Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 10: Analyzing Toughest Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys in the second half during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 20, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner. Now's the time where the contenders will start separating from the pretenders by locking down postseason berths. Often, making the right lineup decisions plays a key role in that process.

Bye weeks remain, but they shouldn't be as crippling as they have been in recent weeks when there were six teams sitting out. It opens up the free-agent market a little bit and gives fantasy owners more options when it comes to filling key voids.

With that in mind, let's check out which side of the ledger some fringe fantasy assets belong on for Week 10. The groups are followed by a closer look at some of the trickiest calls owners will need to make.



Start 'Em or Sit 'Em?

Week 10 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
PositionStart 'EmSit 'Em
QBNick Foles (PHI)Colin Kaepernick (SF)
RBDanny Woodhead (SD)Ray Rice (BAL)
WRJerricho Cotchery (PIT)Steve Smith (CAR)
TEJordan Reed (WSH)Brandon Myers (NYG)
KRobbie Gould (CHI)Matt Bryant (ATL)
DTennessee TitansChicago Bears
Fantasy Week 10


Breakdown of Toughest Calls

Sit: Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 06:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball gainst the Houston Texans during their game at Candlestick Park on October 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick started trending back in the right direction before San Francisco's bye, racking up three straight weeks with at least 15 points. Fantasy owners who have been eagerly waiting the rebound so they could get him back in their lineups are probably chomping at the bit.

Based on his Week 10 matchup, they are best off waiting another week. The 49ers are set to face the Carolina Panthers, a team that ranks third in yards allowed and is giving up the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in standard formats.

Facing an elite defense makes it tough to trust Kaepernick. In eight starts, he's scored in single digits three times. So while the upside is promising following his recent strong performances, wait another week before bringing him off the bench.


Sit: Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 13:  Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes against the Green Bay Packers at M&T Bank Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

One of the toughest things a fantasy owner must do is decide when to bench a top pick. Fantasy owners with Ray Rice on their team very likely had to spend a first-round pick to get him, and there's always a concern the star will break out the moment he lands on the fantasy pine.

With that said, Rice is averaging barely over four points in his last three games. His flashes of being a top fantasy option have been few and far between, which means he should no longer be an automatic start at the very least. He's fallen down into the matchup-play category.

With the entire Ravens offense struggling, facing a solid Cincinnati Bengals defense that ranks 10th against the run doesn't bode well for Rice. A return to form would provide a big boost to fantasy teams down the stretch but don't expect it to start in Week 10.


Start: Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 03:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with teammate Jerricho Cotchery #89 after a touchdown catch in the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro, Mas
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jerricho Cotchery is coming off a huge game last week. He scored three touchdowns en route to 27 points—by far his best fantasy showing of the season. In most cases, it's best to take the safe route and wait a week on players who come out of nowhere to score big.

Given Cotchery's heavy usage last week and promising matchup, however, it's hard to argue against sliding him right into the lineup. The Buffalo Bills rank 18th against the pass and have given up at least 20 points in every game this season.

Cotchery still isn't a player that can be counted on every week. Yet, it's impossible to ignore his numbers from last week, which brought him back onto the fantasy radar. Thanks to a favorable matchup, he's worth starting in Week 10.