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Week 10 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer

A long time ago a fellow NFL writer told me "Pick against the Patriots at your own peril." The advice has served me well, especially when it comes to Tom Brady. Obviously, telling you to start him in Fantasy is generally a no-brainer, but this week some people are nervous about doing it in his game against the Jets in New York. Some people will chance it with guys like Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow instead of Brady.

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The statistical evidence against Brady is pretty damning. The Jets haven't allowed multiple touchdowns to anyone since Tony Romo in Week 1 (that includes Brady in Week 5). They've yielded 225 or more passing yards twice all year (Romo in Week 1, Brady in Week 5; both topped 300 yards). In four games at MetLife Stadium the Jets are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 52 percent of their passes for 209 yards per game and nine interceptions.

Brady himself has had trouble against the Jets in New Jersey since Rex Ryan has taken over. In two games Brady has completed 43 of 83 passes for 464 yards with two touchdowns, three interceptions and a fumble lost. And in Brady's six career games overall against Ryan's Jets, he's had three with two-plus touchdowns and/or 300-plus yards (and another with 299 yards), but four with at least one interception. Most importantly, in those six games he's hit the 20-point mark in standard Fantasy formats twice. He's fallen below 18 Fantasy points three times, including once already this season.

In fact, Brady's become fairly pedestrian (for him), leveling off to where he's averaged exactly 19 points over his last five games, producing fairly consistently but not at the extreme level you might think. Expecting that kind of result, even against a team he's been hit-or-miss with, especially on the road, is not out of the question.

But there's one more intangible, and it's one we've been accustomed to for a decade with the Patriots: They win a lot. And despite the fact that they're in a three-way tie in their division and have lost two straight games, they're still a prepared, functional team that -- at least offensively -- can find ways to move the chains against anyone. Brady is usually a part of that, and a good run game could help him immensely on Sunday night. If the average he'll give you is 19 points and there's room for more based on what we know and what we've seen from the Patriots when they're in big spots like this, it's hard to consider other second-tier quarterbacks. Pick against him at your own peril.

  Go deeper into the week's matchups with our Interactive Fantasy Matchup Magnifier!

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Indianapolis Colts
QBAndrew LuckRoad games haven't agreed with Luck, but matchup is too good to pass up.
RBVick BallardHas to be used as at least a flex after the Lions rumbled for four rushing TDs vs. JAC last week.
RBDonald Brown Not sure if he'll get a full workload on a short week after his knee bothered him vs. MIA.
WRReggie WayneHad eight grabs for 88 yards vs. JAC in Week 3, Jags have allowed six TDs to WRs since.
WRDonnie AveryShould be a decent third receiver for Fantasy owners assuming he's active. Made some nice plays before getting hurt last week.
WRTY HiltonScorched Jags for 113 yards & TD back in Week 3, should be a big factor if Donnie Avery is out.
TEDwayne AllenJaguars have been good vs. TEs (zero TDs allowed this year). Only one TE has 60+ yards vs. JAC in 2011.
DSTColtsBig-time sleeper. Each of last six DSTs to play Jaguars have had 11+ Fantasy points.
Jacksonville Jaguars
QBBlaine GabbertDesperation option. IND has allowed one 275+ yard passer in last seven, 6 pass TDs in last four.
RBRashad JenningsColts run D has allowed 9 rush TDs & 149.9 total yards per game. Despite limited production, Jennings worth another start.
WRCecil ShortsSeven WRs have had 8+ Fantasy points vs. IND in their last five games. Could be a rebound game for Shorts, who caught an 80-yard TD vs. IND in Week 3.
WRJustin BlackmonScored first TD last week but still had just 32 yards on five catches (nine targets). Would take a lot of guts to start him.
TEMarcedes Lewis Colts have allowed just one TD to a TE all year, none to 10 Fantasy points. Lewis had 8-yard catch vs. IND in Week 3.
DSTJaguarsThe Vikings, Dolphins and Packers all failed to land 10+ Fantasy points vs. IND this year. No way are the Jags an option.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Atlanta Falcons
QBMatt RyanShould post big game. 4 of last 5 QBs vs. NO have topped 300 yards, all four also had 2+ TDs. Ryan had 350+ yards in both games vs. NO last year but just 3 total TDs.
RBMichael TurnerEvery NO opponent has had at least one 10+ Fantasy RB, all but one have had 12+ Fantasy points. Turner should roll.
WRJulio JonesA must. Saints giving up 223.3 yards to WRs over last three. Eight receivers have 90+ yards against them on the year.
WRRoddy WhiteNew Orleans has allowed 12 TDs to wideouts in their last five games. White has 10+ Fantasy points in 3 of last 4 vs. NO.
TETony GonzalezTough call here: Obvious potential but Saints have allowed just one TE to get more than 6 Fantasy points all season!
DSTFalconsLast five DSTs to play the Saints have posted single-digit Fantasy points. Tough to like the Falcons this week.
New Orleans Saints
QBDrew BreesOnly one QB has thrown 2 TDs vs. ATL but 2 of last 3 QBs topped 300 yards. Brees has topped 300 yards in last 4 vs. ATL with 2+ TDs in three of them.
RBPierre ThomasFalcons have allowed 127.0 total yards per game to RBs with 3 TDs over last three. Thomas should stay busy.
RBMark Ingram Played on just 18 of 56 snaps last week, has more than 7 carries in just one game this season.
RBChris Ivory Was more of clock-killing back in Week 9, getting 7 of 10 carries in second half. Not sure he'll get much work vs. Falcons.
WRMarques ColstonFalcons have given up just five TDs to WRs all year, only two No. 1 receivers have scored. But Colston did very well vs. ATL last year (11+ Fantasy points in each game).
WRLance MooreHis last three vs. ATL have been duds (no more than 53 yards, no TDs). Only two opponents have produced two WRs with 7+ Fantasy points each vs. ATL all year.
TEJimmy GrahamFalcons still might not have answer for him. Has scored in three straight vs. ATL, but the Birds have only allowed 2 TDs to TEs this year.
DSTSaints No miracle this week. Only two DSTs have posted 10+ Fantasy points against the Falcons.

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
Buffalo Bills
QBRyan FitzpatrickHas 300+ yards, 2+ TDs & 2+ INTs in each of last three vs. NE but has zero TDs in 3 of last 4 overall.
RBC.J. SpillerHas second-worst game of season vs. NE in Week 4 but has 100+ total yards in each of last three games.
RBFred JacksonAveraging 15 touches per game over last five but with just 70.2 total yards per game & two TDs.
WRSteve JohnsonHad just 23 yards vs. NE in Week 4 but scored in 3 of previous 4 against them. Bills will throw a lot.
WRDonald JonesDeep sleeper. Pats have allowed 195.0 yards & 6 TDs in last four to WRs. Jones playing a bunch.
TEScott ChandlerScored twice vs. NE in Week 4. Pats have allowed two TDs to TEs in four games since.
DSTBills No DST has posted more than 10 Fantasy points vs. NE this year, and that shouldn't change this week.
New England Patriots
QBTom BradyHas 3+ TDs in each of last five vs. BUF with 325+ yards in each of last three! You better start him!
RBStevan RidleyHad 106 rush yards & 2 TDs vs. BUF in Week 4. Bills have allowed 142.3 rush yards to RBs per game w/ 12 TDs.
RBShane VereenDesperation option. Has TD in two of last four and 8+ touches in each of his last two.
WRWes WelkerHas 10 or fewer Fantasy points in 4 of last 5 vs. NE (and each of last two overall). BUF has allowed 90+ yards to WR in 4 of last 5.
WRBrandon LloydScored on Bills in first '12 meeting, one of 12 TDs Bills have allowed to WRs this year.
TERob GronkowskiGronk's a Bills killer. In five career games Gronk has 418 yards and eight TDs against them. Obvious must-start.
TEAaron HernandezIf healthy should be a big factor. Had 138 yards & TD in last game vs. BUF (in '11).
DSTPatriotsDSTs vs. BUF have scored 11+ Fantasy points in four of Bills' last five. Pats should be solid.

Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Bank of America Stadium
Denver Broncos
QBPeyton ManningYou'll start him but Panthers' pass rush has come alive, pass D has allowed just one QB to throw 2+ TDs against them all year.
RBWillis McGaheeMaybe a little risky. Panthers holding opposing RBs to 78.0 rush yards per game over last three -- but with 2 rush TDs allowed.
WREric DeckerIncredibly hot with 5-game TD streak (7 in that span). Still worth it vs. CAR, who have allowed just 2 TDs to WRs in last five.
WRDemaryius ThomasLittle nervous about him after he tweaked knee but still has immense potential. CAR hasn't allowed a 100-yard WR since Week 4.
DSTBroncosPanthers have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to 3 of last 4 DSTs. Broncos have 9+ Fantasy points in each of last three.
Carolina Panthers
QBCam NewtonTwo of last three QBs vs. DEN have tossed 2 TDs but none have 300+ yards (two over 250 yards). Cam has 2+ total TDs in 3 games this year.
RBJonathan StewartBroncos giving up 150.5 total yards to RBs over last four with 4 total TDs but Stew has yet to exceed 80 total yards in a game.
RBDeAngelo WilliamsStarted to see more playing time last week, especially cutting into Stewart's snaps. Still can't trust to start.
WRSteve SmithYou'll start him but DEN has held WRs to two 80+ yard games & two TDs over their last five.
TEGreg OlsenAnother good matchup for Olsen -- DEN has allowed 10+ Fantasy points to the last three TEs they've faced. Can he take advantage?
DSTPanthersNo DST has more than 13 Fantasy points vs. DEN, only three have 10+ points. Can't lean on the Panthers.

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Mall of America Field
Detroit Lions
QBMatthew StaffordVikings have allowed three passing touchdowns in back-to-back games. No excuses for Stafford, who has 300+ yards in 2 of last 3 vs. MIN.
RBMikel LeshoureMust start. Vikes have allowed 138.3 rush yards per game over last two with 4 total TDs to RBs.
RBJoique BellMIN has given up 194 receiving yards just to RBs over last three games. Bell should be useful in a pinch.
WRCalvin JohnsonVikings have done well vs. No. 1 WRs but Johnson seems healthy after drubbing Jags last week. No way you sit him.
WRTitus YoungNon-No. 1 WRs have torched the Seahawks with Golden Tate the latest benefactor. Young worth using again.
WRRyan BroylesStill not playing a ton (about 40 pct. of snaps) but productive for a few points, which should continue vs. MIN's weak secondary.
TEBrandon PettigrewPettigrew had one of his better games vs. MIN in Week 4. Since that game only one TE has scored on Vikings.
DSTLionsEach of last four DSTs to play Vikings have had 13+ Fantasy points. Lions should keep up its hot streak.
Minnesota Vikings
QBChristian Ponder Lions have allowed 2 pass TDs in 5 of last 7 games but Ponder had no TDs earlier this year against the Lions. Can't trust him.
RBAdrian PetersonHas 8 TDs & over 1,100 total yards in 10 games vs. DET. Lions have allowed 10+ Fantasy points to RBs in 4 of last 5.
RBPercy HarvinIf he plays has the chance to score. Lions have allowed 5 TDs to WRs in last 4.
WRJerome Simpson Can't be trusted even though Lions have allowed 148.7 yards per game to WRs over the last three games.
TEKyle RudolphOnly one TE has scored on DET over last five games. Coaches say they want to get Rudolph more involved but owners might want to see it first.
DSTVikingsLions' offense starting to roar: 3 of last 4 DSTs vs. DET posted 4 Fantasy points or less. Lions avg. 410.9 total yards per game.

New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
New York Giants
QBEli ManningHe's been abysmal in 4 straight but could perk up vs. CIN. Bengals have allowed 2+ TDs, 250+ yards to QBs in 2 of last 3.
RBAhmad BradshawRush average has been in the tank for last three games (3.4 avg.), CIN has held RBs to 97.3 rush yards over last four.
RBAndre BrownHas scored in three straight with 20+ yards per game too. CIN has allowed four rush TDs over last 4 games.
WRVictor CruzCincy has allowed a 90+ yard receiver in each of last three, gave up 2 TDs to Eric Decker last week.
WRHakeem NicksNeed to see him play well before considering him, even in a matchup vs. 19th-ranked pass defense.
TEMartellus BennettThis could be the week. Tight ends have scored in each of last three vs. CIN.
DSTGiantsDalton has been picked off at least once per game this year, sacked 2+ times in 6 of 8 games. Roll with the Giants.
Cincinnati Bengals
QBAndy DaltonEight of nine teams have thrown for 240+ pass yards vs. NYG, six have 2+ total TDs. You'd have to be desperate to trust Dalton though.
RBBenJarvus Green-EllisWeird stat: RBs that get 15+ carries have decimated Giants, scored 12+ Fantasy points. Kind of like the Law Firm.
WRA.J. GreenA must. Giants allowed two WRs to score last week & 12 TDs to WRs on the season.
TEJermaine GreshamComing off career-high 108-yard game, has scored 10+ Fantasy points in half of his last six games.
DSTBengalsGiants have scored 28.6 points per game over last five, Bengals allowing 23.2 points per game over last five. Don't do it.

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, M&T Bank Stadium
Oakland Raiders
QBCarson PalmerShould throw a ton. Two of last three QBs vs. BAL have thrown for 250+ yards & 2+ TDs. Palmer hasn't topped 20 Fantasy points in four road games.
RBMarcel ReeceSix RBs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in the Ravens' last five. Reece a physical threat with excellent hands (caught 75.7 pct of targets over last 2 years).
RBTaiwan JonesUnreal speed but has just 17 career carries. Ravens have allowed 176.0 rush yards to RBs over last four games.
WRDenarius MooreBAL has allowed 133.7 yards to receivers over their last three. Moore has at least 8 targets per game.
WRDarrius Heyward-BeyHas 7+ Fantasy points in each of his last three. Ravens have allowed 11 WRs to 7+ Fantasy points this season.
TEBrandon MyersScored 2 TDs last week but Ravens have allowed just one TD to tight ends all year.
DSTRaiders Don't use them. DSTs have posted 10+ Fantasy points on BAL twice -- when they held them under 13 points. OAK allowing 28.6 points per game.
Baltimore Ravens
QBJoe FlaccoBack home against a pass defense that allowed 247 yards & 2 TDs last week. Flacco could match those numbers.
RBRay RiceAfter Martin racked up four TDs & 272 total yards at OAK last week you can bet on Rice getting a lot of work.
WRTorrey SmithRaiders have allowed 565 yards & 5 TDs to WRs over their last four games. Torrey should be solid.
WRAnquan BoldinHas 82 or more yards in 3 of last 5 games but hasn't scored since Week 1.
DSTRavensRaiders have totaled 340+ yards, scored 20+ points in each of last four games. Ravens DST just an OK option.

San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium
San Diego Chargers
QBPhilip RiversBucs have allowed 250+ yards to 7 of 8 opposing QBs, 2 of last 3 have thrown four TDs! Rivers has 2 TDs in 4 of last 5.
RBRyan MathewsTampa Bay has allowed a TD to RB in 6 of last 7 (five rushing) but just four RBs have totaled 90+ yards on the Bucs.
RBRonnie BrownHas 5+ catches in 3 of his last 4 games. TB allowed 17 catches for 151 yards and a TD to OAK last week.
WRMalcom FloydReceivers averaging 200.3 yards per game in last 4 vs. TB with a TD in each. Floyd could be effective again.
WRDanario AlexanderIf Chargers' WRs are still banged up, he's the desperation option for Fantasy. Has good size but brittle knees.
TEAntonio GatesNo longer a tricky matchup after Brandon Myers scored his first two TDs of the year vs. TB last week.
DSTChargersBucs have scored 28+ points & totaled 400+ yards in each of last four. No magic for the Chargers this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QBJosh FreemanNo one's been hotter over last four weeks. Bolts allowed four straight 2+ TD passers before shutting out Weeden & Cassel last two weeks.
RBDoug MartinYou'll start Martin and for good reason: SD has allowed 264 total yards & 2 TDs to RBs over last two weeks.
WRVincent JacksonBig-time revenge game. Ex-Charger faces pass defense that allowed 7 TDs to WRs before shutting out Browns & Chiefs last two weeks. Jackson should shine.
WRMike WilliamsNine WRs have posted 8+ Fantasy points on the Bolts this year. Williams has 7+ Fantasy points in 6 of 8 games.
DSTBuccaneersChargers have scored 24+ points in 4 of 5 games, though DSTs put up 10+ Fantasy points in 2 of those 4.

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Tennessee Titans
QBJake LockerQBs have topped 250+ yards in 7 of 8 games vs. MIA but only two have 2+ TDs. Locker might have to shake rust off first.
RBChris JohnsonMiami hasn't allowed a rush TD since Week 1, only have allowed one 100+ total yard RB. Will he get a big run late again?
WRKenny BrittTough to trust: Has just one game with more than 7 Fantasy points this season, but MIA has allowed 12 WRs to 7+ Fantasy points this year.
WRNate WashingtonLeads Titans WRs with four TDs. Dolphins have allowed 9 TDs to WRs on the year including 4 in last four games (two last week).
WRKendall WrightDolphins allowed two 100-yard receivers last week, giving up on average 213.8 yards per game to WRs over last four.
TEJared CookNo TE has scored on Miami but five have had 60+ yards against them. Cook has under 50 yards in 5 of last 6.
DSTTitansTitans defense is weak, can't be trusted even though DSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in four of last six weeks.
Miami Dolphins
QBRyan TannehillGreat matchup. Titans have allowed 20 pass TDs, five 250+ yard passers and 8 of 9 QBs have 19+ Fantasy points against them.
RBReggie BushTitans have allowed 202.3 total yards & 4 TDs to running backs in last three. Wish Bush averaged more than 14.7 touches per game over last three.
RBDaniel ThomasAnother good matchup for Thomas if you're thin at running back. He played more than Bush for the second week in a row.
WRBrian HartlineMight be another sleeper week for him. Titans have allowed 6 TDs to WRs in last four weeks with 5 WRs getting 9+ Fantasy points in that span.
TEAnthony Fasano Desperation option. Tennessee has allowed 6+ Fantasy points to seven TEs in nine games.
DSTDolphinsAfter Bears pummeled Titans last week, Dolphins should be salivating. Miami's D should be solid.

New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CenturyLink Field
New York Jets
QBMark SanchezCould throw for decent amount of yardage but tough to envision him having a good game.
RBShonn GreeneAfter AP blew through the Seahawks there's some optimism for Green who has 9+ Fantasy points in each of his last three.
WRJeremy KerleySeahawks have struggled with short, shifty receivers but still boast solid secondary. Kerley has 5+ catches in 3 of last 4.
TEDustin KellerHas been huge for Jets' passing game but Seahawks have the defensive backs to limit him. No TE, not even Gronk, has 10+ Fantasy points vs. SEA.
DSTJetsThree of last four DSTs vs. SEA posted under 9 Fantasy points, but Jets have the defense to make things challenging for Seahawks, even at home.
Seattle Seahawks
QBRussell WilsonJets have only allowed four passing TDs over last six games, will make it tough on Wilson to have another big game.
RBMarshawn LynchNYJ have given up just 2 rush TDs over last four games along with 108.3 rush yards in that span. Lynch has 100+ rush yards in three straight.
WRSidney RiceSick: No WR has scored on the Jets since Week 2! None have totaled 100+ yards either.
WRGolden TateAfter big game last week, expect mediocre numbers here as Jets' secondary should be able to contain him.
DSTSeahawksFour of the last five DSTs to take on the Jets have posted 13+ Fantasy points. Get the Seahawks active.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Dallas Cowboys
QBTony RomoFive of last six QBs to play PHI have 2+ TDs against them, but Romo has one 2 TD game in his last four overall and in last four vs. PHI.
RBFelix JonesEagles allowing 163.3 total yards per game to running backs. Jones had best start of the season last week, hopefully sees 15 touches this week.
WRMiles AustinTerrible recent history vs. Philly, but Eagles pass defense is awful. Five WRs have 9+ Fantasy points against the Eagles in their last three.
WRDez BryantHard to trust him with injury & chemistry issues. Has under 20 yards in 2 of last 3 games, has 90 total yards in two career games vs. Eagles.
TEJason WittenHas 6+ catches in each of last five games (80+ yards in three). Both TEs with 6+ catches vs. PHI have at least 6 Fantasy points.
DSTCowboysAfter the Saints sacked Vick seven times, Cowboys should tee off. Eagles have had under 20 points in all but two games this year.
Philadelphia Eagles
QBMichael VickCowboys have held all but one QB to 1 pass TD or less including Matt Ryan last week. Only two have 250+ pass yards. I'd sit Vick.
RBLeSean McCoyHas 10+ Fantasy points in all but one game this year & 3 of last 4 vs. DAL when he played more than a few snaps.
WRDeSean JacksonFour of last five vs. DAL have resulted in single-digit Fantasy point scores. Only four WRs have scored 10+ Fantasy points vs. DAL this season (two last week).
WRJeremy MaclinMaclin has TD in each of last two vs. DAL but has one score in his last five overall with four games under 40 yards.
TEBrent CelekOnly two TE s have posted 7+ Fantasy points vs. DAL and none since Week 2.
DSTEaglesThree of the last four DSTs to play DAL have scored under 10 Fantasy points, something the Eagles DST have done in their last seven games.

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Candlestick Park
St. Louis Rams
QBSam BradfordNiners have allowed one passing TD over last five with only one 200+ yard passer in that span.
RBSteven JacksonTotaled 95 rush yards, 26 receiving yards and no TDs in two games vs. SF last year. Run defense remains strong.
RBDaryl Richardson Has averaged 11.0 touches over last four games with 5+ Fantasy points in three. That's about all you can expect vs. SF.
WRDanny AmendolaHas 5+ catches in each game he's finished in '12. Only 4 of 10 WRs with 5+ catches vs. SF have had 7+ Fantasy points.
WRBrandon GibsonProduction could decrease with Amendola coming back, but did score both TDs while Amendola was on the field.
WRChris GivensNiners have allowed just 138.8 yards per game to wideouts. Givens' 50-yd catch streak definitely in jeopardy.
DSTRamsSix of eight DSTs Niners have faced have scored 10 Fantasy points or less.
San Francisco 49ers
QBAlex SmithRisky start. Rams' pass defense has been shattered for 9 TDs over last three games (with no INTs). Smith has two 3 TD games in last four -- and four with 1 or no TDs in last six.
RBFrank GoreRams' three-game streak vs. RBs came to halt when NE totaled 152 rush yards & 2 TDs against them. Gore remains quality starter.
WRMichael CrabtreeFive of Crabtree's 15 career TDs have come vs. STL including one in each of last four vs. Rams. STL has allowed five TDs to WRs in last two games.
WRMario Manningham Has 4+ catches in 5 of 7 games but 10+ Fantasy points in zero games. Hard to trust, even with a good matchup.
TEVernon DavisMatchup's not bad: STL have allowed TD to TE in 2 of last 3. Davis has to get back into the swing of the Niners offense.
DST49ersEvery DST vs. STL has posted 9+ Fantasy points over last seven games. Niners have posted at least that much in five games.

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Soldier Field
Houston Texans
QBMatt SchaubHard to trust. No QB has tossed 2 TDs vs. Chicago this year but Schaub has 2+ TDs in 4 of last 6. Has been sacked seven times over last three games.
RBArian FosterNo way you're sitting him; he's done well in tough matchups before. CJ2k's garbage-time TD last week ended CHI's streaks vs. RBs.
WRAndre JohnsonShould be OK. Has 8+ catches in each of last three games. All three WRs with 7+ catches vs. CHI topped 100 yards this season.
WRKevin WalterBears have allowed 11 WRs to 7+ Fantasy points including three over last two weeks.
TEOwen DanielsBears among toughest vs. TEs (only two have topped 40 yards) but Daniels has shined in tough matchups before.
DSTTexansTexans should sack Cutler a bunch and that's enough to keep them active. Two of last three DSTs vs. CHI have posted 13+ Fantasy points.
Chicago Bears
QBJay CutlerOnly 2 QBs have 20+ Fantasy points vs. HOU in 2012. And only two have 250+ yards passing. Not a good week for Cutler.
RBMatt ForteHOU hasn't allowed a rush TD to a RB all year but they have yielded three 100-total-yard RBs. MIA, BUF did OK vs. HOU passing to RBs.
WRBrandon MarshallCan't sit him. Texans have allowed one TD to WRs after the debacle vs. Green Bay. Marshall has 9+ Fantasy points in each of his last five.
DSTBearsNo DST has posted more than 11 Fantasy points against the Texans, but the Bears are too hot to sit.

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
Kansas City Chiefs
QBMatt Cassel Steelers pass defense has held each of last four QBs to 1 TD or less. Your only hope here is for garbage time stats.
RBJamaal CharlesPrimary RBs haven't scored on PIT since Week 3 but Steelers have allowed rush TD in 3 of last 4. How much work can we really expect from Charles?
WRDwayne BoweSteelers have allowed TD to WR in three of last four and 5 of last 7. Bowe could clean up in garbage time.
DSTChiefs Six of the last seven DSTs vs. PIT have posted 9 Fantasy points or fewer. You can definitely find a better DST.
Pittsburgh Steelers
QBBen RoethlisbergerSeven of eight QBs vs. KC have 2+ TDs, something Big Ben's done in 5 of 8 games. Should let loose against terrible secondary.
RBIsaac RedmanChiefs have allowed 181.7 total yards to RBs in their last three. Redman has best chance to lead Steelers in carries.
RBJonathan DwyerSeems tough to trust for big stats considering how well Redman played last week, but matchup should yield some numbers.
WRMike WallaceChiefs have allowed 11 TDs to WRs this year including six in their last three games. Wallace should shine.
WREmmanuel SandersGood sleeper thanks to extended playing time with Brown sidelined. Multiple receivers have scored on Chiefs in two of last three games.
TEHeath MillerEric Berry couldn't keep up with Antonio Gates last week, could get lost in the end zone covering Miller this week.
DSTSteelersMust start. Every DST vs. KC has posted at least 11 Fantasy points, four have found the end zone.

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Player News
Titans OL Taylor Lewan pleads guilty to two misdemeanor charges
by Michael Hurcomb |
(10:26 am ET) Titans rookie tackle Taylor Lewan pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges Thursday in Michigan stemming from an incident that took place last year following a Michigan-Ohio State game, according to The Tennessean. Lewan entered pleas to charges of disturbing the peace and being drunk and disorderly.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, Lewan is expected to get probation when he's sentenced Dec. 15. Lewan was initially charged with one count of misdemeanor aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery. Two Buckeyes fans said Lewan assaulted them. Lewan had previously stated that he was breaking up a dispute and wasn't involved in a fight.

Jaguars might consider changing up linebacker corps
by Michael Hurcomb |
(10:17 am ET) While the Jaguars were pleased with how J.T. Thomas performed at middle linebacker Week 8 against the Dolphins, coach Gus Bradley is considering making a change to the linebacker corps because rookie Jeremiah George is making a strong impression on the coaching staff. 

"We’re looking at the linebacker spot, what’s our best three on the field?" Bradley said, per The Florida Times-Union. "We know J.T. played well. [Otto] Dekoda Watson played pretty well. Jeremiah George is showing up a little bit in practice, so a chance to see him in there and throw him into the mix. We’re trying to find a way to see as of right now, what gives us our best opportunity and what guys are playing the best on the field."

Bills' Kiko Alonso starts to run, but still has ways to go in recovery
by Michael Hurcomb |
(10:11 am ET) Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso is pleased with his progress as he is three months removed from ACL surgery.

"I’ve started running already," Alonso told "I’m just doing straight line running, so I’m doing everything but cutting right now. Obviously I’m progressing to full speed running. I’m doing everything, but I’m limited."

Alonso said his knee feels great. However, he is being cautious with his recovery, which usually takes 7-9 months after surgery.

"My knee feels great," he said. "It definitely doesn’t feel like there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just a matter of time. You’ve got to let that ligament heal and strengthen the muscles around it. It feels probably where it should be right now."

Ben Roethlisberger deserves to start
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) It goes without saying that Ben Roethlisberger's six-touchdown, 522-yard performance Week 8 against Indianapolis was a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, and I stand by my earlier assessment that he's too inconsistent to start in standard 12-team leagues. But that's more for those weeks when every quarterback is available. With six teams on bye, that's certainly not the case in Week 9.

For those owners accustomed to starting Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan or Jay Cutler, Roethlisberger may be the best choice. His matchup against Baltimore isn't great. The Ravens rank a suspect 22nd against the pass, giving up 256.0 yards per game, but having allowed just seven touchdowns through the air, they've surrendered the second-fewest Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Regardless of the matchup, though, Roethlisberger has a better chance than most of the quarterbacks who might be available of putting up the numbers you're accustomed to.

I'd prefer Carson Palmer, Nick Foles and Cam Newton to him, to name just a few fringy types, but Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Ricahrd both have Roethlisberger in their top 10 for this week.

Brandon LaFell not the only Patriots WR to consider
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) It's time to give Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell a shot in Fantasy -- as in not just owning him, but starting him. If his 11 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown Week 8 against the Bears weren't enough to convince you, his matchup Week 9 against Denver should be.

It's not that the Broncos are so bad against the pass. They rank in the middle of the pack, allowing 242.9 yards per game. It's just that the Patriots' only hope against them is to beat Peyton Manning at his own game. Their passing attack -- at least the version they've shown in the last four weeks -- is good enough to beat anybody when they're motivated to use it.

LaFell appears to have leapfrogged Julian Edelman in the pecking order, but frankly, Edelman might not be such a bad play either. Tom Brady is going to need every weapon at his disposal to outscore Manning and company. Edelman is more of a desperation play than LaFell, I think, advisable only if you're short on startable wide receivers, but Dave Richard likes him enough with this matchup to rank him 24th at the position.

Shane Vereen a better choice than Jonas Gray
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) By giving the previously unknown Jonas Gray 17 carries for 86 yards Week 8 against Chicago, the Patriots revealed that they'll stick with a two-man backfield even with preferred rusher Stevan Ridley out for the year with a torn ACL and MCL.

But Week 9 against Denver might be a better matchup for preferred receiver Shane Vereen, who also thrived in Week 7 against the Jets. The Broncos, like the Jets, have done a good job stopping the run this season. They rank No. 1, in fact, allowing 72.4 yards per game.

Plus, the Patriots will most likely have to throw more than usual just to keep up with the league's highest-scoring team. These days, a team's only real choice against Peyton Manning is to beat him at his own game.

So most likely, Gray will spend much of Week 9 on the sidelines while Vereen spends much of it in the backfield. Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Vereen among their top 20 running backs for this week.

Vincent Jackson not such a great play
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) On a day when the Buccaneers couldn't get anything going offensively Week 8 against Minnesota, wide receiver Vincent Jackson was barely involved, catching one pass for 13 yards. He was targeted five times, but for a player who misses a lot of the balls thrown his way, both because of his role in the passing game and his issues with drops, that's a pretty low number. He averaged 10.0 targets in his first six games.

Even worse for Jackson, quarterback Mike Glennon has developed a nice rapport with both Mike Evans and Louis Murphy, and the Buccaneers passing attack isn't prolific enough to sustain three wide receivers. Is it more likely to sustain him than those other two? Yeah, probably. But it'll likely cut into his production regardless.

And it could cut into his production in a big way Week 9 at Cleveland. The Browns don't rank especially high against the pass, but they don't give up many touchdowns through the air, allowing the fourth-lowest quarterback rating of any team this season. Cornerback Joe Haden, who has played better in recent weeks after a slow start, is a big reason for that, and he'll likely go up against Jackson on Sunday.

Neither Jamey Eisenberg nor Dave Richard rank Jackson among their top 30 wide receivers -- and that's in a week with six teams on bye.

Time to the roll the dice on Denard Robinson?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Sitting Denard Robinson the week after his breakout 127-yard effort against the Browns was understandable. It was an outlier performance achieved with an especially favorable matchup, and there was some big talk about Toby Gerhart still playing a big role. But now, after back-to-back 100-yard games, taking a conservative approach with Robinson just seems kind of silly.

Especially since his matchup Week 9 at Cincinnati is, at least on paper, a favorable one. The Bengals rank 29th against the run, allowing 140.7 yards per game, and have given up the eighth-most Fantasy points per game to running backs. And as tough as the Jaguars defense has played in recent weeks, you don't have to worry so much about the Bengals running away with the game, compelling the Jaguars to throw every down.

Calling Robinson a must-start is taking it a bit far. Some people have enviable depth at the position. But in Week 9, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Robinson among their top 24 running backs, with Dave slotting him as high as 15th.

Is starting Andy Dalton a good idea?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank the Bengals' Andy Dalton among their top 12 quarterbacks for Week 9, presumably because he's facing the Jaguars. But how did that work out for Ryan Tannehill in Week 8, Brian Hoyer in Week 7 or, yep, even Ben Roethlisberger in Week 5?

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of the whole "start Player X against the Jaguars because they're bad" argument. Because they're not. At least not anymore -- not on defense, anyway. The Jaguars have allowed an average of 16.5 points in their last four games, and if not for the Dolphins' two defensive touchdowns in Week 8, it'd be 13.0

True, star wide receiver A.J. Green is looking likely to return from a three-game absence for a toe injury, which would certainly improve Dalton's chances. But again, quality quarterbacks -- namely, Tannehill and Roethlisberger -- have had their full arsenals when they faced the Jaguars, and they still underwhelmed against them. I'm not sure this is Dalton's week.

Now, with so many high-profile quarterbacks (such as Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler) on bye this week, you may want it to be Dalton's week, but I'd give Carson Palmer, Nick Foles, Cam Newton or Tannehill a shot before I turned to him.

Greg Olsen deserves your trust
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Panthers coach Ron Rivera mentioned Monday that the reason tight end Greg Olsen had only one catch for 16 yards in Week 8 is because the Seahawks rotated their coverage toward him, particularly in the red zone. You can understand why they'd do that after Olsen averaged 70.4 yards with four touchdowns in his first four games.

Unfortunately, since the Seahawks limited the Panthers to just nine points in that game, they've invited other teams to emulate them, and while the Saints, Olsen's Week 9 opponent, certainly aren't the Seahawks defensively, they've done good job of containing tight ends this season, giving up the second-fewest Fantasy points per game to them. And that's even though they rank 31st against the pass.

But just because you can make a reasonable case to sit one this year's most productive and reliable tight ends doesn't mean you should follow through with it. Week 8 was just the second time in eight games that Olsen's production didn't justify a starting spot -- a terrific ratio for any player, regardless of position -- and the Saints haven't really faced a team with a top-flight tight end until now.

If quarterback Cam Newton has big numbers in this game -- and the data suggest he should -- Olsen will, too. Keep him active.