There's an axiom in fantasy football that you should "Always Start Your Studs", and as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson showed last week in shredding a stout Seattle Seahawks defense there's a reason why that axiom exists.
However, a savvy fantasy football owner doesn't deal in absolutes, and sometimes there are cases where a matchup is so bad that a player who is generally a weekly starter is best left riding the pine.
Such is the case with these players in Week 10.
Mind you, I'm not saying you should absolutely (there's that word again) glue these players to the bench, just that when setting you lineup it may be advisable to consider other options if you have them.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. DAL)
The 2012 season has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for quarterback Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. A team that hoped to erase a disappointing 2011 season and make it back to the postseason has instead lurched to a 3-5 record, with embattled head coach Andy Reid continually having to defend his turnover-prone quarterback according to Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports.
''Michael was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles,'' Reid said. ''I can't make it any more clear than that.''
Things haven't been quite so bad for Vick's fantasy owners, as even though the 32-year-old southpaw has turned the ball over an eye-popping 14 times this season he still ranks well within the top-10 fantasy options at his position in most scoring systems.
With that said, fantasy squads with any sort of viable backup option this week should explore it, as Vick and the reeling Eagles face an equally desperate Dallas Cowboys team that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears (vs. HOU)
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte was one of a number of prominent players at his position that saw his 2011 season cut short by injury, and much like the aforementioned Adrian Peterson. Forte has come back strong, with his 718 total yards and three touchdowns ranking him within the top-10 running backs in fantasy points per game.
The fifth-year pro has also been hot of late, averaging well over 100 total yards with two touchdowns over his past three games, and Chicago center Roberto Garza recently told Vaughn McClure of The Chicago Tribune that the offensive line needs to step it up and insure that that hot streak continues.
"We have to go out there and do our jobs better. We have to get him more yards. When you have a guy like Matt, he's going to make us look good. We just need to get him on the edge and get him to the second level.''
It's going to be hard for Forte to keep the steak going this week when the Bears play host to the Houston Texans in a showdown between 7-1 teams. The Texans have been very stingy against the run in 2012, ranking 2nd in the NFL in run defense, and Houston has given up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing ball carriers this season.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Despite playing for a team that has yet to lead a game this season Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has still managed to post decent fantasy numbers in 2012, ranking just inside the top 20 wideouts in fantasy points per game.
The terrible situation at quarterback in Kansas City certainly hasn't helped Bowe's cause, but as the 28-year-old plays out what is likely his final year for the Chiefs it's actually a good thing for Bowe's fantasy prospects that Matt Cassel remains under center.
Cassel may be a turnover machine, but at least he can get the football to Bowe, who Brady Quinn seems to ignore altogether as he checks down on every play.
What isn't good for Bowe's prospects in Week 10 is Kansas City's matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. No team in the NFL allows fewer passing yards a game than the Steelers, and only two teams are stingier to opposing wide receivers from a fantasy perspective.