Here’s who I like and don’t like for Week 10:
IN: Mark Sanchez, Jets
From a fantasy perspective, Sanchez hasn’t been the most reliable option week in and week out and is coming off a so-so performance last week against Buffalo (230 yards, one touchdown and an interception). But this week the Jets are facing the Patriots and their pitiful pass defense, which is still giving up an average of 314 yards per game. Sanchez has the weapons to attack that secondary and New England is giving up close to 20 points to opposing quarterbacks, so the Jets’ QB could come up big.
OUT: Josh Freeman, Bucs
Much like Sanchez, Freeman has been inconsistent this season. But unlike Sanchez, he doesn’t have a favorable matchup in Week 10. The Texans’ D is the top-ranked unit in the league and is second against the pass, allowing just shy of 183 yards per game through the air. Only two quarterbacks have thrown for multiple touchdowns against Houston this season, Jason Campbell being the last back in Week 5. Freeman is ranked just 16th among fantasy QBs and he’ll be in tough to put up good numbers.
IN: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
Whether you think Murray is the second coming of Emmitt Smith or not, he should definitely be in your lineup this week. Murray ran for another 139 yards in Week 9 (and added 47 receiving yards) to notch his second 100-yard rushing performance in the last three games. He is averaging a ridiculous 8.4 yards per carry and could have a big day against the Bills, who have allowed 10 touchdowns to running backs this year. If the Cowboys can improve their red-zone play, expect Murray to spend a lot of time in the end zone on Sunday.
OUT: Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
It will probably be difficult for you to bench a running back of Mendenhall’s caliber, but he hasn’t been much of a force the last few weeks. The Steelers back scored a touchdown last week for the first time since Week 6 and has just one 100-yard rushing game all season (also in Week 6). Pittsburgh has focused more on the passing game lately (Ben Roethlisberger has three straight 300-yard games) while this week’s opponent, the Bengals, has the second-best rush D in the league (allowing just 84.5 yards per game). Mendenhall will get carries, but he could be hard-pressed to get touchdowns.
IN: Brandon Marshall, Dolphins
Miami’s offense has been clicking and Marshall is coming off his best game of the season after recording 106 yards and scoring a touchdown Week 9 against the Chiefs. The last time Marshall faced Washington back in 2009, he had 134 yards and two touchdowns and he could be in for another big game this week. The Redskins have allowed only two touchdowns to wideouts this season, but with the way Matt Moore has been throwing the ball lately, Marshall is still worthy of a start.
OUT: A.J. Green, Bengals
The rookie duo of Andy Dalton and Green has been a revelation for Cincinnati this season, but don’t be surprised if the tandem struggles in Week 10 against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is allowing the least fantasy points to receivers this year — in fact no wideout has put up more than 82 yards in a game against that unit this season (including the likes of Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Wes Welker). Green has had a great first season but you might want to stick him on the bench this week against a tough opponent.
IN: Jake Ballard, Giants
The tight end isn’t flying under the radar any longer after catching the game-winning touchdown in New York’s upset win over New England in Week 9. Quarterback Eli Manning and Ballard are starting to develop some chemistry (he was second on the team in targets behind Victor Cruz Sunday) and he’s ranked 10th in fantasy points at the position. San Fran has a good defense but has had issues stopping tight ends (77 catches allowed, tied for third-most in the league) so it’s safe for you to stick with the hot hand this week.
OUT: Scott Chandler, Bills
The up and down season continues for Chandler — after catching two touchdowns in Week 8, Chandler had just 24 yards last week against the Jets. Chandler has gone seven straight games with three or fewer catches, but is always a threat to find the end zone (six of his 18 catches this year have been for touchdowns). Throw in the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick has been struggling lately (48.4 completion percentage last week) and Chandler is too much of a risk to play against a dangerous Cowboys D.
IN: Billy Cundiff, Ravens
Even though Baltimore’s offense has struggled, Cundiff’s production hasn’t suffered (at least not in the last two weeks). Cundiff has kicked three field goals in back-to-back games and has multiple field goals in seven of his eight games this season. This week, the Ravens offense has the chance to put up some big numbers when they take on the Seahawks — Seattle doesn’t have the best defence and is giving up more than nine points to kickers this season.
OUT: Adam Vinatieri, Colts
It’s likely you haven’t had Vinatieri in your lineup for some time now, and this week should be no exception. The Colts offense has regressed over the last few weeks and therefore Vinatieri has had few opportunities to put points on the board (he has five points or fewer in each of the last three games). This week, the Colts face the Jaguars, who are giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to the position. So it might be best to look for another option.
Miami is coming off a great defensive performance against Kansas City, allowing just three points and sacking Matt Cassel five times. And while things appear to be on the upswing for the Dolphins, the same can’t be said for the Redskins. Over the last few games, Washington has developed a penchant for turning over the ball and is having issues protecting the quarterback (John Beck has been sacked 14 times in the last three games). The Dolphins D is a bit of a weird pick, but the unit could come up big for you this week.
After a tough start, the Jets defense is rounding into form after a suffocating performance against the Bills. But I still think it’s too risky to play this squad in Week 10. The Patriots may not be producing the same offensive numbers as they did at the start of the season, but they’re still capable of putting up a bunch of points in a hurry (averaging almost 28 points per game). Opposing defenses are averaging just 6.5 fantasy points per game against New England, so be cautious if you plan on playing New York’s D. There’s nothing more dangerous than a Pats team that has lost two straight and has something to prove.