We've made it 10 weeks into this year's fantasy football campaign, which means some teams are on a collision course with the playoffs while other fantasy owners have only collided with another season of injuries and disappointment.
If you're one of the lucky few humming right along at 9-1 or 8-2, the odds are your weekly lineup sets itself. For folks treading water at 5-4 and clinging to the last playoff spot in their league, though, every week becomes a "must win" scenario.
For those fantasy owners and anyone dealing with injuries or the tail end of the bye week blues, here's a look at a few Week 10 fantasy sleeper plays that could help keep your postseason plans on course.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills (at NE)
Speaking of singing the blues, the Buffalo Bills are humming that tune where quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is concerned. The $24 million in guaranteed cheddar the team gave the eighth-year veteran last year hasn't gotten them much of a return on their investment.
Over the Bills' last four games (three of them losses), Fitzpatrick has averaged less than 200 passing yards a game with only three touchdown passes, and head coach Chan Gailey has been forced to come to the defense of his quarterback's perceived lack of arm strength, according to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News.
"There's so much that goes into how you design things," Gailey said. "You design them around your players. You do what they do best. You try to make sure that you are making first downs and giving your players a chance to make first downs and giving your players a chance to be successful. There's some of that. It's more of that than having people that can go deep. It's more of by design that it is by lack of personnel; that's for sure."
Noodle arm or no, this would seem the ideal week for Fitzpatrick to break out of his funk. The 29-year-old has three straight games with over 300 yards passing against the New England Patriots, including a 350-yard, four touchdown effort back in Week 4.
Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins (vs. TEN)
After a turn on HBO's Hard Knocks that made it look like the Miami Dolphins were set for a faceplant in 2012 the 4-4 'Fins are one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season. One of the biggest surprises during the first half of the year has been their developing backfield committee.
Over the past two games, second-year tailback Daniel Thomas has received 24 touches compared to 27 for starter Reggie Bush, and as Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post tweeted the youngster has actually been on the field more than the veteran over that stretch.
For the second straight game, Daniel Thomas had more snaps than Reggie Bush. Last week was 41-20 split. This time 33-28
— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) November 5, 2012
Granted, any time you're talking about a split at running back, a certain amount of risk is involved in starting either player in fantasy football, but running back sleepers aren't easy to come by and there should be plenty of production to go around this week against a Tennessee Titans defense allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2012.
Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers passing game has been out of sync more often than not this season, and that's been reflected in the statistical production of both quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers receiving corps.
That includes veteran wideout Malcom Floyd. The 31-year old is on pace for the first 1,000 yard season of his NFL career, but after finding the end zone 11 times over the past two seasons Floyd has only two touchdowns this year. Although Floyd leads the team in receiving, the seventh-year pro also ranks well outside the Top 25 fantasy options at his position.
With that said, the stage could well be set for Floyd to have his best game of the season this week when the Bolts travel east to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, as opposing wide receivers have feasted on the Tampa defense to the tune of the second-most fantasy points allowed to the position this year.
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