The two prime-time games in Week 10—Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers—offer up a surprising plate of fantasy football projections.
Bears-Texans could be a defensive-minded game, while Steelers-Chiefs has all the makings of a big blowout. Finding fantasy locks is a more difficult task that it looks on the surface.
Which fantasy players will benefit the most over the next two nights? We take a look at that question in the following slides.
The Steelers are getting healthy in the backfield, and Kansas City hasn't been horrible yardage-wise against the pass this season (No. 11 in NFL, 221.5 yards/game). But don't be fooled by the surface image of Roethlisberger's fantasy profile this week.
The Chiefs have allowed 17.4 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks this season, and touchdowns are almost certain to come Monday night. Kansas City has allowed two or more touchdown passes in seven of eight games in 2012, including seven over the last three.
Roethlisberger may not throw for 300 yards, but somewhere around 225 and two to three scores certainly seems plausible.
Few fantasy receivers have been as good as Marshall over the last five weeks. Over that stretch, Marshall has caught six touchdowns and averaged 18.4 fantasy points.
Sunday night, Marshall gets what could be a favorable matchup with Johnathan Joseph and the Texans pass defense. Remember, Houston allowed five touchdowns to receivers in a prime-time loss to the Green Bay Packers a month ago.
One factor that could hinder Marshall and the Bears passing game is the weather, which could get nasty in Chicago by Sunday night. But if there's one receiver to like in this matchup, it's likely Marshall.
Houston is no slouch on offense, but there's no arguing with the fantasy force that is the Bears defense. In every game this season, Chicago has scored at least nine fantasy points—a ridiculous notion for a defense in this age of the NFL.
And not only are the Bears stopping teams from scoring, but they're also putting points on the scoreboard. At the midway point this season, Chicago has an NFL-high eight non-offensive touchdowns.
Until proven otherwise, the Bears defense and special teams are the gem of the fantasy football world. A sloppy game weather-wise could mean even more turnovers too.
Speaking of turnovers, no offense in the NFL is giving the football away more or at a higher rate than the Kansas City Chiefs. Through eight games, the Chiefs have a whopping 29 turnovers—14 interceptions and 15 lost fumbles.
The Steelers haven't been a great turnover defense in 2012, but this unit is still talented enough to turn likely Kansas City mistakes into takeaways. Few are expecting the Chiefs to score a boatload of points on the road either.
The Steelers have both Redman and Jonathan Dwyer healthy at running back, so it's possible that a time share could be coming in Week 10. But if there's one guy that should get the bulk of carries, it's Redman, who rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown last week against the New York Giants.
Either way, the Steelers are likely to be up in this football game, so attempts should be available down the stretch. If Redman gets 15-20 carries, he could rip a defense that has allowed over 125 yards to opposing running backs in four straight weeks.