Fantasy Football Week 10: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Over a four-week span earlier this season, Oakland Raiders third-year receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had four straight productive games with 82 or more receiving yards in each game. After an up-and-down (mostly down) start to his career, I had been a bit skeptical after the first strong game.
After each successive solid performance, however, it seemed to be less and less of a fluke. After all, Heyward-Bey's 385 yards during that four-game span exceeded his production in all of 2009 (124 yards) and 2010 (366).
The Raiders have had a 100-yard receiver in each of their past two games since then; however, that receiver was not Heyward-Bey, the team's first-round pick in 2009. Instead it was Jacoby Ford in Week 9 and Denarius Moore in Week 10.
In those two games, DHB has a total of zero receptions for zero yards and only one target. In fact, newcomer T.J. Houshmandzadeh had two receptions for 35 yards in those two games, and he had been out of football for the previous eight weeks.
Ford left Thursday night's game with an injury, which helped open the door for Moore to have a huge night.
Moore, who had his first big game since Week 2 against Buffalo (5-146-1), had five receptions for 123 yards and two scores in Week 10 and made some spectacular plays in the process. In the two games that Palmer has started, Moore has had two of his three best games of the season.
Can we assume that trend will continue? Either way, Moore will be my highest-ranked Raiders receiver in Week 11.
With 15 games remaining this week, here are some players to consider starting in Week 10:
Since taking over as the team's starting quarterback, Tebow has yet to complete more than 18 passes for more than 172 yards, although he has a 5-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his three starts.
That said, Tebow has rushed for 240 yards (or an average of 80 yards per game). During that three-game span, only eight players rushed for more yards. Furthermore, only 17 players rushed for two-thirds (160 yards) of that total from Weeks 7 to 9.
In his past two games, Bush has carried the ball 28 times for 195 yards and has caught seven passes for 67 yards. Bush has at least 75 yards from scrimmage in three of his past four games. Although rookie Daniel Thomas, who has missed three games this season, does not appear on the injury report this week, Thomas comes off a season-low seven rush attempts last week.
Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (at Philadelphia Eagles)
Despite having a great fantasy matchup last week, Wells had his worst performance of the season. Against the St. Louis Rams, who rank dead last in rushing defense, Wells finished with 10 carries for only 20 yards, but he gets another favorable matchup this week. Only the Carolina Panthers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Eagles this season.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)
This season, only seven players have been targeted more than Brown, who is tied with Carolina's Steve Smith and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe at 73. Brown has five-plus receptions and double-digit fantasy points in each of his past three games. During that span, Brown has two 100-yard games, the first two of his career.
For three straight games, Crabtree has had five-plus receptions for 50-plus yards. During that span, Crabtree has 19 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown. The Giants have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
Laurent Robinson, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Buffalo Bills)
Robinson has scored in a two straight games and has 10 receptions for 135 yards in those two games. With Miles Austin out with a hamstring injury for the next two to four weeks, Robinson should see an increase in his number of targets during that span. In his last game he played with Austin out of the lineup, Robinson finished with season highs in receptions (seven) and yards (116).
Jake Ballard, New York Giants (at San Francisco 49ers)
Ballard has had at least five fantasy points in each of his past five games. Ballard has at least 55 receiving yards in each of his past four games and has scored in three of his past five games.
Here are some players to consider sitting in Week 10:
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
With Andre Johnson out for his sixth straight game, Schaub was just outside of my top 12 quarterbacks in my initial Week 10 rankings. In each of his past three games, Schaub has attempted 30 or fewer passes.
With their running back tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, who have a total of five 100-yard games in the past three weeks, the Texans' play-calling will continue to be run-heavy.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
Lynch has been feast or famine this season. In seven games played, Lynch has four games with 33 yards or fewer and three games with 73 yards or more.
On a positive note, Lynch has four straight games with a touchdown. Facing one of the league's best run defenses this week, however, Lynch will not likely have the kind of success he had last week.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (at Atlanta Falcons)
While Thomas has had four or more receptions in each of his past three games, he has yet to have more than 10 carries in a game this season.
Coming off the PUP list last week, Chris Ivory led the team in carries (15) while Thomas had only eight. With Darren Sproles as the best fantasy option in the Saints backfield, Thomas, Ivory and/or Mark Ingram are best avoided, if possible.
Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Houston Texans)
The good news is Williams has had a season-high six receptions in each of his past three games.
The bad news is he has yet to finish with more than 75 yards this season and has not scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 1.
The worse news is the Bucs face the Texans, who rank second in pass defense (182.6 yards allowed) this season.
Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (at Green Bay Packers)
Through eight games this season, Harvin has yet to have a game with more than 10 fantasy points. Although he has had 20 rush attempts for 185 yards, Harvin ranks 71st in the NFL in receiving yards (334) and is tied for 72nd in targets (44). In his first matchup against the Packers this season in Week 7, Harvin finished with two receptions for 15 yards and two rushes for eight yards.
Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans (at Carolina Panthers)
After starting the season with five straight games with 60-plus receiving yards, Washington has failed to reach 35 receiving yards in any of his past three games. While the Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, only three teams allow fewer fantasy points per game to opposing receivers than Carolina.
Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Houston Texans)
With the exception of New Orleans' Jimmy Graham in Week 3, the Texans have held all tight ends to 45 receiving yards or less this season. While Winslow has scored in back-to-back games, he had only 25 and 29 yards in his past two games.
We will update our Week 10 fantasy rankings, which can be found at TheTipDrill.com, later today (Saturday).
Good luck in Week 10!
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