Fantasy Football Week 10: Forecasting Weekend's Biggest Stars

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistNovember 9, 2013

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field on October 20, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Each NFL Sunday creates a new batch of fantasy heroes to lead several fake teams to victory. Look no further for Week 10's warriors.

Last week, those who started Nick Foles, Zac Stacy and Riley Cooper were sitting pretty while frustrated owners finally were rewarded for their patience with monster outings from slumping stars Tom Brady, Chris Johnson and Andre Johnson.

Who does the crystal ball like this weekend? Since psychics can't really predict the future (but, come to think of it, a psychic who advertised foreseeing football scores would make a great living), and I don't have a copy of Grays Almanac, we'll have to rely on the numbers painting a pleasant picture for these players.

Before dropping the subject of fortune telling completely, why don't any fortune cookies offer up fantasy advice instead of proverbs about happiness, love and all that other nonsense?

OK, back to the point, these guys are poised to go off for massive performances in Week 10.

QB Matthew Stafford (at Chicago Bears)

Points will be bountiful when the Detroit Lions face the Chicago Bears. 

Chicago has allowed 381.1 total yards per game. Not to be outdone, Detroit allows just 381.0. Both marks situate each team in the NFL's bottom 10.

When they played earlier in Week 4, Matthew Stafford underwhelmed fantasy owners with a 242-passing yard, two-touchdown, one-interception performance. Reggie Bush could steal the show again, especially with Lance Briggs out of commission, but Stafford should reel in the points as well.

Those 242 yards represents the lowest tally of Stafford's season, and he has accrued at least two scores in all but one matchup. Against the Bears, who allow 253.6 passing yards a game, Stafford is a top-five quarterback and a must-start.

RB C.J. Spiller (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15:  C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills runs for 46 yards against  the Carolina Panthers at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

It's easy to fall for Pittsburgh's reputation as blue-collared, hard-nosed defenders who pound its opponents down in the trenches. But here's a secret: The Steelers stink at stopping the run.

No longer the Steel Curtain, the Steelers have allowed 131.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. By ESPN's scoring, opponents have accumulated 19.9 points per game. 

After missing a week with an ankle injury, C.J. Spiller returned with a vengeance, gaining a season-high 155 total yards against the Kansas City Chiefs. He needed just 12 carries to compile 116 rushing yards, a line that looks closer to a stat line from his outstanding 2012 campaign.

Even during what is considered a disappointing season from the first-round fantasy pick, Spiller is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Even with Fred Jackson prominently involved, Spiller will receive plenty of chances between the 20s to break one open.

Spiller's swift burst was on full display against Kansas City, so expect more of the same against Pittsburgh's shaky run defense.

WR Keenan Allen (vs. Denver Broncos)

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 14:  Keenan Allen #13 of the San Diego Chargers catches a touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts on October 14, 2013 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Keenan Allen is the real deal.

After a slow start to his rookie season, Allen has earned more than 100 yards in three of his last four games. Not only has he made big plays with 15.5 yards per catch, he has received at least six targets in each of the past five games.

As he continues to get comfortable working with Philip Rivers, Allen should continue to blossom into a high-end No. 2 fantasy wideout. Against the Denver Broncos in a likely shootout, he morphs into a top-10 option.

The Broncos relinquish 299.1 passing yards per game, and they will be pressed into action without their top cornerback. According to The Denver Post's Irv Moss, Champ Bailey will miss Sunday's game with an injured foot.

Both teams are prolific at passing the ball, but neither prospers at derailing the aerial assault. Rivers will have to throw often to keep up with Peyton Manning, which bodes well for Allen.

TE Timothy Wright (vs. Miami Dolphins)

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 03:  Wide receiver Timothy Wright #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes a touchdown catch in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 3, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Gett
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Owners who missed out on Jordan Reed have another chance to strike gold at tight end with Timothy Wright.

Wright caught just one pass during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first three games, but he has since factored more heavily into their plans. He has 23 receptions on 31 targets for 253 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the past two weeks.

His emergence in Tampa Bay's offense coincided with Mike Glennon's initiation as Tampa Bay's starting quarterback. The 6'3", 220-pound rookie has morphed into Glennon's second option behind Vincent Jackson and should continue to see looks going forward.

This Monday night, Wright squares off against the Dolphins, who have let opposing tight ends register 490 yards and six touchdowns. Wright can use the prime-time game to catapult to household recognition.

Tennessee Titans Defense (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 08: Alterraun Verner #20 of the Tennessee Titans intercepts a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game on September 8, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Is it cheap and hackneyed to pick the team facing the Jaguars? Sure, but they're the Jaguars.

By ESPN's scoring, defenses have averaged 13.4 fantasy points per game against the Jaguars. Only the New York Giants have yielded more success to fantasy defenses, and Eli Manning has controlled his interception outbreak over the last two games.

Besides, the Titans are solid on the defensive end, allowing 217.8 passing yards per game. Running backs can expose their front seven, but Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging 3.2 yards per carry with a season high of 75 rushing yards in Week 8.

Justin Blackmon's second suspension makes life a lot easier on Alterraun Verner and Tennessee's secondary. Cecil Shorts is a good play for owners in point-per-reception leagues, but he won't receive enough wiggle room to make any big plays as the team's only target.

Owners relying on the Kansas City Chiefs' top-scoring defense can fill the void by inserting Tennessee for the weekend.

K Robbie Gould (vs. Detroit Lions)

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 02:  Robbie Gould #9 of the Chicago Bears kicks a game-tying field goal out of the hold of Adam Podlesh #8 against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December 2, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-17
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears and Lions should score plenty of points, but Robbie Gould has received at least two field goal attempts in five of the past six games. His last name also suggests that he's a real winner. When it comes to kickers, that's the best I got.


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