Week 10 Fantasy Football Projections: Predicting Numbers for Top Stars

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIINovember 6, 2013

Look for Adrian Peterson to have his best game of 2013 on Thursday night.
Look for Adrian Peterson to have his best game of 2013 on Thursday night.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 27: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 27, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Bills 35-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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.

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.

Tight end Jimmy Graham continues to shine in fighting through a foot injury while Brees is establishing better rapport with rookie Kenny Stills.

Projected Numbers: 35-of-50 for 440 yards passing, 4 TDs

 

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03:  Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a touchdown during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Image
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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.

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:

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

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 20: Wide receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field on October 20, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bengals defeated t
Jason Miller/Getty Images

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

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 03:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons makes a catch as Robert Lester #38 of the Carolina Panthers defends during play at Bank of America Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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.

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.

It's hard to fathom Ryan playing so poorly for a third straight game. Plus, the Seahawks have shown vulnerability in recent weeks, needing to come back from a 21-0 deficit to beat the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime this past Sunday.

In that contest, as pointed out by Gonzalez's ESPN.com profile, Seattle yielded two touchdown catches to Tampa Bay tight ends.

Even if Roddy White (questionable) can't go, this is the time for a huge bounce-back week for Atlanta in front of its home crowd.

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

 

Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings
RankQuarterbackRunning BackWide ReceiverTight End
1Drew Brees, New Orleans SaintsAdrian Peterson, Minnesota VikingsCalvin Johnson, Detroit LionsTony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
2Peyton Manning, Denver BroncosLeSean McCoy, Philadelphia EaglesA.J. Green, Cincinnati BengalsJimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
3Robert Griffin III, Washington RedskinsFrank Gore, San Francisco 49ersT.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis ColtsJordan Reed, Washington Redskins
4Matthew Stafford, Detroit LionsMarshawn Lynch, Seattle SeahawksDeSean Jackson, Philadelphia EaglesAntonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
5Philip Rivers, San Diego ChargersEddie Lacy, Green Bay PackersBrandon Marshall, Chicago BearsJason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Rankings are strictly opinion