NFL Picks Week 10: Predicting the Top Fantasy Football Performances
Is it ever safe to trust Jaguars in fantasy football?
In predicting the top fantasy football performances for Week 10 in the NFL, I pick the players in the Jacksonville passing attack to be a safer option than ever.
We'll get to why later. Here are two Jaguars you must start and eight other knockout starts in fantasy football set to put your team over the top in Week 10.
No. 10: Tampa Bay Defense
The weakness of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is their ability to stop the run, which is basically nonexistent.
However, this weekend against the Carolina Panthers, the Buccaneers 30th-ranked rush defense will not be in position to get exploited as it normally would against the Panthers' talented running backs.
DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and even Tyrell Sutton might be down with injuries in what has turned into a disaster of a season for the Panthers. That leaves Mike Goodson as the starter.
Even if Goodson can perform well, the Bucs defense should have a ball against the Panthers league-worst offense at home. Matt Moore is out for the season, and either Jimmy Clausen or sixth-round draft pick Tony Pike will get the start against a Buccaneers defense that leads the NFL with 14 interceptions and pick-sixes.
No. 9: Tom Brady
The Patriots will probably be overmatched in Pittsburgh this weekend. Slowly but surely people are starting to realize what Randy Moss meant to the Patriots offense.
What has Wes Welker done since Moss' departure? In the past four games, Welker has 18 catches for 138 yards and no touchdowns.
Tom Brady also looks awfully similar to the quarterback everybody remembers from before 2007, when the team traded for Moss. That's not to take anything away from him, but a huge statistical difference exists between Brady pre-Moss and Brady with Moss.
So why is he a pick this week? Because the Patriots are going to be competitive, even if they're overmatched against the Steelers. And they're not going to compete against a team that has allowed just 58.2 yards per game on the ground by running the ball.
So Brady will throw the ball a lot against a Steelers defense that only ranks 24th against opposing teams' pass attacks. Start Brady with confidence this week, even against the top-ranked defense in the NFL playing at home.
No. 8: Mike Wallace
Look at this touchdown catch, the one pictured here.
Mike Wallace is becoming the most electrifying, and perhaps the luckiest receiver in the NFL. How Leon Hall allowed Wallace to box him out on that catch is a mystery. How a defensive back does this, or this, is also a mystery.
This week the mystery of Mike Wallace's end zone luck will probably continue against a young Patriots secondary that ranks 29th in the NFL against the pass.
Perhaps defensive backs are simply intimidated by Wallace and his blazing speed. Regardless, look for Wallace to burn the Patriots at least once, making him a worthy fantasy football start this week.
No. 7: Jahvid Best
This weekend, the Detroit Lions travel to Buffalo to take on the 0-8 Bills.
The Bills have the league's worst rush defense, allowing 178.2 yards per game. Best should get the ball enough on the ground to make a significant impact, as he could easily break a long run off against the Bills.
If Shaun Hill is cleared to play, Best's value takes an even greater jump because he'll more than likely compete in the passing game as well.
Start the rookie with confidence this week.
No. 6: David Garrard
Could the stars be aligning any more for David Garrard to continue his hot streak this week?
First of all, since Garrard's stinker in Week 3 against the Eagles, the Jaguars quarterback has completed 57 of 75 passes (76 percent) with nine touchdowns to just two interceptions.
Now he takes that hot arm into a home game against the Houston Texans, who have shown the propensity to stop nobody in the passing game, allowing 298.2 yards per game through the air (32nd in the NFL).
Finally, Garrard has a history of strong performances against the Texans. He has five performances with a QB rating over 90 in seven games against the Texans, and led the Jaguars to a sweep of Houston in 2009, throwing for 452 yards and two touchdowns in the two divisional games.
No. 5: Marcedes Lewis
Somebody has to catch passes from David Garrard this weekend. While Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas may have more catches than Marcedes Lewis, Lewis has more touchdowns, making him the safer fantasy play, especially in non-ppr leagues.
Since Garrard started this hot streak in Week 4 against Indianapolis, Lewis has caught five of Garrard's nine touchdown passes.
Looking specifically at the matchup against the Texans, that league-worst pass defense has routinely been killed by tight ends such as Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme of the Colts, and Randy McMichael, who was playing in place of an injured Antonio Gates.
The 6'6", 275-lb Lewis is a matchup problem for anybody, but especially the Texans.
No. 4: LaGarrette Blount
People will make too much of a stink about LaGarrette Blount being stuffed on a 4th-and-1 from the 2-yard line late in the fourth quarter last week.
What they should instead focus on is how Blount outplayed Cadillac Williams. Williams carried the ball eight times for 13 yards. Blount carried the ball 13 times for 46 yards.
In his last three games, Blount has 46 carries for 238 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
This week, against the 25th-ranked rush defense of the Carolina Panthers, Blount should have another field day and establish himself as the top running back on the Buccaneers roster.
No. 3: Michael Vick
Vick did not look rusty at all against the Indianapolis Colts last week.
He completed 17 of 29 passes for 218 yards and added 74 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown run against the Colts.
This week Vick will lead the Eagles into Washington to take on the Redskins and their 31st-ranked defense that surrenders 280.9 yards per game through the air (31st) and 112.4 yards per game on the ground (18th).
Vick will want to make up for lost time against a Redskins defense that is clearly struggling in the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4.
No. 2: Larry Fitzgerald
It doesn't really matter that Larry Fitzgerald doesn't have a legitimate NFL quarterback throwing him the ball.
Fitzgerald will get his against a defense that ranks 30th against the pass, especially at home in Arizona.
It also helps that Fitzgerald is seemingly heating up, catching 13 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games.
This might be Fitzgerald's best game yet.
No. 1: Jamaal Charles
This pick comes with a caveat: Jamaal Charles must be healthy to post a top fantasy performance.
He struggled last week against Oakland, coming out of the game several times with undisclosed injuries.
However, if Charles does play, he will be going up against a Denver Broncos defense that ranks 31st against the run this season.
Charles, a home-run threat anytime he touches the ball, should feast on a Broncos defense that has allowed more 40-plus yard runs than any other team in the NFL.
Monitor his status, and if he is cleared to play sometime before Sunday, get this stud in your lineup and watch him roll up the points.