey was given only four second-half carries and zero receptions. I expect Rainey to lead Tampa Bay's Week 10 backfield in snaps and touches, but rookie Charles Sims is going to be involved. Despite Doug Martin's struggles, the Bucs' coaching staff never demonstrated much belief in Rainey as more than a spot player, and turned away from him in a game where he was their offensive catalyst for two full quarters. Even against Atlanta's No. 25 run defense, Rainey is a risky RB2/flex play with Sims likely to cut into his usage. ... After being scratched in Week 9 despite his activation off I.R./return, Sims is essentially in the same spot he entered last week. We have no feel for his playing time or workload, and it would be surprising if Sims were put to heavy use in his NFL debut. Sims played in one preseason game, gaining 13 yards on six carries with three catches for 32 yards on August 8. He missed the ensuing 12 weeks with a fractured ankle. I own Sims in a few leagues and am hopeful he can become a flex option by Week 12 against the Bears.
The Falcons return from a much-needed bye week at full health to face one of the league's worst defenses. The Bucs have allowed an 18:6 TD-to-INT ratio to enemy passers, and their 104.5 QB rating against is the third worst mark in the NFL. Football Outsiders' DVOA considers Tampa Bay's pass defense the fourth worst in football, "ahead" of only the Jets, Vikings, and Jags. The Bucs' inability to rush the passer should help mitigate the Falcons' inability to pass protect. Although his recent production has disappointed severely, this is a bounce-back spot for Matt Ryan, who lit up Tampa Bay for 286 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-24 passing when these clubs met in Week 3. ... Julio Jones went bananas in the Week 3 meeting, rinsing RCB Johnthan Banks and LCB Alterraun Verner equally en route to a 9-161-2 receiving line. It did help that Roddy White was out for that game, but the point stands: Fire up Julio and buy him low if you don't currently own him. Few receivers have a more favorable second-half pass-defense schedule. ... Ryan's target distribution in Harry Douglas' four games played this year: Julio 39; Douglas 22; White 21; Levine Toilolo 13; Devin Hester and Devonta Freeman 8; Jacquizz Rodgers 6; Antone Smith 5; Steven Jackson 4. ... Douglas has one touchdown and a 10.9 yards-per-reception average to show for his relatively generous target count. The 29-year-old slot receiver does have a plus Week 10 matchup with Bears castoff Isaiah Frey, who recently replaced Leonard Johnson as the Buccaneers' primary slot corner. But Douglas is the kind of player who might only generate 40 or so yards on six catches. He's a low-upside WR3 option with a bit more appeal in PPR leagues.
Friday Update I: After a limited week of practice, Douglas (foot) is listed as questionable on the injury report. A low-upside option even when he's 100%, Douglas should probably be removed from consideration as a Week 10 fantasy start.
Friday Update II: Bucs LCB Alterraun Verner did not practice on Friday due to a hamstring injury and is listed as doubtful against Atlanta. Verner has been battling hamstring problems since early in training camp, which perhaps helps explain his poor first year with the Buccaneers. Roddy primarily lines up on Verner's side and gets the biggest matchup boost. Julio runs routes on Verner's side at times and should benefit, too.
Roddy got off to a miserable start this season, but turned in two of his most productive and efficient games of the year in Weeks 7 and 8, prior to Atlanta's bye. He went 9-100-1 on 15 targets against Baltimore's stout defense, before posting a 5-66 number on six looks against Detroit in London. I loved White as a 2014 bounce-back candidate before the season and am optimistic he will finish strong. This is an above-average matchup for Roddy against Verner, who's been one of 2014 free agency's biggest disappointments. Pro Football Focus has charged Verner with a touchdown allowed in five of his last six games. ... The Falcons have used a four-way running back rotation to this point in the season. In Week 8 -- before the Falcons' Week 9 open date -- here were the touch totals in Atlanta's backfield: S-Jax 18; Rodgers 4; Freeman 4; Smith 3. Jackson's 18 carries were his most this season because Atlanta jumped out to a 21-0 second-quarter lead and rode the run game more than usual. Similar game flow could occur against the Buccaneers, but all season S-Jax's fantasy dependability has been directly linked to goal-line scores. He's hit pay dirt in three of the Falcons' eight games, and is on pace for just 20 receptions. Jackson remains the best fantasy option in this running back corps, but that isn't saying much. Even against Tampa's 18th-ranked run defense, Jackson is a low-ceiling, wholly touchdown-dependent flex option. He's best viewed as an RB3. ... In spite of Smith's big-play ability and Freeman's theoretical potential, the rest of Atlanta's tailbacks don't get the ball enough to be trusted as fantasy plays.
Score Prediction: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 17
4:05PM ET Game
Denver @ Oakland
Sunday's Broncos-Raiders game has an over-under of 50 -- second-highest of Week 10 -- with Denver as an 11-point favorite. Translated, the Vegas sharps expect Denver to score over 30 points, and Oakland under 20. As usual, fire up your Broncos and avoid the Raiders. ... Expect Peyton Manning to make quick work of Oakland after carving them up with an absurd 87.7% completion rate and 7:0 TD-to-INT ratio in last year's two meetings. This year's Raiders defense is slightly better than last season's, but Peyton will surely dissect them at the line of scrimmage pre-snap and prey on an old, slow secondary. ... Fantasy owners of Ronnie Hillman should cross their fingers that Oakland at least makes it a game for three-plus quarters. Otherwise, it wouldn't be entirely shocking to see Juwan Thompson and C.J. Anderson snipe garbage-time carries, or Montee Ball (groin) if he plays. This is an obvious must-start spot for Hillman -- he's handled 17-plus touches in four straight games and scored four touchdowns over the past three -- but Hillman has battled shoulder and ankle injuries recently, and sat out most of last week's fourth quarter in New England. Underrated Anderson turned six touches into 51 yards, and Thompson finished with three touches. I'm starting Hillman in multiple re-draft leagues and in one FanDuel lineup, while hoping Derek Carr gives the Broncos a game. ... Ball resumed practicing on a limited basis this week. When Ball gets back to full strength, I suspect he'll take over the 1B role to Hillman's 1A, similar to how Ball was utilized behind Knowshon Moreno last season.
Manning's target distribution since Wes Welker returned from suspension six games ago: Demaryius Thomas 69; Emmanuel Sanders 58; Welker 32; Julius Thomas 30; Hillman 27; Jacob Tamme 10. ... Demaryius went 10-94 and 6-113-2 in last year's two Raiders games, catching 14 of his 15 targets. That is otherworldly efficiency. There is no reason to believe Oakland would slow him down Sunday. ... With 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last seven games, Sanders is the No. 7 overall fantasy wideout. There is nothing intimidating about Oakland's secondary. Fire up Sanders as a mid-to-low WR1. ... Primarily because this week's tight end options are relatively limited, I see Julius is a must-play in daily leagues. Peyton should pretty much be able to do whatever he wants against the Raiders, and the "getting him going" narrative is in play after Thomas was held under 40 receiving yards in each of Denver's last three games. Thomas' absurd early-season touchdown rate has predictably slowed, but his yardage should begin to experience positive regression. ... Battling a back injury at age 33, Welker is an easy fade even in deep leagues. He still hasn't topped 60 yards in a game this season and his week-to-week passing-game role has been somewhere between inconsistent and minimal.
Denver's defense is arguably the best fantasy option for Week 10. After Seahawks DLs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett whipped RG Austin Howard and RT Menelik Watson relentlessly last week, I'll be impatiently awaiting the Von Miller-Watson videos on Vine. ... Fully expect Denver to make Oakland's offense one dimensional by eliminating the Raiders' already-nonexistent ground "attack," which is averaging a beyond-pathetic 66.5 rushing yards per game, the NFL's worst mark since 1946. On the season, Broncos DC Jack Del Rio's group has held enemy running backs to a league-low 416 yards and four touchdowns on 144 carries (2.89 YPC). Darren McFadden is just barely an RB3 this week. ... Fantasy owners looking to start members of Oakland's passing game will presumably hang their hats on garbage-time points. For however long this game stays competitive, Derek Carr and his pass catchers are likely to struggle against a Denver defense that ranks top ten in completion rate (60.8%), YPA (6.3), and passer rating (84.6) allowed, and is No. 7 in sacks (24). The Broncos have given up a lot of passing yards only because they've faced the most pass attempts in the league (347).
Carr's target distribution over his last five games: James Jones 38; Andre Holmes 37; McFadden 28; Mychal Rivera 23; Marcel Reece 14; Brice Butler 13; Kenbrell Thompkins 11; Maurice Jones-Drew 7; Denarius Moore 5. ... Holmes and Thompkins will likely have trouble getting open against Broncos perimeter CBs Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. I don't think Jones is a particularly good fantasy start, either, but on paper his matchup would seem most favorable against Broncos rookie slot corner Bradley Roby. But it's a pick-your-poison situation. ... A minor part of Oakland's offense in the season's initial six weeks, Rivera suddenly has 20 targets over his last two games, parlaying them into consecutive stat lines of 7-83-0 and 8-38-2. Rivera drops a lot of passes, fumbled twice last week and has sub-par athleticism, but is worth a serious look as a Week 10 streamer. He's the perfect candidate for garbage-time opportunities against a Denver defense allowing the seventh most fantasy points to tight ends, including the fourth most catches (49). Rivera is playing 77% of the Raiders' offensive snaps.
Score Prediction: Broncos 30, Raiders 17
4:25PM ET Games
St. Louis @ Arizona
Andre Ellington was Arizona's offensive catalyst in last week's domination of Dallas, handling 20-plus touches for the sixth straight game en route to season highs in rushing yards (95) and yards after contact (67). Ellington was again vultured at the goal line -- by Marion Grice from a yard out in the fourth quarter -- but hit pay dirt on a one-yard pass from Carson Palmer earlier in the frame. Ellington isn't a full-time player in scoring position, but does get red-zone work. Impressively holding up to a true feature back's workload, Ellington is a legitimate RB1 against a Rams defense that ranks 29th versus the run. 5-foot-9, 199-pound Ellington is often compared to 5-foot-11, 200-pound Jamaal Charles, who dropped 111 total yards and two touchdowns on this same Rams defense in Week 7. ... The Rams finally had a breakout defensive performance in last week's upset of San Francisco, sacking Colin Kaepernick eight times, but many of the takedowns were the fault of Kaepernick, and St. Louis ranks dead last in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA. The Rams have allowed a combined 10:2 TD-to-INT ratio to opposing quarterbacks over their last six games, and only Carolina permits a higher completion rate than St. Louis' 69.6%. A high-floor if somewhat limited-upside QB1 play, Palmer now has multiple TD passes in 10 of his last 13 games in Bruce Arians' offense, with a combined 25:10 TD-INT ratio over that span. Palmer owners will need an alternative in place soon, however. The Cardinals face the stingy Lions defense in Week 11 and travel to Seattle in Week 12. In the fantasy playoffs, Palmer gets St. Louis again in Week 15, but challenging matchups against the Chiefs (Week 14) and Seahawks (Week 16).
Palmer's target distribution on the year: Ellington 33; John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald 31; Michael Floyd 26; John Carlson 25; Rob Housler 8; Ted Ginn 6. ... The Cardinals' passing attack remained spread-the-wealth in nature during last week's win over the Cowboys, as unlikely suspect Carlson led the team in targets (8), but only caught two for 19 yards and a touchdown. Carlson shouldn't be taken seriously as a TE1 streamer against a Rams defense allowing the ninth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. ... Arizona's wideouts have all become week-to-week fantasy crapshoots due to the even target distribution. In chronological order, Fitzgerald's stat lines in Palmer's five 2014 starts are 1-22-0, 6-98-1, 5-21-0, 7-160-1, and 5-70-0. Whether Fitz will produce is guesswork, but he does have a plus Week 10 matchup against struggling rookie slot corner Lamarcus Joyner, who stands 5-foot-8, 184 to Fitzgerald's 6-foot-3, 225. Fitz has less upside than 4.34 speedster Brown and vertical jump-baller Floyd, but is the safest bet to rack up catches. At this stage of his career, Fitzgerald's game resembles Anquan Boldin's. Boldin has posted lines of 7-94-1 and 6-93-1 against the Rams this year. ... Floyd's receiving lines in Palmer's starts are 5-119-0, 4-47-1, 3-47-1, 0-0, and 4-36-0. Floyd's target totals are most troubling at 3, 4, and 5 the past three weeks. St. Louis is banged up at right cornerback and starts sixth-round rookie E.J. Gaines at LCB, but Floyd's high-volatility usage renders him a boom-or-bust WR3 option. When he's only seeing about four targets per game, Floyd can't afford to miss any opportunities. ... Brown's numbers when Palmer starts are 2-29-1, 4-43-0, 2-41-0, 5-119-1, and 2-10-0. Like Floyd, Brown primarily lines up outside and will run routes against Gaines and whomever the Rams trot out on the opposite side this week. It's worth noting that St. Louis doesn't give up many long pass plays -- their 23 completions of 20-plus yards allowed are eighth fewest in the NFL -- so this might be a more difficult matchup than it looks for big-play threat Brown. It is most favorable for Fitz.
Only Chiefs-Bills has a lower Week 10 over-under than the 43 points assigned to Rams-Cardinals. Wherever possible, don't get cute trying to start St. Louis skill-position players. ... Rookie Tre Mason dominated snaps (67%) and touches (20) in the Rams' backfield during last week's upset of San Francisco, but managed 57 total yards and "missed some holes," coach Jeff Fisher observed after watching the tape. Fisher once again pledged allegiance to a three-man backfield that will also involve Benny Cunningham and apparently Zac Stacy. With workload question marks against the Cardinals' dominant, No. 3-ranked run defense, Mason would be a weak flex play in Week 10. His passing-game involvement is minimal and the Rams' offensive line is sure to get dominated by Arizona's immovable front. ... Austin Davis' target distribution since top receiver Brian Quick was lost for the season in Week 8: Jared Cook 8; Kenny Britt 7; Tavon Austin 5; Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, and Stacy 4; Mason and Cunningham 3; Lance Kendricks 2. ... The Cardinals have been stingier in tight end coverage this year than last, allowing the 14th most fantasy points to the position. Still scoreless on the year and held to 25 yards or fewer in each of his last three games, Cook is a tough sell as a Week 10 streamer. ... The Rams' only wide receiver even worth a glance in fantasy, Britt played a season-high 93% of St. Louis' offensive snaps in Week 9. Britt saw four targets against the 49ers, securing two for 32 yards and a touchdown. Knee injuries have cost Britt his old playmaking ability, but he has enough opportunity to produce WR3/4 numbers the rest of the way. Arizona ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed, and Britt should have some garbage-time opportunities in this game. ... In case you were wondering, here were the other Week 9 snap rates in St. Louis' wideout corps: Bailey 65%, Austin 60%, Givens 25%. All rotating complementary players, none of them saw more than three targets.
Score Prediction: Cardinals 27, Rams 13
NY Giants @ Seattle
It's almost hard to remember that at one time -- and for a relatively long time -- Marshawn Lynch was viewed as an NFL disappointment. He resurrected his career with Seattle in 2011. Since that breakout campaign, Lynch has scored 31 TDs across 29 home games. He's only scored 16 TDs in 27 games on the road. There are a number of variables that factor into that statistic, of course, but the bottom line is that Lynch is an excellent bet to hit pay dirt against the G-Men. It certainly can't hurt that the Giants are playing on a short week after their Monday night loss to Indianapolis, traveling across the country, and getting gashed on the ground over their last three games. In Weeks 6-9 with a bye mixed in, DC Perry Fewell's Jon Beason-less defense coughed up 437 yards and a pair of rushing TDs on 84 carries (5.20 YPC) to Colts, Eagles, and Cowboys running backs. Lynch laid to rest any misplaced concerns about a "decline" by figuratively and literally putting Seattle's offense on his back during last week's win over Oakland. A top-shelf RB1 play and worth a serious FanDuel look in both cash games and tournaments, Lynch has plenty left in the tank. ... The Seahawks' offensive line is experiencing pass-protection woes and the receivers aren't getting separation. But Russell Wilson will be a tough Week 10 fade against a collapsing Giants defense that's allowed Nick Foles, Tony Romo, and Andrew Luck to combine to complete 63-of-103 passes for 831 yards (8.07 YPA) with nine touchdown passes over its last three games, while managing just four sacks. In addition to Beason, New York has lost steady RCB Prince Amukamara (torn biceps) to I.R. Wilson is a great bet for a bounce-back game in Week 10.
Wilson's target distribution since Percy Harvin was traded away three games ago: Doug Baldwin 25; Jermaine Kearse 15; Paul Richardson 14; Lynch 11; Cooper Helfet 10; Robert Turbin and Luke Willson 9; Kevin Norwood 4. ... Returning to Earth since his 7-123-1 explosion in Seattle's first post-Harvin game, Baldwin has managed scoreless stat lines of 6-61 and 5-38 in the ensuing two weeks. Seattle's slot receiver is just a fantasy WR3, albeit a good one against burnable Giants slot corner Jayron Hosley, who was victimized for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown in last Monday night's loss to Indianapolis. ... I liked Kearse as a dice-roll play the past two weeks, against Carolina and Oakland. Kearse was an abject disaster, consistently losing in contested situations, managing 19 combined receiving yards, and getting next to no separation. I see no reason to like Kearse against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, which probably means this will be the week he has a good game. From a logical-thinking standpoint, there's just very little that indicates he will. ... Richardson looks like the gambling man's option in Seattle's pass-catcher corps. The second-round rookie played a season-high 74% of the Seahawks' Week 9 offensive snaps and was targeted six times. As Richardson runs most of his routes at right cornerbacks, he should be the primary beneficiary of Amukamara's loss. Amukamara's replacement will be special teamer Zackary Bowman, whom PFF has charged with three touchdowns allowed over his last two games. Again, Richardson is a hail-mary play, albeit one with upside. He runs 4.4-flat and will pay off if he gets behind the Giants' defense. ... The worst player on Seattle's offense in last week's win over Oakland was TE Luke Willson, who dropped at least three passes and is entering the Coby Fleener zone. Despite great measurable athleticism, Willson is shaping up as a not-very-good football player.
Playing on a short week and riddled with injuries, the Giants travel all the way across the country to face a resurgent Seahawks team at raucous CenturyLink Field. Unsurprisingly, the Vegas sharps don't see this game ending well for the G-Men. The over-under is an uninspiring 44.5 with Seattle as a nine-point favorite. Translated, the Giants are expected to score fewer than 18 points. ... The 2014 Seahawks' defense hasn't been the shutdown unit of years past, but is still playing well. Football Outsiders considers Seattle the third toughest defense to run against and the 12th toughest to attack with the pass. The Giants are playing timing-and-rhythm offense under first-year OC Ben McAdoo, and the combination of Seattle's physical defense with an inaudible environment is sure to affect New York's timing and rhythm. Even in a week with six teams on bye, Eli Manning isn't a top-12 quarterback option, and you could argue he isn't even top 20. Few or none of the Giants-Seahawks matchups in the secondary suggest Manning is a good bet for passing-game success. ... Eli's target distribution since the Giants lost Victor Cruz to a year-ending patellar tendon tear in Week 6: Rueben Randle 23; Odell Beckham 18; Larry Donnell 15; Peyton Hillis 12; Preston Parker 10; Corey Washington 6; Andre Williams 4; Daniel Fells 2. ... Based on his target volume, Randle has been a major fantasy disappointment. Randle ranks 18th among NFL receivers in targets, but 54th in non-PPR fantasy points. He's the WR49 in per-game PPR scoring. Randle's opportunities haven't gone away, but he's hard to trust as a fantasy WR3 when delivering at such an inefficient clip. On paper, Randle does have the most favorable matchup in New York's pass-catcher corps. He runs most of his routes at right cornerbacks, where second-year man Tharold Simon is filling in for injured Byron Maxwell (calf). A 2013 sixth-round pick out of LSU, Simon is Randle's old college teammate, for whatever that's worth. Randle has become a poor bet for big games in the Giants' new offense, but should be a solid bet to rack up his usual 4-6 catches.
The Giants move Beckham around enough that he won't just go toe to toe with LCB Richard Sherman all game, and he also frequently runs pass patterns underneath. But Beckham does primarily square off with left cornerbacks and is sure to draw lots of Sherman in Week 10. Beckham is seeing enough usage to be worth a WR3 start, especially in PPR leagues, but the matchup hints he's a poor bet for a truly big game. Keep in mind much of Beckham's Week 9 production (8-156) came in garbage time. ... I think it's interesting to note that Donnell has played 92% of the Giants' offensive snaps the past two weeks. He was a sub-70% player in the first six. His playing time was almost certainly bumped up as a reaction to Cruz's injury. Donnell hasn't suddenly begun lighting up the stat sheet, but he does have 15 targets in New York's last two games, churning out 11 catches, 115 yards and a touchdown. Donnell is a sensible albeit low-end TE1 play against a Seahawks defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points to tight ends, including the second most TDs. ... In desperate need of a healthy Rashad Jennings (MCL sprain), the Giants transitioned toward an RBBC backfield in last week's loss to Indianapolis. Andre Williams played only 50% of New York's offensive snaps, while Peyton Hillis played 44%. Williams' touch total was 13 to Hillis' 9. Some of that had to do with the Colts' big lead, forcing the G-Men into more passing situations, where Hillis appears to be the preferred option due to Williams' receiving limitations. But this is another game where New York could most certainly play from behind. Through eight games, Seattle has held enemy running backs to 596 yards and just three TDs on 168 carries (3.55 YPC). You'd have to be pretty desperate to start a Giants back.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 28, Giants 17
Sunday Night Football
Chicago @ Green Bay
Both of these clubs return from bye weeks to square off in a Sunday nighter with an over-under of 53.5 points, highest of Week 10. Although a shootout would obviously give Jay Cutler a ton of fantasy upside, his historical struggles against Green Bay are cause for some alarm. Cutler has faced the Packers ten times since Dom Capers took over as Green Bay's defensive coordinator in 2009, completing 164-of-295 throws (55.6%) for 2,000 yards (6.78 YPA) with a 12:20 TD-to-INT ratio. Cutler's numbers against the Packers have improved during Marc Trestman's head-coaching tenure, but only to the extent that he's a fringe fantasy starter. On a personal note, I have to start Cutler in one of my leagues because Tom Brady is on a bye. In another, I'm having a hard time deciding between Cutler and Cam Newton. I'm leaning Cam. ... Cutler's target distribution over his last four games: Matt Forte 40; Brandon Marshall 34; Alshon Jeffery 29; Martellus Bennett 28; Dante Rosario 8; Santonio Holmes 3. ... Whereas Cutler has struggled against Capers' defense, Marshall has scored a touchdown in four consecutive Packers games, specifically recording stat lines of 6-56-1, 7-107-1, 6-74-1, and 2-19-1. After the bye to rest his previously balky ankle, Marshall is a legitimate WR1 play at Lambeau. Although Marshall's box-score production has underwhelmed in recent weeks, he has at least nine targets in each of his last three games. ... Jeffery has faced Green Bay three times since taking over as a starter for the Bears in 2013. His numbers are 5-60-1, 3-80, and 4-39-1. Though not prolific, the past production is good enough to warrant high-end WR2 treatment in this matchup. This season, Jeffery has at least 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in five of his last six games.
The Bears signed Bennett to a free-agent deal in 2013. His numbers against Green Bay in three games since are 4-36, 1-15, and 9-134, although the latter stat line occurred in Week 4, when both Marshall and Jeffery were dealing with various injuries. Bennett is a mid-to-low TE1 facing a Packers defense that ranks 17th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. ... Most vulnerable on the ground, Green Bay ranks 22nd in Football Outsiders' run-defense DVOA metric and is permitting a crisp 4.39 yards per carry to enemy running backs. In their last game, the Packers were gashed by Mark Ingram and Travaris Cadet for 179 yards and a touchdown on 25 runs (7.16 YPC). With fresh legs coming off the open date, Forte is a high-floor RB1 with some upside in Week 10. Forte has creamed Green Bay for an average of 169 total yards in these clubs' last three meetings, ripping off 5.17 yards per rushing attempt with four all-purpose TDs. ... Forte owners should have him handcuffed with rookie Ka'Deem Carey for the stretch run. The only other tailback on Chicago's 53-man roster is Senorise Perry, an undrafted rookie who hasn't played an offensive snap all year. Carey has played 60, gaining 130 yards on 28 carries (4.64 YPC). Carey would become an every-down back if something happened to Forte, who turns 29 next month and is currently on pace for 376 touches.
Friday Update: Bennett (ribs) was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report after missing practice. He appeared to be injured in Thursday's session, after which Bennett was deemed "limited." He was a "DNP" Friday. Bennett told reporters on Friday afternoon that he will "probably" play against the Packers. Just keep in mind players tend to be overly optimistic about their own injury situations. As this game is played on Sunday night, we may not know Bennett's odds of playing until after Sunday's early games start. Fantasy owners should secure a fallback option such as Owen Daniels, Clay Harbor, or Austin Seferian-Jenkins in case early-Sunday signs point toward Bennett missing this game.
In a recent podcast, NFL Films' Greg Cosell called the Bears' defense the most predictable in the league. Chicago plays constant Cover 3, has battled myriad injuries throughout the back seven, is getting next to nothing from over-the-hill RE Jared Allen, and just lost LE Lamarr Houston to a torn right ACL. Patriots and Dolphins quarterbacks combined to carve up the Bears for 58-of-70 passing (82.9%), 653 yards (9.33 YPA), seven touchdowns, and zero interceptions in their last two games. Expect Aaron Rodgers to make quick work of Chicago's barely-there defense just as he did in Week 4, when Rodgers went 22-of-28 for 302 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers was especially lethal against the Bears at the intermediate range. ... The Packers' best intermediate and vertical receiver is Jordy Nelson, whose last two stat lines in Bears games are 10-161 and 10-108-2. Chicago doesn't have a realistic means of slowing down Jordy. An inferior talent to Nelson, Brandon LaFell burned up the Bears on the perimeter for 11-124-1 before the bye, catching all 11 of his targets. ... Chicago similarly had no answers for Randall Cobb in these clubs' Week 4 date, coughing up a 7-113-2 number to Green Bay's slot receiver. On pace for career bests in receiving yards (1,156) and an admittedly unsustainable 18 touchdowns, Cobb is a borderline WR1 in this cupcake matchup.
Rodgers' target distribution since Davante Adams took over as Green Bay's No. 3 receiver five games ago: Nelson 41; Cobb 34; Adams 24; Eddie Lacy 17; Andrew Quarless 11; Richard Rodgers 10; James Starks 9. ... Adams' snap rates over his last three games are 78%, 79%, and 96%. He's officially a full-time player in Mike McCarthy's offense. After turning career highs in targets (9) and catches (7) into 75 yards against the Saints before the open date, Adams is a strong WR3 play in a contest with a high-scoring projection against a weak defense. Adams has 70-plus yards or a touchdown in four straight games. The impressive second-round rookie is a good bet for a monster game or two down the stretch, and this could be one. At his price point ($5200), Adams is my favorite cheap FanDuel twirl of the week. ... Weak at linebacker and safety, the Bears were burned by Dolphins TEs Charles Clay and Dion Sims for a combined 7-91-1 line in Week 7, and 16-210-4 by Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright prior to the bye. Rookie Richard Rodgers is worth a look for desperate TE1 streamers. He played more snaps (36) than Quarless (32) in the Packers' last game, parlaying five catches into four catches and 58 yards. I'd still prefer to stream Heath Miller, Clay Harbor, or Austin Seferian-Jenkins this week. ... Lacy has rebounded from a string of brutal early-season matchups to post 100-plus total yards and/or a touchdown in four of his last five games. Lacy still doesn't have a single game over 17 carries on the season, but should have a chance to push for more against the Bears in a game where flow figures to work in the rushing attack's favor, and Green Bay's offense should frequently enter scoring position, providing TD opportunities for their feature back. The loss of Houston will especially be felt in run defense. Lacy is a borderline RB1 against a Chicago defense that surrendered 108 yards on 22 runs (4.91 YPC) to Jonas Gray and Shane Vereen in its last game.
Score Prediction: Packers 34, Bears 27
Monday Night Football
Carolina @ Philadelphia
The stigma associated with Mark Sanchez is decidedly negative. He was an NFL draft bust with the Jets, playing competitive football only when New York fielded a successful, high-volume run game and elite defense. Sanchez isn't particularly strong armed or accurate and is an average athlete. He's also now starting games in the NFL's quarterback-friendliest offense, where a run-game commitment is consistent and unyielding, and Chip Kelly uses scheme and design to get his receivers one-on-one opportunities. Nick Foles (collarbone) wasn't a vastly superior talent to Sanchez, and even in a down year Foles was averaging 291 passing yards per game with multiple touchdown passes in 5-of-7 weeks before going down. Sanchez is a recommended QB1 streamer against a Panthers team that ranks 21st in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA and has a 17:9 TD-to-INT ratio against. Carolina permits a 69.3% completion rate to enemy passers, the second worst mark in the league. ... Sanchez's target distribution off the bench last week: Jeremy Maclin 4; Darren Sproles, Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, and Riley Cooper 3; Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, and Jeff Maehl 2. ... Sanchez connected on all four of his throws to Maclin for gains of 52, 7, 21, and an 8-yard touchdown. Maclin versus Panthers LCB Antoine Cason might be the biggest mismatch on an NFL field in Week 10. Burned up by Kenny Stills two Thursday nights ago, Cason has allowed five touchdowns over his last seven games, according to PFF, including an 81.8% completion rate on throws into his coverage. That's the worst clip of any perimeter cornerback in the NFL. There is some chatter Cason will be benched for Melvin White, who was benched himself just a few weeks ago after opening the season as Carolina's starting right corner.
Sanchez's other touchdown pass was good to rookie Matthews from 11 yards out. As the Eagles have committed to a base three-receiver offense, Matthews' snap rates are 70% and 63% over the past two weeks. Matthews plays slot receiver in Chip Kelly's offense, and Carolina has been particularly vulnerable in slot coverage, where they've rotated bodies. Matthews is worth a serious look as a bye-week WR3 play. Training camp reports indicated Matthews was Sanchez's favorite target throughout August. ... Two of Sanchez's Week 9 targets to Cooper fell incomplete, and the third was picked off. Sanchez is a good bet for production in Kelly's attack, but one of his primary weaknesses is making throws outside the numbers. Cooper runs almost all of his routes outside the numbers. ... Two-tight end sets have fallen out of favor in Philadelphia, resulting in snap rates of 52% for Ertz in Week 8 and a season-low 28% in last week's win over Houston. Celek's playing time is correspondingly up, but has only translated to stat lines of 2-8-0 and 2-7-0 since the Eagles' Week 7 bye. This is a situation to avoid against the Panthers, who have a lot of range at linebacker and rank 21st in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. ... Sproles returned from his MCL sprain in last week's win over the Texans, handling seven touches and playing 22% of the Eagles' snaps. Because of Carolina's second-level speed, Sproles has a challenging Week 10 matchup. Sproles hasn't hit double-digit touches in a game since Week 2. ... Gutted by Mark Ingram two Thursday nights ago, the Panthers have allowed the third most fantasy points in the league to running backs, including an explosive 4.89 per-carry average. This is a great matchup for Shady McCoy, who is red hot over his last three games with 349 yards on 66 carries (5.29 YPC). Strongly consider McCoy on FanDuel this week. ... Chris Polk vultured an eight-yard touchdown against the Texans, but is just a "breather back" and direct handcuff for McCoy owners. Polk is a quality backup, but has not earned standalone flex consideration.
Panthers-Eagles has a solid 48-point over-under, fourth highest of Week 10. The Panthers' offense has been abysmal in three consecutive games, but is coming off what amounts to a bye week after playing on Thursday night in Week 9, and returning for Week 10 Monday Night Football. The Eagles' loss of team leader ILB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles') sets up Carolina to run a read-option-heavy offense, exploiting liability replacement Casey Matthews. Philly's No. 22 pass defense has a 17:4 TD-to-INT ratio against, one of the worst marks in the league. Fantasy owners need to shake off Cam's awful three-week stretch and start him in a potential shootout. The last time Eagles DC Billy Davis' unit faced a true dual-threat quarterback, Colin Kaepernick ripped Philadelphia for 276 all-purpose yards, including 58 on seven scrambles, and a pair of passing touchdowns. Against the blitz-happy Eagles, this is a great opportunity for OC Mike Shula to call an aggressive game. ... Cam's target distribution on the year: Kelvin Benjamin 77; Greg Olsen 58; Jerricho Cotchery 48; Jason Avant 40; Philly Brown and Brenton Bersin 12; Jonathan Stewart 11; DeAngelo Williams 2. ... Benjamin has had three games this year where he just played terribly, making mental errors and dropping passes. Last week was one of them. In the weeks following the previous two, Benjamin recorded stat lines of 8-115-1 versus Pittsburgh and 7-49-1 at Cincinnati. Although Benjamin's on-field performances don't always cooperate, his usage has never wavered with eight-plus targets in 7-of-9 games this year. As Benjamin runs the vast majority of his routes against right cornerbacks, he will square off early and often in this game with Eagles RCB Cary Williams, who ranks 83rd among 109 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus' coverage grades.
Although Cotchery is not nearly as heavily targeted or physically imposing as Benjamin, he too has a plus matchup with Eagles LCB Bradley Fletcher, whom PFF has charted with the eighth most yards allowed in the league to enemy receivers. You could do worse than Cotchery as a WR3 bye-week filler. ... No. 4 overall fantasy tight end Olsen has earned every-week starter treatment, but has the toughest matchup in Carolina's pass-catching corps. Keyed by coverage maven ILB Mychal Kendricks, Philadelphia allows the fewest fantasy points in the league to tight ends. To be fair, the best tight ends the Eagles have faced are Dwayne Allen (0-0 in Week 2), Vernon Davis (2-8-0 in Week 4), and Larry Donnell (1-6-0 in Week 6). Still, Olsen is probably best viewed as a mid-range to low-end TE1 in this particular week. ... On the season, Philadelphia has held enemy running backs to 747 yards and just three touchdowns on 204 carries (3.66 YPC). As Carolina's backfield has fallen back into a two-way timeshare and Newton is running more, this is a fantasy situation to avoid. In last Thursday night's loss to New Orleans, DeAngelo Williams played 23 snaps and handled nine touches. Jonathan Stewart played 34 downs, but finished with eight carries and wasn't involved in the passing game. If one of the Panthers' running backs has a good game on Monday night, it wasn't because either was a good fantasy bet going in.
Score Prediction: Eagles 27, Panthers 24