A number of top fantasy football stars are facing ideal matchups to exploit for big numbers in Week 10.
Between relentless competitiveness, their respective team's circumstances and the opponents on tap, one stud from each offensive position in particular should deliver on his typical promise for fantasy owners.
Before taking a look at a ranking of the top prospective players on offense for this week, let's examine why specific standout performers will top the NFL with explosive games.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Brees is one of two big names playing in prime time that will assert their will coming off of disappointing losses.
It wasn't the Saints' signal-caller's fault that the defense conceded 198 yards to the New York Jets on the ground, which is largely what disabled New Orleans' passing game from getting into a rhythm. Matching wits with Jets head coach Rex Ryan is never easy when that is the case.
The outlook for Brees and Co. improves drastically in Week 10, though, with the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Superdome on Sunday night.
Facing a shoddy secondary and coming off a loss is something Brees will take advantage of with his meticulous preparation and the fact that the Saints hold only a one-game lead in the NFC South.
Drew Brees goes thru his reads mentally AND physically during warm-ups. Never saw that before. Awesome.— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) November 3, 2013
America's Team is 31st in the league in pass defense, which is just not a good sign when matching up with a savvy quarterback in Brees at the controls.
Projected Numbers: 35-of-50 for 440 yards passing, 4 TDs
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Now that tight end Kyle Rudolph is out for at least a month after fracturing his left foot, third-year quarterback Christian Ponder doesn't have one of his key targets.
Just got a text from Kyle Rudolph. Broke his foot, he's out 4-6 weeks. Not Lis Franc but different kind of fracture— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 4, 2013
Thus, the onus for Minnesota to salvage respectability amidst a 1-7 season falls on Peterson, who has thrived for the most part in 2013 regardless of the level of incompetence under center.
Ponder has played the most and best football of the quarterbacks at the Vikings' disposal, though that isn't saying much.
Week 10 presents a favorable matchup against the Washington Redskins, who feature a defense that ranks 31st in points allowed per game (31.6) and 30th in total yards yielded (398.8). It's the type of opponent Peterson can run wild on.
The touchdown run Peterson had in the loss to Dallas last week on fourth down and inches to go sums up his determination and combination of speed and power in one play:
Adrian Peterson carries 3 defenders into the endzone. Because he's a machine. MUST-SEE: http://t.co/MiVgQW66uQ— NFL (@nfl) November 3, 2013
There is no give-up in the 28-year-old force of nature, and that will manifest itself again at Mall of America Field on Thursday evening.
Projected Numbers: 28 carries, 200 yards, 2 TDs; 4 receptions, 30 yards
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
With how uncharacteristically leaky the Chicago Bears defense has been this season, they are in a world of trouble in matching up with Megatron and the Lions on Sunday, even at Soldier Field.
Detroit has its own problems in the defensive backfield, but no one is quite like Johnson, who is coming off a bye and is well rested. Before then, he accumulated the second-most receiving yards in a single game in NFL history.
For a follow-up performance, it's not out of the question to expect something north of 100 yards with sole possession of first place in the NFC North on the line.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford will be looking Johnson's way a ton. The superstar wideout is averaging just under 10 targets per game, so that shouldn't change.
Stafford is also last amongst full-time starters who have played every game this season in only taking 10 sacks. With that type of protection combined with a decimated Chicago defensive line, it should be a glorious day for Johnson and his fantasy owners.
Projected Numbers: 12 receptions, 160 yards, TD
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Quarterback Matt Ryan has been brutal in throwing seven interceptions over the past two games.
One silver lining that emerged from Week 9's loss to the Carolina Panthers is that Gonzalez bounced back after two lackluster weeks with six catches on seven targets for 81 yards and a score.
Ron Rivera: "Tony Gonzalez showed us why he is going to be in the Hall of Fame today."— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 3, 2013
The Seattle Seahawks soar into the Georgia Dome seeking to avenge last year's playoff loss as the NFC's best team, while the Falcons have floundered with a 2-6 record to date.
Which star on a losing team will finish 2013 stronger?
In that contest, as pointed out by Gonzalez's ESPN.com profile, Seattle yielded two touchdown catches to Tampa Bay tight ends.
Gonzalez will be a big reason why. Since he is fourth among tight ends in targets and third in red-zone targets even with a bye week, there's a good bet Gonzalez will continue defying his age and come through for fantasy owners who have been patient enough to stick with him.
Projected Numbers: 8 receptions, 85 yards, 2 TDs
|Rank||Quarterback||Running Back||Wide Receiver||Tight End|
|1||Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints||Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings||Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions||Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons|
|2||Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos||LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles||A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals||Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints|
|3||Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins||Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers||T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts||Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins|
|4||Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions||Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks||DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles||Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers|
|5||Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers||Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers||Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears||Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys|
Rankings are strictly opinion